BY CORIE LYNN
The City of Hays is preparing for its next local election.
On Nov. 2, voters will cast their ballots for their next city commissioners. This year, they will vote in two commissioners for two-year terms and one commissioner for a one-year term.
Candidates include Dr. Reese Barrick, Samuel Allen and incumbents Sandy Jacobs and Shaun Musil.
Demetrius Chanceis also listed on the ballet but has since moved out of Hays.
Dr. Reese Barrick moved to Hays 12 years ago to serve as the director of FHSU’s Sternberg Museum.
He chose to run for the city commission because of the work between the museum and the community. According to Barrick, the Sternberg is often viewed as a business partner as much as it is viewed as a department of Fort Hays.
“I feel that it is an appropriate time for me to give back to the Hays community,” he said. “and I feel that service on the Hays City Commission with my unique perspective and experience is a good way to accomplish this.”
In fact, Barrick believes that his experience has given him an understanding of how important Fort Hays is to the growth of Hays.
“I have enjoyed the support of Hays businesses and individuals in helping the museum to continue to create innovative programs and to bring unique exhibit experiences to Hays,” he said.
Barrick also serves on the advisory board of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau.
This work has brought him into contact with the Hays Chamber, Grow Hays and the Downtown Hays Development Corporation, which he believes gives him insight into challenges in Hays that the organization sees.
“I will be working as a commissioner to support those agencies that are working to bring housing, child daycare, new businesses and new members to Hays,” Barrick said.
Though not native to Hays, Barrick has lived in the community for 12 years. He grew up in a small town in Iowa but later moved to larger cities, like LA.
But he believes it was his time as a Prehistoric Museum Director in Utah that taught him how to work with city governments to build museum programming and the importance of museums to local tourism.
After making his home in Hays, Barrick says he sees the many opportunities the town provides.
“Democracy works best when people have choices in their representation at all governmental levels, and I am happy to provide a choice for Hays city commission,” he said.