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Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

Census, city disagree on population

Commissioners to investigate nearly 10 percent discrepancy

August 24, 2006

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You could call it the case of the Lost Lawrencians.

But whatever you call it, city leaders now believe it is a mystery that needs to be solved.

City commissioners soon will begin their own sleuthing to determine why the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated the city's 2005 population to be 81,816 people but the city's planning department has estimated it to be nearly 10 percent higher at 89,643 people.

"We think the population figures the Census Bureau has produced don't reflect Lawrence's past and don't chart an accurate path for Lawrence's future," Interim City Manager David Corliss said Wednesday.

That's the first public indication that the city may officially challenge the Census Bureau numbers, which in June showed that Lawrence in 2005 had actually declined slightly in population. If true, that would mark the first time since at least 1900 that Lawrence's population had fallen.

The June report, though, was just the latest indication Lawrence isn't growing as fast as it once did. For five years in a row, the Census Bureau has estimated the city's population to be far below what city leaders have estimated. The Census Bureau has estimated that since 2000, Lawrence has had an annual growth rate of just 0.3 percent. That is significantly below the city's historical average of about 2 percent.

City report forthcoming

Corliss said that following the latest Census report, he asked members of the city's planning staff to begin researching how the city estimates its population and whether the Census numbers could be correct. City staff members are finishing a report of their own and are scheduled to present it at next Tuesday's City Commission meeting.

Corliss said the city report would point to a number of factors that dispute the Census numbers. They include the fact that residential building permits have generally grown in number and that the number of utility bills sent out by the city do not suggest a decline.

Figuring out which set of numbers is correct could have significant implications. For example, the city is planning to open a new $80 million sewer treatment plant by 2010. All the city's financial plans have called for there to be about 100,000 residents in the city by the time the plant opens.

But if the Census Bureau is correct in its estimates, the city will have only about 83,000 people when the plant comes on line. That would mean the number of households available to pay for the plant would be off by several thousand.

"That would be very significant, but we don't think the Census Bureau is correct," Corliss said. "I do believe we're not growing like we grew in the '90s, but we're taking that into account as we plan that project, and we're also strongly looking at increasing our economic development efforts.

"I don't want people to think we're just yelling at someone we disagree with. We are seriously looking at how we grow."

Census support

Lawrence school district leaders also are studying the issue.

During the same period for which the Census reported a slowdown in Lawrence growth, the number of students in the school district also declined. On Monday, the district confirmed that trend held true for this new school year, too.

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Earlier this year, the school board hired an Overland Park demographics company to provide guidance on what school leaders should expect in terms of future enrollment. That report also is near completion and is expected to be presented to school board members at their Monday meeting.

Tom Bracciano, director of facilities for the school district, said the report would recommend the district put its faith in the Census Bureau numbers.

"We're going to use the Census report because we think they are the best numbers out there," said Bracciano, who hasn't yet seen the city report responding to the Census Bureau.

"My personal opinion is that the Census Bureau is right," said Bracciano, who previously has run for the City Commission. "We just have less kids coming to Lawrence. It makes sense when you look at the price of housing and the number of available jobs that will support a family."

Bracciano pointed to enrollment at the district's Langston Hughes School. It is in the western-most portion of town and is designed to serve what is generally regarded as the fastest-growing area of the city. Yet the school gained only 30 students this year. Bracciano said that's much different from when the district built Quail Run School in the mid-1980s to accommodate West Lawrence growth. It was not uncommon for that school to see increases of about 100 students per year.

Questions remain

City commissioners, who also have not yet seen the city's analysis of the Census Bureau numbers, have been split on the accuracy of the Census population projections.

"I'm convinced that things have slowed," City Commissioner Mike Rundle said. "I think it is a combination of cost-of-living factors. I think it has as much to do with our low income levels as it does the price of our housing."

But City Commissioner Sue Hack said she thought there were too many signs of growth in the community for the Census Bureau numbers to be correct.

"We need to determine a method to reconcile these differences," Hack said. "I'm not an expert in counting people, but the Census numbers don't make sense to me."

