Archive for Friday, May 19, 2006

Sustainable city

May 19, 2006


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,



lunacydetector 11 years, 5 months ago

as a resident for many, many more years than yourself, i recommend a simple economics course. the course will tel you that, no supply + big demand = higher prices. in order to have more supply, you have to grow.

i have a somewhat simple solution for higher paying jobs.....but i ain't gonna tell anyone just yet. the walmart will bring in necessary taxes to pay for additional improvements/maintenance to the infrastructure - something that stagnation won't bring about, sorry.

KsTwister 11 years, 5 months ago

Who wants to build in a city with the sewers falling in anyway? Fancy buildings just add more cost to taxpayers who cannot get their problems fixed in the first place.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 5 months ago

Are you saying there is crappy construction within the local housing industry? Those rumors are hot and heavy not to mention the rumor of unskilled illegal slaves on the jobs. Are these the jobs that nobody else will take. I doubt that.

As for the need of thousands of new high paying jobs in the are on to something. The question is who in Lawrence makes that happen?

As for always low wages Wal-Mart they might produce new revenue if they don't steal it from someone else thus no new revenue. A higher paying light industrial employer also pays on the high end of property taxes. Higher paying jobs means more expendable income whereas low paying jobs do not.

erichaar 11 years, 5 months ago

Is that what our city really spends per month? $10,000,000? If that's true, and I don't doubt it, we should be outraged.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 5 months ago

What level would not outrage you, erichaar? And please inform us the math behind that figure. Or is your outrage purely arbitrary?

craigers 11 years, 5 months ago

Merrill, you can't say that the homes that are manufactured someplace else and brought into a development piece by piece are the best made construction. I know it isn't Lawrence, but in Olathe his home had some major structural problems and was cheaply built but sold at a nice premium. I completely understand the construction companies need to make a profit, but making poorly built homes and selling at a premium isn't an ethical business decision.

Kookamooka 11 years, 5 months ago

I think it's interesting how illegal immigrant workers and Walmart seem to go together. They exploit labor in China and Mexico, hire workers from other countries and yet they tout themselves as American's General Store.

Unfortuntately, to stop the forces of growth, one must constantly prune and that can be painful as well.

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