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Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Commuters not happy at having to foot university bill

February 1, 2007

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Gov. Kathleen Sebelius shouldn't be expecting a thank you card from Sean Wilson.

The longtime employee of Hallmark Cards Inc. in Lawrence faces the prospect of seeing his commuting costs rise even more, now that the governor is proposing a plan to boost Kansas Turnpike fees to help pay for repairs and maintenance needs on college campuses.

Sebelius' plan calls for boosting turnpike tolls as much as

5 percent per year for each of the next seven years. The move would provide $300 million to help tackle $575 million in deferred maintenance issues at state universities.

Wilson isn't all that excited about the prospect of paying up to another $1.14 a day on daily turnpike tolls by 2014, which would be enough to add $26 to a monthly K-Tag bill. And that's not including any future rate increases required by the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

"It sounds like a great idea for the University of Kansas, but it's more money out of my pocket," said Wilson, a printing press operator who recently joined a van pool to save money on his commute from Lee's Summit, Mo. "It just puts me further in the hole."

Michael Johnston, the turnpike authority's president and chief executive officer, isn't in love with the plan either.

The surcharge, he said, would break faith with a user-fee concept that has been part of the legal tradition of the Kansas Turnpike throughout its 50-year history.

"While I have enormous professional respect for Governor Sebelius, and have known her for 25 years, I am, nonetheless, very disappointed that the governor has turned to turnpike customers to correct a problem they did not cause and for which they should not be held responsible," Johnston said in a statement.

Steve Brown, plant manager for Berry Plastics in northern Lawrence, said that travel costs - including turnpike tolls - were a big reason the company closed its warehouse in Topeka last year and shifted those operations to a building in southeast Lawrence.

But traveling on the turnpike is inevitable, he said, and paying more for tolls to address needs not directly related to the road doesn't seem fair.

"We're moving vehicles all the time," he said. "Whether it's employees or trucks to and from other locations, it would affect us. It really would."

Karen Schuyler, plant manager for ICL Performance Products at the edge of North Lawrence, said that the 30 or so tanker trucks and dry-freight vehicles that come and go each day already come with added costs, in the form of fuel surcharges.

"That's appropriate for the carrier, because it is a big cost item for them," she said. "This (turnpike surcharge), I would hope, would be a small enough cost item that they wouldn't feel the need to pass it along to us."

Wilson, who has worked at Hallmark for 30 years, said that paying for deferred maintenance needs on college campuses should be covered either by higher tuition rates or a tax increase.

He has two daughters to support: one who attends a community college near Tulsa, and another who is headed next fall to the University of Oklahoma.

And Sebelius, Wilson said, won't be doing coaches Mark Mangino or Ron Prince any favors on the football field in the coming years.

"This just makes me mad," Wilson said. "It gives us more incentive to beat KU, K-State, all of 'em."

Comments

cool 7 years, 2 months ago

this was a BAD IDEA by the GOVERNOR.

obviously ---- all airline passengers flying over Kansas should have to pay a special toll instead !

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craigers 7 years, 2 months ago

Well Bd, you give us a solution then. We should just throw money at it? For pete's sake, I didn't say the plumbers and janitors weren't productive, but when you look at office and admin staff that can come and go when they please and then they surf the internet all day they aren't productive. Almost all organizations run with a lot of surplus of non-productive workers. You are dreamin if you think KU and other universities don't have too many staff members that aren't doing enough on a daily basis.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

BTW, it the KDHE Brownfields program over 2 years to do 60 some ESA Phase I and II. Some consultanting companies do 10 a week! And yes the Assessments are done professionally, and the environmental consultants are also bonded and insured, so action can be taken against them if they foul up. There is no such guarntee with the KDHE or KDOL when (always) they screw up! PLus there is no TAX generated off the grants when the agencies do all the work.

Billions folks! Billions!!

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

"OK, enough crying, what is YOUR solution to the problem????????"

