Two candidates are vying for the Louisburg City Council at-large seat.

Incumbent Steve Town is facing challenger Shannen Patterson.

In an effort to better inform voters, The Miami County Republic recently sent both candidates a series of questions, and their responses are printed below.

Name: Steve Town

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired Electrical Engineering Technician (43 years) with Black & Veatch Engineers. Active member on the Louisburg Fire Department (going on 29 years). Ongoing volunteering, community service to our city.

Family: Son, Paden Town, married, Elementary Music Teacher in Andover, Kan. Daughter, Autumn (Town) Diehm, married, Associate Clinical Lead at IQVIA. I am also blessed with a grandson, age 2 (another coming soon), and two granddaughters, ages 3 and 1.

If elected/reelected, what would be your top three priorities?

Come up with another long-range vision similar to the “5x5 Plan” that was recently completed.

Continue progress on the wastewater, stormwater runoff and trails/sidewalk projects. Encourage the City to have an “on-call” third party engineer/inspector(s) to look over City project contracts, design and construction on future projects. When the need arises, advance to a part-time or a full-time position. By assisting the City, they could decrease the possibility of discrepancies ahead of time allowing projects to meet the completion dates and avoid costly delays and change orders.

When feasible, hang on to and extend the life of City-owned equipment and vehicles to save on new expenditures for the same. Then reallocate those funds where possible.

What are the next steps you would like to see the City Council take to assist residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I would like the City Council to support the City and Miami County in continuing to look for and administer grants and local funding to those in need that were impacted by the pandemic. Also consider steps to allow those that can show the need for more time to settle utility accounts and taxes.

How would you go about growing the tax base in Louisburg to reduce the burden on current property owners and businesses?

Continue to promote and build our community as a positive, enticing and safe location for families and businesses to explore, reside and build. Utilize the Louisburg Chamber of Commerce, Miami County Economic Development offices and statewide publications as much as possible.

Keep the small town and community atmosphere. Having more homeowners would encourage businesses to locate in Louisburg, offering local employment and not having to travel north for some. Shop local when possible and show how we could support others interested in our Community. Keep sales and tax revenue local while providing the opportunity to those visiting or traveling to help out as well.

Keep the City’s portion of their residents and business owners’ property tax as stable as possible by adjusting the mill levy. Also, work with interested builders and businesses in offering fair and reasonable incentives to consider the Louisburg area.

Look into extending our utilities and services to rural areas that are already zoned for commercial or industrial properties.

Louisburg has sent delegations to Topeka in the past to advocate for K-68’s expansion, which is currently one of the highway projects proposed in the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. How important is it to the community to keep funding in place for a four-lane highway between Louisburg and Ottawa?

The expansion of K-68 highway is an important and much needed improvement of travel through our community by making it much safer. Once US 69 became a divided four-lane highway, the accident, injury and death rate dropped dramatically. The same would hopefully apply to K-68 by providing wider lanes for travel, better shoulders for emergency stopping, better access on/off and across the intersections along with common access to property owners. It would also hopefully bring additional employment and sales to the Louisburg area.

Why do you think voters should choose you?

I am all for preserving our small-town atmosphere while seeking the amenities and improvements other residents desire.

I’m home grown from the small Wea Community, attended and graduated (1974) from Louisburg High School as my dad did (1944). I’ve been a resident of Louisburg since 1989. My son and daughter received their K-12 education and are 2004 and 2007 graduates of LHS.

I believe in Louisburg, its citizens and its continued successful future. I have a long history of volunteering, community service, still with the Louisburg Band Programs, community events and celebrations.

I’m responsible, conservative in spending and keep a level and open mind when considering all aspects of issues including listening to the citizens’ concerns and wishes. I’m for the appropriate amount of regulations with less restrictions. I was in favor of the aquatic center opening, allowing UTV and golf carts access to the city streets, allowing the community and businesses to regulate and choose for themselves on how to deal with the pandemic.

Allow me the honor to continue to represent you, ALL the citizens of Louisburg, as we proceed successfully into our future.

Name: Shannen Patterson

Age: 41

Occupation: Corporate Escrow Auditor

Family: Married with three children

If elected/reelected, what would be your top three priorities?

My top three priorities, if elected to City Council would be to keep the mill levy flat, continue improving and maintaining infrastructures (sidewalks, roads, etc.), and to continue with the scheduled stormwater projects throughout the city.

What are the next steps you would like to see the City Council take to assist residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I am always willing to explore ways to assist our residents, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Giving citizens a voice is vital in times like these and I believe our current city council did just that. They listened to their constituents, and if elected, I too will represent and be the voice of my constituents.

As for businesses, I think the city has done a great job offering relief options to businesses. From what I have heard, from local owners, the greatest stride that was given to them came in more than loans and funding. Because the commissioners and the council gave the owners back the power, by not mandating masks and allowing them to open safely, it in turn allowed the residents to use these businesses and created the revenue they needed to survive.

How would you go about growing the tax base in Louisburg to reduce the burden on current property owners and businesses?

This means adding businesses and in order to do that we need affordable rent for businesses and we also need to look at offering some sort of tax relief or incentive to get businesses to town. There is no one solution to this because we are in a time of online shopping and within 15 minutes of Overland Park. We need to ensure our mom and pop shops survive and that we are attractive to new businesses. Our population doesn’t meet the criteria for many chain restaurants/fast food, but we can sustain small businesses.

Louisburg has sent delegations to Topeka in the past to advocate for K-68’s expansion, which is currently one of the highway projects proposed in the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. How important is it to the community to keep funding in place for a four-lane highway between Louisburg and Ottawa?

My personal belief is it should be a major priority for the safety of our residents. The increased traffic flow alone makes an already dangerous situation more dangerous.

Why do you think voters should choose you?

I would honestly say it’s time for a change, a new voice. I am passionate about the community. All my children are in, or have been in, the school system. I am invested in Louisburg, and I am not going anywhere. Keeping taxes and utility rates low is important, along with keeping up on our infrastructures, providing a safe community, and not spending above our means. We need to flatten our spending, once the stormwater plan is complete and the wastewater plant is finished. We need to find a way to help businesses sustain and entice the community to spend their money locally.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.