We continue this morning with the Prairie Village mayoral candidates’ responses to our questionnaire, which was developed last month with reader input.
Here’s today’s question:
What’s your view of the role of a mayor in a city like Prairie Village? Should the top elected official be setting a bold vision for the city? Primarily minding spending? Focusing on some other priority?
The role of the Prairie Village mayor should be, first and foremost, to focus on the priorities of Prairie Village residents: the best officers and training for our police department, maintaining our streets and sidewalks, nurturing and enhancing our parks and making sure our neighborhoods are supported with strong codes and their enforcement. That has been my focus as I have served continuously for 14 years with pride and enthusiasm that I am working for my neighbors and my city.
The Council is the main voting body in the Prairie Village government and mayor should be the manager of the council’s potential, collaborating and building consensus. The mayor is the key to the productivity of the council as well, conducting and guiding meetings to efficiently accomplish the people’s business. As the president of the city council, I have built agendas and chaired the City Council as a committee, standing in to chair the Council business meetings when the mayor was not available.
The mayor is also a chief executive, providing strategic guidance to the excellent professional staff at City Hall. For three and half terms as an elected council member, I have unparalleled experience working with city staff, building strong, trusting relationships with the key executives that direct the operations that serve our citizens.
The other key role of the mayor is as our chief ambassador, representing our openness and economic promise to neighboring cities and jurisdictions, businesses and future residents. As president of the City Council, I was honored to stand-in for the mayor, meeting new business owners, officiating at ribbon cuttings and other events as we welcomed new people and businesses to Prairie Village.
The role of Prairie Village Mayor is multi-faceted. Yes, the Mayor should set a bold vision for the City, and mind spending, but there is much more.
The Mayor is the face of the City in negotiations with developers, cooperation with other cities, coordination with area chambers and business, presiding over Council meetings, listening to residents, lobbying for the City in Topeka and DC, setting an ethical tone, and more. It is critical that we have an experienced, engaged, and effective Mayor. Prairie Village deserves a Mayor with the dedication, education, temperament, work ethic, and connections to make our residents proud.
The Mayor Prairie Village chooses next must also manage and inspire our exceptional City staff to ensure our City runs smoothly and efficiently. Successful business ownership and management experience can make a real difference here, both of which I have. I have also forged mutually respectful, close working relationships with our City staff and leadership over the years. We won’t miss a beat.
The Mayor also must be a consensus builder, both in the community and on the Council. I am grateful to already have a large bloc of the Council supporting my bid to be Mayor. We are running a transparent, nonpartisan campaign because I will be a transparent, nonpartisan Mayor. As Mayor, I will be reaching out to all Prairie Village residents, including my former opponents and their supporters, to ensure that Prairie Village stays on the right track. While presiding over Council meetings, I will respect the role of Mayor as referee, calling balls and strikes fairly according to established procedures.
The Council passes budgets, changes laws and approves other big changes. So ultimately, my effectiveness as Mayor in such areas will come not just from setting a bold vision, but also from cooperation with the Council, as well as with residents on all sides of the issues. That cooperation is of course a two-way street, but when others return the good faith–like most Prairie Village residents do even when we respectfully disagree–we’ll be in great shape.
Ultimately, being a great Mayor is about leadership that channels the best from our residents. I am uniquely qualified to provide that leadership. Together we will lead our great City on to a greater future, preserving and enhancing our Prairie Village magic. Please visit mikkelsonforpv.com and help me build that future with your vote and support!
The role of Prairie Village mayor requires leadership, listening, communicating, and building community engagement. Our amazing city runs like it does because of its employees who are committed to the Prairie Village way.
As your mayor I will work with staff and Council to ensure our residents’ expectations are met. I support Ward Meetings in each ward to facilitate community engagement. After being elected I will meet with each City Committee to hear our volunteer’s goals for the committee and our city. I will engage our Merchant’s Association and the Northeast Johnson County Chamber, and let them know I am supportive, and offer my assistance and leadership to help our businesses grow and succeed.
It is important the Mayor work with Johnson County and neighboring city officials to see how we can ensure we are making services available to our residents.
Absolutely, the Mayor should have a bold vision for our city. Mine is to find ways to engage our residents and to provide them the resources and tools to help shape their community. It isn’t about what the Mayor wants, or what the Council wants, it’s what the residents want that matter. Without the appropriate forums and opportunities to voice their concerns and opinions, residents can feel left out of the decision-making process. With these and other engagements we can make the best decisions for the city going forward.
As a Council Member I am about saving, looking for grants, and being mindful that each dollar is an investment given by our residents. We have many items in our budget, including some long-term plans that we should be looking and applying for grants and other capital support. If you have followed my voting history or have heard me speak on this issue, I am very passionate about this.
As Mayor there are many priorities. Our City Council does a great job at maintaining our fiduciary excellence, but as they arrive at budget decisions, it is essential that we are listening to residents and not our own personal vision for the city. Just a few priorities residents have expressed to me are Keeping the Prairie Village Charm, making sure new construction fits the neighborhoods, bike and pedestrian paths, and street and sidewalk maintenance.
My priority will always be what is important to you, is what matters to me. Please vote for Serena Schermoly for Mayor on August 7 – Visit serenaschermoly.org
Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item three:
Prairie Village homeowners have seen their appraised home values increase faster than most of the rest of the county the past few years. What’s your view of the city’s property tax rate in the face of these rising home values?