Archive for Election 2017

Mayoral candidate Jordan speaks out about taxes

Keith Jordan

by Mary Rupert

Lower property taxes for residents was one of the issues mentioned by mayoral challenger Keith Jordan.

Jordan, 42, who has filed for Kansas City, Kansas-Wyandotte County mayor and CEO, is new to the political arena, not having sought political office previously. He faces incumbent Mayor Mark Holland and challenger David Alvey.

Jordan is well-known to the radio audience of KQRC-FM, 98.9, The Rock, where he is on the morning Johnny Dare show under the name, “T-Bone.” Jordan says he has mentioned his candidacy on the radio show, and he added that other candidates have the opportunity to come onto the radio and talk about their campaigns.

Jordan, who lives in the Turner School District, said he is interested in working for a better quality of life for residents. He thinks businesses such as those in Village West should be paying more to the local government for the services they receive, and he added that some of the businesses have not fulfilled their agreements with the UG.

“It seems like we’re concentrating all our money in the Village West area,” Jordan said. “You could go anywhere in downtown KCK and find improvements that need to be made. We’re giving a lot of these companies breaks on things.”

He mentioned sinkholes in the Turner area, where a street is closed off, as improvements that need to be made, and he said there are probably many places in the city where road improvements are needed. He said he also supports efforts to revitalize deteriorating areas of Kansas City, Kansas.

Although the STAR (sales tax revenue) bonds at Village West were paid off early, Jordan said he really hasn’t noticed any of the tax breaks residents were promised years ago.

“Why are we so in debt if we have our STAR bonds being paid off and paid off early?” Jordan asked.

“I’ve seen years of KCK going downhill a little, coming back up in some spots, and going back downhill again,” he said. “The people in charge are ignoring some of the areas that need to be worked on. As a citizen, I feel they look at KCK as The Legends and Village West, and that’s where it ends. We see improvements there, and at KU Med Center, but in between there is nothing – a huge area of the city that is not being taken care of, their voice is not being heard.”

Jordan said he would like to see if there is a way to get some of the big businesses such as those at Village West to pay more to the UG. He would like to re-examine the UG contracts and agreements with these businesses. The mayor should be representing the people who live in the city, he said.

He added he does not support cuts in basic services in order to reduce property taxes.

Although there may be some administrative items that might be cut, he said he supports funding for services such as fire and police. There has been talk of consolidating fire stations here, and the national response time is about four minutes.

“KCK has a two-minute response time. Why would we want to lay off some of our firefighters and consolidate the boundaries if we already have a two-minute response time?” Jordan asked. He is a certified EMT who served as a volunteer firefighter in Edwardsville for about nine years.

“If we start cutting down our responders, we’re just hurting ourselves,” Jordan said. “One thing I learned, in emergency situations, time is of the essence. If the national average is four minutes and we’re at two, why drop it to four and put citizens at danger? To me that makes no sense.”

Jordan doubted that a new juvenile detention center would be a good use of the taxpayers’ money. Instead of a new building, he said he would rather see programs to work with youth and turn them around, instead of locking them up in a detention center.

“With a detention center, we give up too easily on kids,” he said. “Most of them that go into the detention center at an early age, it kills them, they think this is what it will be for the rest of their life, and they end up repeating the pattern,” he said.

Jordan said one difference between him and the other candidates would be that he is running his campaign on a very small budget. He plans to meet with people face-to-face and talk to voters. He also plans to use social media such as Facebook to get his message out.

Jordan is a graduate of Turner High School and has an associate degree in liberal arts from Kansas City Kansas Community College. He has spent almost his entire life as a resident of the Turner district.

He has been very involved with youth sports, where he coached soccer in the Midwest Regional League. He also has helped with sports at the Turner Recreation Center.

He has volunteered with Harvesters and the Kids Café program, helping to feed kids in the summer. Jordan also is active in the Masons and Abdallah Shriners.

Jordan filed for office under “D. Keith Jordan,” and said he usually doesn’t use his first name, Dennis.

The primary election is in August this year, and the general election will be in November. The filing deadline is noon June 1.

Mayoral contest picks up another candidate; commissioner races heat up

by Mary Rupert

Filings from the Wyandotte County Election Commissioner’s Office showed a third person has filed for mayor, and some Unified Government Commission races have opposition.

D. Keith Jordan has filed for mayor-CEO of the UG, according to the election commissioner’s office. That brings to three the number of persons filing for mayor, by 3 p.m. today. Earlier, Incumbent Mayor Mark Holland and challenger David Alvey filed for mayor.

In addition, the 2nd District at-large UG Commissioner position now has two candidates in the wake of incumbent Commissioner Hal Walker saying he would not be a candidate.

State Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., and John “J.D.” Rios have filed for UG Commissioner at large, 2nd District. Burroughs was the Kansas House minority leader last year, while Rios is the chairman of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees.

Fifth District UG Commissioner Mike Kane, the incumbent, has opposition from Sarah Kremer, according to the election commissioner’s office.

Jim Walters, a UG commissioner from the 7th District, has filed, according to the election commissioner’s office.

Other candidates who have filed include Mary Gonzales, incumbent, BPU at-large position 1; and Maria Cecilia Ysaac, Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education.

The filing deadline is noon June 1.

Murguia says she won’t run for mayor

Ann Brandau-Murguia (2015 file photo)

by Mary Rupert

Third District Unified Government Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia said this week she won’t run for mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, this year.

Murguia, who ran for mayor four years ago against Incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, said she remains very interested in the mayoral contest and who will be the next mayor.

She said she is not supporting either Holland or challenger David Alvey at the present time, as she has not yet discussed her interests with all candidates. She will be talking to candidates to determine the one she will support.

She said she would support a candidate who is supportive of the people in the 3rd District and what they want.

“We need a mayor who is supportive of Argentine and what happens here,” she said. She is also interested in a candidate who will support growth and development in the 3rd District and throughout the county. In addition, she supports a candidate who would move Wyandotte County forward, someone who works well with the commission and presents a positive view of the commission.

Murguia’s comments this week were consistent with her remarks to the Wyandotte Daily four years ago after the election that she did not intend to run for mayor again in 2017. Holland won election in 2013 with 56 percent of the vote to Murguia’s 43 percent.

She said she plans to continue her role as 3rd District commissioner, which is not up for election this year. The 3rd District term is through 2019. She is the executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association. She also serves as a member of the Kansas Board of Regents. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Baker University.

The filing deadline for the 2017 local elections is noon June 1. The primary will be in August and the general election in November.