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Archive for Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New mayor urges fiscal restraint

Commissioner, set to take helm tonight, says economy makes cuts likely

April 1, 2008

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Lawrence will get a new mayor tonight, and he comes equipped with a bright red warning flag.

If City Commission tradition holds - and all indications are that it will - Mike Dever will be elected by his fellow commissioners to serve a one-year term as Lawrence mayor.

Among the first orders of business is to convince residents that the community is facing economic times that are as tough as any in recent memory.

"I think we need to understand that we're in a perfect storm from an economic standpoint," said Dever, who is in line to become mayor because he had the highest vote total in the last City Commission election.

From Dever's perspective - the owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm - that means cuts to social service programs, including the city's public transit system, may be in order. If not, pressure to increase city taxes will grow considerably, he said.

Trio of troubles

Dever said it is obvious the city is facing financial pressures from a struggling national economy and a slowdown in the local real estate market that has led to stagnant property values for the first time in decades.

But Dever said he's also concerned about a third problem. He said he thinks the community may be undergoing a fundamental change as fuel prices rise and it becomes more difficult for people to justify living in Lawrence while commuting to Kansas City or Topeka.

"The value of our geographic location has diminished because of rising gas prices," Dever said. "I think when you look at all three of those factors, it should point to some sense of urgency on our part."

Transit talk

The economy may force dramatic cuts to the T, the city's bus service. Dever said he supports the T, and believes it could become a more integral part of Lawrence's future. But he also said he wants the community to make it clear that it supports the service.

"I want the public to sign off on any additional subsidy that we provide for the T," Dever said.

That could mean a sales tax vote. Dever previously has not been a strong supporter of plans by previous Mayor Mike Amyx and current Mayor Sue Hack to create a sales tax for streets and economic development. Dever said he's still not crazy about creating a new sales tax, but said if the commission does move forward on the idea it ought to include public transit on the list of items that a sales tax would fund.

"I just think the public deserves to have a voice on this issue," Dever said. "It is going to be a very expensive program to continue."

Dever said a new sales tax would not be his first choice. Instead he would rather look for ways to redistribute current city tax dollars to areas of the city budget that are in need.

Dever, though, conceded that it would be difficult to fund both public transportation and increase the amount of money for street maintenance, which he said needs to be a priority.

"The condition of our infrastructure really is the front porch we present to potential businesses and visitors who are thinking about locating here," Dever said.

Open dialogue

Having more success attracting businesses and residents to the community is a key to reversing the city's economic fortunes, Dever said.

"I'm the type of guy who is going to ask the community to see the need for economic development of all kinds, whether it is retail, industrial or something more speculative," Dever said. "We may not be in a position where we can be as selective as we used to be."

Dever said making the community more business-friendly by streamlining processes and improving customer service inside City Hall is a priority. But he also said he wants to work on ways to reduce the amount of controversy projects face when they come to City Hall.

He said he wants to facilitate meetings among developers, neighbors and other groups to talk about developments well in advance of a project being heard by the City Commission.

"When you get both sides together on an issue, you normally find you're not as far apart as you think," Dever said. "It is really important as city leaders that we look for potential conflicts and points of confusion and try to address them early.

"I'm convinced that we have to be much more nimble in the future. We're in an economic standstill here. We can't afford to have projects come along and watch them fall apart at the 11th hour."

Comments

Windlass 6 years ago

I get the whole "fiscal restraint" thing now. It means:Don't pay the rent with the money you don't have.Don't eat on the money you don't have.Don't go anywhere on the money you don't have. Don't pay your bills with the money you don't have.

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Windlass 6 years ago

The thing about teachers/schools is wondering what it's going to take to get educated people out of the system instead of this school-to-welfare-for-life system that's out there for just about as long as teachers have been out there.

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aginglady 6 years ago

Dever and Amyx voted against the Carnegie rebuild. Hurray!I appreciate their not thinking, "We will loose this federal money, so let's spend money we can't afford anyway, who will it harm?".They seem to be setting a new more conservative spending stand on the commission. Now, can we get the money happy people OUT of there?

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overplayedhistory 6 years ago

"Stop going into debt. I can't wait to vote no to any more tax hikes. A real life Depression - not recession - is on its way (or is already here) and we're talking about hiking taxes up even higher? Good grief. Have people in government lost their collective minds?"--------------------------------No they are perfectly sane and have the clarity of themselves and their friends greed. I want to vote no on every tax hike too. When it comes to the schools, even as a fiscal hostage to million dollar buddy hand outs, I still have to vote yes.

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overplayedhistory 6 years ago

"No more school budget proposals on the ballots until schools can start producing adults of voting age who are smart enough to participate in the democratic process of voting."------------------------------------Oh yes, tell me, how do you make bread when given no flour?Or how about no money till no one is left behind. Yeah that is it, a paddle on the behind and a dangling carrot to figure out how to get. Or lets combined two of windmass's sentiments. No more people with bad grammar and spelling are allowed to post until the schools with their huge budgets produce children with proper grammar and spelling skills. I am tired of those teachers with their cushy jobs spending their summers care free with no financial worries while they are producing grammarless posters.

