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Dodge City: Learn about candidates for the city commission and school board

Editor’s note: To help readers make their voting choices in the Nov. 5 general election for local offices, The Journal, the Kansas Leadership Center’s quarterly magazine, sent out a survey to more than 250 candidates in communities where our magazine’s readership is the largest. What follows is information from  your local candidates, in their own words.

Dodge City’s City Commission

Adam Hessman, candidate for the Dodge City’s City Commission.

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

Hello, my name is Adam Hessman I am currently a candidate for City Commissioner. I own and operate Tidy Cleaning Service with my mom and brother. I decided to run for City Commissioner this year because I wanted to help with the continued growth, development and improvement of the city in all aspects.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

Should I be elected to office in 2019, the most important issue I feel that needs to be addressed is continued development and improvement. There are roads that need complete overhaul and repair. There are vacant buildings unused throughout the city. There is a lack of new businesses coming to our community and instead taking place in surrounding towns. As well as an extreme lack in child care resulting in loss of income for struggling families.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

To continue to improve and develop our community we need to take steps to increase overall revenue brought into the community. With our ever-growing population, two major issues we have are: to alleviate the child care issue, and bringing new businesses and jobs into our community.

To alleviate the child care issue here in our community, I would reach out to local providers of in-home health care. I would work to persuade and develop a program into their business to include in-home care for children. We could begin to develop a similar program with teens, young adults and retirees. They could apply for jobs part time or full time as in-home care for children. They would be paid an hourly wage to take care of children while parents could return to the workforce. This will allow parents to work without worry because all of the employees in this program would have a thorough background check and drug testing before being hired. This will also help retired and active nursing staff hired. It would give parents with children with special needs a chance to work and increase overall household income as well. 

To help with new businesses to come to our community, I would seek out and gain the confidence of them, that in our community they can easily thrive. We would have the workforce needed for the new jobs with the increase in general population as well as the students attending our local college and the increase in work workforce from the alleviated child care issue. This would also increase overall household revenue to help fund their services. They would quickly become a vital part of our community. I would also work with them to find local unused buildings for their business so they could set up their businesses faster.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

To a very great extent

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

If I’m elected, I would contact local in-home care services in the area in an attempt to persuade them to expand their services to include in-home care of children in the local area. If unable to establish services to expand, then I would look towards the local community. We would start the service from the ground up and seek out qualified individuals to manage and operate the service for our community.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

If I’m elected city commissioner, I believe the child care issues we are having are dramatically affecting the community’s ability to continue to grow and prosper. It will be my top priority to find a solution to our problem.

Joseph Nuci, candidate for Dodge City’s City Commission and the Dodge City USD 443 Board of Education

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

My name is Joseph Nuci. I own Real Estate Professionals of Dodge City, and before that was on Dodge City Fire Department for a little over 16 years. I am running to help my community. I have no set agendas except for making our community better. Right now, we have a great divide in our community and several issues that continue to grow from that. We also have problems with high taxes, bad roads, lack of activity for our population, and a feeling of non-transparency. Many in our community believe things are being held back and I hope to address these issues.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

The single biggest issue I hope to improve is the disconnect felt between our population and the area governments. With the school board, there seems to be a large amount of spending with little toward teachers, as well as issues with retaining them. With the city, we need to open a better line of communication, to find out what the majority of our community would like to see.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

All of our issues can be addressed by better communication. We have to reach out to more than just a hand full of groups or people and prove that their responses can make a change in our community.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

To a great extent

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

We have a lack of licensed and qualified child care providers. One way is to educate on the correct way to become licensed and find ways to help find resources to help them.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

This is one of the most important issues we need to find ways to address. It would rate as one of the top priorities for myself.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Kent Smoll and Rick Sowers, incumbents on Dodge City’s City Commission.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Dodge City USD 443 Board of Education incumbents Ryan Ausmus, Traci Rankin and Jamey Lewis-Gonzales.

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