By Tyler Schneider
There are two separate races among five candidates in the Ward 2 District. Incumbent Dan Hartman is running against Mark Bybee and Irene Kendrick for his seat which expires in 2023. The second is for an unexpired term held by Alderman Annette Turnbaugh who was recently elected to MO State legislature for District 37. Bud Day and Joe Runions compete for her former spot. Ward 2 includes Grandview residents west of 71 Hwy.
Ward 2 (expired term)
Mark Bybee has been a UPS employee since 1983 and now lives in the same Suburban Acres area house in which he grew up in Grandview. His wife, Kaele Bybee, is also running as a mayoral candidate. If elected to represent Ward 2, Bybee would look to bring businesses back to parts of town where they are needed most, particularly on the south side. He lists Truman’s Marketplace as an example of the type of development he would seek for other areas of the city, including downtown along Main Street. “We don’t have a grocery store on the south side of town and we used to at least have two,” he says. Bybee describes the Grandview Parks and Recreation as “one of the crown jewels that we do have,” though he would welcome the return of a city pool and has plenty of concerns with how city leadership has handled the shooting range noise issue. “It was marketed as a public range, which, from what I have understood, is that public use of it has dwindled down to next-to-nothing. I feel that if we’re using tax dollars for that, we should be able to use it,” Bybee said, adding that the location was also an issue.
Dan Hartman, incumbent, is a lifelong Ward 2 resident who has served in his current position since April 2, 2019. Bringing his 45 years worth of public works experience as the former manager of Jackson County Public Water Supply District #1 to the table, Hartman would like to help “make Grandview the envy of the other surrounding cities.” “To do that, I believe we not only need better paying benefits for our workers here but (also) provide them with the best equipment that they need to do their jobs, no matter what the department,” Hartman says. “If we do that, morale goes up and that’s the best asset that we could have. We need to let those workers know that they’re liked, wanted and loved [in Grandview].” On the gun range issue, Hartman is both pragmatic and sympathetic. “It’s like raising a family, we kind of need to treat everybody the same. I know that’s going to be an expensive thing to try to fix, but, rather than spending that money on new things, I think we need to maintain what we have to make all of our citizens happy.”
Irene C Kendrick won her at-large bid for a seat on the Hickman Mills C-1 School Board last August and was subsequently named its vice president. An active community member, Kendrick also serves as Grandview’s Parks and Recreation commissioner, on the Grandview Historical Society and as a Democratic committeewoman. If elected, Kendrick says that enclosing the new shooting range would be one of her “top priorities.” Another focus would be housing development, where the grandmother of nine would like to invest in bringing new housing, particularly retirement housing, to the city. With her community involvement, Kendrick believes she is uniquely suited to serve as an alderman. “I participate in a lot of community events currently, so I already communicate with our constituents quite a bit,” Kendrick says. “I’m a friend of Mayor (Leonard) Jones, so I do pull his coattails sometimes and let him know what I hear on the street so he can let the city know what needs to be addressed.” Kendrick would also like to “bring new restaurants as well as more family friendly businesses,” such as a movie theater, back to Grandview.
Ward 2 (special election for unexpired term)
Bud Day very nearly won this seat back on June 2, losing to Annette Turnbaugh by 32 votes. Turnbaugh was ultimately elected to represent District 37 in the Missouri House in November, giving Day another opportunity. Standing in his way is Turnbaugh’s now two-time predecessor, former state legislator Joe Runions. But Bud sees his own positive traits.“Joe has had some good points, did some good things, but he’s also been in that box for so long. I have some new ideas.” Many of these ideas involve bringing family friendly businesses back to Grandview, as well as in retaining existing businesses from heading south. “Growing up in this town, I got to see 71 Hwy go in as a kid. From then on, traffic just started passing us by. If we get this two-way system back in on the access roads, it will be a great start for us,” Day says. Day, who said he hasn’t missed a city meeting in 18 months, described the shooting range as “a sore subject.” “The wording on the ballot was correct, but it was a loaded question,” Day says, adding that the mistakes came in the planning stages of the project.
Joe Runions is back in public life just mere months after terming out as a state representative for District 37 in January. In fact, he had been planning on this since late November of 2018, when he decided he would seek to regain his former seat as a Grandview Alderman for Ward 2. “I just don’t think I’ve finished the projects I started back in 2005. We have a lot of roads that need to be brought up to standard,” Runions said. “We’ve started, we need to finish now. With my experience with the city and state, with my contacts, I can get it done.” On the issue of the city shooting range, Runions cites its location and the lack of sound restriction considerations made during the planning stages of construction as key elements behind public backlash from some residents who live closeby. “To me, the [Board of Alderman] needs to step up and some feet need to get held to the fire. When you design something, you write the specs, and, if it’s got sound, you have to put those restrictions in. If those weren’t met, that falls back to the designers,” Runions says. “The package wasn’t put together properly to start with. Enclose it or shut it down.”