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lounger 6 years ago

Doc1 says"These schools can't even get their own football facility. What a shame and an embarassment." Hey Doc football is not A number one priority in every school. Im so glad that funding is put more into the classroom than this Cult we call sports.

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overplayedhistory 6 years ago

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LloydDobbler 6 years ago

Here are a few points about Farmland:1) The bidding process for the Farmland property doesn't involve cash on the table...it is evaluated based on how much of the bankruptcy trust funds the bidder is requesting to clean up the property. The outstanding environmental issues are worth more than the value of the property.2) The "winner" at this point in the Farmland situation is the bankruptcy trust administrator, a New York based bank, who is burning through the money and will walk away once the money is gone. This scenario leaves the property to the state with several million dollars of cleanup left to do.3) The city/county needs to support (and by support I don't mean fiscally) and push for the bankruptcy court to force the trust adminstrator to designate a stalkinghorse bidder so that the property can be "purchased" by a private developer who knows how to make this property commercially viable.4) And finally, it's interesting that Mr. Dever talked about the effect of high gas prices on Lawrence's status as a bedroom community. Had the city/county supported private development, namely the IRG proposal, on the Farmland property, it would have been one small step towards making Lawrence more than just a bedroom community. We need jobs so that people don't have to drive to Topeka and Kansas City. It seems pretty elementary, but somehow it slipped passed our leadership.

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Marion Lynn 6 years ago

I bid $1.00 USD for Farmland.I will then seek federal funding for the cleanup and make out like a bandit!

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xtronics 6 years ago

The real question is with the citizens doing belt tightening will the city join us - or raise taxes? The economy will be off for a while; will the lower sales tax revenues be made up with less spending or will they raise rates? Property valuations will be down; will the city join us in our personal spending reduction or will they raise property taxes?

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Stain 6 years ago

Dever says "I'm convinced that we have to be much more nimble in the future. We're in an economic standstill here. We can't afford to have projects come along and watch them fall apart at the 11th hour."Sir, that is what happens when deals are made in secret behind closed doors and the public is not allowed to know what is being done with their money until everything is written in stone. How much has the city bid on Farmland Industries, by the way? We are happy to hear about your plans for "fiscal restraint" and plan to remind you of your own words in the future.

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beobachter 6 years ago

No one with an ounce of brains believes anything the hack and 3 stooges propose. These are the alternatives, pick one.how about building nothing there?how about letting the builder finance the building himself and pay the city the taxes he he OWES off the revenues?

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Stain 6 years ago

cool says:"all five of the current commissioners have said regarding the proposed HOTEL subsidy that "there is no feasible or prudent alternative to the current proposal" that is a quote of the former Mayor Hack."no alternativehow about building NOTHING there?how about letting the builder finance the building HIMSELF and pay the city the taxes he he OWES off the revenues?Is the entire commission on drugs?

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Windlass 6 years ago

I can't H.....E.....A.....R you.

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beobachter 6 years ago

Dever = Top award winning April Fools joke.

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Windlass 6 years ago

And one other thing. Who taught so many of these posters how NOT to spell? Who taught them how NOT to write grammatically correct sentences, but fragmented sentences instead?

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

Why bother changing the city government? We now elect "commmissioners", who glibly rotate this mythical "mayor" lable to amuse themselves. The elected comissioners do nothing but rubber stamp the non-elected and non-accountable city staff and their cadre of "experts". They are useless and there is no reason to believe electing a real "mayor" would be any different. What we really need is a total housecleaning down by the river, but that ain't gonna happen, too many entrenched employees waiting for their retirement to bother with anything that might be beneficial for the city. Sorry, folks, but I know just how useless the 5 commissioners are, and you should find out, too.

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Windlass 6 years ago

Fresh New Idea That Works!No more school budget proposals on the ballots until schools can start producing adults of voting age who are smart enough to participate in the democratic process of voting. And know this also: Everytime we blow off our responsibility to govern ourselves is more time handed off to the death of democracy, and there is no one else out there who can save us.

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autie 6 years ago

there won't be any magic fix with a council/mayor form either. At least now, with a bad one, it is only for a year. And the people elected them. You'd be stuck for four when you elect a bad one the other way. Cronyism is more likely to occur with an elected mayor than with a city manager. really.

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cool 6 years ago

we need elected Mayors after 2008Sue Hack proved that with her 'leadership'.

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cool 6 years ago

today is really a wake up call. individually none of these people are bad -- well err maybe there is one exception ?anyway, we are all co-responsible for the current commission and 'god' knows that they need our help.but please let's have some common sense -- this is early 2008 and we are going to have many many more important decisions. so let's STOP subsidies with taxpayer funds right now !

