Archive for Friday, March 13, 2009

Douglas County Commissioner Charles Jones to resign

March 13, 2009, 4:23 p.m.

Updated: March 16, 2009, 10:46 a.m.

Charles Jones plans to resign his seat on the Douglas County Commission in order to devote more time to his job at Kansas University, he announced Friday.

Jones, a 10-year member of the commission and its chair, said his duties as director of the KU Public Management Center are becoming more time-consuming as the center expands its reach into Kansas City.

“I find myself falling further out of balance in maintaining the county and KU commitments,” said Jones, who is a Democrat and represents a district that is entirely within the Lawrence city limits. “I have struggled to meet my own standards of performance, and that struggle promises to grow only more difficult.”

Jones’ replacement will be selected by leaders of the local Democratic Party at a special convention. The 23 precinct committee members of the First District will nominate and vote on a replacement. Ed Quick, chair of the Douglas County Democratic Party, said a date for the convention had not been set.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said the convention must take place within 21 days of Jones’ notice to resign. Although Jones announced his plans to resign on Friday, he didn’t immediately file the formal notice. Jones said he would serve until a replacement was selected.

Jones’ departure will leave the three-member commission thin on experience. Commissioners Jim Flory and Nancy Thellman both were elected in November and began serving in January.

“Nancy and I are relatively new, but I think we have gotten up-to-speed pretty fast,” Flory said. “Charles has the historical knowledge that has helped us, and that perspective certainly will be missed.”

Jones was elected in 1998, and won re-election — unopposed — twice.

Jones said he has not recommended anyone to fill his seat, and said he would have no involvement in finding a replacement. Quick said people interested in being considered for the position could express interest to a precinct committee member. Quick said many members will be attending a regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m. on March 28 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

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