Hill touts career experiences in Leavenworth County Commission race
A longtime Leavenworth County resident who has spent much of her career working for major commercial construction and engineering firms is vying to be the next 3rd District representative on the Leavenworth County Commission.
Bev Hill has been on the campaign trail in recent months as she prepares for a crowded Republican primary race with incumbent Dennis Bixby and fellow challengers Doug Smith and John Matthews.
Hill said voters have been “very receptive” to her and her message during the campaign.
Tonganoxie VFW Post 9271 and First State Bank and Trust are sponsoring a candidate forum starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Tonganoxie VFW Post Home. Candidates in various local and state races have been invited to participate in the event.
“I believe the commissioners need to exercise a better understanding of the issues by researching the facts thoroughly before making decisions," she said, "being more prudent about when executive sessions are needed and certainly conducting business in an ethical and legal manner to circumvent lawsuits that seem to be occurring too often.”
Hill, for instance, referenced a lawsuit County Treasurer Janice Van Parys filed last year seeking to stop commissioners from transferring money from an account Van Parys uses.
She also said the commission needed to be prudent about its budgets and determine “what we need to have and what we want and certainly separate that.”
A resident of the 3rd District much of her life and a Republican for the duration, Hill, 69, is a Basehor High School graduate. She attended Kansas City Kansas Community College where she took business classes. She said those classes helped her shape a successful career in which she excelled in administration and project management, marketing, safety, accounting, human resources, legal contracts and economic development.
She said she helped build the McCown Gordon Construction company in Kansas City, Kan., where she worked for nearly 10 years and also worked for Walton Construction.
Her husband, Steve Hill, retired from General Motors and has been a Leavenworth County resident most of his life. They have a blended family of five children: Debbie Himpel, Curtis Oroke, Carey Oroke, Tim Hill and Clint Hill.
Her children attended school in Tonganoxie USD 464, while her husband’s children attended Basehor-Linwood USD 458.
Her volunteer experience has included projects at Tonganoxie High School, the Ronald McDonald House, Jaycees Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, Jaycees, corporate challenges and local church and VFW organizations.
Hill has had years of civic involvement and has been oriented with local politics for years. Her son, Curtis, is a current Tonganoxie City Council member, while former husband Dean Oroke served as Leavenworth County Commissioner in the Third District.
She said her involvement in the community has “provided me the opportunity to build positive relationships with people and accomplish projects and goals throughout my life.”
While on the campaign trail, Hill is emphasizing “real” economic development” that provides new revenue streams and jobs, improved professionalism in conducting county meetings and improved communications with employees, clients and other external customers and improved transparency. She said efficient performance throughout the county “absolutely needs to improve”.
Hill said she also would like the posted meeting agendas to be more detailed, so people know what’s going to be discussed. She favors some evening meetings when important issues are being discussed for more public input. Meetings currently take place starting in the morning on Mondays and Thursdays.
She also contended the Leavenworth County Road 1 project that connected a new turnpike interchange to U.S. Highway 24-40 just south of Tonganoxie hasn’t progressed as promoted to the public
“I feel there needs to be more accountability on how our tax dollars are budgeted and expended,” Hill said. “Everyone wants more services, better roads and less taxes but that is not always feasible to accomplish with the available funds.”