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cool 6 years ago

hello folks, this is AL GORE !i think that you had better get together and start a petition to change the form of city government and really elect a Mayor in order to have better leadership.Mike Dever said to me at Z's cafe on 9th one day that he wouldn't mind at all if he was the last new commissioner that was put in the spot that he receives today.

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Windlass 6 years ago

Sell City Hall to China for a rather considerable, and ridiculous, sum.

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autie 6 years ago

cool is most correct about the power of the mayor. Other than appointments, the power lies in cutting ribbons and saying nice things at events. I also believe that the city manager reports to; is hired by; fired by; supervised, by the commission as a whole, not the just the mayor. Although in many city manager form of government cities, the tendency is for the mayor to develop a more direct line of communication with the city manager..but again it is mainly a functionary thing, unless there is a major disaster or something way out of the ordinary..then the mayor is the one to request help from the governor or something of that nature..

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KLATTU 6 years ago

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Windlass 6 years ago

I voted NO. At my polling station the voting is up, which makes me think that people are finally getting the message that when they vote they switch the power from the government back to the people, which is where it's always supposed to be. To greater exercise our formidable power over presidents, senators, congressmen/women, and these local halls the people need to also impose term limits. When these politicians begin to feel the full weight of the citizenry again there will be accountability because WE say so.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

max: "Will the hotel provide more tax revenues than what is there now despite the financial arrangement for the parking garage?"_____pennies on the real tax dollar at most. I'll keep on bitching.

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Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Tell the commissioners to stop creating neighborhoods in an effort to curb the rising cost of living in Lawrence,Kansas. Some commissioners must be big profiteers cuz they just keep on building.

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cool 6 years ago

no one will ever forget this commission !

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cool 6 years ago

is it feasible & prudent ?

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cool 6 years ago

ANON email: regarding the hotel proposal: My guess is the over sized parking is the "bone" that is being thrown to the oread and hancock district residents - both have quite vocal about lack of parking in their hoods. The scale of this project is comical - now there's an observation deck to provide 360 deg views of lawrence. Do we need that? 7 stories, my BLEEP. (Only if you don't count the 2 levels of parking - exposed on the west + 2 floors of observation levels. This thing is a monster. Traffic will be a nightmare. I can't believe Carol and Marci - I am so disappointed and depressed.And irritated. We kept hearing - "well this is how big a hotel needs to be to be ecconomically viable"! Well for christ's sake, maybe you shouldn't be putting a BLEEP-BLEEP hotel there then! Seems to me the yellow sub was fairly "ecconomically viable". Arg! Sorry. It really ticks me off that this will end up with the current set of commissioners. God help us all.

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cool 6 years ago

ANONThe Mayor in our local system has almost no power above & beyond the other commissioners, but appointments are the major exception. Mayoral appointments can be overturned with three votes.

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max1 6 years ago

"From a commission that just gave away $ 6 million dollars in tax revenues for the high priority of a hotel parking garage?" -its_getting_warmerHow much tax revenue did those old shacks on that intersection provide in the past?Will the hotel provide more tax revenues than what is there now despite the financial arrangement for the parking garage?If so, stop your bitching.

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max1 6 years ago

New mayor urges fiscal restraintFebruary 29, 200http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/feb/29/500k_study_examine_sewer_needs/Thursday, commissioners indicated that they would hire a consultant to help compile a new wastewater master plan. . . The study is expected take six months to complete and cost more than $500,000

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

fiscal restraint? From a commission that just gave away $ 6 million dollars in tax revenues for the high priority of a hotel parking garage?

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justthefacts 6 years ago

"........some water saving stuff which his teacher expects us to install or he won't get a grade."This needs to be brought to the attention of a good civil rights lawyer. Or the school board. Or someone with an ounce of sense.If a teacher can require a home to become "greener" just to satifisfy their own personal agenda, what is to keep the same teacher (or an equally committed teacher) from insisting that a student force parents to adopt other life-style changes, to get good grades? Teaching is one thing. Gestapo tactics is another.In a capitalistic society - which so far we have last time I checked; in theory any way - we pay money to get things we want. The price is set (when the market is free to swing according to demand) by negotiation between a buyer and seller. I would be very willing to pay more for good teachers. I would personally pay a really good teacher more salary, out of my own pocket. And I don't have kids in the system (any longer). I would pay to get kids - our future - taught well. I think good teachers should be paid as much (or more) then good plumbers. The work they do is just (or more) as important! But I don't want to continue paying for high-priced administrators who are in love with their own red tape. I can't see why I should pay a thin dime to teachers like the one described above who see teaching as a way to indocrinate their pupils. And why should I skip a few meals in order to pay for classes that barely teach the subject in order to make sure the least common denominator passes, so that all children get to feel like special little snowflakes....Stop going into debt. I can't wait to vote no to any more tax hikes. A real life Depression - not recession - is on its way (or is already here) and we're talking about hiking taxes up even higher? Good grief. Have people in government lost their collective minds? If you want something new/different, pay for it yourselves! And I will do the same.

