The owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm has become the second person to file for a seat on the Lawrence City Commission.
Aron Cromwell on Monday officially filed for one of three seats on the city commission, touting plans to put more focus on attracting small businesses rather than large corporations looking to relocate from another city.
“Big fish are great, and those strategies worked well a few years back, but we’re starting to see how big fish can stink more than little fish,” Cromwell said. “I mean, you wouldn’t wanted to have spent millions of dollars trying to attract AIG, for instance.”
Cromwell said he wants to make sure the city is doing what it can to keep researchers, engineers, business graduates and other in Lawrence.
“We don’t want to watch them go to Johnson County to start their new businesses,” Cromwell said.
Cromwell, 37, said his experience as a small business owner should help him oversee such efforts, and be an asset when putting together budgets for the city during times of “economic uncertainty.” His company, Cromwell Environmental, helps businesses with indoor environmental problems like mold and air quality issues. It also has a division that focuses on designing and installing solar energy systems for homes and businesses.
Cromwell, who is married and has an 11-year old son, becomes the second small business owner to enter the city commission race. Lance Johnson, a civil engineer and owner of Peridian Group, filed last week.
The deadline to file for the race is Jan. 27. The general election will be on April 7, and a primary election — if needed — will be on March 3.
Three of the five seats on the City Commission are up for election. Incumbents Mike Amyx, Sue Hack and Boog Highberger have terms that are expiring. None has said whether they plan to seek re-election.