Leadership chane is desperately needed
Citizens of Baldwin. As Christmas fast approaches and the holiday bustle gets completely out of hand, I still have had a chance to visit with a number of citizens about our city. Most of these people have known me for most of my adult life, and in a lot of instances most of childhood as well. It occurred to me that the new citizens of Baldwin and the ones I don't know personally have no idea who this "Kenny Hayes" character is, or what he is up to, or why should I vote for him in the upcoming election. So here is some background on myself. I am 34 years old, and was raised from 2 days old until the age of 18 in Baldwin City. I graduated from Baldwin High School in 1984, and then attended the University of Kansas.
I was awarded an Army ROTC scholarship, which with the financial help of my parents, I graduated with in 1989 with a Bachelor's in Political Science. After college my first job was with a defense contractor based out of Fort Leavenworth that did data collection, stability studies, and evaluations of Latin American countries. This required travel to Panama and some of its neighboring countries. After this exciting and occasionally hair-raising occupation, I decided to change my focus. For several years I sold real estate in Lawrence. During this period my long-time friend Michael Hultine and I started the company Cornerstone Construction Co. This is our seventh year in operation and we have specialized in commercial sites for four
years. In case you want to see an example of what we do, we are building the shopping center between 9th and 10th streets on U.S. Highway 56.
I have been married to my lovely wife, Jennifer, since 1998, and we have an 8-month-old daughter who is the light of my life. We as a family moved to Baldwin in 1999. For me this was a homecoming which is hard to describe. I was back in town for a week and in many ways it was as if I had never left. We returned to Baldwin with the idea of raising a family in an environment that was community minded and offered the advantages that I remembered from my
youth. We were happy with the move, but grew dissatisfied with the leadership and direction the city was headed. My decision to run for city council was based on my experiences in life, and a strong desire to serve my community. I am not a developer who has come to town to fatten his pockets. I am a man who is interested in making his home a better place, and helping others enjoy it as well.
After attending the city council meeting on Monday, something I
would encourage all citizens to do in the near future, I was struck by the realization that the current council operates in the present with little vision to the future. Much discussion was made of the new sewer plant and its expansion. Whether to build for capacity projected in 20 years or in 10. A council member made a comment of needing a Ouija board to project Baldwin's growth. Are you kidding me? This city is growing and the council is moving at turtle speed to catch up. I am literally fed up with the current situation
and it all stems from the leadership position of mayor. After all two of our council members were not elected by the populous, they are "appointees" of the mayor. Talk about a stacked deck. Mr. Krysztof I have challenged you to debate the issues of Baldwin. You have failed to respond. We had a healthy dialog in the paper talking about city issues. You squelched the city administrator when it didn't go your way. You need an opponent for mayor, Mr. Krysztof. I am considering being that opponent. If that is the only way to force you to talk about the issues in a public forum, I may do it. If needed, I will alter my paperwork with the county clerk to have my name on the ballot for mayor.
The time for change in leadership is at hand. And we need three more good leaders to fill a new council, led in a new direction.