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cool 6 years ago

seems like Stain is describing a 'perfect storm' ---how far can the city commissioners veer in doing the opposite of what the electorate asks ?all five of the current commissioners have said regarding the proposed HOTEL subsidy that "there is no feasible or prudent alternative to the current proposal" that is a quote of the former Mayor Hack.

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jonas 6 years ago

Fiscal restraint is an unnecessary burden on a government. Just look at our federal government, they've been operating under a deficit for years, and there hasn't been any problems come out of that that I've ever noticed.

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Stain 6 years ago

The public deserves a voice on the Oread Inn and Deciphera and the Carnegie remodel and anything else that taxpayer dollars subsidize, Mr. Dever.Not just the projects and services you personally want to abandon so you can funnel the money to your developer buddies who aren't good enough businessmen to conceive of projects that make money without taxpayer handouts.

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Stain 6 years ago

"Fiscal restraint" uttered by Dever.Translation:1. Cut all the services that government is supposed to offer the citizens, like public transportation, libraries, education, addressing poverty and disability.2. Funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to profiteers who aren't willing to risk their own money to make a fortune.Why on earth does the city elect commissioners for SIX YEARS? It's much too long.

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Stain 6 years ago

Mr. Dever:Please apply that fiscal restraint to the disaster in the making otherwise known as the Oread Inn. Stop this disaster before it is too late. Please ask your developer buddies to stop building houses west of Wakarusa. Please forget the ridiculous idea of spending a million bucks renovating the Carnegie building for wedding receptions. Don't spend our taxpayer dollars on Farmland's wasteland until the city is in better fiscal shape. If a private party buys it and cleans it up, so much the better. No more subsidies for developers. If their projects are not profit-making without taxpayer giveaways, they should not be executed. The market does not lie.

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Ralph Reed 6 years ago

plumberscrack (Anonymous) writes at 0859: "We need to be able to vote in Mayor (4 yr position) and vote commissioners (2 yr position) who represent different parts of town. This way we have a commissioner worrying only about his/her portion of town and the town as a whole gets representation. The city manager answers directly to the Mayor ..."***Oddly enough Vito, I agree with you here. Frightening, isn't it?The only change I would make is that the city manager answers to the commission, not just the mayor.****I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

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estespark 6 years ago

Ames, IA and other similar communities have integrated the City bus system with the campus system...to eliminate redundancy of services and to offset local costs. Might not be a bad idea for the T to saddle up with KU on Wheels...especially since KUoW is the most successful transit service in 3 states. Would definitely help offset the City's subsidy of the T. Of course, they'll have to buy newer buses and be ADA compliant. There are Federal programs to offset the expense as well. Fiscal restraint is one thing...being fiscally responsible through innovative financing is something else.

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Windlass 6 years ago

not on city hall salariesI can't be happier that this finally comes to the surface because I'm aware of a government-funded office that employs 6 people who sit around all day and play on computers. It's horrendous waste of taxpayer money. Friends hiring friends. They could all stay home and get paid nothing for the nothing that they do all day.

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Windlass 6 years ago

I would argue that social service programs that feed the increasing number of poor (owed to backwards government policies for the last 7 years) are non-negotiable. When government agencies are so hellbent on draining money out of a town that they wreck the town then they're the ones who need to pay the consequences of their actions. I'm sick and tired of government always pissing money away and then saying they can only fix the problems if they can continue to harm people.

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cool 6 years ago

ANON from an LJW forum member: At one point many years ago, I talked to the then owner of the building that housed the Yello Sub and came real cloe to buying it. At that time, the city's position was that it was a non-conforming use and you either took it as it was or it was going to revent to residential. When the fellow from Manhattan came up with his proposal, which as I recall was far less intrusive that the current one, it was greeted with little enthusiasm. But the rules don't seem to apply to the Frizzels. Whatever they want seems to be no problem. I've been amazed at the ease with which they are able to get things done -- no matter what exceptions to existing rules that requires. My favorite, of course, is the Frizzel library proposal, which, as best I understand it, gives them the land on which the current library is located, allows them to build the new library and lease it to the city. At that point they have put about $10 million in their pocket and haven't even broken ground on their private projects in the area. I could almost swing a deal like that. But, I digress. The weakness of LPA, like many such organization, is its longing to be taken seriously. Frequently, all that requires is a little stroking, and it will do about whatever one wants. Ditto the Oread Neighborhood Assn. (Oh, for the early ONA days, when we manned the barricades!). And, Dear Marci, is so easily co-pted on most any issue... I always defend the Journal-World to this extent. It does have a pretty open policy on letters to the editor. Other than that it is a yellow rag and seldoms keep editorials on the editorial page.Hence, the scant coverage of the vote of the HRC on the Frizzel hotel. I wish I had the time and energy to lend more than moral support, but I really don't. I will write the Planning commission. But, this thing is greased and will go through the city commission -- with no more than 1 dissent at most -- I suspect.www.oreadinn.com

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cool 6 years ago

Informed (Anonymous) says:Hmmmmm, spending $1M or more to get less than $100K in federal funds? Somehow, that doesn't seem like fiscal restraint. But maybe that's just me.

