Archive for Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ward wants to play role in city’s future

January 26, 2005

Jason Ward, a products liability attorney, believes he can contribute positively to the city of Tonganoxie.

And that's why he's running for a seat on the Tonganoxie City Council.

The filing deadline was Tuesday, and five candidates have filed for three open seats on the city council. The other candidates are Steve Gumm, an incumbent council member, Cecil Vinyard, Jim Truesdell and Bob Nickle.

The election is slated for April 5.

For the 33-year-old Ward, the decision to seek election to the council was based in a desire to serve.

"I think that just wanting to play a role was probably the major reason for me coming to the city council race," he said. "I think my skill set is a little different from most. I've seen a lot of contract issues on a daily basis."

His training and experience as an attorney have sharpened his decision-making and critical-thinking abilities.

And during law school at Topeka's Washburn University, Ward served as a clerk for Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, which underscored the importance of public service.

Like other candidates -- and likely most Tonganoxie residents -- Ward believes growth is the key issue facing the city.

"I think the rate of growth that Tonganoxie's seen over the last several years creates needs in changing infrastructure -- your water, your sewer," Ward said. '' ... Those are all things that you would rather plan ahead for and be proactive, rather than reactive. That's what I see happening in the next several years."

Although Ward is an attorney, he clearly understands the differences in the role of a city council member and the role of City Attorney Mike Kelly. He sees his role as, perhaps, helping fellow council members better understand legal issues -- "to allow folks to work through things a little quicker and easier."

Ward lives at 200 Rawlings Drive with his wife, Amy, a marketing specialist. The couple moved to Tonganoxie nearly two years ago. The community, Jason Ward said, is close to their families -- his in the Kansas City area, hers in Topeka.

"We just kind of split the distance," he said.

In his spare time, Ward likes to golf and fish, and care for the three dogs that have adopted him and his wife.

The Roeland Park native said he has no agenda coming into the campaign.

"I just want to play a role," he said. "It's a small enough community that I have an opportunity to do that. I think I'm coming in with a clean slate. There are a number of issues that I think are ongoing for the city, as far as development and changing infrastructure."

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