Two candidates who have been active citizens will go head-to-head when Tom Hutsler and Deborah Butcher square off for an alderman spot at Parkville.
Parkville Ward 1 alderman candidate Deborah Butcher, the decision to pursue the city seat is “threefold.”
“The timing is really good for me right now. There have been a lot of projects that I have been working on that have come together. Everything that I’ve worked on over the past 10 years has come to a point that I can now look at doing other things that my be interesting to me,” said Butcher.
“The other thing is that I’ve been actively involved in city and county issues for many years and I feel it’s important for someone who’s going to be on the board of aldermen, that they are a part of other community activities before serving on a board like that.”
Butcher identifies many key issues that face the community of Parkville.
“A real important issue is balance. We want to have a vibrant business climate but not compromise our neighborhoods,” said Butcher. “We want to make sure that the rights of our individual property owners are respected.”
Butcher said it’s also important to respect the individual property owners rights during special events and festivities in Parkville.
“Festivals and special events are very special in Parkville, and we want to continue to bring them to the community. However, we want to do so without compromising the rights of the property owners, so they can enjoy their homes,” stated Butcher.
Butcher also identified the need to reevaluate the city’s zoning and building codes.
“It’s important to reevaluate the codes to ensure quality development but at the same time not become too restricted.”
As crime continues to rise in Parkville, Butcher said it’s key to have the neighborhoods become involved.
“Crime in Parkville is up. Most of our small crimes take place in our neighborhoods. I want to encourage partnerships with community neighborhoods and our police department.”
Butcher pointed out that some of the crimes may involve car thefts because residents leave their keys in their cars. According to Butcher, if residents take ownership it may help decrease some of the small crimes in Parkville.
With growth inevitable for Parkville, Butcher said it’s important to address the issue of open spaces in their community.
“I want to fight to preserve open spaces so our wonderful community will exist for generations to come because that’s what Parkville is all about,” stated Butcher.
If Butcher is elected to the Ward 1 seat, she has identified many goals she would like to see happen in her community.
“I want to maximize our economic potential without compromising our quality of life. I want to encourage the necessary infrastructure improvements that would attract quality businesses that would compliment our current community. And I also want to focus on the macroeconomic indicators of quality of life—such as shelter, recreation, good places to work, and education. It’s one whole big package and if you don’t have a part of it, your quality of life is compromised,” stated Butcher.
She feels as if her past involvement with the community is a good indicator as to who would be the best choice for alderman.
“I have established a solid longterm record of experience and accomplishments that have benefited Parkville,” said Butcher. “I have consistently demonstrated an ethical and common sense approach to growing in the community. They can look at what I’ve done in the past and my dedication to projects in the past. The voters can be confident that I will listen to their concerns with understanding and act on their behalf without the pressure of politics of personal gain.”
Butcher, 54, and her husband Michael have resided in Parkville since 1987. They have two children: Scott and Colby and two grandchildren. She attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville and holds a broker/sales person license in Missouri and a sales person license in Kansas. Butcher currently is employed with Reece and Nichols Realtors in Parkville.
For Butcher’s opponent, Tom Hutsler, his overall love of the community—from it’s past to its present and into its future—is the driving force in his campaign.
“I’m excited about Parkville and its future growth. For the last 10 years, I have been a public servant of Parkville and I love the quality of life here and want to help maintain it,” stated Hutsler.
Hutsler, 49, said his run for alderman is not about politics but instead is about “community first.”
“This is about the community, family and the welfare of the people. I’ve spent the last decade dedicating myself to the excellence of Parkville. I’ve spent thousands of hours volunteering my time and services to make Parkville a more enjoyable place to live,” said Hutsler.
“Through my preservation efforts, we were able to preserve a large portion of our historic district and that has created a pride amongst the residents of our town.”
Hutsler originally challenged current Ward 1 alderman Charlie Poole.
“I challenged Charlie Poole because I felt like I could better represent the wishes of the people in Parkville in Ward 1,” said Hutsler. “Poole was out of touch with the needs and wants of the people he represented. Many people I have talked to said that I knocked Charlie Poole out of the race.”
If Hutsler is elected to the Ward 1 seat, he has a mission statement to which he will center his term around.
“My mission statement is to preserve our past and plan for the future,” said Hutsler.
In order to accomplish that, Hutsler said the city needs to undergo careful planning.
“That means the commercial developments need to coexist with the residential neighborhoods in as much as they need to provide the needs of consumers, as well as blending into the needs of the neighborhoods,” stated Hutsler.
According to Hutsler, Parkville’s infrastructure is also one that needs closely evaluated.
“One major concern is the infrastructure of the city. It’s in constant need of repair and maintenance and the city needs to plan and budget accordingly to make the needed infrastructure repairs, such as sewer systems, sidewalks and the streets,” said Hutsler. “I don’t want to go too fast that we lose that quality of living the residents have.”
Hutsler has served as the chairman of the Main Street Parkville Association, the co-chair of the July 4th celebration for eight years, co-chair of the Parkville Days Riverfest for eight years, and has been actively involved in all the special events in Parkville.
“I’m passionate about Parkville,” said Hutsler. “I will represent the people faithfully and honestly.”
Hutsler, who was born in Independence, moved to Platte County with his parents in 1962. He graduated from Park Hill High School in 1973 and has a bachelor of science degree in economics from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. He traveled worldwide as a freelance model and actor after graduating college.
In 1992, Hutsler returned to Parkville and following the flood of 1993 he began the preservation and renovation of Parkville. 1993 also marked the first year he became involved in special events in Parkville. Hutsler is currently a contractor for Hutsler Construction.
“I will represent the people of Parkville to the best of my ability and listen to their concerns and their needs. As an alderman not only are we representative of this ward but of the entire city and as I have worked hard to preserve the past, I will work even harder to represent the needs of the residents in the future,” said Hutsler.