Mike Amyx is tired of frequently being asked the way it used to be but seldom queried on how it should be.
The former Lawrence mayor and Douglas County commissioner moved to change that Monday by becoming the third declared candidate for the Lawrence City Commission.
The 51-year-old Amyx will attempt to make a political comeback after serving on the City Commission from 1983 to 1988 and the County Commission from 1988 to 1993.
"I realized I was turning into a historian," said Amyx, the owner and operator of a longtime downtown barber shop. "I didn't want to be a historian."
Amyx said he would run a campaign that focused on convincing city residents he could be trusted to provide quality service.
"I love serving people," Amyx said. "That's what I do every day."
Amyx said he had the experience to oversee sometimes complicated city budgets and ensure they're taxpayer-friendly.
"I'll help mold a budget that will not go off in the middle of nowhere, but will be one we can afford," Amyx said.
He also said he would take planning issues "very seriously" and would attempt to provide residents of developing areas with planning that clearly spells out what to expect.
He also urged voters to not make the upcoming election a one-issue contest that focuses on the city's controversial smoking ban. He said he signed a petition that would have forced the issue to a public vote, but said that now appeared unlikely.
Amyx said he would work to expand the ability of businesses to have outdoor smoking areas but did not think a change in the ban was realistic.
"The smoking ban is in place," Amyx said. "I don't see a way to change it."
City Commissioners Sue Hack, David Dunfield and David Schauner all have terms that end in April. Hack has filed for re-election. Dunfield has said he will not seek another term. Schauner has not announced his intentions.
In addition to Amyx and Hack, Lawrence school district administrator Tom Bracciano has filed for one of the three at-large positions.
Candidates have until noon Jan. 25 to file. If seven or more candidates file, there will be a primary election March 1. The general election is April 5.