Today, we introduce the candidate for the 2nd District seat on the Lee's Summit City Council. By means of introduction, your Link 2 Lee's Summit has asked each candidate for City Council a series of questions as it relates to the business and economic growth of the city. Today, we introduce the Craig Faith.
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?
Mr. Faith: I continue to hear good things about the Development Center. Specifically that it has streamlined the development process and has added some consistency. We have to make sure that we do not sabotage our progress by adding hurdles that have already been vetted. Standards have to be maintained, no doubt. But, after due diligence has been done, we must proceed with a vote to allow the development or to send the applicant back to the drawing board.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: What role do you see the City Council playing in the community's economic development endeavors?
Mr. Faith: Council must be educated on high level ED practices. In some cases there is a need to get further down in the weeds but that should be the exception instead of the rule. We have to rely on our own Lee’s Summit ED experts to show Council cause and effect. The Economic Development Council consists of incredibly educated and talented people. Council needs to legislate to allow for sustainable, consistent and healthy economic development.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: What is economic development to you? How do you define it?
Mr. Faith: This is a great question. If allowed to thrive, I believe the current Council Economic Development Vision Statement says it all:
Economic Development Vision Statement of the Lee’s Summit City Council: Lee’s Summit will build upon and promote its unique downtown, educational excellence and cultural heritage to create and nurture a business environment which fosters entrepreneurship, commercial and neighborhood redevelopment, and the attraction and retention of high quality jobs in targeted businesses. In doing so, the tax base will grow ensuring the City’s continued ability to deliver an outstanding quality of life and services to both businesses and residents.
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?
Mr. Faith: I sat with the Charter Review Committee for its first meeting. I was there simply to observe as the charter is essentially the city’s constitution. I believe the sitting committee is comprised of talented individuals that will be able to represent many views and come up with appropriate key focus areas that are relevant to the present and that preserve the parts of city history that are appropriate. Certainly powers and duties of elected officials should be reviewed along with financial procedures.
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?
Mr. Faith: I have had the awesome pleasure of serving on the Livable Streets Advisory Board. Many look at this board as a “bicycle club”. It is so much more than that. My goal and focus has been on accessibility for seniors and physically impaired individuals. Recently we were able to host the Leadership Lee’s Summit class at John Knox Village. It was quite illuminating when we inflicted younger folks with impairments that our seniors face every day. Oh we will all get there sooner or later. Accessibility and knowledge of the senior and disabled population is essential.
There are many more things ranging from Medicare Reimbursement advocacy to 911 Funding legislation that I have been fortunate enough to advocate for at local, state and federal level. These things directly affect the City of Lee’s Summit and its daily operation.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: If elected, which liaison assignments would you seek?
Mr. Faith: My experience and interest would seem to lead to service on the Finance and Budget Committee and Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations Committee. I would seek to serve as liaison to the Public Safety Advisory Board as well as the Livable Streets Advisory Board. However, whatever my assignment is, I will serve at the Mayor Pro Tem’s(or whatever other assigning authority’s) pleasure and will fulfill my duties to the best of my abilities.
Link 2 Lee's Summit: Day to day, what is the single most important quality of a city council member?
Mr. Faith: Honesty.