Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lawrence City Commissioner Matthew Herbert files for re-election

In this file photo from August 2015, Lawrence City Commissioner Matthew Herbert speaks during a meeting at City Hall.

In this file photo from August 2015, Lawrence City Commissioner Matthew Herbert speaks during a meeting at City Hall.

February 23, 2017


Commissioner Matthew Herbert has filed for re-election to the Lawrence City Commission.

Herbert, who began his first term as commissioner in 2015, said he feels like the commission has spent the last two years unpacking from the previous commission, and that he has more work to do.

“For me, I don’t feel like in the last two years I’ve had an adequate opportunity to truly be able to put forth some of the initiatives that I originally got into this for,” Herbert said. “And so, part of my running for re-election is to get a continuation of time so that I can continue to set my vision into play.”

Herbert noted that the commission spent a lot of time dealing with issues surrounding the resignation of former mayor Jeremy Farmer amid embezzlement allegations and the HERE apartment and retail complex, which had to redo its parking arrangements.

Herbert, a high school teacher and owner of a property management company, joined the commission along with fellow newcomers Leslie Soden and Stuart Boley. If he were to win re-election, Herbert said one of the issues he’d like to focus on is asset management and making the best of the city's existing facilities and programs.

“I think over the last decade we’ve gotten really good at throwing up new structures and really bad at finding ways to make those structures financially sustainable long-term,” Herbert said. “And I hope what I’m able to bring to the commission — whether it be the next two years or four years, if I’m very fortunate — is an ability to really put a focus on asset management.”

Herbert said he thinks that effort includes looking for alternative sources of revenue, such as the newly approved sponsorship policy for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Herbert’s term on the commission is one of three expiring this year. The others are those of commissioners Mike Amyx and Lisa Larsen. Herbert filed as a candidate for the City Commission race on Thursday, and is the first candidate to do so thus far.

The filing deadline for the City Commission race is noon on June 1. Candidates will have an Aug. 1 primary, if needed, and the general election will be on Nov. 7. Primaries will only be scheduled if the number of candidates who file is more than three times the number of open seats.

Candidates filing for 2017 Lawrence City Commission election
June 1 — Christian Lyche
May 30 — Mike Anderson
May 26 — Ken Easthouse
May 15 — Jennifer Ananda
March 31 — Dustin Stumblingbear
March 8 — Commissioner Lisa Larsen
Feb. 28 — Bassem Chahine
Feb. 23 — Commissioner Matthew Herbert

Related: Commissioner Mike Amyx announces he will not run for re-election (May 18)

Related: Seventh candidate filing forces Aug. 1 primary election (May 30)

Contact city reporter Rochelle Valverde
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Brett McCabe 12 months ago

Perhaps the most clueless, ill-informed commissioner we could possibly have. If Lawrence re-elects Herbert, then we might as well set the clock back to 1980 and watch while the city withes. Virtually every policy he has stood for has been bad for the city and almost every instinct he has shown as a commissioner has proven to be counter-productive. He has absolutely no idea how to build a thriving city.

Carol Bowen 12 months ago

Obviously, Brett and Josh, you didn't vote for Matt, but quite a few people did. That's why he is on the commission. The commission represents the community ... at least, those who voted. There's no right or wrong. We need to get over the us-against-them philosphy. That kind of thinking weakens the community. Let's wait to see how this campaign season plays out and work towards the whole community. Everyone's input is important.

For the record, I'm interested in asset management. It's just another way of stating that we should be able to maintain what we have before looking for more ventures. I am not, however, comfortable with commissioner Herbert's approach.

David Holroyd 12 months ago

Any candidate that votes for studies as was the last study for parking is NOT very good at asset management.

I would be more interested in a city commission that could attract 50 investors to invest their own money in the city! A City commission that instead of downzoning east Lawrence properties would encourage demolition of same if the owners wanted to.

One has to wonder why the Simons family is not undertaking a position in the recent downzoning of properties around the Simons family property downtown which has been on the market for quite some time.

No one wants to invest around a bunch of crapped out houses.

So, now the next candidate to step forward , will it be Mr. Rasmussen, Rember the donors to his campaign?

Mr. Herbert may have be sincere in his attempt to make "Lawrence Great Again" but in my opinion, he may be undertaking a campaign to further a future political career.

Is Mr. Herbert willing to cut city spending ? If not, it's a NO vote.

Is Mr. Amyx willing to cut city spending and quit trying to play nice guy? If not, its a NO vote.

About HERE, what about HERE? What is the parking deal? Why so secret and quiet now?

Are any of the candidates willing to not fund any city money to the Chamber of NO Commerce? They havn't done diddly squat except to create a private employment agency of retired folks living in Lawrence with not much to do except carry a title and collect a check.

Snarky, over and out..this 2/24/2017

Paul Beyer 12 months ago

If Brett is against him, he must be doing a good job, so he'll get my vote.

Scott Quenette 12 months ago

I've never been so glad to be counting down to my move. This city government is a disaster top to bottom.

David Holroyd 12 months ago

Mr. Quenette, you are absolutely correct. The sad part is that not one of them can be shamed nor do they believe the disasterous shape the community is in.

This may so so simplistic, but imagine if the city spent the same $80,000 on a recent study and took that money and started at 6th street and worked the way down south to 19th and trimmed each and every tree on Tennessee, topped them, cut away the crap growing around them, removed some. kept trees away from street lights and made certain the lights worked. At least 1 mile of a city street might look like someone lived along it and it belonged to a city with pride!

When is the last time Lawrence had a CITY WIDE cleanup with consruction dumpsters placed aound town, with the Planning and Development employees assisting in something constructive instead of planning obstructions for growth for residents and investors and visitors.

I still do not understand why the Simons family would not want to take a look at the recent downzoning proposa in East Lawrence. NO one, I repeat no one unless it is a local bottom feeder developer would buy the Simons property and develop it with crapped out houses to the east and south.

What's wrong with Dolph and his kids? I guess too much money so it makes no difference.

The city downtown needs to be redeveloped from the river south, not around 9th street or east.

So , Mr. Quenette, if you have not found a place to move, I can tell you about some mighty fine progress going in an area that has a history of growing and staying clean and providing services....something Lawrence is lacking.

Even Ottawa University is expanding to the southwest. KU isn't smart enough to take advantage of the K10 corridor coming into Lawrence with a showcase building and classroom space at East Hills and Venture Park. Instead they continue to cram crap along 19th street and Mr. Boley and his fixation on a bus hub, will really muck up the area. Bus hub? Really in a town how big? Get real, the city commission needs to get out and ride the bus, walk the neighborhoods. They cannot learn behind a barber chair, sitting in foundation office , driving an uber without seeing where the uber came from and is going,

Start off with a citywide cleanup with each and every staff member cleaning the city and the commissioners as well. Even Erv Hodges spouted the same about a city wide cleanup and he did nothing to promote his own idea. So much for a commissioner.

Snarky today, over and out. 2/25/2017

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