A longtime elected official and a political newbie are facing off in the race to be Olathe mayor this spring.
Michael Copeland, serving his fourth term as mayor, is running against Jason Reed, a 25-year-old Olathe Northwest High School graduate, in the April 7 general election.
Both men are eager to serve their city.
Copeland hopes to be re-elected because he believes there isn’t a better place to live or raise a family, and he wants to keep it that way. He also wants to make sure Olathe remains transparent and accountable to its taxpayers. He says it is important that residents’ voices are heard.
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“Our citizens tell us we are performing better than any other city in the country,” Copeland said. “We do so because we are accountable to our taxpayers. Olathe is a truly special and caring place. We are a regional and national leader. I’m proud to have played a small role in that.”
Reed, however, thinks several issues need to be addressed.
If elected mayor, his top priorities would be improving Olathe’s streets, building more firehouses, strengthening relationships with other cities, and making sure city projects get completed on time.
“I am hoping to provide a different type of leadership,” Reed said. “I would also like to be on tour and visit many of the businesses here in Olathe. I want to go out and bring a business to Olathe. The more businesses we bring, it may give me the chance to lower taxes or even provide services close to no dollars out of pocket.”
Education: Bachelor’s in management and marketing, MidAmerica Nazarene University
Occupation: Kansas Department of Commerce
Elected experience: Elected to the Olathe City Council in April 1993
Education: Did not answer
Occupation: Did not answer
Elected experience: Did not answer