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.
Rachel Mawhirter, candidate for Mayor
Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.
I grew up in Great Bend and genuinely love this community. But I see so much potential that isn’t being met because of a lack of leadership in our local government. We needed someone to step up and create a vision and a plan for where we are heading, and create a commitment to collaboration and open communication. And when I watched cycle after cycle happen without any people that share my vision running, I decided to step up and run myself.
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 biggest issue facing our community isn’t job creation or street maintenance or taxes. All of those things are important and will all be worked on. But the biggest issue I hope to affect is the lack of identity and vision in our local government. We have had over twenty years of mayors that kept the ship afloat, but without much visionary thinking and long-term planning for the future. I hope to improve our community’s branding, create a clear vision of where we are heading in the future, as well as a plan for how we can get there. And ultimately, I hope to also improve the sense of pride people have living in Great Bend by prioritizing public relations and community marketing.
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.
See question above. I think I covered that (mostly).
The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Great Bend Mayor candidates Brock R. McPherson and Randolph S. Myers.