Sumner Newscow forum: The Wellington City Council race (part 2)

first_imgYunker — Water rationing is an option. Placing lawn watering restrictions on those that use city water to operate their sprinkler systems is a small step but we would need to consider other options.Fatema YunkerPlacing a ban on companies wanting to use water for oil fracking is a must. We can’t afford to consume water in an irresponsible way. Before we moved into town we owned land off of Dalton road. The company performing the work on this road appeared to be using water from Deer Creek. This is something I am strongly against. Woodrow — The way I see it, we can drill new wells, buy it from other sources, limit water use or do a rain dance, the success or failure of which, according to Will Rogers, depends on timing.Kim WoodrowI see no problem using ‘gray water’  in fracking, but I don’t think we should sell them potable water. Gretchen MooreMoore — We as citizens should be concerned with the water shortage and should conserve water at every opportunity that we can.  Maybe not water our lawns everyday but maybe on a schedule.  No, I don’t believe we should use our water supply for oil fracking. Green — Bringing big business, or industry, to town is a game of incentives.  It’s very competitive between potential cities and states.It’s very hard for us to compete.  I feel we need to keep trying, but also focus our attention on bringing smaller, mom and pop businesses to town.  We have relied far too long on the standard methods of promoting our city and we’re not seeing the positive results that I know are obtainable.City hall needs to recognize that we are the best advocates for our city and market ourselves accordingly.  Wellington has a fabulous downtown area, we have fantastic turnpike access and most of all this town is filled with a large number of small businesses owners who could provide great insight into the issue.  As mayor I will definitely involve these untapped resources!  During my time on the city council I have fully supported alternate ways to grow our community and economy and will continue to do so.Hatfield — Showing the businesses that our community is expanding and advancing with the times. That we’re not afraid of change and being open to them.Moore — To have more business into come our city is to utilize the I-35 corridor with signs to show what Wellington has to offer in terms of business.  An option is to offer some incentives to the new business whether that is tax incentives (reduction in taxes – possibly).  There are several buildings downtown that are remodeled and sitting empty maybe offer the building owner some incentives to have the rent at a lower rate to bring business into downtown.  Offering utilities at a reduced rate could be another option.Palmer — In appropriate situations, I believe that incentives and tax breaks are appropriate. More importantly though, there needs to be a consistency in the leadership of our community in its communication to businesses seeking expansion in small town America. We have excellent, trained workers. We have a commitment to traditional family values. We are committed to the success of our community and likewise we will be loyal to those businesses that give us that chance.Sears — To attract business to the city, Welling should do what bigger cities do.  Give tax and utility breaks for a specific amount of time.Valentine — Word of mouth to people in other towns when you visit there. Play your city up for what it has to offer not what it does not have to offer. Be positive.Woodrow — See my answer on number 3 which states: “From what I’ve been told, it has, in the past, been difficult to open a new business in Wellington. If we are to become prosperous again, we will have to entice new businesses and make it inviting for them to come here by offering incentives. Perhaps in the form of temporary tax and utility breaks,  and/or reduced land fees. I know this may seem less than agreeable, but in the long run, I think Wellington will come out ahead.Another possibility would be to ask the people who have built successful businesses in Wellington, perhaps form a committee to explore new ideas.”Yunker — One area is the people and the values implicit to the community as a whole. In today’s world businesses look for tax breaks but it goes beyond that factor. Wellington has a high percentage of single parent families with young children below the poverty line and we continue to allow low-income housing to be built. Do not misunderstand my statement, I believe a community should take care of those that need assistance.My family needed the aid of low-income housing when I was a child but continuing to build low-income housing and not have a diverse job market is not helping those that need help and it does nothing for the City of Wellington to appeal to outside companies to set up shop in our community. Jerry SearsSears — If the City is going to grow and sustain itself, we will need a sustainable supply of water.  Drilling more wells might be the answer.  Do not allow water use for oil fracking when water is in short supply. