Your Merriam city council primary election primer

Jay Senter - July 29, 2019 11:20 am
Merriam council candidates participated in a forum organized by the Shawnee Mission Post this month.

Advance voting in person begins Monday, July 29 in Johnson County and Election Day is Tuesday, August 6. As residents start heading to the polls to cast their ballots for Merriam City Council, we’re putting together our election primers to give people an easy way to find out where the candidates stand on the issues.

WHO’S ON THE BALLOT

There are two contested race of the primary ballot this summer, with seats representing Wards 1 and 4 in play. You can find a map of the city council ward boundaries here, and you can look up your sample ballot via the Johnson County Election Office here.

The candidates for each ward are listed below. We’ve linked to their campaign websites where possible.

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Ward 1

Ward 4

Candidate questionnaires

Earlier this month, we published the candidates’ responses to the questionnaires we developed with input from our readers. You can find each of the five questionnaire items linked below:

  • Question 1, public finance incentives. 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? You can read the candidates’ responses here.
  • Question 2, future of Irene B. French Community Center. With construction of the new community center under way, the city has been seeking input from residents on the future of the Irene B. French Community Center building. What would you like to see happen with the property and why? You can read the candidates’ responses here.
  • Question 3, process for designing new outdoor pool. A group of residents have complained about the process that led to the design of the aquatics portion of the city’s new community center, saying it did not meet the expectations they were given in the lead up to the vote on funding the project. What’s your take on the process that led to the design and approval of the community center project? Do you support the design of the aquatics portion? You can read the candidates’ responses here.
  • Question 4, the biggest challenge facing Merriam. What’s the biggest challenge facing the city of Merriam today, and how would you hope to address it as a member of the city council? You can read the candidates responses here.
  • Question 5, support for Metro KC Climate Action Coalition. The Metro KC Climate Action Coalition has organized to bring local elected officials together to discuss steps city and county governments can take to address climate change. Do you believe local government has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing other environmental issues? If so, what steps would you like to see the city take? You can read the candidates’ responses here.

CANDIDATE FORUM

Earlier this month, we hosted an in-person forum for the candidates running for Merriam city council seat. You can watch the video of the forum below.

Topics covered during the mayoral forum included:

  • Motivations for seeking public office (discussion starts at 8:40)
  • Future of Irene B. French Community Center property (discussion starts at 16:30)
  • Addressing flooding issues in downtown Merriam (discussion starts at 28:15)
  • Taking organized opposition to issues into consideration (discussion starts at 36:35)
  • Attracting a grocery store back to Merriam (discussion starts at 47:50)

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