Archive for Friday, May 11, 2007

Planning Commissioner’s email opposing the proposed Wal-mart

May 11, 2007



[] On Behalf Of Burress, David A

Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 2:55 PM


Subject: Opposing WalMart

It is important to show up at City Hall tonight and testify against the proposal to roll back city policy and settle the 6th and Wakarusa lawsuit on terms favorable to WalMart. Here's why and why not and how.

1. Why not: one should have no expectation of persuading the city commission against this rollback. Four of five commissioners have clearly signaled their intent to support WalMart, and they are very unlikely to back down.

2. Why: there are four important reasons:

a. Reduce the generosity of the give-aways to WalMart. If there is sufficient political pressure, this commission may feel a need to "compromise" with Walmart by not giving it everything it wants.

b. Prepare the basis for a lawsuit. If the neighborhoods care enough to collect $10,000 to $20,000 for a lawsuit in district, there is a reasonable chance that this development could still be stopped. It will probably take weeks or months for the commission to finish its action; that is enough time to gather funds for a suit in district court. The testimony placed in the record tonight is an important part of that lawsuit, because it will help the neighborhoods show the commission had inadequate basis for its action.

c. Reduce the power and willingness of this commission to aggressively pursue its rollbacks.

This commission is committed to right wing rollbacks on a number of fronts; however they are likely to moderate their aggressiveness and begin to feel besieged if they come to understand feel that a majority of the community is strongly against them.

d. Begin to prepare for the next two elections. The electorate needs to have the rollback agenda dramatized over and over again so that the current commissioners cannot be re-elected.

3. How: It is important that testimony be strategic.

a. Obey the rules and customs. Otherwise what you do will backfire.

Do not attack the commission or the commissioners. Do not attack staff.

Do not attack developers personally. Do not refer to anyone's motives.

(Possible exception: give structural reasons why developer's studies are likely to be biased.) Stay on the question of whether this development is good for Lawrence and within the law. Take Major Hack's possibly unfair rulings in good grace.

b. Politely defend your testimony as admissible.

Mayor Hack may attempt to rule your testimony out of order if she thinks it is repetitive. Head this off by politely explaining that you are expanding on a nuance that the prior speakers couldn't get into because of the time limits she will probably impose.

Mayor Hack may attempt to rule your your testimony out of order if it mentions Walmart as opposed to "land use." Politely point out that WalMart has been defined as a specific land use because it is included by name in the development plan.

Also point out that attempts to limit the record will look bad if there is a law suit. It will provide a basis for introducing new evidence at the trial she would not allow. Explain the need for a complete record.

Also remind folks that the First Amendment provides a right to petition government. While its exact meaning is contested, there is a place in democratic heaven for public officials who interpret it broadly.

Point out that impact of WalMart on other business is a legitimate landuse concern becasue it appears in the comprehensive plan.

If mayor Hack cuts off one speaker, another speaker could explain why they think the stated basis is incorrect and politely ask to testify on that same point.

c. Focus on information helpful for the court case.

elaborate points on the debates about conflicting vacancy and impact studies.

explicate the comprehensive plan and subdivision regs and case history if you are knowlegable.

testify about personal experience with traffic impacts.

explain the difference between economic development and economic displacement.

point to very specific examples of stress in each and every shopping area that is under stress. Say that contrary studies do not pass the "duck" test (if it walks like a duck etc. it is a duck).

David Burress


blackwalnut 10 years, 8 months ago

coneflower (Anonymous) says: "Prepare the basis for a lawsuit. If the neighborhoods care enough to collect $10,000 to $20,000 for a lawsuit in district, there is a reasonable chance that this development could still be stopped." Where can I donate $1,000 to this cause?

Count me in for a thousand. And where can I get on this listserv?

karensisson 10 years, 8 months ago

It's weird for this letter to be published without comment by the Journal-World and without a reporter's name. How about also printing some letters that went out about fundraisers for Dever and Chesnut's campaigns? Shouldn't the Journal-World be even-handed in its leaking, er, reporting?

Sue Hack removed David Burress from the planning commission - an action that clearly reflects her bias on a particular issue. I don't think there is a single elected official without a strong opinion on this issue. Let's quit pretending.

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

burress and hasse are going to be put on a subcommitee by grant eichorn that lets them tell us how to do are roads for the future.How can he put these two on anything when there off the planning comish not to mention they are the anti growth that helped bring this city to its knees.IF THIS IS WHAT GRANT MUST DUE TO GET CHAIRMAN OF THE PLANNING COMISH AND SELL OUT TO ANTIGROWTH SIDE THEN FIRE HIS ASS TOO

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

grant thinks he knows how to play politics and this is how he wants to play selling out the people of douglas county for his own gain to be chairman of the planning comish and put the anti growth machine in charge of 2020 transportation what is he thinking,he is not and he has shown his true colors on this and he should be replaced

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

The new commission majority chose not to enforce the rules set up by the previous commissioners regarding tax abatement and many on this chat board support this decision. Nothing ever set in stone.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

A local story without an author.... hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

coneflower 10 years, 8 months ago

"Prepare the basis for a lawsuit. If the neighborhoods care enough to collect $10,000 to $20,000 for a lawsuit in district, there is a reasonable chance that this development could still be stopped."

Where can I donate $1,000 to this cause?

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

mustash boy thinks he is the man,what a loser

Patrick Wilbur 10 years, 8 months ago

It appears this e-mail was sent using a KU server? If so wouldn't this be a improper use of state resources?

