Question 1: What do you plan to do to meet the long-term unfunded obligations of the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System? (KPERS)
There’s two ways to do that. Either we cut funding in other places, or we find additional revenue. If elected, I would try to get some kind of marijuana production or full legalization – something similar to Colorado – for a bigger revenue source. That would be my preferred option to try to help fund that and several other items.
Question 2: Do you feel the State of Kansas has done an adequate job of fighting COVID? What would you do differently or in addition to improve the response?
I believe the state legislature has failed Kansas. As a general consensus on COVID, they passed the buck basically down to the lowest common denominator. I’ve felt that being on a school board. They didn’t do their job, honestly. If I were to be elected, I would be in there coming up with a comprehensive solution for the state and not this patchwork of issues. That would be my preference.
Question 3: In light of the national demonstrations regarding police violence do you feel there is any need for reform for Kansas Law Enforcement Agencies? What kind of reform?
I think Sedgwick County has already made some strides in that aspect. The state of Kansas, I believe, has done a fair job on that as well. My big concern is they don’t have enough training to take care of some of those issues, so I don’t believe in reform. I just think more training is needed to help solve those problems.
Question 4: Why are you the best candidate for the job and what advantages or benefits do you offer constituents over your opponent?
I see some similarities to what happened 11 years ago when I first got on the school board. School funding was cut and we had budget shortfalls. If elected, one of my main focuses would be to attempt to eliminate any funding cuts or enhance funding.
I’ve been representing the kids of the district for the last 11 years; I’ve been representing the union engineers out at Spirit for the last 15 years. I’ve been serving other peoples’ interests during that time – not sure the same can be said of my counterpart.
The biggest thing is to make sure that education funding isn’t touched. I’ve got some other things that I want to look forward to as well: cutting some sales tax on food maybe and some other things.
By representing people for so long, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. And being on a negotiating team, the last six contract negotiations between the engineers and Spirit and the negotiating team between the teachers and the district, should come in handy when you’re negotiating bills up on the Hill.