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East Lawrence neighborhood leader won't seek city commission seat; other pre-election rumblings

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We reported a few weeks ago that East Lawrence Neighborhood leader Leslie Soden was strongly considering a run for the Lawrence City Commission in the upcoming April election.

Well, Soden was, but she no longer is. Soden confirmed to me that she has decided against a run in 2013. Soden is probably best known in the community as being the former president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association who led the opposition to the proposed multi-story hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

Soden told me that she has decided to use the next couple of years to focus on her recent appointment to the Joint Economic Development Council.

But Soden said she is disappointed that, so far, no woman has stepped forward to run for the City Commission. There currently is not a female commissioner, and hasn’t been one since Sue Hack left the commission four years ago. In fact, no woman even ran for a seat during the election two years ago.

I know there are people out there trying to recruit a strong female candidate for the 2013 election. Multiple sources have told me that Jana Dawson, a Lawrence banker who has been a big proponent of the city’s proposed regional recreation center, has been approached. But Dawson told me just today that work commitments will not allow her to run in 2013. Sharon Spratt, the longtime CEO of Cottonwood Inc., also has been approached. But I’ve been told she also hasn’t made a commitment to run.

Comments

Steve Jacob 2 years ago

You pretty much have to own your business to have the time to be on the city commission

Catalano 2 years ago

Interesting that a county commissioner makes $30K/year but a city commissioner only makes $9K. I would think being a city commissioner takes as much, or more, time than being a county commissioner. If they changed the salary I wonder if more "regular" people would run.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

Seats on the city commission are largely sought by those within the development/banking industries, especially those looking to advance their careers by ingratiating themselves to the high muckity mucks in those businesses. The low salary isn't a deciding factor for them as they'll make up for it, and then some, down the line.

Enlightenment 2 years ago

Sounds like a "good old boys club."

bearded_gnome 2 years ago

But Soden said she is disappointed that, so far, no woman has stepped forward to run for the City Commission. There currently is not a female commissioner, and hasn’t been one since Sue Hack left the commission four years ago. In fact, no woman even ran for a seat during the election two years ago.

---so what. it is just as wrong to vote for a candidate because of gender as it would be to vote against a candidate because of gender, or race.

if the tables were reversed, people would scream.

instead, I'd rather see the best possible commissioners regardless of gender, race, etc.
our community desperately needs to set aside political correctness in the bad economy and the terrible straits our people live.

jhawkinsf 2 years ago

There are several regular posters in this forum who have lots of time to piss and moan about every decision made by the city commission. I suggest they run. Put their ideas before the court of public opinion and let the people decide.

Old_Oread_Phart 2 years ago

One-eyed_Wilbur for City Commission!!! One-eyed_Wilbur for City Commission!!! One-eyed_Wilbur for City Commission!!!

Only half the "vision" of a typical candidate but twice the fun of a typical episode of the Daily Show.

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