Dave White, who has represented Ward 3 on the Overland Park city council since 2005, announced on Sunday that he will retire at the end of his term and not seek re-election this fall.
White filled the remaining two years of then-councilmember Carl Gerlach’s term on the council when Gerlach was elected mayor, and then went on to serve an additional three full terms. Prior to coming to the council, he served five years on the city’s planning commission.
“By the time I get off the council, it will have been about 20 years with the city,” White said. “I got involved when I was in my 40s. I’m in my late 60s now. I think it’s time to hand it over to a new generation.”
White said he has been in contact with multiple people who have expressed interest in running for the seat, and that he expects to make an endorsement for a candidate in the coming weeks.
“There are plenty of good, qualified candidates out there,” he said. “I definitely don’t worry about the city falling apart because I’m stepping away.”
Reflections on city’s achievements
White, who grew up in the Cherokee Hills area and graduated from SM West in 1968, said the revitalization of the 95th and Antioch intersection stands out as a highlight from his time with the city. He sees the use of tax finance incentives there as an example of the benefit they can have for a neighborhood.
“The intersection was dead when I came on to the council, and it’s good for the next 20 years or so now,” he said. “I see that as a great example of, if you use incentives in the right way, it will prime the pump for the rest of the development…That was really the first incentive we gave, and I hope that’s the standard everyone will use on incentives going forward.”
White pointed to the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex as another proud achievement for the city during his tenure.
“It is one of the jewels that we have in the crown,” White said. “Other people have tried to compete with us, but we’re still number one. I’m very proud of that.”
He also said steady leadership from the mayor, council and city staff have been key to the city’s ability to weather changes in the economy.
“I’ve seen us at the high points, in the middle of the recession, and now back on top again, and the key thing for Overland Park is that throughout its history we’ve had a great mayor, city council and staff,” White said.
White served in the United States Army, where he retired as an officer in 1999. He was also a member of the law firm of Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer, P.C. He retired from his legal career in 2016.
White and his wife of 46 years, Bev, say they plan to “continue traveling,
enjoying their grandchildren and staying involved in their hometown of Overland Park as it continues its successful journey” after White’s service to the city on the council is over.