Archive for Friday, October 3, 2008

County candidates debate trafficway, growth

Republican Jim Flory and Democrat Ken Grotewiel deliver their opening statements.

October 3, 2008


Douglas County Third District candidates Jim Flory, left, and Ken Grotewiel, talk after their forum on the issues Thursday night at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Douglas County Third District candidates Jim Flory, left, and Ken Grotewiel, talk after their forum on the issues Thursday night at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Third District Douglas County Commission candidates started their forum Thursday night talking about an old issue: The controversial South Lawrence Trafficway.

Republican Jim Flory said he would be a vocal supporter of the approved plan to complete the trafficway along the 32nd Street alignment through the Baker Wetlands.

"It's simply an excellent plan," said Flory, a former Douglas County district attorney and retired federal prosecutor.

He said the commission should unequivocally support the plan with a resolution because it would cost less than the proposed 42nd Street route and help restore and expand the wetlands.

Democrat Ken Grotewiel said the decision is over the commission's head at this point, especially with litigation likely.

But he did say a more southern route would have some merits.

"It helps with expansion of the county in terms of development south of Wakarusa River," said Grotewiel, a former state legislator from Wichita and a retired Kansas Water Office official.

The candidates are vying to replace Republican Jere McElhaney in the district that includes western Lawrence and most of western Douglas County. They debated the issues during a Voter Education Coalition forum at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Several times, Grotewiel stressed the importance of balancing growth in the county with the preservation of green space.

Both said offering tax abatements to attract some companies was occasionally necessary, but they said the county needed to rely more on marketing its quality of life for economic development.

Grotewiel said he would support a domestic partnership registry at the county level. Flory said he wouldn't advocate for one if elected because he called it a state-level issue. He would consider it if another commissioner brought it up.


cthulhu_4_president 7 years ago

Um, not sure if the west Lawrence argument holds up. My girlfriend lives as west as it gets (past Wak dr.) and I can be at K-10 and Harper by only leaving her house about 5 minutes earlier than I would leave mine (east 6th). It's all about using those nice, newly paved, roads around campus to your advantage (i.e. make sure you're going the OTHER way when everyone else is driving to campus!)But south Lawrence.....different story.

gr 7 years ago

Use fee. I like it. Make sure to include a school use fee. You go to school, you pay for it. Don't expect the rest of us to pick up the tab. Oh, and don't forget insurance. If you are overweight, you have more illness so you should pay a higher insurance fee. It's only fair that every one pays their "fair share".User fees. Sounding better all the time. Just make sure it is across the board and not only for those things which you don't like.

situveux1 7 years ago

I agree, let's do a user fee. And all of those liberals that want more money for people who won't get a job can do it by a 'user fee' as well.

1029 7 years ago

If you really need to get to Johnson County (not Kansas City, because I-70 is a convenient and fast way to get directly to Kansas City), then why not be forced to pay a toll if you insist that 23rd Street is too slow and frustrating? Boo hoo.There could be an automated gate that lifts for cars after they swipe their card or feed a couple of bucks into it. If West Lawrencians are that inconvenienced in getting to their precious Johnson County, they shouldn't mind having to pay a toll. Maybe they have to go to Johnson County because that was the only place they could find a job. But they chose to live in West Lawrence.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years ago

build it it to the south...and have those who use it pay for it...

Michael Sizemore 7 years ago

I'm as blue as they come, and I'll be voting for Flory.BUILD IT!

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Every time I see K-10 basically dead-end at Highway 59, I think of all the traffic that must be diverted through our city becuase of the no-growth nonsense coming from the likes of logrithmic.Time to pave the wetlands and finish the SLT.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

logrithmic and 1029,So let's get this straight - You favor finishing the SLT through the Baker/Haskell/Haskell/Baker wetlands if a user fee is in place. You would support it under that condition?

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Jack Rip Off,Light rail? Kind of like Amtrak, that government rail boondoggle that doesn't pay for itself and requires Kansans to send million$$ to the East Coast so that fat cats can ride from New York to Boston while we get zilch?

MattressMan 7 years ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says... The interstate already existed, why didn't they develop around it instead ?Where is all the development around the bypass that you speak of?

GOPConservative 7 years ago

Grotewiel didn't say he was against the SLT. He simply favors the original South of the River route and sees it as making more sense for the long term. If you want the 32nd Street route, Flory is the last person you whould want representing your position on the County Commission. There are thousands of pages in print that portray Flory as an enemy of Native Americans. Do we really want to have the National Press bringing all that up again if Flory is one of the Commissioners who pushes for the completion of the SLT on land that will be portrayed as having been stolen from HINU? There is nothing that will stop the construction of the SLT faster than to have Jim Flory associated with it.

GOPConservative 7 years ago

Yes, the 32nd Street option has been approved (sort of), but it is still tied up, and it will be even more tied up if Flory is elected. There is no question that the National Media will once again start running stories about Flory and his infamous history of abuse toward Native Americans. His support of 32nd Street will be portrayed as another example of his bigotry. He is the WORST POSSIBLE choice for the County Commission.You would be better off supporting Grotewiel, who doesn't have any baggage, and then working with him to get him to favor the 32nd Street option. It sounds like Groteweil is not that strongly against 32nd Street, but if Flory gets in, it will be a whole new ballgame....again.

jerrythomas 7 years ago

In 1991, Bruce Rodgers wrote an excellent article about the cover up of a police homicide in Lawrence. It was entitled "Shot In The Heart," and was published in The Pitch. By reading Mr. Rodger's article, readers will see that District Attorney Jim Flory was the force behind the cover-up of that tragedy. Within days after his notorious "Coroner's Inquest," Flory was saved from the wrath of irate citizens by being hired by the Justice Department so that he could resign his elected position and leave Lawrence. Now he's back. Here is another helpful link: Flory demonstrated his organizational skill and his aggressive courtroom techniques in his effective cover-up of the police department's crime against the Sevier family and the People of Lawrence. He did not allow the Seviers' attorney to speak.The hand-picked Coroner's Jury listened to testimony from Mr. Flory's chosen witnesses whose primary aim coincided with Mr. Flory's goal -- to exonerate the policemen who killed Gregg and to "prove" that the killing was "justified."Interested readers can find details on the Internet. Now 17 years later, Flory wants to sneak back into political office by running for the Douglas County Commission. Voters in Douglas County should know the truth about this dangerous and dishonest politician.Mr. Flory might make a good County Commissioner, but not in Douglas County.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.