We’re finishing up this morning with the Prairie Village mayoral candidates’ responses to our questionnaire, which was developed last month with reader input.
Here’s the final item:
If you were elected mayor, what’s the top thing you hope you could say about Prairie Village at the end of your term that you can’t say today?
The single thing that I’d hope to be able to say about Prairie Village that can’t be said today is that our city has grown. Our 2022 population is larger, we have responsibly grown the amenities in our parks and streets, we have grown our housing stock and neighborhoods were people want to stay. We have a collaborative council (of grown-ups) that puts service delivery before politics and political posturing.
I may have sneaked a little bit of a list under the heading “growth”, but a mayor of Prairie Village wouldn’t be satisfied with just one accomplishment. Growth is multifaceted and but it is “one” thing that I would pursue.
Most of good government in Prairie Village is getting the basics right: Public safety, streets, drainage, parks, and fiscal strength must be maintained to high standards. But to go from good to excellent, we can do more. I envision a future Prairie Village that is known regionally, and even nationally, for its charming and unique neighborhoods and shops, safety, extraordinary parks, vibrant local arts, walkability, sustainability, diversity, friendliness, and transparent government.
We will disagree on community issues, but I’d also like to see us become an example of civility in our local political discourse. I’m proud to be the only candidate running for Mayor endorsed by the MainStream Coalition, a group founded right here in Prairie Village dedicated to such civil discourse and practical, compassionate government.
By the end of my term I’d like like to have reversed some of the erosion of local control of local issues that has been happening over the last few years. This will require the help of our Kansas legislators. I can hit the ground running with the good working relationships I’ve established with our area legislators on both sides of the aisle whom I have worked with on City issues and public school advocacy over the years.
We have two relatively high-density new developments to digest over the coming years: Meadowbrook and Mission Chateau. These will bring some congestion and demands on City services. Managing these projects well, and soberly screening and shaping new development, is one of my goals as Mayor. There are relentless pressures for more density exerted constantly on City government, both internally and externally. We need proactive, skilled leaders to channel these forces to the common good while preserving our City’s unique character and affordable housing options.
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!”
At the end of my first term, we can expect to see a more engaged and responsive city. Our Village does a great job of meeting the expectations of the residents as it relates to public works, public safety and infrastructure maintenance. Our council has always provided excellent financial management and solid governance.
I will have appointed a committee to assist with aging in place. The committee will have identified the needs of those residents and explored the ways we can offer assistance to our seniors, allowing them to stay in their homes, and offering a connection outside of their home. That volunteer committee will be working with other committees and the Volunteer Corps to implement these solutions.
I will challenge each one of you to think of ways that we can work together to make our Village a better place to live. There are so many ways to engage our residents in improving our community; from cleaning and maintaining our statuary, planting trees, helping residents with home maintenance, or getting to a doctor appointment, grocery story or a community gathering.
As a city, we can encourage “Clean Up Saturdays” each month when we focus on our common areas and neighbors who need extra assistance. We need volunteers for our events, ad hoc committees, additional qualified people to sit on new committees, mentors for the Teen Council and so many others. We are the Prairie Village Charm. The way we love our community and show that, is what makes us a desirable place to live.
It will be an honor to serve you and I will end my term by making sure that it is easier to be a part of public service. Whether on a committee or as a volunteer, or just an engaged resident, we can expect greater economic development, better parks, more events, bike and pedestrian routes to be proud of, the lowering of code violations and most importantly, Keeping the Charm as a result of residents being more engaged in their city, and city government.
As I end this final question of the week, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the Shawnee Mission Post for allowing me this opportunity to provide more information to my Prairie Village neighbors.
I want to hear from you, I want to know what matters to you. Please vote for Serena Schermoly for Mayor, August 7. To learn more visit serenaschermoly.org
That’ll do it for the primary cycle questionnaire. Thanks to the candidates for participating.