Job helps Ward decide on issues
Since beginning his time on the council, Jason Ward has been working toward doing things he thought would make Tonganoxie a better community.
Some of those things have included a new water park, the skate park and Chieftain Trail.
“Anytime that you can have those types of amenities without increasing taxes is a wonderful opportunity,” Ward said.
Ward and his wife, Amy, first moved to Tonganoxie because it was conveniently located near the homes of both of their parents and his job at Shook, Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City, Mo., where he has been a practicing product liability lawyer for 10 years.
He believes that what has made Tonganoxie a good community is that city leaders have done a good job building infrastructure to provide those amenities. He mentioned the new waste water treatment plant and public works building as well as the BPU waterline that should go out for bid this summer.
Ward said that he uses the skills and experience he has acquired as an attorney to help him on the council.
“I think my profession lends itself to critical thinking,” he said. “I am a very analytical person and break things down to their finer elements until I make a decision.”
And once those elements are broken down, he said it’s a balancing act to listen to feedback form both sides of an issue as well as what he finds would be the best for the community.
Sometimes it’s not easy.
“I think liquor sales was a difficult vote for me,” Ward said. “As a member of the council and as a proponent of business development you want all of your business to do well in the city, but at the same time you have groups of your constituents that don’t favor liquor sales on religious holidays and on days of the Sabbath.
“You certainly hear from folks that are on both sides of the issue. You have to remove your own personal opinion and make decisions that are the most fair decision for businesses and for the constituents.”
In May of 2008, councilmembers Ward, Paula Crook and Steve Gumm voted in favor of allowing retail liquor sales on Labor, Memorial and Independence days.