Following are some questionnaires that have been returned to the Wyandotte Daily News by candidates running for Unified Government Commission, 8th District, in the spring elections.
We will be adding to these questionnaires as we receive them. If you are a candidate who doesn't see your questionnaire responses here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates for commissioner are listed in alphabetical order.
The primary election will be Feb. 26.
Unified Government Commissioner, 8th District:
Butch Ellison, incumbent commissioner
Jane Winkler Philbrook
Name and office sought:
Benoyd M. "Butch" Ellison, Unified Government commissioner, 8th District, incumbent
Graduate, Sumner High School. Received an associate degree from Kansas City Kansas Community College. From University of Kansas, BS 1962 and MS 1972 in Education Administration. Played varsity basketball for KU.
Retired after 37 years as an instructor and administrator in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools. Assignments included Washington High School. Former director of the Kansas City, Kan., Model Cities Program; Jobs Program, Fairfax Industries.
Reasons for running/Top campaign issues
My reason for running is 12 years of experience. Position on taxes: Does not support increased taxes; we have to maintain the tax levels. I also want to encourage development. We have to stabilize the midtown area. Development in areas such as Indian Springs is needed. We need to be more aggressive in collecting delinquent property taxes from those who owe the largest amounts. I am working for the betterment of everyone in Wyandotte County. My philosophy is to respect the work and dignity of each human being.
Member, Neighborhood and Community Development Standing Committee
Member, Administration and Human Services Standing Committee
Past member, National Association of Secondary School Principals
Past member, University of Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Team
1958, All-American Basketball Player Selection, KCKCC
Have you run for elected office previously? When, results?
First elected UG commissioner in 2001; reelected to two more terms.
1. Name and office sought
Veronica I. Knight/ Candidate for Wyandotte County commissioner – District 8
Current - Philanthropy Director with Truman Medical Center
Former Director for Title III, Kansas City Kansas Community College
Former Vice President – Boys & Girls Clubs of Wyandotte County
Former Executive Director – Missouri School Age Community Coalition
Former Vice President – Youth Volunteer Corps of America
Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA), Benedictine College
Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, Wichita State University
6. Organizations, clubs, groups to which you belong
Commissioner with the Kansas African American Affairs Commission – (Governor Parkinson appointment),
Member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.-public service sorority,
Member and former president of the Combined Classes of ‘74 scholarship association,
Board member for DWD- parent education program,
Board member with the It Takes A Village –KC (grandparents as parents program),
Member of First AME Church, Leadership 2000,
Former member and volunteer with Parents As Teachers and PTA, New Generation Training Program
American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, Changing Charity Fellow
7. Reasons for running
In visiting with my neighbors and local constituents, I have discerned a perceived absence of representation on behalf of our district. The neighborhoods of the district deserve someone who will listen to them, express their concerns appropriately, and represent them both passionately and professionally.
Over the years of living and working in Wyandotte County, I have observed less and less community involvement, community connectedness and community vibrancy. While this is not an easy thing to tackle, it is my overarching goal to assist in turning that around.
I believe we are all deserving of representation fully invested in Wyandotte County who are also willing to roll up their sleeves to work side-by-side with community members to effect positive change throughout the community.
8. What is your top campaign issue?
• Excessive regressive taxation in Wyandotte County without proper representation or support given back more equitably throughout the county.
• Bridging the very real divide between the haves and have-nots in the community. (e.g., services, retailers, employment, etc.), mainly seen in the East/West county divide. By bridging this divide, we will see more community connectedness, vibrancy, collaboration, viable partnerships and revitalization.
• Safe neighborhoods and improving the quality of life throughout the county.
• Quality education and training opportunities for all
9. There may be budget constraints facing local governments and schools. If you had to make cuts, what would be at the top of the list to cut?
School funding is paramount; therefore it would be last on the list of items to experience more funding cuts. I would consider all the facts and make an informed and educated argument regarding how to ensure that all the key needs were met regarding the future of our county.
