Ryan Rymer is running for one of three city commission positions expiring in 2019 on the Hays City Commission. In a brief biography and Q&A with The Hays Daily News, Rymer stated his position on issues before the commission.
Registered voters in Hays decide this fall on who will fill the three vacancies. There are five candidates. Party affiliation doesn’t matter for the city commission seats, which are nonpartisan positions. New commissioners take office in January 2020 and serve four-year terms.
Early voting starts Monday in the Ellis County Clerk’s office of the county administrative building at 718 Main. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Other city commission candidates are Ron Mellick, Michael Berges, Mason Ruder and Henry Schwaller IV.
Schwaller's Q&A ran in Tuesday's Hays Daily News.
Growing up in Wichita, Ryan Rymer moved to Hays in 1997. Shortly after arriving, he enrolled in FHSU and later attended NCKTech, where he graduated in 2001 with an associate’s degree in nursing. He completed his bachelor’s in nursing with Grantham University.
Working as an ER nurse at Russell Regional Hospital for 10 years, he said his focus is on providing the best emergent care for citizens of the county.
Over the course of a 27-year career in the U.S. Army Reserves, Rymer said, he has grown as a leader through increased roles and responsibilities. He is currently a major with the 7455th MBB in Topeka.
Rymer and his wife, Alicia, have been married for 21 years. They have two children, Garret and Audrey. In their spare time they enjoy camping at Wilson Lake, taking in the sights of local Hays venues and assisting the family at the farm in Pawnee County.
Rymer said he and his family have enjoyed living in Hays for many years, noting that it is a fantastic place to raise a family. He said his interest in local politics came as he went before the Hays City Commission on the roundabout project.
1. What's your opinion of the already approved Vine Street roundabouts?
As currently designed, the roundabout project will have a negative impact on residents and businesses. Over 200 residents in the Skyline addition signed a petition and filled city hall. I do think that there could be a productive use for a traffic circles in Hays, but not as currently designed. The intent of the project was to reduce accidents in the problem areas of north Vine Street. There was only one intersection which experienced higher than average accident rates, and that was on 32nd and Frontage Road. The solution of five traffic circles in a little more than a half mile seems quite excessive.
2. What's your opinion of the I-70 travel plaza development planned at Exit 157, likely for annexation into the city with economic development incentives?
I support the Travel Plaza being developed in its currently proposed location. The location seems to be optimal as it could draw commercial through-traffic over to the bypass and away from Vine. Incentives should be considered to aid this project so it may come to fruition.
3. How will you attract retail, manufacturing or high-tech jobs to Hays that draw young people and afford them a living wage?
Manufacturing and service industry jobs should be the initial focus as we look at bringing jobs to Hays. In order to draw businesses to Hays we have to be competitive with like towns. In order for us to be so, we must look at ways to develop newer middle income housing, address the shortage of child care in the area, and continue to develop recreation and activities for citizens of all ages.
4. Do you support an added 10-year, quarter-cent sales tax in Hays, and if so, how would you spend the revenue?
Any time that an increase in taxation is brought up, it stirs up negative feelings. Particularly when taxpayers see wasteful spending as the result. Should an increase in sales tax occur, the revenue from it should go to further develop Hays in making it an attractive place for new business and people looking to move to our town. This would possibly include improved infrastructure, developing areas for commercial and residential growth, and funding of public works projects that draw people to our town.