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Merriam Council Ward 1

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  • John Canterbury

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    Jason Silvers

Biographical Information

What you feel is the most pressing issue is in your City?

Several smaller communities are being affected by the cost of providing local EMS services and other emergency services, how do think these issues should be addressed?

Recent storms have created serious problems in towns surrounding Wichita by creating flooding and other damages that have created unplanned expense to the citizens and the cities. Would you consider raising taxes to offset some of this expense or are there other ways to can see they could be paid for?

How important is it to maintain public schools in your city?

If elected, what strengths do you feel you can bring to the position?

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Personal Biography I was raised by a single-mom who was at the forefront of the ERA movement, who later returned to school to study law at a time when women were not welcome in that field. I grew up in Kansas City, attended Bishop Miege High School, and earned a degree in Advertising/Design from the Columbus College of Art & Design. At age 45, I married a strong woman, and have started creating a wonderful life together in Merriam, Kansas. My goal for Merriam is to keep it AFFORDABLE, DIVERSE, and SUSTAINABLE.
Campaign Address Upon Request
Campaign Phone (816) 210-6135
Campaign Web Site
Education I attended elementary school at Loretto in Kansas City, and graduated from Bishop Miege High School. Upon graduation, I attended one year at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri before transferring to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, where I earned a BFA in Advertising/Design.
Community/Public Service When I owned my house in Kansas City, Missouri, I spent three years as treasurer and two years as vice president of the Plaza/Westport Neighborhood Group. During that time, I attended public meetings, made presentations to City Council and worked with the City KCMO to formulate the "Plaza Plan", which was a guide for development in the Plaza Bowl area.
Address Upon Request
Web Site
CampaignPhone 816-210-6135
Campaign phone 816-210-6135
Web Address
In my opinion, the most pressing issue for Merriam is its small footprint and limited to no room for new growth. Merriam needs to continue promoting its accessibility to downtown and Overland Park while also pinpointing areas for affordable, multi-family housing, and commerce—making it a great place to open a business and live.
The cities of Merriam and Overland Park have already found a unique solution to reduce the cost of EMS by teaming up in 2014. The Overland Park Fire Department provided Merriam with an "advanced-life support (ALS) paramedic and a medical quick-response vehicle," and in return, the Merriam Fire Department provides coverage for in northern-most part of Overland Park. Estimates by Merriam officials show a possible savings of as much as half a million dollars over a ten-year period, and Overland Park estimates an annual savings of $120,000. I think other smaller cities should look at this model and consider entering into similar agreements to ensure their citizens are protected.
Merriam's largest threat for flooding is the Turkey Creek corridor and has been a concern of the city's staff for many years. Merriam has made proactive improvements to Turkey Creek, surrounding areas, and submitted a request for flood abatement to the Army Corps of Engineers. Unfortunately, the project is low on the Corps priority list and beyond the means of Merriam's citizens to fund through taxation alone. Therefore, I would not recommend a tax increase in this situation.

In the event of loss of property by private citizens, a tax increase would not help—private insurance would be a better option. As far as damage to city-owned roads, bridges, and/or other structures, I would first recommend the city's savings. Second, secure a bond through its AAA rating. Third, if absolutely necessary, raise taxes. The problem with raising taxes in this scenario is the amount of time required to approve and put a tax increase on the ballot (which is required by law) when time is of the essence.
Maintaining public schools is extremely important. From the day Brown v. Board of Education was passed, the purpose of public schools has been to provide an equal and quality education to everyone, and hopefully equity in other aspects of their lives. Having children of my own is not a reality, but I believe in the need for public schools enough that I happily pay the school tax to ensure children have access to education.
I believe my five years as a member of the Plaza/Westport Neighborhood Association (PWNA), along with the five additional years as an elected board member of the PWNA, gave me the experience I need to hold this position. In those ten years, I worked closely with and sometimes opposed the Kanas City, Missouri city council on multiple developments and capital improvement proposals. I also learned valuable lessons regarding the power of cooperation between the city, its citizens, and the reality of a developer’s tax base promises. It also taught me the importance of communication between a Councilmember and their constituents. If re-elected, I would be the catalyst for communication between my neighbors and the city because I am a good listener and know what it's like to not be heard by elected officials.