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Archive for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Town Talk special update: Commissioner Hugh Carter proposes City Hall layoffs, rather than decreasing number of new police officers

August 2, 2011

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This just in this afternoon. City Commissioner Hugh Carter tells me he plans to present his own plan this evening that would involve City Hall layoffs rather than cut back on a planned expansion of the city’s police force.

Carter said he thinks the city probably can cut three positions from the city’s Planning and Development Services Department rather than forgo adding two new police officers to the city’s force. On Monday, Carter was the one commissioner who really spoke out about a plan by City Commissioner Bob Schumm to reduce a planned expansion of the police force from four officers — as recommended by City Manager David Corliss — to two officers. Schumm is supporting the reduction in plans in order to cut another 0.18 mill from the mill levy. That would allow the city’s 2012 budget to come in flat — other than a 1.7-mill increase that was approved by voters for an expansion of the Lawrence Public Library.

Carter said he thinks it is admirable that the commission is trying to limit the mill levy increase, but he said there are better ways to do it.

“Unfortunately, I think crime is heavier in bad economic times,” Carter said.

That’s not the case for development. Carter, a former planning commissioner, said he thinks the slowdown in development activity would allow the city’s planning and development services department to cope with fewer employees.

But Carter conceded that what he is talking about are layoffs of existing personnel, which is a step city commissioners haven’t taken often during this downturn. Most of the employee cuts at City Hall have come through attrition.

“I don’t take that lightly, but I have been in business before and I understand it sometimes has to be done,” Carter said.

Carter said his first choice is to allow Corliss’ recommendation to stand, which would mean the city’s mill levy would increase by 1.88 mills instead of the 1.7 mills under Schumm’s proposal. But Carter said he doesn’t get the sense that a majority of the commission will approve a 1.88-mill increase.

The 0.18 mill amounts to an extra $4.14 per year property taxes for a $200,000 home.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

Comments

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

Carter should be commended because Planning and Development has run off potential projects the past 5 years. The moles in the Department make it impossible for projects to ever come to completion without meddling from outside.

Neighborhood Resources needs to start performing the title. When is the last time that Department conducted a city wide cleanup. Mr. Torres told me when he was in the head honcho spot it was a good idea. he did nothing.

Lawrence is filthy and Downtown is no exception. Anyone who observed the amount of trash this past weekend around town can not deny the need for a city wide cleanup.

The one department to not cut staff from is the Sanitation Department. Any commissioner who thinks going to Defenbaugh or any other private concern best be figuring out how to get rid of mattresses, sofas and more mattresses and sofas.

Now Mr. Carter needs to sit down with Dr. Doll and the school board and reduce that governmental agency so that the mill levy is lowered on USD 497. It's either now or very soon next year!. The money is going to get tight.

And for the SRS workers and clients , are you going to write the governor and/or the board of Directors of Kroger and demand that the employees at the Mass St Dillons be given jobs locally instead of them going to Topeka and Leavenworth?

huh?

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ilovelucy 2 years, 8 months ago

Hugh is doing a great job. I'm glad someone is thinking clearly at City Hall. The padding at the top should go first. Schumm is trying to keep those who voted him in happy. Since he ran on some stinky topics anyway.

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TJ_in_Lawrence 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm not going to comment on the advantages or disadvantages of more or less police or more or less planning staff. But we have to stop spending more money than we take in. It's simple math folks. Spend more than you take in and you go bankrupt. Period. End of game.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 8 months ago

Build more roundabouts!!!!Build more roundabouts!!!!

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bootlegger 2 years, 8 months ago

lock and load; conceal and carry permit; we don't need no stinkin badges.............

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Liberal 2 years, 8 months ago

There is an idea...smaller gov't.

How about another revolutionary idea....Do not spend more than you have....maybe that is too controversial.

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Multidisciplinary 2 years, 8 months ago

Someone run get Chad some Gaviscon and some corn dogs, mustard, and ice cold brew from Free State. Could be a jumpy night. See if you can pick up a funnel cake for him too.

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doesnotplaywellwithothers 2 years, 8 months ago

To save more money fire the whole planning department, the staff just says "No" anyway.

I've talked with buiders and despite the construction downturn the City has hired additional inspectors.

