Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for local office address ahead of this fall’s local elections primary. Based on the input we received, we developed a five-item questionnaire for candidates running for city council in Lenexa.
Today, we publish the candidates’ responses to item four:
What’s the top thing you’d like to be able to say about the city of Lenexa four years from today that you can’t say now? Why?
City Council Ward 1
I would like to be able to say we are a more connected community than we are currently. With the city of Lenexa growing and expanding, it’s more important than ever to bring the various areas of our community together. To me, this entails schools, neighborhoods, biking and walking trails, social media, transportation and community spaces. There are so many opportunities to bring people together and move our community forward, whether it be planned future capital improvements, technological advancements, or community opportunities — I feel the sky is the limit.
Residents across Lenexa would like to see our city more walkable and/or bikeable. Lenexa just shared the first draft of the Complete Streets Study which highlights a gap analysis in our infrastructure. Our plan to add sidewalks to connect a neighborhood to a school, park or local business increases the quality of life, keeps people safer, and promotes a healthier lifestyle. Lenexa also has an active cycling community that will benefit from the creation of bike lanes and adding sharrows and signs which will connect to surrounding cities. We can reduce traffic, promote a healthy community and provide active transportation options which help our city to be safer, connected, and greener. In four years, I would like to see a significant portion of the plan implemented.
City Council Ward 4
In four years, I would love to see Lenexa’s development at City Center balanced with smaller, neighborhood focused community gathering spaces that create more social cohesion. One that is primed to do so is our historic Old Town district, we can do by approving a renovation of our Community Center & Senior Center, adding additional green space and other social engagement concepts that were outlined in the Old Town revitalization study. In other neighborhoods, we need to find ways to encourage re-development of vacant properties to provide more coffee shops, local restaurants, and grocery stores that residents will use on a regular basis that are in close proximity to their homes and accessible by any means of transportation.
Lenexa has been successful in the reinvestment in retail sites and neighborhoods. Unique marketing and investment have been made to support Old Town Lenexa retail/service segment. For the neighborhoods, we have clear plan for sustainability with the Complete Streets Plan for diverse modes of transportation for a more walkable and bikeable community for the future. Along with progress made on the public safety complex to better service the citizens of Lenexa.
Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item five:
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? What specific steps would you like to see Lenexa take on the issue?