First-term Mayor Bill Biggerstaff faces three rivals for the four-year position as mayor of North Kansas City. Candidates Don Stielow, Danny Shipp and Jerry Barham are all hoping to take the helm after the April 2 election.
Several of the mayoral candidates said resolving the issues between North Kansas City Hospital and the city has to be a top priority of the next office-holder. The relationship — and the on-going legal battle — between the city and the hospital has been a hot issue in the area for months.
Last summer the city hired an investment bank to look into the possibility of selling the hospital. The hospital responded with a lawsuit to try to stop the city from any potential sale.
Earlier this month the hospital board of trustees filed a motion to prevent the city from appointing new hospital board members.
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1425 E. 21st Ave.Occupation:
Retired in 2009; formerly North Kansas City Chief of Police for almost 12 years; also worked as a firefighter in North Kansas City.Education:
Associate’s degree in law enforcement from Maple Woods Metropolitan Community College; graduate of the FBI National Academy.Public experience:
Serving his first term as mayor; served as a Ward 4 city councilman.
His priorities are to maintain a balanced budget, promote redevelopment near Armour and Interstate 35 and to continue to bring businesses to the area. He said the biggest challenge facing the city is redeveloping projects and maintaining the budget.Donald Stielow Age:
1900 E. 28th Ave.Occupation:
Retired, former business owner.Education:
Graduated from Waldo High School in Waldo, Kan.Public experience:
Currently serving on the Kansas City Special Road District #9 and has done so for more than 40 years.Website:
http://www.vote4don.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook “Don Stielow for NKC Mayor”Stances:
His priorities are preventing North Kansas City Hospital from being sold to a public company, returning leadership of the city back to the council and restoring financial responsibility. Stielow says the biggest problem for the city is dealing with the dispute over the hospital.Danny Shipp Age:
1601 Orleans CircleOccupation:
Usher at the Ameristar Casino movie theater.Education:
Graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas, Texas.Public experience:
Two of his priorities are sidewalk maintenance and bringing in new business. He said he’d like to see more communication between city officials and the community. He said if faced with a budget shortfall he would look at closing services like community centers if they were not doing the “highest standard of business.”Jerry W. Barham Age:
508 E. 30thOccupation:
Owner and president of Missouri Poster, Banner and Sign, Inc.; served six years in the U.S. Navy.Education:
Graduated from high school in Portageville, Mo. Spent three years in military schools.Public experience:
North Kansas City councilman 2010-2012; Missouri House of Representatives 1990-1992.Website:
His top priorities are to resolve the issues between the city and North Kansas City Hospital, to grow businesses and move the city away from the real estate business. If faced with a budget shortfall the tax he’d be willing to raise first is the city sales tax.