Manhattan is our city, and the work we do here – developing our neighborhoods, funding our schools, paving our roads, building places in which we work and play – all these efforts are made possible through our community’s tax dollars. It matters a great deal to me to be entrusted with the role of deciding how to allocate our city’s budget. As a small business owner and homeowner in Manhattan, I understand the cost of tax dollars to an individual and a family. I commit to thoughtful stewardship during my tenure of service on the City Commission, prioritizing the decisions that will give us the best return for our investment and avoiding careless spending.
Service to my community is a value my parents taught me from my earliest days. Whether visiting senior citizens in the nursing home or assisting refugees in transition, my parents taught my siblings and me the importance of giving back to our communities and to those in need. During college, my Social Work degree from Kansas State continued to shape my outward focus of service. Since then, I’ve led and served in my church and been active in my neighborhood, as well as serving with the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation and volunteering in the Boys and Girls Club. On the City Commission, I intend to continue a practice of compassion-informed service that takes each citizen into account.
At times, it can be easy to identify the differences in our political positions or goals. Yet, in the various leadership positions I’ve held, I find we have more common ground than we think. The value of collaboration guides the way I lead and make decisions, and I will always look first for practical, common sense solutions that provide the greatest good for the most people.
Although government decisions and city planning can be difficult and complex, our democracy is built and thrives on an informed, engaged and empowered citizenry. As a journalist and local pastor, I seek to understand and translate complex topics and make them accessible rather than hiding behind complicated rhetoric.