No city filings as deadline passes

By Corene Brisendine

From a Manhattan perspective, at least, the filing deadline passed quietly today.

With expiration of the noon deadline to file to run in April’s local elections, there were no new filings for either the Manhattan City Commission or USD 383 Board of Education. 

The situation was more volatile, however, in smaller community races, where numerous candidates filed candidacies Tuesday morning.

That leaves seven candidates to fill the three City Commission seats vacated by Loren Pepperd, Jim Sherow and Rich Jankovich. There will be four candidates for the three school board seats to be vacated by Beth Tatarko, Walt Pesaresi and Pete Paukstelis.

Of the six incumbents in the two races, only one – Jankovich – filed for a new term. As of Tuesday morning, the only open question in that respect pertained to Pesaresi, who had not declared whether he would run. He chose not to.

The four candidates who did file for the USD 383 Board are Pat Hudgins, Mitch Beims, Aaron Estabrook and Marcia Rozell. None has previously held elective office, although Estabrook was a legislative candidate in 2012 and Rozell, Hudgins and Beims all sought selection to the vacancy created last year by the resignation of Doug Messer. Tatarko was appointed to fill the remainder of that term.

City race

Jankovich was elected to a two-year term in 2011, supporting the renewal of the half-cent sales tax, the expansion of the airport, the larger map of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the commission’s work on bringing NBAF to Manhattan, the work on reducing Wildcat Creek flooding and the work on developing stronger partnerships with Fort Riley.

Two other commission candidates have previously sat on that body. Bob Strawn was a commissioner from 2007 to 2011, and Karen McCulloh from 1997 to 2001.  Those three join Daniel Hogan, Usha Reddi, John Ball, and Deb Nuss on the April ballot.

Strawn on Tuesday released a six point platform focused on reducing debt, taxes and government. He said special interests and limited goals should not override the greater community need. He also reiterated a desire to set up a third-party commission to research the feasibility of consolidating city and county governments.

He called for reduced property taxes through the use of the half-cent sales tax, and also called for a reduction in regulatory requirements, citing living wage requirements and what he characterized as “social engineering.” Finally, Strawn said he wants to upgrade the historic downtown’s infrastructure as promised by previous commissions.

McCulloh has said she wants to strengthen cooperation between city and county commissioners, regional cooperation, the broader MPO and public transportation.

Reddi is a first grade teacher at Ogden Elementary. She sought the Democratic nomination for school board, but did not make it past the primaries. Reddi has cited her previous experience as president of the local chapter of the National Education Association as an asset to her candidacy.

Nuss was a school board member from 1994 to 1999 and was president during the 1998-99 school year. Nuss said she is running to strengthen the relationship between the city and county commissions, to further the MPO, and to maintain the quality of life enjoyed by Manhattan residents, which includes support of a living wage She also wants commission briefing meetings to be televised.

Neither Ball nor Hogan have served in public office, but both are retired military. Ball, who was the first to file, said he wants to continue the trend of city commissioners tightening the purse strings of the city budget and reducing city debt.

Hogan has said he wants to look at city ordinances that he believes conflict with state and federal law, citing concealed carry and dangerous dog ordinances.


Other races

There were several filings in other races in the county Tuesday.

Ward R. Nations, Roger Graham and Jimmy Bond filed for the Ogden City Council. They joined Brian Still, Paul Werle, Kenneth Carroll, and Ed Burch as candidates. Bond also fileed for mayor, joining Robert Pence as a candidate.

Harold Higgins and George Berstler filed for the Randolph City Council. They joined Jane Dunston, Tamie Redding, Bruce Zimmer and Donna G. Baer as candidates.

Jason J. Heikes filed for the Riley City Council.

Alicia Scofield, Brian Joohnson, Larry Wendland and Mike Johnson filed for the Leonardville City Council.

David Stevenson and Kerry Thurlow filed for positions 4 and 5 respectively on the USD 378 Board of Education. Ross Wahl had previously filed for position 4, while Steve Reed had previously filed for position 5 and David Higgins for position 6.

Amery G. Mclean IV filed for district three, position 6 on the USD 384 Board of Education. Angie Pfizenmaier had previously filed for district 1 position 4 and Bruce Kaump for district 2, position 5 on that board.

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