I, along with my wife, Kris, have lived in Newton for 14 years. We have two grown daughters and a 7-year-old granddaughter who is always near and dear. I am retired from the railroad industry after 30 years. Not to remain idle, I have been in the capacity of Ombudsman for the state of Kansas, making scheduled inspections of senior housing facilities. I also serve in different capacities in emergency preparedness with the Newton Amateur Radio Club as a storm spotter during time of severe storms. Prior to coming to Kansas, while working at the Transportation Test Center in Pueblo, Colo., I served on the University of Southern Colorado Industrial Advisory Council, and with the Accountability Committee for Pueblo School District 70. My educational achievements include graduating with a B.S. Electronics Engineering and doing graduate studies in systems engineering. I have served in the U.S. Navy, and I am a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and support the activities of the Benevolent Order of the Elks. I am also a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), past member of the Institute of Electrical-Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and American Society of Testing Methods (ASTM).
Reasons for running for office:
I believe that I am an independent voice that will ask questions, seek answers to the city’s problems and develop common sense solutions that will benefit and serve all of the community. Although I have not lived in Newton my whole life, in the time I have lived here, I have come to think of it as home and would like to see it continue to develop.
What are the issues you think are most important to address:
I believe that the No. 1 problem that needs to be addressed is finances. The city of Newton has outpaced itself in spending. The administration of this city needs to be realistic in ways that projects will be paid for that will not rely on government grants. There has been and currently are plans for overdeveloping in areas of Newton that are not necessary at this time. I believe that management needs to be realistic in its current growth needs.
One example of overdeveloping would be the Newton Public Library. Although it is a great commodity to our city, I do not believe that at this time, monies need to be allocated to expand the building. Technology is making it easier and easier for people to do tasks from home, such as researching and writing papers and even checking out books. I think that the library needs to utilize its current building structure to its fullest capabilities.
Examining how monies are being spent is also important to maintaining finances. I believe that the city needs to utilize its current resources. An example of this would be to use the knowledge of current city employees instead of hiring outside consultants. Administration should be hiring people because of their knowledge and expertise, and therefore we should be using that knowledge and expertise to make decisions.
Another important issue that needs to be addressed is communication. I would like to see more involvement with the citizens of Newton. It is important that the people of Newton are educated in what projects and decisions are occurring in Newton and are able to actively participate. I would like to see the younger generation assisting with the growth of this city. With all the communication outlets out there, it is important that we are utilizing them. The decisions that are made affect everyone in this town, and it is important that everyone’s voices are heard.
Why are you the best candidate for the job:
I am a non-biased candidate that has no special interests. I will have an open mind when it comes to making decisions and present solutions in a simple manner that will encourage positive growth for the city of Newton. I believe that I can represent the people of Newton and present solutions and ideas that reflect citizens.
What should the community of Newton look like 10 years in the future:
I would like to see Newton have growth within the current status quo. I would like to see the areas (i.e. northwest, east, downtown and south parts of Newton), parks/fields, businesses and buildings developed into what it should be and used to its full potential by citizens. I would like to see this done through funds that we accrue from taxes and not rely on federal, state or bond monies.