Baldwin City, Eudora mayors to seek reelection
The incumbent mayors of Baldwin City and Eudora will both seek another four years in their respective offices.
Baldwin City Mayor Casey Simoneau said he filed Thursday for a second term, and Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said he would file again for the Eudora City Commission. Eudora has a city manager/commission form of government in which the five commissioners annually elect one of their members to serve as mayor. Reazin, who has served as Eudora mayor the past five years, said he would be honored to continue serving in that capacity if chosen.
Two Baldwin City Council at-large positions that are currently held by Brian Cramer and Susan Pitts will be on the ballot this year. In Eudora, the City Commission seat currently held by Jolene Born will be up for election.
Simoneau said he was proud of what Baldwin City had accomplished under his leadership and wanted to continue that progress. Among the list of first-term achievements was the construction of a new police station for half the $3 million estimated when he took office; the opening of the new Sullivan Square downtown park; the installation of a new sewer line for east Baldwin City that was bonded in 2014; acquiring additional renewable energy assets for the city’s electrical supply portfolio, including the installation of a solar power array at the city public works yard; and the hiring of Police Chief Mike Pattrick and Public Works Director Rob Culley. Simoneau also pointed to changes he initiated in the city cash reserve investment policy that provide the city $60,000 to $70,000 more annually in investment revenue; savings from the restructuring of city staff; and the city’s success at securing state grants.
“We bonded $1 million for sidewalks, but we have now received more than $4 million in Kansas Department of Transportation grants for sidewalks,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing I would like to continue to spend wisely for our citizens.”
His areas of focus in a second term would be a street plan that saves and improves downtown brick streets, plus continued efforts to support the success and growth of local businesses, he said.
“One of the things I said I wanted to do when I ran four years ago was bring more senior housing to Baldwin City,” he said. “We’re going to have 28 new units open for seniors in the north part of Firetree (subdivision) this summer.”
In Eudora, Reazin said it should be no surprise that he is seeking another term.
“I told everybody that I will keep running until we get a pedestrian crosswalk over Kansas Highway 10,” he said. “I think we’re getting close. I want to keep working with the contacts I have cultivated in KDOT.”
Reazin also wants to continue his work to develop the South Sports Complex on property the Eudora school district owns between Eudora’s middle and high schools. The city and the Eudora school district agreed last month to start negotiating with BVB International Academy-Great Plains about jointing in an effort to develop and manage the complex. Reazin said he wanted to reach a deal that protects the school district while giving community children greater athletic opportunities and spurring retail growth.
“The idea with the South Sports Complex and sports tourism is that it offers the opportunity to bring a lot of people into the community who will spend money here,” he said. “That will generate more sales tax and reduce our dependence on property tax. Those tourists will go back home after spending money here, which allows us to remain the same small community people love.”
Reazin said he also wanted to continue working on the redevelopment of the 15-acre Nottingham property that the city purchased from the school district in 2015 for $850,000. After the City Commission took a greater role in the former elementary school site’s redevelopment in late 2019, the city has sold three lots on the site for $2.1 million, including one to a family entertainment developer, Austin, Texas-based High 5 Entertainment, which will be the site’s anchor developer.
The teamwork of city staff and city commissioners was responsible for the progress at Nottingham and the South Sports Complex, Reazin said, as well as recruiting the railroad industry manufacturer Modern Manufacturing to Intech Park.
“It’s an exciting time I’ve very much enjoyed,” he said. “Everything we are doing now is with a purpose and a goal. It’s not just a Band-aid.”
A big issue in the next four years will be the construction and financing of a new water treatment plant, Reazin said.
Three Baldwin City school board seats will be on the ballot this election cycle. They are the District 1, Position 4 seat currently held by Phillip Harvey; the District 2, Position 5 seat currently held by Susan Schiffelbein; and the District 3, Position 6 seat currently held by Chris Perry.
Four of the seven at-large seats on the Eudora school board will be contested this year. Incumbent board members whose seats will be on the ballot are Joe Hurla, Mike Kelso, Samantha Arredondo and Eric Votaw.
The filing deadline for city government and school board seats is June 1.
This year’s primary election will be Aug. 3, and the general election will be Nov. 2.