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?
There are not any specific cuts I am in favor of making. I do believe the cuts made need to be in consideration of minimizing the effect of the services the City provides.
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?
I do favor adding additional funding to the City’s economic development budget. The City needs to increase the commercial representation in the community to increase its tax base, and avoid increasing taxes on its residents. Increasing the funds for economic development should be viewed as an investment, and not as an expenditure. Finding the additional funding in the budget may prove difficult, and I am not opposed to exploring if the use of reserve funds for this purpose would be beneficial.
What topics would you like to see addressed at future city council retreats?
I believe the retreats should address the goals, visions and standards for economic development in Lee’s Summit. We are embarking on a time where commercial expansion will be a distinct possibility. The City Council as a whole will need to be on the same page to fully take advantage of any potential opportunities that would be a good fit for Lee’s Summit.
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?
Arnold Hall and the space around it would be an excellent spot for the outdoor performance space approved by the voters in the 2013 election. The location could be a huge boon for the economy of downtown Lee’s Summit, including a staple restaurant tenant in the old Maxwell’s location on the SE corner of 3rd and Douglas, more retail establishments coming to the currently empty store fronts throughout Lee’s Summit and will bring more consumers and attention to the downtown area.