Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Five people seeking three seats on Lawrence City Commission

January 25, 2011, 12:50 p.m. Updated January 25, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

Advertisement

With this economy there are cutbacks everywhere — even in city commission candidates.

Five candidates — the smallest field in recent memory — will campaign for three at-large seats on the Lawrence City Commission. Not joining the group will be incumbents Rob Chestnut and Lance Johnson. Neither commissioner filed for re-election prior to Tuesday’s deadline.

“Honestly, I just need to focus on my family and my business right now,” said Johnson, who owns a Lawrence-based engineering firm. “That’s what it comes down to for me.”

Chestnut, who is the chief financial officer for Lawrence-based Allen Press, also said the time commitment that goes with a seat on the City Commission was a major factor in his decision.

“I’ve just got some other personal and professional priorities that I have to focus on,” Chestnut said. “But it has been an experience that has been as great a professional experience as any I’ve ever had.”

Commissioner Mike Dever — the owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm — did file for re-election. The commission’s other two members — Mike Amyx and Aron Cromwell — have two years left on their terms.

The other candidates are:

• Sven Alstrom, a Lawrence architect and former member of the city’s Historic Resources Commission.

• Hugh Carter, a financial planner and former Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioner.

• Mike Machell, a human resources manager and chair of the city’s Library Board.

• Bob Schumm, a downtown restaurant owner and former mayor and city commissioner.

The field of five candidates is the smallest for a City Commission election since at least 1969, said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. Records at the county clerk’s office show that the average size field for city commission elections over the last four decades has been about 12 candidates, and once hit 20 candidates. That was in 1975.

Shew said he’s not sure why interest dropped off this year, but he said the poor economy may be causing some potential candidates to have second thoughts.

“With the economy and the issues governments are currently facing, these positions are not easy,” Shew said.

Chestnut said he also thought the economy was playing a role, but from a slightly different angle.

“People have a lot of priorities right now,” Chestnut said. “Everybody has to pitch in a little bit more at their full-time jobs to keep bread on the table. As much as they may want to do public service, there may be other priorities that are holding them back.”

The small field means there will not be a primary election in March. The general election will be April 5.

Comments

TJ_in_Lawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry I hate labels. Most anyone would label me a conservative. But I am pro library, pro business, pro education (I have more than the average number of kids in the Lawrence school system). I am for the statewide 1 cent sales tax for education. I dislike wasteful government spending, and my instincts tell me you cant spend more than you earn or you eventually go bankrupt. What would I be called if I were running?? Sadly I think that keeps more people from running than anything else.

0

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

So I guess the progressives, as you call them in this town, are anti-business.

I don't know how that is a good thing.

I am still waiting to see how the library expansion is going to be managed considering how we will be paying for it for the next 20 years.

0

Bob Forer 3 years, 2 months ago

What's happened to democracy in Kansas. The progressives ought to be ashamed of themselves for not ensuring that their voice--a large one, at that--is represented on the ballot. (Sven may fit the bill, but I think he has too much baggage for many folks, and is probably not a viable candidate).

Sadly, the large progressive community in Lawrence is all talk and no organizing. i guess they are too busy sipping wine at Friday evening art parties. Shame on them.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"Schumm wants a Fat Tire noooooowwwwww"

Have yourself a Red Hook Ale!!!

0

toe 3 years, 2 months ago

It is very clear to me why there were few candidates. With less state and federal money pouring into the community, there is less to pass around. There will be a larger crop the next time free money is in abundance.

0

BigPrune 3 years, 2 months ago

I'd vote for maybe one out of the 5. Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it - like the past 10 years all over again.

0

consumer1 3 years, 2 months ago

Geez!! can they be more obvious about their personal agenda for getting elected????

Sven Alstrom, a Lawrence architect and former member of the city’s ( Historic Resources Commission).

• Hugh Carter, a financial planner and former Lawrence-Douglas County ( planning commissioner ).

• Mike Machell, a human resources manager and chair of the city’s ( Library Board ).

• Bob Schumm, a downtown restaurant owner and former mayor and city commissioner. not sure what Schumm wants?

0

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

So we lose the only professionally trained and experienced financial manager with an accounting degree.

Not good.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Hold on. Bob Schumm was found bond in duct tape in an outhouse? I totally missed that supposed rumor.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Jonathan. I shall read them. You are either on top of things or a red flag goes up anytime I post.

0

The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Sven gets his own article and the rest are lumped into one article. Works for me. The Sven comment section was hilariious.

0

ralphralph 3 years, 2 months ago

Where are the Women?

C'mon, Ladies! We gave you the right to vote, you can get driver's licenses and everything, and not a one of you shows up to run the City?

Must have been a fad ...

0

oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 2 months ago

Of course no one their right mind wants to run .Who wants to hear and rehash again, porta pottties, Loring Henderson and his ongoing scam. Then there are real issues like paid parking 24/7 downtown. That will never happen and Lawrence will continue to be a money pit.

It's much more fun and rewarding to buy at Boca Raton, Santa Fe, experience real artsy fartsy folks and hob nob with real money in the Florida coast instead of the nouveau riche in Lawrence who have "some money but not quite enough" to make things happen and enhance the overall quality of life in Douglas.

Want to be that the new city commission will be rehashing the same old topics?. Now that is a bet worth taking.

0

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

It's already illegal to murder babies.

0

1029 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm voting for whoever will lower my taxes and stop trying to take away my guns. Beyond that, stuff's just too complicated for me to follow. And if Lawrence was really progressive, we'd become the first city to outlaw the murdering of babies. And no new library--this isn't 1980, we have the internet now.

0

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Spiderham is concerned about your drainage!

0

swan_diver 3 years, 2 months ago

The system is a complete joke, as far as good local governance is concerned. It's one reason no one wants anything to do with the process.

0

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 2 months ago

Public parks for everyone's back yards!

0

Kash_Encarri 3 years, 2 months ago

WIth that line-up to choose from, it looks like the time to consider leaving Lawrence.

0

BigPrune 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow, what a list. How disappointing. When will this town ever turn around? Time to pack the bags. More retread hippies or closet progressives. Such a shame.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.