10. If you are an incumbent, list your top accomplishments in office. If you are not an incumbent, what would you change?
Study the issues, research viable options and offer realistic opportunities and ideas for change. Visibly effect positive change in our district and throughout our community by leading community engagement activities encompassing and embracing all of our neighborhoods and the entire community. Be an active voice for the people – particularly those whose voices are not heard and most in need.
11. What is the difference, on the issues, between you and the other candidates running for this office?
This is for the voters to determine. We are all well-meaning in our plans for the county and its growth and our backgrounds and community engagement are indicative of what to anticipate.
12. Have you run for elected office previously? When, results?
I have never actively engaged in campaigning. I have filed for school board in 2005, however due to personal reasons was unable to actively campaign. I did however receive support that has carried over to a more broad scope encompassing many aspects of county governance.
1. Name and office sought- Kendon McClaine, Wyandotte County Commissioner, District 8
2. Age- 32
3. Occupation- Branch Manager, financial services company
4. Education- Graduate, Washington High School (1999). Attended Kansas City Kansas Community College and the University of Kansas.
5. Organizations, clubs, groups to which you belong- Member, Faith City Christian Center
6. Reasons for running- I’m running because I believe District 8 needs someone to speak up for our neighborhoods & schools. I’d like to strengthen & improve the quality of life in our homes by making sure people know the resources that are available to help them. This applies to our local businesses as well.
7. What is your top campaign issue? Restoring the pride of our neighborhoods in District 8.
8. There may be budget constraints facing local governments and schools. If you had to make cuts, what would be at the top of the list to cut? I would not explore options to cut funding until we’ve explored & exhausted options for raising revenue first.
9. If you are an incumbent, list your top accomplishments in office.
If you are not an incumbent, what would you change? I would be visible & accessible in our district. My role would be to be a bridge between city hall & our neighborhoods and businesses making sure people know where to go and how to improve their lives and bottom lines.
10. What is the difference, on the issues, between you and the other candidates running for this office? Everyone will talk about property taxes, leveraging Google’s impact, and improving/restoring the infrastructure because that’s what people want to hear. I want to help people improve their lives. If the people of the city improve their health, finances, education, etc. then the city will benefit as a whole. As a Commissioner, I’m responsible for making sure people are getting the best from the city & we are providing the best for them.
11. Have you run for elected office previously? When, results? This is my first time running for office. Win or lose, it won’t be my last time.
Jane Winkler Philbrook
1. Name and Office Sought
Jane Winkler Philbrook
Commissioner District 8
3. Age: 62
4. Occupation: Optometrist
5. Education: Washington High School, Park College, University of Missouri St. Louis School of Optometry
6. Business West – Vice President
State Avenue Improvement Committee
Kiwanis Kansas City West – Past President
American Optometric Association, Kansas Optometric Association, Optometric Extension
Program Foundation, Chairman of Regional Clinical Seminar for Midwest, Chairman of Heart of America Optometric Congress Educational Meeting.
7. Reason for running:
I feel I am called to do this. It is the right time for me. With all of my community involvement over the years I believe it is time to step forward and use my experience, knowledge and passion for my community as a leader in the position of 8th District Commissioner.
8. Top Campaign Issue:
Helping to reduce property tax burdens for Wyandotte County taxpayers through responsible solutions is my highest priority.
9. Budget Constraints:
After a thorough review of the UG Budget and spending, I would bring my 20+ years of small business experience to finding efficiencies in our system to help lower costs and increase services.
I will be open and accessible as well as willing to discuss the concerns and ideas of our citizens and UG employees in a way that benefits all involved.
I bring small business experience with more than 20 years of serving residents from all walks of life, which I believe separates me from the other candidates- as well as the incumbent. As an active member of our community, I understand the needs of our residents and businesses along with my long history of community service which helps me rise above the others seeking this seat on the Commission.