At the downtown library in Kansas City, Kan., candidates for mayor on Feb. 11 discussed the issues of mass transit, walking and biking.
This event was sponsored by the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance. Each candidate was asked the following questions: 1. How will you ensure transit has reliable funding that ensures coverage and ridership can grow? 2. How will you fund the new sidewalks and trails envisioned in these plans. 3. Would you support development and funding of a county-wide bicycle transportation plan?
Each candidate had two minutes to respond. The candidates who attended were Commissioner Ann Murguia, Commissioner Nathan Barnes Janice Witt and Cordell Meeks. Commissioner Holland was absent, and a representative spoke for him.
Murguia said in response to the first question. “Public transportation is real important in Wyandotte County. We need to seek additional funding for public transportation." She said she had fundraising skills that could help with this.
She said regarding the second question. “I have done this before, this is nothing new.” Regarding the third question, “I would definitely support it.”
Janice Witt said, “I don’t mind to see our taxes raised to insure good public transportation.” Regarding the second question, “we already have this funding in place but nothing ever gets done. We need to put more emphasis on education.” Regarding the third question, "I will not support it; we have other issues that are more important.”
Commissioner Barnes said regarding the first question, “We need to put the transit on an annual contract so our bus riders can rely on the bus system. We need to give our senior citizens a discount on the bus so they can ride it as well." Regarding the second question, “This would be done on a grant system." Regarding the third question, “I definitely would support it.”
Cordell Meeks said, “We need to get funding for public transportation so our citizens can have a reliable public transportation system.” Regarding the second question, “We need to improve our infrastructure this in turn improves our sidewalks as well. We need to see what our citizens want before we support this issue regarding the bicycle transportation plan.”
Each candidate was allowed to tell a little about themselves before answering the questions.