El Dorado city election profiles

Chad Frey
Butler County Times Gazette

City/school elections will be hosted across the state of Kansas on Nov. 2.

El Dorado voters will be selecting a mayor, two city council members and three board of education members during the 2021 election on Nov. 2.

The Butler County Times Gazette received six responses to city candidate questionarres sent via email to each candidate.

Mayor

Bill Young 

Bill Young is an incumbent. The current Mayor, he was born and raised in Kansas where he spent the majority of his childhood moving around the state. His family finally settled in El Dorado his junior year of high school. After graduating at El Dorado High, he attended both Butler Community College and Wichita State University, majoring in business.

Bill Young

He served the Chief Information Security Officer at Butler Community College befor he was appointed as the Vice President of Digital Transformation and is currently the Chief Information officer at the college.

Young has served on the Planning Commission, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was EHS Athletic Booster Club President and was a member of the City Commission 4 years ago.

Lawrence J Fischetti II

Lawrence J Fischetti II

Website:

Age:30

Years living in El Dorado: 30

Tell me one good thing about living in El Dorado you have experienced within the last year:

El Dorado’s 150th festival was a lot of fun for everyone in El Dorado. I would love El Dorado to have more events and festivals to bring our community closer together.

What, in your opinion, is the top issue facing the city of El Dorado today?

I think El Dorado needs some vision for what it wants in its future. We have been very complacent with how things have been that we have not been considerate enough about what we want El Dorado’s future to be.

What, in your opinion, is a solution you can bring to the city to resolve this issue?

I think we need to give our current and future committees the opportunity to brainstorm their vision for El Dorado while being forward thinking about the future our citizens see for El Dorado.

What unique skills or experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate?

El Dorado has been home for my whole life. I believe many who live here have wants or concern for El Dorado but they are hesitant to speak up for or against projects because they think their opinion or ideas do not matter. I want to be open to hearing everyone’s concerns, wants or needs and making sure that our council has the most information it can have to make the best-informed decisions they can for the betterment of El Dorado.

City Commission Position 1

Matthew Guthrie             

Matthew Guthrie

Age: 47

Years living in El Dorado: Moved to El Dorado in 1986 and Graduated from EHS in 1993.  Left after Graduation and Returned in 2013 with my family. 

Tell me one good thing about living in El Dorado you have experienced within the last year:

So good many things have happened in the last year, from seeing the town gather again for the 150th celebration to watching High School Football again.  Its important to remember why we live in El Dorado. Each Other.

What, in your opinion, is the top issue facing the city of El Dorado today?

I top issue face El Dorado today is Lake water debt.  The city owes 54 million today.  If we wait to address this it could cost upwards of 450 million.  That’s a town killer.  We Took the money saved for the Lake and paid what we owe on the activated water.  But We still need to address it soon.    

What, in your opinion, is a solution you can bring to the city to resolve this issue?

Thanks to some of my fellow commissioners the city has engaged our Federal government elected officials and we are now working on a plan to express some relief or renegotiate some better terms.  After that some tough questions will need to be answered.

What unique skills or experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate?

Being on the commission for 4 yrs gives you insight.  Nothing comes fast.  Nothing has everyone’s support.  But staying the course, and finding the little things that can help your citizens each time you put that commissioner hat on.  Moral compass is always important to have when in elected office.  Vote for what’s best for the city.  I have always tried to do that.  Vote what’s best for El Dorado.  Please vote Nov 2nd. 

Herb Llewellyn

Herb Llewellyn

Age: 63

This past summer I took my grandchildren to the North Main spray park.  They love it.  Seeing all the families enjoying the park facilities puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  

I believe that the biggest issue for the City is implementing the master plans that our community has told the Commission they want.  This includes the comprehensive plan, the Park Master plan and the airport master plan.  These plans will ensure that the city is positioned to add jobs, housing and people.

I'll ask the Commission to move them up as priorities.  

