Roeland Park City Council candidates on the issues for special election

Next week voters in Roeland Park’s Ward Three will go to the polls for a special election to name a councilor to serve out the more than two years remaining on a vacant seat. Voting will be held at the Roeland Park Community Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

We posed three questions to the three candidates regarding Roeland Park issues and the election. Here are their written responses submitted to each question:

1 – The anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the city council this year was the most controversial issue the Roeland Park council took up. Do you think the city should have taken up the issue? How would you have voted? What do you see as next steps as the city implements the ordinance?

Scott Ferrel
Scott Ferrel

Scott Ferrel
Absolutely. I have heard from residents that RP used to prohibit sales of homes to people of color and even openly discriminated against the Irish and Roman Catholics.  I am proud that RP took a leadership role on this issue, which significantly increases the quality of life for many of our residents. I, unlike the other candidates, was very engaged and supportive of the council’s ultimate decision.  The city is moving ahead with the necessary implementation of the ordinance, which handles complaints to the city with no expense.  Also, studies show that NDO’s have positive effects towards economic developments.

David GauwitzDavid Gauwitz
No I do not believe the issue should have been addressed by Roeland Park.  My understanding is there have been no complaints of discrimination in Roeland Park.  Bringing this to a vote was about causing a large media storm which did no one in the community any good but stir up bad feelings from both sides of the issue.  I would have voted against the issue not because of the issue, but because the city council should not have gotten into the issue in the first place.

 

Ryan Kellerman
Ryan Kellerman

Ryan Kellerman
If the Ward 3 voters select me to represent them, I will devote my time and efforts to keeping our taxes down, attracting new businesses and generating revenue for our city. I will not sit on it, but would actually be proactive and get it done. City councilmembers have a responsibility to the residents of being efficient and fiscally responsible with their money. I will ensure effective delivery of city services. I value the input and ideas of my neighbors. I will listen to my fellow residents.

2 – What three Roeland Park issues are a priority for the city and what solutions do you propose?

David Gauwitz
One of the RP issues I would like to look into, would be why construction firms groan when they work on people’s homes here.  My contractor Increased his price because of the building regulations in our city.  The residents of Roeland Park shouldn’t have to pay more for work done to improve/repair our homes because the city over regulates construction. A review of our permits/regulations is needed.
Since I am a fiscal conservative, the city needs to find ways to reduce the costs of living in our city while keeping services that are necessary intact.  Having an electric car charging station seems to be extravagant to me.

Ryan Kellerman
I grew up in Ward 3 and have been a lifelong resident of Roeland Park. I have a wide knowledge of the history of our town and know residents from the East to West side of Roeland Park. I love this city. I am proud to call it home. I am running for city council to ensure the unique quality of life we enjoy in Roeland Park continues.

Scott Ferrel
Economic Development-We need to attract young families and promote a business friendly environment while continuing to find more efficiency in city operations.
Community Involvement and Neighborly Feel-The residents of RP, both young and old, have a stake in our quality of life and sense of community.  It is important that they are capable participating with the Mayor and Council so that all feel welcome and accepted.  I’d like to see more civic events and interaction from all council members with the public.
City Image-Through proper code enforcement, city beautification projects, and the above mentioned items, we can improve the way RP is viewed in the metro area and ensure that we meet our residents’ high expectations.

3 – Why should Ward 3 residents vote for you? What differentiates you from the other candidates?

Ryan Kellerman
As a property owner in our city for the past 14 years, I have had a vested interest in and have been regularly attending city council meetings during that time. I am up to date with our city issues. Being well-established, I can accurately say I have neighbors and friends throughout the entire city who know me and support me. Currently, thirteen former council members, mayors, and city staff support me as a Ward 3 councilmember. For your reference, I have listed their names below. I think it is important to maintain a working relationship with our current city government and former councilmembers and mayors. They bring forward a wide array of city knowledge, expertise and experience that can’t be accessed any other way.
Judy Katz, Mayor; Adrienne Foster, Mayor; Linda Fell, Mayor; Mel Croston, Council Member; Roger Cooper, Council Member; Marvin Katz, Council Member; Bill Art, Council Member; Scott Gregory, Council Member; Bob Tomlinson, Council Member; Linda Mau, Council Member; J.P. Hildebrand, Council Member; Bob Meyers, Council Member; Tony Pluta, City Clerk

Scott Ferrel
Although I haven’t lived here as long, I am the candidate with the most active involvement with the city as chair of the volunteer events committee, shows the dedication needed by regularly attending council meetings in their entirety, and has the positive outlook for the city.  I suggest that residents ‘google’ my competitors to see their actual involvement with the city.  Do you want to be represented by that? Vote for Scott Ferrel on December 9th at the Community Center!

David Gauwitz
Honestly I want people to vote for me because I will do the best job I can for Ward 3 and the city of Roeland Park.  I’m not looking to draw comparisons between myself and the other candidates.  I am sure they are good men.  I have lived here for 29 years.  Roeland Park is a good place to live and raise a family.  I’m running because I wanted to give Roeland Park a conservative choice for the city council.  I have years of experience working with people which I think will make me a good choice of the city council.