Grain Valley Alderman Nancy Totton and challenger Chuck Johnston both have experience representing Ward 2 on the city’s governing body.
By KATHLEEN POINTER
Special to The Star
Totton is finishing her first full term as alderwoman, and Johnston served from 2006 to 2011.
Johnston’s focus is on the spending. He said if he’s elected he’ll be on the side of the minority -- a side that opposes what he calls the “out of control” spending in the city. He also said he was the primary force responsible for the last major city tax cut.
Totton countered that cuts have been made, though people don’t always notice them, and pointed out the city has paid off a bond issue to save on interest costs. She defended the installation of a restroom at a city park, and said she’d spoken with constituents who said they wanted to have a place for their kids to go should they be at the park during a tornado.
Whoever is elected will serve for two years.
• Age: 70
• Address: 309 Front St.
• Occupation: Retired; formerly manager of a Kentucky Fried Chicken, custodian in the Blue Valley School District
• Education: Graduated from St. Teresa’s Academy
• Public experience: Finishing up first full term as alderman; initially appointed to serve six months after an alderman stepped down
• Website: None
• Stances: A top priority is attracting new businesses and maintaining the downtown area, while still keeping up the “traditional character” of Grain Valley. She’d like to bring regional rail though the city amd see more homeownership instead of rentals. She believes one of her biggest strengths is her connection to her neighborhood and community.
• Age: 65
• Address: 611 Cross Creek Drive
• Occupation: Supervisor of claims for OOIDA Risk Retention Group for the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association
• Education: GED
• Public experience: Grain Valley alderman, 2006-2011
• Website: www.ChuckJohnstonForGrainValley.com
• Stances: His priorities are to control unnecessary spending, reduce the tax levy and promote economic development. The levy and not having a large enough retail tax base are the city’s biggest challenges. He said the city needs to cut spending and improve its credit rating to help keep bond rates lower.