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Letters to the Editor

Accountability

May 11, 2007

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To the editor:

Mayor Sue Hack has been quoted as saying she doesn't want to play "gotcha" when it comes to interacting with businesses that have been granted tax abatements by the city. I thought holding businesses accountable for the agreements that were made with the city was part of the city commissioners' job. Evidently three commissioners agreed with the mayor on not asking for accountability from businesses that have been granted these tax abatements.

The two new commissioners, Rob Chestnut and Michael Dever, ran on having a government that was accountable. Now we find out that what the game of "gotcha" is really being played on the voters.

Linda Gwaltney,

Lawrence

Comments

jonas 6 years, 11 months ago

"Now we find out that what the game of "gotcha" is really being played on the voters."

This is a terrible sentence.

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plumberscrack 6 years, 11 months ago

Commuter - Rob DID vote to ok a report to the commission excusing Allen Press from meeting their projections on the application for tax abatement. He SHOULD have excused himself from voting on this, considering his position with Allen Press! Had Boog or Rundle done this, you and everyone else would have been screaming your head off about it. But since Rob is your boy, it's ok. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ commuter writes:

"I have owned a business but people like Merrill, Boog, Rundle, and Schauner wanted to increase my costs by taxes and fees, so I closed it."

I really bet you closed it because of this....what a hoot!

Just like the Hereford House closed because of 'the smoking ban'........Riiiigggghhhttttt!

Nice spin again commuter.....ohhh, I have and still run a business! We take applications too, commuter. I believe I have a janitorial position open, if you need a job.

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karensisson 6 years, 11 months ago

Expecting business to keep the promises they made in exchange for money is called "playing gotcha?"

Unbelievable.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Exactly what do you agree with, KsTwister? kshiker didn't say anything of substance.

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KsTwister 6 years, 11 months ago

kshiker: Thanks for showing up. Being right does not make you popular but thought I would let you know I agree with you unpopular as that may be.

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kshiker 6 years, 11 months ago

Ha ha. Just letting you pathetic hippies know I'm still out here. Thanks for the rapid response. Have fun protesting whatever the "cause of the week" is this weekend. Death to Wal-Mart and Starbucks! . . . Pathetic.

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Eileen Emmi Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

kshiker is opposed to free speech. No surprise there.

Would love to know his definition of a "hippie" since that is his blanket label for every single human being who disagrees with him on any issues.

He must have supernatural powers, to know so much about every person who posts on this forum as to decide whether they meet his definition of a "hippie" or not.

He must not get out much in Lawrence, if he is surprised there are more than two citizens with positions different from his.

Not going to call him names, but many, many names come to mind.

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blackwalnut 6 years, 11 months ago

kshiker: Sleep in today? The slurs and name-calling were virtually absent from these forums until you showed up. And speaking of getting a life...

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kshiker 6 years, 11 months ago

Do you hippies appoint one random idiot per day to keep writing these obnoxious "cry wolf" letters to the LJWorld? I secretly think you do this so EmJones and Bozo can have a forum for their idiotic ideas! Get a life. I'm suprised Wal-Mart hasn't been brought up yet today. . . Did I speak too soon???

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commuter 6 years, 11 months ago

I guess I missed that Allen Press was approved for tax abatement since Rob Chestnut joined the commission. I guess I should be sorry. To me it looked like they accepted a report- not giving new tax abatements.

Plumberscrack- please show me where Rob DID give tax abatements for Allen Press. If so, i must have missed Allen Press getting an approval since He joined the commission.

I have owned a business but people like Merrill, Boog, Rundle, and Schauner wanted to increase my costs by taxes and fees, so I closed it.

How about you? Probally not.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 11 months ago

Rob Chestnut is the Chief Financial Officer quite an important position in any corporation. Now he has two full time jobs.

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plumberscrack 6 years, 11 months ago

Like commuter knows what he's talking about.....Do you own your own business?

Boog, Rundle and Schauner did not OK tax abatement for any of the companies they work for....Big difference here commuter......nice spin and nice TRY!

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commuter 6 years, 11 months ago

For all of those people who are ticked that 4 companies didn't meet projections, go to their business and complian to them. I am pretty sure they will give you soem reasons why they didn't meet projections.

I bet the ones who are complaining the most do not understand business or have never owned one. It is real easy to complain when your butt is not on the line or you could lose money.

Maybe Merrill will be able to give money to these companies so they can meet projections. Or maybe he will just complain and whine.

Chestnut should not recuse himself since he is an employee of a company whi didn't meet projections. He was elected to serve just like Boog, Rundle and Schauner.

Does anyone know the consequences in the tax abatement contract if they do not meet projections? I doubt it because there probally isn't any language in the agreement.

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Jamesaust 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, unfortunately the real world doesn't move with the clock-like precision of a Soviet Five Year Plan (but the results are more real than those make-believe attempts to keep the world on a string).

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Eileen Emmi Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Rob Chestnut should not be voting on this matter, since he is affiliated with one of the companies that received a tax abatement and then underperformed.

The new corruption in this city's government just stinks.

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blackwalnut 6 years, 11 months ago

Sue Hack reveals more and more about herself every day, now that the balance on the CC has shifted.

Sue Hack is a political hack, loyal to profiteers over Lawrence.

The next election cannot come soon enough - but it will be too late to save Lawrence.

Say no to the Hack Tax.

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pelliott 6 years, 11 months ago

Chestnut is an employee for Allen Press(Apr.16)". and he should of recused himself.

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KsTwister 6 years, 11 months ago

Merrill: When are you going to quit this spin? Chestnut is an EMPLOYEE not owner or high position board member or any position other than "chief financial officer for Allen Press(Apr.16)". You really don't know much about tax abatements or you would have been reeling when your past commissioners did not use them to better advantage for all of Lawrence (like AE).

And I highly doubt that a sales tax will be approved especially when its purpose is for a library we don't need,or a recreational sports complex that is not ranked as necessary as priorities for Lawrence. The highest sales tax in the state would be too destructive for Lawrence to attract tourists,businesses or people to come here.

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blue73harley 6 years, 11 months ago

merrill - I believe that the voters would have to approve a sales tax. The commission can only propose one.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 11 months ago

Linda Gwaltney is right on target. One of the commissioners,Rob Chestnut, should have recused himself as a matter of accountability and ethics for their was definitely the appearance of conflicts of interest considering Allen Press was among those not meeting expectations.

Remember this when the commission votes in a new sales tax.

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 11 months ago

There are rules set in place for the tax abatements. If a business is clearly violating such rules/agreements, then they should pay the taxes back. BUT if they're working towards the goal and may have not achieved completely yet they have made improvements on other areas (as in short 20+ FT jobs, but added OVER 86+ extra PT ones), then I think at the end Lawrence will end up with 86+ PT jobs IN ADDITION to the 20+ FT jobs it bargained for when the abatements were provided.

Let's stop looking at the half-empty glass folks....

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plumberscrack 6 years, 11 months ago

Next elections is in 2 yrs and Hack, Amyx and Highberger terms are up.

Next elections can't get here fast enough!

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