A primary for candidates for the Leavenworth City Commission will take place Aug. 1.
A primary for candidates for the Leavenworth City Commission will take place Aug. 1. There are three positions on the commission that are up for election this year. The primary will reduce the field of at-large candidates from 11 to six. Over the next several days, the Leavenworth Times will publish profiles of the 11 candidates. The series begins with profiles of three of the candidates.
Michael A Bogner
Occupation: Retired (civil service – Fort Leavenworth)
Political experience: Served on the Leavenworth Water Board (one term ended in 2015), serving on the Leavenworth Board of Zoning Appeals (over eight years), served on the Leavenworth Planning Commission (over 10 years), served on the Leavenworth Preservation Board (over eight years). Has a bachelor’s of science degree in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Kansas.
Todd O. Coulson
Occupation: Retired following a 31-year Army career. Currently a realtor
Political experience: Has never held an elected office due to military service. Has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in international relations from Troy University in Alabama.
Political experience: None
Why are you running for City Commission?
Bogner: I have lived here all my life and am proud to call it my home. I have also been very active in the city over the past 12-15 years, serving on various appointed boards as well as an elected board. Since I have retired, I felt that I should try to do even more for my community. I would like very much to see if I can help our town grow and become a better place for families to live and work.
Coulson: I love the city of Leavenworth and think it is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I would like to not only see that it remains so but that it has continued growth and prosperity for all of her citizens. I would like to, in conjunction with the other commissioners, develop a vision for the future of our city to ensure that we maintain and highlight the historic downtown while allowing the rest of the city to grow.
Jordan: I am running because the people of Leavenworth have been ignored about changes they want to see and deserve for far too long.
What qualifications or experiences do you feel have prepared you for a position on the City Commission ?
Bogner: The skills and experiences I have gained over the past 35 years working for the Army have been invaluable in terms of problem solving, communications (both verbal and written), fiscal management and interacting with the public and private sectors on large as well as small issues. A few of these actions were directly related to the partnerships enjoyed between the U.S. Army and the city.
Coulson: Though I have never served in an elected office I have a great deal of experience. As the U.S. National Command Element (Kandahar, Afghanistan) operations officer (2007-2008), I became intimately familiar with the inner workings for utilities, maintenance, road construction and over 15,000 people from 16 different countries. In 2011, I served as the U.S. Forces Iraq rear command G3 (operations officer) in Kuwait where it was my job to prepare several camps movement, reception and integration of more than 80,000 military and civilian personnel coming from Iraq.
Jordan: I am an Air Force veteran and you are taught leadership skills in every branch of the military and I am a citizen who knows all too well the frustration of wanting a safer and better place to live and yet being faced with leadership who only thinks their opinions matter.
What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city?
Bogner: Credibility – open and honest communications with the public, fiscal responsibility – providing an environment where families can afford to live and work here, process improvements – more public involvement in the major decisions that affect their well being.
Coulson: I believe the commission must develop a long-term vision for the future of Leavenworth and prioritize the budget to set that vision in motion. That vision must not only be for utilities, roads, sidewalks, etc., but also for the public image of our city and what draws people to it. The commission though five very different individuals, must work as a team to provide for our city.
Jordan: It’s a long list but I would start with crime and employment.