City Commission candidates answer questions

Leavenworth Times

Eleven candidates for Leavenworth City Commission will face each other in the Aug. 3 primary election. The candidates are running for three at-large positions on the City Commission.

The Leavenworth Times submitted the same questions to all of the candidates. The answers from five of the candidates are presented here. Responses from additional candidates will be published in Friday's edition.

One candidate, Ted Davis, did not respond to the Times.

The election is non-partisan, which means candidates did not file as representatives of political parties.

Voters in the primary will be asked to vote for three or fewer candidates. The top six vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

Tom Beal

No photograph submitted

Age: 53

Occupation: No information submitted

Political experience: No political experience

Michael A. Bunch

Michael A. Bunch

Age: 45

Occupation: Operations supervisor for PepsiCo

Political experience: None

Mike Griswold

Mike Griswold

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired military officer and defense contractor

Political experience: Elected to Leavenworth City Commission in 2017; began four-year term in January 2018; served as mayor pro-tem in 2019; served as mayor in 2020.

Maren Hart

Maren Hart

Age: 65

Occupation: Small business owner

Political experience: I have been involved in the voting process my entire life, including being a poll worker and a poll watcher. I firmly believe the people's voice should always be heard.

Edd Hingula

Edd Hingula

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired military and civil service

Political experience: First time candidate for any office

1. Why are you running for the Leavenworth City Commission?

Beal: Better security in high crime areas, better streets and more activities downtown to draw attention to our downtown businesses shops and restaurants. Curb wasteful spending.

Bunch: I decided to run for the Leavenworth City Commission because I’m tired of politicians telling you what you want to hear to get elected and working harder at keeping their jobs than actually doing their jobs.

Griswold: To improve citizens’ quality of life by building on the progress made over the last four years in many areas: economic development, infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation, and the city’s appearance and image.

Hart: Our citizens are not being listened to, continually disregarded and disrespected. This is our city and our money, not the city commissioners' ever expanding ATM. Representing you will be my highest priority.

Hingula: To afford the citizens of Leavenworth a city commissioner who wants to represent them, and advocate for the issues they determine to be important. While I do recognize that we have some situations that need to be addressed, I want to address the issues that the people feel are most important.

2. What are the most important issues facing the city government?

Beal: See answer to previous question.

Bunch: We have a number of issues that need addressed in Leavenworth. We need to manage our tax dollars much better and reduce wasteful spending. If we reduce wasteful spending we can reduce and or eliminate unnecessary fees, permits and ordinances that just tax our people to death.

Griswold: Four years ago I said the most important issue was the lack of a vision for the future. Working collaboratively the commission recently developed a vision for the city and a 2030 comprehensive plan. Implementing both is a top priority.

Hart: Strengthening our tax base through supporting business, not on the backs of the people. Crime must be a priority of the commission so we have a safe community for families to live in.

Hingula: The City Commission must respect the freedoms and liberties of individual citizens. We need to stop spending taxpayer dollars on studies and contracts that send money out of the city. We need to find ways to cut spending and reduce taxes. We need to do more to bring jobs to Leavenworth.