Archive for Election 2017

Several more candidates file for office

Several more candidates have filed for local offices, according to a list from the Wyandotte County Election Commission office.

The candidates on the May 18 list:

For mayor-CEO of the Unified Government: incumbent Mark R. Holland, David Alvey, D. Keith Jordan and Janice Grant Witt.
For Unified Government at-large 2nd District: Tom Burroughs and John “J.D.” Rios.
For Unified Government Commissioner, District 1: incumbent Gayle E. Townsend.
For Unified Government Commissioner, District 5: Incumbent Mike Kane and Sarah Kremer.
For Unified Government Commissioner, District 7: Incumbent Jim Walters, George Cooper and Jim A. Gibson.
For Unified Government Commissioner, District 8: Incumbent Jane W. Philbrook, and Kendon McClaine.
For Sheriff: Incumbent Donald Ash and Marvin L. Main.
For Board of Public Utilities, District 2: Incumbent Thomas W. Groneman.
For Board of Public Utilities, at large position 1: Incumbent Mary Gonzales and Nikole C. Owens.
For Board of Public Utilities, at large position 2: Ryan Eidson.
For Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees, regular term: Thomas G. Earp, Colton J. Gibson.
For Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees, unexpired term: Tyrone Garner.
For the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education, regular term: Maxine Drew, Wanda Brownlee Paige, Stacy Yeager, Joseph A. Straws III, Maria Cecilia Ysaac.
For the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education, unexpired term: Korri Hall Thompson.
For the Turner Board of Education: Joy D. Beery, Jeff Davidson, Steve Russell, Daniel Soptic.
For the Piper Board of Education: Desiree Fergus.
For the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Board of Education: Jeff Tinberg.
For Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 1: Patricia E. Welicky.
For Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 2: Tom Stephens.
For Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 3: Rodger Shannon.
For Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 4: Joe Peterson.

The filing deadline is noon June 1.


Haley re-considers run for mayor

Window on the West
Opinion column

by Mary Rupert

Sen. David Haley

State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., said last week he is thinking again about running for mayor.

It’s not because he wants to, Sen. Haley said, it’s because he just doesn’t see anyone he would like to vote for among the four candidates who have filed. If there was someone else he could support, he would like to. His comments are reminiscent of a voter dissatisfaction held by many before last year’s presidential election.

The four candidates who have filed are incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, and challengers David Alvey, D. Keith Jordan and Janice Witt.

“I’d like to have a candidate to run, to encapsulate the true hopes and possibilities of a broader Wyandotte County,” Sen. Haley said.

Explaining his comment, he said in a very broad sense, the county is now the beneficiary of ancillary revenue being generated by the Kansas Speedway and Village West area. At the top of the agenda would be what the county could do with additional resources from Village West, and how could the community share in the bounty of it. That includes the reduction of taxes.

While he is aware of the healthy campus proposal, the northeast redevelopment plan and the SOAR initiative to address blight, he said he just didn’t have faith in any of the four candidates to follow through on them.

The UG’s charter also needs to be redone, he said, and there needs to be a provision in it that ensures that vacant positions will be filled in a timely manner. It also needs to be examined to make sure that commissioners from all UG districts can run for mayor without giving up their positions.

“I’m not alone, I need someone to vote for,” he said. So far, he has no announcement that he will run, but he is considering it, he added.

Sen. Haley has worked with colleagues in his party and across the aisle in the Kansas Senate in order to get several bills passed during his tenure.

Filing deadline for the city and school board offices is at noon June 1.

To contact Mary Rupert, editor, email


Witt says she’s running for mayor as ‘people’s candidate’

Janice Witt

by Mary Rupert

Janice (Grant) Witt, who filed recently for mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, said she is running as the people’s candidate.

Witt, who also ran for mayor in 2013, said, “Our politicians, our leadership, does not hear the voice of the people.”

She recently weighed in on the Indian Springs question before the Unified Government, and she believes the UG should have done a better job to get notice to the community residents about public meetings, seeking their input. She believes that if the UG sells Indian Springs for $750,000, when it paid about $8 million for it previously and invested more than $20 million in it, it is like a giveaway.

Her vision of Indian Springs is a place where people can come together, children can grow, the elderly can be nurtured, and a business center. She also mentioned a recreational activities center and a grocery store there. It shouldn’t be sold for less than it’s worth and it should be used to benefit the community, she said.

There will be a community meeting on Indian Springs at 4 p.m. today at the Neighborhood Resource Center at 49th and State Avenue, and another community meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools’ Central Office near 59th and Parallel Parkway.

She said if she has to run every time there is an election to stand up for the people, she will continue to do that.

“If nothing else, somebody should stand up and say that you’re forgetting the people in the process,” Witt said. She added that several people have asked her to run.

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, who graduated from Washington High School and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the hospitality field, Witt has worked in the financial services and insurance field, and she is the CEO, a volunteer position, of the Reola Grant Center, a nonprofit organization that helps the needy.

Witt said she is against property tax increases, but she pointed out that the UG has already spent the money and needs to pay off debts that it has incurred in the past.

“The problem is if you spend beyond your means, you will never be able to control your means,” she said, adding that she has some doubts about various tax breaks the UG has given to businesses.

While leaders have promised lower property taxes, Witt said that some valuations have gone up while the tax rate went down slightly.

Among the problems the UG leaders can fix are customer service and the atmosphere of the community, she said. She also said getting a grocery store for the northeast area and in any area classified as a food desert would be one of her priorities.

Also important to her are adding community activities for youth and senior citizens, she said.

Witt has been very active in trying to feed the hungry in the community with a food pantry that she runs. She was very concerned several years ago when the funding was cut at the local level for Meals and Wheels, and she and volunteers started a program then that delivered meals to the homes of the elderly.

She also was a catalyst behind the starting of some Civitan Clubs in Wyandotte County, although she is not currently involved with it.

“I care about this county and the people in it,” Witt said.

Witt has a campaign page at, where there is more information about her positions on the issues.

Others running for mayor include incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, David Alvey and Keith Jordan. The primary election is in August and the general election is in November. The filing deadline is noon June 1.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email