Letters to the Editor

Wasteful city

July 5, 2007

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To the editor:

This 50 square feet of sidewalk is emblematic of an unmentioned cause of the city's current budget problem that is blamed, publicly, solely on a revenue shortfall, the only remedy for which, we're told, is either to raise taxes or cut services.

About six months ago, city crews broke out and replaced two sections of (slightly buckled) sidewalk at the northeast corner of Water Tower Park. Today the city has marked them for replacement (re-replacement) as part of a project to entirely replace curbs and sidewalks (not nearly as bad as others in town!) on the west side of Sunset Drive from Harvard Road to Stratford Road. A little forethought and judgment would have avoided that waste of time, money, material and energy.

Yes, raising taxes and/or cutting services are possible solutions to our budget crisis (and goodness knows there are services aplenty we could do without; Eagle Bend comes quickly to mind) but they're not the only options. The waste that accompanies poor planning, anemic productivity and a general prodigality is a root cause of the budget problem; eliminating it should head the list of solutions.

Practicing frugality and living within one's means (Journal-World editorial, June 26) are old-fashioned notions, but some of us still know how to do it (although it gets more difficult as taxes increase) and I heartily recommend it.

To become a truly sustainable community we must do more than buy green tags.

Bill Mitchell,

Lawrence

Comments

lawrenceofkansas 7 years, 8 months ago

Why keep trowing the bums out? Make the budget limit into law so the bums can't spend more.

DaveR 7 years, 8 months ago

But.... but... but... the government is elected, is it not? If we don't like it we can throw the bums out, can't we?

Well, sure. All we gotta do is go to the polls on election day. Let me see.... that would be the first Tuesday in November, right?

Right?

Right?

KS 7 years, 8 months ago

The waste is not limited to the city, as we all know. Some (see the letter on universal care) want the government to run our healthcare. Thank you very much, but I prefer what we already have. The best in the world.

gabbo 7 years, 8 months ago

Well said. Especially Eagle Bend. Had an impact study been performed prior to the cutting of fairways next to Clinton Dam, Alvamar would not have had to sell their i-teeth to stay above water. Eagle Bend is essentially an aging bus from a under-used T route that we pay to wash and gas up every morning before dawn. That said, with these current five, fiscal responsibility and planned productivity are at least regarded as factors. Baby steps are better than running gleefully in the wrong direction.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 8 months ago

I want to know why Sue Hack is so obsessed with buying the toxic waste dump owned by Farmland Industries and sticking the city with its problems. Now, of all times, when the CC tells us we have a budget crisis.

I know Rob Chestnut used to work for Farmland Industries.

I know Mike Dever owns an environmental consulting firm and fear he'll get the work to clean this up without the city going through the proper bidder competition process and getting the best deal.

I suspect this has something to do with Mayor Hack's husband's insurance company again, and whoever the private parties the city is bidding against, and someone who has their eye on building something on this property once the city owns it and cleans it up on taxpayer dollars.

The city commission meets about Farmland Industries in secret.

This is a travesty. It's our money they are spending!!!

NO to Sue Hack's sales tax increase, and no to any property tax increase. We are being robbed.

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"No one I know of is interested in increasing the tax base UNLESS property taxes go down as a result. "

Can anyone describe a time when the tax base increases with the property taxes going down? I'd doubt it ever more than until the next budget. More people equals more taxes. I've seen it over and over. However, the commies promoting it always say how that will reduce taxes. But, when commies are used to spending/wasting large amounts, if there's less valuations or less people, they still increase taxes.

Tax increase....You are no longer elected.

BANNED! since some like to do that.

kansas778 7 years, 8 months ago

Greyheim, That list is completely bogus. It's more concerned with socioeconomic concepts like the distribution of health care costs, and the "efficiency" of health care costs. The US spends billions of dollars on research and development in health care, which is considered wasteful spending according to the formula they use. The US spends more money on health care than any other country in the world, and this goes as a strike against us in the WHO report because it's not "efficient."

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

And so what's on the agenda? Another "Eagle Bend" wanna be ... PLAY! A "critical" community sports recreation facility to provide a "service" that the private sector has demonstrated already is not in demand from the public.

