Former Lawrence City Commissioner Mike Dever has filed for election to City Commission

Mike Dever

Former City Commissioner Mike Dever has filed for election to the Lawrence City Commission.

Dever, who served on the commission from 2007 to 2015, including two terms as mayor, filed for election on Monday. Dever said he thought the city needed stronger direction, and that his personal experience, education and leadership capabilities could serve the public.

“I feel like I can bring those types of experiences to this position,” he said.

Dever, an environmental consultant, owns his own business, GuideWire Consulting.

Dever said key issues he saw for the upcoming term were homelessness and housing, as well as the city’s tax and fee levels. He said the issue of homelessness has been “very near and dear” to him, and he feels the commission is trying to handle the situation, but that the community needs more insight into the problem and the city needs to focus more on solutions.

“Nobody seems to want to really focus with laser attention on the issue and come up with a policy and a plan to take care of it,” Dever said.

Regarding housing, Dever said he feels some of the city’s land use, zoning and annexation decisions have contributed to the lack of housing options, which directly plays into the issue of homelessness.

“Right now we need more housing and we need more diversity of housing,” Dever said. “And I think we need to admit to that and start acting upon it, otherwise we’re going to not have a place where people can afford to live any longer.”

Dever also said the city needs to pay closer attention to its property taxes and fees, including its water and sewer fees. He said there was a lot of concern about people’s ability to pay, and that he doesn’t think there has been a serious discussion about belt-tightening at City Hall in a long time.

The terms of Amber Sellers, Brad Finkeldei and Courtney Shipley are expiring this year. Sellers has already filed for reelection.

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.


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