Lawrence resident John Martin files for election to City Commission
photo by: contributed
Lawrence resident John Martin has filed for election to the Lawrence City Commission.
Martin, originally from Yates Center, moved to Lawrence in August 2021. He said he decided to relocate to Lawrence after living on the East Coast, where he also served on a city council. He said he spent time in Lawrence growing up and wants to build on what makes the city great.
“I came to Lawrence because of the Lawrence I knew as a kid, the Lawrence I know as an adult,” Martin said. “And now living in Lawrence, that Lawrence is still here, but I see a lot of opportunities for Lawrence to build on the things that make it great.”
Martin is an IT manager for the financial services organization TIAA. He served as a city council member in Stallings, North Carolina, from December 2017 to July 2021.
Martin said key issues for the upcoming term were taxes and spending, operational efficiencies, and planning and development.
Since he arrived in Lawrence, he said his taxes have gone up $600, and the city has seen significant increases in its revenues. He said he wants to understand the “how and the why” of the city’s budget, which ties into his focus on operational efficiency.
“How can we ensure that going forward, that the city budget isn’t hampering the lifestyle of the residents that provide for that budget?” he said.
He said that includes the issue of homelessness. He said the city has a responsibility to help, but he’s not sure there’s a good understanding in the community regarding the efficiency or effectiveness of the city’s spending.
Regarding planning and development, Martin said the city needed to be ready for growth that will come with the new Panasonic plant in nearby De Soto.
“We’ve got the Panasonic plant opening up 13 miles east of us,” Martin said. “Have we done a single thing to plan for that growth coming in and how best to revitalize the east part of Lawrence?”
The terms of Amber Sellers, Brad Finkeldei and Courtney Shipley are expiring this year. Sellers has already filed for reelection. Mike Dever and Dustin Stumblingbear have also filed for election.
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.