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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Next Tuesday, March 12, The Eudora Chamber of Commerce and Eudorareporter.com will host The Meet the Candidate Forum at Eudora City Hall. The Forum will begin at 7:00 PM and feature candidates for both the School Board and The City Commission.

The Eudora School Board members up for reelection are Joe Hurla, Mike Kelso and Eric Votaw.  They will be joined by Bryan Maring who is making his second attempt at a seat on the Board. Three seats are up to a vote in this election.

In the City Commissioner race,  two seats are up for election. Commissioner Bill Whitten is stepping down and Incumbent Tim Reazin is looking for his second term.  Challenging for the seats are long time resident Jerry Trober, newcomer Jolene Born and Mayor Scott Hopson who must run as a Commissioner instead of Mayor due to the form of government change.

All candidates in attendance will be asked a series of questions put together by a board of Editors from Eudorarpeorter.com and the audience will have their chance to ask questions of the candidates as well.

The Forum is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Make sure to come and learn about your elected officials.

 

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Jolene BornCity Commission Candidate Jolene Born

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

With the coming School Board and City Commission election in April, we asked each candidate for both School Board and City Commission to answer a few questions to help give voters an insight into who is running.  Last week we featured the candidates for School Board and this week we will profile the City Commission candidates that have chosen to respond.   All candidates were given the same list of questions to answer and their responses are being printed exactly as received.  Today, we feature Commission candidate Jolene Born.

Please tell about your background.

I grew up on a farm in Iowa where I learned about the value of hard work.  I have lived in many cities, of many sizes, some in the United States and some abroad.  Yet I have always been drawn back to the Midwest and the quality, small towns it possesses.  I have worked in the criminal justice field for over 14 years and take great pride in my accomplishments.  While living in Kansas, I met my husband, PJ, and we have 2 children, Alexia (6) and Payden (3).  We are active in many activities sponsored by the Parks & Recreation Center and involved in the PTO at Eudora Elementary.

What qualifications do you feel you have for a seat on the City Commission?

I have worked in government agencies for the entire length of my career.  I understand the need for balancing budgets, but most importantly I understand the need to take advantage of Federal and State funding whenever possible so that budgets don’t need to be cut.  I also am involved in maintaining statistics and what it means to excel to meet goals.

I am working towards my Masters of Criminal Justice and hope to teach ethics upon my completion.  I believe in doing what is right and being honest.  I can’t expect people to be honest with me if I am not honest with them.

With my experience and education, I have learned that researching the answer to questions is the best method to making an informed decision.  I believe that a City Commissioner needs to be prepared to wear a number of hats that may not be in their field of expertise.  For example, water treatment may not be my area of knowledge but as a city commissioner, I would research water treatment to be sure that our city has the best that we can and utilize the strengths of those professionals in the field.

What do you think is the most important issue that faces the City Commission and what do you plan to do in regards to that issue? 

There have been multiple surveys over the past 10 years that have advised that sidewalks for our schools and main streets are an area of concern and desire for its citizens.  Although we are now working on getting funding for a sidewalk in front of the Middle School and High School.  I would like our City Commission and the School Board to continue to work together to accomplish a sidewalk for the Elementary School as well.  It bothers me greatly to see our youth walking on 10th street with no sidewalk.

I encourage connecting the south side of our city with the north side through supporting the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over K-10. I also understand the importance of setting this need aside should our city not receive a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Department of Transportation.  It will be a greater necessity in the future as Eudora’s south side starts to expand further and it would be a waste of resources to not take advantage of this grant if given the opportunity since it would be paying for approximately 80% of the cost.

What other issues do you feel the City Commission should review or remedy during the next term?

In the past, the city has discussed the position of the School Resource Officer.  I would like to be involved with how to best utilize this law enforcement position.  Crime in our schools and involving our youth will not go away and it is beneficial to have our law enforcement involved in the school district and school activities.  We have excellent officers on staff and I would like to support them as they get to know our youth on a first name basis and assist those who may be at risk to negative behaviors.

Why do you want to sit on the City Commission?

I want to bring a fresh mind to our city commission.  I thrive to be involved and stay active in areas of interest.  Eudora and its growth interest me.  It’s important for Eudora to embrace growth while maintaining the values of a small town.  We need to maintain a high quality of life to keep our city attractive for future residents.  I love Eudora and want to make it all that it can be while maintaining a healthy budget.

I also want to support our School Board in maintaining top notch schools.  One of the reasons my family moved to Eudora was the level of respect the community had for its school district.  This respect shows in the physical buildings as well as in the professionals hired.  A city needs to support the future of our youth; I would like to be part of carrying on that tradition.

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We will continue to bring you profiles for the City Commission candidates over the course of the week. Candidates will also have the opportunity to answer more in depth questions during the Meet The Candidates Forum on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM.  The Forum will be held at Eudora City Hall, 4 East 7th Street and the public is invited to attend.

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Eudora News and Information www.eudorareporter.com

Yesterday, we mentioned in our candidate update story that Jolene Born had filed for the City Commission race.  We wanted to find out some more information about Born since she is a relative newcomer to Eudora politics.

Born has been a resident of Eudora for three years.  She currently is employed in the Public/Social Services field which she has done for 15 years.  She also is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

When asked about why she threw her hat in the ring she talked about how she has always wanted to get involved.

“I was going to wait a few years to do this,” Born told us, “but I felt now was the right time.”

Born said she read the article we published last week about a lack of candidates and that was one of the things that motivated her to enter the race.   Born added that while she is a newcomer to the political arena, she has a fresh attitude and is ready to go.

When asked about what areas interest her most as a potential Commissioner, Born said she wanted to look at the cities finances to make sure that they are being properly handled and is interested in making sure the business community in Eudora grows.

“I want to know why we are losing businesses in Eudora,” Born said.

Currently, two seats are up for election on the City Commission.  Jerry Trober Sr., a long time resident of Eudora and Born are, so far, the only candidates.  We will continue to follow who decided to enter the race for City Commission.  The filing deadline is Noon Tuesday.

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Eudora News and Information www.eudorareporter.com

Believe it or not, we are working on some other stories besides election material, but we did want to quickly update you some filings for the Spring election.

For City Commission, so far only Jerry Trober has filed for the race.  There are two seats up for election this time and Bill Whitten, one of the incumbents, has indicated that he will not run.  There still has been no definitive word from Commissioner/Council member Tim Reazin or Mayor Scott Hopson about their intentions to run.  Hopson did state that he has not made a decision as of Sunday evening.

“The city has lots of problems and I feel I have ideas on how to fix things,” Trober said. “Being retired, I have plenty of time to go check things out.”

Trober retired as a City employee in 2010 after working for the city for 10 years.  This is Trober’s second attempt at a seat on the City Commission.  He finished 4th place by a very slim margin in 2011 when three seats on the City Council were put to a vote.

On the School Board, so far three candidates have filed for the three available seats.  Incumbent Eric Votaw filed his paperwork in December and Board Member Mike Kelso filed on Monday.  Incumbent Joe Hurla has stated that he will file prior to the January 22 deadline.  Also officially filing for the School Board is Bryan Maring.  This is Maring’s second attempt for the School Board.  He ran in 2011 and fell short for one of the 5 open seats in the School Board race.

At the moment it appears a primary will not be necessary.  To trigger a primary race in 2013, 7 candidates would need to apply for the City Commission race and 10 candidates would be need for the School Board contest.

 

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