Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Voters elect Bob Schumm, Mike Dever, Hugh Carter to Lawrence City Commission

April 5, 2011


View an interactive, precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the results for the Lawrence City Commission race.

Interactive map of Lawrence City Commission election results

View an interactive map of the results for the Lawrence City Commission election held April 5, 2011.

Experience seemed to matter Tuesday to the voters in the Lawrence City Commission race — or at least to the ones who showed up.

Voters gave big victories to Bob Schumm and Mike Dever, the two most seasoned candidates in the field. Hugh Carter, a political newcomer but the son of a former Lawrence mayor, also won a spot on the commission with a third place finish.

“I think voters liked that I had both business experience and City Hall experience,” said Schumm, a longtime downtown restaurant and bar owner who previously served on the commission in the early 1980s and early 1990s.

But mainly voters liked to stay home. Turnout countywide was estimated at 13.3 percent, and several precincts in Lawrence had single-digit turnout totals.

“This election was not a mandate by the public to do anything special,” Schumm said. “You can’t read a mandate into any of this.”

Unofficially, Schumm took the top spot in the election with 5,428 votes. Dever, the owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm and the lone incumbent in the race, finished just 16 votes behind to take second place. Carter, a Lawrence financial adviser and former member of the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission, garnered 3,910 votes. Schumm and Dever both will receive four-year terms on the commission. Carter will receive a two-year term.

That trio held the top three spots as soon as vote totals started being released around 7:30 p.m., and the other two candidates never were able to gain much ground. Mike Machell, a human resources director and chairman of the city’s Library Board, finished in fourth place with 3,362 votes. Lawrence architect Sven Alstrom garnered 2,254 votes.

Candidates said it was hard to determine what issues really motivate voters in the campaign.

“I think a lot of this shows that people are still focusing on digging themselves out of their own personal situations,” Dever said. “And I think part of it is that there haven’t been a lot of glamorous issues at City Hall lately.”

Dever said he will urge the commission to continue focusing on balancing budgets, coming up with a plan for the city’s trash service and converting the former Farmland Industries property into a business and industrial park.

“I feel like we have built a good foundation over the past few years, and now it is time to build out the rest of the structure,” Dever said.

Schumm said he thought three issues swayed voters to varying degrees: opposition to special taxing districts, concern that the city’s living wage provisions may be weakened, and support for finding the Lawrence Community Shelter a new home.

“I think I endeared myself to the shelter supporters because I said I really want to take a leadership role on that issue,” Schumm said. “I think there’s more the commission can do on that.”

Carter — who is the son of former mayor Ed Carter, who served briefly with Schumm in the early 1980s — said he wants to focus on improving the city’s economic development efforts. He said he will push to create quarterly business roundtable sessions where elected leaders receive input from local business owners.

“I think we’ll find that the small business experts in this community know best how to create an environment to grow jobs,” Carter said.

Schumm, Dever and Carter will take their seats at next Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. They will join incumbents Mike Amyx and Aron Cromwell. Rob Chestnut and Lance Johnson both chose not to seek re-election and will finish their terms Tuesday.


Bob Forer 6 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Schumm. Please do your best to fight the TIFF and attempts to privatize sanitation services.

BruceWayne 6 years, 8 months ago

Whit/JK- What is the deal with the comment counter?

Keith 6 years, 8 months ago

Probably a massive comment spam attack.

wmathews 6 years, 8 months ago

It's not a spam attack. A banned user is having a hissy fit and posting over and over. Because they're banned, the comments don't show up but the count increases.

LoveThsLife 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm confused is Smitty the online name of the guy who was running for council?

I thought Smitty was the poster who always defended the yellow house people???

Are they the same person?

fabian_zimbabwe 6 years, 8 months ago

Whomever it is, he/she sure seems to have a great deal of time on his/her hands. Seriously, what satisfaction is this person deriving from this? Very, very lame.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 8 months ago

Expecto Petronius... I mean patronum...

Paula Kissinger 6 years, 8 months ago

And apparently they have no recollection, or knowledge of, Bob's past. Here we go again would be an understatement.

woodscolt 6 years, 8 months ago

you know that they say granny, if we don't pay attention to history and learn from it, it will repeat itself. here's to repeating

strongarmcrunch 6 years, 8 months ago

I am in agreement. I have nver voted for this guy, been here since the last time he ran.

What mistakes will he make this time?

svenway_park 6 years, 8 months ago

And some of us remember him quite well, and voted for him thus.

strongarmcrunch 6 years, 8 months ago

I voted for him. He was the only one against the SW traffic way.

I also reported you for nastiness. I thought this kind of childish behavior was supposed to end.

irvan moore 6 years, 8 months ago

i think we have proved that the last several elections

Kontum1972 6 years, 8 months ago

cleaning up Farmland will be like trying to clean up the Desoto Ordinance plant...LoL...

Get Real....!

kshiker 6 years, 8 months ago

Great coverage last night. Very impressed about how quickly you had the vote counts updated. Congrats to Schumm, Dever and Carter. Thank heavens Sven did not win, but I am similarly puzzled as to how he got over 2,200 votes.

JustNoticed 6 years, 8 months ago

"alteranative life style group" That contains and explains your psycho biography (yes, please take that all kinds of ways). Your psychography - that shiny, happy place inside a cube of inward-facing mirrors. oh yeah.

JustNoticed 6 years, 8 months ago

"alteranative life style group" That contains and explains your psycho biography (yes, please take that all kinds of ways). Your psychography - that shiny, happy place inside a cube of inward-facing mirrors. oh yeah.

nativeson 6 years, 8 months ago

Not much of a mandate last night. The last 2 elections have seen diminishing participation. In 2007 votes cast were in excess of 35k in total. In 2009 it was 25k and last night was below 21k, or a 40%+ reduction in number of folks at the polls in 2 election cycles. That is staggering.

JustNoticed 6 years, 8 months ago

"alteranative life style group" That contains and explains your psycho biography (yes, please take that all kinds of ways). Your psychography - that shiny, happy place inside a cube of inward-facing mirrors. oh yeah.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 8 months ago

Can we say for lack of a better choice or just lackluster election? Maybe more people would have come out if they had choices that inspired them? Or maybe if they thought someone besides those groomed by the chamber might have a chance? Schumm is the only one of the three that falls outside this category...I was glad to vote for him, but I still wished we had some new blood that wasn't a carbon copy of so many that have been voted in. I think most everyone thought the election was a given and so didn't think their vote would mean much. Too bad for Machell--he just needed another couple of blocks to vote for him.

Hudson Luce 6 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence really needs an alternative to the Journal-World. It caters to a select crowd of people and does little or nothing for whole sections of the city... The comments on this board are truly indicative of the bias of the LJW, and it's nothing I'm interested in having any part of.

Clark Coan 6 years, 8 months ago

Schumm bought this election. He sent out three separate cards to voters and then paid for a sticker on the masthead of the Journal-World. He must have had a really good campaign manager to think that up.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

stream, mind that screen door on your way out.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 8 months ago

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