A key piece of information in the city's upcoming report likely will be what the city estimates the community rental vacancy levels to be. Several landlords have said rental vacancies have increased significantly over their historical averages as more renters have become homeowners during the recent period of low mortgage rates. Low interest rates also have spurred new apartment construction.

The city has about 20,000 rental units, so a significant uptick in the vacancy rate could mean thousands of homes in the city are sitting empty. But both city leaders and landlords admit there is no good study conducted regularly to determine the city's overall vacancy rate. The Census estimates vacancy rates once every 10 years, but that data becomes outdated quickly.

Census Bureau officials said they have not changed how they determine population estimates, which rely on a formula and use data from federal filings such as tax returns. In other words, it is the same process the bureau was using to come up with the growth rates of 2 percent that generally were accepted by city leaders during the 1980s and 1990s.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Cost of housing,property taxes,some college town retail pricing,the legislature on public school issues, state school board actions, and price of gasoline may have driven some residents elsewhere like closer to work or of course other states. Public school support and high salaried jobs are important in maintaining a community. Low gasoline prices is important to many commuters no matter what their income level.

Houses selling in 24 hours has slowed considerably as well. On Dubs Ct for instance there were 4 houses for sale at the beginning of summer. Today 3 are still on the market in this upscale neighborhood not to mention many for sale signs throughout the area.

20 some years ago it was rare to see for rent signs in yards after KU school started. Now it's commonplace.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

The city of Lawrence,Habitat for Humanity, Tenants to Homeowners and some financial institutions do contribute generously as partners toward providing affordable affordable housing.

It's who has chosen to inflate housing prices that may be the culprit so far as affordable housing is concerned.

lunacydetector 8 years, 4 months ago

if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

if the US Census says our population has declined, the school district says enrollments are down, and apartment owners say the vacancies have increased, then our population HAS declined.

no expensive study necessary regardless of how bad it makes our Progressive controlled City Commission look. you see, "smart growth" does NOT work!

the Progressive experiment failed. it's time for a change.

Bone777 8 years, 4 months ago

The Census Bureau lost count while trying to figure out the friggin' round abouts.

Bone777 8 years, 4 months ago

I like the roundabouts too. I just get tired of all of the foliage getting stuck under my car, when I drive through them.

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic - I agree so much with you about the round abouts. How much gas is wasted daily in this country while waiting at a signal?

The Progressives in this city (they also have an insurance company named after them and if you want a shock, do a little research on the owner of that one) are not progressive. They are nothing but left wing liberals. They just don't like the fallout attached to the name liberal and they are trying to change it. Same old message though.

You can't mandate a wage (living) in this town and expect a business to come runjning. You have to give a business an incentive to come. If we don't, other towns will. Kansas is NOT business friiendly.

betti81 8 years, 4 months ago

"I'm not an expert in counting people, but the Census numbers don't make sense to me." (Sue Hack)

Uumm, yeah aren't the Census people the "experts in counting people". Why not leave the hard stuff to them?

KsTwister 8 years, 4 months ago

Census takers called to verify information on mine(a box incorrectly marked) they caught a mistake. I was very surprised to the point that I trust their numbers more than anothers right now. So, pay for it out of your pocket first and then you will find out vacate houses don't count and there are more now than when it was taken.

barelygettingby 8 years, 4 months ago

I was never contacted by the census bureau- do they not send out the papers any more?

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

The ability of the PLC Kommissioners to deceive themselves continues unabated. Despite all the indicators that Lawrence's population is declining, and that their policies have either failed or are failing, the PLC Kommissioners continue in their self denial. I bet you Boog Dollars to organically grown fair trade coffee beans that the new Business Czar, Comrade Burress, is behind this latest round of insanity. However the PLC Kommissioners (and their apologists) ability to deceive the voters appears to be cracking.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Smart growth is what they wanted, smart growth is what they got. While they are secretly smiling about the decline in growth, the public face has to protest that the numbers are wrong. Sort of like the "studies" they commission that don't come out the way they want -they have to decry the inaccuracy of the numbers.

How can a bigger than needed sewer plant be a bad thing? Maybe some day when those who have done great damage to Lawrence and its reputation are long gone, the population may once again grow without bogus roadblocks.

People like merrill, Burress, Rundle, Schauner, Boog and progressives in general must truly be pleased that some have heeded their calls to get the hell out of Lawrence. You can't fool all of the people all of the time, and many fingers are pointed directly at you.

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic - And just who do you lthink pays the bulk of the taxes in this country? It is the people that have worked hard, taken substantial risk and have earned every penny that they have made. I envy them and I wish them the best. Where else in this world could you and I have the opportunity to do that? But only in America can you do it with somebody breathing down your neck to see what part of that harvest someone can take from them without taking the same risks, etc. If you call it tax breaks for the rich, you are right. That is because they are the ones that pay the most of the bills in this country, only for some left wing liberal to try to find a way to waste it. That also includes the current administration.

KsTwister 8 years, 4 months ago

Barlygettingby: to answer your question- They sent out paper questionaires asking everything from who lived in the house -incomes-jobs. It was about 6or 7 pages(yellow) printed on both sides. Then you mailed it in. Took quite a while to fill it out. But the mistake they caught was no joke,it impressed me because I always thought the stuff hit file 13. So the call in which they verified what I had written was in their hands and they told me what it said.

My quess it that maybe people who are here without visas may be making up the 10% the city cannot find.

gontek 8 years, 4 months ago

I'll wish to be leaving soon if the develoers keep having to put up with the population in this town. There are too many competing interests and the community is so intensely ignorant. I'll be moving to Johnson County where the money comes from and leasing my house to some students or something. I am getting sick of this crap here.

Actually I probably just need to stop reading the forums on LJWorld. I think they are affecting my opinions on Lawrence community lately in a very negative way. Nobody has anything to say here worth a crap 99% of the time anyway. It's almost getting to be like Jerry Springer or how larryville used to be, if not worse.

Fred Sherman 8 years, 4 months ago

The real population answer is likely between the two estimates - the city's and the Census Bureau's estimate. The Census traditionally does underestimate the population of a growing community but usually by only a small factor. I would put my money on the Census' estimate being closer to the real population than city staff's estimate. City staff typically will only take a one-dimensional look at population estimates. They look at the net loss and gain of housing units, and then multiply that number by static or average persons per household number. It's the same with looking at the number of water meters and utility bills. The average number of persons per occupied household in the City of Lawrence dropped between 1990 and 2000 from 2.35 to 2.30 as reported by the Census Bureau. This is the average number over the entire city. The 2000 Census data does provide a greater breakdown on the average number of persons per household for both owner occupied and renter occupied housing units. This decline in the average household size has likely continued if not increased since the year 2000. For the city staff's population estimate to have good creditability to stand on it needs to be a breakdown on evaluating the number of owner occupied homes built in Lawrence since 2000 vs. the number of owner occupied homes built in Lawrence since 2000, as well as the transformation of built housing units from owner occupied to renter occupied - this will give a more accurate estimate of the population. This data can be derived by comparing ownership data from the county vs. the utility data housed in City Hall. It was reported in this publication that the Census Bureau uses a number of data factors in determining a population estimate including IRS Tax return as well as other data sources. City staff will not typically take that level of analysis into their population estimates. To me, the proof in the pudding is reflected in the School District's enrollment numbers. The enrollment from the virtual school program has masked the staggering overall declining enrollment trend of traditional students that the district has experienced mostly from the year 2000 on.
The health of Lawrence as a well-balanced growing community is not good. The traditional nuclear family and that demographic group are choosing to not live Lawrence. How does the School District continue to loose enrollment when there are a good number of new homes constructed each year? Think about that.
The adopted public policies in place regarding growth, economic development and infrastructure extensions really cater to mostly the 20-something demographic group and only those who have employment ties to KU. The town does not offer much to the family with kids who don't' have any ties to KU.

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

Let's begin the new policy of cutting government subsidies of Big Bad Business, by cutting the City Kommissioners million dollar yearly subsidy of the "T".

Dale Stringer 8 years, 4 months ago

Better get the Census Bureau to change there numbers, otherwise Logrithmic won't get the federal money he needs to keep the Welfare mom's from working.

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

"How does the School District continue to loose enrollment when there are a good number of new homes constructed each year? Think about that."