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cool 6 years ago

geniusmannumber1 (Anonymous) says:I'm with you, offtotheright (never thought I'd be typing those words). Why, if the city hasn't been able to find anything to do with the space, does it still own it? Sell it. If you're worried about preserving the historical character of the building, sell it with conditions. The city is not a property manager, event planner-holy geez, $1.1 million? Right now? That's insane. Seriously, I didn't think I'd ever see a worse city commission than the last one, but this is - I'm apoplectic.

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unite2revolt 6 years ago

Well I do think Devers is onto something with the idea that gas prices reduce the attractiveness of living in Lawrece to people that want to work in Topeka or the KC area. I dont understand why he thinks that cutting social services and bus routes will help make this a more attractive town to live in. Seems like what would make it more attactive is more jobs in Lawrence, not less.

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Mkh 6 years ago

Dever is pushing for fiscal restraint? I almost forgot is was April Fool's day until I read that headline.Mayor Dever, please start your fiscal restraint by immediately ending all tax subsidies to your rich developer buddies!!!!

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

cool - the new spam king of the LJW. What a waste of bandwidth.

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cool 6 years ago

how can DEVER and the other commissioners say tonight that are 'No feasible or prudent alternatives' to the hotel design for 12th & Oread ?KU architecture students present:OTHER OREADSSaturday April 5, 2008marvin hall / school of architecture 1:30pmA presentation by the students in KU Professor Barry Newton's 2nd year graduate studio, "other oreads".Come and see the alternate design schemes, which adhere exactly to the program of the proposal for the Oread Inn, but ook at different ways it could be formed in relation to its site. Lawrence Preservation Alliance, as is consistent with its mission, supported the Lawrence Historic Resources Commission in its concerns & rejection of various aspects of the proposals for the Oread Inn, by attending related city meetings, offering testimony and written statements. Even though the Inn's plans have been accepted, we thought you might find the ideas of Newton's students interesting and informative.LPA announcement.parking on Jayhawk Blvd., Memorial Drive, or behind Carruth O'Leary.read about the TIF / TDD at www.oreadinn.com

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Marty_McFly 6 years ago

Didn't I read these same comments from Cool yesterday?

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Marion Lynn 6 years ago

Little spoken of in the world of bondage and fetish, fiscal restraint may involve the use of chains made from linked coins or pure gold.Those who engage in fiscal restraint are considered to be on the fringe of fetish; a very secret and covert area of that sport.Particpants in fisca restraint are rumoured to achieve long lasting and extreme......ohthis is a "family" forumnever mind

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cool 6 years ago

Dever acknowledged Sue Hack's role in Deciphera as a 'fumble'. Now is the time in his new role to request that she reveal when and how much she actually invested which the electorate has to date not yet heard the truth on this matter.

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offtotheright 6 years ago

oh god! Wasted space. I'm all for the Oread Inn only because of you Cool!

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cool 6 years ago

only on April FOOL's day would a new Mayor support the unconscionable change of zoning, subsidies, and say to the public that 'there is no feasible or prudent alternative than the Oread Inn as proposed by Tom Fritzel.

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cool 6 years ago

Where is the restraint regarding the Oread Inn subsidies Mayor Dever ?see CONDOS on TOP ! at www.oreadinn.comsubsidies for two floors of 17,000 sq. ft. of private condos ?FACTS:well, approximate - applicant has made minor changes many times including after hrc review and AFTER City Commission meetings in NOV. 2007.HOTEL 92 rooms, 14 condominiums on the top two floors ( 6 & 7) with a roof top terrace for hotel events.garage level 4 = 15,570 sq. ft. garage level 3 = 28,645 sq. ft. garage level 2 = 28,527 sq. ft. garage level 1 = 27,628 sq. ft. total gross square feet of garage = 100,100 sq. ft. total 200 car parking garagefirst floor hotel 16,882 sq. ft. (approx. 75 x 238) second floor hotel 16,883 sq. ft. third floor hotel 15,824 sq. ft. fourth floor hotel 15,749 sq. ft. fifth floor hotel 13,967 sq. ft. sixth floor hotel 8404 sq. ft. seventh floor hotel 8404 sq. ft. roof level 5388 sq. ft. approximate total 1065,000 sq. ft. 105 ft tall above 12th & Oread taller on downhill side

