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Archive for Monday, August 8, 2011

City, County would pay to keep open state SRS office under proposal announced Monday

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services announced Friday that it will be closing the Lawrence SRS service center, 1901 Del.

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services announced Friday that it will be closing the Lawrence SRS service center, 1901 Del.

August 8, 2011, 5:05 p.m. Updated August 8, 2011, 8:49 p.m.

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— After weeks of community anguish over a decision by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to shut down the Lawrence state welfare agency office, a deal was announced Monday that would keep the office open but require local payments.

Under the proposal, the city and county would each pay $112,500 to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in January 2012 and $112,500 in January 2013. That totals $450,000.

In return for satisfying SRS’ demand to cut its costs, SRS would keep the office in operation to September 2013. What happens after that, SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. said, would depend on the economic condition of the state.

“We have committed to the community in Lawrence to make a good faith effort to seek adequate funding in subsequent years for that purpose,” he said.

Siedlecki, who had announced on July 1 the plan to close the Lawrence office, said that under the new payment proposal put together by local officials, “everyone wins.”

Both Douglas County Commission Chairman Jim Flory and Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell voiced support of the deal, which is contingent on approval after public hearings of the Lawrence City Commission todayon Tuesday, and the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday.

“I view this proposal as a temporary partnership between local and state governments that will benefit the entire community,” Flory said.

“Not only will approval of this proposal assure the continuance of essential social services to our constituents, it will also continue the economic benefit realized locally from a significant state payroll and by avoiding additional budgetary demands on many local social service agencies,” he said.

Cromwell said, “This proposal allows for the continuation of SRS services in Lawrence. SRS provides vital services to many of our residents. It is important to the Lawrence community to maintain the SRS presence in Lawrence.”

Officials said the county funds will come from money currently budgeted for future economic development. It will not require a mill levy increase. The city will dip into its fund balances.

Under the proposal, if the Legislature stepped up to provide the funding to keep open the Lawrence office, then the city and county would be released from the payment obligation.

If approved, the plan would resolve for now the controversial decision by Siedlecki to close the Lawrence office.

Siedlecki and Gov. Sam Brownback said closing SRS offices in Lawrence and eight other towns was needed to comply with a legislative requirement to cut $1 million in costs.

The Lawrence office was by far the largest one planned for closure, serving thousands of needy Kansans and employing 87 people.

Siedlecki and Brownback said clients at the office could access services online or travel to nearby cities, such as Topeka. The plan was to allow the employees to transfer to other offices.

Siedlecki said closing the Lawrence office would save more than $400,000 per year, with most of that money coming from rent for two buildings at 1900 and 1901 Del. But officials later said about half of those costs were paid through federal dollars.

But local officials said shutting down the Lawrence SRS office would have disrupted services to vulnerable Kansans, led to more criminal activity and child abuse, and placed additional burdens on already strapped nonprofit groups.

They said the notion that SRS clients, many of them with disabilities, could travel to other cities was not possible. And they noted that many services administered by SRS could not be accessed by computer.

Community leaders, advocates for the needy and law enforcement officials were stunned and in some cases angered when SRS announced it was shutting down the Lawrence office.

More than 1,000 people attended meetings and rallies shortly after the announcement. Nearly 20 local agencies said any savings to the state would have simply shifted onto them.

Law enforcement officials said they were concerned that without SRS social workers who were familiar with the territory there would be more cases of child abuse.

Douglas County commissioners held several closed-door sessions to discuss what options were available. On Friday, members of the County and City Commission met briefly with high-ranking SRS officials.

County Administrator Craig Weinaug said officials abided by all requirements of the state Open Meetings law. Three executive sessions were deemed privileged under the attorney-client privilege dealing with the possibility of lawsuits surrounding the situation, he said.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the proposed deal was “great news for the over 10,000 residents of Douglas County that depend on services provided by SRS.” He said he was confident city and county officials would approve the proposal.

