City council forum answers: Coy Weege
Coy W. Weege
Baldwin City is facing a decision regarding its long-term water supply. In your opinion, should Baldwin City continue to purchase wholesale water from the City of Lawrence, or should the city pursue a Public Water Authority partnership with the City of DeSoto, among other entities?
The current City Council has taken part of the advancement of research and believes that a financial interest with the Public Water Authority partnership is a positive advance for Baldwin City, noting it has worked for our very close neighbors, like Paola and Louisburg. I don’t feel it is necessary to delay the opportunities we have formed with the neighboring communities.
In July the City will implement another 6% increase in electric rates, how do you view the electric utility, as an asset or liability, and explain why?
As many of you have seen on your doors today that we are implementing upgrades that do cost. With the prices of products, gas for the trucks and maintenance all going up we will continuously need to work with the rates. Much like in dealing with issues such as the City incorporating the Water authority, we are going to have to continuously work on other methods to get more efficiency and relief in our community.
If elected, what will be your top three objectives, and why?
Making Baldwin City considered a Green community. Get our taxes competitive with the surrounding communities, keeping our own people from continually being over taxed and be efficient with the use of taxes. Finally, getting us to be a working community with school district, College and City.
Do you believe that the current Mayor, Council and Administrative staff are performing their duties at an acceptable level, why or why not?
Performing their duties and making the right decisions are two different things, but yes, they seem to be fulfilling their obligations to the city.
In your opinion, what tools does the city have available to them to promote economic development in Baldwin City? What are you willing to do to attract new businesses and promote development?
Market our dynamite location, continuously gain information from our own people to find the business they desire here in our own city. Visit other communities, detailing ideas to bring home. I am motivated to do this as long as the community will allow. I will share with the other communities our developing businesses as well as our ideas to promote Baldwin City.
What is your long-term vision for the Baldwin City golf course?
So many in our community currently use the golf course, from the schools and the university to people like me who like to hit a few rounds. I believe in keeping a great community spot that has the potential to be a destination.
What will you do to promote more collaboration between the City, School District and Baker University?
Be interested in what is happening, voice an opinion and gain their trust. We are here to work with each other to build a strong community.
About one year ago Baldwin City passed a “quality of life” sales tax increase, what are your top 3 priorities for the use of the funds generated by that tax, and why?
I will listen to suggestions on what we as a community want this used for and be sure it is continuously reviewed and used for the promised agenda of the increase.
It is frequently stated that Baldwin City’s overall utility rates are higher than those of surrounding communities. Do you agree with that statement, if so, how would you propose to help reduce the utilities rates?
It is hard to believe this question would have been given, if not perceived across the community. As one of the main concerns for me, I want to work with the council to get our community a fair representative and keep our city and providers in check. I believe there may be opportunities, like the water authority options available, to get a competitive atmosphere for our utilities in order to keep it fair. Also, I’d like to make available companies that will compete to save in other aspects of our daily expenses for our area, for instance internet, cable, natural gas and trash removal that will need continuous attention.
Discussions have taken place about a proposed business park in Baldwin City. Would you support the City providing utilities to the business park, if so how would you propose to fund the costs of providing those utilities?
This will need to be reviewed thoroughly to determine what the positive and negative effects could and will be for the City of Baldwin for the short-term and long-term. I believe we need to be very selective and eager to get the right businesses in our community. We as a community need to share each of our concerns about new companies being involved with the City of Baldwin as well as share the advantages in having more employment and opportunities for our citizens.