City Council 5th District Candidates
5th District voters will select between two political newcomers for the In-District city council seat, Edward Bell and Ryana Parks-Shaw. The seat is currently represented by Alissia Canady. Fifth district includes east of Holmes Rd, Bannister, 350 Hwy, and Noland Rd.
Edward Bell, 40, has a B.S. in Public Administration, a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He serves as a substitute teacher in the public school system and is also the Superintendent of Christian Education at St. James UMC. Bell has been a member of the Public Improvements Advisory Committee for the last four years.
Crime. Bell believes improving the relationship between a police officer and student could affect neighborhoods so that it doesn’t become antagonistic. He also believes in funding existing community partners who are already working on reducing crime. Because poverty plays a part in crime, creating employment, training, vo-tech, and recreational opportunities is another way to reduce crime.
Economic. Bell feels the city council needs to be more responsible with taxpayer money. He wants to make sure future economic incentives don’t take away from entities that are going to help grow capacity, like school districts. He would like to see run-down retail shopping centers used for small-scale manufacturing and training and workforce development.
Bell has observed the negative impact the Cerner TIF has had on Hickman Mills school district. He notes that a community wouldn’t cut funds for police or fire protection, so why take action that results in the reduction of school funding.
Ryana Parks-Shaw, 48, is an alumnus of Ruskin High School. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Missouri State University and her M.S in Health Administration from Southwest Baptist University. She has lived in the 5th District for 18 years and has served as a member of the Eastern Jackson County Workforce Development Board and is on the Missouri Hospice and Pallative Care Board of Directors.
Crime. Parks-Shaw helped create the country’s first crisis intervention team while working at Truman Medical Center. She proposes that more officers be trained to identify people with mental issues and handle them accordingly. She would also provide conflict resolution training for youth. She believes we need to become a trauma-informed community.
Economy. Parks-Shaw is aware of all the stores closed on Blue Ridge. She believes training individuals and providing them with jobs is key. She would also expand resources for small business owners to make it easier to start and succeed in business. She believes the TIF process must be restructured to include more transparency and accountability.