Five Marion City Council candidates running for two seats in an April 5 election bring a diverse range of experience and priorities to the contest.
Marion County Record interviewed candidates about why they chose to run, their backgrounds in working with government, and what would be their top three concerns to address as council members.
Chris Costello was born and raised in Marion and has lived here all his life, he said, except for when he was away at college, earning degrees in business administration from Wichita State University and law from Washburn University.
Costello is president and part owner of Tampa State Bank, and also has a private law practice. He has three adult children, is married to Paige Brunner, and has a 12-year-old stepdaughter, Preston Schneider.
Costello said his motivation to run for council was a combination of wanting to contribute to city government, and to use his experience working with businesses to promote a healthy business climate.
“I would like Marion to be known as a government that was friendly to business,” he said. “I just think we can do a better job of making it easier for someone to come to Marion or expand in Marion.”
Economic development would be a priority, going beyond business development to focus on increased collaboration with other cities and the county. This would eliminate duplication and be more effective, Costello said.
Dangerous and dilapidated housing is another of Costello’s priorities.
“I’d love to see us continue that effort and maybe step it up some to get properties fixed and cleaning up to make Marion a community we’re proud of all over town,” he said.
Costello sees Luta Creek as an untapped source of recreational opportunities that should be developed.
“I wish we could clean up the river, make it an asset and not an eyesore,” he said. “I know that’s expensive, but back in the day it flowed, the water was cleaner.”
Costello said being a lifelong Marion resident with more than three decades in banking and law, including serving as city attorney for four county towns, and leadership roles in numerous civic organizations have prepared him to be an effective council member.