City Commission candidate Bob Schumm answers your questions

March 26, 2015

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

Bob Schumm

Bob Schumm, one of six candidates for three seats on the Lawrence City Commission, answers reader-submitted questions in advance of the April 7 general election.


Welcome to our online chat with City Commissioner Bob Schumm, who is running for re-election. Please submit your questions in the space below. Thanks for being here, Bob.

Bob Schumm:

Good morning to all!


Do you think it is about time to remove those damned fool roundabouts from our city street intersections? I ride every day on school bus as an attendant and the near misses and close calls at these stupid European devices by distracted drivers who do not know the meaning of "Yield" signs is very frightening.

Bob Schumm:

I am a fan of roundabouts, they are efficient, cost lots less than signals, and are a lot less injurious when there is an accident. We have received many compliments from the new multi- lane roundabout on Wakrusa drive. I think they are here to stay.


Send us your questions by using the space below. Here is an emailed question from Tony: Do you support providing Broadband Fiber(1Gb) Internet to every home and business in Lawrence?

Bob Schumm:

I am In favor of seeing that fiber is available in our community. I want a company to be the provider and not the City. I am in favor of using City resources to entice the offering of this fiber service to our citizens. It should be available to all.


This question is an e-mailed question from Shawn: Do you think the amount of wages paid to city officials and/or number of paid officials is justifiable for our city?

Bob Schumm:

I feel that our employees are top notch, work hard, and do a fantastic job. I feel that they are paid appropriately.


This is an e-mailed question from Ken: With infrastructure being a core responsibility of Lawrence, (water, sewers, streets, interest, police, fire, (hi speed internet?), how much "premium" should be placed on non core items?

Bob Schumm:

Quality of life in Lawrence hinges on several things. First and foremost functional infrastructure is paramount to our citizens. But there is much more that goes into the quality of life equation. Parks and Recreation services, the Arts and Culture, and major events that attract crowds and entertain our citizens are important ingredients in the formula. I feel like we should be promoting the entire package in order to enjoy a true quality of life in Lawrence.


This question comes from Sean, and he has a question about police equipment: Are you concerned with purchases such as the "riot van", are things like that too expensive, and are you concerned their overuse may contribute to violence in situations that would otherwise remain more peaceful?

Bob Schumm:

I think our police are real professionals and act accordingly. I presume you are talking about the armored vehicle that the police employ in dangerous, stand off situations. I do believe it is used appropriately and provides a level of safety for our officers as well as any potential victims.


We're near the end of our questions. If you have a question you would like to ask Bob, now would be a good time to submit it in the space provided below. This is an emailed question from Melinda: If elected, how would you use social media to enhance communication with the residents of Lawrence?


In hindsight to the funding and creation of Rock Chalk Park, do you think you should have put it up for a public vote instead of the means to which it was voted in purely by the Commission instead?

Bob Schumm:

Right now we are using social media much more so than just a few years ago.We need to continue to use the state of the art communications in order to inform our citizens.

Bob Schumm:

In hind sight putting Rock Chalk Park to a vote would have made the process less contentious. I do believe it would have passed a public vote and therefore proceeded without one. I also feel if the infrastructure would have been bid a lot of the commotion would have been substantially reduced. I am hopeful that the extraordinary use that the facility's receiving will help mitigate the hard feelings that some citizens harbor about the process.


Well, we've reached the end of our chat. Thank you to everyone who participated. A special thank you to Bob for his time. Our final chat is at noon on Friday (March 27) with candidate Stuart Boley.

Bob Schumm:

Thanks to Chad and the for the opportunity to this on-line chat. A very good day to all and most of all be sure to vote now through April 7 th. Cheers! Bob Schumm.


Carol Bowen 3 years, 1 month ago

Bob is very active, but much of his energy is unnoticed. He has a mature understanding of comprehensive planning for the whole city. If he hears an issue that needs addressing, he follows through.

This past year he has met with pedestrian and cycle groups and encouraged them to work together on city infrastructure issues. At the last city commission meeting, the commissioners made a resolution to form a task force with an ambitious agenda. Last night, Liberty Hall was packed with people who attended the Safe Routes for All forum. This was Bob's initiative, but now community leaders have surfaced. Having more people involved in the community is a real plus for Lawrence.

I did not support the new rec center, but a lot of people did. The supporters are benefiting because of Bob's energy.

Scott Quenette 3 years, 1 month ago

Fiber is absolutely as important as any infrastructure and should be treated the same. The city should lay dark fiber to every door in Lawrence and then allow companies to lease it from them. It is as important as roads, sewer, and water.

Would we try to entice a private company to come in and set up a toll road for us? No.

David Reynolds 3 years, 1 month ago

It's not the rec center itself.

The problem is lack of leadership & management! It is the no-bid infrastructure (which violates the cities own rules), lack of project management, lack of priorities (police department or recreation center?). It is spending $27,000 plus expenses to buy vindication for the decision to use a no-bid process regarding the infrastructure. It is supporting a proposal to build the police department by raising sales taxes to pay for it...when that was resoundingly defeated we had the existing commissioners running for office say...(paraphrasing) well we can build it by reevaluating what we are building and not raise taxes...DO YOU THINK...REALLY???

It's this kind of shoot from the hip, non-thinking action that is in question. We can & must do better.

David Holroyd 3 years ago

Mr Reynolds, I am curious about the police dept. Commissioner Schummshould know as he is presently seated and is kept abreast of legal suits against the city. The public should know what suits might be outstanding against the police dept and / or the city with regards to the dept. just asking?

David Reynolds 3 years ago

David I do not understand your question regarding legal suits against the city or police department?

David Holroyd 3 years ago

Mr Reynolds, I am curious if there are any legal suits against the police dept ? The paper often does not report such. With all of the flak in other cities about the police, I am just wondering if our department has escaped this kind of problem.

This all plays into the effectiveness of a good department . I don't know the answer but since you had raised the issue of the police maybe you or someone else would know.

Thank you for responding.

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