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Wichita City Mayor

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    Jeff Longwell
    (N)

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    Brandon Whipple
    (N)

Biographical Information

What is the most important issue facing the city in the next 4 years?

How will the level of debt the City is absorbing for the new projects affect taxes in the future?

How important is downtown green space, access to the river and City Parks are to you?

Transparency has been an issue recently, how do you think contracts and negotiations should be handled?

How do you plan on ensuring diversity is accomplished in city issues?

Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?

Personal Biography Born and raised in Wichita. ran family business for a few years in the early 80's. In mid 80's got into the graphics business with a company named Thermal Trade Graphics helping grow it from a small company of five employees to eighty-five employees before we sold. Worked for The Print Source for three years before starting another printing company and ran it for six years and sold it when elected to the full time position as mayor of Wichita.
Campaign Phone (316) 200-2953
Campaign Email jefflongwell@cox.net
Education Graduated West High in 1977. Attended Wichita State University degree incomplete
Community/Public Service • Trans-net Advisory Board Member • Sunrise Rotary Club Charter Member • Sunrise Rotary Club President • WSU West-Side Campus Advisory Board Member • Served 12 years on Maize Board of Education, including service as President, Vice-President, Governmental Relations Representative and Journey to Excellence strategic planning team • Served 6 years on Catholic Family Federal Credit Union Board of Directors • Republican Precinct person for 509 (elected 2006) • REAP Executive Committee • Labor Management Committee Member • WAMPO Board Member • 20 year Special Assessment Committee Member District 5 council member and Mayor of Wichita
Address 7806 W. 17th Street Ct. N. Wichita, KS 67212
Three keys areas to focus on are public safety, infrastructure that includes water, sewer and streets, and quality of life. We have continued to add police officers the past four years and now with new budget recently passed will have ninety more officers versus staffing levels from four years ago. We are using new teams to respond to people with mental health issues that have better expertise to guide people to long-term solutions to improve their mental health. Our fire department was assessed in 2018 and now has the best fire protection rating in the country. We are now one of 315 fire departments out of 47,000 that have a top fire service rating based on staffing and equipment among many factors. Our focus on building a new water treatment plant will provide clean reliable water for the next eighty years. we will need to follow that investment with a new sewer treatment plant. Quality of life investments are critical to keeping our next generations of young people in Wichita.
We are able to manage all our bond payments and keep our overall debt at a comparative low level. Our bond rating is the best it has ever been because of our debt management. Our cash reserves are at nearly thirty-five million dollars which is the most we have saved for ensuring the city is well positioned financially.
Green space is critical to ensure our community has the appropriate gathering space and parks that invite people to enjoy our river corridor along with encouraging people to be active. This has numerous health benefits and promotes increased activities for locals and tourist. It is part of a well designed city.
Communications is something we should always make improvements with striving to continually find ways to reach our citizens. Acknowledging that we have falling short is important along with finding betters ways to engage people understanding that they are often busy with life. It is challenging but very important to building a better future for everyone that we engage the community and ensure they have easy access to every aspect of what government is doing with their tax dollars.
We have teamed with the Women’s Foundation President & CEO Wendy Doyle to promote more diversity with an initiative designed to increase the number of women serving on civic boards and commissions. The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change. More information about the organization can be found at www.Womens-Foundation.org. We must be deliberate and intentional to create more balance and build boards and commissions that better reflect our community.
I first ran for public office (the Maize School Board) because I wanted to make a difference for my kids and others like them. I saw, firsthand, that what I and my fellow board members were doing was making a tangible difference in kids’ lives.

From there I was hooked. I wanted to see how else I could help. I’ve dedicated my life to public service since I served on the Maize School Board. I served in that capacity for 12 years, then on the City Council for eight, now as Mayor for four.

This job isn’t about prestige, it’s a calling.

It’s not glamorous. There are long days with very few weekends and no vacations. You’re never going to make everyone happy, and when something goes wrong, it’s your face on the cover of the paper, regardless of the circumstances.

And yet, if you are called to this job, you persist.

