Ahead of their term expirations in April, Blue Springs City Council members Dale Carter, Susan Culpepper and Chris Lievsay have announced plans to run for re-election.
Carter, who represents District 1, signaled his intentions in a Facebook post Friday morning.
“In 2010, I followed a dream and ran for the City Council in Blue Springs. My service has been very rewarding and, I hope, good for the citizens of Blue Springs,” Carter wrote. “There is so much more I want to do.”
Following this news, District 3’s Culpepper – who also has the title of mayor pro-tem – and District 2’s Lievsay shared similar plans to rerun. Carter and Lievsay have served for eight years, while Culpepper has served for five and spent 21 years on the city’s Planning Commission.
Ultimately, the members’ cited a common motivation for seeking re-election: the desire to keep momentum and to build on changes they’ve made.
For Carter, these changes have included establishing a first-time homebuyer program, which uses Community Development Block Grant money to provide down-payment assistance and also incorporates an educational budgeting plan. He has also helped to update the city’s comprehensive plan. Carter – who was inspired to run by friends in the city who said it was “hard to do business in Blue Springs” – says he would continue to emphasize being business friendly and attracting businesses. He also expressed an interest in getting more involved with the planning commission.
“There are certain powers that are out of a council member’s grasp,” Carter acknowledged. “I’m going to keep working on the things that I can control.”
Carter also stated that he is “looking closely” at running in the 2020 mayoral race.
Lievsay says he is proud to have facilitated improvement of city sidewalks, shifting responsibility to the city and securing funding. He has also collaborated with police officers to pass a structured pay scale. He says this pay scale plan will make Blue Springs competitive with surrounding municipalities.
Lievsay also noted that he made these changes without raising taxes. Additionally, he pushed back against a proposed parks tax, leading the city to purchase the Blue Springs Fieldhouse facility at a discounted rate.
“Unfortunately, government moves slow. While we have accomplished many things, there are still more items I hope to have a hand in furthering. Downtown Blue Springs, which is in my district, has made great improvements, but still needs more support,” Lievsay said. “Overall, I feel I have momentum in several areas, along with continued confidence from the residents of District 2, and I hope to maintain that headed into 2019.”
If elected to serve another term, Lievsay said he would focus on infrastructure, as well as review sign codes and other regulations.
Filing for council races open next month. So far, no one has publicly expressed interest in challenging the three incumbents.