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Archive for Friday, February 26, 1993

INCUMBENT JUGGLES MANY ROLES

February 26, 1993

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Ask Bob Schumm about the key issues facing the city of Lawrence, and he'll talk about the need for the Horizon 2020 strategic land use plan, the Eastern Parkway and rezoning parts of downtown Lawrence.

But ask him how old his four children are, and Schumm has to call his wife, Sandra, to double-check.

Juggling his family, business and role as a city commissioner leaves Schumm with "a very compressed time schedule it's stressful."

That's why Schumm waited until days before the filing deadline before announcing he would run for his fourth term on the commission. He was elected to a two-year term in 1979, a four-year term in 1987 that included two years as mayor and another two-year term in 1991.

SOMETIMES name recognition helps an incumbent, sometimes not, Schumm said.

"After four or six years, when you make six or eight decisions a night you can't please everybody," he said. "After a period of 300 meetings, you've had the opportunity to vote against every single citizen in Lawrence at least once. So a new face looks like a better proposition."

This year's campaign appears to be one of the quietest, Schumm said.

"Property tax rates are down, buildings are going up, downtown is prospering, and city services are being developed in an appropriate fashion," he said.

The one issue that residents mention most frequently, Schumm said, is the need for another golf course.

BUT SCHUMM said he's not interested if the city has to provide a subsidy, although municipal golf courses elsewhere in Kansas have turned profits.

Lawrence also needs a "well-thought out plan for the next 25 years," Schumm said. He said he is in favor of the Horizon 2020 plan, but cautioned that it will have to represent the concerns of the entire community to be successful.

He also wants to work toward the completion of the Eastern Parkway.

"It will allow for greater unity between the city as a whole, allowing people in southeast and East Lawrence access to west Lawrence, and vice versa," he said. "It will give commercial interests on the east side of Lawrence and North Lawrence access to K-10, where they are significantly landlocked now from highway ingress and egress."

SCHUMM said he also will encourage rezoning eastern parts of downtown Lawrence.

"The eastern part of downtown is encumbered with a zone that is really not an appropriate downtown zone, it doesn't work very well," he said. "For the city to fulfill its long-term planning guide Plan '95 in my opinion, the zoning needs to be changed to encourage more density. . . . I'm not interested in expanding the existing (downtown) footprint, as we agree to it."

Schumm came to Lawrence in 1964 to attend Kansas University. After graduating in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in journalism, he entered the food-service business.

With the journalism degree "I learned how to write menus," he said.

KU has become a family tradition and is making a big dent in Schumm's checkbook. His wife, Sandra, is finishing her doctorate in Spanish, son Chris age 20, Sandra says is a junior and daughter Carolyn, 18, a freshman. Daughter Stephanie, 14, is a sophomore at Lawrence High School and Marguerite, 7, is in the first grade at St. Johns School.

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