| February 1, 2003
Neighbors from across Ward 6 invited the 4 candidates
running for the new two year Overland Park, KS, City Council seat to a candidate
forum. The primary for that election is set for February 25. Advance
primary balloting begins February 5th. It is a non-partisan primary, so
the two top vote getters will face off in the election on April 1 without
regard to party affiliation.
The organizers and audience thank the candidates for coming to the forum
and answering questions. The forum was organized on short notice and the
candidates' participation was much appreciated.
The forum consisted of the candidates answering questions from the
moderator, Jim Riggs, and from the audience. It lasted over an hour and a
half. After the forum was over, candidates left and the neighbors remained
to discuss how they all felt about the candidates.
Carbery The Choice By Wide Majority, But Strong Sentiment For Bridges
After much discussion in which each person in attendance voiced an opinion,
the vote was a wide majority in favor of Dan Carbery as the candidate
behind which residents and neighbors should unite. Both before and after
the vote, everyone agreed that the most effective way for residents to get
representation on the City Council would be to unite behind a single
candidate. Dan Carbery is that candidate.
There was very strong sentiment, even by most of those who voted for one of
the other candidates, that Dewayne Bridges probably best understood what it was
like to deal with the Overland Park City government from a neighborhood
perspective. Over and over again the statement was made that Dewayne "had
heart". He is President of Kingston Lakes subdivision and has led the
fight against the Target that Overland Park is letting into Stanley near
151st and Antioch. He is in the construction industry himself and so
understands that side of things better than most. He is spearheading the
lawsuit currently being brought against Overland Park because of its
decision on Target. There was just no question that he would know where
citizens were coming from.
However, it was felt that Dan Carbery would make a more effective City
Council member and was more electable. He too made it clear that he would
support his constituents over development interests. Dan is a Civil
Engineer who works for Black & Veatch. He focused on the fact that he
would understand the engineering studies being submitted by developers.
The flawed studies and Overland Park's unwillingness to recognize the flaws
is a sore point with virtually every neighborhood which has fought
inappropriate development before the Overland Park governing body. He also
strongly supported adherence to the Master Plan, although with caveats that
there could be reasons to make changes.
Dan Stock - Box Stores Are The Future
Dan Stock expressed his opinion that box stores were inevitable and the
fact that the Overland Park City Council had its hands legally tied in
trying to do anything about it. Most of the audience was fully aware that
judicial decisions say that local governments have wide latitude in making
their decisions, so long as certain basic criteria are met. The audience
felt it is the choice of the Overland Park City Council members to manage
development the way they have. Other municipalities have made other and
Dan Stock emphasized that he was fortunate enough to have been able to
retire early and hence he could devote full time to the job of City Council
Ron Williams - Candidate Of The Status Quo
Ron Williams was perceived by the audience as the candidate of the current
establishment and in particular has very close ties to the Chamber of
Commerce. He was pleasant and well spoken. One of his most interesting
comments was that there would not be many more box stores because the City
Council did not want to deal with the controversy. There was serious doubt
within the audience that this was correct. He was perceived as someone who
more closely represented the views associated with the current
establishment and development interests. He was the most articulate
speaker of the four.
Good Attendance On Short Notice
Even though there was such short notice, over 30 people attended and all
four candidates agreed to participate.
Residents of neighborhoods from Green Meadows on the east border of Ward 6
to Morse on the west and from Blue Valley riding on the southern border to
Nottingham forest on the north attended. In fact, one attendee was from
Antioch Farms near 193rd street in Stilwell. Anyone near the border of
Overland Park, which extends far south with the recent annexation, has a
vested interest in the make-up of the City Council. There were many people
who wanted to attend, but were simply unable to because of prior commitments.
The Next Meeting Is This Sunday
Tomorrow, Sunday, February 2, at 4 pm a meeting with Dan Carbery has been
arranged for this Sunday at the Nottingham Club House at 8700 W 139th
Street. We intend to ask Dan some much more detailed, neighborhood
specific questions and work on organizing the campaign.
If you are interested in finding out more about Dan and in being involved
in this grass roots campaign to elect Dan Carbery to the Overland Park City
Council please feel free to attend. Also, if you wish to volunteer, please
contact as soon as possible:
Bob Phillips - firstname.lastname@example.org
The establishment, business as usual candidates are going to be very well
funded and run strong campaigns. We, however, are fighting for residential
interests and, if we can get out the vote, will win.
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