Kansas City Coalition for Walking and Bicycling issues election endorsements

The Kansas City Coalition for Walking and Bicycling has issued its endorsements for candidates running in the final election for Kansas City, Missouri, municipal offices. The election is March 27th.
We of the Kansas City Coalition for Walking and Bicycling have questioned the candidates for Kansas City, Missouri, municipal offices and received the responses. Most candidates responded but some did not.

At-Large candidates are voted on by the WHOLE city. Please distribute this email to all interested people.

The Coalition consists of advocates from these groups: the Kansas City Bicycle Club, Missouri Bicycle Federation, Northland Trails and Greenways and other individual advocates

You can find the questionnaire, responses and no responses here.

Here are the endorsements with more details below.
Mayor - Mark Funkhouser

1st In-District: No Endorsements unopposed
1st District at-large: Deb Hermann unopposed

2nd In-District: Russ Johnson
2nd At-Large: No Endorsement unopposed

3rd In-District: No endorsement
3rd At-Large: Dee Williams

4th In-District: Jan Marcason
4th At-Large: Doug Gamble

5th In-District: No Endorsement
5th At-Large: Cindy Baker Circo

6th In-District: John Sharp
6th At-Large: Cathy Jolly
We want to let you know how we made our choices. 1. The candidate had to respond to the questionnaire. 2. His/Her knowledge of the issues 3. His/Her activities in the past that contributed to improving conditions for walking and cycling. 4. How interested he/she seemed to be in bike/ped issues and whether we thought we could work with them.

Also keep in mind that we will need to repeat this process for any races where our preferred candidate doesn't advance to the general election.

Mayor - Mark Funkhouser

Mark Funkhouser would like to hire a pedestrian coordinator in addition to the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator! He would like to see the city adopt a city wide sidewalk management policy that would connect neighborhoods and "provides for timely and equitable repairs." He wants "environmentally-friendly practices as part of an overall policy and budget framework that cuts across organizational boundaries." He wants to "link funding decisions to management strategies" that includes oversight and performance measures. He sees an integrated transportation system that ties the city together and funding for bike/ped to be part of the city plan. While Alvin Brooks is a good candidate, we found Funkhouser to be more strategic about planning and budgets to attain the goals of providing services to all users of the transportation system. We also think Funkhouser would be more willing than Brooks to make changes in city policy to get bike/ ped projects done.

1st District At-Large: Deb Hermann, unopposed

Deb Hermann believes that "bicycle and pedestrian access needs to be included in all new development and redevelopment plans." She wants to review the BikeKC plan to include funding and make it more flexible to suit neighborhood needs and fit with existing infrastructure. She supports having an advisory committee to help the new bicycle/pedestrian coordinator. She also wants "bike/ped funding as part of a comprehensive transportation and neighborhood improvement strategy." The advocacy community has worked with Deb in the past and found her supportive of our issues.

1st In-District : No Endorsements, unopposed

2nd At-Large: No Endorsement, unopposed

2nd In-District: Russ Johnson

When Russ Johnson was on Public Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) he went looking for advocates to help him get better infrastructure for walking and cycling. It took him a year to find us but he didn't give up. That is how committed he is. He believes that "EVERY street is a bikeway and should be able to safely accommodate both cars and cyclists." Russ has feasible ideas on how to accomplish this without breaking the bank. He has championed and funded sidewalk, trails and on-street bike lanes. He is very smart and knows how to get things done at city hall.

3rd At-Large: Dee Williams

Dee Williams would like to see schools incorporate cycling as a sport and to see walking used in neighborhood to keep the streets safe. She wants to continue the 1 cent sales tax for public improvements that would support infrastructure for cycling, walking and transit. She would like to see the different transportation modes coordinated into one "seamless transportation system" managed by one government department.

3rd In-District: No Endorsement

4th At-Large: Doug Gamble

Doug Gamble doesn't believe in passing legislation without funding and wants to make sure the legislation is implemented. This would apply to BikeKC. Doug has a plan to create revenue that would apply to bicycle facilities and sidewalks among other city funded projects. He is also interested in exploring environmentally beneficial materials for constructing sidewalks and other amenities. He wants to promote tourism as a way to gain revenue and reduce red tape to make it easier for small businesses to function. These ideas could help bike shops and other bike/pedestrian related businesses including bicycling and running events.

4th In-District: Jan Marcason

In her job, Jan Marcason has had to find alternative transportation options for her clients so she understands how walking, biking and transit all fit together to make a city more livable for everyone. She wants to develop a comprehensive system of walking and biking routes through the city and require businesses that receive TIF funding to provide bicycle parking in their buildings. She believes the sidewalk is a public asset and there should be a plan for installing and repairing sidewalks as part of the city's deferred maintenance plan.

5th At-Large: Cindy Baker Circo

Cindy Circo was a 5th district PIAC member and knows how the city works. She supports implementing BikeKC and aggressively going after funding and connecting the links to have a seamless cycling/walking system. She wants to "develop a culture of multiple transit forms. From here on out every step of transit planning must investigate the connectivity of every form of transit." She wants to bring stakeholders together to work on finding funding.

5th In-District: No Endorsement

6th At-Large: Cathy Jolly

Cathy Jolly is a great supporter of trails and has a good record in the Missouri legislature on environmental issues. She would like to review and update the BikeKC plan and work to get funding. She believes that sidewalks are needed as basic infrastructure and should be part of the overall city plan and budget. She supports a fully multi-modal transit system managed by one agency. This would include supporting and managing roads, trails and mass transit for all users, motorized or non-motorized.

6th In-District: John Sharp

John Sharp has a comprehensive knowledge of walking and bicycling issues. He knows the problems we face getting a connected plan, bike parking, maintaining and building sidewalks and getting the funding. He favors updating the BikeKC plan and working with the upcoming bicycle/pedestrian coordinator and an advisory committee to make a safer and friendly walking and cycling environment. John has done his homework.

We hope this helps you make informed decisions in the upcoming election March 27. Don't forget to check online for more infomation. http://kcbike.info/election2007.

Laurie Chipman
Kansas City Coalition for Walking and Bicycling