Four of the eight seats on the Fairway city council are up for election in November. And three of them have drawn contested elections. Here’s a look at the candidates.
Incumbent Gail Gregory is facing a challenge from Tom Cotter, a co-owner of Active Health Solutions, a chiropractor practice in Prairie Village. Cotter has served on the Fairway parks and recreation committee and planning commission in addition to other city advisory groups.
Cotter, who has lived in Fairway for seven years, and his wife Emily have a young son.
He says one of the biggest issues he feels the city needs to address is the teardown-rebuild trend. “I want to make sure we make current residents feel welcomed and valued as we continue to encourage builders and new citizens to improve our neighborhoods and feel equally welcomed,” he said. “That may be in the form of slightly increasing green space requirements to help with water runoff or seeking grant money to help some of our elderly in Ward 2 and 4 maintain their homes if they are on a tight budget.”
Gregory has served on the council for three terms, having first been seated in April 2007. During her time on the council, she has served on a number of committees, including as chair of the administration committee and chair of the police committee, a role she currently holds. She and her husband Jerry have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Gregory said she wants to continue to serve to help ensure the “effective functioning of our city council.”
She said she believes storm water control will be a significant issue for the city to address in the coming years.
“Storm water control is a main issue that the City faces and the solution includes surrounding city and county involvement,” she said. “We have made strides in solving this problem with current storm water studies and I look forward to seeing this problem resolved with the cooperation of all parties involved.”
Incumbent Joseph Levin is facing a challenge from Michele Kiehl, who is a project manager with HNTB.
Kiehl said her main goals for the council are to ensure that new development in the city keeps the character Fairway is known for and that “Fairway continues to be a highly desirable community for all families and future generations.” She said keeping a balanced budget that maintains service levels and addressing stormwater issues are top priorities. Additionally, she wants to increase communication opportunities with Ward 3 residents.
A Fairway resident for 22 years, Kiehl has a daughter, Jordan, who recently graduated from college.
Levin is retired from the Employers Reinsurance Corporation, where he worked for 28 years and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary. He served as the Fairway city treasurer for three years, and on the city’s finance committee for eight. He and his wife Suzanne Aron have six children and four grandchildren.
“I’m seeking a new term to continue my leadership in maintaining Fairway’s strong financial position,” Levin said. “I will continue to use my experience as Chair of Fairway’s Financial Committee and my past financial management to achieve the goal of providing the level of services that Fairway residents expect and deserve.”
He also cited codes enforcement, electrical infrastructure and stormwater management as key areas of focus.
Incumbent Adam Dolski is facing a challenge from Jenna Brofsky, an attorney with Husch Blackwell.
Brofsky and her husband Ethan Corson, who recently welcomed their first child. She serves as president of the Young Professionals Board of JVS and is a volunteer coach with Girls on the Run at Westwood View Elementary.
She said she wants to “elevate the voices of Ward 4 residents and advocate for their needs.” Noting that she felt the community has been a notably welcoming place to settle down with a young family, she wants to “use this opportunity to ensure others in the community feel the same. Let’s make sure Fairway is the best community it can be, including consideration of social policies that reflect who we are.”
Dolski, who is a project manager with WellSky, was first seated on the council in 2017 to fill the remainder of a vacant term. He’s seeking election to his first full four year term this cycle.
He said perhaps his top priority in a new term would be providing support for the city’s staff.
“They work tirelessly, often unnoticed, and their only goal is to make the City better,” he said.
Additionally, he wants to focus on continued stewardship of tax dollars to ensure the city always has the resources it needs to address unexpected issues, and upholding building standards to make sure redeveloped housing stock meets community expectations.