Edwardsville voters will go to the polls April 2 to vote on a mayor and two council members at large.
Running for mayor are John “Tiny” McTaggart, the incumbent, and Doug Spangler, the former Edwardsville city administrator.
McTaggart was named Kansas Mayor of the Year in May 2011 by the Kansas Mayors Association. He has served as mayor from 1993 to 1997 and from 2009 to the present. He is also a past Unified Government commissioner from District 7.
Self-employed with Tiny Signs for more than 35 years, McTaggart also has served on the Wyandotte County Law Enforcement Advisory Board, the Wyandotte County Library Board, the Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation Board and the Wyandotte County Parks Foundation executive board.
At a legislative forum in January, McTaggart talked about the hardship of unfunded mandates on city and county governments.
Doug Spangler, the former Edwardsville city administrator, is running for mayor.
He is the president of Edata Solutions Inc. Spangler holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kansas State University. He served as a state representative from the 36th District from 1995 to 2002.
He is the president of the Economic Opportunity Foundation of Kansas City, Kan.
He stated that Edwardsville has just approved $6.05 million in general obligation bonds that require property taxes to increase to pay for the debt. “Edwardsville property taxes are set to skyrocket as a result of the bonds. The area already receives the highest taxes in the region as a result of out of control spending,” Spangler said.
Spangler stated that he filed for the office of mayor to improve the financial structure of the city, and also to improve the parks and recreation opportunities for residents.
"Recently the city increased trash and sewer fees to residents and are not maintaining the infrastructure in a timely manner. By improving efficiency and use of tax dollars the community will be better served in the future,” he stated.
Promoting efficient economic development initiatives and reducing the user fee structure for residents will become Spangler’s top priority, he stated. Developing a healthy tax base that benefits all citizens can be accomplished through proper planning, he said.
Running for two positions on the Edwardsville City Council, at-large, are Mark R. Bishop, Jason T. Gillam, Margaret Shriver and Bryan A. Smith.
Gillam, 37, stated that he wanted to make sure his hometown of the past 10 years prospers. He is a member of the Planning Commission and has helped to update outdated documents.
“I have a strong business and finance background that will help us make the right decisions for Edwardsville over the next four years,” he stated.
He is the assistant director of business operations for the Blue Valley School District. He has a bachelor’s in graphic arts management and a minor in business administration from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
“My top priority is preparing for planned growth that is needed to increase revenue for capital improvements and reduction of property taxes,” he said. “As new opportunities come to Wyandotte County, I want to position Edwardsville to be attractive to new residents and businesses.”
If more cuts had to be made, he would focus on reviewing how money is being spent and save on existing contracts and purchases. He would also review city bonds to explore the opportunity to refinance, he said.
Also on the April 2 ballot are three Lake Quivira positions.
Wayne Hidalgo is running unopposed for mayor.
For the Lake Quivira City Council, at large, three persons are running for two positions. The candidates are Brady Lilja, Michael Olson and Leon M. Rieke.
For Johnson County Water District No. 1, Position 3, James Jim Vader is running unopposed.
No questionnaires or information was received from several candidates.