This week, we have introduced the candidates for the 4th District seat on the Lee's Summit City Council. Amy Fox was introduced on Monday and Chris Moreno on Wednesday. The third candidate, Mellissa Garris, did not respond to Link 2 Lee's Summit's questions. By means of introduction, your Link 2 Lee's Summit has asked each candidate a series of questions as it relates to the business and economic growth of the city. Below are responses from both Fox and Moreno.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: How do you feel the business environment has changed since the opening of the Development Center two years at City Hall?
Ms. Fox: The Development Center is a brilliant idea. Creating a "one stop shop" approach, supporting investors in their endeavors by streamlining the approval process and building relationships is a win-win for the city and the investor.
Mr. Moreno: I think that it has created an environment that has provided a stronger passion by our city leaders and business community toward seeing startups and local businesses grow and succeed.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: What role do you see the City Council playing in the community's economic development endeavors?
Ms. Fox: The City Council is essential for casting a vision for the city, policy formation and, most importantly, acting in the best interest of their constituents.
Mr. Moreno: The City Council is vital to our city's economic development and community success. Lee's Summit is now past the "explosion growth" phase. This next council will have to make very tough financial decisions to ensure our city remains a first class community. Our city, and the 4th District, cannot afford to elect someone like my opponent that truly believes Lee's Summit's growth and economic development success is part of a United Nations conspiracy. We must have a common sense council that works together in the coming years to ensure Lee's Summit remains a safe, beautiful and amazing place to live and work.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: What is economic development to you? How do you define it?
Ms. Fox: Economic Development is the result of policies and action that promote economic growth in a community. Building a support network to help investors achieve success in the free market will ensure our city, its population and businesses flourish.
Mr. Moreno: Economic Development is the creation of jobs and businesses that are crucial to the growth, development and sustaining of a strong and vibrant community.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: As the Charter Review Commission looks at our City Charter, what, if any, changes to the Charter would you like to see made?
Ms. Fox: I would like language that strengthens and affirms the city's essential decision making rests with and in our elected City Council members. This will safeguard our republican form of government and the fundamental principle that all laws must be passed by our elected representatives.
Mr. Moreno: There are many good things about our charter, and there are many opportunities for improvement. I will let the body appointed by the current council make this decision. That said, any charter approved should ensure a transparent and accountable municipal government.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: What is the most fulfilling volunteer, board, commission or committee task you've performed in Lee's Summit in the last year, and why?
Ms. Fox: As a member of the unofficial City Council Watch Committee, the most rewarding experience was partnering with local trash haulers and fellow citizen, blocking the approval of the mandatory Flow Control Ordinance.
Mr. Moreno: Over the last several years, I have been appointed to the Lee's Summit Redistricting Committee and the 360 Economic Development Committee. Over the past year, I would have to say that the most rewarding volunteer opportunity I have had, has been volunteering my time helping coach baseball and basketball. I also take great pride in volunteering my time to successfully push for additional funding for two more ambulance units, and an across the board policy change in Lee's Summit ensuring that every fire station must have a paramedic on staff at all times.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: If elected, which liaison assignments would you seek?
Ms. Fox: I would like to be on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee or the Legislative and Intergovernmental Relation Committee.
Mr. Moreno: There will be a lot of big decisions by this council and city in the coming years. I am excited about several topics, but haven't really made a decision at this time. My focus is the April 5th election.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: Day to day, what is the single most important quality of a city council member?
Ms. Fox: The most important quality of a City Council member is personal integrity and fidelity to the Constitution. Securing the natural rights and liberties of the people sets the stage for economic freedom which unleashes ingenuity, creativity, investment and the free movement of resources. A community that removes barriers and allows entrepreneurial activity will thrive. Where the jewel of liberty is preserved, prosperity dwells.
Mr. Moreno: I think that the most important quality of a City Council member is the ability to ask questions, gather and examine all of the facts, and work with everyone on the City Council to find common sense solutions for our entire city.
See the District 4 candidates offer their perspectives on the City Council's role in managing City Hall and holding staff accountable to direction from the Council.