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Positions & Policies

Guiding Principles

 

The people of Shawnee deserve honest and fair representation on their city council. Council members should actively listen to the voices of residents and voters. Council members should engage with voters on major issues facing the council, like tax changes, city planning, and statements of social policies.

If elected, I will communicate with voters to the best of my ability, with scheduled town halls, frequent social media updates, and surveys of residents' preferences. I will work to collaborate with all levels of city government.

Preserve city services while minimizing taxes

The current Council reduced property taxes last year against the advice of the City Manager and now they're poised to do it again. We've all become accustomed to excellent services, including recent road and stormwater upgrades. Our police and fire protection has earned national recognition. Like all taxpayers, I want to keep our taxes as low as possible, but not at the risk of cutting services. Instead, I favor a broader tax base that includes new business and industry in appropriately zoned areas.

Sustainable, livable neighborhoods

Single family housing predominates in Shawnee. Residents and prospective residents have seen housing prices climb steeply in the past ten years. Home prices in my neighborhood near Northwest High School have gone up about 25% in just the last two years. We face a severe shortage of entry-level priced homes and smaller homes for aging families. Solutions could include requiring a percentage of less expensive homes in all new developments, attached homes, and lower-cost multi-family residences. Do we really want Shawnee to get so expensive that younger and older people can't afford to live here?

Focus on Shawnee

We've all seen the effects of division and partisanship in national government. Our city government should make every effort to avoid those divisions. Instead, the current council has actively promoted an agenda. They have reduced property tax rates three consecutive years, knowing that the cuts may mean reduced services in the near future. They refused to consider increasing property tax refunds for older citizens on fixed incomes. We must all push back against the ideology - any ideology - and return our city council to its proper role of serving the best interests of all our citizens.

A Welcoming Environment for All People

A thriving, growing city needs people of all ages, backgrounds, faiths, and abilities to reach its full potential. Many younger and older people can't find affordable housing near schools, churches, and commercial areas within Shawnee. That must change.

About 7% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+ as reported by a 2022 Gallup poll. The real percentage is probably higher due to ongoing stigmas. That means the city council's official positions have threatened about 13,000 Shawnee residents in the past few years. That is unacceptable. Social and religious biases have no place at city hall.

People with mental, educational, and physical challenges often need group living facilities to survive and thrive. The city council has rejected proposals for group homes on several occasions recently. That is an unjustifiable loss to the city.

Sustainability

The current Sustainable Shawnee plan provides an effective framework for maintaining and improving the city's climate impact. The new council must act to help promote the spirit and structure of the plan.

Collaboration is Key

A city like ours requires communication and collaboration at all levels. We need a Council that meets with citizens and listens – even listening to the citizens who disagree with their Council Member. I have already distributed a survey asking Shawnee voters to tell us what's important to them. I will continue to meet regularly with citizens after my election. We need a Council willing to work professionally with all members of city government. Disagreements should lead to dialogue - not to power struggles.
My background has prepared me well to work as a council member at this very turbulent time in Shawnee.
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