Future of Old Town, Vision 2040 and LGBTQ legal protection: Our questions for the Lenexa city council candidates

With development booming at City Center, some city leaders are hoping to find ways to revitalize Old Town.

Earlier this month, we asked our readers to submit suggestions for questions they’d like to hear the candidates running for seats on the Lenexa governing body address.

Based on the (ample) input we received, we’ve developed the five-item questionnaire below and sent it out to the candidates competing in the Ward 4 race that will be on the August primary ballot.

We’ll be running the candidates’ responses to these items starting Monday, July 15.

Question 1
In recent years, developers have become increasingly likely to seek public finance incentives like tax increment financing and community improvement district sales taxes to pay for parts of their private projects. What’s your stance on the use of such incentives? When, if ever, is it appropriate to commit public finances to private real estate projects?

Question 2
The city recently completed an extensive planning process in Vision 2040. When you consider the Vision 2040 document, what sticks out to you as the top priority for the Lenexa city council to try to address in the coming decades?

Question 3
Lenexa has thus far declined to take up a non-discrimination ordinance providing legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, with leaders saying they want to see whether rulings in a series of federal lawsuits provide any clarity on the issue. Do you support this “wait and see” approach? Do you believe the city council should formally consider a city level NDO?

Question 4
The city has recently started looking at way to revitalize Old Town. Are there steps city government should be taking to bring new energy and life to the city’s historic center? If so, what?

Question 5
Lenexa has a lot of annual events — from the Spinach Festival to the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle to the Chili Cookoff to the Fourth of July Freedom Run. What’s your favorite and why?