Miscellaneous questions - Usha Reddi

By The Mercury

1. Should the city extend non-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation? If so, should an exemption be permitted for religious beliefs?

Discrimination in any form is wrong. Discrimination perceived or not by an individual, must be taken seriously. I will be a commissioner who listens thoughtfully to concerns raised by citizens.

2. To what extent would you favor exploration of inter-governmental consolidation?

I think we need to explore consolidation but not at the expense of quality and effectiveness. It makes sense to not have duplication of services and to share technology and database systems. Riley County Police Department is a good example of consolidation. I would caution in consolidating at all levels because it may not be cost-effective or efficient. For example, the city has two legal counsel and two assistant mgrs because of workload. If we consolidate, etc, it will increase the burden on staff and city services will suffer.

3. Do you think the city needs a vicious/dangerous breed ordinance?

Like any issue, I will listen to all sides and make a thoughtful and informed decision on the facts about a vicious/dangerous breed ordinance.

4. Do you think the city needs to do more with gun control?

I don’t believe the city has much say in gun control laws at this time. Our job is to enforce state and federal guidelines. There is still debate going on if states can overrule federal gun laws.

5. Should the city revisit a rental inspection program?

Rental inspection came to the forefront several years ago because some landlords were taking advantage of tenants by providing unsafe and unsanitary units. Many landlords are following International Codes and city ordinances. As in any organization, a few bad ones usually ruin it for the whole. There has been some improvement but a lot more needs to be done. Safety is the issue here. We need to evaluate progress that has been made. We need to get landlords, tenants, the City, parents, higher education establishments and USD 383 to sit down and discuss how to educate our youth and tenants on their rights and responsibilities and how to hold landlords accountable. Safe housing is critical in a community with a very large population of renters especially with the presence of K-State and Fort Riley. I will work with landlords and tenants to ensure safety and security regarding rental properties.

6. Should the city build, expand or improve its Parks and Rec Department offices?

The current Parks and Recreation Department offices are outdated and not adequate for daily business. The city should look at improving the Parks and Rec. Department offices while considering the impact on the city budget. The Parks and Recreation Department continues to play a vital role in the quality of life in Manhattan. The space used now has not been updated in decades although there has been an increase in programs, staff and equipment.

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