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A. I do support economic growth and development, but also recognize that businesses in the city are not limited to the downtown area only, Independence businesses are located in many areas of the city, and one is just as important as the other, ( Downtown is not an island ), and all businesses must be treated in an equitable manner, and allowed to expand, and branch out, regardless of which area of the city it is in. The more choices of businesses there are, and those future businesses that choose to locate in Independence will determine how many people Shop at home, rather than to travel to Bartlesville, Joplin, Wichita, or Tulsa. Common sense says that everyone benefits when its residents spend their money at home rather than out of town, and also the more new residents we have, and more jobs, will ease the tax burden that is currently being shared by those that have chosen to stay in Independence during the economic disaster created by Ordinance 3838.
A. While it is true that some businesses have closed their doors since Wal-mart opened, I fail to find the connection with Wal-Mart and the closings. Yes, I support Wal-Mart, as well as every business in Independence. Wal-Mart is doing nothing but filling a need to the residents of Independence, as well as the surronding area, people come to Independence from all over Montgomery County, as well as surounding counties... while they are here, they also buy gasoline, shop our other businesses, and eat at our restaurants. Local businesses succeed and fail all of the time, Wal-Mart has become a scapegoat for many but Ordinance 3838 and its C-4 zoning area enacted by a past Commission is the real culprit, and should be repealed.
A. The environmental ordinance in general is a good concept if it was practiced uniformaly, however anyone paying any amount of attention can tell you that it is not. We need an environmental code in place to keep our city safe, clean, and to protect against dangers and health risks, but in fairness to all, there needs to be improvements made to insure that the code is enforced in all areas of the city in an equal, fair, and consistant manner.
As to the condemnation hearings, I feel that many times there are instances where a resident is served notice that improvements must be made to their property, but they are not given enough time, or they cannot immediately get their hands on the funds to do the repairs and improvements within the alloted time that is currently given them to comply, and as a result, the city condems the property, advertises for bids to hire someone to bulldoze and remove the property, then bills the owner for the work performed. In my opinion, the current policies need to be amended to give property owners more time, and a fair, and fighting chance at fixing up, and saving their investments, and one way to do that would be to allow the property owner to purchase a permit that would extend their alloted time up to 6 months or more in order to give them some breathing room, and time to raise the funds needed to complete the improvements, or removal if that is their wish. If after that 6 month (or more) period, the property owner has not made a substantial improvement, or removed the problems, then the city would then condem the property and take further action to remedy the problem at the owners expense. We are currently living in some very tough economic times, and must adjust our attitudes, and policies to help our residents survive these times by offering them a helping hand, rather than a shove to the ground.
A. Good Question! There are many Independence residents that are dissatisfied with the current City Government, and are ready for a change. As your Commissioner, I will work hard for you, I will listen to what you have to say, and will take your concerns to City Hall, I won't be working for the betterment of Charley Hixon, I will be working for the overall betterment of the residents and taxpayers of Independence, Kansas. In the past, there have been many citizens left out by decisions made by past Commissioners, all it will take to change Independence for the better is to elect candidates that will be willing to vote for what the majority of its citizens demand, instead of what a choice few dictate. As YOUR Commissioner, I will vote in a positive manner on issues that concern the overall population of our city, and will cast a negative vote if the issues will benefit a "choice few". That is what it is going to take to bring a positive change to our city government, and if POSITIVE CHANGE is what you are ready for, cast your Vote for Charley Hixon for Independence City Commission.