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Lawrence City Commission {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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  • Stuart Boley

  • Ken Easthouse

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    Brad Finkeldei

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    Joey Hentzler

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    Rob Sands

  • Courtney Shipley

Biographical Information

What do you think is expected of as a commissioner/board member?

What role your think policy plays in the functioning of your position?

What kind of relationship should a board member or commissioner have with the community (including parents and families)?

What responsibilities do board members/commissioners have in regards to advocacy?

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Personal Biography I am a lifelong Lawrence resident with a history of community service. Primarily focused on affordable housing, aligning city policies so they aren't counter-productive, and updating our economic development policies for the future.
Campaign Phone (785) 317-3188
Campaign Email
Education Lawrence High School - Class of 2002 Emporia State University - Class of 2007 Bachelor in Business Management
Community/Public Service Election Expert - Douglas County Clerk's Office Prairie Park Neighborhood Association President Public Incentives Review Committee - Vice Chair
Address 1303 E 25th Terr Lawrence, KS 66046
CampaignPhone 7853173188
First, I believe it is a commissioner's duty to be a community leader on issues, meeting with community stakeholders and advocating for those positions at a state or national level if we cannot do so locally. Second, while the City Manager's office and staff should oversee day to day operations of the city, policy ideas and direction should be given from the City Commission.
I am a policy-first candidate. We can have ideas, but without a solid policy foundation, ideas don't have enough "meat" to them. From policy specifics for our sidewalk repair program to Plan 2040, policy should be the driving force for the city. But those policies should not be counter-productive.
As a general rule, a city commissioner is directly responsible for the citizens in Lawrence. That means all citizens, not just those who voted for them or gave a campaign contribution. We should do our best to make time for citizens who have concerns or ideas to bring to the city commission, and not push off policy suggestions to staff.
Advocacy on behalf of our constituents is an important part of the job. However, there are reasonable limits to what we can do as a city commissioner can do for advocacy for state and federal issues. If we cannot advocate effectively, we should at least have a working knowledge of other resources available to assist for a given situation.
Campaign Phone (785) 550-9699
Education J.D. - University of Kansas - 1999 BS - Chemical Engineering - Kansas State University - 1996
Community/Public Service Lawence Family Promise - 2010 - present; Ballard Center - 2000 - present; St. John Finance Chair - 2012 - present
Address 821 Sunset Dr. Lawrence, KS 66044
CampaignPhone 785-550-9699
I believe a commissioner is expected to study the issues, listen to everyone concerned and make the best decision possible.
I think it is very important to have and follow good policies. A good policy allows citizens to know what to expect and allows services to be administered fairly.
A commissioner should have an open and honest relationship with the community. They should be available and listen carefully to all members of the community.
A commissioner should advocate their city’s positions at both the state and federal levels.
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Latin American & Caribbean Studies, University of Kansas
Community/Public Service -Board Member, Douglas County Kansas State Research & Extension Council -Poverty Workgroup for the Douglas County Community Health Plan -Vice President of Douglas County Young Democrats
Lawrence is a city forged in flames over the principle that all people are created equal. Black, brown, or white we deserve compassion and respect. And we should be just as devoted to equal justice today.

Unfortunately, I believe very little is expected of commissioners in Lawrence. I hope to change that. I am running for city commission to make sure Lawrence lives up to our identity as a proudly progressive community. When we do, we can create prosperous neighborhoods and ensure the dignity of all Lawrence residents.
As policymakers, it is the responsibility of city commissioners to produce good public policy that will advance the welfare of all residents. I believe Lawrence should lead the state of Kansas with ambitious and compassionate policy making. We are running on a entire platform of ambitious policy initiatives including: smart policy to ensure adequate, affordable housing; bold sustainability programs to tackle climate change; and, just reforms to address systemic racial disparities in Lawrence.

