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Johnson County Water District Board 3

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  • Joann Atchity

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    Steve Gordon

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    Kay Heley

Biographical Information

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

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

What factors will you consider to address fairness and equity in the Water Board rate structure?

Campaign Phone (913) 498-0489
Facebook Joann Atchity for WaterOne
phone (913) 498-0489
As a consumer, a voter and now as a candidate, my primary consideration in running for the board of WaterOne is to provide everyone in my community the information and tools they need to make an informed choice about fluoride. Fluoride does NOT treat the water. Fluoride treats the person who drinks the water. Fluoride is recognized by the FDA as an unapproved drug. The choice to take any drug MUST include informed consent. It goes against every principle of informed consent to put any drug into the public water supply. In order to make an informed choice about a drug, it is important to know both potential benefits and risks. The dental benefits of fluoride are from topical application ONLY. It is NOT meant to be ingested. Check any tube of fluoride toothpaste. It will say “harmful if swallowed”. As with any drug the effect of fluoride is dose dependent. When adding a drug to the water supply there is no way to control the dose. Visit
As a nurse, it was my honor and privilege to be an advocate for my patients. As a candidate I am committed to giving WaterOne customers the information they need to make an informed choice about whether to consume water which contains fluoride. Fluoride accumulates in the body over time and concentrates especially in the thyroid and pineal glands impairing the function of each. Fluoride blocks and inhibits the uptake of iodine which is an essential nutrient. Fluoride is metabolized primarily by the kidneys so those with reduced kidney function are at even greater risk of damage from fluoride. For more information visit
Dozens of peer reviewed studies have shown the neurotoxicity of fluoride especially to the developing brain of a fetus and to the brain of infants to 6 months of age. Fluoride is considered by many to be as toxic to the developing brain as lead. Removing fluoride from tap water requires a reverse osmosis system. Low income customers who have no other option than fluoridated tap water are particularly at risk from all the known harms of fluoride. I will work to have a warning statement included in water bills to alert customers, especially pregnant women and infants to six months of age, about the dangers of fluoride’s neurotoxicity to the developing brain. If you do not consent to the drug fluoride being added to your water, I recommend you contact WaterOne, and your local and state elected officials. For more information visit
Personal Biography Steve Gordon has been a music educator for 42 years. In addition to serving in leadership roles in Kansas Music Educators Association since 1987, he's been awarded Teacher of the Year by four separate organizations since 2015. His experience includes serving on a number of boards, the latest being Board Chair of a non-profit, and two decades of working summers with water filtration and water chemistry. He and his wife, Cathy, enjoy four grown children and 13 grandchildren.
Campaign Phone (913) 579-5659
Campaign Email
Education Caney Valley High School, Coffeyville Community College, University of Kansas, B.M.E. with Minor in Trumpet Performance, and M.M.E.
Community/Public Service Mercy and Truth Medical Missions Board of Directors 1996- 2020. Tyro Community Christian School Board 1986-1989. Led medical missions teams to Malawi, China and Mexico and participated in a variety of roles in outreaches to the same countries and Mauritania.
Facebook Steve Gordon Facebook Page
phone (913) 579-5659
We have some of the best water in the nation. The best way to move forward is to remain vigilant in the way in which we oversee our infrastructure. Our policy of making new development pay for itself is working. The diligence with which our current management addresses budget items has positioned us with a AAA Bond rating, which means we can decide whether Federal monies are the right way to go. Ultimately, our ability make good business decisions means the Johnson County Water One customer gets the best from every dollar spent.
I worked as a pool manager for the largest pool in the City of Overland Park, and as a co-owner and operator of a pool service company for a total of 20 years. Our work was overseen by the KDHE and we adhered strictly to EPA guidelines. Our neighborhood pools were never shut down for a day. My familiarity with water, chemistry and filtration makes me comfortable in this environment. My experience with Board service, both in education and in the non-profit sector wil position me to contribute quickly as a Water One Board member. Lastly, my work resume testifies to work ethic, capable leadership and professional integrity.
Water One's rate structure already addresses fairness and equity. An example is that those of us who water our lawns pay an increased rate for that privilege. There is a basic cost to produce every thousand gallons of potable water. Those who don't water their lawns are not asked to pay the production cost for those of us who do. In addition, new development pays for addition of its infrastructure. The burden of the new is on the new. That is an equity I can support.
Personal Biography I was raised in JoCo and we have raised our two sons here. After college, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village clinic in West Africa. I saw the health impacts of unclean water. As a nurse, I have worked at Bethany and Truman Medical Centers, the WyCo Health Department and in the SMSD school district. My parents instilled in us the value of community service. My husband Bill and I have tried to pass that on to our sons, one a teacher and one a Harvesters manager and City Councilmember.
Campaign Phone (816) 516-8271
Campaign Web Site
Education SM North graduate Yale University BA Univ. of Kansas BSN Univ. of Kansas MA Global and International Studies
Community/Public Service Lifetime PTA member, Lifetime NEA member, League of Women Voters of JoCo - DEI Committee,co-chair, Harvesters Volunteer, church member, Heart-to-Heart International vaccination clinic volunteer.
Facebook Re-Elect Kay Heley, Nurse for WaterOne Board
Twitter @Kay4WaterOne
phone (work) N/a
phone (mobile) 816-516-8271
phone (home) 816-516-8271
cellphone 816-516-8271
1. Adopting a Climate Action Plan with a Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions goal. Water utilities must adapt infrastructure to adverse climate events as well as plan and implement climate mitigation strategies (which can be cost-saving) to reduce or sequester the GHG emissions produced by treating, storing and pumping water. 2. Source water protection. WaterOne is involved in the Milford RCPP which works with producers to reduce the sediment and phosphorus run-off into the lake and the Kansas River. The Missouri riverbed degradation threatens infrastructure and habitat. Water quantity and water quality are inextricably linked and our rivers and their flows must be protected. 3. Balancing water conservation efforts with the expenses of maintaining $1 billion in infrastructure. As a non-taxing public utility reliant on water sales, this is a financial challenge. Water, though plentiful in our area right now, is a precious and finite resource and must be conserved.

As a former Peace Corps health educator in a village clinic in Liberia, West Africa, I lived a vibrant life in a culturally-rich village of 300 without running water or electricity. I lived the health impacts of contaminated water and used what we had to help people. As the only white person and non-Muslim in our area, my world view expanded exponentially. I observed that all parents want the same basic things for their children. As a nurse, I worked in urban hospitals, a WyCo Health Department family home visit program and as a school nurse. On the Board, I have learned so much about water quality, finance, infrastructure, security, source water protection, climate impacts and I want to continue learning. I audited KU Law's Water Law class. I am curious. I am a scientist. I ask questions. I read and do research. I confer with experts. I contribute. I never forget that I represent all of our constituents. I do not take our precious water for granted. It is an honor for me to serve.
Our Board sets rates (usually the lowest in the area) which are based on a cost-of service model. As a non-taxing public utility, our rates (based on consumption and a fixed service charge) must cover our costs. WaterOne uses two Block rates based on a client’s average winter consumption. Those using less pay less per 1000 gallons. Those using more pay more. Paying for the cost of the water you use might seem fair, yet what seems fair might not be equitable for low income or low water use clients. Factors to consider: 1) Keeping rates low and steady helps all.2) Having 2 or more Block rate levels encourages conservation and is cheaper for those using less water.3) Ensuring that those (including renters) with leaky plumbing or service lines and less efficient appliances causing inflated water bills have access to funds to repair or replace plumbing, and to help with bills and fines due to hardship.4) Combining water allowances with fixed service charges may help low water users.