Roeland Park council candidates on the issues: How to make Roeland Park attractive to homebuyers

R-Park_Roeland_Park_Kansas

Today we finish up with responses to the questionnaire we developed with reader input for the candidates running for Roeland Park City Council. The final questionnaire item is:

What steps could the city be taking to make Roeland Park a more appealing place to live for homebuyers?

Ward 3 Candidates

Erin_Thompson+HeadErin Thompson

Part of what makes communities healthy and attractive is their unique character. To prosper, communities need to look ahead and plan so they can build on their local strengths and embrace the opportunities changing times will present.

Walkability is in high demand for all ages and living environments. Roeland Park is lucky that everywhere in the city is only a few miles from a grocery store, a bus stop, the library. A focus on creating a more walkable community would make it a more appealing place to live for homebuyers.

Roeland Park’s unique environment, with its commitment to the arts, parks and nondiscrimination, sets it apart from the rest of Johnson County. A renewed dedication to economic development would generate more sales tax revenue and allow the city to provide some relief from its high property taxes. All of these would make Roeland Park a more appealing place to live for homebuyers.

Linda_Mau15Linda Mau

The city of Roeland Park is a great place to live. It is the place my husband and I chose to raise our three children. It is also the place that our daughter has remained, and has chosen to raise our granddaughter. Besides the beautiful aesthetics of Roeland Park, the tree lined streets and strong sense of community which is a strong plus for our community; what would make homebuyers seek out communities such as Roeland Park other than that eye popping curb appeal is good strong property values, moderate mill levy, well kept infrastructure, and feeling secure in the community. These are attributes that I have advocated for for over 30 years. We need to have responsible spending and oversight on expenditures and actively pursue increasing revenue possibilities through development of city-owned property.

Ward 4 Candidates

Joanna_Rush_15JoAnna Rush

People enjoy the small town feel of our quiet tree lined city nestled near downtown Kansas City and the Plaza. We are only a 30 minute drive to the airport. In addition to our businesses, we have a community center, a library, an Olympic-sized pool with year round swimming, parks, two grade schools, Horizon Academy, one high school, several churches and an excellent police force. Shawnee Indian Mission is in our neighborhood. We have rich history living on our soil. Below are some additional steps our city can take to make Roeland Park more appealing to homeowners.

Our city should work to increase the retail ecosystem. Having a strong retail ecosystem makes a city appealing for current and new residents. My experience as a corporate and real estate attorney gives me the credibility to work with commercial developers and landlords. I have worked on all sides of commercial real estate transactions. I understand the complexity and the motivations of the various parties. I can bring a grounded and experienced voice to the conversation on behalf of the city.

Our city should collaborate with churches, nonprofits and schools in Roeland Park. These organizations are vital to the community. As an active participant in my church and a mother of four children, I understand the needs and importance of working closely with these groups in Roeland Park.

The city should communicate and amplify the many activities in Roeland Park. The city, schools, churches, community center and other groups offer great activities and programs. Ensuring our residents and visitors know what is going on and how to participate will create opportunities to engage with each other and develop friendships.

These steps create and reenforce a community bond that will attract and retain homeowners.

Poppa+15_HMichael Poppa

I am committed to the future of Roeland Park. We must:

  • Keep our “welcome” sign out for new families and businesses looking to move to Roeland Park.
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with neighboring cities.
  • Work closely with local associations, such as the Northeast Johnson
  • County Chamber of Commerce, to identify and secure new growth opportunities for our community.
  • Continue to engage and listen to Roeland Park’s stakeholders – the residents.
  • Encourage residents to be involved and stay informed.
  • Commit to maintaining vital city services, such as public safety, streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure.
  • Preserve community spaces that enhance quality of life and increase property values.

I look forward to representing you on City Council, and I ask for your vote on Tuesday, April 7.

Ward 2 Candidates

Blake_MorganBlake Morgan, Jr.

I’ve heard it said that Roeland Park is the best kept secret in the Metro, in reference to our quality of life, and it is true. Gobs of unsung people volunteer their time and make this City what it is. We have an awesome location right in the sweet spot of access to all sorts of amenities and attractions while maintaining a great sense of place; a place with great schools and walkable neighborhoods. We could do with a few less squirrels. We shouldn’t keep it a secret; we should tout it. But we are also still dealing with an above average level of foreclosed homes, many of which are trapped in limbo by HUD. Increasing the number of owner occupied homes would dramatically increase a) property taxes, and b) resale value; people like to invest in assets that increase in value. I’ve negotiated with the HUD bureaucracy in the past, and there’s some things we can do here to get some of those homes back on the market, and into the hands of folks who’ll take care of them.

Tim_Janssen_HeadTim Janssen

Roeland Park is a great place to live and the City needs to continue an active role in making sure that it’s an appealing place to live for homebuyers. The City needs to enforce current city codes; part of that enforcement is also educating the public about the codes and services available to help bring their properties into compliance and in turn keeping property values up. A diverse and quality commercial retail base is also very important to the quality of life in Roeland Park. The City should work to encourage development or redevelopment of our commercial spaces. Another thing that would improve the quality of life and make Roeland Park a better place to live is if the council would appoint committees to work with the non-profits, churches, and schools in Roeland Park. Many of us moved here or have stayed here because of our relationships with these institutions and I think a more reciprocal relationship would benefit both. Our top quality City services from police to public works contribute greatly to our quality of life and the City should continue to fund and support these departments.