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Shawnee Council Ward 3

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    Lisa Larson-Bunnell

  • Angela Stiens

Biographical Information

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

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

How will you address diversity issues in your city?

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

What do you believe is the ideal relationship between your city and the state government?

Do you support tax incentives in order to bring business to your city?

Personal Biography I first moved with my parents to western Shawnee 20 years ago when they bought a new home in Hillcrest Farm. My parents still live there, in the same house. I moved to St. Louis for law school and the start of my career, but as my husband Nick and I talked about starting a family, we were drawn back to Kansas City. I was fortunate to be hired as an attorney at a local non-profit hospital and we now have a seven year old son named Lucas.
Campaign Phone (913) 738-9320
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Saint Louis University School of Law- Juris Doctorate Saint Louis University School of Public Health - Master of Health Administration Knox College—Bachelor of Arts
Community/Public Service Shawnee City Council- Nov. 2018-present Johnson County Christmas Bureau Holiday of Hope – Benefit Dinner Chairperson (2019, 2020) Board Member 2020-2024 Preserve at Clear Creek Neighborhood Association – Social Committee Equality Kansas - member Metropolitan Kansas City Climate Action Coalition – member League of Women Voters - member
Revenue— Too much of our annual revenue comes from residential property taxes. We must diversify our revenue so as to protect our budget from the impact of a future housing crisis or recession.

Connectivity--We must plan for enhanced connectivity to permit our residents easier access to schools, parks, trails, and commerce.

Housing--We must work to attract and retain residents. This includes individuals at all life stages. To do this, we must diversify our housing stock to ensure there are options for individuals who do not want a detached single family home.
I have a strong educational and professional background that helps me navigate even the most complex municipal undertakings. I take extra time to build relationships with my fellow council members, the city staff, and our community members. I am accessible and responsive. I value everyone’s opinions and contributions, especially when they disagree with my own. I have a strong moral and ethical compass that values kindness over personal gain. I bring no rigid political ideology to my position. I am beholden to no interest group or party. I’ve heard stories of past councils filled with acrimony and petty personal battles. That has not been my experience on the council, nor will it be. I treat all with respect and dignity at all times. Whenever I leave the council, I know I will have set a positive example for my son and our community.
Representation matters. I supported the creation of the city’s Community Engagement Task Force which will look at how we can incorporate the views of all residents into our planning and communications. I have spent my time on the council mentoring community members throughout Johnson County who are interested in running for local office. I am excited to work with community members who come from different ethnic backgrounds, have disabilities, or are open members of the LGBTQIA community (e.g.). I will continue to foster these relationships and support diverse candidates as long as I am on the council and know that one day, it may be best for me to step aside so we can have a more diverse council in Shawnee.
I am committed to keeping Shawnee welcoming, inclusive and accessible. We cannot be accessible when we do not have enough affordable housing. According to United Community Services of Johnson County, police officers, fire fighters, social workers, and elementary school teachers cannot afford to live in our city. The presence of these individuals enhances our community. I believe that we have a need for more affordable housing in our area so these hard workers have the opportunity to live here if they choose. I am in support of both market rate and luxury multi-family housing in Shawnee. I am also in support of smaller units such as studio apartments that will appeal to young professionals working in our "tech corridor." New smaller homes with lower starting prices would also be a welcome addition.

While we must be thoughtful about the precise location of these developments, having a variety of housing options will make our community stronger.
Shawnee is the 7th largest city in Kansas and we cannot afford to isolate ourselves from surrounding communities or refuse to engage in state level issues. The city should have a voice in matters that affect our residents. Our annual legislative platform is one way we present our thoughts on pressing issues to our state delegation. However, it is important for us to be engaged with the governor and state legislature throughout the year.
In some circumstances, tax incentives are appropriate to attract and maintain businesses and other developments. They are also a powerful tool to help shape high priority areas within the city. However, each type of tax incentive carries its own risks and benefits. The nature of the project and whether it will provide jobs, goods, or services that are unmet needs in the area should be taken into consideration. We must determine whether a project will produce enough benefit to offset the cost of city services (e.g., public safety, waste water, etc.) being provided to the development. We are fortunate that we have similar markets in the KC metro area that have taught us which types of incentivized projects are the most likely to thrive after 15 or 20 years, and which are most likely to require additional incentives to keep the development going.
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