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.