I am a part of District 2 here in Lees Summit. I came here for a year, 12 years ago and I don’t think I’ll be leaving the southern end of Lees Summit any time soon. I like the community, I like the schools, and I like the managed growth that permeates Lees Summit city culture.
I was out on the yard the other day and Brian Whitley came walking up the street on the first sunny warm Saturday we’ve had in Lees Summit in some 99 long days; where my personal political attention has been focused on the economy and the health care bill. What a nice break from all of that.
I’m not sure that Mr. Whitley was prepared for the onslaught of questions I asked, but I was impressed at the fact that he did not flinch. He answered my question straight forward, and when I dug deeper into his platform: 1) Quality of Life, 2) Smarter Growth, and 3) Improved Infrastructure, I liked what he had to say.
I feel safe writing this Blog because Mr. Whitley is now running unopposed so this is not an endorsement. It is rather a reminder to all of us that all politics are local, even when they happen in Washington, they still affect us in Lees Summit.
Under the Quality of Life, I asked what he had done to improve the safety of neighborhoods. He told me clearly that he had, as president of Raintree Lake Property Owners Association they, under his leadership, had reduced safety patrol costs, provided off hour work for Lees Summit Police Officers who with more experience and better training had reduced costs and improved safety.
Key points that caught my attention: Better Protection, Lower Cost.
Under his Smarter Growth, I asked a lot of questions because I am a member of the business community, I run operations for a company and I had to face the dilemma of the 2008 market crash and its effect on the economy. We acted quickly, we made some very difficult decisions, and in 2009 we had a record year as many others were struggling to figure out what to do; we had done it in September and October of 2008 getting ready for 2009.
So I asked what he meant by smarter growth. I was told that as Lees Summit moves forward, we have to add diversity to our business base, not bring in competitors. We have to avoid using city money to extend loans to developers. We have to find ways to attract new business and new industry that can grow together and not be in competition with each other. We need to use the Tax Incentives to bring in the right businesses, industry and services to Lees Summit, and not just take whatever is available and throw money at it.
Key points that caught my attention: Lees Summit Needs Jobs, Lees Summit needs to invest its tax payer’s money far more wisely.
Under improved infrastructure we talked about the schools, and the roads, and the great way we can use Federal Insensitive to maximize the tax payers support for infrastructure projects.
Key point that caught my attention: Don’t waste opportunities and don’t waste Lees Summit tax payers money.
With the backdrop of 9.7% unemployment, with the threat of higher federal taxes, with the concerns of a double dip recession looming over all of us, it came home quickly to me that just as our company – by the efforts of its management team and the sweat of its total workforce – refused to participate in the first year of this recession, so should Lees Summit.
Things I’ll take with me to the Polls on April 6, 2010 as I look at each candidate for municipal office:
- Will they be good stewards of our tax money?
- Will they rein in the costs of running the city, in advance of lean tax collections in the next few years?
- Will they have the courage of their convictions to stand up and make the tough budget cutting decisions that are a must (just look around at the school district in KC)
- Will the live within our means, seek new jobs for Lees Summit, seek new industry that will bring revenues to the city’s treasury?
- Will they work towards a less intrusive, less restrictive government that will properly represent the Will of Lees Summit denizens?
The Lee’s Summit Conservative