This is a great talking point - I would respond with (1) Developers anticipated a higher level of growth and built/build homes (townhomes and single family) in anticipation and (2) Said developers did not count on higher energy costs, the cooling of the housing market and increased rates and finally (3)When you consider apartment style complexes have higher than normal vacancy rates - obviously more and more parents' are taking advantage of lower interest rates and purchasing homes for their kids to live in while at KU.

From my standpoint, there is a perception of continued, high growth in Lawrence due to the number of new homes being built and the additional commercial development on South Iowa (Best Buy, Home Depot, World Market, etc).

Just shooting from the hip here - probably pointing out the obvious as well.

KsTwister 8 years, 4 months ago

I wish someone would calculate how many of the "virtual students" actually live in Lawrence? Anyone?

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the fact that Pluto is no longer a planet within our solar system accounts for Lawrence's shrinking population. Having a higher than average number of space cadets, this is bound to hurt us.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060824-pluto-planet.html

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone considered the declining birth rate in the US?

A declining birth rate does not necessarily indicate a decline in a population in a specific area as coupoles without children may well be moving into that area.

A local population may indeed be growing even without additional children.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/03news/lowbirth.htm

hobb2264 8 years, 4 months ago

Estespark...

I think the explanation is even more simple than what you have posted. Based on my observations for the past few years, the people who are buying these houses typically don't have kids to put in the schools. This is due to a couple of phenomenon. The first is that younger people are choosing not to have kids, or at least not as many kids (this is a national trend, but it seems to be accentuated by several factors in Lawrence). The second is that the typical married couple with young children just can't afford the houses on the west side of town. These houses are most likely being bought by 1) Dual income with no kids, or 2) Older families where the kids may be beyond high school.

I will also add that I now live in Eudora. Housing is slightly more affordable in E-town and enrollment is skyrocketing. I'm guessing the trend is similar in most of the small towns around Lawrence.

These are just my observations and thoughts. I'm curious if anyone else has noticed this trend in Lawrence.

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

I disagree with the price of housing argument - look at a recent article from hometownlawrence.com - "Kansas in general, and Lawrence in particular, are very affordable housing markets. We are not a costly place to live," McClure said (Urban Planning Prof at KU). "People aren't stretched. Our incomes aren't great, but our ratio of house price to income is much more comfortable."

I tend to agree with McClure - I lived in Lawrence for 9 years - moved on - and moved back last month - home prices for what you get in Lawrence are fantastic. If you want to see an expensive market take a look at Ann Arbor, this is a market with similar income and home prices well over 30% above what we pay in Lawrence. The rentals are outrageous as well in MI. Don't even get me started on CT or CO.

Fred Sherman 8 years, 4 months ago

The numbers for this year's Vitrual School enrollment will not become offical and released until after Sept 20th.

Past year's data indicates that most of the Virtural School enrollment is from outside the Lawrence area - see past JW stories on this with links below.

Granted, there are some kids living in Lawrence that attend private schools and such - but the bigger overall trend of decreasing school enrollment even while the town is "growing" is the true story. The decline in birth rate is a trend over all areas - not just this town or just in West Lawrence. There are other demographic factors that are a bigger impact on Lawrence's population growth - or Lawrence's population non-growth rate.

Virtual School doubles size High school classes now included in curriculum http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/aug...

"If the K-8 program is any indication, though, most of the students will be scattered across the state."

"Of those 282 students, 42 are from Lawrence, 54 are from Wichita and the rest are scattered in the northeast region of the state," Lewis said.

Virtual school recruiting students from across state http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/feb...

SouthernBelle 8 years, 4 months ago

Here's a smile for ya...

Go to "google.com"

Type in "failure"

Note the first thing that comes up....

SouthernBelle 8 years, 4 months ago

I know its off the subject... but funny still

Fred Sherman 8 years, 4 months ago

To estespark - Yes, in general this area does have very affordable housing opportunities - especially compared to places outside this region - like Ann Arbor, MI or other regions. Its an apples to oranges argument.