This is just an example of how the government entrenches themselves starting at a local level and up and justifies their existence and budgets, whether there is a need or cost effective. Look at all the duplications of agencies and departments at the national level.

A friend tells me *80% of his sales and most of his profits come from the end of the school year budget and they have to "use it or lose it" and each year their budget goes up..He replaces perfectly usable products and then resells them to the public.

I, as most small businesses, have had to make difficult decisions to survive and cannot understand the continued growth of the government. One blogger proposed that they fire all local government jobs and then post the jobs at a 90% discount and see the quality of applicants.

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writeon 2 years, 8 months ago

You people need to think of the bigger picture. What Clowncrack is doing in Kansas is a microcosm of what he would do as president (which never will happen). His agenda mimics the tea-baggers desecration of the Republican party, which no longer really exists. Il Marrone is simply taking to the max what a really bad Republican governor, Bill Graves, did: cut and deplete all state surpluses in order to reward WHAT? Not much, Bill, or Sammy. Maybe we can look forward to a horror movie, "Brownback Mountain."

B-t-w, keep track of the Republicants who voted against raising the debt ceiling. Most of them are out there campaigning for your votes, including the Bachman creature. As long as Republicants are in this much disarray, Obama is completely safe.

Right now, the only sane Republicant is Mitt Romney. But he will never be nominated because he doesn't have enough "tags" to the bizarro constituents of his own party. Instead, Michele Brokeback, wearing her sling-back mules and imagining herself as "commander-in-chief."

There will be a mutiny.

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irvan moore 2 years, 8 months ago

can we just buy a rubber stamp and get rid of corlis and call it good?

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 8 months ago

I propose BOTH! Get spending under control. Take a subtle hint from the national debt and threats of losing our AAA credit rating. Jeeezzzzzzz politicians. Why is it when people get elected their brain(s) shut off?

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distant_voice 2 years, 8 months ago

How about fewer speed traps handing out tickets to regular Lawrence citizens doing 7 mph over the speed limit, and keep the number of officers the same or reduce them?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Comm Carter makes no sense whatsoever.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Okay then I want Carter to be the one to tell these employees they are being laid off.

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Clark Coan 2 years, 8 months ago

Experience has shown that having more cops does not reduce crime. What about attrition? Just don't fill vacant positions that come up for a couple of years. They never did fill the parks and rec directorship left vacant after Fred Devictor retired.

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kef104 2 years, 8 months ago

Is anyone else bothered that when they discuss our need for more officers for the size of our community they ignore the Sheriffs staff and the KU Police staff? They do count and they do assist. We can ignore the article a few weeks back that showed we already have more police per population than most area communities with lower crime issues. Ie, extra police do not appear to lower crime.

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 8 months ago

Bad idea. Net employment balance of zero and programs removed. It would be more palatable if he had some specific program cuts in mind.

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ModerateOne 2 years, 8 months ago

We have way too many planners and not nearly enough new projects to plan. Great idea Commissioner Carter!

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Bob_Loblaw 2 years, 8 months ago

''Unfortunately, I think crime is heavier in bad economic times,' Carter said. That’s not the case for development. Carter, a former planning commissioner, said he thinks the slowdown in development activity would allow the city’s planning and development services department to cope with fewer employees..."

Yes.....I agree. Doing what would be "nice" is not necessarily the best choice. He is at least using some reasoning skills to come to his conclusion. Crime IS heavier in bad economic times....history clearly shows that. The only development happening in Lawrence (non-stop) are frickin' apartments.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Looks like Carter is looking for some payback from some planning staff who didn't please him while he was a planning commissioner. And/or he figures a smaller staff in the planning office will make it easier for him to rubber-stamp proposals from his developer buds.

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boxers_or_briefs 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe Hugh Carter can serve his remaining time on the city commision without being paid. That would help a little too.

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KU_cynic 2 years, 8 months ago

How about city hall layoffs AND a reduction in the requested police increase.

I know that's crazy talk in Lawrence . . .

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Kontum1972 2 years, 8 months ago

be nice if all these city hall "demi gawd hot shots" took a cut in pay...to demonstrate that we are all in this together.....can we get a vote here?

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