Talk of changing the city's smoking ban and moving the city's library into the former Riverfront Mall will be topics during the upcoming city commission election, thanks to two last-day filers for the race.
Jake Davis, a local musician and data entry worker at Pearson Government Solutions, and Sam Fields, a Lawrence bail bondsman, both filed just hours before Tuesday's noon deadline. The two filings set the stage for a Feb. 27 primary where voters will narrow the field from nine candidates to six.
Fields, 46, 1201 Ohio, said he has lived in Lawrence since 1989. He has owned AJ's and Applejack's bonding companies for 12 years.
Fields said he decided to run for the commission because he favors putting a new library at the Riverfront Mall and he wants a cleaner downtown.
Davis, who performs acoustic guitar under the stage name Basin, said he'll lobby for a change in the city's smoking ban. Specifcially, he said he would like the city to allow smoking in bars after 10 p.m.
"With Topeka and lots of other cities not having a ban, we're still at a pretty good disadvantage," Davis said.
Davis, 28, 941 Ind., also said he has been disappointed that city commissioners have spent time debating issues that are far outside of their reach - such as a resolution related to the Iraq War. He said he would rather see the commission spend more time on road maintenance and other essential city services.
There will be a primary Feb. 27. 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 would not seek another term.
Those who previously filed for city commission include James Bush, a Lawrence pastor; 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.