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With the coming School Board and City Commission election in April, we asked each candidate for both School Board and City Commission to answer a few questions to help give voters an insight into who is running. Last week we featured the candidates for School Board and this week we will profile the City Commission candidates that have chosen to respond. All candidates were given the same list of questions to answer and their responses are being printed exactly as received. Today, we feature Commission candidate Jolene Born.
Please tell about your background.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa where I learned about the value of hard work. I have lived in many cities, of many sizes, some in the United States and some abroad. Yet I have always been drawn back to the Midwest and the quality, small towns it possesses. I have worked in the criminal justice field for over 14 years and take great pride in my accomplishments. While living in Kansas, I met my husband, PJ, and we have 2 children, Alexia (6) and Payden (3). We are active in many activities sponsored by the Parks & Recreation Center and involved in the PTO at Eudora Elementary.
What qualifications do you feel you have for a seat on the City Commission?
I have worked in government agencies for the entire length of my career. I understand the need for balancing budgets, but most importantly I understand the need to take advantage of Federal and State funding whenever possible so that budgets don’t need to be cut. I also am involved in maintaining statistics and what it means to excel to meet goals.
I am working towards my Masters of Criminal Justice and hope to teach ethics upon my completion. I believe in doing what is right and being honest. I can’t expect people to be honest with me if I am not honest with them.
With my experience and education, I have learned that researching the answer to questions is the best method to making an informed decision. I believe that a City Commissioner needs to be prepared to wear a number of hats that may not be in their field of expertise. For example, water treatment may not be my area of knowledge but as a city commissioner, I would research water treatment to be sure that our city has the best that we can and utilize the strengths of those professionals in the field.
What do you think is the most important issue that faces the City Commission and what do you plan to do in regards to that issue?
There have been multiple surveys over the past 10 years that have advised that sidewalks for our schools and main streets are an area of concern and desire for its citizens. Although we are now working on getting funding for a sidewalk in front of the Middle School and High School. I would like our City Commission and the School Board to continue to work together to accomplish a sidewalk for the Elementary School as well. It bothers me greatly to see our youth walking on 10th street with no sidewalk.
I encourage connecting the south side of our city with the north side through supporting the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over K-10. I also understand the importance of setting this need aside should our city not receive a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Department of Transportation. It will be a greater necessity in the future as Eudora’s south side starts to expand further and it would be a waste of resources to not take advantage of this grant if given the opportunity since it would be paying for approximately 80% of the cost.
What other issues do you feel the City Commission should review or remedy during the next term?
In the past, the city has discussed the position of the School Resource Officer. I would like to be involved with how to best utilize this law enforcement position. Crime in our schools and involving our youth will not go away and it is beneficial to have our law enforcement involved in the school district and school activities. We have excellent officers on staff and I would like to support them as they get to know our youth on a first name basis and assist those who may be at risk to negative behaviors.
Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?
I want to bring a fresh mind to our city commission. I thrive to be involved and stay active in areas of interest. Eudora and its growth interest me. It’s important for Eudora to embrace growth while maintaining the values of a small town. We need to maintain a high quality of life to keep our city attractive for future residents. I love Eudora and want to make it all that it can be while maintaining a healthy budget.
I also want to support our School Board in maintaining top notch schools. One of the reasons my family moved to Eudora was the level of respect the community had for its school district. This respect shows in the physical buildings as well as in the professionals hired. A city needs to support the future of our youth; I would like to be part of carrying on that tradition.
We will continue to bring you profiles for the City Commission candidates over the course of the week. Candidates will also have the opportunity to answer more in depth questions during the Meet The Candidates Forum on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM. The Forum will be held at Eudora City Hall, 4 East 7th Street and the public is invited to attend.