It's important to get good policy that aligns with Lawrence's progressive values. That's why I have proposed requiring a disparity impact notes on future policy changes and projects to eliminate "color blind" policy making. Similar analysis could be done for the environmental and economic impact of decisions made by the commission. We have the knowledge and expertise at the local level to make tangible changes in the lives of struggle Lawrencians. Now, we just need political will.
City commission should be responsible to the needs of the all people who call Lawrence home and not to wealthy property management companies or big developers. We're running a race to end corporate welfare in Lawrence and put our tax dollars toward smart, bold investments in the well being and futures our neighbors.

The relationship between residents and city commissioners should be built on trust and respect - two things that I hope to earn. Commissioners should be directly accountable to the people. Lawrence city government should also require greater accountability and transparency with our police department and during contract negotiations with public employee unions.
Advocacy is in my job title. I work every day to advance the livelihoods of Kansans struggling to get by. My policy advocacy includes diverse issue areas from anti-hunger programs like food stamps to our state's the foster care crisis to juvenile justice reform. It will take an activist city commission to move Lawrence forward for all our neighbors and closer toward our progressive values of fairness, equal opportunity, and justice for all.

And we need to get to work now. Climate change is already devastating livelihoods in the Midwest. According to a 2018 Report from the United Nations, there is no historic precedent for the action needed at this time. We have no choice but to be bolder advocate for green energy and resiliency projects. We can reduce our environmental footprint, help our neighbors better plan for extreme weather, and develop an equitable, 21st-Century economy in Lawrence.
Personal Biography Born and raised in Kansas City, KS. Completed Reserve Officer Training Corps at Marion Military Institute where I received my first tests as a leader eventually being responsible for 80 fellow students. Accepted a commission in the US Army, and completed my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas. I met my wife to be, and we decided that Lawrence was the place we wanted to start our family. Resident of Lawrence for 18 years, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Kansas National Guard
Campaign Address 809 Fox Chase Ct
Campaign Phone (913) 707-3953
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Kansas and Master's of Public Administration from the University of Kansas
Community/Public Service Member of Lawrence Douglas County Municipal Planning Commission, Lawrence Metropolitan Planning Organization
Address 809 Fox Chase Ct
Web Site
CampaignPhone 9137073953
Champaign Phone 9137073953
Campaign phone 9137073953
Web Address
o Listening with genuine curiosity to diagnose problems, listening to identify the competing values and beliefs at play, and respecting the interaction from the public, even when their testimony is contentious or insulting. It’s hard. I’ve been on the planning commission for four years, and I’ve heard comments that can trigger people. It’s important to me as a leader to recognize that trigger, and not let that dictate the conversation. Leaders have to be right there in the mix, getting hands dirty but also see the greater picture. I have spent 19 years of my life working on being a leader, and I would bring those hard learned lessons to the Lawrence City Commission.
o Policy is the box that you are forced to work within. Whether it is existing city codes, ordinances, guidelines, plans, or state laws and have limits to your authority, power, and available courses of action. For a long time, I have thought that true creativity in problem solving is “working (and thinking) inside the box”. We all have limits put upon us when it comes to finding solutions: money, time, and scope of project are three examples. HOW we work within those limits and how we engage others to expand our box is where we are going to have the greatest success.
o A commissioner MUST engage with and listen to people or neighborhoods that will disagree with them. And it’s not simply about extending “a little respect”, “kissing rings”, or placating others. You GAIN REAL PERSPECTIVE if you can listen with real curiosity, not get triggered, not take it personally, and appreciate their deeply held values and beliefs. At the end of the day, city commissioners are elected to represent and make decisions on behalf of the city at large. It’s a challenge, but one in that I’m ready to take on!
o That’s a very interesting question. That was a topic of my Master’s of Public Administration coursework at KU. Advocacy, by elected officials, appointed officials, or city staff is a tough concept. On one hand, you have the authority and/or expertise to make real change. On the other hand, your chosen viewpoint may be biased, and may not be what is best for a constituency. I would say that if I were to engage in any specific kind of advocacy on a particular topic, I would have to evaluate that I really believed it was in the best interest of EVERY person within Lawrence. I would have to listen to a LOT of other opinions, seek out and engage with those that might disagree, and question my own biases. Basically, ask myself why I believe what I believe.
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