KsTwister 10 years, 8 months ago

I hope someone gets a charge from LJW for this unpaid advertisement.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 8 months ago

Maybe he knows that Chestnut pees his pants at the threat of a lawsuit. Geez, grow a pair.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 8 months ago

Looks like a very good example of the exercise of First Amendment rights.

It certainly lacks the thick layer of veneer of corruption that Durflinger's email for a fundraiser for Chestnut and Dever (held at Doug Compton's headquarters, who is a part of the 6Wac/Wallyworld cabal) which Durflinger described as a "good investment opportunity."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 8 months ago

So are you saying that Buress doesn't have First Amendment rights, Marion?

Danny Novo 10 years, 8 months ago

Is another Walmart the best Lawrence's business-growth community can do? Aren't we trying to bring tax dollars to the city? What about a Barnes & Noble, or a little complex with a Crate & Barrel and a Williams Sonoma? Wouldn't businesses of that caliber do a lot more to burnish Lawrence's shopping reputation and draw dollars from Topeka/keep shoppers in Lawrence? Will anyone really spend more of their money in Lawrence because there are two Walmarts?

It seems to me that the City needs to stretch a little higher, rather than settle for the lowest common denominator.

Steve Jacob 10 years, 8 months ago

Wait? Did I just read another article with everyone posting that Hereford House cost to much for people in this town?

A why are you attacking commissioners that where JUST elected. They where elected LAST MONTH for a reason.

x96merrill3 10 years, 8 months ago

Current events? Not in this news paper!!!! The story is 10 days old. ARGH!!!!!

No one is saying what Burress did was illegal...but even those of you in his corner HAVE to admit that it was incredibly inappropriate and unprofessional for a government employee to organize a protest of the city commission. I'm pretty sure that if Jim Ryun had organized a protest of the Rundle Commission, you guys would have had a FIELD day.

jayhawks71 10 years, 8 months ago

He can't use a "publicly funded" computer system to speak? Ummm sure he can. You think he can't stand in front of city hall, PUBLIC property and say what he wants? Remember what the First Amendment protects. It protects you from the government telling you what you can and cannot say. He can say whatever he wants using a PUBLICLY FUNDED computer system as long as what he is saying isn't libel or slander.

Marion, in contrast believes that he can use the LJW site to libel people. No, now THAT is illegal regardless of who pays for the forum. Marion somehow thinks that when someone uses so-called "public" property that opinion somehow becomes illegal. Same old MORiON.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh yeah, it's just amazing that anyone could have a "bias" against Wal-Mart, especially a planning commissioner who was just replaced by Mayor Hack because he doesn't have a bias in favor of Wal-Mart-- or more accurately, a bias in favor of Compton and Newsome, who paid fair and square for the biases of the commissioner who replaced Burress.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

The two new planning commissioners have zero background in planning so I'm told. That's not unusual as that type of selection went on for about 20 years.

This appears more as critical thinking, etiquette concerns and advice rather than some plan. It is okay for appointed officials to disagree with the commission in their private lives. However when sitting in one of those capacities officially your personal positions get put aside. Like it or not that is part of the deal. An appointed person cannot oppose or support an item just for the helluva it. There are guidelines and ordinances to follow.

City commissioners are the only body that can do what they please or change the rules at will with a majority vote.

blackwalnut 10 years, 8 months ago

"No one is saying what Burress did was illegal:but even those of you in his corner HAVE to admit that it was incredibly inappropriate and unprofessional for a government employee to organize a protest of the city commission."

So if you work for the government, you cannot also exercize your right of free speech as a private citizen about what happens in your neighborhood and affects your private life and family?

But it's ok to sit on the commission and vote on issues that affect the pocketbooks of people and companies who gave you campaign money (in some circles that's called bribery)? And make decisions about tax abatements that affect a company you head up (Rob Chestnut, who ought to recuse himself from votes involving Allen Press)?

Michael Capra 10 years, 8 months ago

he is not doing the right thing here now is he hasse and burress are not on the planning comish so they shouldnt be on a subcommitee of the planning comish all so that erickson cast her vote to make him chair............................ is that being honest

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

Keeping Lawrence Kansas over built in housing and retail is selling out the Lawrence,Kansas economy and is not smart economics. The winners are the few in this deal as the cost of living rises and retail owners cannot maximize their potential.A local person attending an urban planning conference recently was surprised that Lawrence,Kansas was being touted as an example of how not to grow a community. No further elaboration was offered.

Burress displaying his personal opinion on his own time does nothing to the image of appointed positions. Appointees have guidelines and ordinances to follow and those appointed by the so called PLC have been excellent in that respect.... perhaps to the dismay of some BUT that's the deal.

The only bodies of government that can deviate at will is the City and County Commissions.

Crossfire 10 years, 8 months ago

Poisn Toothpaste

Killer Wheat The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China The "cuts and gravy" style products, sold in cans and pouches, are marketed nationwide by retailers such as Wal-Mart

Contact lense solution causes blindness Because of this production-line issue at its manufacturing plant in China, AMO is recalling 18 lots distributed in the U.S. that were manufactured on the same production lines during the same production period. Non-sterility of a contact lens solution may have serious health consequences, including eye infection and microbial keratitis.

WalMart may build its giant outlet for the sale of cheap products from China in Lawrence. I'll not be buying.

mick 10 years, 8 months ago

Gee, I wonder what party Maid Marion belongs to.

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