City filings off to slow start
Only one person has officially filed with the Douglas County Clerk's office for one of three Baldwin City Council positions that will be up for election in 2001. The mayor's seat is also up for grabs.
Ken Hayes, who owns Cornerstone Construction, is the only filing listed. He has made his intentions to run and his opposition to a combined business/recreation park no secret. He said "fresh ideas and four new faces are needed on the council."
"I am deeply concerned about the direction our current leadership is taking the city," Hayes said. "We need a city council and mayor that the people relate to and will support, instead of what we have dealt with for the past several years."
Mayor Stan Krysztof intends to run for the position for a second term. Council member Eugene Nelson intends to file for the seat to which he was appointed via petition. Lee Whaley said he is undecided whether he will seek another term on the board. Joe Salb is not seeking re-election.
Whaley said he will make his decision closer to the filing deadline on Jan. 23. He would like to see who some of the candidates are.
"I'm still working on it," said Whaley of his decision. "I haven't found out who is running. If it's folks I would like to run, I probably would not (seek re-election). If not, I would probably throw my hat in. At this time I am still uncommitted."
Whaley is serving his second term on the council. He first served four years beginning in 1985.
Nelson said he has opted to seek the public's support when he files. A candidate can pay a $5 filing fee, as Hayes did, or submit a petition of at least 25 signatures from registered voters.
"I think asking voters for a signature is a way to have contact with them," Nelson said. "It's a good opportunity to talk with them. It's not that I couldn't come up with the $5, it seems to me that it's a better process."
Nelson was appointed by Mayor Krysztof in July 1999, to fill a vacancy created by Jerry Roberts, when he moved to Iowa. Nelson said then his goals were to "listen and learn."
"I've learned an awful lot in two years," said Nelson, a retired Baker University biology professor who operates The Sports Cache, a fishing supply and bait shop. "There's an awful lot going on with water, electricity and sewer. You learn every day."
Mayor Krysztof would like to keep his title. He has turned in the paperwork to the city clerk, but has not yet officially filed.
Krysztof first served as a council member beginning in 1995 and gave up that seat in 1997 after successfully running for mayor. He said he is seeking another term to continue some of the projects started by the current council.
"There are some things going on that we are in the process of that are unfinished," he said. "I want to continue down that road and make sure we get them done."
Those projects include an expansion of the wastewater treatment plant and a business and recreation park south of town.
"This council of the last 4 years has probably dealt with more things than a lot of councils have in a decade," he said. "We have an excellent working council."
Salb is not seeking re-election. He was appointed to his position by Krysztof in October 1999, to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Jennie Washburn. He had previously served eight years on the council, with his second term expiring in May 1999.
City Council members get paid $40 a month, and the mayor receives $300 a month, according to City Clerk Peggy Nichols.
If a primary election is necessary, it will be Feb. 27. The general election will be April 3.