Davis said closing the SRS office “was not an option.”

He added that he has never witnessed in Lawrence “such an outpouring of concern and compassion like what we have seen since the July 1 announcement by SRS that would they would close the Lawrence office. I have never been more proud to call Lawrence and Douglas County home.”

Comments

Kelli Carbaugh 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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To Sides 2 years, 8 months ago

Not all of the employees working in Lawrence live in Lawrence. But if the office closes those who live here and work elsewhere will not be buying there lunches here or exclusively filling up their vehicle with fuel here. Today in Topeka unleaded regular was $3.27 gallon.

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

I haven't seen anybody here discounting your needs.

This is Lawrence's fight and that is your fight.

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dlewisto 2 years, 8 months ago

"But local officials said shutting down the Lawrence SRS office would have disrupted services to vulnerable Kansans, led to more criminal activity and child abuse, and placed additional burdens on already strapped nonprofit groups. They said the notion that SRS clients, many of them with disabilities, could travel to other cities was not possible. And they noted that many services administered by SRS could not be accessed by computer."

I struggle with the concept that people from Lawrence could not get to Topeka or KC for services when people in the (forgotten) west half of the state started traveling for services 6 years ago when large numbers of offices in that area were closed. People out here travel up to 100 miles to get to an office and social workers regularly travel further than that to get to homes they have to visit on protection cases. This was a hardship for people but surprisingly, we have all managed. Population numbers in western Kansas is admittedly less than in regions such as Lawrence but after years of living here, I am tired of our needs being discounted because we don't live in an urban region.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

How would the city have suffered from loss of employment? Assuming ALL SRS workers live in Lawrence, then no one would have suffered, they were still going to have a job.

If company A in Lenexa moved to Olathe and the workers were from Lawrence, is there a loss of jobs? Lawrence has a comprehension problem.

Next rally for Heartland and protest Sebilus, when is the march to Washington DC?

Jayhawk Fan 1985, what's wrong with you? Baldwin , Eudora, Vinland, Lecompton, don't exist in the minds of people in Lawrence. Lawrence is Douglas County. IN Douglas County there is only one city.

And to think, that Mayor Cramwell and Whineaug believe that closing of the office results in job losses? How? Who at SRS was going to lose their job? Does Chad know or Mr. Hittle know? This is about rent! And the next story will be about a real estate deal around the jail and/or 19th and Delaware.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 8 months ago

I have two problems with this. First, Lawrence and Douglas County should be suing the state for an arbitrary and capricious decision on the part of the Brownback Administration to deny state services to residents in our community. The cost of state government should be borne by state taxes, not local taxes. Second, why should Lawrence residents pay twice? All Lawrence residents are residents of Douglas County too. If this needs to be done as a stop gap until reason returns to Topeka, then only Douglas County should pay for it. Residents of Lecompton, Baldwin City and Eudora will benefit from keeping this office open, why don't they contribut too?

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hedshrinker 2 years, 8 months ago

Difference between social justice Dems and ideologically pure conservative Repubs is that Dems will usually blink first b/c their highest value is to take care of the needs of the people and to hear all voices and work towards common ground, even if it means they have to eat crow/lose the election etc., whereas Repubs will win at all costs no matter who suffers....never blink first b/c they have absolutely NO shame. So in this case Lawrencians fought for the right thing even tho we may pay thru the nose for it, of course letting King Sam off the hook and with more $$$in his war chest to pay salaries for more of his cronies. I'd still rather do the right thing. Sucks tho'

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antichristobserver 2 years, 8 months ago

E-mailed all 5 city council members what my opinion of this was. Got only 2 responses. 1 being Bob Schumm, who merely acknowledged receiving it. 2nd being Mike Dever, he, while disagreeing with me, at least took time to explain why. Other 3, just as clueless as one would expect from C of C flunkies. Mike, I will at least look at him and his record if he runs again. The other 4 I will definitely vote against. Aron, I definitely will since he's determined to destroy current waste pickup we have. Guess Deffenbaugh contributes far too much to his campaign funds to ignore their wishes.

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doc1 2 years, 8 months ago

NO. NO. NO. NO. They can't afford it and if they do step in the state will expect them to keep it up.

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 8 months ago

The closure was necessary for the State because the State was footing the whole bill. The City would have suffered from both loss of services as well as employment. Now the City has some 'skin in the game' so I guess it ought to pay something for the services it gets to keep. I just don't like the feel of the deal. I feel the State held our jobs and services hostage to get Lawrence to pony up. I sure don't like the precedent this is setting, but I guess Lawrence does benefit and so paying a little for it seems reasonable. I sure do have a bad taste in my mouth though. It really just comes down to whether or not Lawrence (and Douglas county) receive a $450, 000 benefit in funds and services. I'd write more, but I need to go gargle.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Recall Brownback. They are doing it in Wisconsin.

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Sigmund 2 years, 8 months ago

$450,000 sounds like a lot of money. We are no longer funding fire equipment like was promised when we raised taxes and we can't afford additional police officers. I sure hope this doesn't cut into the funds for K.T. Walsh's brick streets! http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/aug/05/city-discuss-brick-street-maintenance/#c1707863

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 8 months ago

It's so easy with other peoples money.

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Kontum1972 2 years, 8 months ago

Gov., sway-back wants to refurbush some of the old closed down missile silos to fight Al Quieda..he wants to take it Directly to the enemy...on-ward christian soldiers marching off too war....ta da...!

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mloburgio 2 years, 8 months ago

Kansas not pursuing federal prevention dollars

Major federal initiative will bypass Kansas because no one applied for grant

TOPEKA — “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” — Ben Franklin

The federal government is poised to start spending $900 million nationwide over the next five years in an effort to battle costly chronic ailments such as obesity and diabetes.

The initiative is considered the single largest push to date by the national government to encourage disease prevention. But Kansas likely won’t see a dollar of that money.

Why not? Well, one big reason is that no one here asked. http://www.khi.org/news/2011/aug/08/kansas-not-pursuing-federal-prevention-dollars/

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Lana Christie-Hayes 2 years, 8 months ago

From Save Our SRS - Lawrence, KS - on facebook~~~~~~~~ "Help us pack City Hall tonight as the City Commission will consider the County/City resolution to keep the Lawrence SRS office open! Be at City Hall at 6:35pm!"

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not_holroyd 2 years, 8 months ago

The State of Kansas appreciates this $450,000 appropriation from the citizens of Lawrence to the SRS administrative budget.

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JohnSickels 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm really discouraged that the city and county guys are taking flak for this. They are doing what they can do to protect the most vulnerable people in Lawrence from Brownback's attack.

The fault lies with Brownback and his minions, not the local pols who are trying to find a solution that doesn't screw over thousands of people.

As I said, this is a short-term fix through 2013, a bandaid. Now we have to lobby the legislature and find a way to prevent this from happening again.

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guess_again 2 years, 8 months ago

The winners: Schwada family, SRS clients

The losers: everyone else.

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

A report on the recently attended prayer thingy in Houston:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-moore/a-prayer-for-ricky-meany_b_920349.html?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=080811&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

It's not the morals of this country that are declining, it's the ability to think critically and rationally and to make decisions based on reality. Or maybe that ability is not declining, it's just that our leaders have become progressively more regressive and authoritarian and have learned how to manipulate us better.

Of course, the more education one has, generally the more one questions things. See where I'm going with this?

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pace 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback should be ashamed, only worse case is Kansas, we elected this guy. Robbing the poor, to cushion the rich.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

Is this "proposal" really about 87 jobs or rent? So, after 2013 what happens? Rent goes up and the city/county payments go up. Where is the outcry about Olive Garden now with "tax relief" from a state of kansas program?

Lawrence has been suckered and the progressives led the march. Mayor Cramwell has very well crammed this down the taxpayers and Weinaug was raised to not say no. This is a shame, it truly is.

No jobs were being lost if the local office closed, but they may be down the road. What is really going on with this venture?

This maybe will lead to another expense when Weinaug pulls off a scheme to have a county owned facility very near the coming Drop In Center southeast of town and then tell the public, do not fret we now have a building with no rent to pay, just maintenance and more employees of the county and city to keep up the place and maybe a few hundred thousand here and there to remodel. I see the current landlord still ending without SRS as a tenant in 2013 or even maybe selling the 19th and Delaware building to the city and the county. A real win win situation. Take it off the tax rolls in 2013.

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justanotherface 2 years, 8 months ago

OK, it'll stay open. What more do you people want? Can the bitching stop now?!

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skinny 2 years, 8 months ago

If the City and County have extra money it should be used instead to drop the mill levy during these hard economic times! I can see a lawsuit coming from the Douglas County tax payers!!

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 8 months ago

"kernal (anonymous) replies… Brownback fervently believes he is religious. Problem is, he only pays attention to those parts of the Bible that suit him, as do most in their religious fervor." === Good point. Read about the C-Street cult, which has been training Mullah Sam and many others since 1978 or 79. They ignore the while bible and only support their version of 'muscular jesus' and nothing else. By their creed, the bible is irrelevant. "Coe listed other men who had changed the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers”: “Look at Hitler,” he said. “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden.” The Family, of course, possessed a weapon those leaders lacked: the “total Jesus” of a brotherhood in Christ. “That's what you get with a covenant,” said Coe. “Jesus plus nothing.” [Doug Coe is the cult leader.] http://www.illuminati-news.com/2007/0916a.html

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JohnSickels 2 years, 8 months ago

People are losing the track here.

Brownback and his minions are the moral equivalent of terrorists, attacking the weak and powerless, holding them hostage to their agenda.

The county and city folks have come up with a way to rescue the hostages. THIS IS A SHORT-TERM SOLUTION. The only medium and long-term solution is to get something through the legislature to prevent this kind of behavior from Brownie again, and to vote him out of office in 2014.

I think the local officials should be commended for doing something about it. I don't think they should be condemned. This doesn't solve the problem but it gives us some breathing space to figure out what to do next.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

Remember this when Brownback cuts corporate taxes. Remember this when Brownback tries to claim he cut taxes. This is the GOP and Tea Party's way of cutting state and federal taxes, but passing the buck to local communities. Lawrence cares enough to do it, but will other communities? Probably not. That's why they chose Lawrence first. Now they will begin the process across the state. Remember this at election time.

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Kim Murphree 2 years, 8 months ago

So, essentially, Brownback is forcing the City/County citizenship here to pay for his new faith-based initiative people. Pretty slick---his move was win/win---either Douglas county went without an SRS office so he could fund his faith based initiative and other administrative cronies, or we would pick up the tab, and he could fund his faith based initiative and other administrative cronies. What we must do--is remember this manipulation and calculative attitude and vote him OUT when we can. Meantime, the City/County did the right thing for those most in need. But don't be fooled--faith-based initiatives have nothing to do with belief in Christ.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Local politicians give in to Brownback extortion. Is that good news, or bad? I'd say it's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.

One question-- will the city and county get the $200,000 in annual federal money that goes to pay for the rent?

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nonon69 2 years, 8 months ago

This is extortion and a recall of Brownback should be initiated by the victims of his criminal acts. I understand the city and county had to do what they had to but man I hate paying off the greedy gangsters in Topeka at the expense of those he was sworn to protect.

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globehead 2 years, 8 months ago

So, By default isn't Lawrence/Douglas County essentially subsidizing the rest of the state with this deal? Why aren't other areas contributing to the support of state offices in THEIR areas?

