Ward I Alderman Tom Cleaver, first elected in April 2019, is seeking re-election this April.
Cleaver has lived in Grain Valley since 2005, and his two stepchildren graduated from Grain Valley Schools. Cleaver said his desire to work to aid business growth and improve the city's infrastructure was his reason for running for alderman and continues to be his goal as he looks toward another term.
Cleaver points to QuikTrip, Starbucks, and Culvers on the north side of town and the recent grant to begin redevelopment efforts downtown as highlights of city development efforts over the past couple of years. "I feel like the city is moving in the right direction. We have great staff leadership at the city," Cleaver said.
"We are a growing City, so it is important for the Board to continue to focus on the right growth in the City. And I think we are focused on that."
Looking at challenges the city faces, Cleaver said budget constraints that affect the City's ability to remain competitive in terms of staff wages and benefits to recruit and retain talent, as well as continued work to maintain and improve City streets is top of the list.
"I think we've done a good job the past couple of years in improving many of our side streets and working with MODOT to improve those they maintain."
Housing developments, and the recent approvals of multi-family developments, has created some debate in Board meetings regarding the right mix of housing for the community.
"Of course, single family housing is preferred, but we still need to offer, for a city of our size, apartment options for residents."
When contentious issues arise among the Board, Cleaver said one of the keys as a leader is to ensure all voices are heard.
"I think it's important to listen to everyone's opinion. Let's talk about it, meet in the middle if possible, and do what is best for residents."
"I love our community and really love living here. I want to continue to see our city do well, be safe, and be a place for everyone to feel welcome."
Valley News will profile each candidate on the ballot in the weeks leading up to the election, provide a voter guide, and plans a candidate forum in late March. To search for all election related articles, click on “Elections” under the categories on our News page. For voter registration information, visit www.jcebmo.org.
Ward I Alderman Tom Cleaver is running for re-election. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley
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