Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2009

City Council candidates explain positions on water, economic development

February 19, 2009

(Editor’s note: The De Soto Explorer is running profiles this week on five of 11 candidates for two expiring De Soto City Council seats. Profiles on the remaining six — Kevin Honomichl, Ron McDaniel, Doug Pickert, W.R. Sam Tyler, Rick Walker and Stephanie Weaver will run in the Feb. 26 issue of the paper.)

Ron Crow

Education, community service, volunteerism: 1991 graduate of De Soto High School. De Soto Parks and Recreation Commission member, member of the De Soto Day Committee and member of De Soto VFW Post 6654 Men’s Auxilary.

Is there any single issue that led you to run for the council?

No. I’m concerned about parks, downtown redevelopment and bringing more business to broaden the tax base.

Do you favor either of the two longterm water supply options (now three with the possibility of a regional water district) the council is considering?

I’m for the city staying in the water production business.

What would be your infrastructure priorities if elected?

Water and sewer lines, sidewalks and streets.

What more should the city do to draw the badly needed businesses that would take the tax burden off of homeowners?

Make land in the business park more affordable.

Andrew (Andy) J. Everett 

Occupation: Self-employed owner of E’s Directional Boring

Education, community service, volunteerism: De Soto USD 232 YouthFriends volunteer, graduate of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy and a Sheriff volunteer, Master Mason at De Soto Lodge No. 40 and volunteer with the Mason’s Kansas Child Identification Program.

Is there any single issue that led you to run for the council?

Our water manufacturing and distribution system.

Do you favor either of the two options (now three with a regional water district) the council is considering and why?

I strongly favor investing in, updating and replacing components of our current water infrastructure.

What would be your infrastructure priorities if elected?

1. Business and money management of the city; 2. Water system; 3. Increase number of businesses and residents.

What more should the city do to draw the badly needed businesses that would take the tax burden off of homeowners?

I don’t feel that the city has used those resources to their potential, especially the abatements. There have been companies looking at De Soto that have been turned down for even a three year abatement. The city cannot afford to turn away businesses within reason.

Bob Garrett

Occupation: Retired after 39 years with AT&T/Lucent Technologies.

Education, community service, volunteerism: 10-year volunteer fire chief of Monticello Fire District No. 1, president of the Johnson County Fire Chiefs Association, member De Soto VFW Post 6654 Men’s Auxilary, member American Legion Riders Post 40 and Patriot Guard

Is there any single issue that led you to run for the council?

De Soto needs change. Our residents should not be dependent upon the city of Olathe to supply their water needs.

Do you favor either of the two options (now three with a regional water district) the council is considering and why?

We have a water plant that can produce all the quality water the city can use, plus any future growth for years to come. The city of Olathe cannot guarantee this. The De Soto Water Department recently tested our water quality against Olathe and ours tested better. Ask any Olathe resident how their water tastes and most will say “it’s bad.”

I do not understand why the mayor and a couple of his council members are set on outsourcing the water our residents use.

What would be your infrastructure priorities if elected?

The cost of hooking on to Olathe water supply will cost about $3 million — money t better spent to update our plant. This city has sold off the electric, merged your fire and rescue with the county. Now comes the water and most likely the street department will be next.

Associates Inc, Structural Engineers

Family:

Education, community service, volunteerism: Bachelor of Science, Kansas University, master of science in civil engineering-structural engineering, Kansas University, master’s of business administration, Kansas University, De Soto Planning Commission from 2005 to present.

Is there any single issue that led you to run for the council? To provide for the city and those around me.

Do you favor either of the two options (now three with a regional water district) the council is considering?

I don’t favor any of the options at this time as I want time to learn what is important to the citizens of De Soto and make an informed decision.

What would be your infrastructure priorities if elected?

Infrastructure priorities would be determined with the available funding and city/citizen needs.

The city has used tax abatements, industrial revenue bonds, and has tax increment financing policy all meant to attract businesses and/or industrial development to De Soto? What more should the city do to draw the badly needed businesses that would take the tax burden off of homeowners?

Continue to improve the image of De Soto as a

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