Q: Why doesn't the Lawrence Police Department think that checking cars with expired tags or people without insurance is not a priority. I know of at least one person whose been driving around for at least eight months on an expired tag, and I suspect this person doesn't have insurance either.
A: Lawrence police Sgt. Mark Warren said officers routinely issue tickets to drivers who have let their tags expire and who have no proof of insurance. In order to issue tickets, he said, the vehicle must be parked or traveling on a city street. Warren said officers could not issue tickets if a vehicle were parked on private property. He said the police department's priority for issuing such tickets depends on the amount of manpower available and the number of calls that officers would be receiving at any given time.
Q: I'd like to know what the superintendent's cabinet is within USD 497, what power they have, and what decisions they make.
A: Lawrence School Supt. Al Azinger said the cabinet consists of himself and six other people: Assistant Supt. Bob Taylor; Craig Fiegel, director of business and facilities; Bill Wilson, director of human resources; P. Kay Duncan, director of curriculum; Don Herbel, director of special education; and Sandee Crowther, director of evaluation and outcomes.
"I really like to think of it as more of a management team that works together to get a lot of different perspectives on issues," Azinger said. "We talk about general district direction and make decisions that would involve disrictwide kinds of issues."
For example, Azinger said, the cabinet lately has been considering the many budget requests from individual school buildings.
"We have more requests for additions to the budget than we probably can afford," Azinger said. "That group helps formulate recommendations as to what kinds of things should or should not be added to the budget."
Azinger said most of the "power" in the district resides with the Lawrence school board.
"Major policy decisions are made by the school board," Azinger said. "The administration then is charged with developing plans for carrying out those policies."
The school board also makes the district's budget decisions.
Q: There are potholes all over the Scenic River Road by Lecompton. Any chance these will be fixed any time soon?
A: Don Fuston, Lecompton Township trustee, said the potholes were patched last week.
Frank Hempen, Douglas County public works director, said townships are responsible for maintenance of local roads and the county maintains the "collector road system," or county highways.
Q: In Lecompton, they've re-blacktopped my street three times in five years. Now the driveways of most of the homeowners on the street are well below what they should be. Will this be remedied?
A: This caller lives on Douglas County Road 1023, a road maintained by the Douglas County public works office.
John Young, of the public works office, said he would check into the problem. Where needed, the county will blend an asphalt wedge from the road into the driveways, he said.