Two file early for spring election
With less than two weeks left until the county's Jan. 23 filing deadline, pickings for both the USD 491 Board of Education and Eudora City Council are slim.
As of Wednesday morning, only two applicants ---- current boardmember Greg Neis and newcomer Michael Kelso ---- have filed to run for the four open seats on the board. No one has filed yet for the three open city council seats.
Joe Pyle, Mark Chrislip, Neis and Kenny Massey are currently up for re-election in the school district.
Scott Hopson, Jeff Peterson and Dan Gregg's seats are open on the Eudora City Council.
More filings could soon be on the way.
City Councilman Jeff Peterson said Monday he planned to run for the seat he was appointed to after Kevin Miller's resignation.
Peterson plans to make an official announcement of his filing Thursday, he said.
Councilman Scott Hopson indicated he hadn't made up his mind whether to run for re-election.
The third open seat on the council belongs to Gregg.
After eight years serving on the council, Gregg indicated he probably would not run again.
Gregg said he believed he had served long enough and that someone else could have the opportunity to serve the city.
Although two people have filed for the April 3 general school board election thus far, both Neis and Kelso identify the district's upcoming $40 million bond issue as the biggest issue on the table for the district.
"It's a very critical time as we face this next bond issue. We need to put some serious thought into what we're going to look like 10, 20 or 30 years from now," Kelso said.
Kelso has two children in the district, Matthew and Mason. His wife, Robyn, teaches at Eudora High School.
"To be honest, I want to give back what the city gave me the last eight months," Kelso said.
He said the community helped him heal from cancer over the course of the past year.
"This is a way I can start to repay some of the goodness that was shown to me," Kelso said.
Neis has served five terms over a 20-year span.
"I'm putting my name out there," Neis said. "I think people pretty much know where I stand after 20 years of being on the board."
Neis will look to maintain the overall quality of the district, he said.
"I just want to make sure it will continue to be one of the best around," Neis said. "I think it is one of the best around."
Chrislip indicated he hasn't decided if he will run for re-election or not.
Massey said he hadn't made a final decision yet either. He said he's considering a possible bid for a city council seat.
Pyle couldn't be reached for comment.
Citizens living in Eudora and who are at least 18-years-old can file for the open city council seats. Those living within the school district boundaries and who are at least 18 can file for the open school board seats.
If more than six applicants file for the city council and more than eight for the school board, there will be a primary election Feb. 27.
Applications are available at Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St., or at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., in Lawrence.