A former member of the Lansing School Board is throwing his hat in the ring again, having filed for one of three open at-large spots on the board up for grabs in the April 2 election.
A former member of the Lansing School Board is throwing his hat in the ring again, having filed for one of three open at-large spots on the board up for grabs in the April 2 election. Rich Hauver served on the school board from 2007 until 2011, when he ran for re-election but came up short in the final vote. In the intervening time, he said he has grown to miss his service and had some encouragement to run again. “There were a lot of community members and staff that said ‘we need you on the board,’” he said. Following the last election, Hauver said he stayed in touch and involved, joining the board of the Lansing Educational Foundation. He also said he was approached more than once by residents who thought he was still on the board, especially during the campaign leading up to November’s bond issue election for a new high school. Though he heard comments both for and against, he said he supported the passage of the bond. “We’re either moving forward or we’re getting passed by other folks,” Hauver said. Born and raised in Kearney, Neb., he said he moved with his family to Lansing in about 1993. For most of the years since, he said he’s called the city home and recognized that in that time, Lansing has changed. Even in the time since he left the board, he said the school board has run a bond campaign and is beginning to work on the plans for a new high school and athletic facilities that are expected to be done by the beginning of the 2015 school year. With economic development projects like the Cerner office complex in Kansas City, Kan., poised to bring more residents to Lansing, it is important for the board to always be looking ahead and keep on their toes, he said. That goes for the upcoming construction here, too. “This bond is a wonderful opportunity,” Hauver said. “But it’s also something that we need to get right.” That means working not just with the architects designing the structures and the contractors building them, but with other stakeholders in the community. “I think that’s going to be crucial,” he said, mentioning the potential for a YMCA partnership on the competition pool at the new high school. “Just partnerships that make sense for Lansing as a whole.” That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also “laser-focus” on things they need to improve on, like communicating with staff and constituents. However, he said the new schools can be a driver for a broader economic development effort in Lansing if the school board works with the city during the process. “When one does well, we all do well,” he said. “It’s all for one.” Hauver will be up against five other candidates — Steven Buffo, Sylvia Martens, Garrett Martin, incumbent and Lansing High School student Taylor Wisneski — in the April 2 election.