Archive for Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mayor Ron Conner will not seek new term

January 13, 2005

After serving one term as mayor of Eudora, Ron Conner has announced he will not be a candidate for re-election this spring.

In a letter to the citizens of Eudora, Conner cites a time conflict between his city position and his career as a mechanical engineer.

"Therefore, after much consideration, I have come to the decision that I will not be submitting my name to be placed on the ballot for re-election as your mayor," he said in the letter. "I feel that it is not fair to you, the citizens of Eudora, for me to seek re-election knowing that I may not be as available to you as I should be to fulfill the responsibilities of the office."

Conner has been required for the past several months to spend long periods of time at a construction site in Anchorage, Alaska., working on a project that began in the middle of his term.

"We're completing this project, and it requires extensive time on site," he said. "And it looks like the future may hold similar projects."

Conner said he had always planned to run again, but in early December it became apparent the out-of-town responsibilities of his job would not accommodate the time it would take to be mayor.

Although disappointed he will not be continuing as mayor, Conner said he was proud of the City Council's accomplishments in the last four years.

"I think we've done a lot to get things looking to the future," he said.

Conner said during his term the city had continued to expand utility systems and had done most of the preliminary work needed to improve streets and roads -- a project he would have liked to see to completion during his time as mayor. He said he hoped street improvements would remain a priority with the next city administration.

During Conner's four-year term the city also hired its first full-time city administrator. Mike Yanez has worked for the city more than two years and Conner said he was pleased with the way it had worked.

Conner would like to see continued efforts for downtown revitalization, which could be pushed along by a grant the city applied for in 2004. The council will know more about the redevelopment grant in May.

Handling growth was at the top of Conner's list of priorities, and he expected the new administration to continue the same focus.

"Eudora's poised for growth," he said. "Some people want it. Some people don't. I tend to be for it, but I also know it needs to happen in a logical manner."

He stressed the importance of a continued cooperative effort between city planners and developers.

Conner said he had not ruled out running for the office of Mayor again in the future, but hoped someone new would be willing to take his place for the next term.

"I am hopeful that someone in the community that has an eye to the future will step forward as a candidate to run for election to the office," he said in his letter to the community.

The deadline to file for the April 5 election is noon Jan. 25. As of Tuesday, no one had filed for the Mayoral race or the two open City Council positions presently filled by Rex Burkhardt and Don Durkin, whose terms expire this year. Eudora has no term limits, so both could run again.

Potential candidates for city offices can obtain information at Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St., or at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts, Lawrence. Petitions may be filed at either location.

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