Shawnee resident Greg Sitzmann has entered the race for the Ward 3 seat on the council, triggering an August primary. Sitzmann faces incumbent Lisa Larson-Bunnell, who was appointed by the council to fill the vacant seat, as well as challenger Kurt Knappen, who declared his candidacy last month.
Asked what prompted his first run for council, Sitzmann said he has always wanted to get more involved in the city of Shawnee.
“Honestly, I like what Shawnee is doing, and I kind of want to keep it moving in that direction,” he said. “I want to observe where we are, so I don’t know that I have a ton of ‘I want to change this’ or ‘I want to change that. I think Shawnee and the people do a lot of things right but I don’t know that I have any real pivot points and say, ‘We’ve got to make changes here and this is what motivated me to run.’”
As a certified project manager at Corning Data Services, a company based in New York, Sitzmann thinks his task-oriented work running software implementation has allowed him to balance the vision of a project with its necessary step-by-step process.
If elected to the two-year term, Sitzmann hopes to focus on drawing more businesses to the city and turning the downtown area into a destination.
“I just drove through it last night and it was just kind of disappointing compared to what Overland Park had done with theirs,” he said. “When I look at that, that would be a project I’d like to be involved in to make that happen, but you’ve got to start small.”
Sitzmann also hopes to collaborate more with the DeSoto and Shawnee Mission school districts to make sure they stay “top-tier schools.” He also wants to advocate for schools and ensure that the financial burden of public education is spread across taxpayers instead of on a few families who volunteer — something he witnessed when he lived in Kansas City.
A resident of Shawnee since 2003, Sitzmann is a lifelong Johnson Countian who graduated from Shawnee Mission West and holds a bachelor’s degree from Avila University. He lives in Ward 3 with Karen Sitzmann and three daughters who have attended DeSoto schools.