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Bel Aire Mayor

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David C. Austin (N) Director of Philanthropy

Biographical Information

Personal Biography Married for 24-years to Keturah and proud grandpa of 3. Have served Kansas Children’s Service League as a director since 2013, promoting its mission of preventing child abuse and strengthening families. It has been an honor to serve as Mayor the past 6-years and on the city council from 2009 – 2013. I hold a B.A. in communications from Bethel College and am currently completing my Masters Degree at Wichita State University. I am active in church, the Bel Aire Lions and Rotary Club.
Campaign Address 6944 Odessa Ct.
Campaign Phone (316) 867-2565
Campaign Email dcaustin72@gmail.com
Education B.A. Bethel College, N. Newton, KS
Community/Public Service Bel Aire Lions member Wichita Rotary Christ Church usher

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

Bel Aire's best days are right around the corner. We have not raised taxes in 6-years while making prudent investments to attract developers and investors to take the land debt off the backs of the citizens. Keeping the momentum going and moving us forward in attracting these buyers is critical.

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?

Bel Aire is blessed to be covered by Sedgwick County EMS

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?

Bel Aire has the highest elevation in Sedgwick County and have not had the issues of flooding like some of our neighbors. Our public works department stays on top of making sure storm drainage bonds are kept clear and storm drains remain in great shape and clear.

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

Bel Aire children attend Circle or USD 259 schools on the public side. NE Magnet High School and Isley Elementary are two of the newest and best schools inside the USD 259 system. Bel Aire is also home to Sunrise Christian Academy and Resurrection Catholic School. Public schools are vital to a community and we need to maintain having the best schools possible. Many families relocate based on the school options available to a particular address, so if you want to keep and attract residents, you need great schools.

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

Bel Aire’s best days are right in front of us. I am running for re-election because we must continue looking toward the future through big-picture and strategic thinking. This is the biggest strength that I bring to this position is to think big picture and long term, looking at outside-the-box ideas to attract land buyers.

Voter Guide

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Jim Benage (N) Semi-Retired Business Consultant

Biographical Information

Personal Biography Married with 2 grown sons and 4 grandsons. I have lived in Bel Aire since 2007 and in the Wichita area (including Newton and Hutchinson) since 1971. I am a conservative Catholic Christian. This provides me with a world view that guides my decision making. Serving in an elected office is to serve to the people who elected me. I always try to understand what the people want, whenever possible. I vote according to the peoples' desires, not my own personal wishes.
Campaign Phone (316) 684-0226
Campaign Email jimbenage@cox.net
Education MBA from WSU -- BBA from WSU - Major Production and Operations Management, Minor Accounting
Community/Public Service Current Member, Bel Aire City Council since 2018. Coordinate project to feed homeless four Mondays in February at the Interfaith Ministries overflow shelter. We sever a hot breakfast, sack lunch, and hot dinner on these Mondays
Address 4437 Rushwood CT Bel Aire, KS 67226

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

Bel Aire’s most pressing issue is taking care of its infrastructure. Our budgets are tight due to bad decisions made years ago. This makes it tough to properly address roads and other infrastructure issues.

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?

Bel Aire has no concerns with this. We rely on Sedgwick County EMS for fire and all emergencies except police. We do have our own police protection.

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?

Bel Aire is blessed with being the highest elevation in Sedgwick County. We have had little issue with flooding. Our biggest problem in this area is keeping the storm sewer inlets from being clogged with debris. Our Public Works folks have to be vigilant with certain storm sewer inlets to keep them clear of debris during heavy rains.

Higher taxes have a negative effect on economic activity. There has to be a very compelling case to raise taxes. My focus is to look for ways to lower taxes if and when possible.

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

Bel Aire is served by the Wichita Public Schools, except for some of the eastern most part of the city. It is served by Circle Schools.

Public schools are needed to help maintain an educated populous. Without an educated populous democracy will collapse. Uneducated people are more likely to vote for the person who promises the most goodies without giving any real thought to the credibility of the person making such a promise or the capability of government to keep such a promise.

On July 26th, I am hosting a Public Forum at the Bel Aire City Hall, 7 PM to 9 PM, for the four At Large candidates for the Wichita Public School Board. They will have a primary on August 6.

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

I have a solid business background. I hold an MBA which gives me a great tool kit from which to draw. I do business consulting and audit businesses to assure they have solid business processes. I am very good at assessing situations and formulating actions for improvement.

A few years ago, I ran some medical practices that were financially struggling. I went to work and put good people in the right places. Within six months we paid off most of their lines of credit. Within four years we expanded to adding Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, MRI, digital X-Ray, 3-4D ultrasound, and a surgery center. We doubled the work force in this time. I lead by example.

Number one is to focus on the goal of serving the citizens of Bel Aire.