The city of Westwood will need to fill a seat on the city council after the announcement last week that Margaret Bowen will resign.
Bowen is moving to Prairie Village in July, and made her resignation from the council effective June 30. Under city code, it falls to Mayor John Yé to “appoint some suitable elector to fill the vacancy until the next election of that office.” Bowen’s term lasts through January 2020.
Bowen was a vocal critic of the city’s approval of tax increment financing agreements to help spur the Westwood Village project. In a letter announcing her resignation, she reiterated her objection to TIF in Westwood:
It wasn’t easy being the lone dissenter on TIF, but I’m glad I was able to shed a spotlight on how TIF (tax increment financing) diverts money from public schools, fire departments, public works, and police departments. Along with many residents, I believe Westwood is “TIF’ed out.” I hope there will not be additional TIFs created for yet more massive projects. After all, we have already approved millions more in TIF money and a second—even larger—phase of apartments at Woodside Village, which will bring the total to more than 330 units. We still don’t know how our traffic and crime will be affected by such a huge influx of people.
City administrators suggest that Yé will likely make a recommendation about a replacement at the city July council meeting. A nominee must be approved by a majority of the sitting council members.
Bowen’s full resignation letter is below: