June 20, 2014
Mayor Weir Spoke to Inter-City News
"With all the development and improvements along the 39th Street and I-70 corridor, citizens in the northwest area of Independence (Fairmount, Mt. Washington, Maywood, and Englewood) tend to feel left out and neglected. If you are elected mayor, what is your vision for improving the "Inter-City" district with respect to economic development, public safety, social services, and historic preservation?"
The only candidate who took the time to reply was then City Councilwoman, now Mayor Eileen Weir. This is what she wrote:
"As a citizen of Independence I have volunteered with organizations including the NorthWest CDC, Englewood Business Association, Maywood Merchants Association, and Truman Gateway to support appropriate residential and commercial growth. I have participated in fundraising, publicity, strategic planning, and public policy. I was very involved in the school district boundary change, allowing the annexation of Kansas City schools into Independence, working directly with Sen. Callahan on this initiative.
"For more than a decade, I have been personally involved in supporting the neighborhoods and commercial districts of northwestern Independence. This has been an important crusade for me because I have a strong desire to preserve the unique, authentic character of western Independence, and I believe this area of town provides great opportunities for the type of ‘new urbanism’ that I envision.
“This vision, which has been fostered through my years of involvement with residents and business owners, includes neighborhoods that are diverse in use and population, designed for pedestrian and transit as well as cars, and aesthetically defined as a place that celebrates local history through architecture and landscaping.
"To recapture the vibrancy that once existed in the city’s northwest, balanced development of jobs and housing must be planned. This plan should include a supply of affordable housing, increase in home ownership, historic preservation, safe streets, and the redevelopment of brownfield land.
"As Mayor, I will continue the work I have begun in northwestern Independence, engage the community in clearly defining the vision and goals, and execute strategies to meet these goals. I will also utilize the knowledge and experience I have gained through my volunteer efforts in the northwest to encourage investment in the other areas of the city that are also worthy of preservation and redevelopment."