Candidates meet for forum in Peabody

In one of the more heated city races, Peabody candidates took part in a forum Saturday with Rep. Bob Brookens moderating.

In the mayor?s race, 12-year incumbent Larry Larson is being challenged by Frank Doerrler.

In the city council race with only three seats available, seven candidates have thrown their hats in the ring. The incumbents are Stephen Rose, David Scott and Pamela Lamborn, who was not present at the candidate forum. The other candidates vying for a seat include Roxanne Dallke, Lewis Litton and James Philpott.

Mayor?s race

Larson and Doerrler were in sharp contract with their views of how to manage Peabody, based on their answers.

Larson said what he would like to see happen over the next several years is the continuum of what the city has already started downtown.

?We sold the industrial park and basically moved it into town, which was a great idea by Tom Schmidt on our council.?

On the flipside, Doerrler said he didn?t agree with anything the current mayor said.

?I think this city is bloated, it has 37 employees as of last January. It?s too large and doesn?t need that kind of bureaucracy.?

Adding to his duties as mayor, Larson has also served on the local economic development council and Peabody?s ambulance crew for 25 years.

Doerrler talks about change

Doerrler said he has been in Kansas for three years and prior to that he lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. for 36 years and California for 32 years.

?The (Peabody) city council has passed all kinds of laws that contradict the constitution,? he said. ?For instance, the fourth amendment, right to enter your property without a search warrant, has been a problem for years.

?I have never seen a city with this much control and expanding its base. It?s like the federal government wanting to keep on hiring more people to work to eliminate unemployment.?

He said he has all kinds of plans to include automating a lot of the police department by putting in cameras throughout the city in places where the city owns property.

Doerrler said he is a ?Tea Party-type supporter and doesn?t believe in large government.

?I think I can change enough of this city so that we can have some economic growth,? he said. ?I believe I am the most eligible for this job with a background in business and the only time I worked for government was in Navy for military service.?

Peabody City Council races

Each candidate was given two minutes or less to talk about their views and answer questions that were submitted prior to the forum.

Rose discusses his background

?I have been around since 1972, ever since my parents moved here,? Rose said.

A member of the city council for 12 years, he considers himself to be a ?short answer-type person.?

During his tenure as a council member, Rose said he has been involved in the water and sewer projects and now the Baker building project.

At the end of this term, Rose said he was planning to retire from the council.

?Someone said there were no names in the coffer, so would I rerun to finish up projects,? he said. ?That?s where I stand, I will help finish up the projects and get them up and running.?

?Hopefully I will finish up with that,? he said. ?As I said before I am very short with answers.?

Scott has a lot to offer

Scott said he is probably the least known of all the candidates. ?I have been in Peabody since Memorial Day 2008, when I took over as administrator of Legacy Park.?

Not long after his arrival, he said he was approached by Shane Marler to participate in the economic development committee and not too long after that Larson asked him to fill a vacant seat on the council.

?I have been involved in aspects of city government?not from the beginning? but a majority of the time,? he said.

?I think a short period of time is an advantage because I don?t have an ax to grind, I don?t owe anybody anything, nobody owes me anything and I haven?t purposely stepped on anyone?s toes.?

Scott said he likes to approach things in a methodical and logical way. He said he thinks his background allow him to look at ?all shades of gray.? and he doesn?t believe there are any clear cut ?yes? or ?no? answers.

?It?s always about economic values and social values and what we are trying to accomplish,? he said.

?I like to look at facts and figures, although I am data driven in a lot of the things I do,? he said. ?I think I bring a broad prospective and would like to continue.?

Philpott wants to serve again

Philpott said he has lived in Peabody since 2009. ?I had the opportunity to be appointed to the city council, he said, ?and served seven months, but stepped down due to family issues.?

He said he got a taste of what goes on behind the scenes and wants to get back in that seat and finish. ?I want to see progress and I feel like we are at a stalemate right now,? he said.

One solution, Philpott said, is figuring out how to boost the economy and get jobs in Peabody. He also encourages everyone to attend council meetings because reading the newspaper alone is not enough to get a sense of what is going on.

Dallke wants to give back

?I have lived here 30-plus years,? she said. ?This city stood behind me in a time of tragedy and this is a step for me to give back to my community.?

She also spoke about her father, Randy, who is one of the Marion County commissioners, but prior to that was on the Peabody City Council and served as its mayor.

?I am not a politician, but I am very outspoken and I believe we need to get back to being a small town city and not with big city rules.?

She also talked about some of the more recent projects to include the purchase of the Baker building.

?It can be a positive thing,? she said, ?but I want to hear from the people and see what they want in (the building).?

If elected, she said that most of all, she wants people to come and talk to her about what is on their mind.

One thing she said her father taught her was to listen to the constituents.

?You have to stand up for those people, even if you may not always like what happens in the end,? she said.

Litton talks about building

Litton said he thinks the city is pouring sand down a rat hole.

?I don?t see where we are going to gain any financial resources out of that,? he said.

?We are destroying our tax base by demolishing all the rental houses and leaving no options for anyone moving into town that cannot afford to buy a house.?

Litton said he was raised in Peabody and lived here most of his life. ?I believe the city is way too large and we are trying to run it like a large city and that doesn?t work in a small community,? he said. In addition, he said the city has too many people working for it.

?I remember when I grew up, there were two cops and two city employees and they handled the whole town and we had a larger population base than we do now,? he said. ?I believe that city of Peabody needs to trim a lot of fat from the budget.?

According to Litton, the current city administration thinks there are unlimited amounts of money to spend.

?We sold the industrial park and bought the Baker building,? he said. ?Who exactly is going to move in there? Who wants to live in downtown Peabody, two stories up in the air? Very few people.?


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