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (16) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 280 weeks ago It’s sad that the two running for mayor AND council, copy and pasted their responses to the questions that were also asked of them in the “mayor forum”. Maybe if one of them wins both mayor and council, they can have both seats, since their answers are the same for each position. Report Reply 8 replies · active 279 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Guest · 279 weeks ago Yesterday there was a comment about a city council candidate who filed bankruptcy and was charged with insurance fraud…Then the comment was removed. Why? It’s true. Report Reply 3 replies · active 279 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down WellCitizen · 279 weeks ago If you google ‘Kip Etter Arizona’ you will find his bankruptcy filing. Would that be the documentation you require, Tracy? Also, I’ve heard that Tracy has obtained the attendance records for the City Council men/women. Tracy, please post the attendance records so that the voting public can be informed. Report Reply 1 reply · active 279 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down Larry · 279 weeks ago So those on the city council now and in the past that have never had a bankruptcy filing have spent the tax payers money wisely and never made a mistake. I would think we should get more information first before making a judgment. Good thing Donald Trump isn’t running for the council. Report Reply 0 replies · active 279 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Mark HatfieldHatfield — Lawn watering restrictions. Maybe even a update to the current reservoir to fix the tributary feeding it. And yes depending on the water situation fracking could be a viable solution for this towns financial needs. Part 2 of two-part seriesby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following is second part of the Sumner Newscow Candidates Forum for the Wellington City Council. This will be for questions five through eight. The first four questions are featured here.  Candidates who are running for both mayor and city council will be have duplicate answers for both races.The candidates running for council include: Cindy Antonich, Kevin Dodds, Kip Etter, Kelly Green, Mark Hatfield, Gretchen Moore, Stanton Palmer, John Alan Saunders, Jerry Sears, Jim Valentine, Kim Woodrow, and Fatema Yunker.Three of the 12 candidates will win a city council seat.The forum answers provided below will be presented in alphabetical order of the candidates last name. We did not receive answers from candidate Saunders.Remember the city election is April 7, next Tuesday. Forums for the Wellington school board and the Wellington City Mayor race can be found elsewhere as well.5. Because of the recent drought, water has become an issue for the city of Wellington and across south-central Kansas. Outside mother nature, what should the city do to make sure there is ample water for its citizens in the next 10 years? Do you believe the city of Wellington should allow water for oil fracking? Cindy AntonichAntonich — Water is certainly a big concern for our quality of life. I don’t agree with the premise that raising the water rates is a solution for the lack of water in Wellington. Researching grey water for certain things is a viable option. Education on grey water usage, zero scaping, and what we can all do to save as much water as possible could prove beneficial to everyone. Even wells draw from the water table. This is without a doubt a problem that will take time and education.As far as allowing water to go for fracking, I am very much against that. Bad idea all the way around.Kevin DoddsDodds —  Because of the recent drought, water has become an issue for the city of Wellington and across south-central Kansas. Outside mother nature, what should the city do to make sure there is ample water for its citizens in the next 10 years? Do you believe the city of Wellington should allow water for oil fracking?Much in the way the council members should be diligent stewards of the community’s tax dollars, I believe that they should also be diligent stewards of our natural resources. I do not believe that potable water or water that is suitable for irrigation should be used for fracking. It seems to me that it would be counterproductive to our community to do so.Kip EtterEtter — Drought and water issues in Kansas.  I wish someone had a magic wand and could fix it, however that is not the case. We cannot just stick our heads in the sand, it will not go away and it will become a larger more complicated issue that our children will have to deal with.  The current drought, ample, viable, clean water supplies for Wellington, oil fracking and how they all interact with one another are all subjects that I would need more information on.  I feel it would be best handled on a case by case basis, with input from not only industry professionals, The City’s staff, experts in the field(s) and also the public.  We are after all talking about one of the most vital necessities to our very existence.  This is a very important subject that cannot be taken lightly.Kelly GreenGreen — In 2014, I led the city council in forming a water conservation committee to address Wellington’s water issues.  