Mission councilmember Ken Davis has announced his candidacy for his Ward 4 seat in the November election. He was appointed in January 2018 and is filling the remainder of former councilmember Ron Appletoft’s term following Appletoft’s election as mayor.
“I think I have a pretty good history with this community; I certainly have a track record with the Countryside area,” Davis said. “I really believe that this city has a lot to offer its citizens.”
In the early 1990s, Davis moved to Countryside — a formerly incorporated city that is now a part of Mission. Davis had served as councilmember and as mayor of Countryside before the city became part of Ward 4 in Mission.
If elected, Davis wants to continuing focus on public infrastructure, including residential street maintenance, stormwater management and economic development.
“I also believe that development has to respect neighborhoods and what the neighborhoods’ concerns are, and the residents in adjacent neighborhoods,” he added, citing the city process to protect neighbors’ interests on development of a four-story apartment on Martway.
A physical therapist by trade and public health advocate, Davis is advocating for tobacco regulations, in part because he went through an episode of lung cancer. He has pushed for city ordinances and state law that prohibit smoking indoors. He hopes that Mission will adopt a Tobacco 21 ordinance, which would raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco products to 21.
His biggest goal is “to be responsive to the residents of the city of Mission as a whole,” he said, adding that he also wants to foster business growth and regional relationships with neighboring cities as well as the Johnson and Wyandotte county governments.
He would also like to address the city’s growing space needs with city hall and the police department, as well as the aging infrastructure at Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center. He also supports parks, especially the idea of a dog park being built in the city.
Originally from Illinois, Davis spent much of his childhood in Brazil because his parents were serving there as Methodist missionaries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Kansas. He maintained a variety of roles in the health profession and taught several courses at KU Medical Center before retiring from an assistant professorship in 2015.
He has previously served as chair of the Johnson County Library Board of Directors, project director of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County and as a board member of the REACH Healthcare Foundation.