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irvan moore 2 years, 8 months ago

as is obvious i am not a fan of the city commission or the county commission but i think they got this one right. we give tax abatements to out of town business and here we are keeping 40 (?) jobs in town, and keeping local residents employed. i think this is money well spent and if it's out of the economic development fund it is probably well used.

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snook3200 2 years, 8 months ago

all i see is people complaining, fingerpointing, and namecalling. what a shame. threatning to not vote for the local officials that are trying to come to a resolve for our community. we should be out there supporting them. at least till brownback is out of office. this is about saving our community as a whole. sticking together, coming together and being united on an issue. instead everyone is saying horrible things. we must stand united and support our local government on this issue as they are trying to save our local non for profit organizations and the people of this community that depend on these services. there is a huge amount of people in this community that gives their time, heart and effort to helping out people of need. and it is time we support them, not sit here and point our finger. you never know when you will be one to need these services yourself. be careful for what you say. god bless.

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Lindsey Buscher 2 years, 8 months ago

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Mercat 2 years, 8 months ago

We don't live in Lawrence anymore. When we found that we couldn't afford to live there, we moved to a community where we could get jobs and find services we needed. Lawrence is a lovely place but subsidizing folks to stay there seems to me to be counter productive. I agree with the person who suggested paying for a driver and/or a bus to run to topeka or Johnson County once a day to ferry people to whatever services they need. There is also internet access and if they need to meet face to face, skype. All cheaper than keeping open a physical plant in Lawrence. How much more does our economy need to tank before we start being realistic about spending?

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 8 months ago

"senegal66025 (anonymous) says… I am wondering what Brownback being a Christian has to do with this?" === Good point. He's a CINO and, if his muscular jesus were to return to earth, he'd kick Mullah Brownback's ass, then pick him up from the ground and go find a union to bust. Sam is pretty slick, trying to pretend he's religious. This is all about raw power, getting rid of 'gummint' and sending what's left of the money to his CINO friends who will get the 'faith-based' contracts. For a model of how this works, think the old Blackwater company in Iraq, one of W's better moves.

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Jimo 2 years, 8 months ago

Meanwhile, while the Prayer-o-Palooza gives away tickets while praying for "those who have lost hope:, 100,000 gather down the street, trying to survive Gov. Perry's mockery of Christianity: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7686252.html#ixzz1USjCykTq

How much do you suppose Jesus appreciates mockery? Perry didn't mention he himself was the reason so many lost hope.

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hitme 2 years, 8 months ago

Cromwell supported providing a raise that required higher taxes and then hiring more police officers and in both cases he knew the state was pulling funding from the local agency. Now he wants to replace funds for the SRS office. Where will the money come from? It obviously isn't him who manages the money at his house or he'd be homeless. He has to be the worst commissioner in the history of Lawrence.

I do think the SRS office is more important than the city raises or additional officers, but it takes planning and foresight, qualities that Cromwell doesn't seem to have. Not that I'm saying, "I told you so", but... http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2011/jul/13/should-raises-city-employees-be-included-lawrence-/#c1684780

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Orwell 2 years, 8 months ago

This is nonsense. I'm paying my share of state taxes for a statewide Department of SRS. Now I have to pay a property tax surcharge to get the benefit of that department in Lawrence. The rest of the state will have a god chuckle and send us a thank-you note.

Next up: Brownback and his minions will tell us we can just support KU with local taxes if we want to have the local benefit of higher education, thankyouverymuch. And new highways? Why should the state pay if we've shown we're always willing to bend over?

Call your city and county commissioners. Tell them not to negotiate with terrorists.

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Gandalf 2 years, 8 months ago

I suspect this was a face saving deal for brownie. I have a hunch some extra money will be funneled to Lawrence and Douglas country in another form to make up for it.

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cheeseburger 2 years, 8 months ago

I thought Corliss told us these were dire times, and yet - voila - he finds $125K for this! It is this type of stuff that causes me to distrust him and other public officials who can always seem to find money when they want to.

