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 and President of the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, Tim Bruce.
Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the City Commission.
I was born and raised in Lawrence and married my high school sweet heart in 2002. We have 3 kids two boys and a girl. At sixteen I started working for an excavating company on the end of shovel, through years of hard work and determination I was able to move from labor, to equipment operator, to crew foremen, to a superintendent, to project manager and then to owner of my current company. I started Benchmark Construction a commercial general construction company in 2009. Benchmark Construction now has offices in Eudora and Manhattan and we employ close to 50 people and are still growing. As CEO of Benchmark my primary functions are monitoring the overall health of the Company and Business Development this includes planning for the future and building relationships with new clients as well as maintaining a strong relationships with existing clients. Our family moved to Eudora in 2011, our oldest was getting ready to start kindergarten and we had heard great things about Eudora’s schools. My family and I fell in love with Eudora and I moved my office here shortly after.
In 2013 I joined the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, and joined the Board of Directors in early 2014. I am currently the president. I think the Eudora Chamber of Commerce has a great opportunity to help Eudora recruit new business and help the existing business thrive.
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?
If the increase passes I would recommend the money go to further developing the community for our youth. As a father of three young children it’s important to me that Eudora has the appropriate facilities to encourage physical development and growth. I would like to see some kind of walking trail to connect east and west Eudora as well as north and south. The north and south becomes much more difficult because it must cross K-10. It is import that our families have a safe way to get outside and move around the community by walking or on bikes. If you attended the basketball games on a Saturday morning this winter the recreation center became the epicenter of our community. It was tight. If we can enlarge this facility or build a larger one, we could potentially host more or larger tournaments or trade show type events. This would bring more patrons into our community. These are some ideas of things I personally would like to see, however I have not extensively reviewed the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, there may be more strategic items in the plan that will better serve Eudora.
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?
The current commission and city staff has done a great job in getting Eudora set up for further economic development. The community is about to turn a corner and hopefully see a lot building which will provide more amenities such as parks and private business that would provide conveniences for the community. In the end I think it will give Eudora amazing opportunities to bring outside dollars into Eudora.
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?
The property has the potential of being the gate way to Eudora. It’s a prime location for retail, and restaurants. This attractive space must be constructed in a manner that invites and welcomes patrons to the community, combine with our revitalized downtown will draw people from outside of Eudora and make our town a destination.
What other issues do you think are important that the City Commission should look at?
Currently I am unaware of any hot button issues. As technology becomes an even more important part of our lives. I would like to work with a private organization to get gigabyte internet to Eudora. As a business owner running multiple locations we have found that communication is key to keeping all of our people moving forward without delay. With some of the fastest internet connections available it puts Eudora on the map for businesses looking to relocate or add a branch. It also gives our schools additional resources to teach our kids.
Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?
I was asked by a couple of the current commissioners and by some city staff. As a young business owner and father in this community I have a wide range of interest within Eudora and feel that with experiences within my career and family I can be a valuable resource.
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.