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Letters to the Editor

Critical election

March 30, 2007

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To the editor:

On April 3, voters must choose three city commissioners in an election which is the most critical in recent Lawrence history. It will determine whether we continue the steady progress toward the livable city which we all want or lose the gains of years of effort by many people. In the last four years, your City Commission has worked hard to establish these policies to help Lawrence grow in a positive way and at a healthy pace:

¢ Market impact studies showing what businesses would be lost to a new retail development;

¢ Traffic impact studies done by a city-approved consultant, not hired by a developer;

¢ Living wage agreements for businesses that get tax breaks;

¢ Impact fees paid by developers to reduce your taxes for new infrastructure;

¢ Pesticide-free parks for your kids to play in;

¢ Residential protections in the new development code;

¢ Neighborhood notification about new development in or along neighborhoods;

¢ A nuisance house ordinance and a noise ordinance which protects neighbors;

¢ Rental registration in single family-zoned neighborhoods to protect housing stock

¢ Affordable housing and homeless help;

¢ Recognition of gay rights and domestic partnerships;

¢ Smoking ban;

And most important of all, encouragement of citizen input in all areas of city government, a voice at City Hall.

If any or all of these considerations are important to you, then do not let them be lost. Our future Lawrence quality of life just may be riding on your vote!

Jeanne Ellermeier, Lawrence

Comments

KsTwister 7 years ago

The 'unbalanced' explosion of housing developments($250k) and retail (low wage) stores in the last 3 years says the commissioners gave the go ahead to developers, even if they are not listed on their contributors lists (try finding Wint Winter who backed the PLC). If this is what smart growth is, I call it greed. Even with all this its not enough, the current commission wants more taxpayer money right now. Time to find someone who can balance a budget and tend to future needs without paying for pipe dreams but necessary damage control. We need to put some pride back in this community.

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blackwalnut 7 years ago

Schauner and Highberger will continue to fight to keep Lawrence a livable city.

Chestnut, Dever and Bush will represent the developers who back them.

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lunacydetector 7 years ago

i finally realized why the progressive commissioners didn't do squat about affordable housing. they would lose their voting base.

people who own their own home will vote for bush, dever, and chestnut.

people who rent (and don't understand about paying property taxes since it's figured into their rent) will vote for moody-maynard, highberger and schauner.

now i get it.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

COOL A VOTE FOR THEM WOULD SAY YOU WANT LIARS IN OFFICE

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cool 7 years ago

VOTE FOR CAREY VOTE FOR BOOG VOTE FOR SCHAUNER

they are for Lawrence

the others ? as a famous TEXAN once said, you can't really buy a politician but you can sure rent them.....

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ScottyMac 7 years ago

drake wrote: "Your higher taxes are due to raging libs who can't control their spending on roundabouts and endless studies."

Um, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe Marty Kennedy was the mayor when the roundabouts started going in. I don't think anyone would call him a "raging lib." Rundle, Highbereger and Schauner weren't even elected yet.

No matter who's in office, intersections need occassional upgrades. For what it's worth, roundabouts are cheaper (and safer and more efficient) than stoplights, thus they may actually save tax dollars when compared to alternatives.

As I understand it, your higher taxes are mostly due to an increase in property values, not, as you suggest, because tax-and-spend liberals keep raising them to pay for their whacky projects.

The biggest boondoggle in local history has to be the Eagle Bend golf course. And that doesn't sound like it was an idea from the looney left to me.

Of course, you're right about one thing: Government officials should never study the issues before they make multi-million dollar policy decisions. Nope. They should follow the example of the Commander in Chief, and make decisions based solely on ignorance.

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Liberal 7 years ago

DeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnut ChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDeverChestnutBushDever

Ok Ok, I know it was juvinile.

But that is what this thread has turned into. Juvinile ramblings

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

backaway from boogs bong and go to schauners anger management you have issiues

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grandmesa 7 years ago

why should we vote for fools? why should we listen to you? who are you? got drill?

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grandmesa 7 years ago

truthlawrence concrete yeah...........

if you see anyone flippin you off in you van, its ME.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

what are you talking about,back away from the bong once again put your hands on the wall

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grandmesa 7 years ago

We are waiting for your reply vito......

