To the editor:
On Nov. 16, Ken Meyer wrote your editorial page complaining about interference from city officials and planners into the affairs of ... well, there it becomes unclear. He refers to "the conspiracy of the 'smart growth and no growth' advocates." What is that exactly?
The planning and aesthetic standards applied in Lawrence are part of the privilege of living in Douglas County. They provide an example for my own community of Baldwin. Those Mr. Meyer is whining about as a "conspiracy" are dedicated public servants and elected officials. It seems evident that such past and ongoing efforts are one reason for the economic vibrancy that sets Lawrence apart.
The cause of ire in the "development community" is construction of a $74 million sewage treatment facility. The City Commission and planners have long since committed to the construction of that facility. The financing is a clearly documented process setting aside funds from ratepayers. Meyer and others are angry construction is not planned earlier. It is irritating to read complaints from this "community" that a subsidy of their plans is not slated quickly enough for their needs. It may be true that their timing of financing for development involves risk, also enormous reward.
Let's be honest. All this boils down to a demand that city officials RAISE TAXES in the form of increased sewage rates. Isn't the free market supposed to supply the needs of these captains of industry? It is tempting to compare this issue with the massive deficits at the national level. It seems some people can never get enough.