Chat about the Lawrence City Commission race with candidate Carey Maynard-Moody

February 19, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Carey Maynard-Moody

Carey Maynard-Moody, who has been a longtime volunteer of the local chapter of the Sierra Club, said she'll campaign on bringing more companies that are in the business of promoting or producing environmentally-friendly products to Lawrence.


Hi folks! I'm Joel Mathis, managing editor for convergence. Carey Maynard-Moody is here; she'll be assisted in her typing by Paula Schumacher, her campaign manager.


What is your view of the proposed domestic partnership registry?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

I'm very supportive of it. Human rights should not distinguish between race, religion, gender, sexual orientation... We all benefit from protecting human rights.


What is your position on building a new library in downtown Lawrence?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Our library has been brought to its knees from neglect. I am encouraged by the good leadership of Bruce Flanders, and his vision, and his marketing. The staff is doing a remarkable job under adverse conditions. I look forward to finding a solution that will provide continuing and improved services in a space that staff and library leadership deserve.


One of the biggest fights involving the city commission, in recent memory, is/was about the 2nd Walmart; where do you come down on this issue? Do you believe that a new city commission can overrule or change a past commission's decision to allow a building permit to issue?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Large business developments must not threaten the character of a neighborhood. I don't think this issue is dead. I look forward to working with fellow commissioners to finding sensible solutions for enhancing downtown as well as allowing inovative entrepreneurship in newer neighborhoods.


Carey, as a follow-up to the library question: What do you think of the $30 million proposal that is currently under consideration by the commission?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

I want to consider other options. I am open to cheaper but still adequate and stately buildings for the library -- including the one proposed by Placemakers on city-owned land (on Constant Park). That location is the gateway to our city--what better first impression for visitors than a stately, classical building overlooking the river within 1 block of the former library.


Carey, what are your views about transit in Lawrence? Do you support the "T"? On the "T" website there are reports from a study about possible coordination of services with KU on Wheels -- what do you think about this idea?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Lawrence is blessed to have the T. Lawrence owes this remarkable service to one of my favorite local heroines: Mary Michener who worked tirelessly for 10 years to see it realized.

I am encouraged by its progressive development, its ridership is constantly improving... I am impressed with the tireless efforts of the board, the professional staff who are seeking coordination with other transportation and transit options.

To live in Lawrence, you should not need a car to get around. Everyone should be able to get around. Transportation is about choices.


What are you going to do about the traffic in this town?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

I am going to discourage it. I am going to be thoughtful about promoting traffic that is exacerbated by infrastructure enhancements that perpetuates bad traffic patterns. I am concerned about the perpetual cost of traffic calming -- which could be avoided if we hadn't been promoting traffic all along. I am very devoted to building a city that protects pedestrians... children and elders especially. Our downtown should be safe, pedestrians should not be threatened by traffic. It is hard to find solutions that work to protect both pedestrians and promote traffic flow -- but I am committed to working to find them.


A commenter named "jade" has offered several big questions in one post. I'm going to break it down into smaller chunks: "I'm concerned about global warming, but I'm having trouble imagining what local governments can do about it. What do you think?"

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Local governments can work to conserve energy (electricity) in government facilities and services. The Sierra Club's Cool Cities Campaign is underway in Lawrence. City staff is working hard to conserve energy in public buildings and city offices. When energy is reduced, less coal is burned, less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Lawrence is taking baby steps in this direction, including government purchase of clean local renewable energy. It is my hope that Lawrence will not be the only city commission to go green. It is my hope that many American local governments will become committed to reducing energy consumption, thereby not making matters worse. Local governments can also partner with local utility providers (Westar) to promote energy conservation in homes and businesses.


Also from Jade: "Lots of older folks in Lawrence live on fixed incomes. There is a lot of talk about raising property taxes in order to pay for infrastructure and services. They can't afford this! What do you propose?"

Carey Maynard-Moody:

I would like to explore a program whereby qualifying elders on fixed incomes make level payments on property tax (should property taxes rise). The difference between the level pay and the increased taxes would be recouped by the city when the property ownership is transferred (taken out of the sale). The city also has the ability to borrow on that pool of money that this program would create.


Where do you stand on the SLT?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

The SLT dates back 20 years or more. Times have changed. The SLT was never a transportation project. It was always a highway project. Our region deserves transportation enhancement. There is more to transportation enhancement than building highways and promoting traffic. Transportation choices are critical at this time in our history when the end of cheap oil seems more inevitable and pressing than before. I do not have the confidence that the clean alternative energies that we may eventually rely on will get us about on highways as handily as before. Therefore, we will need an alternative if we are to move about regionally (between cities, etc.) It always has been and still is very important to me that Lawrence show all due respect to all citizens including our neighbors including Haskell Nations University. The SLT shows disrespect for them.


Why should Lawrence Firefighters vote for you, instead of other candidates?

Thank you.

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Because they, too, have concerns about quality of life in Lawrence. They, too, have families and children that walk to school. They, too, want affordable housing. I am a candidate who wants our firefighters, our teachers, service industry workers, etc., to be able to work and live in Lawrence. I am determined to work for solutions for affordable housing.


