Archive for Monday, October 10, 2005

No ‘we’ about it

October 10, 2005


To the editor:

While cell phone use while driving can be a distraction and young people, cell phones and driving may lead to unnecessary accidents, there are plenty of options available to cell phone users to avoid the loss of concentration while driving.

But the position of the Traffic Safety Commission demonstrates how the city of Lawrence has been run over the past several years. There is no "we" in this decision. "We" did not decide to ban fireworks. "We" did not decide to place ourselves against the Patriot Act. "We" did not ban smoking, and "we'" will not ban cell phone use in motor vehicles.

The city's policies and practices are run by a few, small, special interest groups, and "we" have been left out of the process. Even when "we" show the city, through petition drives (i.e., fireworks and smoking ban), there is significant opposition to a proposed ordinance, "we" are not given the opportunity to voice our consent or dissent on any of these issues.

So don't say that "we" have the right to break new ground on issues that impact all of us. There is no "we" in Lawrence city politics or policy decisions. Only loud special interest groups who claim support of community, but never prove that support through a vote.

Placing restrictions on cell phone use while driving may have merits for safety of both drivers and pedestrians, but don't wrap it in the cloak of "the people of Lawrence want this." If it's such a good idea, convince the majority to support it. If you can't do that, then maybe this isn't such a good idea.

Ken Meyer,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

The Traffic Safety Commision meeting is open to the public. It's agenda is decided by the public. If the commision does not receive matters of concern from the public the commission does not meet.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

Putting matters up for a vote cost big bucks which likely enters into decisions.

The fireworks ban was supported by a broad spectrum of citizens according to City Commissioners emails and letters received. Commissioner Hack,Jim Henry, David Dunfield and Mike Rundle supported the ordinance. Marty Kennedy was the no vote. It is my recollection that,according to commissioners, the emails,phone calls and letters were running overwhelminly in favor of such.

Had people respected the days set aside for fireworks and cleaned up after themselves the discussion likley would never have surfaced. However when firewworks were exploding several days prior and and a few days later year after year sooner or later peole tire of the unecessary noise. Ther was no way law enforcement could keep up with demand. It was a " I can do whatever I damn well please" attitude that probaly ignited the discussion and eventual ban. I have no idea who or what actually brought the matter forward.

Explosions make many dogs throughout the community a nervous wreck. Until one lives the experience it is difficult to describe.

The letter writer is on traget regarding the Patriots Act. WE certainly did not ask for that. It is doubtful that many who voted for it even read the document. In fact if many of us would have known what the document was going to read more patriots would likely have opposed the act.

At least on local matters we are able,if we choose, to register our thoughts with our commissioners.

kuhusker 12 years, 5 months ago

What does this person think elections are, if not a chance for "we" to elect the people who make the laws?

If those ordinances are so unpopular, why is it that the commissioners who supported them got elected and then re-elected?

mermily 12 years, 5 months ago

kuhusker actually understands a representative democracy .... based soley on the editorial, i'm not sure i can make that statement of its author.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Ken does understand special interests, but only his own, and he doesn't think he's getting enough special treatment.

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