Name: Kathy Graveman
Address: 1205 Delaware Drive
Occupation: Co-owner, Magnatech Engineering Inc. and Energy and Environmental Systems Inc.
What are the top three issues facing the city of Tonganoxie, and how would you address them, if elected?
There are many issues facing Tonganoxie, but we must retain the small-town flavor we love so much. We need to encourage business growth to help revenue, but we must be careful to manage this growth so we do not destroy the atmosphere we enjoy. It is important that the city work more closely with the Chamber of Commerce, the Leavenworth Area Development Corp. and other groups. We need to bring businesses into town, since they pay more taxes than residences and the taxes they pay are a major source of revenue for the city.
The second most important issue facing Tonganoxie is the upgrading of city sewers. Regulations by the U.S. EPA regarding water and effluent quality will be enforced by the end of this year, and we need to be in compliance. Also, we need to expand the system to allow for future homes and businesses. The city is currently addressing this issue, and we need to continue to get this job finished. The current path is a good one.
The third most important issue in Tonganoxie is the curbing, guttering and paving of all streets to our new street standards. Currently, many streets are not curbed or guttered, and are in bad shape. What should be done is a priority list of all this work must be made, with a strong eye towards methods of funding, and completion dates should be defined.
How do you believe the city should address increased pressures on its budget?
We should look at our budget and streamline it as much as possible. We need to look at engineering costs for city projects, and all other high-cost line items. We need to either go out to bid for more items; bring down costs by hiring in-house people to do jobs we currently subcontract; actively look for grants, low-interest loans and other innovative sources of funding; and make a long-term multi-year city budget to foresee needs so the money will be available when needed.
The biggest thing we can do to alleviate pressure on the budget is to look more to reducing current expenditures and to promote business growth in our city.
What unique qualifications would you bring to the City Council?
The first qualification is my experience as a council member. During this past two years, I have learned a lot about city government. I have been president of the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce. I have a strong financial background and I understand business and financial operations. I am also active in our church, and I am now co-leader of our Youth Group. I was teacher for many years of religious education and was president of our women's group. I have also been active in USD 464's Site Council and am currently a member of the patron's Advisory Council. I have been active in 4-H and other activities.
Do you favor a casino in the Tonganoxie area? Why or why not?
As a council member, I owe it to city residents to review all potential sources of revenue but I do not favor a casino in Tonganoxie for several reasons. First, I believe gambling is not an activity that we want to allow in our community because of the moral aspects of gambling itself, as well as crime and other problems it would bring. Secondly, it detracts from other businesses in the community, and it would require a large influx of employees from outside this area. Last and most important, the moral problems associated with gambling cannot co-exist with my idea of a small-town atmosphere.
Is the city correctly addressing growth-related issues? Please be specific.
The city has done a good job so far addressing residential growth and related infrastructure. Where the city needs to work harder is in the area of business and industrial growth. It is important to promote both residential as well as business growth. It is important to actively pursue the types of business growth we want rather than just accept urban sprawl from Johnson and Wyandotte counties.