Lawrence City Commission candidate Price Banks to chat with readers

March 23, 2009

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


Hi. I'm your moderator Chad Lawhorn. With us today is City Commission candidate Price Banks. Thanks for being here, Price. We'll get started with the questions we have, but please feel free to submit more.


Will you be willing to change the Development Code so Lawrence can be more competitive with other cities such as Lenexa in recruiting businesses?


how do we know that you are not just a 'rubber stamp' for developer interests?


We had a technical glitch there. Price will post his answer to BigPrune and then will follow with an answer to Ocean.

Price Banks:

I would be willing to revise the development code to make it more user friendly, not just for businesses but also for citizens who need to use and understand it. I don't necessarily thiink we need to compete with lenexa or any other city. We have our oown special amenities that we should take advantage of to grow and recruit businesses.

I am a planner by training and profession. As such I favor managed growth and would not rollover for any business that comes along. In the 80s I was city planning director and I thiink my record stands on its own.


The City Commission has considered two proposals for street renaming on an ad hoc basis in recent months.

Some municipalities have formal policies prohibiting changing of legal addresses permitting only "secondary" honorific names. Some municipalities prohibit honorific renaming of streets for living people. Some municipalities require threshold support of 50-100% of area residents and landowners before a renaming may be considered. Virtually all municipalities having formal policies have a mechanism for notification, public hearing, and comment period for affected landowners and residents. Some municipalities specifically prohibit any renaming which can be construed as being critical of individuals or groups.

Lawrence has no formal street renaming ordinance or policy.

Should Lawrence consider such a policy?

Price Banks:

Lawrence needs to have a street naming policy. While I understand the motives behind the current proposal, I believe we need time for the community to weigh in on the issue before we take any drastic action for sports sake.


Do you have any position on whether the city (or county) should aquire the Farmland property? What about clean-up costs? I've been told that any entity taking possession of property like this will be "on the hook" for any clean up costs required by the federal or state health authorities, forever. How can the city afford such an expense?

Price Banks:

I don't think the city should take on any large projects, certainly not those with an uncertain result, until we know what the state of the economy will do to city programs. We have taken on to many large project inthe past withou good planning.


I'll submit this on behalf on an online user: Do you believe, in general, that residential growth pays for itself?

Price Banks:

In general residential growth does not pay for itself, however, there is no guarantee that any growth will pay for itself, whether it be residential, commercial, or industrial. We need to weigh each proposal based upon the potential return to the community.


I keep seeing story after story about criminal activity on our downtown streets and in our neighborhoods. The police seem to be spending all their time in bars according to their own public record. Don't you think putting Lawrence police on the streets and patrolling neighborhoods would make Lawrence a much safer city instead of having the highest minor in posession tickets written in the state?

Price Banks:

We certainly need to efficiently use our resources in the police department. If we are spending an inordinate amount of time doing bar-checks we may be able to use the personnel elswhere. We also need to make sure that bar checks are fair, and not concentrated on a few bars while others go unchecked.


Last chance to submit questions. Here's one from another online user that didn't post properly: What, if anything, have you seen that would cause Lawrence to be considered a restrictive or business-unfriendly city?

Price Banks:

City hall is not user friendly. It simply takes to long to accompllish minor tasks or to get information from the city. The processes are inconsistent and not easy to navigate. There needs to be more transparency so that citizens can find information and get through proceedures in a timely fashion.


That will do it for this chat. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question, and thank you, Price. At the moment, our next chat is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday. It will be with James Bush. As a reminder, the election is April 7.

Price Banks:

The city si faced with challenges due to the economy. Efficiency in government should help us avoid increased taes without sacrificing essential services.


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