Marge Vogt first ran for the Olathe City Council nearly 25 years ago because of a city planning issue she wanted to see addressed, specifically related to zoning. At the time, she said she didn’t feel like there was a strategic plan in place guiding progress and growth in what was an early stage of a rapidly expanding city.
About that time, Vogt says she got together a neighborhood committee representing roughly 700 households in the city to discuss issues related to zoning and city planning. That group ultimately asked Vogt to run for the Ward 4 City Council seat in 1997.
“We felt that the leadership was lacking, and I gained support through this zoning issue by citizens that I helped lead,” she said.
When she first ran, she said she never imagined she’d still have a seat on the council in 2021. But Vogt says she doesn’t think her work is done yet.
“I believe [I’m] still making a difference for the community and I've generally told people, I will continue to run for office as long as there are issues that I feel that I will make a difference, and of course still enjoy what I'm doing,” Vogt said. “I think when you enjoy what you're doing, you're usually passionate about it and spend the time and put the initiative to make things happen.”
Today, she says some of the key issues she’s focussed on are public safety and transportation, which citizens of Olathe in surveys over the years have repeatedly indicated they want prioritized. There’s also the issue of homeownership and housing accessibility. Specifically, she wants to ensure young people coming to the city have the ability to buy a home someday so they don’t have to rent their whole lives.
Vogt says the people of Ward 4 also want her to keep running.
“My constituents have asked me to continue providing leadership because they understand I know the history,” she said, “and I believe that when you've been on the council, you have the experience and support to make things happen.”
Her experience and “proven leadership,” Vogt says, make her the best candidate for the job.
“What I offer the city and my constituents and the citizens of Olathe as a whole, is to be able to vision for the future,” she said. “It's not just about today. Yes, I've got to make sure your trash is picked up and your water is clean, but it's also visioning for people … who, in ‘97 weren’t even here.”
On top of her service on the City Council, Vogt is also a full-time nurse practitioner at Reproductive Resource Center in Overland Park. She works primarily with couples facing fertility issues.
“I work in a practice that actually helps people have children, and build families so that's what I do for a living,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to help people build their families.”
She’s served on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Board and Kansas State Board of Nursing. In the past, she also had a seat on the local board of the American Nurses Association.
Vogt is one of two candidates running for the City Council Ward 4 seat she currently holds. It represents the northeast corner of the city. The other candidate is Dustin Morris, but he could not be reached for inclusion in the Olathe Reporter’s candidate feature series.
The race was not subject to a primary election in August since Vogt and Morris were the only two candidates to file. It is a nonpartisan election.
The election is on Nov. 2.
Early voting begins by mail on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and in-person on Saturday, Oct. 23. A list of ballot drop-off spots and early voting sites is available here.