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

Your Local Candidates: In Their Own Words Nov. 5 2019 Kansas local election

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.

Click here to view survey responses of candidates for the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees

Click here to view survey responses of candidates for the Garden City USD 457 Board of Education

Lindsay J. Byrnes, candidate for Garden City’s City Commission

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

I am a 40-year-old single mother and physician and native of southwest Kansas. I am finishing my first term as a city commissioner and have filed to run again as I feel as though I am still learning about local government and still have policy work that I hope to accomplish.

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.

I have been most focused on governmental support and policy work around creating childcare solutions and policies that assist families. Our commission recently voted to urge county government to join us in assisting with financing of a facility and support our local eco devo’s plan for a childcare network.

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.

I have been very vocal about this issue in multiple forums. I have participated in meetings, forums, interviews and official discussions regarding safe, affordable childcare in our community and local government’s role in finding solutions to the lack of availability of this necessary service in our community.

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?

I believe that the ability to secure safe and affordable childcare is essential to economic productivity and quality of life. To retain families in our community and maintain growth, we must have quality housing, childcare, education and healthcare. To this point, private endeavors have failed to address childcare, despite the impact on the workforce and productivity. To that end, our eco devo has developed an evidence based, economically plausible network model and I have supported this endeavor in multiple forums and continue to advocate to other elected officials to support governmental support for this network and facilities.

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

As I mentioned, quality housing, education, and healthcare services are equally important to maintaining a robust community childcare happens to be the issue that I believe I can speak to most effectively given my personal and professional experience as a single mother and pediatrician. Obviously, fiscal management of the city organization and development make up the majority of our business and I try to approach those decisions through the lens of my experience as a single mother with young children as well as a professional and a long-term resident who wishes for my community to thrive in a responsible manner.

Deborah Oyler, candidate for Garden City’s City Commission

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

I am running for Garden City Commission because the decisions made impact our community, families, friends, and businesses. I will make good, informed decisions that strengthen Garden City.

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.

I would like to see improvement in the area of affordable child care. There are more positions open than slots available and we need to work together with public and private partners to close this gap.

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.

This is one of those problems that is multi-dimensional and will require different entities and people working together. There are already many different processes/plans in the works and I would like to see us strengthen those partnerships.

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?

I have established relationships with many of the entities trying to solve this issue and will continue working with them to come up with viable and realistic solutions to address this need.

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

I would place this among the top three issues that need to be dealt with.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Shannon L. Dick, Manny Ortiz, Fernando Rodriguez-Infante and Roy Cessna, Garden City’s Commission Candidates.

Your Local Candidates: In Their Own Words Nov. 5 2019 Kansas local election

Garden City USD 457 Board of Education

Dana Nanninga, candidate for Garden City USD 457 Board of Education

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

I believe education is the foundation for success. I have a passion for learning, and I want this generation of kids, which includes my own, to be inspired for lifelong learning as well. I can help accomplish that in my community as a board member.

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.

In order to encapsulate as much as possible, I will say that improving the culture (of education) in our district is a top priority. With this, I can include student connectedness, parent involvement, community collaboration and support for the amazing men and women who teach our children.

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.

My first term as a board member was filled with a lot of learning. There are so many moving parts to public education. I am just now starting to feel like I’m asking better questions. So, that is where I want to continue/start asking more questions to more stakeholders. I do not have the answers, but I know that together we can come up with the best solutions for our community.

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?

Our district is already working with other community organizations to address this issue.

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

One of the board’s current top priorities from the five-year plan is to grow school partnerships in the community. Child care is an important issue to our district.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Garden City USD 457 Board of Education candidates Allison K. Medina, Alex Wallace, Mark Rude, Elda I. Menjivar, Geovannie Gone-Macias, Janene Radke and Jennifer Standley.

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