City Commissioner Mike Amyx announced Monday that he’ll run for re-election, saying the city needs experienced leaders during tough economic times.
“This is not the time for me to take my plaque and go home and do nothing,” Amyx said at an announcement event at City Hall. “This is a time when I think the city can use my experience.”
Amyx, 55, currently is serving his second stint on the commission. He first served on the commission from 1983 to 1988, then left the City Commission to serve as a county commissioner from 1988 to 1993. He then returned to politics by winning a four-year term on the City Commission in 2005.
Amyx, a Lawrence native and owner of a downtown barber shop, said he thinks the upcoming election will be focused on the economy and how the city deals with scarce revenues.
He said he would fight against efforts to raise the city’s property tax rate and would look for ways for volunteers to help the city accomplish its goals. Amyx also said he would push the city to look at its purchasing policies to ensure that local businesses are considered first for purchases made by the city.
Amyx also said the community will have to decide what “core services” the city should provide, and residents should be prepared to see non-core services cut or reduced.
“This all goes back to the central idea of making sure efficiency in government happens,” Amyx said.
Amyx became the sixth candidate to file for one of the three at-large seats up for election. He is the first incumbent to seek re-election. Commissioner Sue Hack already has said she will not run again. Commissioner Boog Highberger has said he likely will not run again.
Lawrence residents have until noon on Tuesday to file for election. It appears, based on current filings, that Lawrence won’t have a City Commission primary for the first time in at least a decade. Because of a change in state law, at least 10 candidates must file before a primary will be held. The number needed to trigger a primary could be determined to be 11. The new state law is ambiguous on the exact number, and County Clerk Jamie Shew has not yet made a final determination on the number to be used locally.
The general election will be April 7. A primary election, if needed, will be March 3.