The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce has a new point person for dealing with area lawmakers, and the Lawrence City Commission has one less candidate for re-election.
Lawrence City Commissioner Hugh Carter was named Thursday as the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of external affairs.
Carter also announced on Thursday that he won’t seek re-election to the City Commission when his term expires in April.
“As much as I have enjoyed my experience on the commission, one of the things I like about this job is that it will be a continuation of some of the more important efforts that are under way in the community,” Carter said.
In his new role, Carter will assist the chamber’s president and CEO in strategic planning for the organization, and will serve as the chamber’s chief liaison with the City Commission and other area governments. He’ll also represent the chamber at various external events and activities.
“In Hugh Carter, we have identified an individual with a strong dose of energy and drive,” Greg Williams, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement. “He is someone with a passion for Lawrence and an authentic excitement about this opportunity.”
Carter starts his new job on Feb. 1. Carter said he’ll finish out his term on the commission, which ends in early April. But Carter said he’ll recuse himself from any issues that create a conflict of interest with his new job, although he doesn’t expect that to be many. The city does provide funding for the chamber’s economic development marketing program, but the City Commission won’t be asked to set that funding amount until this summer, after Carter’s term expires.
Carter — who previously was a financial planner and before that was a manager in the hotel and hospitality industry — was elected to the commission in 2011.
During his two-year term, Carter said he is pleased that he’s helped raise awareness of the needs for new facilities and equipment for the police department, and for spearheading the creation of a new board that will focus on attracting retirees to the Douglas County economy.
Carter said he thinks his time as a city commissioner has helped prepare him for the role of bringing the chamber and the community together on issues.
“I try to connect people and bring people together to find the common denominator that we all can support,” Carter said. “That can be really difficult, but it is something that I enjoy.”
Thus far, two candidates have filed for seats on the Lawrence City Commission: Rob Chestnut, a former Lawrence mayor and a chief financial officer for a Topeka-based company; and Scott Criqui, a human relations commissioner for the city and an executive with a Lawrence-based home health care provider.
In addition to Carter, Commissioners Mike Amyx and Aron Cromwell both have terms expiring in April. Neither has made an official announcement about his intention. The filing deadline for the race is noon on Jan. 22.