Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2017

Longtime Lawrence resident files for City Commission election, wants to see millennials active in politics

Lawrence resident Ken Easthouse sits before a citizen advisory board assembled to review candidates for a vacant city commission seat, Friday, Sept. 24, 2015 at City Hall.

Lawrence resident Ken Easthouse sits before a citizen advisory board assembled to review candidates for a vacant city commission seat, Friday, Sept. 24, 2015 at City Hall.

May 25, 2017


Lawrence native Ken Easthouse has thrown his hat in the ring for this year’s commission election.

Easthouse, who graduated from Lawrence High School in 2002, filed for a spot on the ballot Thursday. In an interview with the Journal-World, Easthouse said his decision was partially based on a desire to see more millennials active in politics.

“Part of it is, I think it’s part of my generation’s duty to step up and be public servants,” said Easthouse, 33, who works as a supervisor at the General Dynamics Information Technology call center.

Kenneth Easthouse

Kenneth Easthouse

“I think there’s a perception that, for whatever reason, people in our early 30s and younger aren’t interested in politics or don’t want to be involved,” he added. “I want to change that.”

Born to a “blue collar, working class family,” Easthouse grew up in Lawrence, where former classmates might remember him from his stint as the Chesty Lion mascot while a senior at Lawrence High. Easthouse then matriculated to Emporia State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in management in 2007.

While a relative newcomer to politics, Easthouse has a long history of community involvement, serving as an election judge for Douglas County since 2012 and also staying active on the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Incentives Review Committee. In 2015, he was one of 12 semifinalists for the City Commission seat left vacant by former mayor Jeremy Farmer.

As a City Commission candidate, Easthouse said he sees Lawrence approaching a crossroads “where we could really grow as a community in terms of our regional economic influence.” If elected to the City Commission, Easthouse said he’d work toward offering incentives to companies, including those dealing in technology and alternative energy, looking to expand in Lawrence.

The City Commission, Easthouse said, has been looking at bringing high-speed fiber internet to Lawrence for some time now. It’s a goal he’d also like to pursue if elected.

“Part of what I’d like to propose is the creation of a public option so the City of Lawrence runs our own high-speed internet service, almost like a utility,” he said. “That ties into a number of different areas in the community. It helps incentivize job creation in Lawrence.”

Those are funds, Easthouse added, that can be used toward affordable housing and other community improvement projects.

The terms of commissioners Lisa Larsen, Mike Amyx and Matthew Herbert are expiring this year. Easthouse is the sixth candidate to file for the election, following filings by Herbert, Larsen, Jennifer Ananda, Bassem Chahine and Dustin Stumblingbear.

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 be scheduled only if the number of candidates who file is more than two 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)


Chad Lawhorn 9 months ago

Hi: Our understanding is he has lived in town for about 30 years. Thanks, Chad

Brandon Devlin 9 months ago

I kind of questioned the use of that term as well. . .I've lived in Lawrence since 1989 but still don't really consider myself a "longtime" member of the community.

My point, however, is that I don't really think the term is necessary. I applaud him for being willing to step up and serve our community, and applaud anyone who has been here 1, 10, or 100 years for doing so.

Steve Jacob 9 months ago

He's lived here most of his life, give him a break. Farmer only lived here 3-4 years I think when we elected him.

Ken Easthouse 9 months ago


To clarify, my family moved here in 1995, when I was still in elementary school. I moved away for college and moved back when I could. Let's not quibble over technicalities, though, this is my home.

David Holroyd 9 months ago

Can he get the Mausoleum in repair within two weeks after being elected?

I , mean, really now..longtime she should have connections with a glass company willing to donate some nice colored fancy glass for the front windows and a few contractor friends that would be willing to sandblast the doors and repaint them and a few civic minded contractors that use granite and even have scraps around to be cut to cover the holes of the deceased who were relocated...and the painting inside, the painting inside..preparation work done by his millenial friends.

After all, the current commission couldn't get the job done...

It is really easy if anyone on the commission would take a stand...something that even Mr. Markus is not interested in.

Paul Beyer 9 months ago

David, since the Mausoleum is the major problem in Lawrence, why don't you donate some money from your slum lord accounts to restore it>?

David Holroyd 9 months ago

Poor Mr. Beyer, the non existent person who doesn't know if he was in the Army or Airforce...and lonely even now.

Here's the deal. Just identily for me the accounts all this supposed money is in and I wll take it out and pay for counseling for you since you don't know the ranks in the military...was it Air Force or Army Mr. Beyer...fake name of course....

Since you were supposedly in the military, you could even donate some time toward the project and prove that you are the man you say you are...after all you should be a proud veteran, but then you might think the Mausoleum was a bunker and you would relive your shell shocked days which now make you delusional not knowing your rank, serial number or branch of service.

Alex Landazuri 9 months ago

Clay, shhhhh....trolls hate it when light is directed their way.....

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 4 weeks ago

You didn't answer his question. How much money have you donated to the repairs?

David Holroyd 9 months ago

And yes Lawrence stripped freedoms away then and now. Clay Schneider if real and Alex Landazuri if real.....what about the freedoms of the deceased in the Mausoleum........Whatcha think about that?

Harlan Hobbs 8 months, 4 weeks ago

David, their silence is deafening! Good job!

Bob Smith 8 months, 4 weeks ago

The last time a poster here ran for City Commissioner it was vastly amusing.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 4 weeks ago

And back to the REAL article. “Part of it is, I think it’s part of my generation’s duty to step up and be public servants,”

It is good to hear that people from your generation are stepping up. I'll look forward to hearing about your positions. Thanks for getting involved.

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