Lee’s Summit District 1 candidate touts life experience

rpulley@lsjournal.comDecember 31, 2013 

Robert Dye is running for District 1 Councilman, saying he’ll contribute to council by making decisions based on common sense, not politics or personal relationships.

“I’m not a political hack, I hate the waste of money and the expense that goes into politics,” Dye said. “I want to contribute what I’ve gained in a lifetime of experiences and values for advancement of civic priorities.”

Dye and Diane Forte are candidates so far who have filed for the district seat in April’s municipal election. Filings close Jan. 21.

Dye ran for mayor in 2010, losing to Mayor Randy Rhoads, and finishing behind former mayor Karen Messerli, with about 9 percent of the vote. In 2012, Councilmember Rob Binney defeated Bye in the race for a District 1 seat 548-242.

He said he has time, experience and good judgment to help lead the city.

Dye has lived in Lee’s Summit 23 years, retired after a career in finance. He said he worked his way up, starting loan payment processor, to teller, to finally becoming a CEO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from William Jewel College and also studied supervisory skills and real estate appraising at Rockhurst College and took courses of the American Savings and Loan Institute.

He has served on the Liberty Hospital board of directors, Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce, served on the Excelsior Springs Franchise Tax Committee and the Consultant Selection Committee for its downtown redevelopment program. More recently, he has been a director of Raintree Lake Property Owners Association and is a member of Lake Winnebago Lions Club.

He said important issues facing the council are waste management and preparing the city to take advantage of renewable energy in the future. The city needs to support renewable energy and support future efforts for light rail transportation, he said.

Dye said his priorities would be to provide strong and effective fire and police departments, support the school district, advance the Lee’s Summit 360 plan and promote downtown and small businesses.

Dye also said he’d work on getting Lee’s Summit businesses to hire residents first, instead of those from outlying towns, which he contends would boost the local economy, and work the Chamber of Commerce and Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council.

He wants to continue the city’s Historic Preservation program and expand cultural arts, in cooperation with schools, and help restore home building in the city.

He said he supports rebuilding the U.S. 50/Missouri 291 south interchange, but isn’t sure the first design offered would work, so he wants to see alternatives.

“Not that I’m opposed to it, but I want it to be efficient and effective,” Dye said.

He suggested the city could use the current landfill site for a waste-to-energy plant, incinerating trash.

He said he would support tax-increment financing for Summit Place shopping center, if expenses are reasonable and depending on whether stores slated for the project are new to the area.

“I’m a little bit worried about over supply, between existing and more commercial,” Dye said.

He said the city should be cautious about creating too many shopping centers that will later become a burden if they close, like Bannister Mall or the Blue Ridge Mall.

“I have a conservative nature, but I am independent in my thinking processes,” Dye said. “I’m definitely a believer in Lee’s Summit progress and advancement in the future.”

 

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