Roeland Park mayoral candidates on the issues: What role should the city play in improving Roeland Park’s parks?

Jay Senter - October 16, 2017 10:45 am
Granada Park across from city hall in Roeland Park.
Granada Park across from city hall in Roeland Park.

Today we begin publishing the Roeland Park mayoral candidates’ responses to our general election questionnaire. Here’s the first question:

In the most recent Roeland Park Citizen Survey, citizens ranked parks as their number 2 priority. What role do you believe the City of Roeland Park should play in improving and maintaining the City’s seven parks?

Mike Kelly


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Parks are an important part of our city. They provide a safe place for our kids to play, build bonds within our community, and promote health. I want to continue to foster the beautification and redesign of our parks and green spaces. Nall Park and R Park have come a long way in the last few years. We can continue this trend by adding shaded spaces, better sanitation and recycling options, and bicycling opportunities to – and within – our parks. We can also continue to improve the parks and green space on the east side of Roe Blvd.

The Parks Committee worked hard to listen to citizens’ opinions when creating a master plan for R Park, which was adopted by the City Council. I will continue to listen to our citizens as to the amenities they want to see in the parks.

The citizens’ fundraising group should be proud of their efforts at R Park, having already raised $70,000 and still going strong. I will encourage R Park’s continued development, which is a welcome benefit to Roeland Park. The city must continue to fund the parks, as they are some of our greatest community assets.

Roger Cooper

Note: Mr. Cooper submitted his response after our deadline, but we’ve since added it.

Roger_CooperYes the survey has Parks listed as number 2 priority. The city published that the whole budget for one year is about 5 million dollars.

Yet, the city wants to take on over 10 million dollars of debt AND be out of debt by about 2020.
It is the responsibility of the Mayor and Council members to make difficult choices on priorities and sequencing of expenditures. Obviously, there is still a large amount of work left to do on the budget. There will always be unlimited wants and desires; and there will always be limited resources. As a CPA , who has worked with creation of budgets and related analysis, I have the education, experience and background to help achieve the goals of Parks.

Tomorrow we’ll run responses to question two: What types of businesses or amenities does Roeland Park lack today that you’d like to see come to the city? What will you do as mayor to bring them here?

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