Get ALL state agencies OUT of providing services that the private sector can provide. This will shift the burden to the private sector which will then be taxes. Many other states do it. For example in the KDOL and the KDHE MANY MANY grants are flushed through both of these agencies. What they then do is in the case of KDOL is not to enforce the regulations, but to become consultants in direct competition with the private sector safety and health professionals and Industrial hygeniests. In the case of KDHE most of the "Brownfield" grants are first used through KDHE as the agency does the Environmental Site Assessments. THese can be done better, quicker, and cause a revenue to be taxed by having the private sector do these site assessments. Remember, in every other state the agency does the ENFORCEMENT not, the consulting, to do both is expensive and full of conflict of interest. ALL the services should be brought back to the Private sector, such as radon consulting, why is KDHE doing that as well.

The KSU should shut down the Small Business Assisstance program as well. ALL of those services cand and should be done by professional and insured private sector companies that will be taxed.

Kansas needs to shut down the extension services in every county. Those services whould as well be in the private sector.

That is just what is in the Environmenta, Health, and Safety Business sector. Just think if we took all those services that the State provides substandardly, and in direct competition with the private sector should be terminated.

That would kick start the economy. Think of all the work on the State Universities that could generate the revenue, IF we would only hire Kansas companies to fix our Kansas Universities. Have the private sector do the architecture and the ehgineering, as well as the environmenatal, health, and safety contracts, stop using the in house styate services!!!

Get this state out of the "republican created Socialism".

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Esq2eB 7 years, 2 months ago

"That's because Washburn wasn't a state university. It was a municipal university and owned by Topeka."

Past tense? Is Washburn no longer there? So anyways, Topeka and Washburn must be on to something with the Municipal University thing, maybe we should look into that for the other schools and do away with the State University system.

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LiberalDude 7 years, 2 months ago

That's because Washburn wasn't a state university. It was a municipal university and owned by Topeka.

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

Hey, gang, I know! Let's put on a show! We'll rake in the dough!

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Esq2eB 7 years, 2 months ago

Good article about Washburn in the Topeka CJ paper. They have never recieved any money from the state for capital improvements. Including when their campus was leveled by a tornado in the 1960's. Maybe we should shut down KU, and build it back to be more like Washburn. http://www.cjonline.com/stories/020107/loc_143670634.shtml

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budwhysir 7 years, 2 months ago

So they want an idea?? How about we start a lottery system and sell the tickets at the university book store. Profits from ticket sales could be used to do maint projects on the university grounds.

Also we could start a friday night bingo game at the university. This could work two ways in that profits from the game could be used and they could charge for a vistor pass to get onto the campus and use the money from the vistor pass to maintain the roadways on the campus. Any extra money could be donated to the turnpike for road work fees and this would lower the price of traveling on the turnpike.

Lower prices on the turnpike might allow for more people to travel to KC for our out of town home games

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budwhysir 7 years, 2 months ago

I say we all FOOT the bill and start walking where we need to go. This would hurt the oil companies, the tax income, and the universities

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budwhysir 7 years, 2 months ago

Change the titile and the topic and you still have the same story,

Tax payers unhappy about giving to university???

With all the donation money the university has available, why is this such a big issue?? As it was well stated in a letter to the editor not to long ago, people who donate to a university, dont want their name placed on the maint. fund list. Come on, if someone can donate 1 million dollars to a school, wouldnt they be ok with helping replace the leaking sewer lines?

As for the toll road issue, this is not a feasable idea. With people so in love with the new ticket program for sports, why not tack on another 10% to ticket prices, fine all the scalpers 500 dollars and call it good????

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Tychoman 7 years, 2 months ago

Yet another baseless, one-sided overreaction.

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conceptual_continuity 7 years, 2 months ago

i'm sorry i voted for this bee-yotch

what a stupid, stupid, stupid , stupid, stupid evil woman.

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LiberalDude 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree Tychoman, I think this is a good idea too.

What's up with that Sean Wilson guy from the article? Am I supposed to feel bad for him? Why do you chose to live in Lee's Summit? Maybe you should quit your job if the big bad toll is so high so a Lawrence citizen can have it. Also, thanks for sending your kids out of state so we don't have to deal with them.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"Bozo - as I have tried to point out to you before, without an SLT, Haskell is becoming a truck route."

With an interchange planned on Haskell regardless of the route, the SLT will increase traffic on Haskell, not decrease it.

"You say that this area was not designed to handle this truck traffic."

No, what I am saying is that 28th and 29th and their intersections with Haskell are not adequate to handle the volume of truck traffic that Berry Plastics sends down them.

