Archive for Friday, November 30, 2012

Rob Chestnut seeking to return to Lawrence City Commission

November 30, 2012


After a two-year hiatus, longtime Lawrence resident and financial professional Rob Chestnut is seeking a return to the city commission.

Chestnut on Friday officially filed to run for a seat on the Lawrence City Commission in the upcoming April elections.

“We have a lot of public projects that are being considered or already have been approved in the city,” Chestnut said, mentioning the proposed recreation center, the library expansion and a possible bond issue by the school district. “I want to make sure we are spending enough time on the core services, like police, fire, water, sewer and public works. I call them the ‘have-to’s.’ They are things you have to do.”

Chestnut, 51, served on the commission from 2007 to 2011, and was mayor for the 2009-2010 term. Chestnut said he did not seek re-election two years ago because he was in the midst of changing jobs. He previously was the chief financial officer for Lawrence-based Allen Press, and now is the CFO for Topeka-based Nationwide Learning, a company that produces writing-based learning products for elementary schools.

Keeping an eye on the city’s budget will be a major point of emphasis, if elected, Chestnut said.

“I spent a lot of time in my first term learning to understand the city budget, and I think I have a good skill set for that,” said Chestnut, who grew up in Lawrence and graduated from Kansas University with degrees in accounting and business.

Chestnut said he also wants to have a discussion about the city’s economic development strategy. He said the community needs to do a better job of targeting the type of businesses it wants to attract rather than reacting to proposals that come the city’s way.

“Our efforts up to this point, I think, have been more reactive than proactive,” Chestnut said. “We have to decide what industries we have some advantages in, and then we have to figure out what we do to target those industries.”

Chestnut also said he believes the city needs to start thinking about replacing Horizon 2020, its comprehensive planning document, which was approved about 15 years ago. He said he hopes a new comprehensive plan can be a more “flexible and simplified” document.

Three seats will be up for election during the April 2 general election. Incumbents Mike Amyx, Hugh Carter and Aron Cromwell all have terms that are expiring. None of the incumbents has announced whether he intends to seek re-election.

Scott Criqui, a human resources manager and a commissioner on the city’s Human Relations Commission, filed for election in June. Candidates have until noon Jan. 22 to file for a seat on the commission. If more than six candidates file for election, a primary will be held on Feb. 26.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

I say Chestnut is a Brownback style supply side economics person and was while a city commissioner. If he is elected it will be the same including more city staff losing their jobs. I believe he was working for Brownback at least for a bit....

My vote will be for someone else.

" He is a product of Leadership Lawrence mentality and the Chamber of Commerce, both of which have not shown any leadership nor the invitation of Commerce." EXACTLY.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 4 months ago

I wonder what he is going to tout as his crowning achievements when he served before? If he ran and would be more like his father the community would benefit. Couldn't have been a nicer, sensible, unpretentious guy around. A great fellow.!

Will Lawrence ever get commissioners to cut staff and likewise send the same message to the school district. ? I do not believe that Chestnut with his financial background has a grasp of the cost to live in Lawrence and the lack of benefits for the price being paid.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 4 months ago

Chestnut did not take care of the have to's when he served before. No way again.

Status quo again with Chestnut.

Here are the simple facts: If the City Commission cannot get downtown cleaned up pristine and it has had zillions of hundreds of dollars of public money spent on it, how can the commission be responsible enough for the have to's as Chestnut calls them.

He neglected every basic service in neighborhoods. The current commission has had likewise.

Even Chestnut's neighborhood is nothing special anymore either.

NO! He is a product of Leadership Lawrence mentality and the Chamber of Commerce, both of which have not shown any leadership nor the invitation of Commerce.

The Lawrence City commission needs some scrappy folks like old Don Binns who served (I'll forgive him, bless his soul for being a Democrat), more like scrappy Fred Pence, a woman like Marnie Argersinger who grew up over a tavern, she knows how to pick a fight and win.

Lawrence sadly has a bunch of wannabees running with not much substance.

Schauner is now looking good and at least he always had the decency to return calls and try to meet halfway.

This bunch now is the worst yet and Chestnut won't help much.

Criqui? Oh boy, more gender related issues.

SOONERthan later, Chestnut had a chance to look at the big picture over 2 years ago. Remember, when he served nothing much got done and now the same will happen except he will push for more public spending.



SOONERthanlater 1 year, 4 months ago

He's got my vote. Sounds like he is looking at the big picture.


irvan moore 1 year, 4 months ago

is diffenbach behind recycling chestnut


observant 1 year, 4 months ago

Absolutely no way this idiot should be re-elected.


Keith Richards 1 year, 4 months ago

Sounds reasonable enough to me. I don't know how his decisions went on his last term, but I wholeheartedly agree that we need to re-evaluate the function of city government in this town.


Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 4 months ago


Stay to Topeka. You have done enough TO Lawrence!


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