One of the most important issues that will come before the Raymore City Council in the coming year will be what type of community center to build.
“We’ve been looking at using the next bond issue for a community center,” said incumbent council member Sonja Abdelgawad.
She is running against Bob West for her Ward 4 seat.
“The question is, will it be more like a fitness center or a place with meeting rooms? The community needs a place to hold family events inexpensively. We’re trying to think outside the box and provide what doesn’t exist. We’ve set aside money in this year’s budget for a community center. We just OK’d at the last couple of meetings a feasibility study to see what the community wants and can support.”
Abdelgawad said the city’s bonding capacity is somewhere between $8 million and $15 million. Once that figure is nailed down, and if surveys show people want something more expensive than that, a tax increase would be necessary.
Abdelgawad’s opponent in Tuesday’s election, Bob West, says he, too, is for a new community center.
He said he is running for the council seat “as a continuation of the public service I’ve done.”
“As a veteran of the United States Air Force, I am throwing my hat into the ring to solve problems and get Raymore where it needs to go,” West said.
As a business owner, West said, he believes Raymore is friendly to business. But he’d like to see more done to help the city improve its tax base.
Abdelgawad said she is also interested in pursuing economic development, particularly along Interstate 49.
“The challenge is to encourage economic development and help maintain Raymore’s small-town feel,” she said.
Two other incumbent council members — Jeffrey Stevens in Ward 1 and Derek Moorhead in Ward 2 — are unopposed for re-election. Jay Holman is unopposed in Ward 3.SONJA ABDELGAWAD
917 Birchwood Drive
Teacher at Grace Early Childhood Center in Belton district
Bachelor of liberal arts, bachelor’s in education, masters in curriculum and instruction
Raymore City Council, 2012 to present; one year, Raymore Parks and Recreation; PTA board member at least five years at Raymore Elementary School, member of the Ray-Pec Relay for Life planning committee
Facebook: Raymore City Council Ward 4-Updates by Sonja AbdelgawadBOB WEST
1228 E. Walnut
Business owner, KCPI Security Inc., a state-licensed private investigative agency
Bachelor’s in law enforcement, Northeastern University; masters in criminal justice, Anna Maria College