Updates

Trent Wins City Council Race

After eight months of campaigning, Trent was elected to the Mission City Council on Tuesday. He received 90 percent of the vote, the largest margin of any contested 2019 municipal races in Johnson County.

“Thank you, Mission!” Trent said. “So humbled and honored to be your next councilmember.”

Shawnee Mission Post covers candidate issues in Mission City Council Race

Trent Boultinghouse is running to represent Ward 1 on Mission's City Council.
Trent Boultinghouse

The Shawnee Mission Post published an informative series on Mission City Council candidates’ responses to readers’ questions. See Trent’s responses below.

In recent years, developers have become increasingly likely to seek public finance incentives like tax increment financing and community improvement district sales taxes to pay for parts of their private projects. What’s your stance on the use of such incentives? When, if ever, is it appropriate to commit public finances to private real estate projects?

Public incentives should be used with caution, restraint, and on a case-by-case basis. Too often, cities in Johnson County have used such incentives to check the box on short-term goals that do little to address the long-term needs facing our cities – maintaining affordability, encouraging sustainable development, and preserving the spirit of what makes a city attractive. I believe Mission should only consider the use of public incentives when there is clear evidence that public investment is necessary for a project to be feasible and that the project will bring about strong benefits to our residents. With respect to tax increment financing in particular, I am leery of committing future tax collection for 20+ years when real estate trends can shift unpredictably. We should be purposeful and strategic when it comes to our vision for the city, and this includes our approach to using public finance incentives. This is a sentiment I share with many longtime Mission residents I’ve met throughout my campaign. We are fortunate that our city already attracts high-quality development opportunities and my focus as a councilmember would be to strengthen what makes Mission unique – the comforts of a small town with the luxuries of the big-city metro.

Mission was recently named the best city in Kansas for the middle class. What steps do you think the city should be taking to ensure the city remains an attractive and affordable place to call home for the middle class in the years to come?

I was not surprised to see Mission lead that ranking because neighbors always tell me about how much they love living here. I’ve met residents from all walks of life — everyone from empty nesters to young professionals. We share a sense of community and pride here thanks to our historic neighborhoods, locally owned downtown businesses and citywide events. This dynamic makes us a gem of the region and it is important that we preserve this strength. Many of our neighbors attribute their ability to thrive here to affordable housing, nearby schools and quality services. To ensure Mission remains an attractive place for the middle class to call home, we must be proactive in strengthening core services, incentivizing healthy lifestyle choices through bike lanes, green spaces, and sidewalks, and ensuring new development promotes affordable and sustainable housing. Through these strategic initiatives, Mission will preserve its reputation as an accessible place to put down permanent roots.

What the biggest challenge facing the city of Mission today, and what should city government be doing about it?

The biggest challenge facing Mission in the coming years is housing affordability. We have the opportunity to be proactive on this issue and should take advantage by placing it at the forefront of city deliberations moving forward. Ward 1 is home to the highest population of renters in our city. Earlier this summer I spoke with a woman in her apartment who said that she loved Mission but feared getting priced out of her complex. On Council, I would start to address this complex issue by:

  • Considering long-term goals when making decisions on new development. We must be wary of inadvertently pricing out portions of the population based on vague promises. Any new development proposals should prioritize the needs of all residents, including our most vulnerable populations.
  • Promoting and expanding community housing improvement grants. Mission is fortunate to be able to offer grants that provide residents with neighborly assistance that can help alleviate financial burdens for needed repairs. City grants like the Mission Possible program and partnerships with local non-profits like Habitat for Humanity allow for qualifying residents to receive general home maintenance and repairs. These types of programs benefit all residents by elevating the look and feel of the whole community.
  • Partnering with the Johnson County commissioners. We must work with the county to streamline initiatives and learn from best practices elsewhere in the metro area. Together with neighboring cities, we should explore programs and awareness campaigns for attainable housing.Mission was recently named the best city to live for the middle class. I will be a voice for these working families when it comes to housing affordability and maintaining our quality of life.

