Tuesday is an election day, but in northeast Johnson County that only affects two wards in Roeland Park where a primary is required to narrow the field for the April general election.
In both Ward 3 and Ward 4 in Roeland Park, three candidates are running for the council seat. In Ward 3 the candidates are Linda Mau, Erin Thompson and David Gauwitz. Incumbent Megan England is not running for re-election. In Ward 4 the candidates include the incumbent Marek Gliniecki, Michael Poppa and JoAnna Rush.
Two different polling places are being used Tuesday, according to the Johnson County Election Office. Ward 3 will vote at the Roeland Park Community Center and Ward 4 will vote at the Bishop Miege north campus. Previously, the office had said the precincts would both vote at the community center.
Information about each of the candidates follows:
Gauwitz, 56, has lived in Roeland Park since 1985. He is the technical director at Cramer Products in Gardner. He retired from Colgate Palmolive when the Kansas City Plant closed in 2006. Gauwitz has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Western Illinois University. Gauwitz has volunteered as a judge at the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair and has been a debate judge. His reason for running: “I believe I can add a conservative voice to our City Council. I firmly believe the function of a city council is to run the city operations and try to stay out of the residents lives as much as possible. The council should make living, working and running a business in this city as inviting as possible.”
Mau, 59, lists her occupation as community advocate and small business owner. She holds a bachelor’s from Sam Houston State University and has attended UMKC in municipal government and finance. She was a Roeland Park City Council member from 2003-2007 and is past president of the Kansas Association of Council members and Commissioners. Her reason for running: “I am running because I care about this community, Roeland Park matters! I am troubled by what appears to be a lack of transparency. This community has watched as the transparency and informing citizens on current or upcoming issues have diminished. The opportunity of addressing the council and receiving feedback is of great concern.”
Thompson, 37, has lived in Roeland Park for five years. She is an attorney practicing with her family’s firm and is the Johnson County presence for the Wichita-based law firm, Thompson Law Firm, LLC. She has a bachelor’s in journalism and a law degree from University of Kansas. She is a member of the Johnson County Bar Association and the Kansas Bar. Thompson is past chair of Kansans Advancing Women, a past leadership institute participant of the Junior League of Kansas City and the executive leadership team, team in training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Her reason for running: “I am running to bring professionalism and common sense governance to the Roeland Park City Council. Roeland Park has done a lot right recently, now it’s time to focus on strengthening our infrastructure so we can attract quality businesses while maintaining our standard of living. My fresh perspective will lead Roeland Park forward instead of dwelling on the past.
Gliniecki, 59, is self-employed at a small family property business. He has been a Roeland Park resident since 1965, is a Bishop Miege graduate and has a bachelor’s and master’s in commercial art and public art. Gliniecki has been on the council since 2009 and chairs the arts advisory committee. He initiated a community action campaign in 2005 to save the Shawnee Indian Mission from development. His reason for running: “The City needs involved officials who have the experience and dedication to serve the community without personal agendas and who look for positive solutions and outcomes. The City needs stable, experienced leadership for the next few years to make the right decisions. The strategic vision for the City also needs clear sighted, positive leadership to implement.”
Poppa, 38, is the business manager for his family’s medical consulting practice and has lived in Roeland Park for more than 10 years. He is on the community events committee. He is a Bishop Miege graduate and studied culinary arts before a career in operations management. His reason for running: “I respect our community’s diversity, and vow to maintain open dialogue and transparency. Together, we can expand commercial tax revenues and increase property values while investing wisely to ensure future sustainability. Professionally, as well as personally, I have the experience, dedication and integrity to help move Roeland Park forward in a positive, thoughtful manner.”
Rush, 39, is an attorney who has lived in Roeland Park for 12 years. She has a bachelor’s from Kansas State and a law degree from the University of Houston. She has served on the Roeland Park pool advisory board, the Kansas Association for Youth Leadership camp staff and as a youth sports coach. Her reason for running: “I am devoted to helping our great city prosper economically and continue to be a wonderful place to live. I will work to grow the commercial tax base so that we can maintain our city services and reduce our property taxes. I bring a commonsense leadership perspective that is balanced and grounded.”