Mayor Stark Talks about Goals and Plans for Peculiar

Recently Peculiar’s Mayor Stark took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about how she views the roll of Mayor, her ideas and goals for the future of the City, and why she chose this path.
Holly Stark grew up in Cass County and as a result has strong ties to Peculiar and surrounding communities.
Initially Stark began her foray into politics as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board for Peculiar. “It was right when the big boom was happening and they were approving all these plats. I was very concerned about the impact on the school district, the community as a whole, and my own property values and what type of town we were going to have for us and for my kids future.”
It was the beginning of a decade of public service to the community of Peculiar. “I didn’t see a lot of representation for young families on the Board of Aldermen. I was also concerned with the direction the City was going and so I decided to run for the Board.”
Stark said she never intended to be involved with government for this long, but as plans and ideas started taking shape and progress has begun to bring those ideas into reality, she admitted it is hard to walk away with the job incomplete. “For me, getting the 211th interchange, that is really a big part of the master plan and I really want to see that out. The other thing that I am most proud of is the financial aspect of the city.”
Mayor Stark said she had big shoes to fill when she became mayor. She spoke highly of her predecessors and opened up a little about what she feels her role as Mayor is in the community and in the city government. “I like being Mayor. There is good we can do there. The other thing as Mayor that is important to me is that we have spent a lot of time and development in our professional staff. We get a lot of compliments on our staff from people outside of our area.”
Concerning length of terms both for Aldermen and for Mayor, Stark says that as an Alderman she opposed it for a couple of reasons. One was the time commitment. Four years may keep people from being willing to serve that would have been willing to commit to a two-year term. Another reason was that it gave the community an opportunity to remove someone they did not feel was representing their needs well in a timelier manner. “The flip side of that is that two years for somebody new coming in is really tough trying to get up to speed before it’s time for them to run again. I can truly argue both sides of this issue.”
The most challenging part of her job she admits is “perception versus reality. I don’t think that as elected public servants at this level that we are even remotely close to politicians. We are just your friends and neighbors trying to do the best we can for our town. Nobody does this job to get rich. It truly is a labor of love to serve your community because you care.”
When it comes to the cooperation among Belton, Raymore and Peculiar Stark said, “I’m a very loyal person to my hometown. But I never saw these boarder wars. Our consumers are all the same consumers. This whole regional concept, I can tell you, Mayor Kerckhoff and Mayor Davis especially, we understand the value of that. We (municipalities) share with the County in revenues. There is no reason for this animosity over getting things. I desperately want stores to come to Peculiar, but if they don’t, I’d much rather see them go to Belton or Raymore than to Lee’s Summit or Johnson County, KS because if it stays in Cass County, the City gets a piece of that.”
One thing that Mayor Stark wants the people of Peculiar to know is, “We are really trying to do the best we can because we want this to be a financially viable community.”
The earnestness and conviction with which Mayor Stark responded to the questions speak volumes of her genuineness. She truly loves Peculiar.

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