To the editor:
The recent decision by Kansas University to appeal to the governor to override the state historic preservation officer's ruling on the Ohio Street houses is a continuing example of KU's "might makes right" attitude when it comes to dealing with Lawrence neighborhoods.
A fair and lengthy review process, including several public hearings, was followed by a decision from the state historic preservation officer, Ramon Powers.
Powers ruled that the homes in question could not be demolished.
Instead of abiding by this decision and working with the neighborhood, Chancellor Hemenway went to the governor seeking special privilege to achieve his goal.
The Oread Neighborhood Assn. (ONA) is not opposed to university goals. We are opposed to decisions that affect or destroy our neighborhood. The ONA is committed to preserving and stabilizing the neighborhood. This is a difficult task when the university can buy properties at prices that surpass the average buyer's pocketbook.
The community and Kansas University will continue to have overlapping interests. A respectful working relationship is key to addressing such situations. An open dialogue of shared perspectives can create positive solutions that address multiple interests.
The university does not need to behave like a corporate bully. Power does not equal greatness. The university has a unique opportunity to set an example of leadership and diplomacy.
I challenge Kansas University to join with the Lawrence community to establish a process of respectful communication and dialogue. Might and true power is demonstrated in the ability to identify common interests and to work toward solutions.