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Tychoman 7 years, 2 months ago

This is a great idea. Why are people b*tching about it so much? Wow. $26 a month for K-Tag. Golly gee it's not like if you don't like the plan, you can't use another highway. God forbid you do something about it. Holy crap!

It's still cheaper than gas, it's still cheaper than groceries, it's going to a needy cause. And those of you whining to raise tuition instead, they have been raising tuition for the last several years. Fat lot of good that's doing. That money is needed elsewhere.

So much money goes to athletics because that's what the money is earmarked for by the donor. The reason the $1 billion endowment isn't being tapped is because the donors who put the money in the endowment don't say what it's for. Endowment money has to have a specific destination and goal.

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gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"I think the toll option is valid, though the increase might be too steep. "

If some are ok with charging one use fee for another purpose, why pick on motorists. Everyone relates to them. Let's find someone a large group doesn't like and really stick it to them.

....

I know. Smokers!

How about charging an extra $5 a pack to finance public education. A win-win solution. We can say we want people to stop smoking so that's a good encouragement and good publicity. But, we know they won't so we'll get their money to finance the rest of us.

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kmat 7 years, 2 months ago

The solution is very simple. How many lights are left on all the time in campus buildings? How about computers not being used? So much electricity is wasted up there. They would be amazed at the money they could save by just conserving!

I have many friends that work for KU and they will all say that they are underworked. They spend soooo much time on the internet, talking to co-workers, just walking around campus. They could so easily cut back the administrative staff there.

How much money goes to the basketball program? I am a HUGE fan and gladly spend the money to go to games, but why should soooo much money go into the athletics department while other buildings are crumbling? What's more important at KU, education or sports?

The toll idea is ridiculous and if she does get this inacted, it will probably be the end of her political career. I commute and will not pay more than the $2.70 a day I already have to pay, which is supposed to go to the upkeep of the interstate.

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree with just-the-facts and Kahn. Here is my post from earlier this morning on the Creative Approach thread:

Posted by Godot (anonymous) on February 1, 2007 at 7:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here is some "out-of-the-box thinking."

Freeze construction on all new buildings until a plan for maintenance of existing buildings is established; take the management of major building maintenance, and the maintenance budget, out of the hands of University administrators; set up benchmarks for universities to meet to reduce wasteful spending; require the universities to initiate building restoration endowment campaigns, with a dollar for dollar matching of tax payer money to donor money; require the gift of all new buildings to include a perpetual maintenance fund.

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

" It doesn't matter if you increase tuition. Most students are funded by the state and federal government anyways. So in other words, if you increase tuition you just increase another tax that affects you anyways."

I do not buy that argument. Most students pay for their education through student loans, not through grants.

But, even if what you said were true, I would rather see the actual cost reflected in tuition, not be hidden in turnpike fees or lotto proceeds or taxes on who-knows-what that has nothing to do with the cost of higher education.

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Kahn 7 years, 2 months ago

How about taking some of the billion dollar indowment fund the University supporters contribute each year and using it to fix problems instead of creating more problems. Lets put a stop to building new structures untill the funds from indowments are used to support these structures they build instead of putting more strain on the tax payers.

It is time for change at the top.

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mefirst2006 7 years, 2 months ago

the school gets a lot of donations every year. why dont they use some of that to help pay for repairs?

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justthefacts 7 years, 2 months ago

We can argue forever about how to spend or find new moneys to spend, or whether they should be collected commuter, student, etc. However, here's an idea; how about the entire government start learning to spend only what it is already taking in?

KU's deteriorating facilities are a shame. But the problem is nothing new nor something that took anyone by surprise. However, instead of spending the $70,000+ to help with a leaking roof problem, KU officials choose to spend that money (and a lot more) on a STUDY as to which new font to use to write out K-U. A few years ago, they spent MILLIONS to plant new trees, shrubs and flowers, all very nice indeed - but what about the buildings already in disrepair. And there are a myriad of similar spending decisions that have and continue to be made showing that the fiscal management of the Institutions is being handled by spend-thrifts who can't live within their (our means).

We need to learn to distinguish between needs and wants. Otherwise, the raise (borrow) more money instead of cutting unnecessary spending mentality is going to bankrupt the nation, state, and each individual. Stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, and start learning to live with the money you already have!

