Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2007

Job growth

March 22, 2007


To the editor:

Misinformation blossoms like spring dandelions during election season. Unfortunately, once erroneous ideas take hold, they become very hard to uproot. Let me try.

In recent letters, Deb Passig and Dwayne Peaslee have both suggested that the current City Commission has stymied job growth, among other alleged failings. Some commission candidates have been making the same assertion.

The fact is exactly the opposite. According to the city's partner in economic development efforts, jobs in Lawrence have grown steadily over the last four years when compared to the years immediately preceding them. Let me quote from an article in the most recent (March 2007) Chamber Newsletter, titled, "And the Progress Continues": "The Kansas Department of Labor indicates even stronger economic development performance for the community during 2006. Civilian job growth in Douglas County/ Lawrence has outstripped Topeka, Kansas City, Johnson County and the state's employment growth rate."

Let's review: According to the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, under the current City Commission, job growth has shown steady and strong progress and produced a better performance in 2006 than even our famously pro-growth Johnson County neighbors.

Can we agree to pluck this "unfriendly-to-employers" weed and decide the election on the basis of real issues?

David Dunfield,



just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"have a bad day davy"

"have a great day"

I'm glad to see that you're getting more civil as the morning wears on.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

look at all the companys that have left or the companys that were told no.your so called report doesnt give that number. that number of jobs created would be in the negative not in the plus. call the chamber and ask if the number of jobs lost was used in there report and they will say it wasnt

have a great day

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

"Let's review: According to the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, under the current City Commission, job growth has shown steady and strong progress and produced a better performance in 2006 than even our famously pro-growth Johnson County neighbors." I do wish he would cite the real facts, I just see empty new homes,schools getting ready to close,and more banks and fast food careers. Must be call centers that raised those numbers?

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

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jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

This is puzzling.

Perhaps the losses outweigh the gains, as suggested above.

I also am not aware of a lot of new employers in town over the last 5 years or so.

But it is clear that wages are an issue - if we get more part-time lower paying jobs, we still have a need for good full-time jobs.

JohnBrown 11 years, 1 month ago

Gee, since when did the 'growth at any cost' crowd let a few facts get in the way?

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

look at what the paper did to bury this letter,not on letters to the editor and only find in local news,,real check call the chamber and ask why they didnt use those numbers the answer is simple they work for who the city but please call and ask

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

no one comments on this and why because its true

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

rundle bundles gang brought this all on of negative jobs

jafs 11 years, 1 month ago

That is the problem, but perhaps not the fault of this commission.

As an anomaly in power for four years, it's hard to believe that all the problems in Lawrence can fall at the feet of this commission. According to my wife and others who've lived here for many years, previous commissions were quite development-friendly. Perhaps we are seeing the result of many years of that.

Folks on the left are quite aware of the fact that Lawrence has become a bedroom community, and are concerned about it.

That's why they're interested in affordable housing, and trying to make sure that new jobs will be good ones, not low-paying part-time jobs w/o benefits.

I remember a time in this country when a family could be supported by one full-time wage earner, when companies were loyal to their employees, when people worked for one company for 30 years, and when corporate greed and corruption weren't as rampant.

The convincing of communities that they need to make their community "attractive" to companies by offering tax abatements is part of our new culture. Companies used to locate based on more reasonable things like the availability of a good work force, quality of life, a market for their products, etc.

It puts a community that cares for the people who live there at a disadvantage to have to compete with other communities that are willing to offer huge abatements for any company which wants to move there.

This is not the fault of the current city commission in Lawrence - it is the result of the changes in our culture which are greatly to the benefit of corporations and to the detriment of average working people.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Another thing you didn't mention, jafs, was that in the past, companies used to give people pensions. Many of them don't anymore. They want their employees to be loyal to the company, and make money for the company, but they don't give a rat's a&& about the employees...anything to save the company money, even if it means screwing over someone who has worked hard for you for 20 or 30 years.

Not only that, but people who were promised pensions by these companies 20 or 30 years ago when they first hired on, are finding that the companies will now use any means necessary to deny them that pension when they actually retire.

And the courts seem to be backing the companies...

I'm sure all the people who used to work at Sprint are glad that Lawrence has so much wonderful job growth....

camper 11 years, 1 month ago

I would guess that the job growth is mainly in the low paying service sector. Meanwhile the city commision does their best to make it tough on the moderately paying factory/industrial businesses that propose coming Lawrence. Let's not get too rosy about the situation.

Porter 11 years, 1 month ago

Sprint was gone when I moved to Lawrence. When did they leave?

camper 11 years, 1 month ago

Those are valid points Hawk. I just wonder if the employee base is not stable because there simply are not very many good jobs here. I suppose most "College" towns have this similar problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"The housing costs are very similar in Jefferson County, Leavenworth County, Franklin County. THEY simply do not want to live here."

It may be true that they don't want to live here, but housing costs in many nearby towns and counties are considerably lower than they are here.

camper 11 years, 1 month ago

I am amazed at how much a house costs in Lawrence. A house costing 300k in Lawrence would cost you about 100k in Houston Texas. Granted there is a lot more housing in Houston, but jobs seem to pay a lot more in Houston as well. Unless you are a teacher or are a high skilled professional, there really is no economic reason to live in Lawrence...though there are many aesthetic reasons to do so.

Michael Capra 11 years, 1 month ago

davy you were the problem when you were in go run your roundabout and now your bosses will get rid of you

JohnBrown 11 years, 1 month ago

Would someone please list the tax abatement requests this commission has denied over the past four years?

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