To the editor:
More stories than election results were there for the reading in the Feb. 28 Journal-World. True, "newcomers lead the pack," but far more significant is where they led. The page 4A map of precincts and their "winners" told the story. Of the 49 precincts, the newcomers won in 29, and all but three were west of Iowa Street - in every area where intensive new development is occurring, including far southeast Lawrence.
Those in the central and eastern parts of town, where the streets, sewers and sidewalks so desperately need attention, generally supported the incumbents. By more than votes, Lawrence is increasingly divided - east vs. west; older housing vs. new; expensive (and ultra-expensive) construction; long-term residents vs. transient dwellers in overextended apartment complexes.
Two other stories in that same paper are relevant to what these numbers are saying. Economist David Burress' letter about "Depressing myths" reveals how unsound are "facts" emanating from the campaigns of the well-funded development-oriented candidates. Mike Hoeflich, on the opinion page, laments Lawrence's lack of vision as a community.
In spite of the pitifully small number of voters who showed up at the polls Tuesday, the election results reveal clearly what this race for city commissioners is all about. It is important enough to the political newcomers to spend more than $20,000 to convince voters that they know what is best for Lawrence taxpayers. We still have another election to go; folks, are you listening?