May 29—John Matta, a former Manhattan city commissioner, has thrown his hat into the ring in the city commission race.
Matta is the seventh candidate to join the race. He filed his paperwork with the Riley County Clerk's office on Friday afternoon.
Matta made his public announcement about running during an Our Manhattan town hall meeting on Thursday. Our Manhattan is a political action committee that prioritizes taxes and "responsible growth."
"Just wanted to use the broadcast today to announce that I will be filing for Manhattan City Commission," Matta said Thursday. "I was on it before, enjoyed my time, although I was working full-time at that point which made it a little more difficult. So I'm really looking forward to this stint to hopefully to get back on and have a little extra time to devote to things."
Matta, who retired from Foot Locker as vice president of logistics in June 2019, was a part of the Manhattan City Commission from 2011-2015. In November, he ran unsuccessfully for the Riley County Commission as a Republican.
Coming out of the pandemic, Matta told The Mercury on Friday there are many opportunities for growth in Manhattan, but he said he wants to make sure the city keeps its belt tightened.
"I've always been pretty fiscally conservative," Matta said. "I want to make sure we're efficient as possible in the city."
In addition, Matta said he wants to continue to support local businesses and attract talent to Manhattan. He said he also is interested in revitalizing older neighborhoods.
"Housing revitalization will be guided by looking at ways to upgrade the housing stock in older communities without driving up cost in those neighborhoods," he said.
There are three spots open on the Manhattan City Commission this election cycle. Mayor Wynn Butler, incumbent commissioners Aaron Estabrook and Usha Reddi, and Manhattan residents Joseph McGraw, Kaleb James and Monica MacFarlane all have filed for the city commission race, as of Friday.
The filing deadline is noon Tuesday. The general election will be Nov. 2. The city election is non partisan.