Mission Woods mayoral candidates on the issues: Qualifications and motivation for running for mayor

A meeting of the Mission Woods council in 2014.

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 three-item questionnaire for candidates running for mayor in Mission Woods

Today we publish the candidates’ responses to item three:

What relevant experience do you bring to the role of mayor, and what is your primary motivation for seeking the seat?

Darrell Franklin

My qualifications for the position of mayor of Mission Woods are a combination of knowledge gained by prior government service to our city as an elected official, business acumen attained throughout a 40-year reinsurance career, and a neighborhood presence for over 22 years.

I have previously served three terms on the Mission Woods City Council and one term as mayor, thereby establishing a familiarity with the workings of the city government: useful experience that comes by participation in the process. I hope my fellow residents would find my record of service worthy of another vote: a confidence earned by my personnel dealings, communication skills, fairness, relationships with council members and the City of Westwood, and rapport with neighbor constituents.

During my terms on the council and as mayor, I applied understandings of the budgetary process, ease of reading financial statements, and managerial responsibilities that I used daily in my professional career. I was held accountable at a corporate level for results and an ability to manage people- a major component of individual and group success.

For the first time in recent memory, the race for the office of mayor in Mission Woods is a competitive election. The foundation of any government is a vote on a candidate or an issue: action springs from the results of an election. With an election result comes a responsibility and then accountability: post-election accountability occurs in an environment of choice.

In the business world and in Mission Woods, I have always operated in a collegial and honest manner with associates, city partners, and neighbors. I state, without equivocation, that I will advocate for residents on issues of import: over the last several years there has been a need to improve the communication of city business — at mayoral, council, and committee levels and that will be a critical mission of my mayoral tenure: information will be conveyed in a clear and timely manner. I intend to cooperatively act on concerns of safe sidewalks, landscape upkeep, and infrastructure and to ensure the city respects the rights of the individual homeowner.

I bring a record of service and experience to this contest. I ask for the support of
our residents to have the honor of serving you again. Thank you.

Robert Tietze (incumbent)

Since becoming Mayor of Mission Woods, from the beginning, I wanted Mission Woods to be viewed as a progressive city and find our residents embrace this approach. My motivation is found in working with our City Council, our many service providers and interfacing with our residents to make Mission Woods the best it can be. I have been successful in working to pass the 1% retail sales tax, for the City to implement and cover the cost of curb side glass recycling. Under my leadership we were one of the first Johnson County cities to pass a non-discrimination ordinance. I have also been successful in moving our budget and financial responsibilities from a resident volunteer position to a CPA firm. Also successful in moving our City Council legal services from a single individual to a law firm that specializes in working with municipalities. We recently surveyed our residents regarding curbside composting which once again the City would cover the expense. The results showed that Mission Woods is not ready for that concept at this point, but we might revisit it sometime in the future. I am an active participant in the monthly Northeast Johnson County Mayors meeting where I have the opportunity hear what is happening in other cities and share what is happening in Mission Woods. This Fall I will be serving on the RFP committee for the Johnson County Community Housing Study. When I became Mayor our HOA was almost non-existent so I reached out to one very capable resident to get it back on track. Today we have a very active HOA whose many activities provide the opportunity for residents to socialize and get to know each other. I enjoy my frequent one on one conversations with the Westwood Chief of Police and the Westwood Director of Public Works to discuss how our relationship is working and what we all see as our challenges in the future and how we will address them. I would be grateful to serve another two years as Mayor of Mission Woods.