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cool 6 years ago

hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says:Exploring financing now? And sign papers that would gurantee money to mke up a shortfall. LOL!I'll sign papers. But what if the money don't come? Doesn't the development group already have a letter of credit? If not, why not? Why are they even pursuing this?Just as I have been saying. No one in this town has any money. Why don't Fritzels get together with a hotel chain now instead of later. There is no way any of the Fritzels can run a hotel. The Eldridge downtown is not much to speak of. Maybe spruced up inside, but the food venues are nothing to brag about. Hotels take expertise and their is none in Lawrence. A hotel needs a good nationwide exposure and sadly, this Oread Inn should have already had investors and not a conglomerate like the Eldridge, like the old Post Office, like many other ongoing public/private partnerships.There is out of town money to build this hotel but they are reluctant to deal with the city and as stated before, the locals attitude is ": "if we can't have it, we will not let anyone else build"So who is the Triple T partnership with the hotel. Let's see the names of those presently involved in this pie in the sky venture. How they could muck up something that is so simple.If a letter of credit is available to secure future debt, where is the letter of credit now? What bank?

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cool 6 years ago

moderationman (Anonymous) says:If it's such a good investment, let the developers risk their own money/credit lines. The tax payers of Lawrence should not be asked to guarantee financing on this in anyway shape or form. Ask kcmo, tif financing almost never generates the income stream projected. It is not a good deal for Lawrence.

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cool 6 years ago

29 October 2007 at 1:10 p.m.Suggest removalPermalinkGodot (Anonymous) says:It this the first time this was brought up, or is this another case where it has already been agreed upon, in closed door session, and the hapless citizens are just now being informed?TIF, by the way, is meant to be used as an incentive to revitalize blighted areas, where, without the incentive, no one would be willing to invest. That clearly does not apply to this situation.

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cool 6 years ago

Disposable (Anonymous) says:let's see:1. damaging to the historic environment.2. non-compliant with lawrence zoning ordinances.3. a tax-burden.3 strikes and you're out?if the project does not fit, you must a:quit!

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cool 6 years ago

jlw53 (Anonymous) says:Don't the Fritzels have enough money already with out stealing from the local taxpayers too?No issue with them making good money through private development by taking the inherent risks involved, but I have NO interest in feathering their nest with public subsidies!

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cool 6 years ago

swan_diver (Anonymous) says:The vulgarity and thievery apparent in this grotesquely inappropropraite development proposal keeps growing by the week. But the real tragedy here is the manner in which the community itself has folded on the issue - led by the ineffective and incompetent Lawrence Preservation Alliance, the Oread Neighborhood Association - and the outright complicity of a founding member of both organizations - Democratic State Senator Marci Francisco.Just as the death-dealing traitors running our White House and military establishment have sold out the nation, with their fiscal and foreign policy - the spineless fools who call themselves 'progressives' in Lawrence have, with their laziness and ineptitude - sold out a community that was truly lifted by the collective efforts of so many now gone, in the 1970s, '80s, and 90s. That corrupt development-owned whores can operate freely and openly within the city and county governmental establishments, and their fences, as throughout human history, is absolutely no surprise what-so-ever. They ride into battle with Christ as their saviors. The development community, and their public and private servants' one and great victory in Lawrence, in this decade, remains the complete destruction of any modicum of decency and democracy and fairness in the management of public affairs of this once important national historic site. Their efforts have resulted in the complete neutering of any effective political opposition to this day-light bank robbery taking place under our very noses, in what's become little more than a bedroom town for illiterate slaves and their brood.The community activists and leaders who could and would have done anything about it are figuratively or literally dead - and the rest of you might as well be, in the late, great town of Lawrence, Kansas.

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cool 6 years ago

Meatwad (Anonymous) says:You NEED to read this. Here is an example of a TIF, but it went very, very wrong. I seriously hope our city pays attention to this. http://www.pitch.com/2007-08-16/news/not:

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cool 6 years ago

tonight is the vote whether to subsidiize the privately owned Fritzel Hotel at 12th & Oread. 1/3 or about $10 million of city backed financing for a private building where the top two floors are private condominiums ?the underlying zoning was changed by this commission from neighborhood residential with a height limit of 35 feet to now 105 feet for a high rise hotel with a 200 car parkinig garage.As the new Mayor - Mr. Dever should immediately rethink his support for this project #1.see many posted items from this forum / reposted at www.oreadinn.com

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plumberscrack 6 years ago

So the merry-go-round form of mayorship continues as will our problems here in Lawrence. Until we change the way the Mayor is decided, nothing is going to change due to good ol' boy system.We need to be able to vote in Mayor (4 yr position) and vote commissioners (2 yr position) who represent different parts of town. This way we have a commissioner worrying only about his/her portion of town and the town as a whole gets representation. The city manager answers directly to the Mayor and this way when the city manager, city employees aren't doing a good enough job, we can vote out the Mayor for someone new and possibly take a worthless city manager with them! Will definitely see change quicker than we do with our present form of government!I voted no today also....

