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Bel Aire Mayor

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  • Patty Beamer
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Jim Benage
    (N)

Biographical Information

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

How do you plan on continuing movement made in ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in City operations and projects?

What is your position on privatization of government services?

How can transparency of city issues be guaranteed to the public?

What roll should the city have in public health, affordable housing, homelessness, food insecurity in our communities?

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

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Personal Biography Married for 30 years - Bel Aire Resident for 15 years - Two grown sons - four grandsons.
Campaign Phone (316) 684-0226
Campaign Email jimbenage@cox.net
Education MBA from Wichita State University - BBA from Wichita State University - Major: Operations Management - Minor: Accounting
Community/Public Service Bel Aire City Council 2017-2019 - Bel Aire Mayor 2019-Present - From 2013-2021 coordinated feeding homeless at the HumanKind Overflow Shelter in Wichita on the Mondays in February. We prepared and served hot breakfast, sack lunch, and hot dinner for about 100 men each Monday. For the past three years we increased this by serving about 25 women that stayed at a separate shelter.
• Continue to sell land and reduce debt burden. • Continue to improve the infrastructure, especially streets. • Work on getting more businesses, especially retail, in Bel Aire.
• Bel Aire, like most of American Suburbs, is a well-integrated community.
• When a particular issue can be done better and/or cheaper with a private service, such privatization should be pursued. Bel Aire does not have the staff to do all road maintenance projects. It makes sense to outsource road improvement projects. This is also true with engineering review of developers’ plans.
• It is next to impossible to be fully transparent as a city. People communicate and gain information through many varying sources; some news, some social media, some direct mail, some direct contact. Utilizing these and other resources, when they are available, has to be done. This is a constant pursuit of excellence.
• The best way to assure people have access to these needs is to assure the economic activity of the community is robust so the people who are able to work are actually working, earning a living to provide for their own needs on their own terms. There are some who fall through the cracks. Communities have charitable safety nets to help those in need. The city’s roll is to foster economic activity and support charities so that the community, as a whole, thrives.
I am the incumbent who, by the grace of God, had the fortune to see our city sell over $4 million of land. This allowed us to reduce and refinance our debt. Our annual debt service load has been reduced by $400,000. This money our budget can now put towards the infrastructure needs. We increased the pay of our police to assure we have the cream of the crop. Bel Aire has been ranked in the top 10 safest cites in Kansas for several years running. We intent to retain that reputation and ranking.

The vision for the future is to continue to sell land, reduce the debt burden, improve the infrastructure with the goal of reducing taxes sometime in the future.