League of Women Voters invited all candidates for the Great Bend City Council to participate in a newspaper questionnaire in advance of the election Tuesday, April 3.
Questions asked were “Why did you choose to run for this office and “What if any changes would you like to see implanted in Great Bend if you are elected.” They were also asked to tell a little about themselves.
The city council election includes wards 1-4.
The questionnaires were sent to the candidates via registered mail, said LWV representative Rose Kelly. However, she said responses were not received from Janet Farmer (Ward 1) and Randy Myers (Ward 4 where he is running unopposed).
Below are the un-edited answers to the league’s questions:
Biographical Sketch: Nels is a graduate of KSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and attended FHSU undergrad. Graduating 2001, he practiced in two practices, purchased Animal Medical Center in Great Bend, in 2005. He is owner of Progressive Beef Consulting and Research. Nels and wife Karen have a set of twins, Nash and MacKenzie. Being an Eagle Scout, he has chaired the Friends of Scouting, and has served as Deacon and Elder at First Christian Church.
I am running to give back to Great Bend, and work to ensure the long term sustainability and growth of Great Bend. We need to ensure fiscal strength, quality fundamentally sound infrastructure, making for an attractive community appealing for all people and businesses to remain or come here.
I would work to ensure a strong foundation of infrastructure for the future generations. And would also work to ensure we provide a great customer experience from all city services. Customer being the citizens and businesses. The customers have a choice, and we must provide a phenomenal service and experience for all.
Biographical Sketch: I was born and raised in Great Bend, and graduated from Great Bend High School in 1978. I returned to Great Bend in 1988 and have practiced law in the family law firm since then. My wife, Julie and I have two sons, Tyler, a Junior at Kansas State University, and Jeff, a Senior at Great Bend High School, who plans to attend KU this fall.
Serving on the City Council appeals to me because it is non-partisan. Candidates do not run as Republicans or Democrats, or do not serve as members of any political party. All members of the City Council should work for the common good of Great Bend.
When I was growing up in Great Bend in the 1960’s and the 1970’s, Great Bend was an economical powerhouse, with a population of over 20,000. Today, our population is closer to 15,000, and our economy has slipped badly. Helping the City attract good jobs at good wages is my # 1 goal.
Joel B. Jackson
Biographical Sketch: University of Maryland, University of Colorado and Washburn Law School. Assistant Barton County Attorney 1980-1982. Engaged in the private practice of law. He’s been a County Attorney, County Counselor, City Attorney, City Prosecutor, State administrative judge and City judge. His public service activities included CASA, C.K.M.C. ethics panel, Family Crisis Center and efforts to improve lives of children and the developmentally disabled. He is currently serving as a member of the City Council.
I’m running for re-election to help make our community a better place for all to live in. I value public service and desire to do my share. I feel my experience compliments the other council members and makes for an effective team handling our affairs in a fiscally prudent fashion.
My main goal is to continue operating without significant increase in the mill levy as we have been able to over several years. A interest of mine going forward is to implement improvements to Stone Lake so that it can become a recreational area available to our City’s families.
Biographical Sketch: Thomas was born and raised in Great Bend and graduated in 1983 from GBHS. After graduation he served in the US Navy. Thomas attended Devry Institute of Technology in Kansas City. Thomas had lived in Hutchinson for 20 years before returning to Great Bend in August 2010. Thomas is married to Linda and they have five children. Thomas is employed by Steris Corporation as a Service Representative.
I feel passionate about responsible spending and want to improve city investments. “Taxes are people’s hard earned money and we need to encourage the responsible spending of these funds. The community should have more knowledge and input to where their tax money is being spent.
Put in place the ability for Great Bend citizens to have access to city council meetings without having to be physically present. I hope to accomplish this by making each meeting accessible Via basic public broadcasting or via the internet.
Biographical Sketch: Ken is a lifetime resident of the community. He and his wife raised three daughters here and they currently have three granddaughters attending school. He is active in various groups that promote the community and is an enthusiastic supporter of youth activities. They are members of Trinity United Methodist Church. As a council member he will continue to use a common sense approach to government, obtaining input from various sources, and asking questions before making decisions.
Representing the residents of the 3rd Ward has been a rewarding experience as I have attempted to consider your best interest in my decisions. By voting for me it will allow me to use the experience gained to continue promoting GREAT Bend as an excellent place to Live, Work and Play.
I have a positive outlook towards, and look forward to, the future of City of GREAT Bend. Challenges should be looked at as opportunities and working with the Governing body, city staff, the business community, Chamber of Commerce and city residences, GREAT Bend will continue to grow and prosper.