Candidate questionnaire: Dennis Bixby, Leavenworth County Commission District 3
Editor's note: Republican Dennis Bixby of Tonganoxie is running for the office of Leavenworth County Commission District 3 against Democrat Mike Yanez of Tonganoxie.
Dennis Bixby, Republican
Occupation: Owner of Bixby Sharpening & Repair
Married: Wife, Denise
Children: 1 daughter, deceased.
Experience: 26-plus years as a construction project manager. Has traveled to 42 states and Canada and is a current Tonganoxie City Council member. Is a member of the Kansas Emergency Management Team and International Disaster Emergency Services for sharpening services after such things as tornado recovery in Joplin, Mo., and West Liberty, Ky. Organized citywide clean-ups in 2010 and 2011, which collected more than 100 tons of recyclables and debris.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in industrial technology, Men’s Leadership Series, MS Office and AutoCAD certified.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this seat?
A: I was asked to run when Commissioner Flower was having health problems. Volunteering and public service was expected of me while I was growing up. I owe this county a debt of gratitude and with prayerful consideration, the support of my friends and family, and the education and training to do the job, I made the decision back in February to run.
Q: What would be your top priority if elected?
A: Improving rural roads will attract businesses to build nearby. I will work to educate land owners about the Leavenworth County Comprehensive Road Improvement Program. Better roads mean more economic development, better jobs and more business opportunities and a way to broaden our tax base without raising tax rates.
Q: How does your experience qualify you for this office?
A: I am experienced in planning, budgeting and to anticipate critical components of projects. I work to build a consensus whenever possible with all parties involved. Less government also helps smaller stores. Having owned a small business, I know what these people are trying to do in order to keep their doors open. Often times the best thing the government can do a lot of times, is get out of the way.
Q: If elected, would you pursue an EMS station or presence in Basehor?
A: Several plans are being discussed for making this happen. I know that Basehor is underserved and we need to correct the problem. It was brought up once again at the Oct. 15 work session at the BOCC that I attended.
Q: The county has invested in County Road 1 and the turnpike interchange. Moving forward, what would you do to make sure the interchange benefits the entire county?
A: County Road 5 is scheduled for realignment and shoulder improvement using KDOT funds. More traffic would then flow through Tonganoxie. Also a link to Kansas Highway 32 and CR 5 just west of Basehor would work to benefit the rest of the county and reduce response times for emergency vehicles.
Q: Why should voters select you instead of your opponent?
A: I am honest and hard working. I drive a 9-year-old pickup that is paid for and I am not afraid to visit the back roads, do my own research and represent the “whole” county not just the parts with paved roads. This is a full-time job if done correctly. If the county faces a challenge, chances are some other county has a successful plan to deal with it. We don’t always need to spend money on studies or reinvent the wheel. Liberal tax and spend policies will not lead our county to prosperity. I offer careful planning, a fresh creative approach to government.