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?
Budgets are balanced by revenue, cutting employee positions or benefits do not help us to attract and retain high quality city employees. Cutting benefits leads to lower employee morale, higher turnover rates and more money being spent to recruit and train new employees. Although there does need to be an overall fiscal concern for our city, there have to be better ways to balance a budget.
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 am in support of taking a more proactive approach to attracting economic development to our city. When discussing adding additional funding for the EDC or funding an additional position, we first need to discuss where we are going to appropriate the funds from. With the current projections of budget shortfalls I feel we should discuss with department heads and the finance division where we can reduce without hurting the overall wellbeing of the city or its employees.
What topics would you like to see addressed at future city council retreats?
I would like to see serious discussions of economic development, infrastructure, and the development of an arts district.
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?
I think Arnold Hall should be considered for use by the Arts Council. I think it could be appropriately used as an indoor space to partner with the outdoor performing space.