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On City Hall brokers deal to scrap controversial bidding process for $25M recreation center; proposal now calls for open bidding

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Why are you afraid of putting this to a vote? The library you so detest was put to one.

And 269 is 269 more than those who say that voters shouldn't get a vote on this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

That's a disingenuous and intellectually lazy argument. The money hasn't been collected yet, so to that extent, it is, indeed, a new tax. As the old bonds this tax is now paying off are retired, that money can be spent on anything-- or nothing potentially giving taxpayers a sales tax reduction of 1/2% on nearly every purchase they make. And given what's going on in Topeka, various localities are going to have to pick up the slack as the state makes significant cuts that will dramatically affect how these local governments continue to provide necessary services to their residents. With that situation about to explode on us, do we really want to commit ourselves to this expensive luxury?

You obviously think we should. And I think you should have the right to cast your vote in favor of it. But all other voters should have the same right to express their opinion on it.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't pick on KRichards for making a disingenuous and intellectually lazy argument when there are lots of disingenuous and intellectually lazy arguments being thrown out there, many by you. You want a vote, because the will of the people is important. Like the "T", like the library, like the SLT, (whoops, so much for the will of the people). Then there's comments like the overwhelming majority of the people. 1southernjayhawk below is suggesting only 25% will show up to the polls. That's somewhat optimistic, don't you think? What is certain is that 50% +1 won't show up at the polls, so the overwhelming majority that you've spoken about so much in the past will be sitting on their couches watching TV and eating potato chips, not giving this rec. center a second thought. At best, it'll be a small minority that slightly outnumbers some other small minority.

Please, don't accuse people of being disingenuous and intellectually dishonest, while being disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Your post is nothing but a knee-jerk whine for whine's sake.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

Well, I did vote for Bob Bennett in 1974 when he ran against Vern Miller. I never voted for a Republican after that, but I guess once you vote for a Republican, that makes you a Republican for life. Despite the fact that I've said a couple of times that I voted straight Democrat this past election, with the exception of President, where I voted my traditional third party. You got me pegged, KansasLIberal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

A referendum would be best, but barring that, postponing a decision by the commission until after the new commission is seated is definitely preferable to ramming it through right now.

jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

Start a petition to not have it put to a vote, and we'll see.

flyin_squirrel 1 year, 9 months ago

We already voted when we elected these commissioners. A vote is not required, just like it wasn't required for the T or the Library. The T and Library increased taxes, this is just using existing taxes. I know it is difficult to understand Bozo...

jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

When I voted for city commissioners in the last election, there was no project like this being discussed, so my vote was in no way informed by how they might vote on one.

That's funny - even though a vote wasn't required for the T or library expansion, we got the chance to vote on those, and people are still complaining about them even though they passed.

Why wouldn't those same people want the option to vote on this project?

jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

When they were campaigning, what was their stance on this project?

Oh, that's right, they weren't talking about it at all, since it wasn't being proposed or discussed.

1southernjayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't put it to a public vote. 1. Only about 25% of registered voters in Doug Co bother to vote in a non presidential election. 2. The financial and organizational aspects of the project are too difficult for the layman to understand. I'm in the business, I've read every article in the LJW and I really don't understand who will own and operate what and when. I doubt many others do unless you are really studying the issue. 3. The comissioners were elected to study these issues and make these kind of decisions. 4. Based on previous public improvemnt votes, it will probably pass anyway without an expensive election.

Just my opinion, no need for any hate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey, why have elections all? After all, voters are too stupid to know who to vote for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

This isn't just any old issue. It'll cost nearly 30% more than the library rebuild.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Apples and oranges-- dealing with raw sewage is completely different from building a complex that'll primarily benefit private interests putting on basketball tournaments.

Regardless, a vote on the new sewer plant might be a good idea, given that the way it will be funded is going to be a major subsidy for the sprawl of the last few decades.

Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

What is so expensive about it, if it is part of a regularly scheduled election?.

blondejuan 1 year, 9 months ago

Smartest thing I have read on these blogs in a long time!

juma 1 year, 9 months ago

smoke and mirrors........ smoke and mirrors Good job CC and all of the developers

Clark Coan 1 year, 9 months ago

Sequence of events:

  1. Fritzel gives millions to KU.

  2. Gets a sweetheart deal to build the entire sports complex.

  3. Despite the City's action, Fritzel still will build KU's portion of the complex.

  4. Because he'll have an economies of scale by building KU's portion, he will be able to undercut anyone else who bids on the City's portion.

  5. Fritzel builds the whole complex partly at taxpayers' expense.

highschoolmath 1 year, 9 months ago

Why not put a cap on the infrastructure too, so we hand over any savings on the bidding to ku and bliss? Why doesn't it go back to the tax payers?

bearded_gnome 1 year, 9 months ago

Mayor Bob Schumm said all parties have agreed in principle to a new plan that will allow the proposed 181,000-square-foot regional recreation center near the northeast corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway to be bid through the city’s standard, open bidding process.

---still misspending, misdirecting, poor priorities for giant white elephant with mission creep and mission fuzz.

much smaller, provide needed tennis courts etc., and use '94 moneys to *accelerate fixing our terribly out of date infrastructure=water and sewer pipes way overdue for replacement and 1/5 of roads still broken.

buy the beans and feed the family; don't waste the budget on extra rubic's cubes which might be nice but unnecessary.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 9 months ago

should read "Rubik's cube" sorry. I've already thrashed my editor and cut her pay.

kujayhawk7476 1 year, 9 months ago

I think all the naysayers just caused the city to give up a gift from Tom Fritzel.

