Mike Fagg has grown up in El Dorado, attended schools here and now is raising his family here.
“I truly care about my hometown,” he said.
That is why he decided to run for mayor in the spring election.
“This is all about my hometown and making sure we stay accountable for what we are doing,” Fagg said.
When Mayor Tom McKibban decided not to run for re-election, Fagg decided he would run for the office.
“I just feel like the issues, like the water issue, are big deals coming up,” Fagg said.
Regarding selling water, Fagg said he thought El Dorado should have been selling more water a long time ago, but he wants to make sure it is done correctly for El Dorado.
He suggests bringing in someone who deals with water issues from out of state to give a second opinion on the situation.
“This decision needs to be right the first time because you won’t get a second chance,” he said. “The lake debt keeps growing. We started at $24,748,567. On July 1, 2013 we will owe $48,329,613.33.”
Fagg believes when considering selling water, El Dorado’s needs should be first, then they should go to the county to see what needs can be met, then to Wichita.
Another issue important to Fagg is housing.
He would like to do something similar to what Hutchinson has done, which was a house stock survey of the community.
“That would be a place I see starting on housing,” he said. “El Dorado housing needs some help.”
Fagg also is a supporter of the one-cent sales tax.
“I remember the day when the then city manager asked me how the city could fund street repair,” he said. “At that time we only had approximately $80,000 in the street fund.”
The one-cent sales tax had been voted down twice at the time.
“Going door to door and visiting with the community I was amazed how many people in town didn’t trust the city,” Fagg said. “It is important the city spends this money wisely because they are held accountable every five years with a new election of the sales tax.”
He pointed out the actual 2011 Real Estate tax receipts were $2,200,218, while local sales tax was $2,280,322.
“With these figures you can see what the property taxes would do if it didn’t pass,” he said.
He does want to keep that money focused on streets.
Page 2 of 2 - Looking at streets, he believes West Towanda should have been addressed a long time ago, along with discussions with the county about assistance on the project.
The budget is another reason Fagg decided to run, with some questions he would like answered including how much Prairie Trails was purchased for and what was the tax valuation on the property, as well as if the sitting commissioners who received campaign donations from the people benefiting from the sale abstained from voting.
He said the city’s expenditures have increased 38 percent from 2008 to 2013.
He also wants to know more about the American Legion deal and believes big nonessential expenditures should be voted on by the community.
Fagg has experience on the City Commission, serving as a commissioner from 2003 to 2007.
“I liked being a commissioner,” he said.
Three of his four years on the Commission the mill levy was the same or lower and he said the year it was raised he voted against the budget. He thinks it is important to reduce taxes because everyone is having a hard time right now.
He also learned a lot while on the Commission, having attended several League of Kansas Municipalities Leadership Academy courses including ethics, nuisance abatement, leadership summit, governing body institute, municipal finance, advanced municipal finance and guiding the municipal organization.
“One of my accomplishments was understanding the city and how it works, and the costs that go with it and being more effective,” Fagg said.
While he was on the commission he also was a supporter of the Sixth and Main project, which is now underway. He said they also put dividers in on West Central.
Fagg also has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of El Dorado United Way, president of the Lions Club, chair of Mid-Kansas Community Action Program, chair of the Bluestem chapter of the American Red Cross, member of the first class of Leadership Butler, started the Walnut River Festival, director of Partners In Education, director of Four Winds Girl Scout Council, EHS parent advisory committee member, EHS Myrrl Houck scholarship committee member, member of the Community Advisory Committee at HollyFrontier, member of St. John’s Catholic Church, member of Sons of the American Legion, member of Knights of Columbus, member of Red Devil Chefs and coached little league baseball, basketball, softball and soccer.
He also has been chair of the City Planning Commission, chair of the city Sales Tax Advisory Committee, original member of the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force and director of community action for retail revitalization.
Fagg graduated from EHS in 1972 and attended Butler Community College, Wichita State University, as well as several lending and banking related schools and the graduate school of banking at the University of Wisconsin. Fagg and his wife Debbie are lifetime El Dorado residents. They have raised three daughters and have two grandsons and one granddaughter. Fagg has a 40-year career in local banking. He currently works at the Andover state Bank as a senior vice president.