Larry Wiens is the current McPherson Commissioner of Public Works. He is running for re-election. The Buzz sent out a questionnaire to the candidates for city commission. Here are Wiens responses:
Please give a biography of yourself so the voters can get to know you on a personal and professional level.
I have been involved with service to people most of my working life. I am married and we have an adult son and have lived in McPherson for the last 50+ years. I have also served on the city council the last four years.
Do you think our main street/downtown is healthy and successful? Why or why not?
Yes, I think Main Street is healthy. I feel the Chamber and McPherson Main Street work very well together.
What’s the one major issue you plan to address?
Serving on the commission the last four years and looking ahead, the streets and drainage plan are long-term needs to be carried out. In so doing, the extension of the sales tax is going to help.
What makes you stand out from other candidates?
I am involved in day-to-day projects, attending all meetings and I have a positive attitude about the future of McPherson.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?
As a commission we are very transparent and have tried having meetings in the evenings by request and in four meetings we had three residents show. I will keep trying other ways to involve residents, i.e. publications in the news media and town hall meetings.
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
I would hold town hall meetings and let the public ideas come in. Then choose from the majority and what best benefits the most people.
What neighborhood do you live in? Why? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?
North east, by my choosing. Favorite places to spend time are at town functions.
What do you know about how councils work?
I have a handbook with me that guides councils and their workings plus four years of experience.
What are your ‘red-line’ issues when it comes to budget votes?
As a city, state we have guidelines not to exceed. As a city commission, we work very hard not to raise the mill levy. Each department has a budget and it is reviewed line-by-line to assure it is something that is needed.