I'm rooting for KU Endowment and Fritzel to back out of the entire deal with the city and leave them high and dry with no new recreational center, just the Rock Chalk Park for KU sports.

The city of Lawrence doesn't deserve assistance from Fritzel or anyone else. What a joke all of you are!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

That makes no sense. According to the article, it's the same building on the same land for exactly the same money.

jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

Sounds good to me.

Then we could build a reasonably sized rec center on the west side at a fraction of the cost of this thing, and it would actually serve the recreational needs of Lawrence residents.

And, we could use the money left over for other needs, or return it to taxpayers in the form of a sales tax reduction.

msezdsit 1 year, 9 months ago

This whole thing has been a sham from the beginning. It should be put to a vote and if it passes then it should be let out for competitive bidding. When all the players including the city continually want to re write the rules just for this project then the writing is not just on the wall but in our face that this project has a real bad odor around it. If it passes zoning and private money wants to build the thing than thats a different story. To much tax payer dollars and not enough transparency.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

Next up...complaining because a contractor was selected from outside the Douglas county area.

msezdsit 1 year, 9 months ago

It can be put up for competitive bid using local contractors who are more likely to hire local subcontractors (with, of course, the exception of people they hire from just south of the border). You might find a lot more people supporting this than the original gift to the frizzles.

Noweigh 1 year, 9 months ago

KUjayhawk and cant have it both ways......agree with you two completely. Just like American Eagle factory and numerous other projects that would have benefitted the entire community over the years... we looked gift horses in the mouth. fritzel and others should call the naysayers bluff and back out. No wonder new businesses think twice before moving or opening here.

Catalano 1 year, 9 months ago

Your rhetoric is wrong. American Eagle got everything in asked for from Lawrence...in record time. Ottawa just handed them a sweeter deal. So what would these "numerous other projects" be?

blondejuan 1 year, 9 months ago

The last agreement I read said we are only getting a building. We aren't buying a parking lot. KU owns the parking lot. But the city is paying to maintain the parking lot. Plus, the city is paying for all the maintenance of all the landscaping including KU. So, we pay $25m for a Morton building with no parking lot. Plus, we pay to maintain all the landscaping and the parking lot we don't own. Huh! Sounds like a great deal. NOT!!!

nekansan 1 year, 9 months ago

"Why not put a cap on the infrastructure too, so we hand over any savings on the bidding to ku and bliss? Why doesn't it go back to the tax payers?"

This. There is no reason the city should be on the hook for $25 million regardless. They should pay for the cost of the rec center (IMO a smaller one) and the related infrastructure. The city's participation beyond that should not extend beyond the tax deferment that the entire complex will be receiving and the services (police,fire, storm water, etc) that the city will be providing when complete. KU can pay for the infrastructure related to their portion of the project.

highschoolmath 1 year, 9 months ago

what they are really saying "WE SPENDING ONE WAY OR ANOTHER AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO"

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

What could be the alternative? How can Lawrence taxpayers get the best bang for our 1994 sales tax bucks and improve the quality of life for families throughout the entire community?

Construct a NW neighborhood rec center with 2-3 gyms and a walking/jogging track for public exercise probably for about $10 million. Now we have achieved shoring up the alleged lack of court space.

Connect the Burroughs Creek hike and bike path to the river levy by way off Hobbs Park through the new development in the "eastside warehouse district". A design path has been created so lets get on with it. Maybe cost $200,000.

In doing the above Lawrence,Kansas has effectively improved the quality of life for more families throughout the sales tax dollar community. This is definitely within the spirit of the 1994 sales tax that was approved by families throughout the community.

A best bang for our 1994 sales tax dollars and taxpayers as stakeholders. With a few bucks left over for new landscaping in the "eastside warehouse district" in addition to Rhode Island and Vermont in downtown.

Want to attract higher wage employment to Lawrence, Ks. ?

Invest in the future by way of developing safe walking pathways and safe bicycling pathways. Parents want to feel confident that their children can walk and bike safely to school.

And adults want to feel confident that their children can walk and bike safely to schools. And they can walk and bike safely to employment,grocery shopping and socializing.

Repair sidewalks and streets? Oh I forgot city hall got taxpayers to vote in a half cent additional sales tax for this instead of paying for this out of general fund money as a city budget item.

All of the above could be accomplished for millions upon millions less that the Rock Chalk Park.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

City government is incompetent. Put this matter to a vote.!!!!! BUT give voters a choice.

This tax dollar sucking monster or a smaller way less expensive neighborhood rec center.

Put this matter to a vote.

I've read a few times that each petition signature can represent 10 votes as a rule of thumb.

lunacydetector 1 year, 9 months ago

will anyone waste their time bidding this project?

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

"City Hall brokers deal to scrap controversial bidding process for $25M recreation center"

What bidding process? What we have is a process known as "insider trading".

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

I say it's time to scrap this entire project.

Has anyone ever witnessed such a helter skelter discussion that has lacked cohesiveness,transparency and accurate dollar numbers since day one?

If I were a financial institution watching this fiasco my answer would be no. It has been a reckless presentation from the start and it would be unethical to approve financial backing knowing there is nothing truly backing this tax dollar project over and above speculation.

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