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Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Candidates Dever, Highberger differ on development issues, registry

February 22, 2007

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Lawrence City Commission candidates Boog Highberger and Mike Dever were online Wednesday at ljworld.com to discuss campaign issues.

Both candidates were asked about a recent consultants' report that suggested that developers find the permitting process at City Hall to be mystifying and unfair. They offered different reasons for the cause.

"I think we need to im-prove the way our current city staff serves the potential users of city services," Dever said. "We need to encourage a friendly, professional, engaging process for applicants to follow, and hold them to it."

Highberger said a new "Smart Code" would help solve the problem - but suggested some fault belongs to developers. "I don't think it was a surprise to anyone to learn that there is a high degree of mistrust here," he said. "I think that stems at least partly from a long history of people proposing projects here with little or no consideration given to the impacts on the neighborhood and the community."

In other topics, Highberger said he supported a domestic partnership registry, while Dever said he was undecided.

"A domestic partnership registry could help give a lot of Lawrence citizens access to health care benefits that they are not eligible for now," Highberger said.

"I believe that we as a community must be prepared to defend the rights of our citizens," Dever said. "I need to become more informed on this issue to be able to make a sound decision."

The primary election is Tuesday; the top six candidates will advance to the April 3 general election.

Comments

concrete 7 years, 1 month ago

once again you have been misinformed richard

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the tip, bladerunner. Fortunately, I don't have need for them very often, but the LPD doesn't publicize that fact, and the investigating officer didn't tell me, either.

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Bladerunner 7 years, 1 month ago

FYI Bozo.....Accidents reports are free if downloaded from the LPD's website.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

The "janitor," and everyone else on city payroll, likely has plenty of other duties without being required to do specialized research to satisfy an individual citizen's request.

That doesn't mean any given question isn't one that ought to be answered, but considering that this particular one comes from those who profess a preference for government that is "fiscally responsible," exactly who do these "fiscally responsible" folks think ought to pay for researching these informational requests?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 1 month ago

Surely there is someone left at City Hall who "just happens find the information" and the "janitor" threw it away and the info finds it's way on the sidewalk? Inside informant at city hall, hello, is there one?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

True enough, justthefacts, but is it, or is it not, SOP for all government agencies to charge for research time in KORA requests?

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concrete 7 years, 1 month ago

Dever sounds like a level guy.high berger sounds all messed up like anna nichol smith same mushrooms for both

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 1 month ago

So about the stuff this Marion was talking about getting? J/W, there is a story or do you really want to tell it for fear that the J/W may be characters in the story?

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justthefacts 7 years, 1 month ago

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law, it applies to records possessed by federal agencies, not by state or local public entitites.

If you want to read the rules on the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), you can go to www.ksag.org and link to "open government" for a summary or go to www.kslegislature.org and look up all the KORA statutes (45-215 to 45-240).

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

And FWIW, if you want to get an accident report from the Lawrence PD, it'll cost you $5.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Fees are SOP pretty much everywhere I suspect. Try getting something from the US State Department without paying fees.

http://foia.state.gov/foiareq/foialetter.asp

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 1 month ago

About the $30 an hour for researching the costs of studies, consultants/ studies completed, studies not completed, studies re=studied: Where are Chestnut, Dever, Bush, Fields, Jake the musician, Limpburger, Schauner, Boog, Hack, and Amyx on this matter?

Maybe they need to come forward and after all, one, repeat ONE (1) commissioner can bring the question forward at a city commission meeting in front of the press and TV. How about it commissioners? Chad, story here, hello?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

I see we're off on the latest red herring complaint.

I'd be happy to see FOIA requests be filled free of charge, although it doesn't take much imagination to know that city staff could easily be bogged down with endless requests from whacko busybodies like Marion.

I seriously doubt that the existing policy is unique to Lawrence, or that it originated under the tenure of this city commission.

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rhd99 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, Godot, let's ask these two any question. They sure beat the heck outta the bureaucrats in government who refuse to answer direct questions!