:)

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grandmesa 7 years ago

hey 458casul....why don't you run??? oh, your too busy wiht drill in hand..... stupid redneck...

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

did there liars and schauner standing next to a bulldozer he needs to get under it

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shadower 7 years ago

check their campaign ads, then get back to me.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

THE VOTE SHOULD BE FOR WHO DIDNT LIE AND THAT WOULD BE Chestnut,Dever,Bush

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Reality_Check 7 years ago

Drake wrote: "You can stop posting your stupid question now. I'm sure that it is not the answer that you wanted, but it has been answered."

But you didn't answer it! All you said was, "it's not the responsibility of people who build houses or businesses to benefit US, the majority." That's it? That's all you got for me? I think I rest my case: NONE of you can explain how continuous growth is good for the majority. BECAUSE IT ISN'T.

"The population in Lawrence was over 76,000 in 1987"

You're stoned...it was 74,951 in 2005...I checked Census.gov before I posted. If it has averaged 2.5% a year, then 48,000 is the number for 20 years previous. Do the math. [Sorry, someone else will have to look up the actual population then...I have a life.]

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WWoftheW 7 years ago

Your higer taxes are due to the school board and the county commission.

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drake 7 years ago

Reality Check says:

"1.) WHY must we continue to grow at this rate?"

Nobody says that we must. But is it really your place to tell someone that they can't live here or start a business? Typical liberal progressive position "I have my house here but you can't build yours.

"2.) How will I, and tens of thousands of other non-business owners who don't work in the construction and real estate industry (in other words, the majority of citizens), benefit from the town reaching a population of 125,000? "

It is not the responsibility of anyone who builds a house or a business to benefit you.

"3.) How is Lawrence better now than it was in 1987, when its population was around 48,000? How have I benefited from all these years of growth, and 27,000 more citizens? All I see are higher taxes and more traffic. (Well, we have a golf course now, but I'm not a golfer.)"

Your population numbers are wrong. The population in Lawrence was over 76,000 in 1987. Again, it is not our responsibility to benefit you. Your higher taxes are due to raging libs who can't control their spending on roundabouts and endless studies.

You can stop posting your stupid question now. I'm sure that it is not the answer that you wanted, but it has been answered.

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Noweigh 7 years ago

I'm enjoying watching the Boog-Schauner-Moody crowd employ the old Dick Nixon tactics of divide and conquer using the politics of fear.
"If you're not for us, you're against Lawrence." "If you take contributions from the private sector you must be evil." Nixon and Agnew would be proud.

Vote Tuesday. The choices are very, very clear.

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Marion Lynn 7 years ago

Dorothy:

I didn't write ANYTHING about art and you are making completely unwarranted ASSumptions!

What I wrote was that the business model of The Olve Gallery was DOOMED from the start!

Lawrence does not and cannot support art galleries as has been shown by the fact that the darned things keep CLOSING UP!

Art is good, art is fine but ya gotta be realistic about it!

I mean, I sketch, I do pen and ink, I paint a little and am working on cutaway.

Not that I don't like art but rather that I have a much more realisitic view of the economics of Lawrence.

Thanks.

Marion.

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deec 7 years ago

Refute the letter. Personal attacks don't count, either.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years ago

The develpers supporting the new bunch of guys want to build more retail, but who will go into the new retail? They haven't been able to fill empty buildings all over Lawrence. There's the brand new empty retail space in the Home Depot complex, Pier I is closing, Food 4 Less is empty, just to name 3. Why build more, if you can't fill what's there already?

Marion- I'm sorry art is not part of your life, but it enriches many people. You must be a really boring person with your nose to the grind stone. Oh wait, you spend too much time posting here to be grinding much of anything. Life without art might as well be slavery.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

FYI

cary maynard-moody's last name should be

cary stop-growth

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deec 7 years ago

Refute the letter. Facts are good things. Wild generalities don't count.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

Highberger and schauner have managed to do nothing positive for Lawrence and the people who live here. They have been in payback mode since day one to the people that helped them get elected to stop growth.. They have hurt this town.

VOTE to get these guys out of city hall

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WWoftheW 7 years ago

FYI Carey's Husband's last name is Maynard-Moody. So you can vote for her.

