Your Prairie Village City Council election primer

Jay Senter - October 31, 2019 12:46 pm
Candidates running for Prairie Village City Council participated in our forum this month at Colonial Church.

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 Prairie Village 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.

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Who’s on the ballot

Three of the six seats up in this election have contested races. Of the other three, one incumbent — Chad Andrew Herring in Ward 1 — is running unopposed. Newcomers Piper Reimer and Ian Graves are running unopposed in Wards 4 and 6 respectively, where the incumbents chose not to seek reelection.

Candidates in the contested races are listed below. We’ve linked to their campaign websites when possible.

Council Member Ward 2

Council Member Ward 3

Council Member Ward 5

  • David Scott Morrison
  • Courtney McFadden (incumbent)

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 is currently working with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and the Johnson County Library to study the feasibility of a community center-and-library campus project, including what features such facilities might include and how much a project would cost taxpayers. What are your views on the prospect of a multi-party project to bring updated community center and library to Prairie Village? Read the answers here.

Question 2: In recent years, property values in Prairie Village have increased substantially, meaning property tax revenues have gone up as well. Given the increased property tax revenues the city has seen, the city’s finance committee recommended a slight mill levy reduction during this year’s budgeting process. The council ultimately rejected that recommendation, and instead held the property tax rate steady. Do you agree with the decision not to lower the property tax rate? Why or why not? Read the answers here.

Question 3: Over the past year, the city has considered measures related to social issues, including a resolution voicing objection to discrimination against women and an ordinance that offers legal protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. Do you believe such measures should be in the purview of city government? Why or why not? Read the answers here.

Question 4: The city is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan to set goals for the coming decades. What goals are you hoping to see in the Village Vision 2.0 document? Read the answers here.

Question 5: 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? Why or why not? Read the answers here.

Candidate forum

Earlier this month, we hosted an in-person forum for the candidates running for seats on the Prairie Village city council. You can watch the video of the forum below. Topics covered during the forum are noted with time codes.

Prairie Village Council Candidate Forum

  • What makes you qualified to make decisions on behalf of Prairie Village residents, and how would you take into account the opinions of constituents who might disagree with you? Discussion starts at 12:10.
  • The council recently heard preliminary plans for a new public works facility, including early details about the costs that could be associated with achieving LEED Platinum status, the highest level of energy efficiency certification. Estimates suggested that cost could amount to as much as $800,000 above baseline. Would you support that expense? Discussion starts at 24:30.
  • Prairie Village has seen property values rising significantly in recent years — meaning the city’s property tax revenues have increased as well. How should the city be considering where to set its property tax rate in this environment? Discussion starts at 38:50.
  • Should political party affiliations have any place in city government? Discussion starts at 53:10.

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