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Letters to the Editor

City funding

May 13, 2008

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To the editor:

Every day, we hear how the city is strapped for funds. Talk is of fuel cost increases for the T, but little about the increases for police, fire, medical, trash and other services. How will those impact the budget? The T is one source of those problems. But the real problem is a lack of leadership downtown. The "people" did not get to vote on the T, Eagle Bend or other city amenities. The city isn't paying its bond obligations from revenues gained, but from the reserve fund. Now, they feel that taxpayers should dip into their pockets to bail the city out.

A vote to fund the T may be coupled with street repair so voters have to take a bad deal with a necessary item. The commission brought the T into being. It should stand up and take responsibility for any future form, if at all.

The city should take a hint from major corporations, who faced unfavorable results in a venture, made hard decisions to discontinue it. Ford Motor Co. bought Land Rover and Jaguar for huge sums, but recently sold them at a loss to stop bleeding money. Coca Cola spent millions on "New Coke" but did not hesitate to drop it when it did not perform as expected.

If the city commission can't live within the revenue limitations of Lawrence and take a stand on bringing new revenue sources to the tax base, then maybe we need new commissioners.

Ken Meyer,
Lawrence

Comments

Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

Or the city can follow the example of Vallejo, California, and default on its bonds and declare bankruptcy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"The city should take a hint from major corporations"The city is not a corporation.

Sigmund 6 years, 6 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says: "Sigmund, should the voting populace be the ones to decide the T?" Sure that is fine, BUT if the citizens vote for the empTy then the Commission needs to cut an equal amount out of the budget. So the proposal can read;"The City of Lawrence shall continue to fund the empTY at its current level and cut all other city services and departments and personnel, excepting police and fire, equally in an amount that pays for the subsidy paid to MV Transportation, a private corporation."It is gutless and they are literally passing the buck, but they could handle the issue that way. The amount of tax dollars Lawrence wastes per year (year after year) with MV Transportation despite how few people use it and how much it costs, makes me wonder if there aren't a few partners in MV Transportation who have forgotten to disclose their interest. While we are talking about undisclosed interests, lets add the following to the ballot;"The City of Lawrence shall not do any business with nor offer any tax breaks or tax abatement to any private corporations or private partnerships unless such business entity fully discloses the name of the real persons who own their shares or have an interest in said business entity. For purposes of the rule, "real person" shall not include other private corporations or partnerships who have an interest in the business entity and such owners shall also disclose the names of their real owners. These disclosures shall be made available in a common electronic format and available to all members of the public and the press."Enact that last rule and you will be well on the way to eliminating problems like the Mayors "technical violations" (for which she was not "technically punished") and the pork will be so squeezed you will hear the pigs squealing all over town. Will it ever happen? Nope, because the current Commission, like past Kommissions and current city manager, don't want you to be able to find out where the money goes. Also don't expect the new auditor to issue a detailed public audit of city services, spending, and departmental efficiency. The planet will burst into flames from global warming sooner.

gccs14r 6 years, 6 months ago

Funny Ken should mention New Coke. That was a huge scam, radically changing the taste so folks wouldn't notice when they switched from sugar to HFCS in the old formula. The City claimed to give us bus service, but it's missing a few key ingredients that would make it palatable. The intent isn't to add the necessary ingredients to make it good, but rather to claim that no one likes it so they can give the money to their buddies.

Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

The city is going to have to cut personnel, programs and services. Period.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Amen Ken to new commissionersIf the bus isn't completely full it is now empty for a very vocal minority. So if a bus is empty when not completely full then how can we afford the thousands of empty cars that drive around 16 hours a day and do nothing but tear up roads. Not only that these tax dollar supported cars require police time for accidents,speeding and running red lights which means this empty car business is really getting expensive . Then comes snow removal = the tab keeps going up. Then comes traffic lights,stop signs and stop signs:and those traffic lights are very expensive. Why does this city replace working traffic lights? Empty cars are way too expensive no matter who is driving them. Yep thousands of empty cars daily are putting taxpayers in the hole big time. Once again it is not the buses creating traffic congestion:.. it is the thousands of empty cars. Buses are part of the solution to traffic congestion. And less wear and tear on our roadways.If city officials need cars they should 45 mpg hybrids.if the cost of gasoline is a concern?

Sigmund 6 years, 6 months ago

The Commission does not own the Lawrence, they are elected by all the citizens to be care takers. They have a fiduciary and moral duty to ALL the citizens of Lawrence to do their best to leave the city in the best financial position possible. If in their best judgment the empTy is not of sufficient value to the vast majority of the citizens and if they are convinced that keeping it or expanding it damages the city financially, they have no choice but to tell MV Transportation they have reached the end of the line.Speaking of MV Transportation they are a private corporation. If for some reason the City decides to extend their contract and to throw $2.6 million dollars a year in corporate welfare their way, they should subject their finances to an independent audit and reveal the names of ALL of their partners so we know who is pocketing our money and how much.

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