WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.
A lifelong resident of Wichita, Pete attended Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School before graduating from Wichita State University. He was employed with the banking industry in Wichita for thirteen years before venturing into the world of entrepreneurship when he started a telecom company that eventually went public.
Pete’s experience with budgeting, and his knowledge of the community are necessary for keeping our community moving in a positive and fiscally responsible direction. His previous business experience allows him to work closely with numerous State, County, and City governments across the United States, and has provided him firsthand knowledge and insight on various ways for effectively running local government. Pete also serves on numerous non-profit boards, and other community boards.
He is committed to helping Sedgwick County and the Wichita region become an even greater place to live and work. He plans to expand his service to our community and make a positive impact on our county and its residents.
Pete is married to his wife of 40+ years, Suzi Meitzner; they have two children, a son and a daughter.
Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:
Campaign office: 400 N. Woodlawn, Suite 210
What do you think should be done to help residents dealing with high costs?
Sedgwick County does not control inflation costs. However, the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County both have many sources available for cost assistance in a number of areas. I encourage residents to contact the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County to see what assistance is available.
What can be done to improve the local economy?
I have a proven history of helping grow our economy over the past 10 years. I believe when businesses, government, and education work together, our local economy improves which helps all citizens.
What are your thoughts on Wichita’s decriminalizing marijuana and its effect on the County?
As long as there is not an impact on our County Jail, and our court systems, or other unknown consequences, then I am ok with the City Council action. However, if the result of this burdens our citizens with Jail, court, or other issues, then I support the City re-evaluating this decision and work with all parties to assure a positive outcome for our citizens.
What do you want to see done regarding:
- Mental health issues in the community?
Support a State Mental Health facility in our county. Build a mental health crisis center. And support a mental health / homeless campus to assist all phases of this mental health crisis.
- Fentanyl? Drug addiction?
Continue to communicate the dangers of fentanyl and drug addiction in the media, social media, and our schools. We have been very active in doing this during this year, and we should increase the communications on this danger.
I was one of the original supporters and contributors for ICT-1 (Integrated Care Team) while I was at the City Council, and further supported ICT-1 at the County. I support expanding this program to a 24×7, and 7 days a week. There are other successful homeless treatment programs that are available, especially with private and non-profit providers. We have to all work together to help reduce the growing homelessness in our community.
What are your thoughts on:
- Sedgwick County law enforcement?
I support Sheriff Easter, and our law enforcement, including expanded recruitment, training and compensation to assure a safe community.
- The jail?
I fully supported the increased compensation adjustments with jail staffing this past year, which has helped with staff shortages. The Jail continues to look into technology and process improvements which I am totally supportive of.
- Juvenile detention?
The County Juvenile detention system is an extension of the state system, and the juvenile court systems. I support the juvenile detention in Sedgwick County.
What are your thoughts on election integrity in Sedgwick County? Across the United States? Would you change the election process, and how?
As part of being a county commissioner, we serve as the Board of Canvass for all elections. My experience these 4 years assure me that I believe the elections in Sedgwick county are secure and accurate. Across the United States? I can’t speak on behalf of the rest of the United States and the numerous election processes in each state. Would you change the election process, and how? My only thought to change is to increase poll workers, and limit or eliminate the ballot drop boxes.
What do you consider to be the biggest issues facing Sedgwick County, and how would you address them?
Public safety and Health; From the Sheriff Department and Jail, the Fire Department, EMS (Ambulance service), and 911, to the County Health Department; all providing essential services to ALL citizens in Sedgwick County. The mental health in our community, including addressing homelessness is the next priority for me.