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AmyR 2 years, 8 months ago

It sounds like the message last week was don't take my public assistance away. This weeks message is, I don't want to pay for it. Money does not grow on trees. It has to come from somewhere. If this is not a good solution, What is? I know, let the state treasury pay for it. Sounds like a good ideal, but I think as the market showed today, there is a shortage of money. Even though much of us did not create the deficit, we have a serious problem that will not repair itself until cuts to entitlement programs and taxes are raised. It sucks and we can all whine Obama or Bush created this problem. It is now all of our problem and it will not go away without everyone pitching in to repair the problem. It starts with people learning about the politcal candidates and showing up to vote. Someone at least got off their a$$ and voted Brownback into office. Somebody liked him.

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sierraclub 2 years, 8 months ago

This is just another reason to leave Lawrence and Douglas Country. I guess if I needed a handout, Lawrence would be great. But working and living in this over-priced community is getting out of hand. We already pay over $1,000,000 for the empTy and now lets add on another $200,000+ for SRS. How many schools were closed to save money? We seem to have the money to rename 4 Junior Highs.

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Ken Lassman 2 years, 8 months ago

Spice had it right with the idea of adding a clause that the state would reimburse the city if the legislature found that the SRS office was wrongfully closed through a bait-and-switching of the order by the legislature for SRS to save 1 million thru ADMINISTRATIVE cuts to central office.

In the meantime, the City of Lawrence and Douglas County has rightfully stepped up to the plate to take care of its own since the state is unwilling to do so. I for one am proud of our elected officials for being Good Samaritans to maintain essential services that SRS provides to those in need even when the State doesn't hold up its end of the social contract that makes us a community.

This is a short term solution, but it is also a display of local leadership when it is lacking from the executive branch. I think in the end it will make us stronger.

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Gedanken 2 years, 8 months ago

Let me be up front - I think the SRS closing is a bad deal. We should work to prevent its closure.

I can't help, but feel that this solution is akin to a rich daddy paying to have "problems" go away without really fixing the "problem". Lawrence isn't a rich daddy. You want to raise my property taxes and then all of a sudden you have $112,500 sitting around that you can commit? That doesn't make sense at all.

How about we try to find other ways to solve the problem? I think for that kind of cash we could do lots of other things. Heck - run a bus service a couple of times a week over to Topeka or Kansas City! Call to get picked up and taken over. I imagine that will cost less then $112,500 a year! If you think you can really on promises from the Kansas State Government - then you are crazy!

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Oops, I missed goodie's post from this afternoon. Comedy gold, every word of it

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 8 months ago

IDIOTS! Simply idiotic. You're gonna spend my money to keep the office open to serve everybody else? WHAT!?!?!

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bolshavik_vw 2 years, 8 months ago

good, now we need to do this with the arts. It is about time we won something.

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goodcountrypeople 2 years, 8 months ago

Here we go playing the pity card again. The LJWorld should know themselves and actively educate the public that legally disability is a matter of self-identification. It's a violation of decency, respect, and privacy laws to go around imposing unthinking assumptions on strangers. Most people in the world are more civilized and emotionally intelligent than to train up their children up like Kansans do into aggressively approaching strangers on the basis of perceived physical limitation. Legally, everyone has the right to be treated the same and this molestation is an offensive, prima facie violation of equal opportunity.This hateful, violating and mobbing behavior in itself strikes thinking people as a sad sign of backwoods intellectual limitations, and an unconscious determination that ignorance should rule the roost in places like KS and MO. No one should have to be subject to such disrespectful behavior and frightening stupidity. It's street harassment, pure and simple.These people are usually too dumb to be quickly put in their place by tactful sarcasm either. They are utterly clueless, brainwashed people who all behave the same-- a kiss-to-kill genocidal attitude--KS as bigoted as you think people. Kindly keep your distance, dummies. It's the most helpful act those who don't have their brains in gear are capable of.

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kernal 2 years, 8 months ago

Last time I checked, we don't have the wealth Johnson County does. Why not let them pay for their SRS office?