During a recent candidate forum you indicated that you believe that the free market system should guide the potential problem of an overbuilt retail market. Can you further explain your thoughts on this?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Thank you for asking that question. I am concerned about green field development that may be placing unfair tax burden on the population. I am looking forward to finding solutions that both promote inovative, creative, environmentally safe businesses and industries and other development projects without sacrificing the economic vitality and well being of our historic downtown and other locally owned small businesses. Over regulation is as egregious as under regulation. I look forward to finding a balance that maintains the character and integrity of our town without sacrificing economic health.


What kinds of folks are donating to your compaign? I assume they don't include developers at 6th & Wak (Wal-Mart #2 supporters) and the home builders assoc?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Local folks. An inordinant number of them. While I have raised half as much money as some other candidates, I have had roughly the same number of contributors and them. I appreciate the support I have recieved. I am heartened by the fact that my supporters represent such a healthy mix, cross section, of our population because as a candidate, I am passionate about representing the diversity of this great city.


how do you envision addressing the issue of homelessness in Lawrence?

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Listening and listening hard to many people. I have a listening meeting scheduled next week with the leader of the homeless task force. I have supporters who are most eager to share their findings and research. As a social worker, this issue is close to my heart. It is important to me that Lawrence be considered to a diverse population regardless of their means. It is important to be fiscally responsible in making permanent decisions. I look forward to participating .... I think I bring particular sensitivity and training to the table.


What do you intend to do, if elected to make sure housing & apartment rentals are affordable for all Lawrence residents? Thank you.


That is the last question we have time for today.

Carey Maynard-Moody:

I would like to put as much time and energy as possible into the search for an employment solution that will provide jobs and wages for workers that are sufficient to keep a single mother of two smartly above the poverty level (wages that can support a single mother of 2 is what I consider to be a "living wage"). When wages are sufficient and jobs are sufficient, housing becomes more affordable.


Stephen Roberts 11 years, 1 month ago

She needs some help. I think she is living in a fantasy world. maybe the sun has hurt her sense of reality.

newsreader 11 years, 1 month ago

Without the business development, what part of the neighborhood will exist in 10 years?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Nowhere did this candidate indicate she was anti big business or supported NO business development. Green industry is big and small business. Lawrence will need to be focused on a combination.

All candidates support economic growth. More building permits were issued in 2006 than in 2005.

She obviously is not impressed with high dollar ideas in the library. Keep in mind this library project began at 17 million.Then developers came in with a 40-50 million dollar project. Last Tuesday evening a library board member revealed 10 million is for parking. The 17 million did not include a 10 million dollar parking package. That library board member also revealed they were open to any location.

I say let the retail developers include the 10 million dollar parking package in their developments on their nickle.

bluerose 11 years, 1 month ago

she has my vote.

hooray for a forward-thinking and conscious person.

instead of a developer.

bigger is NOT always better. there are far too many people who do not seem to understand the the piggish way we have been living is going to be impossible in the near future.

rhd99 11 years, 1 month ago

I don't know how she or ANYONE running for Commiss can attract higher paying jobs with the current economic structure we have now.

justthefacts 11 years, 1 month ago

The Kansas Constitution requires that all property subject to taxation must be taxed at a uniform and equal rate and valued on a uniform and equal basis according to its class. The constitution establishes 7 classes of real property, none of which separate out property owned by older taxpayers.

So, while a nice idea if you are old (how old is old?) it looks like there would have to be a Constitutional change, or at least a new law passed by the State Legislature, before a city (or a county) could exempt old folks completely in order to give them a tax break.

This candidate needs to do some research on the legality of her ideas, or have a firmer grasp on what is and is not beyond the scope of city council members power...Oh wait....Lawrence is known for adopting resolutions without any legal basis or impact.

Does anyone remembers back when some equalization was required (by the courts) on property values, in the late 1980's? Many old folks who'd been paying taxes on property whose values hadn't increased for 30 years had a big problem paying those bills. For the most part, the equalization in the 90's has resulted in a leveling off. If we create another "special" exemption for taxes, then what will happen is what was happening back then; the new buyers of the property cannot afford to take the property off the hands of the prior owners!

See State ex rel. Stephan v. Kansas Dept. of Revenue, 253 Kan. 412, 856 P.2d 151, Kan.,1993 at for a discussion on the topic.

jade 11 years, 1 month ago

One nice thing about our city legislature is that their job entails writing the rules. They can change or eliminate bad ones and write better ones. That the elderly property tax proposal is already in place elsewhere suggests that it can be done here. What a terrific idea!

I am sooo ready for this Commissioner. Lawrence needs my candidate, a real defender of our quality of life against those who'd sell off the last wilderness and wipe out the last farm to make a buck. It gives me even greater satisfaction to know that this courageous defender is a woman with a brain and a vision.

Carey's got my vote.

cowboy 11 years, 1 month ago

Talk about wiping out farms , the city is wiping one out with the new sewer plant

rhd99 11 years, 1 month ago

This commission election will be a heckuva barn burner, yip yip yiperoo!

bkt_1977 11 years ago

Carey's statements were inspiring and inspired. The disparaging comments that followed, however, were quite the opposite. Again I am reminded that no one ever fully grows up: Some people retain an adventurous spirit, others their trust and wonder, and a few never learn that to bully is to be anything but strong.

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