instagram arrow-down
The Kansas Leadership Center Journal

Menu

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Taxes top the agenda of Liberal City Commission candidates

It’s something of a perennial concern for local government – taxes. Keeping them low. Getting more bang for the buck. Making sure they’re being spent in the most useful ways.

Taxes are top of mind for many of the candidates seeking a seat on the Liberal City Commission in the Nov. 5 general election. Eight candidates, including three incumbents, are in the running for a trio of spots on the five-member commission. The top two vote getters will serve four-year terms while the candidate with the third-highest total will receive a two-year term.

The Journal received responses to its candidate survey from five contenders. Read more about each of the candidates who responded in their own words below. To learn about candidates running for the Liberal school board, please click on the jump link below.

Update: Click here for Tuesday’s unofficial election results.

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 Liberal USD 480 Board of Education

Roberto Sanchez, candidate for Liberal City Commission

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

I am running for office to help keep this town creative, safe, and fun for my daughter and the rest of the residents of this town.

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.

Safety is a big thing for me, and also adapting new modern ideas into the community.

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.

Work with department heads to create and adapt these policies.

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

To some extent

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

Would look at helping small businesses expand. Create an environment that entices growth.

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

Same. All issues are important.

Ron Warren, candidate for Liberal City Commission

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

I am currently on the City Commission at this time and we have started a few projects I would like to see out.

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.

Trying to find ways to make the cities taxes go further without cutting services.

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.

First of all, it is no easy task to lower taxes. So almost any idea to save in any department may require thinking outside the box.

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?

Very little can be done by the city other than trying to help anyone wanting to start a daycare understand Code Requirements and Regulations for Licensed Day Cares.

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

Day cares are very important to the job force in our community but are not high on the list of responsibilities for a City Commission.

Tony Martinez, candidate for Liberal City Commission

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

Enjoyed my first term as City Commissioner and decided to run again. I am a lifelong resident of Liberal and a fourth generation Kansan. I would like to see Liberal grow with new things coming to town and help existing businesses

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 don’t want to raise our mill levy. Keeping city taxes down.

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.

Promote economic growth by creating more sales tax coming to the City of Liberal.

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

To a moderate extent

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

Possibly assist city for a provider to come in and work with large employers such as National Beef.

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

Some priority

Tony Ray Whisenant, candidate for Liberal City Commission

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

My name is Tony Ray Whisenant. I’m a citizen of Liberal Kansas. I’m running to help rein in the tax burden on residents of the City of Liberal; as well as work to adequately address issues such as flood control.

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.

There is no exact single issue. One should be expected to work hard on different important issues, especially those that they got elected on.

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.

Study, listen, and take action.

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

Not at all

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

It isn’t so much the lack of child care as it is the cost of child care. This is an issue that needs to be addressed at the state level. That is where the regulations of the child care industry reside. One thing the state might want to look at is child-to-staff ratio requirements, and how reasonably loosening those requirements may cut the costs of child care. Perhaps the state should also look at completely removing the sales tax on some food items. That would give both young families starting out who utilize child care services, as well as those who don’t, extra money in their pockets for the necessities of life.

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

See previous answer.

Cynthia Martin, candidate for Liberal City Commission

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

I am Cynthia Martin. I am running to help my community and to encourage people to vote.

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 water waste systems
  • Taxes not going up
  • Make my city a place to be proud of

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.

  • Work together with other people
  • Work with city, county, college
  • Be out there in the public

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

The rules are so tough to get a license and stay licensed.

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

Talk to business about starting daycare

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

Make it a top concern.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Liberal City Commission candidates Cliff Abbott, Jack Carlile and Jimmy Dean Holman.

Liberal USD 480 Board of Education

Sarah Mersdorf-Foreman, candidate for Liberal USD 480 Board of Education

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

I want to make a difference in the lives of children and families. I believe that as a community we need to work together to ensure that children and families can thrive, not simply survive.

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 greater teacher retention and family involvement.

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 need to do further research on the current efforts and strategies before setting specific steps.

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

No response received for this question.

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

No response received for this question.

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

No response received for this question.

Naomi Vargas, candidate for Liberal USD 480 Board of Education

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

I am a retired school teacher, secondary. I feel that I now have the time and experience to devote to an elected office.

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.

My concern is teacher retention for our district, better pay for paras and to make sure that learning strategy programs will result in data proven student learning.

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 want to be available to parents, students, faculty, and staff to provide information on what strategies are working best for the students in the classroom. I will also do my own research to learn more about learning programs that are being considered for the district. I also want to make sure the right questions are being asked in board meetings to ensure transparency of all involved in the education of USD 480 students and staff.

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?

N/A

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

While this issue is a challenging concern for SW Kansas, the local office that I am running for would not normally be addressing the issue.

Mike Brack, candidate for Liberal USD 480 Board of Education

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

Children are our most important asset in this community and world. After waiting for others to run to at least challenge the incumbents, I felt it was my responsibility to stand up and do something. After all if you are not involved it’s hard to complain about how things are being done.

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.

It is my goal to help give the children of our community the best education possible. That means having top notch teachers and administrators who go above and beyond for their jobs. It also means that this task is done in a fiscally responsible fashion that the taxpayers don’t feel like they are being over taxed. Quality education goes hand in hand with economic development, our community is doing what we have to do to be attractive to businesses that are looking for a new location to grow in. It is important to be a well-rounded community for all of its citizens.

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.

Communication is vital to our multicultural community. Getting out and having a chance to listen to what people are saying about our educational system. Getting my thoughts out to the community at every possible format. We are lucky that the current board has done a good job, but there are a few issues that people feel should be done differently.

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?

The need for quality, economical childcare is great in Liberal. There are several private in home providers. These providers need to be inspected regularly. These private caregivers have limited hours of service. For those that need childcare after 5 p.m. it is a challenge to find someone. The city has talked about providing this service if they move forward with a Recreation Center. National Beef, our largest employer, has also talked about the need for their employees. So far no resolution has been found. As a school board member if I can help move this need forward I would be happy to advocate for it.

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

Childcare after the school day is important, but not on the top 10 items of things to do for USD 480. Anything that adds to the quality of life for residents of Liberal is important and I’d be happy to assist anyway I could.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Liberal USD 480 Board of Education candidates Kathy Fitzgerald, Royce Kitts, Steven Helm and Travis Combs.

 

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial