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Audio from Oct 3 Candidate Forum: City Commission

Brock Kappelmann - October 3, 2023 9:48 pm

You can listen to archived audio from the October 3 Liberal City Commission candidate forum with candidates for the general election in November.

Candidates in attendance at the forum, in their speaking order as randomly drawn by number:  Jose Lara; Kathleen Alonso; Richard Wester; Matt Landry; Ron Warren.

Candidate not in attendance at the forum:  Greg Duran.

Brad Carr of USD 480 served as forum moderator.  The Liberal Chamber helped sponsor the forum, along with area media outlets including Seward County Broadcasting.

Audio of opening statements, in the speaking order of the candidates:

Question 1: “Incumbents, why should voters elect you back on the City Commission; and then candidates, why should voters elect you to take an incumbent seat?”

Candidates Kathleen Alonso; Richard Wester; Matt Landry; Ron Warren; Jose Lara. Follow-up by Ron Warren; Jose Lara.

Q2: “The city recently hired a lobbyist firm. Do you support that expense?”

Wester; Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso.

Q3: “Could you explain a mill levy and its role in a city budget?”

Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester.  Follow-up by Lara.

Q4: “What is your stance on repairing, replacing, and maintaining the aging infrastructure, for example streets, sidewalks, curbing, et cetera, in all parts of Liberal?”

Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry.  Follow-up by Warren.

Q5:  “The Stepping Stone shelter recently did not get a grant to fund their organization.  If the city provides funds, will you require the shelter to raise funds to support their organization?”

Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry; Warren.

Q6:  “In your opinion, what is Liberal’s identity?”

Alonso; Wester; Landry; Warren; Lara.

Q7: “What are your thoughts on how to use the available space at the rec center?”

Wester; Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso.

Q8: “What is one concrete goal or mission you would like to achieve if elected?”

Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester.  Follow-up by Lara.

Q9:  “Do you support a plan to change downtown traffic so the district can become a destination?”

Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry.  Follow-up by Lara.

Q10:  “Liberal has seen a recent spike in murders and other crimes. Do you support law enforcement efforts to curb crime in Liberal?”

Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry; Warren.  Follow-up by Lara.

Q11:  “Do you approve or disapprove of the food truck festivals?”

Alonso; Wester; Landry; Warren; Lara.  Follow-up by Alonso; Wester; Lara.

Q12:  “The city recently added a public relations staff member with a salary of eighty thousand dollars. Do you support that new position?”

Wester; Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso.  Follow-up by Wester.

Q13:  “The city recently supported a budget that did not raise the mill levy. Will you commit to keeping the mill levy the same during your tenure?”

Landry; Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester.  Follow-up by Lara.

Q14:  “With the train situation, what are you planning to do with the train being too long and people having to wait to cross Kansas?” Or, as the moderator re-phrased the question when asked by a candidate to repeat the question: “With the train situation, with the trains being so long, what are you planning to do?”

Warren; Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry.  Follow-up by Warren.

Q15:  “There has been made mention that the city in their cooperation with the Seward County Development Corp., and the city contributes to that fund to help fund that. What successes can you list of the SCDC?” Or, as the moderator re-phrased the question when asked by a candidate to repeat the question: “It’s been mentioned that Seward County Development Corp. and the city’s responsibility of funding part of that. Can you list some of the successes of the SCDC?”

Lara; Alonso; Wester; Landry; Warren.  Follow-up by Lara.

The Q-and-A portion of the forum concluded after this question.

The candidates gave their concluding remarks, in the following order:  candidate Kathleen Alonso; Richard Wester; Matt Landry; Ron Warren; Jose Lara.

Moderator Brad Carr then concluded the forum.

 

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