Kathleen E. Garrison – Republican for Sedgwick County Commission, District 2

Candidates

(Photo courtesy Kathleen E. Garrison)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

  • Presently – Data Analyst Contractor for US Attorney’s Office, DOJ
  • BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (focus on Political Sci and Criminal Justice) Newman Univ. 2019 – 4.0 GPA Summa Cum Laude
  • Executive MS in Diplomacy and International Affairs (Fall 2020) Seton Hall Univ.
  • AA Texas Court Reporting College, Ft. Worth, TX
  • H.S. Diploma – Arlington Heights H.S., Ft. Worth, TX (went to Cheney prior)
  • Owner of The Cottage Venue – Haysville, KS
  • Previously – President of Early Bird Lawn Care, Inc. (1998-2016)
  • Official Court Reporter, Sedgwick Co. District Court (1989-1998)

Personal Information:

Single mother of 8. Married 30 years. Five grandchildren. Divorced in 2015. Maiden name Kathleen E. Shea. Daughter of Betty and Dr. Patrick C. Shea, O.D. from Cheney, KS

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

Kathleen4Commissioner.com

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

  • Ongoing community response to Covid Pandemic – protection of civil rights of citizens and businesses
  • Decisions on what to do with Century II – I would like to keep it and renovate it
  • Promotion of business opportunities in Sedgwick County
  • Increase support for mental health services

What are your thoughts on how the County responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

I do not agree with the current mandate to wear masks in public (unenforceable). I believe that business owners can decide for themselves if they want to ask their patrons to wear something but government does not have the right to require it. I also do not believe that the face masks are helpful in preventing the spread of the disease which is capable of penetrating the majority of the masks that non-professionals wear. I believe it is largely a psychological crutch that people use to make themselves feel safer.

I also do not believe in “shutting down” our economy. The vast majority of businesses will accommodate the wishes of the public in whatever way they need to without the heavy hand of government closing their doors in the name of public health. The economic, psychological, and familial damage caused by the shutdown far surpasses any minor benefit the lockdown gained.

How do you propose to help the local economy recover?

1. Keep them open. Do not restrict their hours of operation or how they conduct their business.
2. Protect them from potential lawsuits from customers who may decide to sue an establishment if they get sick.
3. Ensure that they have adequate security from local law enforcement in the event that rioters attempt to cause damage to their establishments.
4. Allow the businesses to decide how to operate and what rules to put into place for their employees. If we continue to layer more and more hardships on these lower-paid employees, they will simply quit. Finding good help is difficult enough without the government taking away all of the incentive for people working for tips. The fewer hours they work and the fewer patrons there are, the less money they will make and it will not be long before either the company will go broke or they will not be able to find help to run their establishments.

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

I am convinced that the official organization BLM is an Anti-American Terrorist organization that is extremely dangerous to all American citizens. It has its roots in Marxism and promotes the demise of the nuclear family and directs contributions to the Democratic Party, which should be illegal. They need to be stopped from exploiting our freedom of expression and assembly by using is as a rouse to cause mayhem in our communities. They have also taken advantage of the goodwill of people who wish to make race relations better by deceiving them into thinking this was their aim. It was not. It was to overthrow our government and our way of life.

When in office, I would be happy to meet with any legitimate group or individuals who are truly wanting to improve our society and bring any and all minorities to the table for open discussions. I will not entertain any proposals from BLM because I do not believe that their cause is legitimate nor do they have the best interests of any American citizens in mind.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

The best way to promote social and racial justice is to encourage respect for all people regardless of their origin or state in life. This includes those that are disabled, the innocent unborn, the poor and marginalized, the widows and single parents, the elderly and many, many more so-called groups. We all have our disadvantages. It is what we make of ourselves in spite of them that makes our lives worth living. I believe if we lift people up and show them their potential, the animosity will diminish because there will be more room for opportunity for everyone. When people are fearful or threatened, they act out to protect themselves. When they feel accepted and encouraged, they have the freedom to explore possibilities that they never knew existed.

Are you in favor of law enforcement reform? If so, what should it look like?

I am adamently opposed to any “defunding” of law enforcement. I would be happy to sit down with our local law enforcement professionals and determine if there are any issues that they see need to be addressed. I would also not be opposed to bringing in an outside entity to evaluate the necessity for any improvement. If something is suggested, then we would need to weigh the value of such services against the increase in cost necessary to implement the changes.

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

My vision is to bring back integrity to the board. I would like it to be above reproach in their dealings so that the public has complete trust in our actions. I also do not believe that the Commission should interfere in the private and business lives of its citizens. I believe in the people of our community and their ability to protect themselves and be accountable for their own health. I would like to see more mental health and family support services in our communities in the foreseeable future, i.e. domestic violence prevention, suicide prevention, drug intervention and the encouragement of intact families.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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