In Ferrelview, which has splashed across headlines in the Kansas City metro area for several reasons over the past few years, six candidates filed for election to three seats on the board of trustees, with a pair of write-in candidates also vying for spots.
John Rydholm, 37, is married with children and works as a correctional officer.
Rydholm, appointed incumbent Phil Gilliam and Lydia Whorton have advertised for their election to the board of trustees on the same banner.
“Together with my peers, we hope to instill some common sense and actual leadership which will effect positive change in our home and make it a much safer, cleaner, pleasant place to live and visit,” Rydholm said. “The slogan we’re using is ‘because common sense matters.’”
With experience in customer service, security work and a criminal justice education, Rydholm said he feels he would be a trustworthy trustee.
“Since the current chair and board took office, I have seen public meetings at city hall degrade from civil discourse over relevant matters to angry blows,” Rydholm said. “There are speeding cars around our children, litter, the smell of drugs and many other issues which need to be addressed. Ferrelview has become the negative topic of numerous TV and newspaper articles.”
He said he wants to bring a functioning police force back to the village, keep meetings orderly and open and discuss a reasonable budget. He also hopes to bring back the village’s municipal court.
“The very apparent conflict of interest and violation of Sunshine Laws need to stop immediately,” he said. “Change will not happen unless our citizens vote to make it happen. My family wants to work with everyone else here to make Ferrelview a better place.”
Gilliam, 42, is married and works as a systems administrator. He was appointed to the board last year following the April election and has seen many things in that time.
“I have no personal agenda to impose on the residents,” Gilliam said. “My only goal is to make our home a safe and less newsworthy one, where the right things are done, not things that serve only myself as we have seen over the past year from the current controlling board.”
Gilliam said he is concerned the village will not survive another year without a change of direction. Like Rydholm, Gilliam said he wants to reconstitute a functioning village police force, and transfer the municipal court to the county level. The village’s current funding problems will require out of the box thinking to correct, he said.
He also said residents are afraid to voice their concerns, due to the actions of the current board leadership. The appointment of a new board chair would help to change the atmosphere.
“My plans for the city are to work to fix the things that have gone so wrong over the past year,” Gilliam said. “One major thing is to educate members of the board that they are not all powerful, that they do not get to have a single voice and decide on their own how things will be done.”
Lydia Whorton, 34, is married with five children and works at a local convenience store. She said she has a long background in customer service and customer relations, which would help her to serve the village.
“I will serve my position and my duty to this village by being thorough in the responsibility I am tasked with,” Whorton said. “The basic work ethic that has always made me successful is what qualifies me to fill this position.”
She said as a mother and member of the community, she wants to restore quality of life to Ferrelview.
“I am proud of this community,” she said. “I have family here. I have a real feeling of more than a small town here. It really is a village. I want our village to have the basics of safe streets, open and honest administration, streets and water services that are taken care of and operated with professionalism and accuracy.”
As with her running mates, Whorton hopes to return a police presence to the community and clean up the “open corruption and mismanagement of our village.”
Incumbent Melvin Rhodes — who last year won a one-year unexpired term as a write-in candidate — and candidates Karla Hill and Wesley Lowther did not respond to the Citizen’s questionnaire. Two write-in candidates have also registered for the election — James and Vicky Meyer.