For this issue - compare what you will pay for the same size single-family house in Topeka, Eudora, Tongy, or a Johnson County community like Olathe, Gardner or Lenexa to what one pays for the same size single-family house in Lawrence. Throw in the fact that its very difficult to get a school bond passed in Lawrence for improvement the schools for the kids compared to - say the Olathe School District. Also, how many new neighborhood parks or new trail system improvements has been constructed in Lawrence that provides amenties that a family with small kids will use. Most of the community improvements are for the 20-something crowd on a Mt. Bike. The traditional nuclear family demographic group is choosing to not live in Lawrence - and this is impacting the population growth of the town that the Census Bureau likely reflects in their estimate.

Lets see if city staff has these factors in their method of forcasting population estimates - to be presented at the next CC meeting.

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

Good points Hobb - I would suspect there is truth to what we are both saying.

KsTwister 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Quint that led me to something that makes this article amusing and lends more credibility to the Census numbers. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec...

"Enrollment affects budget planning. This year, district officials projected a 280-student increase in enrollment. But only 57 additional students showed up, creating a 223-student deficit, and a $892,000 budget shortfall."

lunacydetector 8 years, 4 months ago

The City of Lawrence NEVER had problems with the US Census before now. Why is that? Because Lawrence WAS growing.

The Progressive answer is: If you don't like what's happening in Lawrence, MOVE!

Well, people HAVE moved. This increases the burden on everyone who remains. Higher taxes will only get higher.

Hasn't the Progressive City Commission ever played Sim City?

It ain't rocket science.

...and as for the good paying jobs. We have the Living Wage preventing any companies from coming to Lawrence. Incentives DO pay off. The residual tax benefits from incentives (employees buying goods, services and real estate) outweigh the loss of tax income from the single incentive bringing a company to town. New housing development costs are paid for by the developer NOT the city. Nobody ever points out this fact.

The whole school cost burden numbers associated with growth ARE bogus. Nobody in this town has any kids, at least when compared to other communities. Why doesn't anyone ever question the propaganda from the Progressives? Is it the intimidation factor - letters to the editor, etc? After all, when the Progressive mindset people were young, they were burning the Kansas Union requiring martial law to keep our city in order. Now these same types are in power, and our city is going down the tubes. Ask any oldtimer who has lived in Lawrence for 40+ years and they will tell you the same.

AND one more thing....I'm looking for some confirmation from the JW, BUT I heard the City of Lawrence knows who we are, who write on here regardless of the anonymity. Whatever happened to the Patriot Act invading our privacy B.S.? Are we being controlled by a bunch of hypocrites - if what I heard is true?

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

Quint - The home prices in Topeka, Eudora, Tongy, O-Lathe-Me, Gardner or Lenexa do not include the cultural, academic (ahem, collegiate level), athletic or nostalgia of living in an island community like Lawrence.

"Mr. Griswold, that price includes scenery and wildlife fund."

Rationalanimal 8 years, 4 months ago

Simple. The City Communishers are basing their count from the extra socialists that reside in Lawrence during Wakarusa Fest.

The incentive is, it allows them to inflate revenue projections that in turn justifies the blotted spending.

Fred Sherman 8 years, 4 months ago

Estespark -

You confirm my point of argument as well as the post by hobb2264. There is a default "lawrence tax" on lawrence housing to pay for the cultural, academic and nostalgia factors of the town. Mom, dad and family with kids are choosing to live in other communities. This has an impact on the population (non)-growth rate. Lets see if city staff reflects this factor next week in their report to the CC on thier methodolgy of forcating the population of this town.

prioress 8 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone considered the declining birth rate in the US? ++++ Good point. Hispanic and African American (to a lesser extent) families are having most of the new babies. Lawrence's high housing costs don't help out either. For the school system to grow substantially, folks in their 20's with babies need to be able to afford to live here. Like many college towns across the country, "aging boomers" are moving back in and they don't have young kids.

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

Quint - I want to stress that I see the validity in your point. However, the "Lawrence Tax" may or may not have an impact on population, we're talking about a 15-20% difference in price, a small amount of money when you consider the benefits and the fact the Lawrence housing market is still regionally competitive.

"I heard the City of Lawrence knows who we are, who write on here regardless of the anonymity..."

Should we wrap our heads in aluminum foil so the City can't read our thoughts.

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

estespark - You can add Austin, Texas to that mix of high housing costs. Lawrence doesn't even come close.

