Blue Valley Post/Shawnee Mission Post to host 11 candidate forums ahead of local elections

As part of our "citizens agenda" approach to covering local elections, we'll be hosting 11 candidate forums this fall and asking the people who want to represent you in local government about the issues that matter to you most.

The Shawnee Mission Post and the soon-to-launch Blue Valley Post will be hosting a series of 11 candidate forums ahead of this fall’s local elections, giving Johnson County voters a chance to hear directly from the candidates who want to represent them in city government and on school boards.

As has been the case since the organization started hosting these events nearly a decade ago, the questions we’ll ask the candidates will come directly from our readers.

“There’s often a significant gap between the issues that politicians and political parties talk about most and the issues that local voters say are most important to them,” said Publisher Jay Senter. “Our approach is designed to put average residents’ interests at the center of campaign coverage.”

The forums will be moderated by Shawnee Mission Post Editor Kyle Palmer. All events will be open to the public, though we will be adhering to whatever COVID-19 restrictions are in place at the facilities where we hold the events, meaning we may need to cap the number of people in a room at a given time.

The full schedule for this fall’s forums is below.

Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees candidates
Wednesday, September 15
6-7:15 p.m.
Hudson Auditorium at JCCC (12345 College Blvd., Overland Park)
Facebook event listing

Mission Mayoral and City Council candidates
Tuesday, Sept. 21
City Council Candidate Forum: 6-7:15 p.m.
Mayoral Candidate Forum: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center (6200 Martway St., Mission)
Facebook event listing

Merriam Mayoral and City Council candidates
Wednesday, Sept. 22
City Council Candidate Forum: 6:15-7:15 p.m.
Mayoral Candidate Forum: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Merriam Community Center (6040 Slater St. Merriam)
Facebook event listing

Lenexa City Council candidates
Thursday, Sept. 23
7-8:15 p.m.
Thompson Barn (11184 Lackman Rd., Lenexa)
Facebook event listing

Shawnee City Council candidates
Tuesday, Sept. 28
7-8:15 p.m.
Shawnee Town 1929 Town Hall (11501 W 57th Street, Shawnee)
Facebook event listing

USD 232 Board of Education candidates
Wednesday, Sept. 29
7:15-8:30 p.m.
Mill Valley High School PAC (5900 Monticello Rd., Shawnee)
Facebook event listing

Overland Park City Council Ward 1, 2 and 3 candidates
Thursday, Sept. 30
6:15-7:30 p.m.
Matt Ross Community Center (8101 Marty, Overland Park)
Facebook event listing

Overland Park Mayor and City Council Ward 4, 5 and 6 candidates
Tuesday, Oct. 5
City Council Candidate Forum: 6-7:15 p.m.
Mayoral Candidate Forum: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Blue Valley Recreation Center at Hilltop (7720 W 143rd Street, Overland Park)
Facebook event listing

Shawnee Mission Board of Education candidates
Thursday, Oct. 7
7-8:15 p.m.
Shawnee Mission South Auditorium (5800 W 107th St, Overland Park)
Facebook event listing

Prairie Village City Council candidates
Tuesday, Oct. 12
7-8:15 p.m.
Meadowbrook Clubhouse (9101 Nall Ave, Prairie Village)
Facebook event listing

Blue Valley Board of Education candidates
Wednesday, Oct. 13
7-8:15 p.m.
Tomahawk Ridge Community Center (11902 Lowell, Overland Park)
Facebook event listing

What do you want local candidates to talk about as they compete for your vote in November?

The questions we ask the candidates during our forums and in our written questionnaires come directly from our readers. So, tell us!: What local issues are most important to you? What do you want to hear the candidates talking about during this fall’s campaign? Send your suggestions to us at stories@shawneemissionpost.com