Letters to the Editor

Dependent city

February 25, 2009


To the editor:

“Lawrence residents have a reputation for behaving as if they live in an elite community and thinking it is a rare privilege for any company to locate here.” — Journal-World editorial, Feb. 20

And the editorial also addresses neighborhood groups.

With the introduction of Community Development Block Grant monies from the federal government, Lawrence no longer became dependent upon itself. It started relying on federal monies, supposedly to enhance neighborhoods, but exactly the opposite has occurred. The five targeted neighborhoods have been used by the city leaders as pawns to get more money. Some token change is thrown around each year for newsletters and coordinators to make some feel important and, as the new term goes, stakeholders.

As a result of this, Lawrence is no better off with neighborhood groups than before, as is being witnessed with Family Promise.

Homes were restored before without them. Remember Elin Stene, who captured everyone in town when she undertook the restoration of the stone house in Old West Lawrence? The Gortons have been forgotten when they did the church into a home. Neither the Gortons nor Mrs. Stene had to go through a neighborhood group and coddle them nor waste time with the Historic Resources Commission and lengthy zoning issues.

Leave the churches alone. At least they are using the expensive buildings for something.

The city staff has better things to do and, if not, it is time for a major staff reduction.

David Holroyd,


Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

The local developers jumped onto the housing bubble boom town economics and inflated the prices of homes. Local financial institutions apparently had no problem selling off over valued homes. Next thing you know Lawrence became a high tax dollar bedroom community and part of the "housing bubble".

One huge problem with a housing bubble is excessive tax increases for property owners. Our city's current budget crunch could easily be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments. The community is way over extended in this regard.

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services. Historically revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

Why not increased IMPACT FEES or EXCISE TAXES? Local real estate developers have had a great time laughing all of the way to the bank on the backs of taxpayers.

Retail rents went up like a mushroom cloud cuz a few local owners decided people would pay anything to be in Lawrence,Kansas = unfriendly to new and existing business. Elite thinking or what?

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