Tucker Poling, an attorney who has lived in Prairie Village for seven years, today will file for the Ward 3 seat on the city council currently occupied by Eric Mikkelson.
Poling said he made the decision after Mikkelson communicated that he would not be seeking a second term.
“When Eric told me he had decided not to run for re-election, I jumped at the opportunity to continue and build on the great work he has been doing on the council,” Poling said. “Eric provided an excellent example of how much one person can accomplish in one term on the council.”
Mikkelson, a partner at Stinson Leonard, was elected to the seat shortly after the departure of one-time mayoral candidate Michael Kelly, who moved with his fiancée to Canada in early 2014. Among his most visible lobbying efforts during his term, Mikkelson pushed for the expansion of the city’s parks system along with improved walkability and more trails.
“Some impressive, young, energetic, new candidates are eager to serve on the Council and continue these positive trends,” Mikkelson said. “That tipped the balance for me on what was a tough decision. I will continue to serve the public in other ways, but will also enjoy the extra time to share more of my three children’s last few years at Shawnee Mission East.”
Poling said continuing to press for more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods would be a focus. He said he will also push for more transparency, including making video of council meetings available to the public.
“I was dismayed when our city council voted down the proposal for the city to live stream all council meetings,” he said. ” I spoke at that meeting, urging the council to reconsider. I pointed out that this proposal can likely be implemented at an annual cost that amounts to approximately one hundredth of one percent of the city’s annual budget. This is an extremely cost effective transparency tool.”
Poling, who has been involved with the Johnson County Democrats, is endorsed by Prairie Village Rep. Jerry Stogsdill, who was elected to office last fall. He has served as a director on the Prairie Hills Homes Association the past three years and has been a member of the Prairie Village Tree Board. He and his wife Lindsey have a 16-month-old son.
Poling is currently the only candidate filed for the seat, with the filing deadline coming at noon tomorrow.
Mikkelson is the second incumbent to announce he will not seek reelection. Ward 2 councilman Steve Noll announced earlier this month he would not seek a new term.
Incumbents Jori Nelson, Sheila Myers, Dan Runion and Terrence Gallagher have all filed for reelection.