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deec 7 years ago

Goodness. NO refutation of any of the points in the letter, just personal attacks. You won't vote for someone because her name is hyphenated? There's a well-thought out and rational decision.

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Dambudzo 7 years ago

Like I want to vote for a person that can't decide on a last name.

She wants to keep the name she was born with, her identity, yet she doesn't want to upset her husband.

We need leaders not followers.

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Marion Lynn 7 years ago

The Olive Gallery hardly qualifies as "retail" in any real sense as it was essentially a clearing house for oddball art, the sales of which were promoted by periodic wine tastings with cheese.

From the LJW:

Quoting from the article:

"Kleinhans and Kivett are both 22 and still in school; neither has run a business before.

"Things are coming along," Kleinhans said last week. "It's been a bumpy start, but we're rolling with the punches."

Besides, they're sure their business plan is foolproof"

Marion writes:

With the rent factor on that tiny space which I know is well over $1000.00 per month, plus utilities, insurance, salaries, maintainence and advertising costs, there was NO WAY that the thing was going to work.

The Olive Gallery was NOT "retail"; it was a toy which was broken out of the box.

Thanks.

Marion.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

Olive Gallery,,,what is this? Now Olive Garden wouldn't go under, but won't have to worry about it because it won't come. If the Delaware Tribe had not been run off, there would be an Olive Garden and Red Lobster and this Olive Gallery might be able to succeed ,,,but pray tell what is the Olive Gallery? and while praying..pray for the BRAIN..call corliss about the reward.

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blackwalnut 7 years ago

I moved to Lawrence because of all the things the current City Commission has worked hard to maintain.

Let Boog Highberger and David Schauner continue to preserve what we have, and manage the growth so we can all prosper.

I just learned the Olive Gallery has gone under. Lawrence is struggling to support the retail we already have. We don't need one new business cannibalizing existing business.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

More studies, merrill suggests. Has this grass mower guy seen the 7 pages of crap the city has mailed out called a survey? Wonder why the JW doesn't get it and put it on line for people to fill out?

Some outfit in kansas city is fleecing the city good on this one. It is unbelievable and more so, that Mayor Amyx would sign a cover letter asking people to participate that got it mailed to them. UNBELIEVABLE....but the the BRAIN is gone...stolen, died or EATEN by the pigs maybe?

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

WWoftheW Read this slowly, you still don't get it, 5 YEAR AVERAGE SHOWS 900 JOBS LOST, IN 2005 AND 2006 1000 JOBS LOST IN JUST THOSE TWO YEARS. OK last time, they are LIERS an now you are telling lies.

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WWoftheW 7 years ago

To those who are pushing sound bites of the developer/Wal-mart/Mercato and so forth group and it's loss of 1000 jobs, which has been proven to be a false statement based on specifically chosen limited data area and was actually stated as 900 jobs lost you do not need to show your complete lack knowledge of the issues by continually saying the same thing over and over very loudly. For you info capital letters in chat rooms is screaming with a bullhorn. Read Hamet and quit protesting.

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Jamesaust 7 years ago

Reality_Check -

Kansas is full of your idea of "dream cities" - places where every newly arrived soul within the city limits is matched by a departing one.

Let's make everyone happy. Move to one of them and leave the go-go, 21st century world of Lawrence behind.

Might I suggest Bird City: http://www.birdcity.com/

Or, Offerle: http://www.city-data.com/city/Offerle-Kansas.html

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sourpuss 7 years ago

I think instead of having a monoculture of views on the City Commission, we would do better as a community to have different viewpoints representing different concerns. I don't want to see all pro-development, get the worst sorts of jobs at any cost people, but I don't want to see small town narrow mindedness drive away good business opportunities or well-designed neighborhood concepts.

I actually don't like any of the candidates. I think none of them have any vision for the city, or I suspect them of using the position to forward their own interests. I also think the board should be expanded to 7 or 9, with three at-large positions and the rest divided by neighborhood.

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dadaism 7 years ago

3-26-07 Central National Bank Candidate Forum

Question to Incumbent Candidates: What has been your most important accomplishment as a city commissioner for the last four years?

Incumbent Boog Highberger's answer: Moving David Corliss from assistant city manager to city manager.

WOW!

His campaign priorities four years ago were affordable housing, create jobs, and bring the community together. He's failed miserably as a city commissioner and after four years points to his most important accomplishment as moving the assistant city manager to the position of city manager.