Phase One is a rebate and product program that helps residents purchase or receive products to reduce their water consumption.  Phase Two is a program to provide educational materials to our elementary children.These things are great… but only a small part of what we need to do as a city to insure a healthy, abundant water supply.  We need an aggressive water line replacement program, we need to maintain our lakes and wells, and we also need to brainstorm ideas for gray water usage.  We need to study ways to hold and preserve water run-off from heavy rains.  Data shows that the annual frequency for heavy rains is increasing, even though our total amount of annual rainfall is not.  The same way a citizen uses a rain barrel, the city should study methods of collecting this run-off.In 2012 the amount of water used for fracking in Kansas equaled less than 1 percent of the total water used.  This is a very small amount, but we must also consider that the water used is not reusable.It’s too dirty to be used for anything other than drilling.  I’m not ready to say we should ban the sale of water to the oil companies but I believe our policy needs to continually adjust to reflect the changes in our current state of water in Wellington.  I have attended the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas the past two years and will continue to be informed on water issues affecting not only us, but our state. 8. Can you tell voters why they should elect you as the mayor or a city council member of Wellington? Antonich — I care about the quality of life for the taxpayers and citizens of Wellington. I have been a city council member before and have a strong voice for the people. I am not afraid to ask tough questions. There is one, and only one thing to remember. The city council members work for the people. You can tell them no.Dodds — I believe that the people of Wellington should elect me to the city council if they want someone who is dedicated to making informed decisions. By that, I mean that I am not a “go along to get along” kind of person. I will investigate all sides of every issue before I commit myself to taking a position. I will listen to the citizens of our community and do my best to act upon their concerns.I will strive to be their representative on the council. I would appreciate the opportunity to sit on the city council and I will give my solemn word that I will do everything in my power to keep our city moving forward into the future, diligently looking for opportunities for our city to grow and become more prosperous.Etter — I feel that I bring a unique prospective to the table, Wellington is my home.  It’s where my wife and I chose to “plant our roots” and raise our children.  However, I did leave and was gone from Wellington almost 15 years before returning home.  During that time I was exposed to numerous cultures, experiences and ideas that allowed me to broaden my perspective and see the way things are done in other countries, states, cities and communities.Wellington is what it is today because of the people that live here and choose to call it home just as my wife and I do.  I’m not asking for your vote so I can completely change the face of Wellington.  I’m asking for your vote so I can help build upon the history of our great hometown.  Just as my wife and I did as well as four generations of my family before me did, I want Wellington to be the place that my children and grandchildren choose to call home or come back home to raise their children.There is nothing that any of us can do about the past; no matter how hard we try it cannot be changed. We can only learn from it amd make lemonade out of the lemons that we have occasionally been dealt.I am asking for your vote.  However, I am going to ask more than that from you.  I ask that if you’re not registered to vote, please do so and that if you are, please take the time to cast your vote regardless of the candidate.  There are an unimaginable amount of souls that paid the ultimate price.  Families that have suffered the losses of their loved ones.  There are countless other brave young men and women that are currently putting or have laid their lives on the line, with their services to our great country giving us this opportunity and right.  Your voice does count! GOD BLESS AMERICA!Green — Because I can provide the type of new leadership our community needs to thrive.  I am a hands-on person, I won’t be just another smiling face nor am I looking for self-promotion.I have proven that I will work hard for the city of Wellington and not delegate the difficult or time-consuming tasks to others.  Furthermore, I’m not looking to use the position of mayor as a stepping stone to a political career or to pad my resume.I’m in this race because I can be in the game every day, focused and dedicated toward creating solutions that better our lives… that better our community.  Wellington is in a situation where we need to realize we can’t continue along the same path and expect different results.  A different path is right before us, great changes are happening, good things are coming.  Let’s take that path!  