Eight look for seats on Fort Scott commission

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By Michael Pommier

The Fort Scott Tribune

Due to a new state law, raising the number of candidates in the city commission needed to hold a primary election from six to 10, residents will not see the positions on the ballot until April's general election.

It was announced Tuesday that eight individuals will be seeking seats on the commission. And, this year's commission race may prove to have some strong candidates.

Those candidates are: Jim Adams, Sam Mason, Jean Parker, Kathy Dancer, Tom Raciti, Thom Prue, Mike Lancaster and Heather Russell.

Sam Mason is looking to return to government by running for the commission. Mason retired 13 years ago ending his 33 year career as the District Magistrate Judge for Bourbon, Linn, and Miami Counties. He said he feels his background will help him.

"I feel I have the right credentials, I know city government," Mason said.

If elected Mason said he wants to look after the mill levy and taxes. He said the only agenda he has is to look after the city's financial interests.

"The only thing I'm interested in is looking after the interests of Fort Scott and (the citizens') tax dollars," Mason said.

Thom Prue is making his third attempt at the commission this year. He said he is concerned with the city's economic situation.

"In these economic times, what I'm seeing with the city's concerns, we need to focus on what's best for the most citizens," Prue said.

Prue said if he is elected he wants to represent the citizens to the best of his ability and attempt to control the city's spending habits. In addition he also wants to make sure the commission takes into account how many people would be affected by it's decisions.

"Mainly I'd make decisions as they come about that I feel would benefit the most citizens in Fort Scott rather than just a few," Prue said.

Jean Parker has also tossed her hat in the ring. Parker became involved when the city decided to build the fire station on the east side of town. She began to attend the commission meetings and developed an interest in who the city functioned.

If elected Parker said she wanted to make it a goal for people to view Fort Scott as a whole city rather than the east side and the west side.

The only outgoing commissioner seeking re-election is Jim Adams. Adams said he would like to return to take care of some unfinished business and build on the progress already made.

Adams hopes to get some progressive thinking commissioners, saying in his two years he has learned that the commission cannot accomplish anything unless three commissioners agree. Adams added he hopes the new commissioners will be able to look at the necessary cost cutting in order to deal with the tough economic times.

Look in future editions of The Fort Scott Tribune for more city commission candidate profiles.