1 of 2
Mike KaneMike Kane at the Armourdale community forum.(Staff photo)
2 of 2
Jarvis CollierJarvis Collier at the Armourdale candidate forum. (Staff photo)
Incumbent Commissioner Mike Kane was first elected in 2005 to the Unified Government Commission and is seeking his third term.
Kane, 55, is the public affairs director for Laborers’ 1290. He is a retired autoworker from General Motors, with 35 years of service. A native of Kansas City, Kan., he is a graduate of Bishop Ward High School.
He said his top campaign issue was “Lowering the mill levy (taxes) which will result in lower taxes for our community.” He added that he is in favor of working to improve the downtown Kansas City, Kan., area, and also in favor of improving economic development in Fairfax and areas that already have infrastructure in place.
Kane stated at a recent forum at Kansas City Kansas Community College that his first priority for the additional revenue expected to come in when STAR bonds are paid off in 2017 would be to lower taxes, and also work on the infrastructure needs. He added he would support asking the residents what their priorities are for the additional funds.
His reason for running is “to continue to make Wyandotte County a better place to live, work and raise our children. I also feel like you should give back to the community when you can.”
His said his priorities are listening to the people, working on lowering taxes, and communicating better with the citizens.
He listed grocery stores added in the past few years as among his achievements. Kane said that when he ran earlier, 5th District residents wanted a grocery store in the district, and since then, the UG has approved a Walmart with a grocery in it, and has approved a redevelopment of a Price Chopper in the 5th District. In addition, the UG has approved other grocery stores in other districts, and more grocery stores are planned.
He said an earlier priority has been accomplished, to eliminate blight on 82nd Street, redeveloped with the Pemberton Place senior housing.
Another achievement is remodeling the old Piper West Elementary building into a recreation center and school district space, he said. It is a joint project of the UG and school district.
Jarvis Collier, pastor of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, is seeking the 5th District Commission seat.
At a recent forum, he said after STAR bonds are paid off in 2017, his first priority would be lowering property taxes. When revenue comes in, it should cause a decrease in property taxes, he said.
Collier said he would like to maintain the momentum of development in the Village West area.
“It will be important for this community to continue with its ‘smart growth’ that produces quality commercial and residential development,” he said. “More equitable property taxes will encourage more quality commercial and residential development.”
At a recent forum, Collier said UG commissioners should evaluate development proposals according to what is the best for citizens here. “Any development must be brought to the table in a way to preserve what we’re doing and enhance what we’re doing,” he said.
He said his top three budget priorities would be continuing on a smart growth plan, open government and accountability, and Google technology. He said he agreed with the mayor that the future goal should be that the entire county is green with the Google technology.
He discussed a project for a grocery store near the downtown Kansas City, Kan., area, where he participated in a petition drive. Currently, he said there are requests for proposals out on this project.
He said he wants to see some fresh approaches, new ideas and thoughts at the UG Commission.
Collier is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angles and Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.
He was the developer of a 43-unit housing project in the former Northeast Junior High School. Collier also served as the former chairman of the board of the United Way of Wyandotte County and was involved in the Keep the EPA in KCK campaign.