Archive for Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Three candidates file to run for Lecompton City Council

January 21, 2004

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With the filing deadline a week away, three candidates have filed to run for seats on the Lecompton City Council.

Ed Smith, Chuck Folks and Leah Ann Nichols all have filed the necessary paperwork at the Douglas County Courthouse. The three are vying for three seats on the five-member council up for election in April.

Council members are paid $20 per meeting.

Smith, an incumbent council member and former mayor, seeks election to the seat he has held since April. That's when, as the city's outgoing mayor, Smith appointed himself to the council seat vacated by the resignation of Nick Fergus.

Smith had lost in last year's Lecompton mayoral election, 68-56, and incoming Mayor Roy Paslay had expected Smith to leave city government. But before leaving office, Smith nominated himself to fill Fergus' vacated seat, and he then broke a 2-2 council deadlock to approve his appointment.

Smith is a former city employee and is certified to handle municipal responsibilities related to the city's water system.

Folks, 29, is running his first campaign. A plumber for Action Plumbing in Lawrence, Folks said he would like to see the city focus on improving its water system and staving off growth pressures.

"I think some people have lost sight of why people want to live in Lecompton," said Folks, who grew up in town, graduated from Perry-Lecompton High School and has lived in Lecompton for the past 2 1/2 years, after a brief stay in Lawrence. "They think we need all these modern conveniences, but that's part of the problem: All the small-town conveniences are going away. I just want to keep Lecompton."

Nichols, 28, works for Sagebrush Corp. in Topeka and out of her home as a saleswoman for Mary Kay Cosmetics.

The filing deadline for candidates is noon Tuesday at the courthouse, 1100 Mass. in Lawrence. If seven candidates meet the deadline, a primary would be conducted March 2.

The general election is April 6.

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