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 electionJune 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)