Our questions for the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners candidates

Johnson-County-Courthouse

Each election cycle, we ask readers to submit questions they’d like to hear the candidates for local office answer. Based on the input we received from you all over the past week, we’ve put together the following five-item questionnaire for the candidates for County Chair (incumbent Ed Eilert and challenger Patricia Lightner) and District 1 Commissioner (Prairie Village mayor Ron Shaffer and former Mission mayor Laura McConwell).

This cycle’s questionnaire is below. We’ll be running the candidates’ responses to one item per day starting Monday, Oct. 20:

  • The county librarian has said the Johnson County Library system will need to double in size of over the next 20 years to meet expected population growth in the area, and the library will be looking to hire an outside firm to conduct an assessment of facilities needs. Such growth would obviously require a significant investment. Do you think doubling the size of the library system should be a priority for the county, and if so, how should the expansion be funded?
  • Johnson County has built a national name for itself as a place with great public schools — but there are many people in the county, and in the Shawnee Mission District especially, who think that reputation is in jeopardy as funding for schools at has waned and legislators have been resistant to fully fund the state formula. Are you concerned about the state of funding for Johnson County school districts? Does the county have a role to play in advocating for the local school districts?
  • Outside of support for public education, what policies do you think the county should be pursuing to keep Johnson County attractive for young families while meeting the needs of an increasing number of senior citizens?
  • What is your view of the role of government at the county level? Is government’s top priority to provide services and amenities that make an area attractive to live? Or is it to stay out of people’s way — and pocketbooks — as much as possible?
  • What are the three most important differences between you and your opponent?

We’ll be publishing our questionnaire for the local House of Representatives candidates at 11:55.