Editor’s note: For candidates on the June 20th City Council ballot, visit our updated story.
Incumbents will appear on the ballot in half of the City Council races up for election in the April 4 primary. That includes the 6th District at large, where Andrea Bough faces two contenders.
Early voting in that race and others began this week, and Kansas City residents can report to polling locations in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties to select candidates in seven council races that have more than two candidates on the ballot. There are also three ballot issues — a sales tax on recreational marijuana and two measures regarding short-term rentals and tourism.
All city voters will have a say in the race for the 6th District at-large seat, but the candidates must live in the recently redrawn 6th District, which includes areas in southwestern Kansas City and neighborhoods around the Country Club Plaza as far north as West Plaza.
To help voters prepare for the primary, The Beacon is publishing stories introducing the candidates in all of the competitive primaries. The top two vote-getters in each will proceed to the June 20 general election, and The Beacon will publish questionnaires for other City Council elections with two candidates at that time.
The questionnaire includes three biographical questions, five lightning-round yes-or-no questions and five short-answer policy questions.
Two of the candidates, former public school teacher Jill Sasse and insurance agency owner Mary Nestel, did not respond to multiple requests by email, phone and Facebook message to participate in the questionnaire.
Bough’s answers are below. Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Click on a link to jump to a question:
- Meet the candidates
- Lightning-round questions
- How would you increase affordable housing in Kansas City?
- How should the city collaborate with a police department that cannot be held accountable to city regulation?
- What deciding factors would convince you to ask city taxpayers to subsidize a downtown stadium for the Royals?
- Is Kansas City taking the issue of missing Black women seriously enough? What can city government do to address this?
- If elected, what issues will you make your own?
Meet the candidates
Bough is a lawyer who has experience in real estate and economic development.
Favorite Kansas City fountain: Meyer Circle Seahorse Fountain
Favorite Kansas City ice cream shop: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard
Lightning round questions
Candidates were asked for a yes-or-no position in response to these five questions:
- Do you support a 3% tax on marijuana sales?
- Should Kansas City be granted local control of its police department?
- Should third-party “but-for” financial analysis be required to receive tax incentives in KC?
- Should access to information for the news media be restricted by the city manager’s office?
- Do you believe that $1,200 per month for rent is affordable?
How would you increase affordable housing in Kansas City?
Bough: The primary way in which we can increase affordable housing is through continued funding of the housing trust fund. Providing gap funding to those that are constructing new and rehabilitating existing housing is key. However, in order to meet our housing needs at all levels of affordability, we will need to find a continuing funding source and/or other means of financing affordable housing. That will be the primary goal in the next term, and it will need to come from a variety of sources, including philanthropic, to be sustainable.
How should the city collaborate with a police department that cannot be held accountable to city regulation?
Bough: Violent crime is a great concern to all. I have been impressed by the leadership of KCPD Chief Stacey Graves, and I am hopeful that relationships can be rebuilt. Addressing crime will take a multifaceted approach to include the city, the Board of Police Commissioners, the police department and the Jackson County prosecutor, but also our private and nonprofit sectors. Each plays a role, with some focusing primarily on prevention and intervention and others focused more on investigation and enforcement. As long as we are all at the table working together, and our primary focus is on prevention and intervention, then there can be accountability.
What deciding factors would convince you to ask city taxpayers to subsidize a downtown stadium for the Royals?
Bough: Any taxpayer subsidy of a new downtown stadium should have some relation to a public benefit and should also include a community benefits agreement that ensures that workers employed by and on behalf of the project, including workers employed after the construction of the project, such as service and janitorial workers, are protected. Public benefits should include affordable housing, workforce programs, minority- and women-owned business opportunities.
Is Kansas City taking the issue of missing Black women seriously enough? What can city government do to address this?
Bough: The appearance and perception is that we are not. Concerns have been raised and too readily dismissed. Very little has been said about this issue since the end of last year. While it is possible that an investigation has begun and cannot be discussed, I think that it is important to the community that the concerns are taken seriously and that the department undertake an investigation or provide specific information concerning their position, and not simply dismiss the concerns. Legally, the city cannot do much to start a police investigation, but collectively we do have a strong voice in which elected officials can stand together to call attention to the issue.
If elected, what issues will you make your own?
Bough: During my term, I have worked on issues related to housing — the housing trust fund, the set-aside ordinance, right to counsel in evictions. I plan to continue to work on issues relating to affordable housing, because I believe that housing is a basic human right. I will also continue to work to ensure that the city continues to improve the delivery of basic services, such as trash pickup, sidewalk and road repairs.
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