OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Dr. Faris Farassati, who represents Overland Park's fifth ward on the city council, announced his intention to run for mayor in the 2021 election.
Farassati was first appointed to the city council in May 2017, then elected in November of that same year. He was re-elected to his seat in November 2019.
Farassati provided a statement to 41 Action News, announcing his candidacy:
"My Friends, the great people of Overland Park, It is with utmost pleasure that I announce my serious consideration of candidacy for the office of mayor in 2021.
Overland Park needs a fresh vision that matches our needs in the next decade. You, the people of OP, deserve a transparent, responsive, and open government that functions based on legitimate research and compelling evidence. You deserve a government that respects the will of the public. I stand to promote resident participation in their government, to elevate their role in the decision-making process, and to reduce the impact of lobbyists and special interest groups on the future of our city.
But, at the end of the day, I stand to restore the trust of OP residents in their government. I respect all the public servants who have contributed to the well-being of our beautiful city, but the time for change has arrived. Specifically, change that protects and improves the quality of life for our future generations.
I hope that you decide to join me on this journey, and happy holidays to all!"
Most recently, Farassati was a strong opponent of the Brookridge development, a plan to use tax increment financing (TIF), and create a community improvement district, to transform part of the Brookridge Golf Course into apartments, a hotel, office, retail and restaurant space.
The city council approved the plan during a seven-hour meeting in early December. The day after the vote, Farassati released the following statement on social media:
"Last night, by the last second decisive vote of Mayor Gerlach, close to $200 million dollar of your tax money was handed over to the undeserving Brookridge project which includes a number of luxury apartments and offices and retail and restaurants. A perfect example of what I refer to as a “ Tax Guzzler” project!
20-30 people spoke against this tax giveaway!
The vote tally was 8 YES versus 4 NO (I, Burke, White and Kite) so it would have failed but mayor Gerlach voted YES and passed this tax incentive package. A dark day for Overland Park when the will of the public and voices of logics [sic} are ignored based on no real evidence and because of the efforts of lobbyists."
Mayor Carl Gerlach has been in office since 2005. It's not yet known if he will run for re-election in 2021.
Dr. Farassati is a cancer scientist at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.
Ward 5, the area of Overland Park represented by Farassati, covers much of the southeastern part of the city, between 110th and 159th streets.