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Shawnee Council Ward 4

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    Jill Chalfie

  • Kris Durbin

Biographical Information

1. What do you believe are the three critical projects or initiatives that will move your city/district forward?

2. What skills, expertise, or competencies qualify you for this position?

3. What specific actions should your city take or continue to insure affordable housing is available?

4. Shawnee, Olathe, Lenexa, Overland Park candidates: Should your city adopt a non-discrimination ordinance that provides legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals?

Personal Biography I am a 13-year resident of Shawnee. My husband and I have chosen to raise our three children (ages 13, 11, and 9) here. My upbringing in a small Iowa town taught me the importance of community and volunteerism. I am running because I want to help keep Shawnee on a positive path forward. I want to work on short term-goals but also look ahead and make decisions for the future of our community. I want Shawnee to be a place where our kids want to raise their own families.
Campaign Phone (917) 330-9540
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education University of Northern Iowa (BA, Leisure Services University of Missouri - Kansas City (BA, Elementary Education)
Community/Public Service I spend considerable time weekly volunteering in a variety of ways. I lead Lucy’s Kids for Peace, a chapter of a global non-profit. Lucy’s Kids for Peace is a kid-driven community service organization with the mission of empowering youth to create peace through hands-on service, global friendships and thoughtful acts of kindness. I currently serve on PTA Executive Boards at Benninghoven Elementary and Trailridge Middle School and on Site Council at Benninghoven. I co-founded the SMSD Circle of Kindness event which brings together students and familes from area schools in an annual service project. I volunteer with Phoenix Family and serve in Mass ministry at my church. I have previously served on my neighborhood’s Homeowners’ Association Board.
Address 7404 Summit Street Shawnee, KS 66216
Web Site
CampaignPhone 9173309540
Downtown revitalization: We must capitalize on the city’s 38 million investment to upgrade the Nieman Road corridor and ensure that we take full advantage of the benefits available as a result of the Opportunity Zone designation of this area.

Continuing to attract shopping, dining, and entertainment options in order to achieve a more balanced tax base and add appeal to our city. Many residents feel strongly about maintaining low property taxes, so commercial development is crucial to funding our city’s needs and also makes our city more desirable.

Managing the needs of our aging infrastructure while also addressing new infrastructure needs. We must properly assess and fund the most urgent repair needs but also devote resources to needs that have arisen as a result of growth.
I am very invested in my community and volunteer daily to ensure that the organizations and projects I'm involved in are running smoothly. I value collaboration and working with people to accomplish things that would not be possible individually. Through my work with Lucy’s Kids for Peace, I have continually brought together various groups, individuals, resources and organizations for the betterment of each other and the greater community. I am committed to evaluating various perspectives on issues and encouraging more people to speak up and take an active role in their community.
In my opinion, Shawnee is lacking in the right kind of affordable housing. We are lacking new, upscale multi-family housing that will both attract younger residents (new college grads/upper 20’s/early 30’s) and keep our empty nesters in Shawnee into their retirement years. We have not built a new multi-family housing complex in over a decade, so I believe we are losing those two subgroups to neighboring cities. Additionally, Shawnee could benefit from more new, average-priced homes which can help attract young families who are first time home buyers. We must listen to potential concerns of neighboring residents but ultimately consider the interests of the city as a whole when determining if a particular development is right for Shawnee. We should use data from organizations like United Community Services and the Mid-America Regional Council to help drive decisions regarding the type, location, and density of new housing options.
I supported the recent adoption of the non-discrimination ordinance in Shawnee. While this would ideally be dealt with at the federal or state level, we need to bridge the gap and ensure that all citizens are not only made to feel welcome, but are protected against discrimination. This is the civil rights issue of our time and pretending that it is not a problem facing some of our citizens is just that: pretending. The opposition seemed to stem largely from religious concerns and I respect people’s desire to live by their faith, which almost always involves showing love and kindness and I believe that we’ll not be judged poorly for doing that. Making it known that Shawnee is an open and welcoming community that values diversity is not only good economically as businesses and residents determine where to settle, but it is also the KIND thing to do.
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