Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hack delivers address before term ends

April 2, 2008


State of the city

Mayor Sue Hack gives the state of the city address. Enlarge video

Mike Dever

Mike Dever gives his first speech as the mayor of Lawrence. Enlarge video

Here are highlights from Mayor Sue Hack's state of the city address.

Hack delivered the speech Tuesday evening as she completed her one-year term as mayor, and turned the position over to Mike Dever:

On the city's financial condition:

"We know that if we are lucky, our revenues from sales tax and property tax will be equal to what they were last year, but there is a strong possibility that they will be less. It will be difficult to maintain the same level of city service that we have become accustomed to with less resources."

On city services:

"I believe there is a disconnect in much of the community between the city services that we have come to expect and how those are maintained. It is possible for a city to just do the basics - put out fires, arrest the bad guys, clean the water and pick up the trash. In my view, thatis more of an institution than a community. Lawrence has always prided itself on being a community that enjoys its parks, its bike paths, its arts, its cultural heritage, and its downtown, just to name a few. Maintaining these important pieces of our community takes money, and when the bulk of that money comes from residential property taxes, we are putting ourselves in a perilous position."

On economic development efforts:

"This commission and this city staff have been neither lazy nor complacent when it comes to economic development. : We have navigated the choppy waters of Farmland and work to pursue that as a site for an employment center. However, if by some magic, the Farmland site became cleaned up and available tomorrow for industrial use, that would not solve all of our problems with economic development. We must look for additional sites. : None of these decisions are easy and none come without a fair amount of angst on the part of many citizens, but unless Lawrence wants to drop further and further into the bedroom community situation, we simply have to find a way to present companies additional industrial sites."

On the community's civil discourse:

"I am particularly troubled by the lack of civility and level of nastiness that occurs on our local blogs. We are all grown-ups, we can handle being the topic of conversation, but the conversation has sunk to new lows of discourse, and has taken on children and others not able to defend themselves. I would challenge those who feel the need to communicate in this manner to step out from behind the cowardice of anonymity, get their facts straight, and have a decent conversation about topics that are critical to the future of Lawrence and Douglas County. Try to contribute to the solution rather than being part of the problem."


igby 10 years, 2 months ago

Just one more year and she's history.

toefungus 10 years, 2 months ago

Here is my contribution to the city. Mrs. Hack, please resign. Is that civil enough?

jimmyspeachbaskets 10 years, 2 months ago

To everyone eager to see Hack head out, remember she was the consummate supporter who pushed for additional commercial growth which ultimately pushes down the tax burden on residential homeowners. To ask her to leave is to ask for more tax burden on the roof over your heads.

unite2revolt 10 years, 2 months ago

Just another anonymous uninformed coward here enjoying my right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly on the ljworld discussion boards. Rights which I swore to protect when I joined the US Army.Anyone living in Lawrence that doesn't think this community is divided should maybe look at the results of yesterday's election. Playing nice-nice on the internet isn't going to change that.I find even more evidence of this division in the fact that our old mayor warns agianst Lawrence becoming more and more a bedroom community while our new mayor bemoans the fact that higher gas prices have made us less attractive as a bedroom community and lowered our tax base.As far as residential taxes go, heaven forbid that the people who actually own this town pay for the services, sounds really "dangerous" to me. What's dangerous is when people decide to live where they pay extra for private services that are better than what the city offers, because then they start to ask why they are paying taxes at all.

twaldaisy 10 years, 2 months ago

Okay so where is the commercial growth she pushed for? Oh yeah, the buildings got built out in the east industrial park, but are all empty. Great industrial growth to help with our tax burden. My a___. And what industry she was bringing she had a vested interest in, did not file the proper papwork showing her vested interest, and was going to give a huge tax break to. Oh and let's not forget the promise of good paying jobs from said business, but no one in Lawrence was qualified for and would bring in people from out of state. Hmmmmm...that worked out well for Lawrence eye roll

BeeBee3 10 years, 2 months ago

Sue- you have been a great leader. Everyone makes mistakes- and you did a great job of being open and honest when you made yours. I just wish everyone could experience what it feels like to be in the spotlight when a mistake is made. For people to trample all over you during hard times for you is ridiculous. I know you care about Lawrence and we care about you. Don't listen to all of these cowards "hiding behing their anonymity".

twaldaisy 10 years, 2 months ago

Yeah beebee3 just like you showing support anonymously. Thing is when we make our mistakes we have to pay for them ourselves, we don't have the luxury of using taxpayer money to bale us out of anything. I have wondered if the Grass Roots people hadn't investigated this, would Sue have been so honest about her mistake? And playing the ignorant card was b.s. If you don't know your job one shouldn't be doing it.

Godot 10 years, 2 months ago

The idea that it is the city government is responsible for culture, art, sports and economic development is what is holding Lawrence back. The city should cease competing with private businesses that cannot afford to offer classes at the low, taxpayer subsidized rate the city charges for art, dance, martial arts, and fitness lessons. The city does not need to purchase more sites for industrial development, it simply needs to pinpoint areas that are amenable to industrial development, zone them that way, then allow the industry to come in without the onerous approval process that stands in the way. .

twaldaisy 10 years, 2 months ago

Go GoDot! That makes way too much sense. Logical logic made my head dizzy.

BeeBee3 10 years, 2 months ago

Question to the bashers- how many city commission meetings have you attended? How many times have you spoke these words to Sue's face? Get off your lap top blogging at Prima Taza and say it in a venue that matters. And by the way- I have spoke my words to her face. And they weren't nasty.

jonny_quest 10 years, 2 months ago

It is an incredibly arrogant "people be damned" statement to make about anonymity and civility. Perhaps, city officials should be grown-ups, get their facts straight and have the decency to provide full, open and honest disclosure instead of concealing ethics violations. Perhaps, contributing to the solution means not using the office for personal enrichment.

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