Archive for Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Advocate for living wage, public transit seeks another term on City Commission

Former city planner Price Banks and former city commissioner Dennis Constance throw their hats in the ring. Fire chief Mark Bradford is among the batch of school board candidates

January 27, 2009


A former city commissioner who has been an advocate for Lawrence wage earners and the city’s public transit system is making a run for the City Commission.

Dennis Constance, who served on the City Commission from 1987 to 1989, formally filed Tuesday for one of three at-large seats on the commission.

“I’m concerned that during these tough economic times that some of the more vulnerable citizens are going to get squeezed off the table,” he said.

Constance, 60, said he was particularly concerned about some rumblings that the city may rethink the living wage ordinance that it passed in 2003. Constance was part of the citizens group that advocated for the passage of the ordinance, which requires companies receiving a tax abatement to pay all their workers a wage that is at least 30 percent greater than the poverty level for a family of four.

Constance also was active in the recent Campaign to Save the T, which successfully led efforts to persuade residents to approve two new sales taxes to keep the city’s public transit system operating.

Constance is a 34-year employee at Kansas University and currently is a supervisor of custodians in the university’s housekeeping department. He recently was appointed to the university committee conducting a search to replace retiring Chancellor Robert Hemenway.

Constance said he would hope to be a liaison between city government and KU administrators. He also said he’s interested in improving the city’s ability to help small start-up companies that spin off KU research.

“I think the current economic situation we’re in has shown that the old model isn’t working so well,” Constance said. “Diversifying through lots of small businesses instead of a few huge businesses is probably a healthier way to go.”

Constance, who has lived in Lawrence since 1968, is single with two grown sons.


KSChick1 8 years ago

NOT! You don't know squat vegetable girl. IMHO.

Chris Ogle 8 years ago

Do any real people exist in Lawrence that want to help our city out of the Rob Peter to pay Paul mess???Do-gooders = broke city.

Thats_messed_up 8 years ago

Overpaid janitor at a government job for 34 years --NOT a small business owner in Lawrence. Promoted the EmpT further taxing our citizens and probably turned away at least a few companies during his reign of incompetence back in the 80's. UUGGHHH.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Despite all the contributions of the (knee) jerks above, Constance is a very intelligent guy, and served well in his one term, although he greatly displeased the very narrow private interests who usually run the City Commission.He'll get my vote.

craigers 8 years ago

Figures that during tough economic times we get a candidate that wants the unemployment rate to go up. Let's increase labor costs for businesses. I'm sure they will just absorb the costs and keep all of the fine labor they currently employ. Yeah right. Wake up Constance.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

mine, too Bozo. anybody for a living wage and promoting the"T" gets my vote hands down.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"Figures that during tough economic times we get a candidate that wants the unemployment rate to go up."Re-legalize slavery, and we'd have full "employment." What's your point?

rusty2 8 years ago

sounds like the anti-dote to replace 'rubber stamp' Hack.

craigers 8 years ago

The economy needs to grow and adding jobs is a part of that. Do you not get what a living wage would do to the economy at this point bozo?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years ago

Bozo's dangerous and reckless comment about slavery is unfortunate. Typical of him, but unfortunate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"Do you not get what a living wage would do to the economy at this point bozo?"No, I don't. Companies who don't want to pay a living wage can just pay all their taxes like every other business does. If they really can't afford to do that, they aren't really going to be any help to the economy, anyway.

deskboy04 8 years ago

Dennis Constance was an excellent city commissioner. I will support him again and am happy to see him in the race. He truly cares about the citizens of Lawrence.

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