Archive for Thursday, January 8, 2009

It’s election time for Baldwin City

January 8, 2009

With tough budget times ahead, both governing bodies for the Baldwin City community face a changing of the guard with the election in April.

On the city council, the mayor’s position and two council spots are up for election. And Tony Brown’s resignation from the council to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives creates a fourth. It’s unclear how many incumbents will seek reelection, but longtime Council Member Amy Cleavinger won’t be.

“No, I am not,” Cleavinger said about running for another term at Monday night’s meeting where she was in charge as president with Mayor Gary Walbridge absent.

Fellow Council Member Doyle Jardon isn’t sure yet.

“I haven’t made that decision completely yet,” said Jardon.

On the Baldwin School Board, there are three positions up for election — Ande Parks, Ruth Barkley and Bill Busby. Only one of those candidates has said he’ll run again.

“I’m planning on it,” said Parks. “I haven’t filed yet, but I will.”

He said he’s got the noon Jan. 27 deadline marked on his calendar. He also said he thought the other two board members were uncommitted on running again so far. Attempts to contact Busby and Barkley were unsuccessful.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said no one from Baldwin City had filed for any of the seven positions as of Tuesday, which isn’t out of the ordinary.

“There are none,” said Shew. “We have not had very many filings across the county. Especially when you come out of a major general election, it takes people awhile to realize that there are local elections.”

He said forms to file for the positions can be picked up at his office in Lawrence or they can be sent by mail or electronically by calling his office. The city council filing forms are also available at City Hall.

Shew isn’t sure what the tough economic times will mean for getting candidates to file.

“I think this is a time that the people in those positions are going to have to make some tough decisions,” he said. “I’m curious to see if that will make more people file or less. I think we’ll see in the next couple of weeks.”

The election is April 7 and he’s doubtful that there will be any primary elections because of changes in state law last year. It used to be that it took two times the open positions plus one to force a primary. Now it’s three times the openings plus two.

“The bar is higher on what causes a primary,” said Shew. “I don’t know. It all depends on what the interest is.”

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