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Archive for Sunday, April 5, 2009

Critical election

Lawrence residents need to show they care about the city’s future by casting informed votes in Tuesday’s Lawrence City Commission election.

April 5, 2009

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Will Tuesday’s election for Lawrence city commissioners be another ho-hum, cookie-cutter occasion? Will there be a lot of talk about how voters should carefully study candidates’ stands on the important issues facing Lawrence then cast their ballots only to learn after the election that only a small fraction of eligible voters took advantage of the opportunity to put the best qualified candidates into office?

It happens year after year.

Will it be the same this year?

Lawrence is facing serious challenges. There isn’t enough money to meet all the important needs of the city and its residents. Lawrence schools need more money, and the city’s slow growth has reduced property tax revenues, which are not sufficient to transform Lawrence into an even finer community. The city needs more large building sites for industry and business. The relationship between the city and Kansas University is not what it was years ago, and KU is looking for a new chancellor.

What will be the level of interaction and cooperation between Lawrence and university leadership? How can the “town-gown” relationship be im-proved? What needs to be done to generate more good jobs for Lawrence residents?

How can the long-delayed South Lawrence Trafficway be finished along the 32nd Street route? What can the city do to increase its supply of fresh water to meet the inevitable demands? How do we make Lawrence a safer city for its residents?

What can Lawrence residents do to help KU tell its story to state legislators so lawmakers can realize the areas of true excellence on Mount Oread? A properly funded university with strong, visionary and courageous leadership will make Lawrence a better city and Kansas a better state.

The challenges and opportunities are vast, and unless Lawrence and Douglas County have good, strong, honest, visionary leadership in City Hall and the courthouse, the city is severely handicapped. Lawrence has no chance of reaching its potential with just “average” leadership. It needs dedicated, smart and honest individuals with sound records of accomplishment.

Voting in Tuesday’s election is important business. It is important to the city and to every current resident. It is a matter that deserves the attention and participation of more than just an embarrassingly small percentage of voters. Tuesday’s voter turnout will offer the best possible proof of the level of interest local residents have in the welfare and future of their city. Do they really care or do they just talk a good talk?

Lawrence used to be looked upon as one of the most progressive, forward-looking cities in Kansas with every opportunity to set the standard for the entire state. What’s happened in a relatively short time? Could it be a malaise of complacency and indifference and the failure to elect well-qualified and properly motivated individuals to positions of leadership in City Hall?

Are Lawrence residents sufficiently concerned over the future of Lawrence to do something about this dangerous drift and start getting involved by voting in Tuesday’s election?

Comments

Practicality 5 years, 8 months ago

Lord here we go again.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Round 1 begin.

Lets keep it clean and come out fighting.

"Lets get ready to Rummmmmmmbbbbbbblllleeee!"

normal_entire_route 5 years, 8 months ago

Or, is it the lameness of these editorials? How can anyone ask 13 questions in an editorial? Is it really editorial comment if all you do is ask questions? What if all JW articles were written like this? Would we really receive less news?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

These tools that protect taxpayers and prevent over stocking our markets. How come these tools have not been mandated by decision makers?

Retail Impact Study Economic Impact Study Environmental Impact Study Cost of Community Services Study determines which growth is and which growth is not paying back the taxpayers. All taxpayers surely have the fiscally responsible desire to know these facts.

These tools Prevent tax revenue problems and inflated tax bills to property owners. “Maintain property tax increase at a normal cost of living increase of 4% Help maintain healthy economic growth thus keeping tax and user fee hikes in check Prevent over stocking of housing markets thus protecting residential property values. A tight housing market is more desirable for homeowners *Prevent overstocking of retail markets thus protecting markets from an “unfriendly to business” situation such that Lawrence has been in the past several years

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Why vote in anyone who supports the antiquated SLT plan that will take taxpayers for a ride?

This plan is no longer practical which makes one wonder why the real estate special interest industry wants taxpayers to fund this very old idea?

Developers are very expensive budget items. They in turn buy very expensive commissioners who support very expensive requests put forth by developers. Now we have tons of new bedroom community development aka expanding the tax base which is not paying back the community aka taxpayers = no economic growth.

Something went wrong? *Economic Growth Problems in Lawrence http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/sep/why_do_you_think_lawrence_growth_lagging/

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Who continues to support the current fiscally reckless and fiscally irresponsible SLT route? Lance Johnson/Bush/Amyx

Who says No to this route? Klingenberg/Constance/Cromwell/Tom Johnson/Price Banks = fiscally responsible thinkers on this matter.

There is no money for this project as we speak and hasn't been for a few years. So that tells me local special interest groups will expect local taxpayers to fund a sizeable portion of this road in addition to the 31st street expansion to county road 1057. Where's the money?

What is the likely scenario following the construction of these roads?

  • construction of the $88 million sewage treatment plant,which in and of itself increases the cost of community services
  • 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. Where is the money?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

"The city needs more large building sites for industry and business." Who's coming to town? Would this be fiscally responsible for Lawrence taxpayers? NO! There are still many sites and empty large buildings available in Lawrence.

When Boog,D,Shauner and Mike Rundle were wanting to create a SE Lawrence Light Industrial area off K-10 who came out against the plan? The very same people who always keep wanting the taxpayers to help them make more money with OUR tax dollars. The real estate and building movers and shakers.

This town needs serious impact fees.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 8 months ago

Richard Heckler hates the poor, punctuation, and these message boards.

Can this editorial ask more rhetorical answers? Is it possible to provide less information? Is Richard accusing prople of corruption? If so, can Richard be sued? If someone sued Richard, would his lawnmower be his only asset? Why can't Richard use the comma correctly? How is Gwen "fiscally responsible" when she can't even manage to pay her own taxes?

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 8 months ago

"ocean (Anonymous) says… remember Wal-Mart and the 25% loss of downtown retail that it will cause….many locally owned stores will suffer."

lolz. citation?

igby 5 years, 8 months ago

10% turnout is expected!

Down 5% from 2007.

These CC's running really make Dever and Chestnut look like the good guys. We are done and we will soon be broke too.

Michael Capra 5 years, 8 months ago

heres how it will go Johnson,Kromwell and Amxy and here they go

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