Five candidates file for city positions
There was a flurry of candidate filings during the past week, with three people filing for mayor, two for Baldwin City Council and one for Baldwin School Board.
“You have a race for mayor,” said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew.
Incumbent Mayor Gary Walbridge, Council Member Ken Wagner and one-time Council Member George McCrary filed for the city’s top spot. Filing for council were political newcomers Dan Broers and Rick Gere. Incumbent School Board Member Bill Busby filed to make it three-for-three for incumbents. Ande Parks and Ruth Barkley had already filed for re-election.
Walbridge made the decision last week.
“Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “My wife finally got online with it. It’s going to be a very challenging time, the most challenging time since the Depression. It’s going to be tough.”
Wagner agreed on the rugged economic times ahead and the need to do something about it.
“I think we can do better in how we direct the city,” said Wagner. “It’s nothing personal. We’ve got to start this economic engine in this town. We’ve got to start being proactive instead of reactive.”
McCrary was elected to the council in 2000, but resigned his post after about a year. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.
Gere owns Hickory Creek Barbecue in downtown Baldwin City in addition to working for the city of Olathe. His reason for running was simple.
“I was interested in being involved,” said Gere.
Broers has lived in Baldwin City for four years and wants to serve.
“I just want to make a difference,” said Broers, who is a self-employed electrician. “I want to bring business to Baldwin and stay here. It’s about economics. We need to increase the tax base.”
Two other Baldwin City residents have picked up packets to file, but hadn’t as of Wednesday morning, Shew said.
Candidates have until noon Tuesday to file for the April election. That’s also the deadline to decide not to run for those who have already filed but changed their mind.
“A person can do that up to noon on the deadline,” said Shew.