Candidates talk about marijuana and property tax ahead of election
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -Before general election on November 2, FOX4 works to help voters get a better idea of where candidates stand on issues impacting metro residents.
FOX4 sent out quizzes to contestants in more than 50 races in Johnson County. Dave robinson and Jessica priestland are competing for voter support to represent 4th Ward on Prairie Village City Council.
Here’s a look at what Robinson and Priestland had to say:
Q: What is your main political issue for the town of Prairie Village?
Robinson: My main policy issue for Prairie Village would be to ensure that we continue to carry out the fundamentals of municipal government in an efficient, effective and open manner. Everything from public safety to public works, code enforcement and overall budget management.
Priestland: One of my main priorities as a council member would be to ensure that the city budget is scrutinized effectively to ensure that city funds are spent on appropriate and necessary expenses that benefit the city. majority of residents.
Prairie Village is very well managed by our municipal government. We have top notch public works and public safety services. It is important that the services provided by the city continue to be of high quality and reliable. However, it is equally imperative that resident property taxes are moderate and that these funds are used responsibly.
Speaking with many residents, it is evident that there are concerns about increasing their property taxes. This is mainly due to the increase in home ratings. These rising property taxes are having a huge impact on our fixed income residents and some have felt pressure to consider selling their homes over 30 years old. Prairie Village must create ways to protect our longtime residents and ease the burden of rising property taxes.
Q: Prairie Village was the first town in Johnson County to issue a city-wide mask warrant. Do you think it was the right decision? If elected, what metric would you use to determine COVID precautions in the future?
Robinson: I believe it was the right decision and I saw it for what it was. A reminder to people to refocus precautions as the virus reappears in our region. The city has been prudent and has accepted its responsibility to educate citizens and take reasonable steps to keep everyone safe during an unprecedented time. They listened to the experts, took an in-depth look at the impact on local people and businesses, and listened to a strong minority against any cover-up mandate.
Going forward, I would closely monitor official numbers and follow the advice of government and medical institutions, such as the CDC, which are experts in this area. We are all together in this pandemic. However, we are clearly not together on how to experience this.
Priestland: As I walked the streets of Ward 4 and introduced myself to residents for the past two weeks, this mask warrant has been a ‘hot topic’, with residents on both sides of the issue voicing their opinions and concerns. .
I understand this is an important question, however, I think it is an ever-evolving “situational” question, in that it has no real bearing on the future state of affairs. of Prairie Village. It does not affect the condition of our streets. This does not affect our decision to refinance our GO bonds for the Meadowbrook project. This does not affect the new discussion of “affordable” housing. It does not affect the balancing and review of the budget. This does not affect the deliberation of future big budget projects.
As a board member for a 4 year term, I would like to focus on these issues and come up with solutions and ideas that will benefit all residents and continue to make Prairie Village a much sought after community, where all residents feel heard and appreciated. My greatest hope is that as a nation we have pulled ourselves out of this pandemic and returned to a sense of normalcy within the next six months. So many people have been affected; from the loss of loved ones to the loss and disruption of livelihoods and job security. We need to heal and restore our communities.
Question: What changes, if any, would you like to see in the city budget?
Robinson: The city does a great job in managing the overall budget. With over 80% of the budget dollars spent on public safety, public works and municipal staff, the balance must be wisely allocated in order to continue delivering the things that move the city forward and improve the lives of the people who live and working. here. So big changes, for me, are not in order. Rather, it is about focusing on budget monitoring, maintaining the city’s excellent bond rating, and finding the best ways to allocate the remaining dollars.
Priestland: FOX4 did not receive a direct response to this question. Priestland addressed this issue in Question 1.
Q: City council is researching a potential plan to decriminalize possession of marijuana in the city. Would you support the decriminalization of marijuana in Prairie Village? Please explain why or why not.
Robinson: It is obvious that the decriminalization of marijuana is all the rage in the United States. So it’s happening, like it or not, and as soon as possible across our border with Missouri. As in many states that have already taken this step, there does not appear to be any major societal disintegration or civil unrest, but it does have consequences.
Our police chief earlier warned city council that by being at the forefront of this issue, the city would invite a criminal element to operate from a more protected position within our city. And, also recognizing that the city’s stance does not abandon current drug sanctions at the county and state levels. As such, he advised against decriminalization for the time being. My position, therefore, would be to listen to our leader of public safety and wait until a broader acceptance of decriminalization is accepted and adopted at the state level.
Priestland: My reasoning is based on the following: I have not had the opportunity, personally, to deepen the research and data, more importantly, I think I should turn to the professionals who are working on this issue at day to day and have a much better idea of the current situation and the possible consequences of the proposed policy. With that, I would side with our chief of police, Byron Roberson, and I would not be supporting him at this time.
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