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TKELuke 7 years, 2 months ago

Secondly, everyone benefits from the colleges in this state. Many of the technologies used in every industry are thanks to advancments made by those in universities. Improvements in the crops grown in Kansas are directly related to many advancements made at Universities in Kansas. It makes me sad to hear everyone complain about how they are not seeing the benefits that go to a university. Maybe next time you go to the doctor you should ask if they went to college. It doesn't matter if you increase tuition. Most students are funded by the state and federal government anyways. So in other words, if you increase tuition you just increase another tax that affects you anyways.

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blue73harley 7 years, 2 months ago

Bozo - as I have tried to point out to you before, without an SLT, Haskell is becoming a truck route. It is not just Berry. Look at the 60 plus trailers at the old Honeywell. Look at Fed X. Look at all the Ag Trucks heading South to Ottawa and points beyond. You have the K10 "Smart Corridor" that abruptly ends with trucks coming into town at 31st and Haskell rather than having a bypass somewhere to the east of town. There is no truck route for them.

You say that this area was not designed to handle this truck traffic. Short term memory loss? Selective memory? Do you not recall that there was a concrete plant and bus terminal once located in this area!?

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TKELuke 7 years, 2 months ago

Whats wrong with Highway 40? It has almost the same path from Lawrence to Topeka. The Turnpike fee is like a convenience fee. Id you don't want to pay the fees take another route.

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Rationalanimal 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh, I forgot to mention making cow paths toll roads. We definitely are missing an opportunity by letting the bovine go by for free.

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Rationalanimal 7 years, 2 months ago

The fair and sensible solution seems to be: make every road in Kansas a toll road (including residential streets and dirt roads), charge bicyclists as well b/c they use the roads. This way, we're all paying our fair share, not just folks that drive between Topeka and KC.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"You would deal with it by telliing a business owner how to run their business, ie. relocate or some such nonsense."

The problem is that the roads in that area were designed to handle traffic generated by E & E, a manufacturing facility, and other businesses in the area. Trying to use that infrastructure for a warehouse and distribution center is wholly inappropriate. But I guess as long as Berry Plastics saves some turnpike fees, that's OK.

"I would suggest building the appropriate roads to support and encourage local business."

Expanding 28th and 29th Streets to 4 lanes, and adding traffic lights at Haskell at both intersections would probably do the trick. But who picks up the tab? Berry Plastics gets rather substantial tax abatements, so not them, I guess.

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ImpactWinter 7 years, 2 months ago

I think the real issue has been touched on, but not explored; We've a massive shortfall in maintainance funds that has been accruing for the better part of a decade, if not longer; Tax-shy politicians (Read: all of them) are very reluctant to burden the public any further for any programs or services that a vast majority will not utilize.

I think the toll option is valid, though the increase might be too steep. Its not a city street, its a turnpike; if you're taking our payroll dollars back to Missouri, then pay your $1.30 a trip and shut up! I've spent a year at a store near KCI, commuting from Lawrence, I'd gladly pay double the current toll to save 35-50 minutes from my drive, its a sweet deal!

if it costs too much for you to commute 110 miles to work, find a different job!

The University is a state asset, and the dollars it brings in through the medical center and research is incalculable(not literally).

Its in our interest to keep these buildings in good order, and protect the investment we've already made in them; I think further burdening the college attendee to pay for a long out-of-office politician's negligence in budget appropriation is shortsighted and mean spirited, education is the only thing that will keep america competitive in the world economy, and americans at large need to stop seeing education as a financial beating post to solve "more pressing" concerns.

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rollcar 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree that university maintenance is a good thing and probably do need to be funded through taxation.

Yet I repeat, why are they only raising the taxes of people who happen to drive the turnpike? Why don't they just raise everybody's taxes across the board?

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wayoutwest 7 years, 2 months ago

Sounds reasonable that funding should come from taxes but people seem to forget that the government cut funding to higher education in order to pay for needs in other educational areas in the recent past. The bottom line is people need to quit thinking about themselves and think of the need of the greater society and importance of education. From a bussiness standpoint, I'm sure it is impressive for visiting prospective student to see the state of some of the buildings on campuse -- remember these students who spend a lot of money in the community. An example:

http://www.kansan.com/stories/2007/feb/01/maintenance/?news

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budwhysir 7 years, 2 months ago

What about people like me that travel on the TOLL FREE roads here in Kansas, how will they get my share of the money they want????????????