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

I believe this sets a very bad precedent. What are those other communities across the state that also face closure going to do if/when they can't pick up the tab? No, I do not agree with this. It's the state's responsibility and I can guarantee, you give Brownback/Siedlecki an inch they will take a mile. I think they need to cut the four new positions they created (including their "Faith Based Initiatives" office) and put the money back where it belongs. I also believe that Siedlecki needs to quit hiding behind layers of spokespeople and step up to the plate and face the voters of this state and do the job he was hired to do or quit or get fired for incompetence.

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aworkingman 2 years, 8 months ago

I got an idea---go get a job---quit living off the tax dollars---we wouldn't be in the mess we are in if free loaders went to work

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SpicePirate 2 years, 8 months ago

This would double what we pay. Our state taxes would STILL go to SRS to fund BB's new lackeys... THEN we'd be taxed locally for the SRS office.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 8 months ago

Great. What other state functions are we going to accept? I really do suspect that we will see further cuts in state funding next year. And, like all the cuts in the past, they will not result in a dime of tax cuts to most tax payers in Lawrence. A double whammy!

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

As a tax payer, I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference. My taxes can go to Washington and then sent back to Kansas, or my money can go to Topeka and then sent back to Lawrence, or it can be sent to the city and county offices. As long as the total amount doesn't change, what difference does it make?

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lunacydetector 2 years, 8 months ago

this will save the t bus from being riderless, it assures the county allows a homeless shelter to be constructed on county land, the panhandlers can continue business as usual downtown, it keeps low income housing full, the donation meters won't be for nothing, and all the cottage welfare non-profit companies will stay in business, and it assures lawrence won't have a sudden drop in 10K poor residents that would've normally moved closer to another s.r.s. office, and lawrence's developer that carries the biggest stick in town will continue receiving a rent payment.

everybody has their place in the family....or, community a win, i guess.

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Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

PS:

Still can't read the document as it is in .docx format. Is it meant to be read only by the wealthy who own "state of the art" computers and software?

Where's the line to sign up for welfare again? I needs me a new cornputer and the newsy software from Billy Gates.

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jumpin_catfish 2 years, 8 months ago

Let them eat cake!

Seriously, I love cake, its so yummy.

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Gary Pomeroy 2 years, 8 months ago

Two things. First, while I support keeping the office open (and have personal reasons for this position), I object to the extortionate tactics used by the Florida mafia to dump their financial obligation on to the city and county. Second, in response to evilpenguin, on behalf of blind three legged goats everywhere, I bitterly resent the comparison with our illustrious governor.

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ForThePeople 2 years, 8 months ago

Bad idea! The more we (Lawrence and small communities) give, the more BB will expect. SRS is a state expense and should remain as such! Please do not cowtow to bullies such as BB. If it means the office gets closed so be it. We must work to see the BB's don't get elected to begin with and oust them when they don't do the job they were elected to do!

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Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

Peoples....."This" ain't no done deal. Call or email City Commission and County Commission members. Here are some email addreses:

hughcarter@sunflower.com">p>hughcarter@sunflower.com aroncromwell@gmail.com mdever@sunflower.com mikeamyx515@hotmail.com schummfoods@gmail.com
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gvnobas 2 years, 8 months ago

Socialist Revolutionary Services is to remain open? I wonder what kind of liberal mafia is responsible for this.

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evilpenguin 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey if we need to cut money from the budget, lets just dissolve the title of state governor and give the job to a blind, 3 legged goat. It's bound to do a better job and will save us having to pay some Christian fanatic to ruin us all.

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ShePrecedes 2 years, 8 months ago

No, Kansas should pay. And we should keep abortion legally available and medicallly safe so that this cost is minimized as much as possible.

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nativeson 2 years, 8 months ago

This is just not the way to proceed. First, we have no idea how much the social services network in Lawrence can absorb as far as physical location. