Friday, February 15, 2013

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE: Cordell Meeks III, Unified Government Mayor/CEO

Today's candidate questionnaire comes from Cordell Meeks, who's seeking the office of Mayor/CEO of Wyandotte County. We ran a questionnaire from Nathan Barnes earlier this week. We have commitments from two other mayor candidates, but have not heard from the fifth campaign.

1. What in your background (or what experience) makes you believe you are qualified to serve as mayor of Wyandotte County? 

I am running for Mayor of the city that I love. I have chosen to spend my entire life as a KCK resident. I passionately believe in the future of this city - and with your help, we will create a new generation of change and opportunity. We will create new economic development and improve our educational institutions. I believe, that with the help of business and community leaders and the input of our citizens, I can lead our community to the next level of success in economic development and education. I am a small business-owner. I work with corporate leaders across the metro and across the country. I have spent years working to improve our community, volunteering with many group, bringing people together to achieve success together. I believe all these experiences have prepared me to become CEO of the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County.

2. As a candidate, what would be your top three priorities as mayor if you’re elected mayor?
  • Promote economic development that benefits all areas of Wyandotte County. Leverage the arrival of Google and Cerner to bring in more new, high-wage jobs.
  • Protect county citizens by supporting police and firefighters. 
  • Safe streets create healthier neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for all residents.
  • Prioritize education by fully supporting the school district's push for excellence. 
  • Increase job training so more KCK residents qualify to successfully fill new jobs.
  • Produce balanced budgets that keep property taxes low while filling potholes and building new streets and sidewalks.
3. A two-part question - What distinguishes you as the top candidate for this position and what differences should voters in Wyandotte County look at before making their choice?

Wyandotte County is one of the most diverse counties in the area. I’ve spent more than a decade working as a corporate trainer, teaching businesses how to succeed by understanding differences and making those differences work for you, rather than against you. We can do this to improve the county and city.

4. In the next three to four years, millions of dollars will become available after the city finishes off paying bonds that were issued to increase the economic development in Western Wyandotte County. As the mayor, how would you encourage that money to be spent? 

We know that cuts in state funding are coming and we don't know exactly what that will look like yet, so it is important that we continue to maintain balanced budgets, so that we can keep property taxes low and work to reduce them for all residents. Additional money available would be well spent on improved infrastructure, public safety, continued economic growth in all areas of the city and increased support of our educational institutions.

5. What in your opinion are the three biggest challenges facing Wyandotte County? If you feel there are more than three to list, feel free too. 

We must continue to support police officers and firefighters to improve public safety, promote economic development in all areas of the county and ensure our citizens are qualified to compete for new incoming jobs. Finally we must maintain balance budgets that keep property taxes low while improving infrastructure.

6. Do you feel the Unified Government can do more to increase growth in areas outside of Western Wyandotte County, particularly the northeast part of Wyandotte County? 

In order for our city to reach its full potential we must have a balance of growth in all areas of the county especially the northeast area of the county.