I’d appreciate your vote on April 7.Hatfield — Me and my wife are business owners of the largest vaper shop in the state. and have done it all with a strong desire to help people stop using regular tobacco products. And if elected I will work just as hard to make this a even greater place to live in. And a community we can all be proud of.Moore — If I get elected for city council I will listen to the public with their concerns and take all aspects into account for the best interest of the citizens and the city.  The city needs to be run as a business and should consider all possibilities of running in the black and not in the red.Palmer — A vote for Stanton Palmer is a vote for a progressive leader who respects the traditions of Wellington. A vote for Stanton Palmer is a vote for a hard working father, loving grandfather and committed husband. With all of these roles I have in life — I want the best for my family and the best for my community. A vote for me is a vote for a concerned citizen stepping up for all of the families and individuals in our great community.Sears — Voters should elect me to City Council because I have no personal agenda.  I want to hear what the citizens of Wellington want and do my best to make that happen.Valentine — Don’t vote for me if you think this is a popularity contest.Vote for me because you know, not think, I can do the best job of representing all of us. You are important to me, everyone of you. What you want is what I want – a better life. A more constructive life for all of us.Woodrow — I believe I can be an asset to this city. As in the first question, I stated that I was an industrial engineer, the true definition of industrial engineer is someone who fixes things that are broken. I believe that I can be instrumental in fixing the problems of this city.Yunker — I feel the structure and my answers to two of the above questions cover this question. Simply put; it is time for a change.Follow us on Twitter.center_img Antonich — I will go back to the downtown revitalization idea. The City needs to work with people to create a healthy attitude about starting a business in Wellington. When a person wants to start a business in Wellington, the City Council should be ready to direct the City Manager to assess the problems a person will encounter in starting a business, and work with, not against, a possible new business owner. Valentine — We need to try and conserve a little more. Trust in God it will rain when it is ready and not one minute before.As far as the issue of water versus fracking: well you can drink water, but you can’t drink oil.Jim Valentine Dodds — As I stated in an earlier question, Wellington needs to become more competitive with other cities when it comes to offering incentives to businesses that are interested in our community.As a city, we need to team up with the chamber of commerce and find ways to promote our city in such a manner that it will spark interest with entrepreneurs who may be looking for somewhere to expand their business or open a new business. We need to actively seek opportunities and not sit back and hope that opportunities present themselves. Etter — Attracting Businesses to Wellington… this is something that is so very important to Wellington.  As I stated in question #3, we must not overlook or forget about our current businesses as we look ahead trying to attract new employers to our City.  I believe that diversification is something that we need to strive for in Wellington.  We have a heavy aircraft and agriculture influence, so we need to look at other things that can build upon those current strengths while also adding diversity.We have a great highly skilled workforce but have many facilities that are sitting empty or are currently operating at less than optimal capacity or production.  Couple that with 2 railroad lines that pass through Wellington (one with a terminal), two U.S. highways, I-35, The Kansas Star Casino located within 15 miles, an airport that has a runway that has been lengthened , a new police and fire station, a great aquatics center, superior golf course, a new recreation center that’s in its finishing stages, the newly renovated Memorial Auditorium, Worden Park, along with a school district that just recently passed a bond to help with some much needed renovations and repairs to its facilities.I see Wellington as a prime location for small to medium sized businesses that are looking to relocate or start up a new operation.  However, Wellington is not going to just pop up on a Google search when these entrepreneurs and/or business executives are looking for a location.  We must set up a strategic plan to recruit these businesses to Wellington; possibly a committee of individuals from not only the City Council, but also including the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sumner County Commissioners, representation from USD 353, as well as others passionate about the growth of our community. 