1. In the midst of budget shortfalls for the city of Lee’s Summit, are there specific programs, positions or other cuts you would be in favor of making?
As revenues exceeded expectations in the past year and a surplus went to the general fund for the current year, I would be hesitant to start cutting personnel, programs or services. There are measures that can be taken by the city to cover shortfalls in revenue should it occur. Revenues for a stable city like Lee’s Summit should continue to trend upward. A slightly more generous estimate of revenues followed by a year of good economic activity should eliminate any immediate need to cut city staff, downsize needed programs and keep the 360 Charting Lee’s Summit’s Future Plan on schedule.
2. Discussions about having an economic development component in city hall have recently surfaced. Do you favor adding additional funding to the EDC and/or funding an additional position?
Because of limited economic activity for a number of years adequate professional staff is already in place and most likely underutilized. Restructuring is already taking place to facilitate and expedite economic development activity in the city government. Reassignment of city employees to strategic involvement with each application for economic proposals, to move them along without delay and provide information and assistance as needed will greatly enhance the approval process. No additional funding should be given at this time until we see co-operative effort and positive results from the EDC, the Chamber of Commerce and The Downtown Main Street Group.
3. What topics would you like to see addressed at future city council retreats?
Economic development, downtown restoration and renovation, cultural arts and entertainment, waste management and recycling, The 360 Charting the Future for Lee’s Summit and renewable energy.
4. Arnold Hall, the arts and the approved outdoor performance space are all topics of discussion right now. What do you think should be done with Arnold Hall and are you in favor of the outdoor space remaining next to that structure?
The downtown area needs a major entertainment center and focal point for theatrical performances and major civic events. At the present time Arnold Hall has no clear cut decision on its future and there is much disagreement among various groups as to its use. Some new proposals are expected to be made to the city within the next few months. Hopefully a new privately funded architecturally attractive multipurpose building compatible and complimentary to city hall and with adequate parking will be in the future for the Arnold Hall complex. The use, design and special features of any replacement structure would be controlled by the city government and would ultimately determine the true benefit and value to Lee’s Summit and the downtown small business community.