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Archive for Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bradford, Sanburn, Byers walk away with seats on Lawrence School Board

City commissioner Rob Chestnut, center, talks with school board candidate Mark Bradford as the two look over election results Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at the Douglas County Courthouse. At left is Lawrence city manager David Corliss.

City commissioner Rob Chestnut, center, talks with school board candidate Mark Bradford as the two look over election results Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at the Douglas County Courthouse. At left is Lawrence city manager David Corliss.

April 7, 2009

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Election Day 2009

Voters in November's general election sometimes had to wait in lines, but there was no waiting in today's election, making each vote cast that much more important.

View a detailed breakdown of results from every precinct for this race

Lawrence school district voters selected the fire chief, a newcomer to the city and a voice on equity issues to step into leadership roles during a transition period for the district.

Mark Bradford with 3,661 votes, Vanessa Sanburn with 3,596 and Bob Byers with 3,055 won the three school board seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s election.

“I would say I believe the public knows what I do for them as their fire chief and what I try to do in the community, and probably they saw that coming with me as I work on the school board,” said Bradford, Lawrence fire chief since 2005 who received strong support from western Lawrence precincts Tuesday.

Sanburn, a political newcomer and Kansas University graduate student studying social work, recently moved to Lawrence from Wichita with her husband and daughter. She said voters were likely drawn to some of her top campaign issues — providing a more complete sexual education curriculum and having local food suppliers contribute to school lunches.

The board will have to deal with tough budget issues next year, she said.

“Any programs tied strongly to academic achievement must stay,” Sanburn said.

Byers, a longtime Lawrence resident and an assistant program administrator for the Kansas Department Social and Rehabilitation Services, said he wanted to focus on the socioeconomic achievement gap, especially in secondary school students.

“We’ve got to figure out why and what we can do to prevent it,” said Byers, who has worked as chairman of the district’s equity council.

For the third spot, Byers edged out former county Democratic Party Chairman Tom Hartley, who received 2,426 votes. Thom Hepford with 2,399 votes, Michael Riley, 1,736 votes, Michael Pomes, 1,641 votes, and current board member John Mitchell, who decided not to run after he filed and was on the ballot, received 1,030 votes to round out the field.

Bradford said it would be important for the new board members to show strong leadership during tough budget times. Superintendent Randy Weseman will retire in July and hand over the top administrative post to Louisburg Superintendent Rick Doll.

Bradford would also like to see the school district work more with city and county leaders on economic development issues to shift the tax base from relying so much on residential property values.

“We’re going to have to work real hard to increase economic development to bring in more tax revenues,” he said.

Bradford, Sanburn and Byers will replace three board members who did not seek re-election, Craig Grant, Linda Robinson and Mitchell.

The new board members will take office in July. Douglas County Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. Friday at the courthouse, 1100 Mass., to certify the election results.

Comments

chargdup 5 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Mark Bradford seemed more occupied with real estate development than with education which is the type of thinking that brought USD 497 taxpayers $16 million dollars worth of athletic spending then comes more tax dollars to staff and maintain. Keep an eye on the spending ball and how certain topics may be disguised as " for the children".

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Mark Bradford seemed more occupied with real estate development aka "expanding the tax base" than with education which is the type of thinking that brought USD 497 taxpayers $16 million dollars worth of athletic spending plus more tax dollars to staff and maintain. Keep an eye on the spending ball and how certain topics may be disguised as ” for the children”.

After 25 years of expanding the base we had tax increases and user fee increases all along the way. Expanding the tax base is not suppose to increase taxes, user fees or our cost of living..... so what happened?

This situation will not change! *Economic Growth Problems in Lawrence http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/sep/why_do_you_think_lawrence_growth_lagging/

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chargdup 5 years, 4 months ago

I've got a deadpool going with some friends on how long it takes Bradford to have another heart attack.

Working for the City AND on the school board? That's a ticking time bomb if there ever was one.

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