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deepthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

Okay, for all of you naysayers out there...chew on this one for awhile. Up until last year, any student who attended a regents institution and paid tuition to that institution.... that interest was rolled into the state's general fund and used for WHATEVER, not necessarily having to do with university costs. So, not only did my taxes go to the state coffers, but the interest off of MY tuition money also went to fund the state coffers.

Perhaps if the legislators would have woken up before last year and changed this law years ago, the state schools might have been able to offset or at least reduce the maintenance costs that they have now!!!

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

" The problem is the state isn't making enough money through taxes to pay its bills. "

Then the state needs to cut the budget. And regents administrators need to be more efficient with the money they are given.

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delta77 7 years, 2 months ago

It's logical because all of the conservative politicians refuse to raise taxes. Quite simply, the problem is the state isn't making enough money through taxes to pay its bills. That leaves the politicians to try and come up with a way to raise more money without "raising taxes." Not so easy.

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Tristan Moody 7 years, 2 months ago

Tuition at KU has already doubled in the past 6 years. Using further tuition increases to cover the deferred maintenance shortfall will price many students out of an education. I think the Turnpike isn't the best way to do it--the potential revenue generated won't be enough and will affect too few people. The employer user fee idea is simply ridiculous. I think the funds are best acquired through three means: state budget streamlining, not only to meet the current demand, but also to ensure a large enough maintenance fund that this problem will NEVER get this bad again; a modest tax increase for ALL Kansans, as all Kansas residents enjoy the benefit of in-state tuition; and extensive capital campaigns by the universities themselves, much similar to the KU First campaign, which was wildly successful.

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consumer1 7 years, 2 months ago

Here is a thought, Turn K-10 into a KU toll road. Students must pay $5.00 per trip. Don't get all Pizzie. I know it is not practical. JUST A JOKE>>>

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rollcar 7 years, 2 months ago

I am waiting for somebody to come up with a logical argument for why commuters should pay a larger share of public university maintenance issues than the public at large. What is the correlation?

I have zero problem with my tax dollars going to fund education, and am not necessarily even opposed to the idea of a reasonable tax increase, if it helps to address issues such as all-day kindergarten, higher education attainability, etc. But I do not understand how this proposal to pick on one segment of the population makes any sense. That's what this boils down to, is taxing one segment of the population so that everybody else will get something for nothing.

Somebody, please, explain to me where my logic is flawed.

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oldgoof 7 years, 2 months ago

Bozo at 9:06 posts: "There are more than 10,000 students at Emporia and Washburn. KU and K-State could not absorb that many students without very costly expansion." . Goof agrees. Couldn't absorb them without.....ahem...ahem.... MORE buildings.

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oldgoof 7 years, 2 months ago

I was lukewarm on this proposal until I read many of todays posts. Remembering the logic and self-interest of many who post here, I am now a strong proponent. . The real crime here is that the state legislators, being responsive to many of the anti-taxers who post here, have knowingly ignored this problem for years. . And the CC's and Washburn should have their hands slapped. The state should fund state and state university building maintenance, not local governments.

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countrygirl 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, and the lottery money was supposed to go to roads and schools. Where did that go? That happened well before our current governor, so it's not like the rob Peter to pay Paul is anything new.

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Rationalanimal 7 years, 2 months ago

Now that we have diverted funds generated by the turnpike from the turnpike, where will we get funds to maintain the turnpike? Or, is the Governor's policy to let the turnpike infrastructure crumble into the ground like the schools throughout the State and then find someone that we can stick the bill to? This is rob Peter to pay Paul with absolutely no thought for a realistic permanent solution. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is independent style of leadership.

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countrygirl 7 years, 2 months ago

Anybody done any research to see where toll funds go to in other states? Strictly back to the roads, or do other states do things like this. And tution and fees are high enough--and keep climbing. Taxes are already coming into the schools, but are apparently not enough. That being said, how are you going to make up the difference? If you don't like the toll, don't take the turnpike. It's not like there aren't other roads the average person can take.

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rollcar 7 years, 2 months ago

I would think that it is painfully obvious where the money should be coming from, but I will humor you. It should come from either a) university tuition & fees or b) the tax-paying public at large. Why randomly single out a small group of people, such as motorists along a particular stretch of road, and ask them to shoulder the additional tax burden? Next people with blue eyes will be paying off the federal deficit.