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Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

I have observed that Bozo and Merrill have lots of facts and figures about city budget, etc., at their disposal. Maybe they can offer some insight as to how to get around the inconvenience and expense of filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

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rhd99 7 years, 1 month ago

By the way, if free & open government is the rule, yet we are forced to pay OUT of our own pockets for information on how much money our city government wasted on Studies & out-of-town consultant goons, I suggest we start flooding the City Finance office phones right away! Government waste & red tape under Dah Dah & ambulance chaser Schauner has sky rocketed since they were elected! Now, time to throw the garbage away!

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rhd99 7 years, 1 month ago

It's not just Highberger, folks. Mr. Dah Dah is in la la land if he thinks that the governed don't have a voice in politics. WE HAVE A VOICE. Now let's use it at the polls. When we want answers, if some City Hall Bureaucrat wants to give us the runaround, then we take further action. Someone earlier said that the research fee for governmental information under FOIA they requested is $30/hr?! How is that free & open government? Time to get rid of Dah Dah & ambulance chaser Schauner before Lawrence's future goes down the tubes. Oh, my bad, it already has! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 1 month ago

Increased expenditures is correct. But have improvements been made. One would hardly think that the Kasold project was needed over other areas, and the roundabouts we all know are poorly designed and placed in areas not needing them. Those who believe differently smoke some tainted weed most likely!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

". If we still have crappy streets, which nothing has been done about since the last election,"

I've seen no decrease in road repaving projects over the last four years-- as a matter of fact, they have increased expenditures on road repairs.

After they got rid of Wildgen, who had been dragging his feet on doing an audit of the condition of the city's streets, Mike Rundle (one of those nasty PLC commissioners) finally got the staff to get it done. The news wasn't pretty--the result of decades of building roads on the cheap, as the power-elite commissions chose to do in order to get their developments up and sold while looking shiny and new, but destined to fall apart in a few years, just like the houses they built. Fixing that mess will be just one more subisidy to the cancerous growth industries.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 1 month ago

Boog wants to be everyone's friend. Dever wants you to think he is everyone's friend. The truth about any of the candidates will be revealed within six months after the election is over. If we still have crappy streets, which nothing has been done about since the last election, then we will know we have crappy commissioners again!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"He should share in the problem and show leadership on how to correct it."

The fact is the city commission was structured to be little more than a rubberstamp to what the power elite brings before it. Merely having commissioners in there who have a desire to do more than that can't overcome the inherent powerlessness of the position. I think the PLC comissioners have tried to lead, but lacking the power to do so effectively means that all we get is gridlock and the petty sniping so common on this forum.

"Perhaps the amount of money being spent on the campaign from ALL candidates indicates that people are tired of the current state of the city and want change."

I believe you are right, but the current state of the city is much more a result of decades of control by the power elite than it is the past four years of trying to find some different ways of doing things, although if you read these forums regularly, you'd get the impression that every problem this city has was created in the last four years. And I really don't think it's a fair assessment to characterize the contributors to Chestnut and Dever (and to a lesser degree Bush) a broad cross-section of Lawrence. The majority of their funds comes from people with a clear commercial agenda that controlling the commission greatly facilitates.

"Even Carey raised more money than Boog"

From my perspective, that's mainly because Carey made a greater effort at fundraising, but I think it's also because Boog has attempted to stake out some sort of middle ground (that is his general way of operating) and that hurt him with some of his past supporters.

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abby 7 years, 1 month ago

No one said it was completely Boog's fault, but he is one of the commissioners running for re-election at the time when mistrust runs the highest. He should share in the problem and show leadership on how to correct it.

Perhaps the amount of money being spent on the campaign from ALL candidates indicates that people are tired of the current state of the city and want change. Even Carey raised more money than Boog......Take a look at the "supporters" of some of these candidates on their websites and you will see a cross mix of people from Lawrence.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

The mistrust started with the power elite using the city commission to rubberstamp any and all of their projects during the decades that they controlled it.

With the mountains of cash they are pouring into this campaign trying to regain control of the commission in order to re-establish business as usual, it's very narrow-minded and disingenuous to try to put this problem all on Highberger.

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abby 7 years, 1 month ago

I wish Boog would take ownership in the "mistrust" issue instead of finding fault with others. We cannot move forward as a community until we respect each other and find ways to trust one another and work together to meet the needs of everyone in the city. It starts with the city commission!

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