Our questions for the Prairie Village mayoral candidates

Jay Senter - September 20, 2018 11:30 am
How Prairie Village will manage the impact of teardown projects on the character of existing neighborhoods is among the biggest issues facing the city in the years to come.

A few weeks ago, we ask readers to submit suggestions for issues they’d like to hear the candidates running for office this fall address. Based on that input, we’ve put together five-item questionnaires for candidates in the several Shawnee Mission area races — and we’ll be unveiling those questionnaires in the coming days.

We’re starting today with the race for Prairie Village mayor. Former councilman Eric Mikkelson won the primary election with more than 50 percent of the voter. He faces current councilwoman Serena Schermoly, who finished second in the three-person primary with 25 percent of the vote. The winner will replace current Mayor Laura Wassmer, who decided against seeking a second term.

Here are the questions we’re putting to Mikkelson and Schermoly:

  • Question 1: The most controversial issue in Prairie Village the past several years has been the trend of teardown-rebuild projects and their impact on the character of surrounding neighborhoods. What would successful management of this issue look like to you?
  • Question 2: Recently, the governing body considered a resolution that would have affirmed Prairie Village’s opposition to discrimination against women. The council will also be considering an ordinance that would grant legal protections to LGBTQ individuals in the city. Do you believe such proposals are within the purview of city government? Are they a valuable use of staff’s time? Do you support these protection measures in Prairie Village? Why or why not?
  • Question 3: Property values in Prairie Village have risen sharply the past few years — but the city’s property tax rate has stayed the same, as have the rates of several other taxing entities. Should the city be taking any steps to address property tax burden on homeowners? Or should it be investing the additional tax revenue its receiving in city projects?
  • Question 4: What’s the top infrastructure need — be it with roads, parks or other facilities — you see for the city today, and how would you go about getting it fulfilled as mayor?
  • Question 5: What makes you the best candidate to lead Prairie Village government the next four year and possibly beyond?

We’ll be running candidates’ responses to one question a day for five days starting Monday, October 15.

The last day to register to voter in the fall elections is Tuesday, Oct. 16. Advance voting by mail begins Oct. 17 and advance in-person voting begins Oct. 22.

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