Andrew Wang, the longest serving current member of the Prairie Village city council, announced on Friday that he will not seek a new term in this fall’s elections, choosing instead to retire from the governing body when his current term ends in January.
“To fellow resident[s] of Ward 3, nothing has made me a better citizen than being allowed by my neighbors to serve on the council,” Wang said. “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to PV — and Ward 3 especially — for that.”
First elected in spring 2004 by narrowly defeating incumbent Roy True, Wang has now represented Ward 3 for 15 years. During his years in office, he has frequently stressed the importance of the governing body serving as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars, lobbying for close examination of city investments and arguing that they should have a measurable return.
Wang was among the critics of the proposed community improvement districts proposal that came before the council in 2010, which raised sales taxes at the Village Shops and Corinth Square by 1% to fund renovation of the private shopping centers. He was also outspoken in attempts to keep Meadowbrook Country Club viable, and not turned into a private development — though he did support the eventual proposal that came before the council that turned part of the property into a public park.
He was one of three candidates to run for mayor of Prairie Village in last year’s election, saying that he wanted to apply his governing body experience and managerial skills to the position, and that he had grown concerned that the city government had started to insert itself into national political debates that were out of its purview.
“In more recent years, there has been a troublesome move to get the council to step outside the governance of the city to make symbolic statements on national political issues,” he wrote on his campaign website. “This is divisive, inefficient and a poor use of public resources.”
Wang finished just 271 votes behind Ward 2 councilmember Serena Schermoly in the primary race, missing the chance to face top primary finisher Eric Mikkelson in last fall’s general election.