Archive for Monday, November 28, 2005

No conspiracy

November 28, 2005


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.

Chris Hamill,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 6 months ago

Increased sewage rates is just one new tax increase that comes with the housing boom. Green space does not raise our taxes as new homes seem to achieve. Every new home generates demand for county and city services in which the list is as long as your arm. Homes and new super highways do not support themselves consequently a variety of fees aka taxes must be increased. This is likely to include gas taxes to cover new highway maintenance.

Lawrence taxpayers deserve a tax rebate from home builders who continue to cover up valuable green space for their own wallets. The Lawrence economy did not need a housing boom...but now we need thousands of new jobs. There is not a concerted effort it appears to bring thousands of excellent paying jobs to the community.

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