A 10-candidate field of lawyers, small-business owners and volunteers will be interviewed this week by the Lee’s Summit City Council to fill a vacant District 4 council seat.
The vacancy resulted when voters recalled Chris Moreno after he had served nearly one year in office in his first term. At its Thursday, May 11 meeting, the City Council will vote on his replacement. The plan is to ask applicants who filed for the seat to make 5-minute presentations, the order determined by drawing numbers. The council will then ask them questions. Next, council members will make nominations and vote.
The person chosen will serve until the next municipal election in April 2018 and can run to finish the partial term. Others would be eligible to file for the seat as well. The four-year seat of District 4 Councilman David Mosby will also become open. He cannot run for re-election that year because of term limits.
Here are the candidates and brief background of each.
Dana Arth: A certified public accountant and owner of an accounting firm that was a 2016 Business of the Year award winner from Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce; has an MBA in emphasis in management and participated in an honors program called the Executive Semester where she was president of a simulated company.
Gladys Bratton: Chairwoman of 2016 Charter Review Commission; retired with experience including being a small business owner, tutoring, and customer service coordinator; classroom volunteer Junior Achievement, PTA president and volunteer.
Eric Crew: Founder of E. Crew Leadership Coaching, which helps companies and organizations with leadership development; worked in retail, higher education enrollment and publishing; founding president of Gonzaga University Kansas City Alumni Chapter; team leader of Justice & Reconciliation Team Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Church; member of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce.
Casey Crawford: A lawyer; has been assistant girl’s basketball coach at Lee’s Summit High School; played professional basketball; Sunday school teacher at Our Lady of Presentation Catholic Church 2012-13, Knights of Columbus Council 6819.
Fred DeMoro: Serves on the Lee’s Summit Planning Commission and 2016 Charter Review Commission; a member of the 2015 Downtown Master Plan Task Force; a 31 year resident of District 4.
Amy Fox: A candidate for the council seat in the April 2016 election, full-time mother, school and church volunteer; does part-time work setting store displays and has managed a jewelry store; conducts regional presentations on sustainable development movements.
James Freeman III: A lawyer and a former Lee’s Summit councilman, serving 1996-1998 and 2000-2008; a member of the executive board of the Missouri Baptist Convention, an assistant scoutmaster in Boy Scouts of America and other volunteer positions in the community.
Madonna (Donna) Gordon: Owner of Investment Resources; a member of the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority; volunteer coordinator for Truly 150 Sesquicentennial celebration; Oak Tree Farms Homeowners Association; Mid Continent Girl Scouts troop leader.
Jarrod Gravatt: Owner of Gravatt Waste Solutions; sales manager for Baker Distributing Company; Lee’s Summit Liveable Streets Advisory Board; participant in 2016 Lee’s Summit Leadership Academy; Meals on Wheels volunteer.
Michelle Kraxberger: Owner of The Fixer, a management consulting firm for multiple small businesses; served as president for two area PTAs; served on board of Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church (The Summit); member Lake Winnebago Lion’s Club, Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Female Executives.