At least one Lawrence city commissioner will be seeking re-election.
City Commissioner Mike Dever on Monday filed to put his name on the ballot for the April City Commission election.
“I feel like it is really important that there be some continuity on the City Commission,” said Dever, who was first elected about four years ago. “It does take a long time to learn the job.”
During his first term, Dever was a key voice in promoting a new sales tax to fund the public transit system, and more recently has been questioning whether changes need to be made to the city’s solid waste system.
“I would like the opportunity to help shape our solid waste system,” Dever said. “The community is at a crossroads on how we’re going to have to face up to the issues with our solid waste service. We have a very well-respected service, but we also have to figure out what we can afford for the long-term.”
Dever, who is the owner of Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm GuideWire Consulting, said he wants to be involved in overseeing the conversion of the Farmland Industries plant, which the city recently purchased, into a business park. He also has served as the City Commission’s representative on the Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority.
Dever, 47, ran on a platform to boost job growth in the city four years ago. He said although the recession has made job growth difficult, he believes the city is starting to see some positive signs with the recent announcement that Plastikon Industries plans to locate more than 120 jobs in East Hills Business Park in the next three years.
“Even though we haven’t had as many major successes as we would like, there have been dozens of opportunities presented to us recently,” Dever said. “I think the fact that we’re getting more chances to present to companies means that more successes will be on the way.”
Dever became the first of three incumbents to file for re-election. City Commissioners Rob Chestnut and Lance Johnson have not yet said whether they intend to seek re-election to the five-member commission.
Two other candidates also have filed. Hugh Carter, a Lawrence financial planner and former planning commissioner, and Mike Machell, an area human resources manager and chair of the city’s library board, have filed. A primary election, if needed, will be March 1. The general election will be April 5. Candidates have until noon on Jan. 25 to file.