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 Shawnee Mayor and 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 four contested races on the primary ballots this summer, with two city council seats representing Ward 3 and another seat representing ward 4 in play in addition to the mayoral race. 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.
Council Member Ward 3
Council Member Ward 3 (2 Year Unexpired Term)
Council Member Ward 4
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, use of public finance incentives for economic development. 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, aftermath of the community center property tax vote: In May, Shawnee voters soundly rejected a proposed property tax increase to pay for a community center. What steps should the city be taking following the outcome of the election: Should it be looking to put together a different proposal for building and funding a community center? Should it be looking at different ideas for using the land?
- Question 3, adopting a city level non-discrimination ordinance: Shawnee has thus far declined to take up a non-discrimination ordinance providing legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Do you believe the city council should formally consider a city level NDO? Why or why not?
- Question 4, competing visions for the future of Shawnee: There seem to be competing visions for the future of Shawnee. Some residents prefer Shawnee remain primarily a residential “bedroom” community. Others would like to see the city taking active steps to foster growth with more businesses and development. Where do you fall on this spectrum?
- Question 5, affordable housing. Does Shawnee need more affordable housing options? If so, what strategies should the city be looking at to make such options available?
Earlier this month, we hosted in-person forums for the candidates running for seats on the Shawnee city council and for mayor. You can watch the video of the forums below. The mayoral forum video is first, followed the the city council candidate forum.
Topics covered during the mayoral forum included:
- Next steps after the failure of the ballot measure on the community center (discussion starts at 6:15)
- How to address $140 million in possible stormwater repairs in the coming years (discussion starts at 14:45)
- What thing they want to be able to say about Shawnee four years after taking office that they can’t say today (discussion starts at 22:00)
- Fostering strong communication with residents about the issues before the governing body (discussion starts at 28:30)
- View on the use of tax incentives (discussion starts at 35:30)
- Should Shawnee be pursing more affordable housing options (discussion starts at 43:00)
Topics covered during the city council forum included:
- Next steps after the failure of the ballot measure on the community center (discussion starts at 10:50)
- Biggest issue facing the city of Shawnee today (discussion starts at 26:15)
- View on the use of tax finance incentives (discussion starts at 42:20)