A pastor of a Lawrence church who thinks the city needs to do more to implement previously approved growth plans has become the seventh candidate to file for the city commission race.
James Bush, the senior pastor at Lawrence's First Southern Baptist Church, filed the paperwork this morning to run for one of three at-large seats on the commission. His filing will ensure that there will be a primary on Feb. 27 to narrow the field to six candidates.
Bush said he decided to seek a seat on the commission after becoming frustrated by hearing candidates and commissioners say the city needs to do more planning.
"Horizon 2020, the city's comprehensive plan, is a tremendous, visionary plan that we should move forward on," Bush said. "It is not additional planning that we need. It is implementation that we need."
Bush said he'll promote himself as a pro-growth candidate who is interested in expanding the community's tax base.
"I don't think development is a bad thing," Bush said. "When I hear comments like 'we need more planning,' that doesn't sound like progress to me. It begins to come across as 'we don't want anymore people living in Lawrence.'"
Bush, 41, has lived in Lawrence since the end of 2002.
Candidates have until noon on Tuesday to file for the race. The general election will be April 3.
Two of the three incumbents - Commissioners Boog Highberger and David Schauner - have filed for re-election. Commissioner Mike Rundle announced that he will not seek another term.
Others who have filed are: Rob Chestnut, chief financial officer at Allen Press; Mike Dever, owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm; Carey Maynard-Moody, a retired school social worker; and Michael Limburg, a forklift operator with Amarr Garage Door Group.