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Hite runs for city commission

Stu Hite, candidate for Pittsburg City Commisison, in downtown Pittsburg on Oct. 13. Caleb Oswell

Stu Hite, current chief of university police, is running as a candidate for the city commission of Pittsburg. Hite, who has served in law enforcement for 33 years, is running for public office for the first time.

Hite holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science. He hopes to use his experience working for elected officials to help the city commission.

“I was always interested in politics,” Hite said. “I worked for three different sheriffs who were elected and had to be re-elected every four years, so I’ve always been around politics in my career by working for an elected official. So, I know, a little bit of what that’s like.”

Hite hopes to work on the commission to help improve the lives of the citizens of Pittsburg while being conscious of tax-payer expenses.

“I’ve said this before about being a good steward of public money and being a public servant,” Hite said “That’s what I believe and that’s what I’ve made a career doing. And I believe that being a city commissioner is really no different than that.” 

Hite talked about how any person can be qualified for public office. He believes that democracy is an important part of American government.

“I think that’s one of the beauties of being in a democracy and living in this country is that you know anyone can run for public office as long as you don’t have something to prohibit you from it, like some sort of criminal conviction or something like that,” Hite said. “You don’t just have doctors or lawyers; you can have mechanics and other people. You can have a wide variety of people and you see that in all politics. But I think in local politics its important because local politics affects each one of us.” 

Hite does not have any specific campaign points or specific issues he would hope to address. As a person with law enforcement experience, he wants to bring a neutral perspective to the city commission.

“I don’t have an agenda,” Hite said. “I don’t have some pressing issue that I’m upset about or that has influenced me to want to run. And I’m not saying any of the other candidates do either.”

Hite talked about wanting to help people while not increasing taxes for individuals. He also talked about how his involvement in law enforcement has allowed him to witness many changes in policy and the general attitude of other law enforcement members.

“Basic issues include like how to provide more services for more of our constituents without raising taxes without generating more revenue to do so,” Hite said. “A constantly re-evaluated subject and I think one of the biggest issues facing law enforcement in the present and in the immediate future will be the ability to recruit and retain people. A lot of the national media have frankly pushed senior officers into maybe retiring sooner than they would have and have pushed younger officers into looking for some other line of work where they’re not quite under the microscope that the law enforcement officers are. The microscope has been there for a long time, I understand that that’s what we do.”

Another issue that Stu Hite talked about is childcare.

“You know one of those (problems) is how to provide or how to address childcare issues,” Hite said. “There is a big childcare issue in Pittsburg.”

Hite summarized his campaign platform by emphasizing his ability to stay neutral and stick to the facts of a situation.

“I do think I’ve had a I have a history of being fair, unbiased, and treating people the way that I would want to be treated, and that’s what I’ve done as a law enforcement officer,” Hite said. 

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