Archive for Thursday, January 25, 2007

Council candidates face no opposition

January 25, 2007

An April campaign for three open seats on the Eudora City Council appears to be over before it has begun.

Only three applicants, including former mayor Fred Stewart, filed to run for the race.

In a last-minute flurry, Maria C.H. Nelson, Jeff Peterson and Stewart each put their name in for the positions currently held by Scott Hopson, Dan Gregg and Peterson.

Unless a fourth applicant attempts a write-in campaign, those three will be Eudora's next city council members, Douglas County Deputy of Elections Keith Campbell said.

The situation isn't as simple for Eudora USD 491.

All four incumbents on the school board filed for re-election as of Tuesday. Two newcomers ---- Belinda Rehmer and Mike Kelso ---- joined Mark Chrislip, Kenny Massey, Greg Neis and Joe Pyle on the ballot for the April 3 election.

Nelson was the first to file for the city council.

"I'm interested in getting involved with the city," Nelson said. "We've lived here for a year-and-a-half and we've enjoyed it so far."

If elected to the council seat, Nelson would work to bring more businesses into town, she said.

"I'm really interested in bringing in more small businesses to the city, and having a sort of city that can attract more families to it that will help it grow," Nelson said.

Nelson applied for a city council

position vacated late in 2006 by Kevin Miller. The appointment eventually went to Jeff Peterson, who also filed for election.

Peterson said he plans to take his campaign to the streets in the coming weeks.

"I think it's important for me as a new candidate to get out and talk to the people of Eudora and see what issues are important to them," Peterson said.

After calling the Douglas County Election office Tuesday morning and learning only two people had filed, Stewart decided to add his name into the mix.

"I'm just an ordinary fellow," Stewart said.

In the coming months, Stewart will work to get people registered to vote, even if his own race isn't in question, he said.

"I don't care who they vote for, if they go out and vote, it will make the town look better," Stewart said.

In the coming months, Stewart is interested in finding ways to lower building permit fees, he said.

Stewart's term as mayor ended in 2001. He is retired.

After contemplating a run for a city council seat, Massey filed Jan. 17 for re-election on the school board.

Massey decided to run again for the board because he sees exciting times ahead for the district, he said.

"It's hard to walk away from that right now, from something that's that exciting and has that many good things happening and not remain part of it," Massey said.

Massey pointed to the district's recent student achievement on state assessment tests and the upcoming bond issue as reasons that helped him decide to run for re-election on the board.

Both Pyle and Chrislip filed for re-election Monday.

Chrislip filed again because he believes he can best serve the community by serving on the school board.

He also wanted to help make the best decisions concerning the school district's growth, he said.

"I just want to be available to see that through," Chrislip said.

Pyle chalked his late entry into the race up to his hectic travel schedule.

He too wanted to continue to guide the district during the bond process.

Both the board and the school administrators have been working well together putting the bond together, Pyle said.

"There's still a lot of work to be done. I enjoy that process, and I want to be a part of it," Pyle said

Rehmer works in public relations at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and has lived in Eudora for more than 20 years. It took an experience of working with the district on an upcoming bond issue for her to commit to the race.

Rehmer took part on a citizen advisory committee during an early research stage for a bond issue.

"I think it helped me to see how my heart is already with the school district, how much a part of the district I am already," Rehmer said. "It helped me to recognize that my kids may be gone and I may not be at all those games any more, but my heart's still there."

Her own children have passed through the district and she currently has grandchildren in the system.

Both city council members and board members serve a four-year term. Because of the number of filings, there will be no primary election this year. The general election is April 3.

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