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Letters to the Editor

Risky business

December 22, 2009

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To the editor:

The recent decision by the city of Lawrence and Douglas County to finance the purchase of a west Lawrence building for $2.9 million should be a major cause of concern for taxpayers. This is almost twice as much as the building’s documented worth. While speculative real estate purchases by local government are hardly new, often there is some due diligence performed. In this case no independent appraisal was performed and there is no tangible evidence that this space can meet its occupancy rate for the next quarter century.

Economic development should not be about government picking winners and losers. This is especially true when it is our money that is subsidizing the considerable risk.

Comments

KU_cynic 4 years, 4 months ago

With the exception of Boog -- who voted against approval for the city to proceed with the Oread Labs purchase without an appraisal -- the little advisory board of lapdogs that reviewed this for the city neglected their stewardship duties in favor of small-minded Babbitry.

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kenos 4 years, 4 months ago

We have a "Peak Oil" board that advises the city on returning to a third-world status. The mayor is on this board. Since we're spending millions of taxpayer's dollars on perhaps overvalued real estate, doesn't if figure that we should have a board that oversees such matters as the expensive purchase of property? And should mayors, or members of the City Commission, be on boards that are designed to advise them?

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toddtrip 4 years, 4 months ago

That's right bk - they 'know better' as does the editor of this paper that also promoted the deal.

One of the reasons that we don't get better employers is that our local elite really only favor those already at the table.

Outsiders? No Way.

More 'Corporate Welfare' from the Chambercrats. This is not the way to create a level playing field and a true business incubator / area of affordable rents for startup business.

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Brent Garner 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey, the fed picks winners and losers all the time--see the automaker bailouts, bank bailouts, etc. Why shouldn't our wonderful, progressive local government be entitled to the same? Don't they know so much more than we do? After all, they are the elite and we but the unwashed, ignorant proletariat! We should learn to keep our place, right? (Please note the heavy sarcasm used in writing this entry!)

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