I grew up in Overland Park and earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas. After practicing law as partner in a litigation firm, I began a career of more than 20 years in the professional liability and casualty insurance industry. I am a long-time community volunteer in the Blue Valley schools, on the Boards of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and ForwardOP, and graduated from Leadership OP. My husband and I are the parents of two great kids, ages 19 and 23.
BSJ in Journalism and JD from University of Kansas
OP Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, ForwardOP Board, Blue Valley Business and Education for Schools of Tomorrow Committee, BVNW Bandwagon President and PTO volunteer, AdventHealth South Advisory Committee, CASA volunteer, Junior League of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, St. Thomas Episcopal Church volunteer.
1. Implementing the ForwardOP vision embraced by Overland Park residents will chart the course for our city as a vibrant, safe, and economically thriving community for years to come. The plan includes focusing on attainable housing and wellness and building on the strengths that already make Overland Park among the best cities in the nation.
2. Improving and reconstructing U.S. 69 from 103rd St. to 179th St. will position our city for future economic vitality. The project will rebuild the roads, create safer and less congested driving conditions, will appeal to homeowners and attract new employers.
3. The Infrastructure Advisory Group will guide the Council and the city in addressing critical infrastructure needs for the next 10-15 years. This will include recommendations for replacing aging streets, sidewalks, curbs, streetlights and stormwater drainage systems.
I’m a life-long Overland Park resident who worked for Overland Park companies for most of my career. In raising our sons here, my husband and I have benefitted from – and actively supported – the schools, organizations and facilities that make this such a great place to live.
My experience includes the Chamber of Commerce, ForwardOP, Leadership OP and advisory committees to the Blue Valley School District and AdventHealth South. I volunteered extensively with the Blue Valley schools, most recently leading the BVNW Bandwagon.
My professional experience as an attorney and insurance executive overseeing complex litigation and managing teams of professionals also benefits me as a Council member. I have the training and the discipline to do the homework necessary to understand the near- and long-term implications of complex matters before the Council. As a Council member I have actively sought input from residents, listened to divergent views, and made thoughtful, considered decisions.
Government should represent the community it serves, and diversity should be visible on the Council, boards and committees and in city departments. I believe this is critical to governing with equity and credibility. Overland Park proactively recruits diverse candidates to apply for open positions but we must constantly challenge our results and make needed changes.
As one of only two women on the Council, diversity is particularly important to me. It should be easier to find and apply for available openings and then participate fully. For example, flexible meeting times and virtual attendance for committees would help those who work non-traditional hours or have childcare needs.
I have attended diversity training at work and with the Council and the Police Department. The training reveals our unconscious biases and helped me find new ways to recruit and retain employees. Similar training should be available to all city employees and those on the Council, boards and committees.
Attainable housing is one of the most difficult problems facing Overland Park. We have already taken some important steps forward on this issue. This includes supporting initiatives to convert extended stay hotels into lower cost apartments and approving a new development of affordable single family rental homes in south Overland Park.
Still, there’s much to be done. We should consider rezoning that allows higher density infill development such as multiplex units. We also should consider changing zoning and HOA rules to allow for accessory dwelling units on lots that will accommodate them. Another option is to embark on public/private partnerships to build cottage communities or to provide funding to support construction of attainable rental units. We also need programs to provide funding to rehabilitate older homes so that they can remain viable living spaces.
Of course, this all must be done with public input and an appreciation of the impact on surrounding property owners.
I believe we should support Home Rule. City government impacts our daily lives and shapes the character of our community. Local control allows Overland Park residents to elect their representatives to make key decisions and be accountable on issues close to home. These include public safety, city services such as streets, sidewalks, and snow removal, and amenities such as parks and pools.
Overland Park has a proven track record in governance and our residents should have a voice in the future of our city. This includes influencing housing, retail development and the types of business we attract.
We should not underestimate the importance of an open and collaborative relationship between city and state government. Clearly, our legislative representatives and state offices should consider the impact on local governments in their decision making.
