Stewart hopes to keep Mayor position
Personal: The 62-year-old Stewart has two children.
Professional Background: Building contractor; sawmill owner and operator; real estate investment and insurance sales.
Political and Civic Experience: Current Mayor of Eudora, general community involvement.
What is your position on tax abatements for new businesses?
I'm in favor of growth that benefits the city as a whole. If a business can offer good paying jobs, a long-term increase to the tax base and show that the abatement requested is reasonable, I would generally support it. If the wages aren't high enough to pay a family's expenses, I would question why we would want to help the company move to town. We need to encourage businesses to locate in Eudora, but not at a cost to the current residents.
How aggressive should the city be toward annexations?
I don't think that we need to be aggressive, but I think the council needs to consider annexing some of the smaller areas adjacent to the city to provide a simpler city boundary. If a property is adjacent to the city on two or three sides, it should be considered. Anything larger should be at the request of the property owner or as part of a larger infrastructure plan. If a landowner requests annexation, he is responsible for the cost of extending water, sewer and electric to the site. If we annex without a request by the owner, the city is required to provide services to the property within five years. I don't want to see citizens' tax money used for improvements to serve private property unless there is a clear benefit to the city.
What are Eudora's most critical infrastructure needs and what plan do you have for infrastructure improvements?
Several critical items have been completed since I took office. The expansion to the water plant was finished, the new sewer plant was constructed and put into operation, the fire and police station was expanded, a new water tower was constructed, the 7th and 10th street culverts were constructed. Winchester Road will be paved this summer, and a new sewer interceptor line is being investigated to eliminate some of the older lift stations in town. We need to continue to work on drainage issues to reduce flooding and implement operation and maintenance plans for existing utilities. I would also like to see more sidewalks installed around town. It improves safety for everyone who walks to school or work and helps promote our small-town atmosphere.