Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Over the coming days we plan on bringing you profiles of the candidates for both Eudora City Council and the Eudora School Board.  We sent out a questionnaire to all candidates and asked them the exact same questions. Their responses to the questions will be printed verbatim.  This is opportunity for you, the reader, to see not only their responses but how they respond.  The questions in the survey came from both editorial board decisions and reader input.

Today, we bring you the profile of Chris Fiedler.

Mr. Fiedler, please tell about your background.

I was born in Wichita, KS and raised in Hutchinson, KS.  I lived in McAlester, OK for 19 yrs and during that time I served as Ward 1 City Councilman in McAlester, OK for 2 ½ yrs. I stepped down to move back to Kansas to be closer to family. I currently work for O’Reilly Auto Parts as a Retail Service Specialist.

What qualifications do you have for a seat on the City Council?

Having previously held a seat on the McAlester Oklahoma City Council, I have experience working on marketing and economic development plans as well as participating in and planning fundraising events. I also have previous experience in the public safety area.

What do you think is the most important issue that faces the City Council?

The budget, we have to make sure that we spend money wisely and have a balanced budget. We also need to research and take advantage of any and all grant or funding opportunities available.

How would you help improve the city budget?

By working with state and federal officials to obtain grants and funding for projects.

Many citizens complain about the water quality in the city. Do you have ideas on how to improve the water conditions?

This is an issue that I have already dealt with in my previous post. I would want to review what has been done so far. Then work with staff on what we need to do next. We need to make sure we have a preventive maintenance program in place and all the proper testing is being done.

Many citizens feel taxes and utility costs are high. What are your opinions on taxes and utility costs?

Unfortunately taxes are a necessary evil; the only tax we can control is the sales tax. We are still in a recession and raising sales tax is out of the question. The experts say it may be another 2 years before we are out of the recession. Utility costs need to be reevaluated every year by city staff and the city council.

What ideas do you have to increase businesses and jobs in Eudora?

By creating public/private partnerships, this is the key to building businesses and employment opportunities. Working with the Department of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce, I will be available to meet with our existing businesses and any business that are considering coming to Eudora.

What other issues do you feel are important to the City Council?

All issues are important to the city council. Every issue has to be looked at very carefully and discuss openly. The public needs to be heard from.

Why do you want to be on the City Council?

I believe that my experience as a city councilman makes me an ideal candidate. Coming from a bigger city and having already dealt with most of the same issues that are facing Eudora, I can hopefully bring a new prospective to the council. I believe in transparency in city government and want the public to come to every council meeting and be heard. The city belongs to the people and the city council works for the people. Eudora: the undiscovered Jewel of Northeast Kansas.

We will be bringing you the responses from all the candidates over the coming days and week leading up to the election. You will have the opportunity to meet the candidates face to face on March 23rd when The Eudora Chamber of Commerce and Eudorareporter.com co-sponsor our “Meet the Candidates” forum. The forum will begin at 6:30PM. For more information about the forum you can click on this link: http://www.eudorareporter.com/eudora-news-meet-the-candidates/. Election day is Tuesday, April 5th.

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