Future of community center idea, comprehensive planning and local action on climate issues: Our questions for the Shawnee governing body candidates

A few weeks ago, we asked our readers to submit suggestions for questions they’d like to hear the candidates running for seats on the Shawnee governing body address.

Based on the input we received, we’ve developed the five-item questionnaire below and sent it out to the candidates competing in the following races:


  • Stephanie Meyer
  • Michelle Distler (incumbent)

Council Member Ward 1

  • Tammy Thomas
  • Jim Neighbor (incumbent)

Council Member Ward 2

  • Eric Jenkins (incumbent)
  • Andy Rondon

Council Member Ward 3

  • Kurt Knappen
  • Dawn Rattan

Council Member Ward 3 (2 Year Unexpired Term)

  • Lisa Larson-Bunnell (incumbent)
  • Kevin Straub

Council Member Ward 4

  • Kris Durbin
  • Jill Chalfie

We’ll be running the candidates’ responses to these items starting Monday, Oct 14.

Question 1
What’s the biggest challenge facing the city of Shawnee today, and what should city government be doing about it?

Question 2
Voters soundly defeated a proposed property tax increase to pay for a community center. Do you think a major community center like the one that was proposed is still a project the city should be considering? Or is it time to move on? Why?

Question 3
The city is in the process of conducting its first comprehensive planning process. What goals or themes are you hoping to see in the final plan?

Question 4
Consideration of a non-discrimination ordinance with legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals brought out dozens of residents who voiced both support for and opposition to the idea. Do you agree with the council’s decision to adopt the NDO? Why or why not?

Question 5
In recent months, city officials from across the metro area have been coordinating on ideas that local governments can take to address climate change. Do you support the idea of city government taking steps to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Why or why not?