Archive for Sunday, December 24, 2006

City agenda

December 24, 2006


To the editor:

The city of Lawrence needs to wake up to the agenda being set forth by our commissioners. The fact that this very vocal and active minority is setting our city on a path of regression is alarming. As a native of Lawrence, we had a work ethic and an opportunity to grow in a great community.

The alarms are sounding. Housing costs are climbing. Taxes are going up. City services are stretched to the limit and our leaders are spending time writing about issues that don't concern our town and implementing Dada days.

They are now trying to increase our taxes by stealth mode. The impact fees that are being proposed by our leaders as a cost to be born by developers are another sign of ignorance. The builders will pass on the cost of these fees to the buyer and this will raise the costs of a comparable house. This in return will artificially increase our home values and we will pay even higher taxes. Commissioner David Schauner doesn't want to drag this out but he is more than willing to send development plans back to the planning commission time and again until people willing to risk their own capital can't afford to do business here.

I would like to see the town implement a requirement that our elected leaders have to own property and work in town. This would at least resemble taxation by representation.

Understand the issues Lawrence and vote.

Joe B. Jones,



Richard Heckler 11 years, 4 months ago

The real culprit here is not commissoners who were not among the majority over the past 20 years. A balanced growth plan failed to prevail over the past 20 years thus the housing boom produced a bedroom community. While appearing to expand our tax base Lawrence property owners have in fact experienced an expanded property tax bill. We have approximately 15,000 vehicles transporting commuters in our community elsewhere for employment.

Since commuters tend to be wealthier and small town housing markets tend to be weaker than city housing markets, the development of a bedroom community tends to raise local housing prices and attract upscale service businesses in a process called gentrification. Long-time residents are often displaced by new commuter residents due to the rising house prices. This can also be influenced by zoning restrictions in urbanized areas that prevent the construction of suitable housing closer to places of employment.

Commuter towns also naturally tend to spur the development of roads and public transportation systems. These generally take the form of light rail lines extended from the city center to the commuter town and new or expanded highways, whose construction and traffic can lead to urban sprawl which in turn can cause substantial friction.

The number of commuter towns has increased in the U.S. and the UK since the 1960s because of a trend for people to move out of the cities into the surrounding green belt. In the United States, it is common for commuter towns to create disparities in municipal tax rates. Because the commuter town collects few business taxes, individuals are often forced to pay the brunt of the public operating budget in higher property or income taxes. This can also lead these municipalities scrambling to encourage commercial and light industrial growth if possible once an established residential base has been reached.

Scrambling is not planning. Scrambling is more akin to panic which loses the wisdom that would accompany a slower methodical balanced growth approach.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

I nominate this for the distinction of stupidest letter ever printed in the JW.

bisky1 11 years, 4 months ago

coming from you that's a pretty high honor bozo, does he get a happy face with that? i'm with you on this one, bozo, the only hope for lawrence is planned housing, think cabrini green comes home. gotta maintain that control

Jeff Barclay 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Joe. The current city commission majority are treating Lawrence like their personal playtoy and not a city.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

"The current city commission majority are treating Lawrence like their personal playtoy and not a city."

You're confusing them with their chambocrat predecessors, who are the ones who created every (real) problem on Joe's list.

Some of you are susceptible to such newspeak, but there is hope the majority of Lawrence voters are wise enough not to return to city government of, by and for developers and their worship of cancerous growth which sends the tab to Lawrence's long-established businesses and neighborhoods.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

fact or fiction, taxes are on the rise.

In an overwhelming statical majority, many see the progress of regresion reverting to old new ways of democratic democracy politicaly driven by republican antics of republicanism.

In searching we find the truths to be self evident that all men are created equal requiring all politics to tax equaly the democracy of diplomacy. I find it confusing to role play the actual tactics that are set forth in our roles. Meanwhile searching for answers of truth and justice while united we stand.

ScottyMac 11 years, 4 months ago

"I would like to see the town implement a requirement that our elected leaders have to own property and work in town. This would at least resemble taxation by representation."

Ah yes. Let's establish a plutocracy. Surely that's what our wise founders had in mind.

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