Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Mays, Enriquez Face off in Live Blog

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Mays, Enriquez Face off in Live Blog

Article excerpt

Streets and public safety are among the issues that most concern residents of southwest Topeka's City Council District 7, candidates for the council seat representing that district agreed Wednesday.

"People are disappointed with our street conditions and also concerned about the recent spike in violent crime," said candidate Aaron Mays.

"From what I heard from the residents of District 7, they are concerned about infrastructure and neighborhood safety," said Joselito "Ping" Enriquez. "There are those who are equally concerned about decreasing tax base and need for economic development that bring good paying jobs."

Mays and Enriquez typed up their responses while taking part in an hour-long live blog held beginning at 12:15 p.m. by CJOnline, which gave the public a chance to ask questions of candidates running to represent District 7 in Tuesday's municipal general election.

Capital-Journal opinion editor Matt Johnson moderated Wednesday's discussion, a transcript of which can be found accompanying the online version of this article.

The candidates discussed topics that included downtown redevelopment, the increase in homicides the city has seen the past couple years and legislation sought by Topeka's city government -- but vetoed in 2016 by Gov. Sam Brownback -- that would have made it easier for cities and counties to take control of abandoned properties.

"I don't feel that this bill violates private property rights," Mays said. "In fact, I would go so far as to say that our current inaction on abandoned properties violates the rights of neighboring property owners whose valuations and quality of life are negatively affected."

Kansas will have a new governor soon, Mays said.

"I would advocate in the Statehouse on behalf of the city to take another shot at passing this bill and getting it signed by the new governor," he said.

Enriquez said that as a Realtor, he has seen the devastating effects of absentee landlords on established neighborhoods citywide.

"The city should have the right to enforce codes and ordinances to protect those homeowners who choose to stay in their childhood homes," he said. …

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