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Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Latest filings force primary

KU student, maintenance worker join field for city commission

January 17, 2001

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There will be a primary election in the Lawrence City Commission race.

Two more people filed Tuesday for the three open seats, bringing the total number of candidates to eight.

"The city commission is five males, older gentlemen, all set in their careers. That's not Lawrence."

Jennifer Chaffee, Kansas University senior in political science

When there are more than twice the number of candidates than open seats on the five-member, nonpartisan board, a primary is triggered. The primary will be Feb. 27; the general election on April 3.

The two new candidates are Kansas University senior Jennifer Chaffee and Lawrence resident Jimmy Lee Bricker.

Chaffee, 27, a political science major, portrayed herself as an outsider seeking to shake up city government. The commission, she said, has "an appalling lack of representation for a large portion of the city's residents.

"The city commission is five males, older gentlemen, all set in their careers," she said. "That's not Lawrence."

The lack of diversity, she said, means the commission responds slowly, if ever, to resident concerns about bike lanes or tax abatements.

Chaffee said she is a "social liberal and economic conservative" who favors privatizing city services, like the new bus system, where possible.

"I just don't think the government should be paying for that," she said. "It could be profitable for companies that want to do it, and we wouldn't have to give them a tax abatement."

Bricker, 24, is a maintenance worker for Cedarwood Apartments. He said he is running to control the city's growth.

"I think Lawrence is growing out of control," he said. "There's too much."

Bricker, who has lived in Lawrence since 1995, said the city commission should act to protect local businesses from national companies like The Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. He also wants to inform consumers about companies that use sweatshop labor, although he's unsure of the commission's role in that regard.

"I think the city commission is a good forum for a lot of these issues," he said.

The other candidates so far include all three incumbents: David Dunfield, Erv Hodges and Marty Kennedy. Other challengers are Scott Bailey, Craig Campbell and Sue Hack.

The filing deadline is noon Tuesday.

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