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Wichita City Council Member 3

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  • Jared Cerullo

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    Mike Hoheisel

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?

How should our tax dollars, state and federal dollars be allocated in regard to public transportation?

How can the city address our environmental issues?

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

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Personal Biography I grew up in South City, and have lived in district 3 for 30 years. I'm married to my high school sweetheart Christina. I've worked for various causes such as voting rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration reform. I own my own small handyman business, coach wrestling, football, and baseball, and am a member of the Meadowlark Neighborhood Association's board.
Campaign Address 2032 S. Terrace Dr.
Campaign Phone (316) 259-8842
Campaign Web Site
Education Some College- Fort Hays State/Wichita State
Community/Public Service Vice-Chair Kanvote, Meadowlark Neighborhood Association board member, St. Anne's Festival planning committee, volunteer for Harry Hynes Hospice, League 42/ Southwest Boys Club coach
1. Investments in the mental health/ addiction treatment fields. We have a mental health/ addiction crisis in our city, and district 3 in particular. Through investments in workforce development in these fields and fully funding programs such as ICT+1, we can start to pick up the slack where the state and county has fallen short.

2. Cleaning up our streets. Working with the police department and community groups, we cut down on the sex trafficking on the South Broadway Corridor and ensure humane treatment for the homeless and victims of trafficking. We need to fully fund the Homeless Outreach Team on our police force, crack down on problem hotels, and fund new homeless centers with the aim to help them get back on their feet.

3. Fight for quality of life projects. From water drains to ensuring the future of our parks, we need to fight to once again make our district a promising place to raise our families. We've been ignored for far too long. It's time to bring funding back home.
I will fill the various boards and committee's with appointments that better reflect the makeup of our districts diverse population, engage in conversation with various groups representing people who have been left out of the conversations, push the city to hire more people who can speak other languages as well as English, We have a wonderfully diverse district, yet most of our representation to the city doesn't reflect this. Women make up over half of the district, and we have communities with large numbers of immigrants who's voices and needs have been stifled by apathy and lack of communication on the part of those who represent them. We need a councilperson who will engage in constant dialogue with these maligned groups.
While there may be some situations in which it makes sense to privatize services or certain departments, as a whole I am wary of the promises of quality service that constantly falls short. Pulling in outside groups to do the job that well trained city workers adds additional barriers to accountability from the people. With our current system of government in Wichita, there are enough obstacles already between the voters and those who make the day to day decisions regarding how our city is ran. We don't need any more for the sake of perceived savings. To ensure quality services, we need to maintain direct oversight.
We need to get back to the basics and open the books so the residents of Wichita can see where their tax dollars are being spent. Loose money being thrown around to groups who receive taxpayer money is going unaccounted for, and standards for KORA requests should be followed. Individual departments budgets should be more detailed and accessible to the public, and the internal auditors office should be moved from under the city manager to avoid conflict of interest. We also need to ensure that our ethics rules are among the strongest in the country.
The city should look for wise investments in these areas. We can't just throw money at a problem and expect it to be solved, but we shouldn't pass opportunities to make sound decisions that can better the lives of our residents. The current funding isn't always used to it's maximum potential, and we need to study the effectiveness of their policies in order to fund programs that work. Working together with the county and state, we can ensure opportunities for access to quality healthcare. We need to centralize the homeless population so we can ensure services and offer access to appropriate charities and groups that work with particular sets of problems in relation to a homeless persons situation. We also need to engage the residents who are currently working on these issues to come up with solid plans to address the issues. There are a lot of good groups working in the neighborhoods. Government can help, but ultimately it is up to the various communities to do the work.
Transportation is a tricky issue. The city manager has stressed that our current model of operation is unsustainable, and will grow more and more costly in the coming years as ridership falls. We can follow efficiency studies the city has ordered over the years and move away from our outdated spoke and wheel model. As the city grows, there is a need for after hours transportation to cover rides to work in the expanded workday. Shuttle programs such as the one Topeka utilizes can help ease the burden for these workers, as well as offer alternatives for the elderly, handicapped, and those on disability. We can't remake the wheel here, Wichita is a city who loves to drive. Gas is cheap, and you can get anywhere in the city in 20 minutes. Large, expensive plans should be avoided in favor of focusing our resources on providing basic services to those who rely on them.
The city can ensure that we are fully staffed on inspectors, and that they are doing their jobs. We need to ensure that businesses are complying with regulations regarding waste disposal and hazardous waste removal to ensure public safety. We also need to protect and cherish our green spaces. We are losing trees at an alarming rate, we need to be more mindful of that in our city planning.
I am a person of the people. I've lived in this district most of my life, and have gone through or seen many of the struggles folks in the 3rd district face on a day to day basis, from growing up in poverty and seeing firsthand loved ones struggle with addiction and mental illness, to starting my own business and working hard to provide my family with some of the advantages of life that I did not have. This has given me insight not only into possible workable solutions for the problems the district faces, but also into where the current solutions fall short. I've worked closely with many disaffected communities before, and understand that they don't need me to be their voice, but instead be their amplifier. The community knows what it's needs are. They just need someone willing to go to bat and do the work and ensure they are given the opportunities that everyone else in Wichita has. The opportunity to raise a family in safety, and the opportunity for a home we can all have pride in.