Iolans are guaranteed competitive races in all four voting wards when they head to the polls to pick a new city council April 5.
Donald Becker and Eugene Myrick both filed Wednesday to represent Ward 3 on the eight-member council. Also seeking a seat in that ward is Jim Kilby.
Becker, 76, grew up in Hoisington in central Kansas before embarking on a 35-year career in oil refining, working as an engineer with Conoco. He retired in 1994 and moved to Iola where he operated his own consulting firm, from which he retired in 2010.
Becker is a six-year member of the Iola Planning Commission and a five-year member of the Kansas Water Board.
Becker promises to bring a “common sense” approach to the city council if he’s elected, and figures his familiarity with financial issues and ability to work with others would serve him well.
“Iola is a great town, and it’s vital we have a great appearance. First impressions mean a great deal to people coming to town for a first time,” Becker said. But, he added, “Iola needs to grow and provide job opportunities.”
Becker considers himself “a bit on the conservative side.” He also said he is an advocate of recreational programs.
“I see the value for money spent from our limited resources,” in recreation programs, he said.
When the new council is seated, Becker said wise decisions, not hasty ones, would serve the city best.
“Short-term decisions have long-term consequences,” he noted.
MYRICK, 46, counts his youth as a benefit to the new council.
“There are quite a few older people who have filed,” Myrick said. “I can bring in more ideas from my age group’s perspective.”
Myrick also curries no special interests with the council, aside from eagerly anticipating construction of a new Allen County Hospital.
“The hospital will be a great asset for the city,” Myrick said. “The hospital is something we need to attract other businesses.”
Myrick is retired after working 18 years with the Kansas Army National Guard and six years in active duty with the Army Reserves.
He also worked 15 years for USD 257 and continues to serve as a volunteer for the school district and Allen County Community College.
Myrick compared himself to “Joe The Plumber.”
“I’m just a common man,” he said, “with common ideas and common values.”
THE FILINGS bring the number of total council candidates to 14.
Two representatives will be chosen from each of Iola’s four voting wards. A map designating ward boundaries is on page A6.
Candidates have until noon Tuesday to file at City Hall.