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Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Misleading plan

November 2, 2008

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To the editor:

Bulldozers began moving dirt last week at Lawrence High School and the Centennial Virtual School, but city commissioners and school district officials have been bulldozing this community for months with an athletic facilities expansion plan that is fiscally irresponsible, unnecessarily redundant and probably illegal. Our elected officials have misled the public, violated zoning codes and set taxpayers up for a $10.3 million loan that will take 10 years to pay off and cost taxpayers $2.25 million in interest.

Why was the public repeatedly told that this project could be built with leftover bond money when those funds don't even represent a third of the proposed budget?

Why is it necessary to build two separate football stadiums at a cost of $4 million?

Why is it inconceivable to parents that both teams could play in a shared stadium at FSHS? The situation would be no different than it is in swimming, where both schools compete at the Indoor Aquatic Center.

Why are city commissioners allowing the school district to build a stadium for 4,000 spectators at LHS without also requiring the district to provide the 1,300 parking spaces required by city zoning ordinances?

Why did the school district repeatedly assert that the proposed facilities would only disrupt neighbors a few nights a year when it clearly intended to lease the fields for nightly city softball, baseball and soccer games?

We need new leaders with a clear vision, a commitment to fiscal responsibility, and the ability to balance community and educational needs.

Jerry Schultz, Bob Tryanski, Jeanne Klein and 10 other signers,
Lawrence

Comments

lunacydetector 6 years, 1 month ago

the schools always get a pass when it comes to parking. the teachers park in the fire lane at one newer school i've seen. just to be fair, a consolidated, centrally located stadium is all that's needed, that's not on either school's turf. don't officials turn into kiddies in a candy store with momma's wallet?

monkeyhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Very good idea, DouglasCountySucks. But don't stop with only surrounding homes. Maybe others in the community would be interested in stopping this bait and switch scam.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

P.L.A.Y. has had kind of a stinky odor from its' inception.Where's the law suit to keep them honest? This is and always was a back door plan for P.L.A.Y. which has been consistently left out of public conversation until quite recently.Speculation tells me P.L.A.Y. obviously was not going to get past taxpayers. Apparently Chamber officials,USD 497 officials and P.L.A.Y. officials found a back door open thus a plan surfaced disguised as a USD 497 project.This group wanted to avoid taxpayer scrutiny which happens wayyyyyyyyy too often in Lawrence,Kansas.This group of people thinks because JOCO and Shawnee counties have monster stadiums so should Douglas County. They are pretending this will be a huge money maker however there is no hard evidence on the table. There have been no hard numbers on cost of operation and which source will fund this high dollar operation. Who will pay for replacement of the turf every 8 years? There are a lot of numbers missing. Will this be among the"new infrastructure items" to be funded by the new sales tax? Or will new tax dollar moneybe transferred to the P.L.A.Y. budget after the vote?What is the source of construction and long term operations funding?I say this sports field nonsense should be a private venture through and through at zero financial risk or impact on the local taxpayers. Another question in my mind has been how was there so much money left over from the new school construction bond fund? $2.3 million in savings??? Was the bond issue intentionally inflated? Could this be known as corruption? Free State has a new football field,new lockers,nice,ball diamonds, scoreboard, a large parking lot etc etc. Make the existing YSI and Free State resources work for the taxpayers.Do we want former USD 497 BOE members sitting in our state legislature?

mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

You want LHS to play all their sports at Free State? Just to save money? No school pride? LHS already plays softball and baseball at YSI and Holcomb, and the point of facilities at the LHS is to keep the kids driving all over town to practice, and to help school identity and pride. You want to keep it as it is, but Free State already has facilities at their school and LHS has NOTHING at their school. How fair is that? Or if you want them to share at Free State, there would be scheduling game and practice schedule issues. As far as city league soccer, baseball, and softball playing during the summer, a girls softball league already plays at the small LHS field during the summer and has for years. It didn't disturb anyone before, although the new fields may be nearer homes, but if the lights at the field didn't disturb the neighbors across from LHS before, you can't yell foul now. The city softball and baseball facilities are greatly lacking. Kids play at every field at every available elementary school, and at HOLcomb and YSI. If a few games are scheduled during the summer, will that be a great inconvenience? Not sure about soccer leagues....So the city and school wants to use their facilities for other kids? oh, no, how selfish....

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately Reaganomics has permeated our local and state governments so this is the decade to not vote for republicans.Allowing local developers to control our city and county governments plus the planning commission = voodoo economics = fiscal irresponsibility.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"merrill (Anonymous) says: P.L.A.Y. has had kind of a stinky odor from its' inception."Once again, Richard 'Give me your money" Heckler is posting out of his own self-interest...

4paz 6 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone else wonder why all this money isn't going to educate our children? People always want to compare educational systems worldwide, so has anyone noticed that we are one of the few countries in the world who have sports tied to the school, instead of leaving it up to the equivalent of a "parks and rec"? Many students think that it's the only thing school is about. They feel they are forced to attend school, so they can play a sport. I think that says some pretty bad things about our society. We put our entertainment before our vocation. Could this be the real reason our economy is failing?

Jackson 6 years, 1 month ago

FIGURES LIE, AND LIARS FIGURE = "Creative financing".

honestone 6 years, 1 month ago

Wasn't it amazing how fast the work started after the vote was held. I think it started the next day. Must of been just waiting for their rubber stamp. I will be amazed if the neighbors have the guts to file a suit or will they just complain about it

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