Seven candidates run for Grandview aldermen seats in June 2 election
By Tyler Schneider
Debbie Bibbs, 65, is an experienced businesswoman and an active community member who has lived in Grandview for four decades. In 2015, Bibbs was the first African-American woman to be elected as a city aldermen, but health issues led to her resignation on Sept. 12, 2016. A recipient of the Independence Examiner’s 2016 Woman of Distinction Award, Bibbs, a mother of two, spent much of her professional career with the Butler Mfg. Company, where she worked for 23 years as a cost accountant. She left for an entrepreneurial opportunity to own a salon and pursue a career in home health care. Bibbs has been highly involved with the Fountain Homes Association for 39 years, serving as the organization’s president for eight and as a board member for nine. She is also active with the Sheffield Family Life Church, the Grandview Historical Society and the NAACP. One of her first acts as aldermen would be “improving basic city services such as cleaning up trash, weeds and litter which appear to have worsened in recent years in some parts of town,” Bibbs said.
Tom McBride, 71, is originally from an El Dorado, Kan. where he started his first construction company. He has worked in construction ever since in Wichita, Kansas City, Las Vegas and where the job took him. He was awarded a $100,000 million contract for Kansas City’s Station Casino (now AmeriStar), and then received jobs for themed construction, including The Venetian in Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, he and his wife Cathy started a company that helped train prisoners to manufacture parts for construction, thus creating a nest egg plus job placement for the prisoners. McBride retired to Grandview. McBride has served on Grandview’s Construction Code Appeals Board since 2016 and is a Planning Commissioner for Ward I.
Kaele S. Bybee, 40, is a 20-year resident of Grandview. Bybee and a stay-at-home mother to three children, who attend Grandview School District. The Olathe-native is largely structuring her run on bringing on new businesses to fill vacant properties. Of note, for Bybee, are the former Sam’s Club and Red-X buildings off US Highway 71. “These are two buildings sitting vacant for a number of years in sight of I-49 that hurt our city’s forward momentum,” Bybee said. Bybee also mentioned two vacant restaurant properties in the Truman Marketplace as high visibility locations that would benefit the city if they were filled. Bringing a grocery store to the middle or south side of the city, an idea that city leaders have established as an ongoing priority, is another notion Bybee is in favor of..
Annette M. Turnbaugh, 61, is a lifelong Grandview resident.. One of two incumbents in this race, Turnbaugh has served as a Ward II aldermen since 2010. Currently a real estate agent with Keller William Southland Partners, LLC, as well as the owner of her own photography company, Turnbaugh grew up in a newspaper family, with her father founding the Jackson County Advocate in 1953. She helped run the publication for over a quarter-century before selling it in 2005.
Turnbaugh is a former board member and current member of the Grandview Chamber of Commerce and is also on the Downtown Preservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission. Turnbaugh may very well end up running for Joe Runions’ seat as a state rep for District 37 when he reaches his eight-year term limit this fall, but her decision to defend her seat as an aldermen does not accommodate those uncertainties. If she wins both races, she says there are guidelines in place that would facilitate the appointment of an adequate successor on the board. Regardless of how the election season unfolds, Turnbaugh’s focus remains on serving the people of Grandview.
Bud Day is a Grandview-native and resident for a combined total of 50 years. Day is a former Airport Facilities Superintendent for the City of Des Moines Aviation Department.
Retired since 2018, Day began his career in the cooling plant at UMKC learning the ins and outs of HVAC maintenance. He would go on to work as a facility manager for a trucking company before taking up his civic position in Des Moines.
After moving back to Grandview with his wife in 2008, Day resumed his facility management work by signing on to maintain critical support equipment for ‘a large healthcare provider’ in the decade leading up to his retirement.
If elected, Day would like to help the city retain more revenue rather than seeing it move south or east to Cass County or Lee’s Summit. He supports the renewal of the ½ cent transportation tax, converting the outer roads back to a two-way system and consolidating the fire district.
James N. Crain, 74, is a Vietnam veteran and a resident of Grandview for over half a century, Crain has been a sitting Ward III alderman since he was first elected to the position on April 1, 1980.
Crain, widowed with two daughters and five grandchildren, worked for Hallmark Cards for 34 years, retiring in 2004. His education includes an MBA in Accounting and Organizational Behaviors from UMKC. Crain has been an active member of the Grandview Parks and Recreation Commission since 1980. He has spent 18 years as both a member of the Richards-Gebaur Base Community Council and as a Grandview Youth Court Treasurer and board member. Crain is presently a member of ten ad hoc communities and is also actively involved in a long list of additional organizations, such as the Missouri Municipal League and the National League of Cities.
Ron Brownlee, 60, has lived in Grandview for a combined total of 20 years. He seeks to dethrone Craine for the first time since he was elected in 1980. “I am running so that I can give the people in my Ward a voice,” Brownlee said. “I’m a businessman and entrepreneur and would like to become more actively involved in the growth and image of my city.”
Brownlee graduated Grandview High School in 1978, after which he went straight to work with the Jackson County Public Water Supply District No. 1 in Grandview. He spent 30 years in the field and was certified as a Water Operator with a Class A CDL. Brownlee’s resume also includes service with the US Postal Service, where his route took him to South Kansas City. If elected — in addition to bringing a vast knowledge of public works and services to the discussion table — Brownlee would like to fill vacant properties around town. He adds that he would like to, “see how I may contribute in collaborating with the community in resolving issues that arise.”