I first served the city as a volunteer on the Historic Preservation Commission. In my capacity as a commissioner, I served in the development of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which began development in 2008. Realizing that the decisions we make today effect where we will be in the future, the plan was called Vision 2028.

The Steering Committee engaged the public in focus meetings to discuss community wants, needs and expectations for our future. It was seen as a road map into the future … a tool to help resolve the fate of several initiatives that had been discussed for years, including the creation of a community center, balancing development between new development on the west side and reinvestment in the historic downtown, renovation of the Hall of Waters, connecting and extending the hiking and bike trails, and support efforts to provide a variety of housing types and densities to meet resident needs.

Being informed is being prepared.

When I filed for city council in 2012, I immediately began attending all city council meetings, including the city council work sessions. It enabled me to become familiar with the role of the city council in regards to working with the city manager, department heads, the public and each other. While there were only two seats available for council and the field was deep in that election, I felt a responsibility to be prepared to serve day one, if I should be elected. Since 2012, I have missed no city council meetings and only a couple of work sessions due to being out of town on city business.

In addition, I serve as the council liaison for the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning and Zoning Board, and the Excelsior Springs Housing Authority. I have also attended many of the Capital Improvement Authority meetings, as their business impacts the commissions that I serve on.

I have received specific training from the Missouri Municipal League on topics such as Public Works, Planning and Zoning, Finance, Economic Development, Emergency Preparedness, Ethics, and Leadership. I love to read and subscribe to many newsletters that address governmental issues such as American City & County, Smart Growth America, AARP Livable Communities, Rethinking Homelessness, The Daily Yonder, Missouri Humanities and the Citizens Institute on Rural Design.

The City of Excelsior Springs’ participation in the Communities of Excellence program has introduced a framework for our community to work together, fine tune our collective vision for the future, and prioritize key issues. “Thrive Excelsior” brings community leaders together to collaborate and learn from each other.