7. Do you feel our utility rates are too high or are they in line with other communities? Antonich — They are too high. We don’t have the tax base of other communities.Dodds — As a resident, I am always of the mind that our utilities are too high. However, I am not looking to relocate due our utility rates. Since Wellington has become part of an electric cooperative, I am curious to know if there is a recurring study to determine if this is still a less expensive option for our electrical service as opposed to generating our own electricity. These are the type of questions that I will be asking if I am elected to the city council. I will always look for ways for the citizens of Wellington to save money.Etter — Utility Rates in Wellington… utility Rates are high in Wellington and that it is something that needs to be looked at.  On the surface this question seems very straight forward and basic, but it is not.  Why are they at the current rate they are?  What are the customers getting for those rates? Can the current rates be lowered? Are there areas where the city could become more efficient, thus allowing for a rate reduction?Would we as an entire community be in a better position overall to consider having an outside entity takeover our current electrical department and/or sanitation department? What is the current status of our infrastructure?  These are just a few of the questions that must be considered & researched before it can be answered.    Often times elected officials are privy to information in which the public is not.  Those elected officials must make tough decisions with input from the citizens but also with knowledge of said information.  I don’t feel that myself or anyone else can or should answer this question without all of the information available.In my opinion, to do so would be a disservice to the community.  That being said, I do believe that lower utility rates is an area we can focus on and that would be a positive change, ultimately making Wellington a more attractive community for families & business looking for a new home in addition to those of us currently living here.Green — I’d love to tell you that our utility bills are out of line, but the data provided to me shows that Wellington is comparable to other towns.  What I can tell you is this:  I will not approve any rate increase unless I am 100 percent convinced it is warranted.  I am not against raising rates, but I am against raising rates to cover for poor budgeting skills.  Rate increases should be the final option, not an easy solution.Hatfield — They are in line with a few other communities I have researched.Moore — Utility rates in themselves are not high the part that makes the utilities high is the energy cost charges.  That is where the utilities are high.  As far as what makes up the “energy cost” we as citizens do not know and maybe offer an explanation as to why, maybe this would help to explain why the electric is so high.  If you look on your bill you will see where you get charge for the electric service cost which is a decent amount then right below that is the Energy cost and a lot of the time it is about double the electric service cost.  So it appears to be a double charge for energy.   An option to look into is wind energy for the city.Palmer — Yes I do. The city utilities continue to increase without justification, other than the city needs to make up for shortfalls in other areas. A person doesn’t get a raise simply because they need more money – it must be justified – improvement of services, changes in services, increases in efficiencies that will project a savings in the future. None of the present  increases have been justified to the community.Sears — Are our utilities too high compared to other communities?  I honestly can’t answer that because I have not compared the rates.  If elected I will listen to the opinions of the people I serve on that account.Valentine — I get really tied of comparing us to other cities. I find that as an excuse not an answer. Yes, I feel they are too high and I am trying to get to the bottom of the problem.Someone has forgot the word transparency. What’s this about a rebate? Minds have slipped or closed. I will bring this up at a forum.Woodrow — I seem to remember seeing  a chart showing that we were in the upper end of the scale, but that was a while ago and I don’t know where we are now.Yunker — If you look at the national averages by state, Kansas is slightly higher for the West North Central area. I feel Wellington’s utilities are in line for the most part with other communities. I can accept our cost for utilities (KS averaged at 12.13 cents per Kilowatts-hour) when you compare other states like Connecticut that is at 19.59 cents per Kilowatt-hour or Hawaii at 37.34 cents per Kilowatt-hour. 6. What is the best route to attracting business to the city of Wellington?  Palmer — The availability of drinking water has become a major problem for many cities across the country. Wellington is no different.I do not believe that anyone knows the one solution that will work.Stanton PalmerHowever, exploring the drilling of new water wells, educating citizens on water conservation and creative ways to recycle water, as well as, modernizing fixtures are several immediate ways the water issue can be improved. I do not believe it is appropriate to allow oil fracking to utilize city water without regulation or accountability.last_img

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