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blue73harley 7 years, 2 months ago

The point is that traffic continues to increase which is what you bitched about in your first post today. Hmmm...now how do we deal with that?

You would deal with it by telliing a business owner how to run their business, ie. relocate or some such nonsense.

I would suggest building the appropriate roads to support and encourage local business.

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countrygirl 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok, we all know how badly the colleges need the money to make repairs. If you don't want it to come from the turnpike, then just where do you propose the funds come from? I'll bet the governor would love to hear your ideas.

People just love to gripe---but do they have a better idea?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Yep, blue73harley, I said that. And nowhere in there did I say that there is no traffic on Haskell or 31 St. What I said is that the majority of traffic going down 23rd does not turn down Haskell-- which is a fact.

Thanks for proving my point.

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bd 7 years, 2 months ago

craigers, how much more poductive can you make a plumber or electrician on campus when they make about 50% of union scale??????? Janitors make $7-8 per hour?????

Get a clue!

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rollcar 7 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, optimist. If I travel the turnpike, I should expect to pay the toll for turnpike maintenance. If I go to a university, I should expect to pay tuition fees for university maintenance. What could be simpler?

And don't give me crap about tuition being too high already. I could say the same for tolls. Don't make your problem my problem.

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optimist 7 years, 2 months ago

Charge more tuition; sounds simple enough to me. Those who benefit directly from the education should pay the lion's share of it. At this point tuition amounts to only about a 1/3 of the cost to educate a person at a state university. This proposed tax would be assessed on everyone including those who will never benefit from advanced education at a state university. I don't see how that is fair.

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craigers 7 years, 2 months ago

Nice blue.

bd, maybe we should start by looking to the universities to make up some of the money by cutting some other costs. The subject was brought up yesterday on the blog that the university employees are usually underworked, just like a lot of state employees and they could be much more productive. If they could be more productive then that means they could lower their staffing a little bit to deliver on the problem. Raising fares and taxes aren't the answer to every maintenance and funding problem, like our governor seems to think. Crack down on funds misuse first and then we can talk about fare and tax increases. Everybody says this about the school systems, you can't just throw money at a problem and expect it to get better. Fix the broken system and then take care of the funding afterward.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

There are more than 10,000 students at Emporia and Washburn. KU and K-State could not absorb that many students without very costly expansion.

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blue73harley 7 years, 2 months ago

Regarding traffic on Haskell; maybe you remember this Bozo...

Posted by just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) on March 8, 2006 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"It would reduce some of the traffic on E. 23rd, but most traffic headed anywhere to or from spots east of Kasold and north of 31st would not be using the trafficway. I use the intersection at 23rd and Haskell on a daily basis, and the volume of traffic using the Haskell/31st route is considerably less than that going straight into or out of Lawrence on 23rd."

Sure you do.

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bd 7 years, 2 months ago

Haskell mosquito farm!

What a joke this whole thing is!!!

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toefungus 7 years, 2 months ago

Bd wants a solution. Merge universities and close facilities. A hundred years ago a hundred miles was a big deal. Today, it is nothing. Having KU, KSU, Washburn, and Emporia so close and all state supported does not make sense in such a low population state.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"I had posted about this traffic many times and Bozo's standard reply was that it was not that bad. Hypocrite!!!!"

I've never said anything of the sort. My point has always been that if the SLT is built, don't do it on Haskell's wetlands.

BTW, the SLT would do nothing to make the truck traffic Berry Plastics runs down there any less of a problem, and as I said, it currently makes whatever congestion is there that much worse.

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gr 7 years, 2 months ago

With all this truck traffic, isn't that bad for roads? Businesses causes truck traffic, and Lawrence businesses hire employees from KU no doubt, so let's tax all businesses more to encourage them to go elsewhere. That way, there's less demand for students, which requires less demand for classrooms, which requires fewer classrooms, which requires less taxes for building upkeep.

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bd 7 years, 2 months ago

OK, enough crying, what is YOUR solution to the problem????????

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ShockerWildcat 7 years, 2 months ago

People will really start moving out of this bedroom community when Sebelious jacks up the tolls again!

