A computer scientist and first-time candidate has filed to run for the Ward 6 seat on the Prairie Village City Council currently occupied by Ted Odell.
Ian Graves said that he became interested in city government as he followed debate about the second set of proposed home design guidelines the city considered last year. He said he and his wife Amanda chose Prairie Village as their home when they moved back to the Kansas City area from Portland, where he was working for Intel, in 2017 because of the charm of the neighborhoods.
Graves thinks the design guidelines were an important step to protect the neighborhood quality that attracted his family to the city.
“I believe it is important to preserve the character of the neighborhood while also addressing the needs of new families moving into our city,” Graves said. “We chose this neighborhood and this city for its charm. There is room for developers that want to come into this city, but I promise to represent the residents that have chosen to call Prairie Village home for the last two years, 10 years, or 30-plus years.”
Graves said he also thinks the city should work with utility companies to ensure infrastructure continues to be maintained. He also thinks the city should look at ways to ensure its exterior grant program is targeting the properties most in need of clean up.
“I believe that city government has a role to play in helping citizens shape and maintain their neighborhoods,” he said. “This is poignant in the sixth ward where infrastructure issues like power outages occur more often than they should. The city’s role in helping homeowners maintain their homes is crucial to many people in our ward. I believe the city’s programs in these areas should be refined to better target homes in need and expanded in program reach and impact.”
Graves grew up in Lee’s Summit and attended the University of Missouri where he received a bachelor’s degree and PhD in computer science. He works as a software engineer for EquipmentShare focused on construction equipment. He and his wife have two children.
Graves said he was committed to putting the time in to represent the ward.
“I believe that it is important that elected representatives are present for all Council and Committee meetings,” he said. “My promise to the residents is that I will be that person. I will open the lines of communication. I will be responsive to the residents.”
Odell has represented Ward 6 on the council since 2012. He is not currently listed as having filed for reelection on the Johnson County Election Office website. Odell did not respond to an invitation to comment for this story.