Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2003

Ladies night: Cannon, Templin, Zindler win Council seats

April 3, 2003

For what is the first time in anyone's memory and likely the city's history, women will be in the majority on the De Soto City Council.

"The men will be our minority," Betty Cannon said. "It's a good mix. That's always good when you have more views than one."

According to unofficial results from the Johnson County Election Office, first-time candidate Cannon topped a slate of six running for the three open seats with 368 votes. Another first-timer, Mitra Templin, finished second with 298 votes while incumbent Linda Zindler earned re-election with 269 votes, 63 more than John Taylor, who unsuccessfully sought his third term on the Council.

Cannon, an owner of a trucking firm and past president of the De Soto Chamber of Commerce, attributed her victory to her familiarity with voters.

"I'm a long-time resident," Cannon said. "I think that helps.

"I want to thank everybody for their vote, and I really look forward to the next four years of working for people of the city."

Templin's De Soto roots don't run as deep as Cannon's, but she stated repeatedly in her campaign that De Soto was her hometown of choice. Templin's public profile was increased from her three-year tenure as chairwoman of a special Parks and Recreation Commission committee that investigated swimming pool options. The process has led to two site alternatives -- one at the De Soto Community Center and the other at De Soto High School -- which are now before the Council.

Templin said she didn't interpret her success Tuesday as a referendum on the pool, but said there was support to move on the proposal.

"I will tell you I walked the neighborhoods, I talked to older people and younger people," she said. "Nobody was opposed to the pool, but people had definite opinions on where they wanted it put.

"It's something I've always wanted to see on the ballot. Our job now is to hammer out the details."

Reflecting on her re-election, Zindler said it showed voters' approval of the Council's accomplishments during her first term. She promised more were on the way.

"I think we will really set some priorities and focus on areas where we can make significant accomplishments."

Zindler was the subject of a late mailing campaign that questioned, among other things, her link to a lawsuit challenging the city's annexation of the Hunt Midwest quarry and the asphalt in front of her 95th Street home she and her husband, Bob, paid for through a Johnson County dust-control program.

"It doesn't warrant a response," she said. "I don't agree with negative smear campaigns. I hope that kind of nonsense is over."

Cannon said the women on the Council might tend to research issues to a greater degree than men, while Zindler said the three members elected Tuesday offered a variety of different and valuable experiences to the Council.

Voters picked three qualified candidates not three women, Templin said. She passed on speculation about how the character of the Council might change, saying its dynamics were "yet to be determined." She was certain of one thing.

"I have a lot of learning to do, too," she said.

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