Trent featured in Kansas Leadership Center magazine, The Journal

Check out Trent’s responses in The Journal, a magazine published by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC). KLC “envisions more Kansans sharing responsibility for acting together in pursuit of the common good.” Read Trent’s responses below:

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

My name is Trent Boultinghouse and I grew up on a farm in rural southeast Kansas where I participated in 4-H and FFA at Girard High School and went on to receive my bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas. After graduation, I worked on policy directives at the Pentagon, and then pursued a master’s degree at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, where I studied governmental programs to reduce poverty. Even away from home, Kansas was never far from mind. I returned in 2016 with the hopes of advancing my state in a more empathetic, sustainable and forward-thinking direction. I’m running for office because I noticed a disconnect between City Hall and the young people in my Ward, where the majority of residents are renters. As a Spanish and Portuguese speaker, I am interested in reaching underrepresented members of the community, as well as encouraging more young people to put down roots in our town. I am ready to apply my present role in data analysis with my experience in federal government to help demystify complex city issues for my constituents.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

In talking with voters, sustainability issues frequently emerge as an area that excites residents and sparks curiosity. I would like to continue the city’s momentum in this area through expanded sidewalk coverage, improved bike lane access, and increased partnerships with KCP&Ls Renewables Program, for example. The KC metro area is especially vulnerable to the extreme weather brought on by climate change and as important state and federal initiatives are held up in gridlock, it is up to cities to help take the lead in ensuring smart practices for future generations.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

I have lived everywhere from farm country to major cosmopolitan cities and understand the importance of consensus building based on meeting people where they are. Mission is fortunate to have a dedicated and active Sustainability Commission that works on developing services and making recommendations to Council. I would partner with them as well as seek community input to build upon the progress that previous groups have already made. Some of the tools available in this effort involve improving and promoting the Mission community grant program for residents to create more efficient and sustainable projects in their homes, incentivizing LEED technology on new development, and building on our community pride in our parks and green spaces.

As a candidate, I believe that …

Johnson County lacks affordable housing for too many people who want to live here.

To what extent do you see a lack of affordable housing creating problems in your community?

To a very great extent

What, if anything, would you do about a lack of affordable housing in your community?

Mission is beginning to attract more residential development and I would help work with community stakeholders, city staff, and colleagues on the council to discuss incentives for the developers to include affordable housing units in their plans. I would also work with existing affordable apartment complexes to ensure units are safe and up to the standards that members of this community expect. Given issues in other areas of Johnson County with “McMansion” property flips that artificially exacerbate and raise home values, I would work to ensure our homes retain their relative affordability, as well as their livability, through responsible council decision-making. These goals ensure everyone benefits as residents have greater power to use their dollars locally.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

Speaking with both renters and homeowners throughout my campaign has highlighted the importance of this issue. I want residents to feel secure in their housing choices in Mission. As opportunities arise to make differences, no matter how incremental or small, I will pursue them as I would my other priorities for the long-term health of the city.

Tri-County Labor Council of Eastern Kansas Endorses Trent

Trent’s campaign has received the endorsement of the Tri-County Labor Council of Eastern Kansas, an organization dedicated to representing the interests of working people at the state and local level.

The Tri-County Labor Council advocates for social and economic justice and strives to “vanquish oppression and make our communities better for all people—regardless of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin.”

“I’m proud to stand in solidarity alongside these union women and men as they advocate for safe working conditions, livable wages, and fair benefits,” Trent said.

Rep. Rui Xu endorses Trent

State representative Rui Xu of Kansas’s 25th District has endorsed Trent’s bid for Mission City Council.

“Rui is a thoughtful, compassionate legislator in Topeka and his leadership style is one I have admired throughout my own campaign,” Trent said. “Rep. Xu understands the importance of strong communities – just last week I heard him give his legislative update during Mission’s council meeting.”

This campaign is about working with everyone to advance our city forward and Rui’s support helps us achieve that goal.

Trent receives Equality Kansas endorsement

Equality Kansas Endorsement

Trent received the endorsement of Equality Kansas, an organization that works to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity throughout the state.

“As a council member, I’ll work to make sure that all of our residents are proud to call Mission home, including our LGBTQ neighbors,” Trent said.

See all candidates endorsed by Equality Kansas for 2019 Municipal and School Board elections.

MainStream Coalition endorses Trent in Mission City Council Race

Trent was proud to be endorsed last week by the MainStream Coalition’s political action committee, MainPAC. MainStream is a group of informed citizens who reject extremism in today’s politics.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of MainStream Coalition,” Trent said. “I’m proud to stand for the common sense, compassionate and responsible ideals that MainStream espouses.”

See other candidates endorsed by MainStream.