With election day getting closer the candidates from Baxter Springs and Columbus are getting set for a tough battle. In the City of Columbus, Dale Burton and Joyce Begando have both filed for the Ward 1 council seat currently occupied by John Paradee. In Baxter Springs, Mike Kauffman has filed for re-election in Ward 4 and Don Underwood has filed for re-election in Ward 3 where he was appointed by Mayor Bingham. Underwood is being challenged by Randy Trease.

These next few weeks are going to be hectic for the candidates.

“I would like to see the city keep moving forward,” Dale Burton, who is running for the Ward 1 seat in Columbus, said. “I have been in the community so long now I just want to stay involved. The greatest challenge facing the community right now is the job market. We need to get the job market up so we can have some jobs for these kids.”

“The No. 1 thing the city needs to do is watch how they spend money," Randy Trease, who is running for Ward 3 in Baxter Springs said Instead of sending the whole committee to seminars maybe the city should send one or two employees to the seminar and then when they return they can teach the rest of the committee what they learned at the seminar. Also I think the pay raises that are getting ready to go into effect (pending approval) are unfair. It is unfair to the employees that have been employed for numerous years to be at the same pay level as someone after two-and-a-half years.”

With the economy going the way it is going now, Trease feels that one of that one of the greatest challenges facing the city of Baxter Springs is getting some kind of industry to come to the city. Orval Kent's closure and the concurrent loss of jobs hurt Baxter Springs badly, Trease said.

“We need to get some kind of industry to come here," he said. "we need to get the economy going. “

Trease also noted he has several things to bring to the city.

“I could bring a different view point or perspective.” Trease said, adding, “ I appreciate everyone that is supporting me in this election and would like to see the city of Baxter Springs move forward.”

Current Baxter Springs council member Don Underwood declined comment when reached by telephone. Joyce Begando, who is running for the Columbus Ward 1 seat was not able to be reached for comment.