Your Merriam City Council election primer

Advance voting in person began Monday, Oct. 28 in Johnson County and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov 5. As residents start heading to the polls to cast their ballots for the Merriam City Council and other races, we’re putting together our election primers to give people an easy way to find out where the candidates stand on the issues.

SHAMELESS PLUG: No other news outlet devotes as much attention to giving Shawnee Mission area voters a way to find out where candidates running for local office stand on the issues facing our community. If you value having a news outlet provide this kind of coverage, we hope you’ll consider becoming a subscriber if you aren’t already.

Who’s on the ballot

All four of seats up in this election have contested races. Candidatesare listed below. We’ve linked to their campaign websites when possible.

Council Member Ward 1

Council Member Ward 2

Council Member Ward 3

Council Member Ward 4

Candidate Questionnaires

Earlier this month, we published the candidates’ responses to the questionnaires we developed with input from our readers. You can find each of the five questionnaire items linked below:

Question 1: The city council in the coming months will have to decide on a final plan for repurposing the former Irene B. French Community Center site. What’s your vision for the site? How should the city fund a project to repurpose it? Read answers here.

Question 2: The process that led to the design of the new community center and the collaboration with the Johnson County Library on a new Antioch branch drew criticism from some Merriam residents, who claimed it was not transparent enough. What’s your take on the community center-library project? Are you satisfied with the process and the outcome? Read answers here.

Question 3: For many seniors who would like to stay in their city of residence in Johnson County – where their friends, doctors, churches, social connections are – moving options within their community cost more than their current home. How would you work to address this issue in Merriam? (This question came from the Johnson County Health Equity Network, which focuses on housing affordability, stability and safety). Read answers here.

Question 4: 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? Read answers here.

Question 5: What’s the top thing you’d like to be able to say about the city of Merriam four years from today that you can’t say now? Why? Read answers here.

Candidate forum

In September, we hosted an in-person forum for the candidates running for seats on the Merriam city council. You can watch the video of the forum below.