Like everything other example of special interests sucking at the teet of government: (A) its not a governmental function to begin with, and (B) the minority that benefits squeaks louder than the unbenefiting majority that has to foot the bill.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

"blue73harley (Anonymous) says: Talk about waste, our wonderful traffic planners just erected a monstrosity near McDonalds at 32nd and Iowa. Yellow plastic poles are now in-place to "protect" us, I suppose. Yet notice the pot holes and the lack of adequate lane striping. What a bunch of idiots! I am sure Merrill was the mastermind behind this loony idea."

Try KDOT... Might be part of the Wal-Mart expansion plan?

Bradley Menze 7 years, 8 months ago

France has the best healthcare according to the World Health Organization...

France is also running out of money in part b/c of the tremendous burden of it's social programs including healthcare.

Lawrenceiscrooked 7 years, 8 months ago

Jamesaust get your facts straight. Do you realize the startup cost for the T (Which we all agree is a huge waste of money) could totally fund the P.L.A.Y. program which will benefit all the kids in Lawrence? Its not so much a waste issue as it is a common sense issuse, which Lawrence public officials seem to have none of.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"Jamesaust get your facts straight. Do you realize the startup cost for the T (Which we all agree is a huge waste of money) could totally fund the P.L.A.Y. program which will benefit all the kids in Lawrence? Its not so much a waste issue as it is a common sense issuse, which Lawrence public officials seem to have none of."

I totally reject this drivel. What are my "facts"? Heck, what are your "facts"? Zippo. Its a perfect example of how government spending and taxes end up sky-high! Common sense? Just how stupid are we all supposed to be?

"Our kids" are already funded in a host of activities associated with the school, which at least has the pretense of being educational (although I note that those who send their kids to private schools get to both pay and yet not benefit at all). This is yet beyond even that. Government does what ONLY government CAN do - not just any whimsical fancy that pops into peoples minds! Private enterprises exists to provide these types of PRIVATE benefits. One even did in Lawrence, until it CLOSED because people didn't value what it provided to pay for it. Are you a helpless baby that can't exist without stealing others' money? Bottom Line: if YOU want it, YOU pay for it.

(The T? what does that have to do with the stupidity of other proposed spending. If the T is eliminated tomorrow then that money should go straight back into the pocketbooks of the taxpayer - not foisted off on other wasteful schemes of no benefit to the public at large. This "fact" sounds like the reasoning of a serial spender who "saves" money in one place so they can spend other for other things - all while they owe a fortune in credit debt!)

On PLAY, the answer is PLAY-NO!

Eileen Jones 7 years, 8 months ago

hawkperchedona says do not buy Farmland! SUE, you are a teacher, educate us and explain how buying Farmland will REDUCE property taxes.

You don't get it, do you. Buying Farmland will enrich many, but not the taxpayers. There is a huge toxic mess to be cleaned up - a fat contract. Somebody has big plans to build something after it's cleaned up. It's a certainty Sue has it all planned out and promised to her developer "friends" (customers of her husband's insurance company). She probably has the environmental cleanup contract promised to commissioner Mike Dever.

This crew is corrupt and the taxpayers are so screwed. Sue Hack ought to be recalled for her conflicts of interest and her failure to both disclose these and recuse herself from decisions she indirectly makes money from.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

"France is also running out of money....."

Oh?

lunacydetector 7 years, 8 months ago

...the yellow plastic poles by mcdonald's are part of a south lawrence beautification project. aren't they beautiful? hey, i just drove through lawrence. i took the lecompton exit thinking it might be a faster route to overland park. what's up with that highway that just stops at 59 highway? is that thing still tied up in court? what's it been, 20 years now? what is wrong with your town, anyway? oh, what are those yellow poles sticking up in the road by target?

...okay, actually, i think these were put into place as a requirement from the City, so people won't take a left into that weird looking used car lot opening up on the corner - the one with the single car garage with a second level and tiny parking lot.

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"The fries won't do it..been trying!"

You're not trying hard enough!

Try McDonald's three meals a day. Always supersize them. Make sure you get the largest order of fries and double cheeseburger with any extra fat additions. And get the largest and fattest dessert they offer. In 30 days, you should start seeing a decline in your health. If you want to speed it up, go for snacks at your local highschool. Try a soda every couple of hours. Eat an extra meal in their cafeteria, and you should well be on your way downhill.

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