I've spent my life actually doing work that makes me uniquely qualified.  My first job was as a lifeguard and swimming teacher.  Then after high school I enlisted in the Navy and saw how the rest of the world lives.  It gave a deep understanding of how great we have it in El Dorado.  While attending K.U. I worked construction, learning how projects get built.  I also worked as the Assistant to the Treasurer at Baker University.  I graduated from K.U. with both an undergraduate and masters degree.  With my graduate degree I spent the next 25 years managing cities.  Learning how cities operate takes years, even when you went to school for it!  With that experience. won't have a learning curve.  I can hit ground running.  

Kelly Tetrick 

Kelly Tetrick

 Website: https://www.facebook.com/Kelly-Tetrick-for-City-Commission-106909408431346

Age: 41

Years living in El Dorado: 36

Tell me one good thing about living in El Dorado you have experienced within the last year:  The 150fest. City staff did an outstanding job of organizing and running this event. 150 years is a huge accomplishment for this town. It was good to see the community come together. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. This event could not have come at a better time. We needed something positive to focus on. This event speaks to the character of this community. Reminds me of the old Prairie Port Festival Days. Parade Route was packed with spectators, car show, food trucks, vendors, crafts, and a concert to wrap everything up.

What, in your opinion, is the top issue facing the city of El Dorado today? The need for quality housing. Currently, El Dorado is falling behind neighboring cities when it comes to affordable housing options. So far in 2021, El Dorado has only issued 12 new residential building permits. The city needs to focus on new residential developments, rehabilitation of existing homes and infill of vacant lots.

What, in your opinion, is a solution you can bring to the city to resolve this issue? Continue to focus on the relationship with El Dorado Inc, El Dorado Main Street, and the Chamber of Commerce. Rebuild relationships with developers, work with these companies to ensure that they are benefiting from all available incentives. El Dorado is unique in that they have land available for this to happen. Develop El Dorado is focusing on bringing new industry to town, and these new employees will need a place to live.

What unique skills or experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate?

Small Business Owner

Past Chairman of Vintage Homeowners Association

Past Chairman of El Dorado Planning Commission

Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management – Experience with Budgets, Estimates, Schedules, and Construction Projects.

City Commission Position 3

Leon Leachman 

Tell me one good thing about living in El Dorado you have experienced within the last year: The small town atmosphere of being able to meet with my neighbors and move around freely in my neighborhood with fear.

What, in your opinion, is the top issue facing the city of El Dorado today?   The future of our community will change based on how our city commission sees as our top priorities.  I am concerned that there is too much focus on the lake and not enough on what our communities needs really are.

What, in your opinion, is a solution you can bring to the city to resolve this issue? My work background centered around looking at problems and finding solutions to those problems.  I like to listen and gather facts before I make a decision.

What unique skills or experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate? My skills center around working with people, developing large budgets and seeing that people comply with those budgets.  I also have served on the School Board, BCC Foundation Board, and numerous other Non-profit  organizations.

Syndee Scribner

Website: N/A

Syndee Scribner

Age: 36

Years living in El Dorado: 36, in and around

Tell me one good thing about living in El Dorado you have experienced within the last year: We saw the town rally to keep businesses open.  Several smaller towns and communities saw the lifeblood of their towns go under during the pandemic.  El Dorado citizens rallied and keep our stores and restaurants open.

What, in your opinion, is the top issue facing the city of El Dorado today?  Economic opportunities

What, in your opinion, is a solution you can bring to the city to resolve this issue?  It seems like we have businesses interested in investing in the El Dorado Industrial Park, but for some reason they have chosen not to.  El Dorado, Inc recently did a presentation to the commission that showed 60 businesses had shown interest in possible investing.  El Dorado was not able to land ONE of these.  We need to dig deeper to see why we continuously get passed over and how we can fix those issues without burdening the tax payer.  We have the right resources; water, rail and road, and ready made workers being developed at both Butler Community College and WSU Tech, right down the road. 

What unique skills or experience do you have that makes you a qualified candidate?  I was a police officer for the city for 7 years, I have served on many non-profit boards, own a growing small business in El Dorado and currently work in the transportation and logistics industry.  I think my current work has shown me how lucky the city is to have such good resources; water, rail and road, and ready made workers being developed at Butler Community College.