Mary Larson is a former municipal prosecutor and committed volunteer who has enjoyed living and raising her family in Leawood for 23 years.
Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Missouri - Columbia
Leawood Stormwater Committee, Ironhorse Golf Course Advisory Committee, Leawood Chamber of Commerce Diversity Equality and Inclusion Committee, National Charity League, Central Links Prairie Invitational Committee, Girl Scout Leader
1. Maintaining and or increasing property values for both residential and commercial property. Sensible and thorough ordinances, code enforcement and development standards are key ingredients to this success. 2. Leawood prides itself on an excellent Police Department and is frequently rated as one of the safest cities in Kansas. Continuing to invest in public safety and expanding the focus into mental health crisis intervention is important. 3. Economic development is at the forefront of any discussion on moving our community forward. Sound economic development policy includes supporting the businesses already located in Leawood and attracting new business to our community.
Having lived in Leawood since 1997, I thought I had a pretty good handle on how the city worked, but the learning curve for a new Council Member is steep. If I'm lucky enough to be elected to my second term, I will bring that experience with me and build upon it. In addition to a law degree, I have completed mediation training. I find this training particularly helpful when examining issues that are brought before the City Council for consideration. Good listening skills and an open mind are critical.
I am proud of the progress Leawood is making on the issue of diversity, both in our city government and our local businesses. The Leawood Human Resources Department is excellent and making strides every year adding diversity to our workforce. For the the private sector, our Leawood Chamber of Commerce created a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee this year, of which I am a member. The DEI Committee has been active and just recently presented a seminar on diverse employee recruitment and retention.
This is a conversation we've had at the Council level many times and there's no easy answer. Leawood has limited open development opportunities, thus the demand and price of the real estate is high. The end result is more expensive housing options, but I will continue to look for affordable housing opportunities for our community.
Leawood city government is non-partisan. This really helps to put the sole focus of its leadership on what is best for the community. Too often, state regulation of municipalities has more to do with partisan policy. The definition of what is best for a community may differ from city to city. The ideal relationship between city and state government is regulation by the state in only the broadest of terms, leaving flexibility to the cities to determine what's in their best interest.
I only support tax incentives when there will be a substantial benefit to the Leawood community and the development proposal is not viable without it.