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OnlyTheOne 6 years ago

"I'm the type of guy who is going to ask the community to see the need for economic development of all kinds, whether it is retail, industrial or something more speculative," Dever said. "We may not be in a position where we can be as selective as we used to be."Twenty years too late! Bumbling leaders of Lawrence have let far too many good jobs go elsewhere because they "weren't good enough for Lawrence."You don't think that now do you?

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SpeedRacer 6 years ago

Yay!! Fiscal restraint!!! The school board needs to do that, too. I voted No!! By the way, my kid came home yesterday some water saving stuff which his teacher expects us to install or he won't get a grade. Not going to happen; we do our part to conserve water and I am not going to have some pathetic teacher trying to push the hippy agenda on my family. I guess this is what comes from having an environmentalist on the school board. Mitchell seems to be putting his 2 cents in everywhere; he did the powerpoint presentation for the city councel about the old Farmland plant.

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Bill Chapman 6 years ago

"Fiscal restraint" also means not spending money if there is not a good, timely return on the investment. This means NO to spending $1,100,000 (that's $1.1 million) of city money to "improve" the Carnegie Library at 9th and Vermont just so we can get $98,000 of federal funding! Current plans include a 1,200sq. foot expansion of the north side of the building, bring the facility up ADA compliance, and create large meeting rooms for Parks and Recreation to rent for weddings, receptions, etc. >Read all about it here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/apr...

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Drew_Carey 6 years ago

Brian, make that a Mint Julep and I'm all set.Or should that have been a Klondike Bar?Off to vote now.

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BigPrune 6 years ago

I voted NO. Sorry teachers, I know you have to teach our children 141 days out of the year, plus 39 half days , but it was a field YOU decided to go into. I wish I could get federal holidays off and got three months off during the summer, and got benefits. I haven't had a vacation in 7 years and I work 360 days a year and my taxes keep going up. Lobby the administration to cut their staff/wages so you can get a raise. Boo hoo.

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BrianR 6 years ago

Mint chocolate chip ice cream for everyone.

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Bill Chapman 6 years ago

The streets are falling apart because they were NOT designed to handle the traffic load that runs over them every day. Many of the asphalt roads do not have a concrete base, and the many of the ones that do are not thick enough to support the traffic load. Add in the factors of poor drainage, weather, a "fix it with a patch" mentality and you get Lawrence's city streets. As for the schools, it is amazing the number of people who "know" how to fix the problem(s) in the school district. There are just about as many plans to fix the problems as there people who "know" how to fix them. Could it be that no matter what anyone does, there will ALWAYS be >something< wrong with the school district? For the city council - "Fiscal restraint" means spending less money and spending it MORE efficiently. This means: quit giving tax breaks to businesses, stop thinking about buying the Farmland plant and turning it into a business park, find ways to use what resources the city currently has to make money, and start looking into cutting city administrative costs.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years ago

I voted NO today on the tax increase proposal.

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logrithmic 6 years ago

Hmmm. No mention of Deciphera and no mention of Farmland? More of the same....

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

Pilgrim (Anonymous) says:"I want the public to sign off on any additional subsidy that we provide for the T," Dever said.******Hey, Mike, 56% said NO!========================BTW, here's the link:http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2008/mar/would_you_support_spending_more_money_t_lawrences_/

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aginglady 6 years ago

I voted No.If you like your child's teacher, send them some money, that way you at least know that they GOT the money.My child's previous teacher lives in a cheaper county, her family doesn't even pay taxes here to support her own job. Why should I pay for her raise, if she doesn't contribute in the same manner as we do?

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doc1 6 years ago

Jayhawk wrote:"In Lawrence we have something to be very proud of with our kids schools. I have 3 kids in these schools and I know how dedicated and hard working our teachers are."And they have the priviledge of having a trailer park on almost every school grounds because there isn't enough room. This school district makes me sick. Small 2,3 & 4A schools have nicer facilities than in Lawrence. These schools can't even get their own football facility. What a shame and an embarassment.

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

jayhawklawrence (Anonymous) says:For a home value of $200,000 a year its only another $ 13.80 added to your annual bill. That is about $ 1.15 a month.******Primary and secondary education in Kansas already account for more than 50% of the state's general fund budget. Add higher education to the mix, and that figure jumps to more than 66%. That is more than enough. The LOB just adds additional load to already over-burdened taxpayers.NO!

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

merrill (Anonymous) says:Commissioner Dever may want to consider impact fees and/or excise taxes for new development. Instead of the 9% annual user fee increase on water and sewer to finance new growth. Why should existing users pay for twosewage treatment plants?*********Put up or shut up, Richard.