I support the careful and judicious use of tax incentives as part of fulfilling the vision of ForwardOP, the city’s long-term plan for its future. Incentives are appropriate under certain circumstances. These include:
• Attracting a business that would not otherwise come to the city, if the business will bring desirable jobs that spur additional tax revenue.
• Improving an area that is not otherwise succeeding.
• Providing needed office space when we have insufficient supply to meet demand.
• Creating a public amenity or space that we need but don’t have.
Our city has benefited from the use of incentives in the past and can continue to be successful with them in the future. Overland Park’s use of tax incentives has resulted in consistent net revenue gains. Our professional city staff carefully structures all incentive agreements to protect taxpayer dollars. I am committed to reviewing each new proposal carefully to determine if it is suitable for tax incentives.
Married for 40.5 years to Shellee, who passed away this March!
I have 5 children, having lost Michael on May 3rd 2020 to a line of duty shooting as he was protecting and serving our fine City of Overland Park
I have 5 Grandchildren, all girlies!
I worked for McDonalds Corp. for 27 years, Wendy’s for 12 and have owned my own business for 10, teaching people about guns and gun laws. I’m currently working at Frontier Justice, doing the same.
Ranch High School
Clark County Community College
NLVPD Police Academy
Henderson PD Police Academy
Reserve Police Officer 13 years
I have worked with numerous charities and am currently an Honorary member of the FOP Lodge 21.
Charities I’m currently working with
Hero Fund, Mike Mosher Memorial Fund
• We need to support First Responders, giving them the tools and support they need to continue to protect our city. This includes staffing, training and supportive pay to attract the best of the best!
• The city council needs to be receptive and accountable to residents as it relates to local issues, listen to what they want and deliver on that. We need to reunite our city through inclusion. By doing this, we wouldn’t toll 69 Hwy, put in ChipSeal, vote to put a camera system in a soccer park using Covid money while not even giving First Responders the support they needed to face this challenge in life. Honestly, what kind of decision was that? This top down approach of government needs to change.
• We need to stop giving away tax dollars to developers unconditionally, we need to work with them to move into our community because we are a safe and desired place to build, work and play. Cities automatically go to this expected system of doing business and this has to change!
I have raised myself up in life by being dependable and honest in my dealings with all those I have met. I have walked in the shoes of one of the most honorable professions, learning what it is like to be loved and hated! Through this I’ve learned to listen and respond to people from all walks of life. I worked as a paperboy at 14, bagged groceries for tips in the afternoons at Nellis AFB, working as a dishwasher at IHOP at night. I graduated high school, while living in my VW while being temporarily homeless. I went to CCCC in Las Vegas to become an auto mechanic, getting my credentials to do that. While being a mechanic, worked at McDonald’s as a maintenance man, cleaning the store at night. I was hired as an Asst. Manager candidate and after many promotions, moved to Kansas as a Field Consultant, becoming a Regional Training Mgr, Operations Manager and Directing the Leadership Development program. Qualifications: Successfully working with a diverse workforce, for the success of all.
Our city should be open to all that want to live, work and go to school in OP, regardless of ethnicity. I live in a very diverse apartment complex and as we move forward, we as a council shouldn’t dictate how and where people choose to live and go to school!
I believe that housing plans in the city should be on a long term city building plan, so all residents and developers understand where multi use or smaller homes will possibly be built in the future. The issue we face are changes to this plan by the council offering a variation to this plan.This is what causes the issues with residents. If I build and I build and expensive home on acreage, years later someone comes up and wants to build smaller more affordable homes around me and now I’m upset and should be. These deviations are what needs to be fixed! No one is against affordable homes when planned for. Good communication and living up to long ago land use is a value all people appreciate.
The state should be there to assist when asked, and help when needed. If we need help we will ask. The toll on 69 does not fit in this category.
I believe that offering tax incentives is outdated and over used! There are times when it can be a win win for both, but not every time someone comes in the city to build. There should be some payback built in when a developers project is so successful that he makes his money back quicker than projected. He should pay back some of this tax money rather than continue to take it from those who have made his project successful. Bluehawk comes to mind. I think this will be a money maker and the payback will be quicker and better than projected. So?