WARRENSBURG — Three candidates are vying for two seats, each a three-year term, on the Warrensburg City Council.
Tarl Bentley has lived in Warrensburg with his wife, Cindy, for 20 years.
“My top priority would be to make sure the council makes informed decisions, provides effective feedback, works collaboratively with all stakeholders and, most of all, listen to the citizens of the town about their concerns,” Bentley said.
Bentley has a bachelor of science degree in education — K-12 special education and a master of science degree in education — special education from Central Missouri State University, now the University of Central Missouri, and an education specialist degree in administration/secondary school principalship from UCM.
Bentley has worked as a special education process coordinator for five years and previously worked as a special education teacher for 10 years.
“I ran for office in the previous election and fell short of being elected, but I still believe that I can bring a new and different point of view to the council,” Bentley said. “I truly have a lot to offer the City of Warrensburg and feel it would be a disservice to the town, my family/friends and myself by not attempting to seek a spot on the council.”
Bentley has not previously served in a public office.
“I have some personal ideas about what I believe Warrensburg needs but part of the reason I am running for the council is to look at the bigger picture,” Bentley said. “Before making a decision about Warrensburg needs, I would like to research the information, weigh all the options, analyze the cost, get collaborative input and then move forward with making an informed decision about what is best for Warrensburg.”
Jim Kushner has lived in Warrensburg since 1964.
“I want to help educate the public when they ask, ‘why not’ or ‘how come,’” Kushner said. “I believe that with knowledge we can do a lot. Along with that I want to continue the work toward a stable government, both fiscally and responsibly for a continued good and diverse community open to growth and not forgetting the past.”
Kushner has 93 hours toward a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration, attended Columbia Southern University and the National Fire Academy studying leadership, financial management and other management and leadership courses and has several certifications related to the fire service and municipal government.
Kushner retired from the Warrensburg Fire Department in May 2019, holding the position of fire chief/emergency management director, having started with the city in 1980. Prior to working for the city, Kushner worked for a private ambulance service, auto garage, a drive-in and as a paperboy.
“I have served the community for over forty years and I don’t believe that I am finished,” Kushner said. “I have worked with a lot of great people to make Warrensburg a great place to live. I know what the city staff is capable of and I think that will help the Council in some of the decisions presented to them. … Knowledge and an interest in the future of this town is probably the best reason (to run for election).”
Kushner has not previously been elected to a public office.
“Warrensburg needs a stable revenue stream that is enough for growth and to maintain the present infrastructure that is reasonable to all so these needs are met,” he said. “We have weakened storm water, sewer and roads that all need more attention. These same assets also need to expand to accommodate growth. ... We also need to continue working with developers for enough housing that will accommodate all our citizens.
“Warrensburg is a place to live. It is a neighborhood, home and offers a lot. I enjoy Warrensburg, I have raised my family here, daughters and now grandsons. I value the partnerships that we have in place to help us be successful. I want to help the community continue to be a great place to live. If elected, I will work for all of Warrensburg.”
Casey Lund has lived in Warrensburg his entire life.
“(My top priority is) continuing to promote synergy,” Lund said. “The biggest strength that Warrensburg has is the willingness of all the major entities of economic development to work together. Economic development is a team sport and we all work together really well.”
Lund graduated from Warrensburg High School in 1997 and from the University of Central Missouri with a bachelor of science degree in business administration — business management in 2002.
Lund and his wife, Jessica, own Warrensburg Collision and he has managed the business for 15 years.
“I want to help Warrensburg continue its positive growth and success it has experienced in recent years,” Lund said. “We are headed in the right direction, but there is still much work to do. I believe with my skills and experience of achieving award winning business growth coupled with my passion and leadership in our community, I can continue to contribute to our amazing City of Warrensburg leadership team.”
Lund, currently serving as mayor, was first elected to the Warrensburg City Council in 2017.
Lund also serves as president of the Whiteman Base Community Council, president of the Warrensburg Economic Coalition and past president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce.
Lund is a member of the Johnson County Economic Development Corporation, Warrensburg Schools Foundation, Western Missouri Medical Center Foundation and Chair of Business Relations Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission, Energy and Sustainability Task Force, Depot Renovation Committee, WACC Collision Advisory Board, Warrensburg Noon Rotary, Chamber Military Affairs Committee and Veterans Assistance League, among others.
“Infrastructure needs are going to be the hot topics over the next year,” Lund said. “There are many areas we need to invest in, unfortunately we can only afford to complete some of those. Narrowing down the most vital to our growth will be a challenging discussion, that I welcome.
“The most important issue on this ballot is the School District bond. ...It is the single most important thing you could do this year for economic development. The increase will cost approximately $2 per month for the average household. No one wants to pay more in taxes, but I think this is a measure that is worth the investment. Please join me in voting “Yes” for our kids and economic development.”