The Gladstone City Council could look the same after Election Day, or there could be a change-up. Regardless, at least one familiar face will be returning to the board.
Of the three candidates vying for spots on the council, J. Brian Hill and Carol Suter are incumbents. Kyle Yarber, who directs a nonprofit, would be new to the job if voted in. Voters can select two of the three candidates.
Suter said she supports the implementation of all current master plans for parks, sidewalks, water lines, cultural arts and the city’s “Shaping Our Future” initiative, a long-term visioning and strategic planning process.
She said her top priorities are to work on the downtown district and to fund infrastructure projects for streets, sidewalks and sewers. She said a housing strategy is also of great importance.
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“Gladstone needs new ideas for revitalizing aging housing, neighborhoods and in increasing density, diversity of housing stock,” she said.
Her fellow council member echoed her priorities.
Hill said implementing goals outlined in the program as well as revitalizing the North Oak and Antioch corridors were at the top of his list of city to-dos.
“Our water distribution system is aging and needs substantial capital investment, which we have begun to address in the city’s most recent budget year,” Hill said. “We also have roadways such as Old Pike and Northeast 76th Street that need to be rebuilt.”
The water system is also a concern for Yarber, and he wants to make sure the city has a worst-case-scenario plan in place for contaminated water.
Yarber said he’d like to see the city start moving on some of the planned projects, such as improvements at Old Pike Road and creating walking trails and a parking lot at Hobby Hill Park to make it more accessible.
Yarber said he is also doubtful about incentives to draw big businesses to the downtown area.
“How long before we reach a point when new businesses won’t relocate to Gladstone unless the city throws money at them?” he said. “That could end up costing the city both in dollars we can count and others we will never be able to.”
The winners will be on the board for a three-year term and will serve alongside council member Bill Garnos, Mayor Pro Tem R.D. Mallams and Mayor Jean Moore.
Address: 5126 N. Pennsylvania, Gladstone
Occupation: Director of a Kansas City performing arts education nonprofit
Education: Bachelor’s degree in English from Southwest Missouri State University, 2008; master’s degree in social science from Fort Hays University, 2011; master’s degree in American history from American Public University, 2012
Public experience: Gladstone Planning Commission, 2011 to present; Gladstone Capital Improvements Committee, 2015 to present
Website: Kyle Yarber for Gladstone City Council on Facebook
J. Brian Hill
Address: 3201 N.E. 70th Place, Gladstone
Occupation: Attorney, currently a partner in the Gladstone law firm of Sexton, Bender, Hill and Steinman, P.C.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1979; juris doctorate from UMKC, 1982
Public experience: Gladstone City Council, 2011 to present; Gladstone mayor, 2014; Gladstone Planning Commission, 1994 to 2011; Gladstone Tax Increment Financing Commission, 2009
Carol J. Suter
Address: 7233 N. Bellefontaine Ave., Gladstone
Occupation: Owner/principal of CS Resources, a legal/management consulting practice; owner/principal of Suter Investment Trust, a real estate investment firm
Education: Bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University, 1971; juris doctorate from the Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University, 1981
Public experience: Gladstone City Council, 2007 to present