To the editor:
In reaction to Lawrence ranking last in GDP, I offer some solutions. Lawrence could do the following:
• Court a diverse set of stable companies and offer them realistic terms to come and stay. Quit letting a vocal minority control our community (read: chase companies away).
• Change from construction and development being the major employer (other than KU). This change will obviously take some time.
• Quite frankly, clean up how we talk online. I don’t doubt companies read what we write and make decisions based on what they read. I would not recommend Lawrence after researching the Journal-World forums.
• Change the City Commission structure: an elected mayor (four years, with a two-consecutive-term limit); an odd number of commissioners, five or seven, elected by wards every two years (with a three-consecutive-term limit). Currently a faction can hold the city hostage and do things benefiting only them and their PAC. Factions are not answerable to “us” other than by lip service.
• Have KU start paying a “head tax” of $25 or $50 per student per semester.
• Stand up to KU. Granted, Lawrence would be like any other small riverfront community if not for KU. However, KU should not run Lawrence as it does. The relationship should be symbiotic, not parasitic.
• Develop competition for good-paying jobs. Currently, a small group of employers wants to keep wages low and not allow competition that might jeopardize that control. Any other ideas?