Herald Editorial

Elect Edelman Lawrence mayor on June 19


The Herald enthusiastically endorses Alex Edelman for Village of Lawrence mayor. He has only been mayor for two years, but he’s already had the computer systems at Village Hall and the country club linked to improve communication and efficiency between the two; been proactive in filling potholes; and helped restore the village to financial solvency.

That is to say, Edelman is doing all the right things by the village.

Incumbent Trustee and Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin is challenging Edelman. The two disagree on what to do with a parcel of land that formerly housed a sewage treatment plant. Seven single-family houses would fit perfectly on the land, Edelman noted, and match the current zoning and the residential feel of the neighborhood. He would use the money from the sale of the land to finance a swimming pool and health club at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club. We like his thinking here.

Fragin supported the vote to put out a request for expressions of interest for the property. He said he would prefer a park, but he would support houses if the board were to vote that way. In short, he does not offer clear direction.

Edelman said he is not entirely opposed to hiring a private company to manage the country club, but he would do so with a caveat: He wants a company that would manage it with village oversight. Fragin said there is no reason not to look into privatization. A golfer, he said there is no scenario that he could think of in which the village would eliminate the club. We disagree with him.

The country club has, in many ways, been the heart and soul of the village. It is why so many people want to move to Lawrence. To privatize it without control would hand a public treasure over to a private entity. That would be a mistake.

Under Edelman’s administration, the village’s website has been improved, with greater access to more forms, meeting minutes and general information. Fragin said he believes that more remains to be added to the site, including the ability to pay for permits, log and track complaints, and inform residents about road closures when utility work is being done. That might all be true, but under Edelman, we have seen progress, which we expect to continue.

The vote is June 19. We encourage village residents to turn out and vote for Edelman.