Vote this bungler out...

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jafs 7 years ago

Amen, Reality Check.

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Reality_Check 7 years ago

Hey, Marion:

Speaking of cutting and pasting, I'm going to keep pasting this until you answer:

I have lived in Lawrence for over 20 years. In the 1980s, I purchased the house in which I still live. I am a [choose one: retired person, government worker, artist, farmer, office worker, factory worker]. During these past 20+ years, I have seen Lawrence "grow" (I call it "sprawl") to the south and west astronmically, and do so without anything to distinguish the new areas from any of 10,000 other American towns and suburbs. Valuable woods, farm and pasture lands have been swallowed up by a sea of housing and strip malls.

Yet I continue to hear from some of you and some of the Usual Suspects that what Lawrence really needs is MORE growth, that, instead of having 75,000, Lawrence must grow at 2-3% in perpetuity, which means that, by 2027, the population of the town will exceed 125,000.

There are several parts to my question:

1.) WHY must we continue to grow at this rate? 2.) How will I, and tens of thousands of other non-business owners who don't work in the construction and real estate industry (in other words, the majority of citizens), benefit from the town reaching a population of 125,000? 3.) How is Lawrence better now than it was in 1987, when its population was around 48,000? How have I benefited from all these years of growth, and 27,000 more citizens? All I see are higher taxes and more traffic. (Well, we have a golf course now, but I'm not a golfer.)

In other words, please explain WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME & THE MAJORITY?

Well, what do you say? I've been waiting for your response for weeks.

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Thats_messed_up 7 years ago

Do yourself a favor and don't read anything Merrill the Nut cuts and pastes. As for our beloved Kommission incumbents--I can't wait for tuesday to get rid of these people who think it's their duty to micro-manage and hold hostage the Lawrence economy!

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Marion Lynn 7 years ago

Merrill and the entire lot of "Progressives"(Read: "REPRESSIVES") must repeatedly copy and paste as they have no new ideas and are so infected with "Smart"(Read:"Dumb") Growth Think that they are no longer capable of original thought.

Thanks.

Marion.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Rock the Vote! Throw the PLC crowd out.

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Flap Doodle 7 years ago

merrill, you're doing copy/paste of your own posts. Give it a rest.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

So your saying VOTE for Dever,Chestnut,and Bush because I cant vote for Boog and Schauner because they ARE LIARS AND HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR LAWRENCE thanks for the help merrill

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Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Specific projects should be accompanied with independent Retail Impact Studies,Economic Impact studies,Traffic Impact Studies etc etc.

Taxpayers get stuck with paying for maintenance of all new infrastructure which is why new housing does not cover the cost of community services. Each new home adds to the cost of community services = more taxes for homeowners. Over built residential drives down the value of homes which is happening as we speak which could increase taxes.

Over built retail does not generate revenue enough to cover the cost of community services nor does it generate the level of sales tax projected/necessary. The only industry that makes money is the real estate industry. Over built retail means spaces sit empty not generating revenue or jobs and comes back on the taxpayer. Every community needs each retail space to generate maximum revenue.

Just because speculators purchase property does not guarantee that construction will be allowed for it is NOT the duty of the taxpayer or local government to maximize profits for speculators. Speculating=gambling. Land speculators know these things.

Every home,office or retail space that sits empty is a tax burden on property owners. Growth and sprawl are expensive drains on capital budgets and tax dollars. Sprawl is inherently harmful to the environment. Growth needs to be confined to developed areas already served by public facilities and mass transit in order to keep the cost of community services contained. Growth and sprawl consume land and spoil natural landscapes. Green space cost taxpayers nothing! Additional development can often cost local governments more money than it generates. Communities will use protection of open spaces as a means to avoid having to extend sewer lines and build new schools and infrastructure thus avoiding tax increases.

*With land conservation generally a whole community benefits because it gives people access to nature. It helps to keep energy costs down, improves the air quality and it can avoid or at least minimize traffic congestion.

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Michael Capra 7 years ago

wow jenny what affordable house where is it,and you forgot there most important acheivement they LOST 1000 JOBS NO GAIN LOST and any person can go speak to city hall kick those three out and get some real things done

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