Our questions for the Lenexa primary candidates

Lenexa City Hall. File photo.

Earlier this month, we asked what issues you wanted to hear the candidate running for city office in Lenexa address as they compete for votes in this year’s elections.

Lenexa residents stepped forward and submitted suggestions on a number of fronts. Among the most prominent themes that emerged were management of the city’s growth — including how to ensure equity of access to services and amenities between the city’s established neighborhoods and its newly developed ones, and how to ensure the city is affordable for people to live in.

The five-item questionnaire below is based on the questions Lenexa readers sent in. We’ll be circulating it to the candidates today. We’ll publish their responses to one question per day starting Monday, July 12 — just ahead of the start of advance voting.

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts — and to the candidates for addressing the issues that matter most to Lenexa voters!

  • Affordable housing. It seems like many people are being priced out of the metro area, and Johnson County is no exception. Lenexa can’t mitigate for the entire metro, but what can Lenexa do as a city? What role does Lenexa have within the region in supporting affordable housing?
  • East-west divide. I-435 cuts Lenexa in half, with most of the city’s established neighborhoods sitting to the east of the highway and newer neighborhoods developing in the west. How can the city ensure residents inside the 435 loop and in newer parts of Lenexa are treated equitably and that 435 doesn’t become a dividing line?
  • Climate change. Climate change continues to be top of mind for many Shawnee Mission Post readers. What steps can Lenexa take to prepare neighborhoods for increased flooding, along with extreme heat and drought events? What steps would you like to see the city take to build climate resilience?
  • Property tax. Property values have increased sharply across Johnson County in recent years, and Lenexa’s city mill levy (29.242) is higher than in some neighboring cities, like Overland Park (13.557 mills) and Olathe (24.440). Do you see any realistic paths to reducing the amount Lenexa homeowners pay in city property tax? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
  • Planning for the future. Lenexa has experienced considerable growth in recent decades — both in terms of business development and population. What do you see as the biggest challenges on the horizon for the city as it continues to grow? What should city government be doing now to prepare for those challenges?