Today we continue with the Overland Park mayoral candidates’ responses to our general election questionnaire. Here’s the second item:
Overland Park is the second biggest city in the state by population, and is one of the main economic drivers of the metro region. Should the position of Mayor of Overland Park be a full time position and compensated as such? Why or why not?
We have a professional staff consisting of city manager and assistant manager, who answer directly to the mayor and council. At this time I would not recommend increasing the position of mayor to full time. The salary should not be increased and absolutely there should be no KPERS retirement benefits. I refused KPERS and all other benefits as a legislator and I will refuse KPERS and all other benefits if elected Mayor of Overland Park. This is public service, not a career.
Carl Gerlach (incumbent)
No, one of the secrets of Overland Park is that we have a Mayor and Council who are committed to make Overland Park better because they love the City, they don’t serve for the salaries. If the job was full time, it would make the job more political where people with ideologies could make a living pushing what they want and not what’s best for the City and its citizens.
Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item three: Data from the city’s neighborhood stabilization initiative suggest that Ward 1— which includes the oldest areas of the city — has the highest concentration of priority issues, including absentee ownership and crime. What steps does the city need to take over the next four years to bring Ward 1 into line with the rest of the city?