Letters to the Editor

No’ to LOB

March 23, 2008


To the editor:

The taxpayers who will pay for the school board's action on the special election shouldn't be hoodwinked by all the promises being made by the board. Vote "no" on the local option budget increase and send a message to the school board to tighten their wasteful ways. It is time for them to live within their means.

Norman Bartlett,


Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone truly expect USD 497 to continue operating on the same budget when the Chamber of Commerce,local developers and their special interest city,county and planning commissioners continue to build homes/neighborhoods which the greater majority of Lawrence residents could live without yet increase the school population and work load? You know the Chamber of Commerce,local developers and their special interest city,county and planning commissioners don't have the RIGHT to do that unless citizen/taxpayers cave in.

The city commission just increased your water bill significantly to a 7% annual increase to pay for the new sewage treatment plant and fund yet another $360,000 study on the same sewage treatment plant. You did not get to vote on that. Should taxpayers have the right to vote on all new development? The powers that be are out of control.

When are the citizens going to demand that developers pay for new development that in fact does increase your tax bills and user fees? Who out there wants more neighborhoods and increased tax bills?

LogicMan 10 years, 2 months ago

More letters to the editor are needed, now, countering point-by-point their statements since the LJW won't.

Plus be sure to vote, and to get all your friends out to vote NO at the $pecial tax-increase election this April 1st! Only a week away.

pisafromthewest 10 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm. Why is it that I suspect if some politician was proposing applying a higher school tax to just the richest one percent of homeowners in Lawrence, the rest of you would be flocking to the polls to vote "Yes?"

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

So I learned Saturday that when a teacher chooses to relocate to JOCO a $15,000-$20,000 raise is felt immediately because a home can easily be purchased in JOCO for that much less. Then toss in a more lucrative compensation package the raise becomes evermore significant. Then saving money on gasoline and less miles on the vehicle the deal becomes sweeter yet. Not only that escaping from a large annual 7% increase in water/sewage rates, which is 4% over a normal cost of living increase, is icing on the cake.

The epitome of 25 year city/county mismanagement plan.

"pisafromthewest (Anonymous) says:

Hmmm. Why is it that I suspect if some politician was proposing applying a higher school tax to just the richest one percent of homeowners in Lawrence, the rest of you would be flocking to the polls to vote "Yes?"

That would then be city wide cuz they are located in most every neighborhood. Appearances are deceiving.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

"northtown (Anonymous) says:

Wife and i are going to vote no for this one !! But what is going to happen when the city comes begging,for the streets you want,the new turd treatment plant,drinking water for the city,and a bunch of other things that are going to cost somebody??"

This is why all light industrial,housing and retail projects should be put to a vote on order to rid the special interest influence that accompanies corrupt commissioners.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm voting NO and telling everyone - and I mean everyone - to vote NO.

sinkorswim 10 years, 2 months ago

"Also, we have duplicity of employees. Two incomes coming from the district and/or the city, county, and other governmental jobs in Lawrence. "

I've read this comment several times and I don't know what this has to do with anything. I work for the school district and my husband works for the county. We were both employed and in our respective jobs long before we ever got married. Would it be ok for us to work our respective jobs if we weren't married?? Again, this doesn't make any sense to me...

Just for the record, neither of us are in administrative-type jobs. I suppose we are of middle or average income. Definitely not an upper-income family! We work hard to make a living and work just as hard at managing our finances.

My husband and I will both vote yes. Not because I'm looking for any extra $$ in my paycheck, but so "we" (this fine community, the district, and most importantly, our students) don't lose out on whatever state funding might be available. I'm willing to cut a $7-$10 corner.

Just my two cents worth!

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

How many people are on a tax funded payroll is irrelevant.

How the $2.6 milliion excess funding from capitol funding bonds is a huge deal. If that money is not spent towards making buildings considerably more energy efficient or not spent making the high schools solar powered then I to will vote no.

If parents believe public children need extravagant sports facilities then allow those parents to fund such things. If those parents are not happy with USD 497 sports facilities take up a collection from like minded parents.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

Citizen taxpayers are not focused on the problem that increases the need for MORE USD 497 money. Citizens sit back quietly and allow the problem to carry on without so much as a blink of the eye.

The new $88 milion dollar sewage plant on the table is now up to $133,000,000 according to what a group was told March 22,2008.

The city's plans call for sewer rates to increase by about 9 percent a year for the next several years to help pay for the plant. Notice the increase on your water bills? This is what is funding the yet another study cost of $360,000. The 9% annual increase is extraordinarily high and ratepayers can expect $100 a month water bills whether you water your lawns or not. Those who water lawns hmmmmm.

If the new plant is built which is primarily for real estate developers guess what other tax increasing projects will surface:

Following the construction of the $133 million sewage treatment plant,which in and of itself increases the cost of community services, will be more: water and sewer lines streets and repairs houses public schools fire stations law enforcement manpower sidewalks snow removal bike trails and cross walks Traffic signals Traffic calming developers requesting more tax dollar assistance(new infrastructure) for their warehouses and retail strip malls.

In general increases the cost of community services to all taxpayers for ever. Ready for impact fees yet? It is the real estate development industry that is begging for taxpayers to build them a $133,000,000(million) sewage treatment plant that has increased our sewage rates by 9%.

How much are taxpayers will to pay for the type of growth that does not pay for itself? Why should any of us PAY for for TWO sewage treatment plants? There are far better uses for tax dollars in this community such as rehabilitating the older streets and sidewalks that have been ignored. While taxpayers have been presented new tax increasing growth aka does not pay for itself. Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

USD 497 expenses will increase to a far greater extent with this type of NOT necessary growth. Real estate special interest groups,The Chamber, City, County and planning commissioners is where the problem lives..... not at USD 497.

LogicMan 10 years, 2 months ago

"My husband and I will both vote yes. Not because I'm looking for any extra $$ in my paycheck,"

Yikes -- voting to raise your own pay. Apparently ethics aren't taught in education programs. Or maybe they are as "if it is good enough for Congress, it's good enough for us ethics".

jayhawklawrence 10 years, 2 months ago

If I vote no to the teachers and the school board, to me that means I don't trust them when they say they need more money. Is that what this is about?

We don't trust Weseman? We don't think our teachers deserve any better? Or we think the evil "real estate developers" are ripping us off?

Of course we cannot continue to grow only residential housing. But this is a college town and people are going to want to come to KU and people will continue to want to make their homes here. That is reality. They will continue to want to leave the closed down coal plants and dried up aquifers of western Kansas and move to Lawrence in the future.

But we stunted the growth of our community when we could not find a solution to the K-10 traffic situation and we have not been able to develop reasonable industrial sites which will attract companies that actually hire people for jobs not related to food service and retail.

It seems to me that we have become experts at impeding growth because we fear who? what? Progress?

The actual amount the school board is asking for is very small. Tiny.

Sorry guys and gals. I am voting yes.

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