Becky Fast is the new president of the Roeland Park City Council and she wants to use that position to help the governing body move past its history of conflict to be more effective, productive, collaborative and efficient. “I believe the governing body has many decisions to make in the next year of what it wants to be and how it wants to govern,” Fast said during the council meeting this week.
Fast was the only nominee for council president and was elected unanimously, a departure from last year’s election. Marek Gliniecki served as council president during the past year, but he lost his re-election bid for a council seat this spring. Fast was first elected to the council in a special election in 2012 and then was unopposed for a full four-year term on the council this April. Last year Roeland Park changed the council president election to each May for a one-year term.
“Over the years, I have observed a culture of mistrust and divisiveness that is passed down from one governing body to the next,” Fast said in her remarks to the council. She noted that the city has changed much of the governing body and has a new police chief, public works director, finance director and soon a new city administrator. “Rarely does a city have such a chance to begin anew,” she said.
Fast has a master’s in public administration and has worked as an aide to former Congressman Dennis Moore. “I have witnessed first-hand the power of collaboration and consensus building,” she said.
“I believe we can work more effectively and have more productive and efficient meetings,” Fast told fellow council members. She said her main goals for the year are to move the strategic plan forward by bringing the community and governing body together on priorities, facilitate the governing body working together and assist with the transition of an interim city administrator and the hiring of the permanent city administrator.