To the editor:
Recent discussion of plans to expand the library highlight the question of Lawrence's future.
As a longtime (10-plus years) resident of the Lawrence area, I'd like to offer my thoughts on the subject.
I propose that Lawrence attempt to create a sustainable and functional small city with a relatively consistent population. This would mean that the city would maintain infrastructure, deal with current issues of crime and homelessness, and make sure that city services are adequate. Two major problems in Lawrence - the lack of good full-time jobs and the lack of affordable housing - will not be solved by more growth. New housing development is underbuilt and overpriced, and new Wal-Mart retail development will not provide good full-time jobs.
In addition, current problems with street repair and sewer services highlight that the city is not keeping up with the demand on infrastructure. Why does anyone think that paying for new infrastructure will help this situation?
Instead of building expensive roundabouts and discussing multimillion-dollar library expansions, the city should be using its budget (our tax dollars) to adequately serve the existing population. It seems to me that $10 million per month should be more than enough to meet our current needs.
James A. Fouche-Schack,