Jeff Longwell – Candidate for Wichita Mayor

Candidates

Biographical Information:

  • Mayor of Wichita since April 2015
  • Previously served eight years on city council representing west Wichita
  • Twelve years on Maize Board of Education
  • Attended Wichita State with General Studies degree incomplete
  • Served on White house Infrastructure committee and Affordable Housing committee in 2018
  • Past President of League of Kansas Municipalities
  • Charter member of Sunrise Rotary Club
  • Past Chair of Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Past executive board member of Regional Economic Area Partners
  • Serve on executive board for Workforce Alliance
  • Past board member of Wichita State west-side campus advisory board
  • Currently serve on the State of Kansas transportation advisory committee 2019

Personal Information: Married December 1980 to Susie Beckman. We have three grown children and three grandchildren. Daughter Angela Pankratz (spouse Scott), granddaughter Marissa. Twin sons Ryan Longwell (spouse Vivian) and Bryan Longwell (spouse Alana), granddaughters Annika and Erilyn.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media: Jeff Longwell for Mayor

What specific Wichita issue deserves your immediate attention and how do you plan to address it?

Mental illness and substance abuse is a concern. Currently serve on committee bringing agencies and resources together to address issues. We have added an Integrated Care Team to respond to people in mental health crisis. Recently gave financial support to new mental health hospital being built near 21st and Amidon. We sent a team to San Antonio to learn more about their success with regard to addressing this issue. We are seeking grants from state and federal government to help finance solutions.

How do you propose to grow the Wichita economy?

We have implemented new strategies focusing on diversifying our jobs. The Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth allows us to build upon sectors we have experience in. Aviation, Advance Manufacturing, Health Care, Technology, Transportation, Oil and Gas, and Agriculture are sectors we are focusing on.

We are offering training with scholarships to attract a skilled workforce to fill growing jobs from increased efforts. We have a new program that helps military people transition into the Wichita area workforce.

What is your vision for the east bank of the Arkansas River? What do you want to see happen with Century II?

I would like to see more green space and park land. We should let the community decide what potential new facilities might be built. We should keep Century II and look for a better way to open it up to all of the community.

What is your vision for the baseball stadium & Delano?

The new team owners want to hold over 200 events in the new stadium including High School football, concerts, scouting camp outs, soccer games, winter wonderland village among a few new events.

The Delano area will continue to expand with shopping and dining venues. A new apartment complex is going up with first floor office and retail space.

Describe your vision for Wichita’s future and how you plan to achieve it.

We are growing quality of life for all of Wichita. Building better infrastructure, more safe walking paths, 12 aquatics playgrounds, more park amenities. We have new opportunity zones to help us focus on areas that are stagnant or have blighted properties. Lowering crime by new partnerships and added police personnel. We are building a Wichita that inspires people to show their love for the city by displaying the Wichita flag everywhere including license plates.

Some citizens have expressed concern about a lack of transparency in city government decisions. How will you work to address those concerns from voters?

We will work hard to better communicate and open government so that everyone has access and an understanding of what our city is doing to work for citizens. We have a dedicated city council that works hard to get the public involved on advisory groups and commissions to get better feedback on directing our city.

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