At least one more Jackson County legislator – and likely two – is not running for re-election.
At-large Legislator Garry Baker, D-Buckner, said Monday he does not plan to file. He said he’ll be 70 next year and it’s time for a new chapter in life. He ran unsuccessfully for the Legislature in 2004 and then was appointed to the position two years ago when Frank White Jr. was appointed county executive and left the Legislature.
“This was on my bucket list, and now I can check that off,” Baker said.
So far one person, Democrat Jalen Anderson of Blue Springs, has filed for that seat. Filing runs through March 27. Terms are four years. Party primaries are Aug. 7, and the general election is Nov. 6.
Also, Legislator Alfred Jordan, a one-term Democrat from the 2nd District in Kansas City, has not filed and said Monday he probably won’t.
“Most likely not,” he said. Jordan said his decision isn’t related to the squabbles between the Legislature and White over the last year and a half. “Just personal reasons,” he said.
That makes at least three of the nine county legislators not running again. Greg Grounds, R-Blue Springs, said earlier he’s not running for a fourth term. Dennis Waits, D-Independence, said recently it’s his intent to run, though as of Monday he had not filed.
White announced two appointments on Monday – Diana Turner as director of corrections and Whitney Miller as director of collection.
“Women have long served an integral role in the success of Jackson County,” White said. “Both Diana and Whitney have the leadership, commitment and passion that is needed to move this county forward.”
Turner has been the acting director of corrections since late last fall, and she said this move is a culmination of many years in the field.
“I’ve dreamed of this day for 26 years,” she said.
Miller, who is moving over from the county counselor’s office, said she looks forward to finding greater efficiencies and stressed that customer service will be a high priority.
Also Monday, Grounds said he still hopes to have proposed County Charter changes ready for debate by the Legislature within a couple weeks. He said he’s gotten a good deal of feedback after media coverage of the issue recently. He said opinion appears split on reducing the size of Legislature so he’s dropping that idea but that term limits seem to have strong support. His proposal also would curtail the powers of the county executive.
“And I still am hopeful for an August ballot,” that is, a vote of the people, he said.