Sometimes in citywide elections, the candidate pool is dry. Some cities often don’t have enough prospective enthusiasts seeking to represent their town to fill the number of open slots. Not so in Hays.
Our fine city is blessed with five candidates for Hays City Commission who bring with them ideas of what the city needs to do to prepare for the future while serving in the present. Only issue we see with that is there are five qualified people interested in three positions. That’s a good problem to have, and we continue to be blessed with those willing to rise to the challenge to meet our city’s needs.
With that being said, weeding down that candidate list from five to three hasn’t been easy. Two of the candidates are seeking re-election, Shaun Musil and Sandy Jacobs, while sitting commissioner Lance Jones chose not to seek another term.
Also in the running are Dustin Roths, Chris Dinkel and John Mayers.
There’s something to be said for experience, and that leads us to Musil and Jacobs. Both have served admirably on the commission, and we see no need for them to not be voted in for another term.
Musil, a business owner in downtown, has the experience needed to help deal with Hays’ water issues in the future as the city seeks to develop the R9 Ranch in Edwards County. He’s also shown support for Fort Hays State University, as well as education as a whole in the city. He will do well serving the community again.
Jacobs, executive director of the Heartland Community Foundation, is community-minded and open-minded — something that’s served her and the city well in forming important decisions. She’s able to perceive both sides of a situation and is in touch with the constituents. That’s nothing but a plus for the city.
That brings us to three candidates for one spot, and all are relative newcomers to the political scene.
Mayers is a realtor and also works at Westhusings Inc. in Stockton, Roths owns a downtown business, and Dinkel is a marketing coordinator and an adjunct professor at FHSU.
The one that stands out the most to us is Dinkel, who seems to understand the housing issues in Hays and has made it one of his top priorities. Finding affordable and well-maintained houses in our city has been an issue for some time, and it will be important to see how Dinkel addresses the concerns if elected.
We firmly believe the housing market and the need for more high-paying jobs are something the city commission will have to discuss in the near future if Hays has a chance to continue to attract new and younger families.
Mayers and Roths are quality candidates, but it seems the best path to keeping Hays on solid footing is to have Musil, Jacobs and Dinkel a part of the five-member city commission after Tuesday’s general election.
Editorial by The Hays Daily News