City Commission Candidate Justin Eddings
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.
All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.
Today, we feature City Commission Candidate Justin Eddings.
Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the City Commission
I am a Senior User Experience Designer for Sprint. In that role I work to make the applications, phones, and Sprint services easier to understand and use for all users neurotypical & fully abled as well as physically challenged and neurodiverse. In addition, I have been the Eudora representative to the Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee, advocating for county and state dollars for infrastructure to help better connect our community to pedestrians and cyclists. My primary focus has been working to connect our schools, recreation facilities, and downtown. I believe that efforts of sustainability can be profitable, increase the pubic health, and makes for a more pleasant world.
Voters in this election will be asked if they want to raise the City sales tax by ¾ of a percent to help fund the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and other capital expenditures. If this passes, what specific needs would you recommend that money going towards?
The sales tax increase is a good way to increase the funds our city has to improve the recreation center, connect our parks, and to increase the programs potentially offered by our recreation department. Lawrence and our neighbors in Johnson County give our citizens many recreation options when they are not at work, we should have interesting options here to keep families in town during their off hours.
Where do you feel the city is in regards to economic development and what would you do in regards to economic development in the future?
We have an opportunity to capture small businesses pushed out of Lawrence due to congestion and real estate. Downtown has the potential to extend it’s charm even further than recent efforts have proven. Cafes, small retail, and easier to sustain businesses should be attracted to vacant spaces. Eudora citizens will support business in town, but it has to be competitive or unique to our neighbors. I want to see more small businesses start and thrive here.
The most visible piece of land available for development is the property where the old Nottingham School and Laws Field currently sit. As a City Commissioner, what specifically would like to see done with this property?
Many ideas have been batted around recently on this particular topic. I feel that 1/3 of the property should be retained by the Recreation Center for growth. If the running track disappears, it would a be a good idea to build a new path or track surrounding the recreation center at a minimum. The remainder could be developed in a variety of ways. What seems attractive to me, as an entrance to our town, is a two story building matching the tone and character of our town. This could be divided into small retail on the first story. The second story could be larger office spaces to give our existing businesses, such as Readiness Rounds, room to expand and hopefully employ more citizens. I do not want more duplexes or apartment buildings to be part of the welcome mat for Eudora.
What other issues do you think are important that the City Commission should look at?
Having a K-10 bus connection to Lawrence and Johnson County could be a easy way to connect our communities without asking our citizens to drive more. This connection could also provide our citizens who already carpool a safer way to park and join up for their rides to work. Our schools must be connected to our community with sidewalks or paths that allow our children to walk or ride bikes to school safely. Attracting another medium to large business to the industrial park would also give our citizens more opportunity and us a stronger tax base.
Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?
Communities are about people who want to share what they love about a place with their neighbors. I love Eudora and I feel that it’s my responsibility to help it grow. I feel that both the city commission & bicycle advisory comity are wonderful ways to help that growth.
The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse. For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting
Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.
We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.