Candidate wants to be ‘voice of people’
Paula Crook says it's her strong feelings about her hometown that prompted her to file for Tonganoxie City Council.
"I do love my town," the 45-year-old Crook said. "I've raised my family here."
Although Crook hasn't sought public office before, activism isn't new to her.
"I've always been one to get involved, at home, mainly," she said. "I like city business and politics."
And she's interested in being a "voice for the people" on the council. Recently, she and her neighbors on East Fourth Street blocked the city from a street improvement project that also would have included sidewalks and a new water line. The residents said the city wasn't treating them fairly in wanting residents' land.
"I was going to the meetings before that," she said, "and then I saw that they were wanting to do some projects out here, and that probably got me more interested in how they deal with the public. I've been watching the goings-on in Tonganoxie for quite awhile."
She wants city residents to be allowed to vote on whether to spend city funds on the upgrade of County Road 1.
"If it passes, then that's what the taxpayers wanted," she said. "If they just let it go to a vote, who's to say the city of Tonganoxie wouldn't say, 'let's put our money in.'"
She believes the city should concentrate on trying to attract businesses to Urban Hess business park at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Laming Road, before trying to attract businesses south on County Road 1.
Crook and her husband, Robert, have one son, who is 24. She works as a driver for Meals on Wheels and takes senior citizens to appointments.
"It's really a good job, it's a rewarding job," she said.
And she's ready to roll up her sleeves and go to work on city issues.
"You're there to do good for your city," she said of serving on the council. "You're there for the people and to do the best for the city."