Roeland Park city councilwoman Becky Fast today announced she was running for the District 1 seat on the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners held by Ron Shaffer.
Shaffer filed to seek a second term in the seat earlier this year.
In her announcement, Fast said she wanted to focus on investment in the future of the county, including infrastructure like parks, libraries and trails. She said she would be dedicated to improving mental health services.
“Johnson County has experienced a disinvestment of our community mental health system and safety net services under the current leadership while teen suicide rates, poverty and homelessness have increased in Johnson County,” she said. “It is time we address the needs of our community.”
She said she gained additional interest in the race after residents expressed concerns with the steep jump in home values in the area, which her campaign says “created an unfair tax
burden for families and seniors living in Johnson County.”
“We must find a way to keep housing affordable to attract young people to our county while not placing an unfair burden on our seniors who have helped to build one of the greatest counties in this county,” Fast said.
Fast, who holds masters degrees in public administration and social work and is an adjunct professor at Washburn University in Topeka, is executive director of the Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
She was first elected to the Roeland Park council in a special election in 2012, and was reelected to a full term in 2015. She has served two terms at council president.
Shaffer, the longest-serving mayor in Prairie Village history, defeated former Mission Mayor Laura McConwell for the District 1 seat in 2014.
She is the third candidate to file to challenge an incumbent on the board, with LeEtta Felter filing to run against Michael Ashcraft and Janee’ Hanzlick filing to run against Jason Osterhaus.