Poor logrithmic! His bood is so blue he must be cold. I don't understand why he has to be so personal in his attacks, ie: "commie", "wacko", etc. He talks about energy saving needs for this country, but he probably knocks "roundabouts". Try sitting at any intersection crossing Iowa street at a traffic light and just think about how much fuel is accumulatively wasted.

Long live the Patriot Act! It's about time. :))

hobb2264 8 years, 4 months ago

From the same post...

"Tax abatements should never fund investments in our great city"

"Start putting pressure on our governments, State, County, and City to make Lawrence a hotbed of new activity centered on energy-conserving industries."

In the same breath you state how bad tax abatements are and then urge us to put pressure on our state, county and city to bring industries to Lawrence. What exactly are the public entities supposed to do to entice these companies to come here? Maybe they should say "pretty please with a cherry on top"...that always worked when we were kids.

Whether you like it or not, tax abatements are how you bring businesses to a community. If you can think of another way, please let us all know.

hobb2264 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic,

I don't want to make this personal because I don't know you from Adam. But the brand of leftist extremism you are endorsing in your posts is just as embarrassing to our country as the far right extremism you loathe. When are people going to realize that the truth is typically somewhere in the middle?

HOORAY MODERATION!

lunacydetector 8 years, 4 months ago

loghead, i failed to mention some hippies here in lawrence in the '60's and early '70's constantly called in death threats to business people. when the armored personnel carriers came rolling into town, the business people stood on the curb and applauded. why get killed because you run a business? it was nothing to do with vietnam, only making some money.

loghead wrote: "I'm not sure how wackos connect the Patriot Act to the Journal World and its policy on anonymity, but I'd sure be interested as to why it should matter."

it only matters because your fearless kooks were spouting off about how the government was going to be going into our libraries to see if any kooks were reading "Catcher in the Rye" and so they were against the Patriot Act.

if what i heard is true about the city having names of us anonymous posters, why should they care who writes in on these forums and why should they want to have our names - since they don't want the feds seeing if someone is reading a book about bomb making? again, this is only something i heard. if it was intimidating to me, i wouldn't be writing. it's probably all about nothing.

prioress 8 years, 4 months ago

HOORAY MODERATION! ++++++++ Aristotle Forever!

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

"Your complaint should be with your brethren, not with me. When they stop, I'll stop."

Isn't that what Israel said to Lebannon?

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic - I pay people to be spies and to keep secrets. (my tax dollars) There are things that neither you or I need to know. I would assume that if you had your way, all of our State Secrets would be published in the New York Times. Good grief! Start using your head on some of this stuff1 :))

dviper 8 years, 4 months ago

estespark

I agree with many reasons pointed out by posters hobb2264, and quint2724 in regards to your question posted at 10:28 am.

I live on the west side of Lawrence, and in my neighborhood of new housing, less than 50% of the people have children in school. Of the 50% in school (grades K thru 12), approximately 23% go to private schools.

We too have lived all across the U.S. and Lawrence is one of the most affordable places to live in regards to housing prices. Only in Texas did we get more value per dollar.

As to your statement about high growth perception, it is exactly that, just a perception shared by a very small vocal minority who believes it is reality. The true numbers show that growth since 2003, is below normal trends and slowing.

hobb2264 8 years, 4 months ago

"Your complaint should be with your brethren, not with me. When they stop, I'll stop."

If you reread my post, you will see that I referred to both side of the extremes as embarassing. My impression is that people on both sides are too arrogant to realize that the things we are discussing are not simple issues that can be answered with simple solutions.

"We don't need tax abatements to achieve investment in our community. The state could simply facilitate financing to give these companies a chance."

How does the state provide that financing? Don't you realize that eventually it comes back to the taxpayer. When the state/county/city is using public money to provide financing (and thus accepting the risks and costs of any kind of financing institution) it is essentially the same thing as a tax abatement.

estespark 8 years, 4 months ago

dviper - I really haven't considered the fact that 50% (or less) of residents on the west side have school age children. I was at a buddy's house off Harvard the other night and the block was teeming with children - that sort of became my reference point - clearly what I saw was not indicative of the larger picture.

