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Parkville candidates want positive race for mayor

by Nick Dupont
Landmark reporter

Incumbent Parkville Mayor Kathy Dusenbery and her opponent Charlie Poole say this year’s mayoral election will focus on city issues and growth, not character slamming.

In a letter to the citizens of Parkville presented Tuesday night at the aldermen meeting, the mayor stated former alderman Poole phone her over the weekend to discuss how they could make the race more positive—something recent elections lacked.

“It dealt with an alderman’s race and what some of her supporters did,” the mayor said. “They went and got signatures stating that the opponent had done some things that put her character in question. But the people who signed that were the chairmen and current members of our planning and zoning. It changed our ethics by-laws, caused quite an uproar and a lot of dust last spring. That kind of thing has only caused division in our small city. Charlie Poole and I would like to stop that and set a better example.”

The first step in setting that example is by limiting the number of political yard signs allowed. She says the purpose of the election should be to build up, not tear down.

“I’ve always felt that yard signs are negative and a little tacky. In the neighborhood I live in we can’t have any yard signs. People waste a lot of energy trying to get their signs strategically placed just right on their lawn only to have them vandalized or stolen later. They do nothing but provoke more negativity.

“The most important thing is positive growth in Parkville. We have so many areas that are awaiting development. How we handle that development is the question.”

Poole is a former Ward 1 alderman who was defeated by Dusenbery in the 2004 election. Poole had served as an alderman for 14 years prior to running for mayor.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, Chief of Police Bill Hudson was given praise by the board for how his department handled last Thursday’s bomb threat at Park University. Hudson credited Sgt. Eric Sligar, whom he said had the organizational skills to “shut down the situation quickly and safely.”

Hudson also said he has received compliments from many other organizations involved including the Kansas City Police Department, the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, and the FBI. He also updated the board as to what may have prompted the threat made by Washington state man Brett S. Tanis:

“The man had taken a shine to one of the women who worked for the university,” Hudson said.

“He had come there the day before and proposed to her. Apparently she rejected him. When he came back the next day looking for her and couldn’t find her is when he started talking about bombs.”

City Administrator Joe Turner switched gears midway through the meeting to present a memo to the board on strategic goals the city has in 2006. Among some of the goals mentioned were increasing police officers, establish a recycling center, building more playgrounds, improving the city website, adding programming for channel 2, and removing zoning for riverboat gaming if the city can successfully acquire the Steamboat Arabia.

In addition to the goals, Dusenbery said a symposium for all Parkville business owners to discuss general issues on how to improve teamwork would be held on Jan. 30 at Platte Valley Bank.


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