Three candidates are competing for an open seat to represent Smithville’s Ward 2 seat on April 2 ballot.
Board of Aldermen candidates Ed Holicky, Kyla Benjamin and Mike Pence all talked about the growth in the city, and they all want to bring in more business to give residents more options and to help build a tax base.
Holicky wants a detailed plan for dealing with the city’s growth. Benjamin wants more youth-oriented services. Pence said public safety needs to remain a top priority.
None of the candidates listed public experience or campaign websites on a questionnaire.Ed Holicky Age:
1707 N.E. 101st St.Occupation:
Works at the Department of CommerceEducation:
Master’s degree in science from the University of Illinois; master’s degree in leadership and communications at Park University; bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Nebraska.Stances:
Holicky said managing the growth and local services in Smithville is the city’s biggest challenge. He said the council needs to make sure there is a detailed strategic plan to handle growth. He’d also like to work with the Chamber of Commerce to attract more small businesses that would encourage residents to stay and do most of their shopping in Smithville.Kyla Benjamin Age:
Did not answerOccupation:
Project management specialist in downtown Kansas City; former sergeant with the U.S. Army from 2004-2012; veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.Education:
Bachelor’s degree in business administration management from Park University.Stances:
Would partner with the Clay County Economic Development Council, local business owners and other elected officials to develop a strategic plan for economic growth. She’d like to see more facilities for youth activities and entertainment. She said while the city is already thinking about creating a senior center, she would push for the consideration of a family and youth community center.Mike Pence Age:
501 Indian TrailOccupation:
Executive trainer with Johnson and JohnsonEducation:
Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in business and marketing from Arizona State University.Stances:
His priorities are keeping the small-town atmosphere while continuing to make improvements and keeping the community safe. He said the biggest challenge for Smithville is finding and attracting businesses that fit the need and feel of the area.