Name: Ray Usher
Address: 1188 Delaware Dr.
Occupation: Electrician team leader at General Motors
What are the top three issues facing the city of Tonganoxie, and how would you address them, if elected?
Well water supply for the next 20 years. We as a City Council have started to address this issue by purchasing farm land near the Kansas River basin and have acquired the water rights to pump water from the site. This is the first phase. The second phase will be to develop the wells, treat the water, put in place a water pipeline to our plant in Tonganoxie. This will be funded by Community Devel-opment Block Grants, loans and service fees, etc. So we as Tonganoxie citizens won't have future water problems.
Renovate and update the wastewater treatment plant to meet future needs as the population grows and to meet new state water treatment standards for the next 20 years. This cost will be funded by CDBG grants, loans, plus user fees and connection fees.
Residential street and curb upgrades for the older sections of town that have been overlooked in the past years, funded in part by the excise tax and low-interest CDBS loans from the state. The city just passed an ordinance allowing the city to implement the excise tax on new building subdivisions.
How do you believe the city should address increased pressures on its budget?
I believe the city should address increased pressures on the budget by charging an excise tax on new subdivisions. Also we need to look at how surrounding towns are getting their revenue water and sewer fees, inspection fees, etc.
What unique qualifications would you bring to the City Council?
The qualifications that I bring to the City Council are eight years of experience serving on the council, working to get better building codes, improved streets and curbs, upgrades in the fire department to get lower insurance rates for all citizens of Tonganoxie. In my eight years on the city council, great strides have been made to improve Tonganoxie as a whole.
Do you favor a casino in the Tonganoxie area? Why or why not?
I have mixed emotions on this subject, and at the moment I feel a need for more research and information to make an informed answer. I don't feel this is something I want to rush into now.
Is the city correctly addressing growth-related issues? Please be specific.
I feel the city is correctly addressing growth-related issues in and around Tonganoxie, for example, the four-lane 20-40 highway, future water supply, improved and expanded wastewater treatment plant plans, better building codes and ordinances and a comprehensive plan update.