Sunday, February 10, 2013

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE: James Connelly, UG Board of Commissioners District 1

Today, we continue looking at candidates who are running across Wyandotte County. Today's questionnaire- James Connelly, a candidate for the Unified Government Board of Commissioners District 1 position.

1. What in your background (or what experience) makes you believe you are qualified to serve on the Unified Government Board of Commissioners?

First of all, I consider myself a person of service.  I have been working in Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., all my adult life.  I presently serve on the Wyandotte County Human Relations Board.  I have been the Executive Director of the Turner House. I am the past president of Women In Crisis, a domestic violence organization.  I was past Chairman of a local NAACP chapter.  I have had the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity in many of the organizations I was affiliated with. My affiliations in the aforementioned organizations gave me the experience and the opportunity to deal with policy, budgets and organizational operations.  Educationally, I have a MBA.

2. As a candidate, what would be your top three priorities as a commissioner in Wyandotte County?

As a candidate my top three priorities are…

1. To ensure that revenues and tax dollars generated from the investments in western Wyandotte County are reinvested in the Urban Core which the First District is a part of.

2. To ensure senior and youth programs are sustained and enhanced in our community.

3. To ensure there is transparency within the Unified Government by being available to the constituents of the First District via town hall meetings.  Citizens have the right to know what issues are impacting their community.

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?
What distinguish me as a top candidate for this position are my involvement, service and commitment to this community. I have raised a family in this community. I have attended Commission meetings so I can stay abreast of the issues surrounding this Community.  I have worked for social justice in this community as exhibited with my work with domestic violence.  I have been a Democratic Precinct Committee Person elected by fellow citizens.  Because of my service I was appointed Commissioner on the Wyandotte County Human Relations Board.

I have always been told that, “a person’s actions speak louder than their words”.  The voters of Wyandotte County should look at the deeds of each and every candidate before a decision is made. 

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 a commissioner on the Unified Government’s board, how would you encourage that money to be spent?

I feel it is incumbent that the Unified Government be encouraged to redevelop the urban core of the County.  There should be reinvestment in the infrastructure (i.e., lighting, sidewalks, community policing, and streets) as well as a strategic housing plan.

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.

The biggest challenges in Wyandotte County are…

1.    Redevelopment of the Urban Core
2.    Sustained economic growth in the County to provide jobs
3.    Provide incentives for small business and entrepreneurship
4.    Development of innovative programs for senior citizens and the youth 

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?

I do feel the Unified Government can do more to increase growth in the northeast part of Wyandotte County specifically by providing incentives for small business to grow and develop their businesses.  This would also provide much needed jobs in the northeast part of the County as well.