Meriden man creates race for 2nd District commissioner
by Clarke Davis
A Republican primary race for county commissioner in the 2nd District was created when Kyle Brown, Meriden, filed May 22.
Wayne Ledbetter, Perry, announced and filed earlier this year. The district consists of Rock Creek, Kaw, Kentucky, and West Fairview townships.
Brown did not raise any particular issues in an interview last week, but stressed he would be a proponent for open government that keeps the communication lines open to the people. He also supports maintaining services and having good roads.
“I believe I would bring a lot to the table,” he said. “I would work to resolve a lot of problems before they ever get to the board meeting.”
He said he is a strong advocate for buying within the county and promoting our small businesses.
“Once they are gone they don’t come back,” he said. “Let’s spend our money here at home.” He went on to emphasize that the importance of the businesses is too often overlooked considering the support they give to the schools, 4-H, and many other civic groups.
He has seen zoning cases that he feels have been an unfair burden to businesses who wanted to expand. He said he is not sure what can be done about it, but wants the chance to take a look.
The commissioner seat can be a tough and thankless place, he said, because government has to live within its means, but the county should be doing what it can in the way of economic development to grow the tax base.
The county needs to do more to promote tourism to attract people to Perry Lake, he said.
“I’d also like to see something done that could help young couples settle in the county. They often find it too expensive, but we need them here,” he said.
He said he had been thinking about running for commissioner for years and said he called current commissioner Roy Dunnaway to hear firsthand that he was not running again. “He’s an unbelievable icon in the community,” Brown said.
Brown, 48, is living on 39th Street on a farmstead that once belonged to his grandfather where he keeps 10 cows and calves and a horse. The land goes back four or five generations in the family, he said, and he moved there in 2002. He’s added another 40 acres on which he grows alfalfa. He has many relatives in the community.
He grew up in northern Shawnee County and graduated from Seaman High School. He owns KB Safe & Lock, servicing, repairing, and moving safes and vaults.
Most of his business is with banks, government agencies, and military. However, there are a lot of private safes and he is often called when people have to move them or have lost the combinations for them and need them opened.
“I guess you could say I’m a legal safecracker,” he said.
“I get calls at the start of hunting season. People have their guns locked in a safe and have lost the combination,” he said.
Because he owns the business, he can schedule the work and does not believe it would hinder his service as commissioner should he be elected.
He is currently serving his first three-year term on Rural Water District No. 1 at Meriden.
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