Foundations for our Future: Building a foundation for a better future in Lee’s Summit

Who are we? Why are we backing certain candidates? And what are the motivations of our committee?

These are all questions that have come the way of Foundations for our Future since the announcement of our committee endorsements a few months back.


Guest Editorial

Hyperbole aside, the 18 community-minded, Lee’s Summit business owners and residents can, without a doubt, say that our Foundations team is, without a doubt, a group with the best interests of city governance at heart who formed out of a need for identifying and supporting the best possible candidates to lead our city into the future.

And we worked through that process in one of the most in-depth and transparent ways of any committee in recent memory.

Our conclusion is this: Ron Williams (mayor), Diane Forte (District 1), Trish Carlyle (District 2), Beto Lopez (District 3) and Casey Crawford and Donna Gordon (District 4) should be elected on April 3 to help lead the next phase of Lee’s Summit growth, development and prosperity.

Foundations for our Future waited until candidate filing had closed to begin our process of questionnaires, background checks and in-person, video-taped interviews.

Our extensive process was borne out of a responsibility our committee feels to bring responsible, respectful and resourceful government back to the dais inside council chambers at Lee’s Summit City Hall.

For far too long – and far to publicly – behavior at our council level has brought some embarrassment to our city and fostered a culture of borderline harassment at meetings. It was past time to reboot Foundations for our Future – a committee formed many years ago by an icon of civic and city responsibility and respect, Gene Gamber.

Foundations for our Future was originally formed by Gene Gamber, the namesake of the Gamber Community Center and founder of such civic organizations as Friends of Lee’s Summit and Citizens for Excellence in Lee’s Summit Government. As a 30-year resident, co-founder of CEAH Realtors and an involved and invested citizen, I felt it was extremely worthwhile to join Gene on this venture.

Foundations is also made up of community leaders like Julia E. Hampton, our treasurer, who is a business owner in downtown Lee’s Summit and on the Truman Heartland Community Foundation’s Advisory Board, and our secretary, Robert Handley, the former Lee’s Summit City Attorney.

Other members of Foundations for our Future include former Parks and Recreation Administrator Tom Lovell, business owner and president of the Lee’s Summit Municipal Building Authority Brad Cox, former Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Bruns, business owner and former city council candidate Todd Haynes, MCC-Longview President Kirk Nooks, former MCC-Longview President Fred Grogan, Aircraft Electronics Association CEO and St. Luke’s East Board member Paula Derks, downtown Lee’s Summit building owner and Community Improvement District board member Brad Culbertson, Summit Bank of Kansas City CEO and past chairman of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, Rick Viar, aviation advocate, member of Lee’s Summit 360 and a longtime member of the Board of Aeronautical Commissioners, Ken Stremming, former Lee’s Summit and University of Central Missouri educator and administrator Carl Grigsby, Whistle Stop Coffee & Mercantile owner Candace Jennings, business owner and former chairman of the board for the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Vicky Cundiff, and business owner Jane Monroe, an active member of Lee’s Summit Rotary.

Other organizations may offer endorsements under the “no agenda” auspice. Our Foundations committee truly delivers on that promise.

Many members of this committee have a long and documented history in Lee’s Summit of support for public safety, roads, parks and other bond issues. When police and fire officials have asked for our support, we have been the first in line to give it. We also demand personal and fiscal accountability in our own businesses and expect the same of those that are elected to our city council.

Help us build a foundation for the weeks, months and years ahead for our Lee’s Summit by supporting candidates that will consistently put the future of our city ahead of any personal or political gain.

Editor's Note: Foundations for our Future is a registered Political Action Committee comprised of a group of Lee's Summit residents. Views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of Link 2 Lee's Summit, it's employees or any other guest contributors.