Mayoral candidates speak out, part III

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

We're just days away from the primary election for mayor here in Wichita, but with nine candidates, many still haven't decided who to vote for.  That's why this week, KAKE's Pilar Pedraza met with all nine candidates to find out what they're all about.  

In part three of our series of candidate profiles, we look at our last three candidates, chosen at random by drawing names from a hat.  They are retired banker Lyndy Wells, millennial union member Joshua Atkinson, and Mark Gietzen, a conservative community activist.

"I believe that Wichita is on a great trajectory, but I think it's time for us to steepen that rise a little bit and open up the process, become a little bit more transparent with our taxpayers," Wells said.

He says he thinks the City of Wichita needs to be more long-term in its planning, pointing to the city's water treatment plant concerns.

"We've got a water treatment facility that's still a ways out before we can get a fix for that," Wells said.  "But in the meantime we've been committing capital dollars to new projects that may or may not receive full community support."

Joshua Atkinson says it's time for younger Wichitans to step up and start playing a key role in figuring out the future of the city.

"Our youth, kids that turn 18, we have to teach them that this world is theirs, that they're going to be the ones who go out and build the world that we live in for the next 100 years," Atkinson said.

He says the city still needs some help reaching the 21st century.  His plan to do that?  Provide citywide basic wifi.

"People who don't have access to the funds necessary for bus passes, a taxi, or an uber, things like that, they can't get access to the Workforce Centers or the libraries," Atkinson said.  "So it's a way to give back to our community and it's also a way to get us up to 2019."

Mark Gietzen is known in the conservative activist community for his anti-abortion stance.  This week he sent KAKE News an email suggesting Wichita should become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.

But, despite multiple efforts to reach him for this profile, he has not returned our Facebook message, email, or phone calls.  If he gets back to us before Tuesday, we'll add his interview to our webstory.