Uncategorized Candidate Profiles: Osage City council positions

Candidate Profiles: Osage City council positions

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InfoThe Osage County Herald-Chronicle is providing basic information on area candidates running for municipal and school board positions in the April 7 election.

Candidates for each position were contacted by mail at the address of filing and were asked to provide a photo and return questions about why they are running for office, issues and goals they wish to address, their past record of service and their relationship to the community.

Edward Berends

Osage City Council, Ward 1

I am conservative. Stop unnecessary spending. Reduce our deficit. I think it is outrageous a city of our size has this much debt.

If elected I want to reduce our deficit and curb unnecessary spending so we do not over burden our senior citizens that are on a fixed income. I would like to see our city back in the green, debt free as it was before we had any city managers. When the city was ran by Mayor Thompson, the city council had over $2 million in checking at this time.

I served as council member for the past four years. I would reduce deficit with the help of the other council members from over $14 million to $8.3 million at present. We did this through debt restructure and controlling our spending. As a council member I take the job seriously and have only missed two council meetings in four years of the 96 regular scheduled meetings.

I have been a resident of Osage City since 1964, with the only time not here was time spent in the Navy with two tours of duty in Vietnam. I am married to Linda for over 35 years. I enjoy hunting, fishing, shooting and watching high school basketball. I like old cars, old tractors and love my dogs. I am retired so I have the time to spend as a council member. I am honored that you chose me as your council member for the past four years and would be honored if you chose me as your council member for the next four years.

Denise Lauber

Osage City Council, Ward 1

My family and I have lived in this community for eight years. I want to aid our council in making decisions that strengthen the community and help to grow a strong foundation for future generations.

If elected I would like to improve the city infrastructure, recruit and retain industry and strengthen relationships between the school district and city.

I currently serve on the planning and zoning committee for the city. I am the educational director for the Community Covenant Church and have directed our Vacation Bible School program for the last three years. The program provides weeklong activities for 100 plus children in our community.

I work as a supervisor for American Eagle Outfitters Distribution Center in Ottawa. Ray Lauber is my husband. I have two children, Kevin, an eighth grader and Ryan, a seventh grader. I have a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and English from Emporia State University.

Mike Handley

Osage City Council, Ward 2

I feel that I can help our council reach decisions in more timely, polite and open ways than it has during recent years. If elected, I will always be willing to explain myself – even to WIBW and KSNT.

I would like the council to trust the abilities of the city’s employees; city hall should not be a backseat driver. I want to be part of a council that leaves personal conflicts at the door and can never be accused of favoritism. The council, chamber of commerce, industrial committee, and other city groups should develop a shared vision for improving the city’s future. Homes sit with for sale signs in the yard while property values around them decline. This is not “someone else’s problem.” Eventually empty properties become blighted, but the council has been very reluctant to deal with the issue.

I am a vice president in Osage City Lions Club. I enjoy our activities and feel honored to give back to our community through donations and scholarships. I serve as a cantor at St. Patricks, and I enjoy singing for worship services. While living in Topeka, I volunteered at Helping Hands Humane Society. My Eagle project in Boy Scouts created nesting places for wood ducks.

I’ve been a table games dealer at Prairie Band Casino and Resort since 2000. I graduated in 1983 from Blue Valley HS in Stillwell and have a degree in journalism/advertising from KU. Stacey and I enjoy walking on the nature trail with our dog Bo, and I love riding my motorcycle when my schedule and the weather cooperate.

Linda Carson

Osage City Council, Ward 3

I am looking to advance the City of Osage in a positive direction. I believe in order for our community to continue to grow, it is crucial we support our local businesses and keep the tax dollars in our town without having to increase the mill levies.

One of my goals is to cut back on excessive spending and to look out for the senior citizens on a fixed income. In the past four years, the city has reduced its debt by over $3.8 million. This is due to restructuring debt and paying down on city loans. The patrons are now able to see what is being spent by the city by attaching the accounts payable information with the bi-monthly agendas. This also includes any credit card transactions for the month.

I am a member of the MdCV Teacher’s Association, was elected president for five years, have also served on the negotiation team for over five years and was also part of the Capital Uniserv Board. I am also a member of the Osage City United Methodist Church and a current member of the local PEO IQ organization. I love my job as an elementary teacher, and I consider myself to be a compassionate and caring person and try to get along with everyone and make compromises when necessary. I look forward to having the opportunity to serve as a city council member for the third ward in Osage City for a second term. 

My husband and I have lived in the Osage City area for the past 34 years. Nineteen years ago, we moved to Osage City along with our sons. We enjoy the many benefits that living in the Osage City community has to offer us. For example it has a great school system, wonderful businesses to do the majority of our shopping, many different churches and fantastic recreational opportunities. I have been employed by USD No. 456 for the past 34 years and have taught a variety of grades and subjects at the elementary and junior high level.

Gail Lohmeyer

Osage City Council, Ward 3

I would like to have the opportunity to give back to my community.

I have no agenda other than listening to the constituents of the third ward and helping the council make educated decisions.

I have served on the Osage Area Arts Council for three years as a board member. I was a scout leader and softball/baseball coach for many years. I have received extensive leadership training and served as president of the Flint Hills Chapter of the Kansas Reading Association. I was chosen as Kansas Writing Teacher of the Year (KU). My husband, Jim and I were honored to be chosen as “Mr. and Mrs. Osage City” for the 2014 Fair Parade.

We have raised our six children here in Osage City, where I taught second grade for 23 years. Four of my grown children have chosen to remain here and raise their families. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Emporia State University, where I also taught classes. I retired from a school-counseling career four years ago and started a business, Saucy Lady BBQ & Catering, a food truck based here in Osage City. My hobbies include cooking, biking, gardening, following my Royals, and spending time with my 11 wonderful grandchildren.

Dale Schwieger

Osage City Council Ward 4

I would like to see the city move forward to bring new jobs and families to town. If we could attract new families and business this would add additional tax dollars for the city to use to continue to make improvements.

If I were to make goals for my time on the city council, it would be to help the city to be productive in all aspects. I would like to insure that the city council is making informed decisions that will help move the city forward. I believe, if we want our young adults to come back to Osage City to raise their families we have to make improvements and set goals now that will insure the health and well being of Osage City.

I have worked for the state of Kansas for 17 years. That has required me to work within budgets and understand budgeting processes that cities and the state must use to ensure that a fair bidding process is followed. I sat on the Osage City Recreation Commission from 2002 to 2003, and continued under the Park and Recreation Advisory Board until 2006. I also worked with the City as the Chairman of the Jones Park and Recreation task force when the new pool was developed. Today, I sit on the Planning and Zoning board for Osage City.

In 1987 I joined the United States Air force and separated in 1993 with an honorable discharge. I then went back to college at Kansas State University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Agriculture. Karen and I decided to make Osage City our home in 2000, both of our kids, James and Alexandra, attended grade school and high school here making Osage City a special place to our family. I have worked for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for 17 years, the last 15 years as a manger for Eisenhower and Pomona State Parks.

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