Combine the price of commuting with the ridiculous housing prices and property tax valuations in Lawrence and we'll see people moving to Topuka and OP-- but at least 20 years from now we'll be able to walk to our corner store for a quart of milk and a newspaper (if they have newspapers 20 years from now). Just be careful crossing the street because traffic's gonna be a real bit*h 20 years from now with no SLT! Thanks Hack, Schauner, Booger, Rundle, and Amyx.

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toefungus 7 years, 2 months ago

Your right KS, a perfectly reasonable response to a user fee. Choices will be made in response to any fee and some will choose not to pay it. Kansas needs economic development, but this new user fee surcharge will make many transportation intensive companies to look for ways to avoid Kansas. Kansas cannot afford the university infrastructure because the state has not grown.

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Rationalanimal 7 years, 2 months ago

Apparently Seagull has learned the lesson from the Arabs well. That is, when you control what others rely on for their livelihood, you jack-up the price, and if they complain, you jack it up even further. Seagull is no different than any other monopolist--a real modern political robber barron. The demographic of folks using the turnpike have nothing to do with Kansas Universities. Most are either motorists/truckers moving through the State, or commuters. That was the principle philosophy behind the user-fee in the first place. In either case, Seagull is using a choke point, an unavoidable transportation route for commerce to shake a little change out of their pockets. I really hope a trucking union and commuters file a class action over this because it is fundamentally unfair to require folks who drive from Topeka to Kansas City in an effort to feed their families to shoulder the debt of our Universities. Those Universities belong to all Kansans and the burden should therefore be equally carried by all. Dare we ask the farmers in rural Kansas to pitch in?

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tkofford 7 years, 2 months ago

I would urge all commuters who use the KS turnpike to email Governor Sebeluis to voice their opposition to her plan. Below is a link for contacting her.

http://www.governor.ks.gov/contact.htm

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blue73harley 7 years, 2 months ago

Bozo "Mr. Anti SLT" - has no right to criticize the amount of truck traffic on Haskell. None whatsoever.

I had posted about this traffic many times and Bozo's standard reply was that it was not that bad. Hypocrite!!!!

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

"What he doesn't say is the old E & E building they are now using is totally inappropriate for the amount of truck traffic it generates. It's destroying the streets and regularly blocks access for other businesses in the area, not to mentioned adds traffic to already congested Haskell and 31st Streets."

LOL!

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe Nancy Boyda will stop opposing her fantasy I-35 superhiway if it includes a fee for university maintenance paid by those millions of cars and trucks that will go through Kansas.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"Steve Brown, plant manager for Berry Plastics in northern Lawrence, said that travel costs - including turnpike tolls - were a big reason the company closed its warehouse in Topeka last year and shifted those operations to a building in southeast Lawrence."

What he doesn't say is the old E & E building they are now using is totally inappropriate for the amount of truck traffic it generates. It's destroying the streets and regularly blocks access for other businesses in the area, not to mentioned adds traffic to already congested Haskell and 31st Streets.

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oldgoof 7 years, 2 months ago

How about a tax on households who send a child to the University of Oklahoma?

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KS 7 years, 2 months ago

toefungus - Now I know how you got that name. Foot in mouth. Your idea will guarantee that Kansas employers would not want to hire Kansas college students.

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toefungus 7 years, 2 months ago

A toll is a user fee. A user fee might be a good idea for university maintenance. How about a user fee for each employer that hires a Kansas college student. The employer gets a well educated or trained person at taxpayer and student expense. As the employer is indeed a user, they should pay a user fee to Kansas. Out of state employers should pay even more. Now, that will be a user fee I could support.

Other states could follow our lead. Kansas, as high tax as you think.

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rollcar 7 years, 2 months ago

I just cannot fathom how this budgetary shortfall is the responsibility of the motorists who happen to travel I-70 any more than it is of motorists who travel any other road. Why not tax people who travel down Kasold on their way to the grocery stores? That makes just as much sense.

They're doing this because they know that many people have no other choice than to take that route to work every day, and therefore are forced into ponying up. It's reminds me of oil companies gouging people at the pump, simply because they can.

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jmadison 7 years, 2 months ago

Sebelius has not seen a tax that she doesn't like. No wonder Kansas is a backwater in job creation compared to other states.

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