It’s all been worth it. During my time, I got to work to help keep Cargill in Wichita, providing an incentive package that didn’t cost the community cash incentives and
Personal Biography When I was 21, I came to Wichita from New Hampshire for a year-long AmeriCorps mission to work with at-risk students at South High. I fell in love with Wichita and discovered I could afford to attend college at Wichita State University. I met my wife, Chelsea, who grew up in Wichita and graduated from Bishop Carroll and WSU. We have three boys, AJ, 5, Tristan, 4 and Julian, 2. I was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2012 where I have fought for working families in Wichita.
Campaign Phone (316) 290-9447
Campaign Email campaign@votewhipple.com
Campaign Web Site http://www.votewhipple.com
Education I earned my Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, and an MA in Liberal Studies focusing on Cross-Cultural Studies and Public Administration from Wichita State University. I earned a Doctor of Arts in Leadership Studies with a concentration in policy and law from Franklin Pierce University. While earning the DA, I picked up a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University.
Community/Public Service I am an alumni of AmeriCorps and previously served on the Board of the Southwest Neighborhood Association and Agape Care Cradle. I am a volunteer martial arts instructor for a youth programs and a volunteer instructor for free women's self-defense seminars.
Address 4455 S. Washington Ct., Wichita, KS 67216
Wichita’s biggest export is not wheat or airplanes, it’s educated, young people. As a father, I want to ensure that my boys have the same opportunities to achieve their dreams in Wichita as I did. That starts by rebuilding trust in City Hall. Currently, City Hall is run by connected insiders who do not spend enough time listening to the people who elected them. Big decisions are being made behind closed doors without public input. If we want to compete with our sister cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City, we need innovative leadership willing to talk to the people and put their ideas into action.
Like all governmental bodies, the City of Wichita spends money in inefficient ways. During my time on the Higher Education Budget Committee, I focused on cutting costs by ending the duplication of services, creating collaboration and using technology to maximize efficiency. My experience will allow me to bring innovative ideas to the table to ensure that services are funded, instead of wasting money on insider deals that do not help the City as a whole. Tax incentives should only be used in limited, and highly-scrutinized, circumstances. Like with all incentives, City incentives must be tied to concrete economic goals and objectives that act as safeguards for the taxpayer. Too many times we see incentives work well for those who design the incentives, but leave the average working family on the hook. That’s not an ideology problem, that’s a cronyism problem. As Mayor, my job is to ensure that tax dollars and incentives are used to benefit the whole and not just the best-connected.
As Mayor, I will focus on ensuring that we continue the momentum on development downtown. However, I will give equal focus to ensuring that our neighborhood amenities, like pools and libraries, are not mined for resources to be sent downtown. In my district, I have many grandparents who take care of grandchildren and depend on neighborhood libraries and pools for easy access. We need a leader who understands how to balance these issues and create the infrastructure we need to have downtown green space and access to the river while still preserving our neighborhood City Parks and Libraries. If we want Wichita to compete with our sister cities, we must prioritize investments in our quality of life in Wichita.
We must change the culture of City Hall from a place for insider deals made behind closed doors to a transparent and professional body that is accountable to the people. Our current Mayor continues to push through seemingly pre-determined results, or inappropriately scheduled hearings and votes and then blames his staff. We all know this hurts our City government’s standing among its constituency and makes the business of improving our image next to impossible. I understand inside players and the desire for expediency will always exist in government. However, that's why in the Legislature I sponsored the Bi-Partisan Transparency Act because deals made behind closed doors are often good for the insiders, but not for the taxpayer. As Mayor, I will no longer allow no-bid contracts and negotiations will be held in the open to keep both sides accountable to the people.
As a legislator, I’ve always worked first for the people who I am elected to represent. As Mayor, it will be my job to bring together diverse stakeholders in our City to work together toward our greater success. If we want to achieve a diversity of opinion on how to accomplish city issues, we must make sure that leaders from diverse communities all have a seat at the table, because REPRESENTATION MATTERS. When elected, every person in Wichita becomes my boss, and I need to know as your public servant how I can help make everyone more successful. I envision regular staff and principal meetings, providing more venues for listening, progress reports, and feedback. Constant, candid communication will be key to our shared priorities.
I’ve served in the Legislature for the past seven years, and I’ve seen how strong local leadership can work with business and state entities to improve the quality of life in our local communities. I've seen how our City is missing out on opportunities for state and federal infrastructure and project investments. Unlike Topeka and the Unified Wyandotte County Government, our local leadership has failed to fight for our City to gain these limited state and federal resources. This is a challenge I’m eager to take on. I have the leadership skills and depth of experience in the political process to hit the ground running on day one. As Mayor, I will use my experience and energy to set specific policy objectives for our City and to actively engage in the process of achieving those objectives from start to finish. I am the leader Wichita needs to bring our City into the future by engaging policymakers from all levels of government to work together to grow Wichita.