Advertisement

LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Lawrence attorney likely to file for seat on Lawrence City Commission

Advertisement

Another day, another Lawrence City Commission candidate.

I reported yesterday that I expect Dr. Terry Riordan to file for a seat on the commission, and I still think that will happen today.

But now I’ve also been told that a Lawrence attorney is set to throw his name into the mix as well.

Michael Rost — a Lawrence resident who works as an attorney for an insurance and financial services company in Topeka — told me he also plans to file the necessary paperwork today.

Rost, 27, said he’ll seek to bring a dose of conservatism to the City Commission when it comes to financial matters, especially incentives for projects. Rost said he followed the issue over whether the city should allow tax dollars to be used to help pay for parking and infrastructure at the recently approved multistory hotel project at the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

“I will be very, very conservative about what I think the city should do with taxpayer money,” Rost said. “My perspective would be that you would have to have a very compelling project that benefits everyone in the city to give taxpayer money to help a project like that.

“On a project like the hotel, I would say that if it is a good project that makes sense and makes money, it should be able to stand on its own feet.”

Rost grew up in Wichita, but came to Lawrence in 2003 to do his undergraduate work at KU. He moved to Topeka to earn a law degree from Washburn, but soon moved back to Lawrence. He currently works as an attorney for IMA Financial in Topeka.

While at KU, Rost was part of the KU Track and Field team. Rost, though, said he doesn’t yet have a firm opinion on whether the city should be investing in a proposed Rock Chalk Park that would include the city building a new $25 million recreation center, and KU and Lawrence businessman Thomas Fritzel building a new track and field stadium and other amenities.

“I like the idea of synergy between the university and the city,” Rost said. “I like that aspect of it, but in terms of some of the specifics about how it would be built and leased, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on that.”

Likely the issue won’t be one City Commission candidates have to deal with. At its current pace, city commissioners are expected to take the key votes to commit the city to the project by mid-February. The new commission won’t take office until April.

In terms of other issues, Rost said he hopes to provide a voice to commuters in the community, and he will emphasize the importance of the commission protecting the livability of Lawrence.

“I think there are maybe some different ideas about the direction of Lawrence, its appeal and what type of community we want to be,” Rost said. “I have seen a lot about trying to make Lawrence some type of tourist destination or Legends West or something. That has struck me as not being in line with the things that I appreciate about the community.”

If Rost and Riordan both file today as expected, there will be four official candidates in the race. Rob Chestnut, a former Lawrence mayor and a chief financial officer for a Topeka publishing company, has filed the a paperwork. So too has Scott Criqui, a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission and an executive with a Lawrence-based home healthcare company.

Indications are that City Commissioner Mike Amyx will file for re-election to the commission. City Commissioner Hugh Carter, however, has chosen not to seek re-election, instead focusing on his new job with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. City Commissioner Aron Cromwell has not announced his intentions, but there are indications he will not seek a second term.

Comments

David Holroyd 1 year, 11 months ago

Oh no , using words like synergy makes Wilbur nervous. What happened to plain talk?

Old_Oread_Phart 1 year, 11 months ago

Wilbur has a history on this forum of calling people "whores" and "prostitutes." So I know what language makes him feel comfortable.

Bob Forer 1 year, 11 months ago

It's the new word of the decade. I remember years back when the word "proactive" crawled from the woodwork and was adopted by every aspiring politician-- even the ones who had no clue as to its meaning. .

Synergy??!!. OH MY!! Henceforth, when I hear it, I will prepare to get screwed.

Katara 1 year, 11 months ago

He advocates for positive change on a macro level.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 11 months ago

"I would say that if it is a good project that makes sense and makes money, it should be able to stand on its own feet"

love it. That quote alone might be worth a vote.

Catalano 1 year, 11 months ago

True, but this one's not:

“I like the idea of synergy between the university and the city,” Rost said. “I like that aspect of it, but in terms of some of the specifics about how it would be built and leased, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on that.”

If he's going to be my commissioner, then I'd like to hear his comments, since he will be inheriting this project for the next 2-4 years.

Catalano 1 year, 11 months ago

Stop making sense, Wilbur...it's so annoying.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

We really need to head toward the direction of playing from in front. This spending money before we get it has to stop. Why not try some property tax relief if you want this city to grow?

irvan moore 1 year, 11 months ago

i think he needs to get a position on the rec center, it would be nice for the voters to know where he stands on the issues

Bob Forer 1 year, 11 months ago

That was quick. the guy lost my vote even before he filed. Anyone who can't see through the smoke and mirrors and the rigged bidding of the rec center is not worthy of serving on the city commission.

True, at this time he claims not to be a supporter either. But how could a true conservative as he claims to be not have a profound concern about the lack of traditional bidding on a project of this size. They guy is testing the waters. Just another opportunist, when we need real leadership.

MichaelARost 1 year, 11 months ago

A better way of stating my position would be to say that while I strongly support the idea of the "Rock Chalk Park", I have profound concerns about the way the current deal is structured. Unfortunately, I will not be in a position to vote on the plan but if I was as it stands now with the information I have, I would vote against it.

By the way, I really do appreciate any thoughts or feedback anyone has about the current state and future of our city. I hope to encourage a vigorous debate about our priorities and how the city should spend tax payer money.

Bob Forer 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you for the clarification. Might I suggest you include in your platform the belief that the city should not move forward on the project until the new commission is seated. This way, the citizens will truly have a say in the matter as we can cast our votes for the candidates, at least in part, based upon where they stand on Rock Chalk Park.

JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

27 and still wet behind the ears from law school. It might be a good idea to get some experience in the real world before taking the plunge into the Lawrence CC.

Bob Forer 1 year, 11 months ago

Jack, are you referring to the Lawrence City Commission or the Lawrence Country Club?

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

frankly, his age might be an asset. he doesn't have long ties, no long list of political/business debts to repay.

wondering: how do you pronounce his last name? like "roast?" or like rosst?

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

Mr. Rost, welcome to this race, I like your stance very much and intend to look for more information about you.

thanks for running.

and, BTW, don't worry much about thepsychofant, his posting these days outruns his thought capacity it seems.

his posting , for example, about Rick Santorum's wife was totally reprehensible and marks him as a complete hack. more recently, he most negatively distinguished himself on the comments regarding the very sad death of LPD Officer Klock.

so, don't worry too much about his comments, we know him well.

MichaelARost 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks, it's pronounced "Rawst". And I understand comments sections can be muddy territory with anonomous posters, but I do appreciate the opportunity to answer questions, and clarify points in a open forum.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

^^MichaelARost
MichaelARost 2 days, 10 hours ago

Thanks, it's pronounced "Rawst". And I understand comments sections can be muddy territory with anonomous posters, but I do appreciate the opportunity to answer questions, and clarify points in a open forum.

---thanks for the pronunciation.

yes, can be muddy, indeed, said I myself an anonymous poster, lol.

also, do you have a website for your campaign?

MichaelARost 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks Beard,

I've decided not to take any campaign contributions so I don't have a budget for a website. I do have an email address though, so feel free to contact me with thoughts or questions. MichaelRost2013@gmail.com

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

“I will be very, very conservative about what I think the city should do with taxpayer money,” Rost said. “My perspective would be that you would have to have a very compelling project that benefits everyone in the city to give taxpayer money to help a project like that.

---too bad more city commissioners didn't start from this perspective.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.