Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 @ 7:28PM
My career began as a high school business teacher. At two different schools, I taught bookkeeping, typing, shorthand, business law, personal finance and economics. Those were good years, I enjoyed the classroom and still enjoy being in that setting. That background has driven my commitment to the importance of our K-12 schools, community college and higher education opportunities which distinguish our communities and support our economic success.
A career change moved me from the classroom to the boardroom where I worked for more than 35 years as a financial advisor with A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., a member of the New York Stock Exchange. Those years of economic/market ups and downs taught me the value of informed decision making, evaluating judgments with a long term perspective and the importance of questioning conventional wisdom, whatever the issue.
My interest in local politics began as a university student. Even though I was never a candidate for campus office, my fraternity was very active in supporting their members and other candidates for those offices. When a city council position opened up with no incumbent, I successfully ran for that office. Four years later was elected mayor and I served in that position for 24 years. Those local offices were part-time which allowed me to maintain my investment business as well as serve the city. During those years the population of the city doubled, more than 30,000 jobs were located in Overland Park and the city became a major economic center in the Metro area and Johnson County. Those years taught me the importance of a community’s economic vitality, of how you build a community of opportunity and the importance of those quality of life issues that make a community a great place to live, work and raise a family.
My spare time has been devoted to many community groups, working with organizations that offer programs for those who are intellectually and developmentally delayed, United Community Services as an advisory board member, historical groups that preserve and promote our communities heritage, city, county and metro area economic development organizations, community civic clubs, non-profit organizations that provide important community services, one of the finest community colleges in the country and my church.
As Chairman of the Johnson County Commission, my promise is to continue to support decisions that will make Johnson County “A Community of Opportunity”.