Mayoral campaign signs in teardown lots spark debate on Prairie Village community forum

Jay Senter - July 17, 2018 9:05 am
The appearance of campaign signs for Serena Schermoly next to Lambie Custom Homes signs attracted scrutiny from some Prairie Village residents.

In a city where the impact of new home construction projects on neighborhoods has become a hot-button issue, the appearance of campaign signs next to homebuilders’ signs in the yards of teardown projects sparked a wave of debate on a community forum last week.

Prairie Village resident Inga Selders has raised concerns about the effect all of the construction projects have had on the quality of life for neighboring homeowners for months, reaching out to members of the city council to ask for help keeping construction noise limited to permitted hours. She’s also voiced her concerns about the impact the new homes are having on neighborhood character and property values.

“It is totally out of control and only getting worse,” she said of the teardown trend.”It is fundamentally changing the character of PV, all the while driving the prices of homes up to insane levels and skyrocketing our property taxes.”

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So when she Selders saw that several signs promoting mayoral candidate Serena Schermoly had been planted next to signs for Lambie Custom Homes in the yards of properties that looked like they were being prepped for teardown projects, she posted a note about it with photos on the community forum site Next Door. The post set of a fierce debate, with dozens of comments.

“I expect our Mayor, or anyone sitting on our City Council, to be representing their constituents, and not have any kind of vested interest with any of these developers,” Selder said of her concerns.

For her part, Schermoly said she has received no donations to her campaign from any homebuilding company or their principals.

“All of the contributions I have received are from a rancher, game shop owner, and retirees,” she said.

Regarding the placement of her signs in the Lambie lots, Schermoly responded with a message saying that, “While my critics are focused on campaign signs, I am focused on ensuring Prairie Village maintains its charm.”

“Prairie Village is bursting with undeniable potential,” she said. “It’s going to take careful listening, creative thinking, and the acknowledgement of our shared values and our hopes for the future to ensure that our city maintains its special ‘Prairie Village Charm’ while embracing the new voices joining our neighborhoods.”

Mayoral candidates Eric Mikkelson and Andrew Wang also said they have received no campaign donations from homebuilders or their principals.

All three of the candidates addressed the teardown-rebuild issue in our questionnaire, with responses published yesterday.

We’ll also be asking them about the issue at our candidate forum to be held at Colonial Church Wednesday evening.

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