To the editor:
A recent staff editorial suggested that the City Commission should apologize to the developers regarding the Wal-Mart project. Why? The real apology should come from the previous school board members of USD 497 who were so shortsighted for not acquiring the land in front of the present Free State High School. It is that simple! For a community that professes to have such an excellent educational system, the planning from the board and the superintendent leave much to be desired.
Let's forget about the Wal-Mart (personally I could care less if there is a Wal-Mart or a Nieman Marcus) and either acquire the land through eminent domain or purchase it outright. Where will the money come from? Sell the administration building on McDonald Drive and use the proceeds. After all, the previous board saw fit to spend $4 million to buy it, and it should be worth much more now. The taxpayers are being bamboozled day to day in Lawrence with lawsuits and wasted spending. If the residents of far West Lawrence are worried about "their" neighborhood 75 years from now, then they best figure out how to keep Free State open 75 years from now.
The reality is, Free State probably won't be in existence in 75 years nor will a Wal-Mart. The land is zoned commercial and the issue is as simple as that. If the school is the issue, then acquire the land for the school. The taxpayers lose either way! Lawrence needs a NEW BRAIN!