2015 Candidate questionnaire: Racheal Haas, Bonner Springs City Council Ward 2
Racheal Haas is seeking re-election to her Ward 2 Bonner Springs City Council seat, running against challenger Dani Gurley. The following are Haas's responses to The Chieftain's candidate questionnaire.
Occupation: Nurse in a correctional facility
Family: Married for 21 yrs to Thomas Haas (police officer) and have four adult children and one still at home
Years lived in the city: 21 years
Previous political experience: I have served on the Bonner Springs city council for the last four years
Other community service: Assist husband with Head Start Christmas Program
Campaign website: None
What made you decide to run for office?
I have served on the city council for the last four years and would like to continue. Our city is growing and I would like to continue to be a part of that. I also enjoy living in Bonner Springs and think it is a great community.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office?
I have the experience of the last four years on the council and most importantly, I am a tax paying citizen of this community so I have a strong interest in it's future development.
How do you plan to stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
My phone number and address are listed on the City's website and I welcome citizens to contact me with any concerns or suggestions they may have.
The council recently gave a resolution of support for the Westgate Project, a $64 million mixed use development at 118th and State Ave. that would require the city to provide many development incentives. Do you support this development? Why or why not?
Yes, I do support this development. The proposal was brought to the council by a very well known developer and I feel growth is important for our city. With the new projects in the "Legends" area, there is a need for additional, quality housing in our area. I think people find Bonner Springs to be a very "family friendly" community and I feel there is a need for this housing. In the past, the city has been involved in many successful projects where incentives were offered. I feel the city staff does a great job in planning for these projects and always has the city's best interests in mind when making these decisions.
Funding for future phases of the I-70/K-7 interchange is unknown, but the city will eventually face construction of an interchange at K-7 and Kansas Ave. What should the city do to prepare for this, especially in regard to its street network?
The city council has had several meetings with KDOT regarding this future project and jointly we are trying to come up with solutions that would be both beneficial to our residents, businesses and the project. The collaboration between both the city and KDOT has been very positive for both organizations thus far and I don't foresee a change in that.
As you have been campaigning, what issue have you found is most important for constituents in your ward? How would you address this issue?
Honestly, I haven't received any complaints or concerns from the citizens of my ward, at this point. However, I believe taxes, streets and the quality of the community are always a big concern for most people. During my time on the council, we have done our best to keep taxes under control and I think we have been very successful at that task. While most cities are experiencing financial issues, with our current economy, the city of Bonner Springs has been able to control it's finances very well and we remain very financially stable. I attribute that to our great city staff. As far as the streets are concerned, every year we select the streets that are in the most need of repair and do our best to get them resurfaced or repaired without raising taxes. Our community has a great parks and recreation department that recognizes the importance of quality of life in our community. Bonner Springs has great parks, a wonderful community pool and offers many recreational programs for families to participate in.
In your own opinion, what are the three most important issues facing the city? If you did not do so in a previous answer, please share how you would address these issues.
I believe I have touched on most of the important issues facing our city today. I do encourage all citizens of Bonner Springs to bring their concerns or suggestions to their council members or the city council. I feel that my job on the council is to represent the citizens of not just my ward, but of the city as a whole. I am always open to suggestions or feedback from the citizens I represent and hope to continue to serve. As a member of this community, I am very proud of our city and it's accomplishments and am very happy to be a resident here.