Tax structure, future of pool, policy on ICE enforcement: Our questions for the Roeland Park city council 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 Roeland Park city council 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:

Council Member Ward 2

  • Leonard Tocco
  • Benjamin Dickens

Council Member Ward 3

  • Galen Hansen
  • Trisha Brauer

Council Member Ward 4

  • Michael Rebne
  • A.J. Cameron

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

Question 1
Managing the city’s budget is one of the primary roles of a city council. What’s your assessment of the current tax environment for Roeland Park residents — are taxes too high, too low, just about right? If you propose lowering taxes, what services or budget items would you cut to make the budget balance? If you propose raising them, what would the additional revenue be used for?

Question 2
People who run for elected office often have strong views about how things ought to be — views that may differ sharply from their colleagues on the city council. What steps would you take to ensure that you have positive, productive relationships with council peers who may have different views than your own?

Question 3
The ACLU of Kansas recently made a presentation before the city council suggesting that the city should adopt a policy that city resources would not be used to aid federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in immigration enforcement actions. Do you support the adoption of such a policy? Why or why not?

Question 4
The future of the city’s aquatics facilities has been at issue since the dissolution of the joint-operating partnership between Roeland Park and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District earlier this year. What’s your vision for the city’s public pool facilities moving forward?

Question 5
Living expenses in Johnson County have seen double digit increases in the last 4 years. Homeownership is becoming a challenge for people working in a number of professions such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers in Johnson County. Costs for individuals, including those on fixed incomes, who own their home without a mortgage have continued to rise. How would you address the need for more varied priced housing options in Johnson County at large and Roeland Park specifically? (This question was submitted by the Johnson County Health Equity Network, which focuses on housing affordability, stability and safety).