Check out Trent’s responses in The Journal, a magazine published by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC). KLC “envisions more Kansans sharing responsibility for acting together in pursuit of the common good.” Read Trent’s responses below:
Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.
My name is Trent Boultinghouse and I grew up on a farm in rural southeast Kansas where I participated in 4-H and FFA at Girard High School and went on to receive my bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas. After graduation, I worked on policy directives at the Pentagon, and then pursued a master’s degree at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, where I studied governmental programs to reduce poverty. Even away from home, Kansas was never far from mind. I returned in 2016 with the hopes of advancing my state in a more empathetic, sustainable and forward-thinking direction. I’m running for office because I noticed a disconnect between City Hall and the young people in my Ward, where the majority of residents are renters. As a Spanish and Portuguese speaker, I am interested in reaching underrepresented members of the community, as well as encouraging more young people to put down roots in our town. I am ready to apply my present role in data analysis with my experience in federal government to help demystify complex city issues for my constituents.
Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.
In talking with voters, sustainability issues frequently emerge as an area that excites residents and sparks curiosity. I would like to continue the city’s momentum in this area through expanded sidewalk coverage, improved bike lane access, and increased partnerships with KCP&Ls Renewables Program, for example. The KC metro area is especially vulnerable to the extreme weather brought on by climate change and as important state and federal initiatives are held up in gridlock, it is up to cities to help take the lead in ensuring smart practices for future generations.
As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.
I have lived everywhere from farm country to major cosmopolitan cities and understand the importance of consensus building based on meeting people where they are. Mission is fortunate to have a dedicated and active Sustainability Commission that works on developing services and making recommendations to Council. I would partner with them as well as seek community input to build upon the progress that previous groups have already made. Some of the tools available in this effort involve improving and promoting the Mission community grant program for residents to create more efficient and sustainable projects in their homes, incentivizing LEED technology on new development, and building on our community pride in our parks and green spaces.
As a candidate, I believe that …
Johnson County lacks affordable housing for too many people who want to live here.
To what extent do you see a lack of affordable housing creating problems in your community?
To a very great extent
What, if anything, would you do about a lack of affordable housing in your community?
Mission is beginning to attract more residential development and I would help work with community stakeholders, city staff, and colleagues on the council to discuss incentives for the developers to include affordable housing units in their plans. I would also work with existing affordable apartment complexes to ensure units are safe and up to the standards that members of this community expect. Given issues in other areas of Johnson County with “McMansion” property flips that artificially exacerbate and raise home values, I would work to ensure our homes retain their relative affordability, as well as their livability, through responsible council decision-making. These goals ensure everyone benefits as residents have greater power to use their dollars locally.
How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?
Speaking with both renters and homeowners throughout my campaign has highlighted the importance of this issue. I want residents to feel secure in their housing choices in Mission. As opportunities arise to make differences, no matter how incremental or small, I will pursue them as I would my other priorities for the long-term health of the city.