Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Voters to decide leaders of city, schools today

April 5, 2011


2011 Elections

Get information on the issues, candidates and results of the 2011 elections.

New majorities are available on the Lawrence City Commission and Lawrence school board, and Jamie Shew is here to remind you that only a select group of folks can fill them.

That would be you, Registered Voter.

“These elections are all about turnout,” said Jamie Shew, who, as Douglas County clerk, is the county’s chief elections official. “The candidates that can turn out their voters will win these elections because you don’t have a lot of casual voters in a city-schools election.”

After several months of campaigning and 20 days of advance voting, Election Day has arrived for choosing three Lawrence city commissioners, four members of the Lawrence school board and still other members of city councils and school boards in other area communities.

In all, 65 polls covering 67 precincts in Douglas County will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, welcoming registered voters to cast ballots in local elections:

• For the five-member Lawrence City Commission, three will be elected from a list of five candidates: Sven Alstrom, Hugh Carter, Mike Dever, Mike Machell and Bob Schumm. The top two vote-getters will serve four-year terms, while the third-place candidate will serve a two-year term. Elected candidates will take office April 12.

• For the seven-member Lawrence school board, four of nine candidates will be elected to four-year terms: Jim Clark, Keith Diaz Moore, Ola Faucher, Rick Ingram, Shannon Kimball, Randy Masten, Marlene Merrill, Tyler Palmer and Bill Roth. Winning candidates will join the board in July.

A note to voters: Diane Lindeman’s name appears on ballots for Lawrence school board, despite her having announced in early February that she had dropped out of the race.

Shew remains hopeful that turnout will reach 20 percent of registered voters, which would be typical for an April election. More than 1,000 people have cast ballots, either by mail or in person through advance voting.

Already recording higher-than-normal turnouts include precincts where voters will be casting ballots today at Cordley and New York schools, two neighborhoods where people are concerned about potential school consolidations.

“There’s got to be an issue that drives it,” Shew said. “There are not a lot of voters who show up just to vote.”


Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

I say special interest financing of elections that extend to our local elections is a huge problem. Yes our local city commission and school board are often affected by special interest real estate development money.

I am voting Bob Schumm and Sven Alstrom because I want a whole lot less of this

And that RM 64 nonsense on the consent agenda. These large boarding houses are unfriendly to neighborhoods and they are designed to bypass the ordinance that will not allow more than 3 unrelated bodies to live in together. Will this reduce neighborhood concerns about disturbing the peace and cars cars cars cars cars? No.

The fact that both speak out against those back door sales tax districts provides evermore reason to support these two.

And I choose Masten,Diaz-Moore and Ingram for school board because I am tired of reckless spending such as the $20 million sports projects that bypassed the voters.

And I am tired of this type of USD 497 reckless spending for unimproved property at $23,000 an acre. USD 497 pays $1.73 million for new land.

And I want people on the board who hopefully will put a stop to years of neglecting taxpayer owned USD 497 property:

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

Because nothing has changed since that poll was taken in 2007.....

nativeson 7 years, 1 month ago

merrill - All candidates have some type of strong support from stakeholders.

Mr. Schumm has received a lot of money from alcohol distributors. Does this mean he will support less enforcement of underaged drinking in the City? It would benefit him directly with his saloon if this occurred. He also opposed any CIDs or TDDs (sales tax districts) outside of downtown while receiving signficant subsidy from taxpayers for sprinklers, parking, landscaping and security. How does this reconcile?

Mr. Masten and Mr. Diaz-Moore have a children at Cordley, one of the schools in consideration for closing. Should they recuse themselves from these discussions if elected?

When you begin pointing to specific candidates and accuse them of being bias based on their supporters you go down the path of accusing everyone of having special interests. Read the statements of candidates and decide based on their content.

Synjyn Smythe 7 years, 1 month ago

If an officeholder were to receive a direct benefit then, yes, he/she should recuse himself/herself to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. This goes to the very integrity of the system.

Masten and Diaz-Moore would not have to recuse themselves merely because they have children attending impacted schools, unless they were unable to make decisions objectively due to said attendance.

nativeson 7 years, 1 month ago

SynjynSmythe - Agreed. I was commenting on merrill's inference that somehow some candidates have nefarious intentions due to "special interest financing of elections." Most candidates have a base of financial support with a certain perspective. That is why they are motivated to contribute. With rare exception, the issues have no direct benefit for the officeholder.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

The foreclosure mess isn’t going away( why continue approving more and more residential?)

By Zachary Roth

We've told you before about how big banks cut corners on paperwork over the last few years in order to speed struggling homeowners into foreclosure. And a "60 Minutes" report that aired last night offers fresh anecdotal reporting on just how irresponsible--and potentially fraudulent--the banks' practices were. Meanwhile, compelling video of a grandmother being evicted from her home by a SWAT team last week suggests the banks aren't slowing down their rush to foreclosure and eviction.

Banks profit by processing a vast number of homes into foreclosure as quickly as possible. But as "60 Minutes" details, many of the mortgages at issue were bundled and sold from one Wall Street investor to another during the housing boom, with scant attention paid among financial players to the actual underlying ownership documents. And as the foreclosures unwind in a slew of court proceedings nationwide, many banks have produced dubiously rendered legal documents that seek to shore up the ownership paperwork long after the original mortgage transactions were on the books. In some cases, financial institutions paid contract companies who employed an army of "robo-signers"—office workers who forged signatures on mortgage documents that were then used to initiate foreclosures.

You can watch the full 14-minute report here:

Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes" spoke with one former robo-signer, Chris Pendley, a man who had been paid to sign the name "Linda Green" thousands of times over the course of an average workday on mortgage documents.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

Why build more new schools when USD 497 has plenty of room as we speak? What's the point? Don't offer up legislation from USD 497 for new school buildings UNTIL the voters want to stop using existing resources.

Taxpayers are money ahead making do with what we have.

I'm ready to break Lawrence up into "districts" to avoid having new westside Lawrence the majority on our governing bodies. Bring on equal representation!!!

Why support local legislation for a "secret" sales tax? Put it to the voters.

Again Don't offer up legislation from USD 497 for new school buildings UNTIL the voters want to stop using existing resources.

ZacharyCobb 7 years, 1 month ago

If this vote goes my way I am going to celebrate by eating chicken nuggets. I will consume chicken nuggets until the sun comes up.


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