None of this is gospel to me, just stirring the pot a little.

My thoughts really boil down to (1) home prices in Lawrence are regionally competitive and are not a significant reason why the population growth has trended down & (2) I agree with McClure in that the median household income in Lawrence is on par with home prices. It frustrates me when people harp on and on about how expensive it is in Lawrence - vocal minority?

Tychoman 8 years, 4 months ago

The case of the missing Lawrencians? I can see the next headline: "Entire West Lawrence neighborhoods disappear in fight between Census and City Commission."

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

My perceptions of housing prices in Douglas County aren't mere imaginings... http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/feb... True it is a year old, but I don't believe they are declining. In fact, Douglas County has the highest cost/sq. ft. in Kansas, including Johnson County.

Ask anyone who pays rent about their perception of housing rents then tell them they are just whiners and their perceptions are wrong.

Doesn't pass the laugh or the smell test.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

"There's nothing overpriced about Lawrence, especially when compared to other markets around the U.S."

Logwhoever is stuck on comparing Lawrence with other markets around the US. He/she does not realize that Lawrence is not a "destination city." Most people come here because they have a reason to do so, not because they are trying to find resort living, or a luxury market, or choosing which city to relocate to find a job. For the few times that we compete with "other markets" to attract employees, such as professors and administrators at KU, our housing market, which is reasonably priced in comparison to, say, San Francisco or Berkely or Chicago or New York or Phoenix or Boulder, etc., is to our advantage.

In most cases, when it comes to housing costs, Lawrence is competing with communities within a 45 to 60 mile radius of here. And in that case, Lawrence loses out as a bargain. That is why Lawrence is losing population - people are moving to the country, to Topeka, to Tongie, Eudora, because it is less expensive, and, gasp, there are fewer bans and restrictions and hassles.

Jay_Z 8 years, 4 months ago

Loghead, reading your comments on here today I'm wondering if you're actually one of the 3 stooges on the Commission...."God bless the progressive left wing liberals on the city commission!" Can a liberal make reference to God?

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

I just bought a '71 Cadillac El Dorado convertible.

It has a 500 cubic inch engine, developes around 350 horsepower and weighs on the low side of three tons.

It will return a satisfying 6-8 mpg in town and a respectable 10-12 on the highway.

Burn up them dinosaurs!

I intend to drive it often, if not regularly.

There is no "Peak Oil".

I have no car payments and insurance is inexpensive.

A new starter will cost $50.00 if needed not the $250 of an Asian skateboard econobox.

The car has twice pipes, a drop top, a stereo with CD, AC Coolbreeze, front-wheel-drive, the interior is made of something that once lived, it oozes down the street, can carry six people and all their stuff, other drivers do not mess with and it positively exudes panache.

I think I will try for the vanity tag "Peakoil"!

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

Martin Luther King was also an adulterous servant of God by his widow's own admission.

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

Excuses, excuses!

Perhaps the Comission should commission a "Study" or a "Task Force" to determine the population of this insignificant little burg.

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

The results could be posted on a plaque on the Roundabout at 19th and Barker.

Tychoman 8 years, 4 months ago

Jay_Z just what is that supposed to mean?

Tychoman 8 years, 4 months ago

truthlawrence, you are quite obviously a troll. Goodbye now. Please leave.

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic - Do you have a job? My gosh, you seem to have all the time in the world for postings! Maybe you don't have a family or you just let someone else deal with that part. Sorry! I also notice that you must watch CNN. I knew there was somebody still watching it but I thought is was only on in the airports. Good grief, their ratings are in the tank. The last I heard, they were asking the last one out to turn off the lights. Have a nice evening. :))

MWIV 8 years, 4 months ago

I used to know it as: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Is that what you meant?

Swampfox 8 years, 4 months ago

No, the 6:45 posts refer to statements of fact, not name-calling.

Typical "liberal" response.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic wrote, at 6:52 p.m. central daylight time: "The state is less and less interested in supporting KU, as evidenced by deferred maintenance and flat funding levels. ....Night all. Another hard day at the office is over...."

Glad to know people on the east coast are paid to post liberal cr*p on the JW website. What I want to know is, who's your daddy?

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