|
Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • On Topic: Haviland City Council Candidates

    • email print
  • On Topic: Opening statements
     
    Kay Unruh
    I learned a great deal about the challenges we face. I also want to do as much as I can to keep government influence from breaching the standards we want to live by in Haviland. I want to continue to work with the community to find solutions for everyone. [The city council] has done what we can to not be in opposition with the public, but to work with them.
     
    Adam Weseloh
    We just absolutely love this town. I just want to be involved in this community. I want to be involved and I just really want to help out.
     
    Dwight Smitherman
    We stayed in Haviland because we wanted to raise our family here. This is a high moral value and safe community. Part of our job as citizens here is to serve our community. My goal is to keep as much government out of your face and out of your wallet as much as we can, while maintaining a safe, sound community.
     
     
    Matt Ballard
    I’m running because I want to be active in the community. I would rather be part of the decisions instead of complaining to somebody else who is making the decisions for me. I don’t have any great big vision or plans. I don’t have any real problem with how the current council has been doing things; I just want to be involved. 
     
    Adrian Halverstadt
    I think Haviland is the greatest city in the world. My duty as an American is to serve the community I live in. I’m at an age now; my children are grown and I have the time to invest in my community.  We have a lot of great things going for us. I want the people around me to have the best and most fulfilling lives possible.
     
     
     
    On Topic: Haviland Ordinance Enforcement
     
    Matt Ballard
    Other than balancing the budget and running the business of the city, ordinance enforcement would be the other main job of the city council. I’m not afraid to be the bad guy. I understand that in town, anyone that is the target of ordinance enforcement is a neighbor. That doesn’t make it easy, but that’s the job.
     
    Adam Weseloh
    I would do my best to work with an individual to find out why a building is run down, or in bad condition. I’ve learned that everyone has their own story and things don’t always go as planned. I’d like to work with an individual to see if they can improve it. Maybe they can sell it to someone who will. If they can’t or won’t then we’ll have to enforce the ordinance.
    Page 2 of 5 -  
    Dwight Smitherman
    A lot of these issues happened on someone else’s watch. It’s difficult when there is a precedent of years of non-action, and suddenly someone takes some action.  There isn’t an easy solution, but you do the best you can.
     
    Adrian Halverstadt
    There is a public trust that calls for the city council to enforce the ordinances and codes of the community. I know I will be trying to do that within the resources we have.
     
    On Topic: Haviland Beautification
     
    Dwight Smitherman
    We looked what we spend [on beautification] and we thought it was a good investment. We’re trying to make a line item on our budget specifically for city beautification. It was usually ‘let’s throw $500 or $1,000 at it.’ I think we are seriously looking at putting in that line item.
     
    Matt Ballard
    That would be a good idea, if the budget allows for it. I haven’t seen the budget, but I am sure like most it is hard to give up money for anything extra. I think what Barclay has done with volunteer-based efforts has been wonderful. A combination of city money and volunteers would be good.
     
    Adam Weseloh
    I would have to look at the budget to see if it worked. I think we should also, like Matt was saying, look at maybe more volunteering days. Its amazing how a group of people can make that much of a difference in a couple of days.
     
    Kay Unruh
    We need people with vision. [The city council] can’t do it all. Things like the community garden are great. People are donating their time and their skills and talents towards these projects. That is what makes our community great. When everyone pitches in and does things like that, those are the things that are going to make a difference.
     
    Adrian Halverstadt
    Right now I think it falls on only a few people to do those things. I think if we had a committee working on behalf of council I think we’d be better off. I would favor some money in the budget for that and I would favor the council being hands-free from that money, letting someone else manage it. The council has enough to do, I don’t think it needs to manage funds for a beautification project.
     
    Page 3 of 5 - On Topic: Bringing Business to Haviland
     
    Adrian Halverstadt
    Haviland is a lot different than Greensburg and I haven’t quite wrapped my arms around Mullinville yet. I’m wondering if it isn’t time for Haviland to take more responsibility in that area. I see Haviland as a place of faith, supporting Barclay; we have a lot of cottage industry. A lot of the county time is spent trying to address the unique needs of Greensburg and I don’t think the County Chamber of Commerce has the resources to address the diverse needs of the entire county. I would be in favor of Haviland taking more responsibility. Let’s acknowledge that we are different.
     
     
    Dwight Smitherman
    The businesses that are hear today started as mom and pop businesses that were here to serve the local population. They would grow enough to hire an employee, it was a slow-growth process. I think getting a large corporation in this area is probably not going to happen here, being realistic. It costs too much, and comparing what we have to offer and what a larger city would have to offer, it’s jus not there. Our greatest asset is our people. The greatest asset we have is the businesses we already have here. We need to support them.
     
    On Topic: Nitrate Filtration
    Adrian Halverstadt
    My understanding was that these systems were a less expensive way to address our current nitrate problem. I’ve used these systems in my home for a long time. Personally, I like have a little bit extra filtering. I am encouraged by the current city council, they have not pushed it under the rug. I think they continue to look at ways to solve that problem.
     
    Kay Unruh
    I was in support of these systems. Less than ten percent of water in the home is actually consumed, the rest is used in restrooms and washing machines and other things. To me it was fiscally irresponsible to put in a multi-million dollar system that would filter all of our water and would require us to put in additional [facilities]. It would have put an added tax burden on the people in Haviland; it was a logical solution. For [the city council] it was a responsible decision and I still stand behind it.
     
    Adam Weseloh
    I believe the council made the right decision putting those systems in. It seems wasteful to filter all of the water.
     
    Page 4 of 5 - Matt Ballard
    They definitely made the right decision. For a community this small to have spent that amount of money wouldn’t have made sense.
     
    Dwight Smitherman
    Every time we looked at a citywide system, the numbers kept going up. There were questions about what to do with a briny-leeching pond with very high nitrates. Nobody could answer that question.  The acceptable levels changed overnight. We asked the state engineer ‘Is there a chance they could cut back those levels and make a new system obsolete over night?’ They said yes. I still feel confident this was the best solution. 
     
    On Topic: Mobile Homes in Haviland
     
    Kay Unruh
    We want our community that is well kept, we want property values to stay as high as possible. A lot of times we are dealing with people who cannot afford the upkeep and other expenses. We’ve tried to be respectful of that and be proactive in trying to help them. We just can’t force people to take pride in their homes. But, there are just as many rundown homes as there are mobile homes. We’re trying to work with people to do as much as they are able.
     
    Dwight Smitherman
    I don’t think the city should spend money to develop a mobile home park. Historically it has not gone well for cities to invest taxpayer dollars in that kind of development. And no developer will look at Haviland and come here. Then if we are looking for a mobile home developer, that is like three notches down on the ladder.
     
    Adrian Halverstadt
    I understand the concern, but I wonder if it isn’t a symptom of something greater that we need to address. Do we need to address a community development plan; or a community development committee? Do we need to make a plan for an influx of people coming into this community? I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to live here. If there is an opportunity for someone to come here, I think they would even if that means they have to live in a trailer.
     
    Matt Ballard
    I don’t think it’s a trailer house issue as much as it is an upkeep issue. There are some places in town where I would rather live next to a trailer house some of the houses. There is a stigma against living in a trailer house for some reason, but you have to start somewhere. It is a good form of cheap housing that should be available.
    Page 5 of 5 -  
    Adam Weseloh
    It seems like its been an issues for quite a few years, so I think people have a good idea about how to deal with the situation. It would be nice to get a few members of the community together to discuss it. What can we do to make things better? Maybe these people can’t afford to fix these houses, let’s get the community together and help them out.
        • »  EVENTS CALENDAR