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

"I want the public to sign off on any additional subsidy that we provide for the T," Dever said.******Hey, Mike, 56% said NO!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years ago

igby, they won't be able to fix anything, including the potholes. City hall is so disorganized and the staff is way too big. Havn'twe heard the same tune before. Corliss may have to cut budgets, but only to hire an auditor and nothing was cut. If Dever as Mayor has an authority, then he needs to convince the other 4 commissioners it is time to reduce staff. So some spouses can't work for city hall anymore. one in the family is enough. Let them go apply with Shirley Martin Smith, as a temp worker, whereever, then the city workers will realize the cushy jobs they had were the best in town.

With the mentality of jayhawklawrence, babbling about the kids, do this for them, do that for them..that is exactly why we have ended up with the kind of so called leaders we have running Lawrence. Vote NO and let the kids have some pain. They will be better for it. Vote NO and Dever needs to take a stance and tell Corliss NO more spending. Cut staff. Start with Margene Swarts and the wasteful overpaid Neighborhood Resources Department staff. Mike Dever, start using the federal money that comes to Lawrence based on five target neighborhoods. Do the right thing and put all that money into the five target neighborhoodss. All of the money. Quit whoring the residents of Pinckney, Oread, Brook Creek, North Lawrence,and East Lawrence. Spend the millions of federal dollars they have been prostituted for, spend it starting now in those areas, not on city hall salaries.

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jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

The best gift you can pass on in life is to provide the next generation with the best possible education.

In Lawrence we have something to be very proud of with our kids schools. I have 3 kids in these schools and I know how dedicated and hard working our teachers are.

Please support them for all they do for us.

For a home value of $200,000 a year its only another $ 13.80 added to your annual bill. That is about $ 1.15 a month.

If we cannot support this small request, the schools will have to cut some services. My kids have never needed the at risk support that WRAP provides. But some kids are not as fortunate and they need us.

We adults talk and argue all the time about a lot of things. What sometimes gets lost in all the rhetoric is that our kids need us.

Please help our schools give these kids the love and support they need.

That is what this is about.

Please vote yes.

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macon47 6 years ago

New mayor urges fiscal restraint

what a concept, !!

something really new to lawrence

i like it, thats what we have to do at our house

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LogicMan 6 years ago

"New mayor urges fiscal restraint"

And we all need to start doing so today -- please get out and vote NO on the economy-deflating tax increase TODAY. Polls are open 7 to 7; vote early!

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somebodynew 6 years ago

Fiscal Restraint = how about NOT giving every developer big tax breaks and fronting city money for projects. Can't we just take a minute and get our city in order before committing to things like Farmland, the North Lawrence developement, and Schwada's project all of which will do nothing but cost the city money for some years. Particularly where there are private investors willing to buy Farmland.

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Bowhunter99 6 years ago

Once again, Merrill is making baseless accusations about taxpayers paying for something they're clearly not doing so.

Stop the nonsense once and for all. Noone is buying your repetitive, mindless, and for the most part worthless posts about ideology you're clearly making up!

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igby 6 years ago

Opp's

April Fools!

I thought I would be the first one to say this!

We need these potholes as a reminder that your in Lawrence, where 36% of all our net worth goes to the government in taxes that support all these social programs, public jobs, high wages for government workers, private interest hotels and studies because no one we elect is qualified to wipe a birds butt.

April Fools!

How fitting!

Vote No!

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igby 6 years ago

Fix the potholes, they I'll be happy.

If you can't handle a small job like fixing potholes; surely, you can't handle the bigger jobs.

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Richard Heckler 6 years ago

How does Mike Dever address the issue of over built in residential,retail and office space and warehouse space?

There is a 626,000 sq. ft warehouse in East Hills built in 2002 sitting empty now for five years. There was never a tenant for the space. Who paid for it is a mystery? Taxpayers maybe? It is supposedly paying $62,000 or so in property taxes annually. Who is paying those taxes is a mystery? Taxpayers maybe? ============================================= How does the Chamber of Commerce justify a $1.1 million remodel on the old Carnegie Library? The Art Center made it work for many many years as is. ============================================= Commissioner Dever may want to consider impact fees and/or excise taxes for new development. Instead of the 9% annual user fee increase on water and sewer to finance new growth. Why should existing users pay for two sewage treatment plants? ============================================= Perhaps Commissioner Dever might be able to explain why new taxes are necessary to cover the rehab expense of older infrastructure that has been paying into the maintenance cookie jar for several decades. Where did that money go? ============================================= If the city would not spend $46 million on the North Lawrence project for: $477,000 bridge @ E 1600 Rd $326,000 culvert @ 24/40 $16.2 million in reconstruction projects $24.8 million in flood control *$4 million new water and sewer lines

Where is the economic impact study on this project? Where is the environmental impact study on this flood plain project? Traffic Impact Study? Retail Impact Study Residential Impact Study? Where is the justification for this project? Local Commercial real estate people? ============================================== *$46 million could finance the T for approximately 9 years. If a merger takes place KU students can subsidize the Jayhawk T to some degree. Or the city could own the T and cut out the middle man? ==============================================

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