Today we post the final question to candidates for mayor of Westwood. Today’s question is:
What is the single most important challenge facing the City of Westwood over the next four years?
Westwood’s biggest challenge is living within its means. Westwood must develop a sound fiscal plan to accommodate the current needs, near-term realities and long-term goals that its residents deserve.
We have current needs (maintaining city streets and parks, ensuring public safety, keeping city hall in good condition, addressing the financial obligations of the church, etc.) that we must address. We must ensure that we are maintaining and preserving our current obligations. We have near-term developments (Woodside Village) that will have significant impact on the city’s resources (police, public works, administration, etc.) and we must ensure that we are prepared to support our contractual obligations. We also have future goals (the comprehensive plan) that will further impact our city’s resources and must be accounted for in our fiscal planning.
Westwood must be ever vigilant in regard to fiscal management. Again just like all our families, we as a community must live within our means, must prioritize our efforts, and must weigh the costs of any option with the benefits they present.
My administration will preserve and protect the very essence of Westwood (single-family housing, family friendly and walkable neighborhoods, forward thinking management) not just for today but for future generations.
There are many challenges facing Westwood; too many to name in one sitting. At some point in time during the next Mayor’s term, every challenge will be the “most important” challenge of a day, week or a month. Westwood residents will need to determine who they think is the best suited to make those determinations and then execute a plan to solve the challenges of the moment.
With that said, the most important challenge currently, is to figure out the delicate balance that blends the right mix of development and diversifying long term revenues with maintaining a first rate walkable community, complete with the best public services available in Johnson County and the best Education for our children. There is no doubt that the contemporary development in Westwood has served as the driving force to welcome revisions in the housing stock and new retail businesses as well as insulated Westwood View’s future. It has spilled over into Mission Woods and the 47th St District making our community a ‘destination location’ in the Northeast.
But we must not lose ourselves in that success. In our hearts and souls the community yearns to maintain the charming area where we live near our grocery stores, churches, offices and are centrally located close to Plaza and Downtown. This attractive quality makes it so parents want to raise their children here and grandparents want to retire here. We need to create a unified front that serves everyone.
The State and County as well as our National political bodies will be confronted for years to come with solving large scale issues. This means that Westwood like most small Kansas municipalities will need to find a way to be successful at being self-reliant and independent. At present, fostering the best balance between development and residential preferences is most certainly the biggest challenge facing Westwood’s next four years. We need the right leaders to take us there, and I am asking Westwood residents for their vote next Tuesday to help get us there. It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the people, businesses and taxpayers of Westwood and I hope they will give me one more opportunity to serve them.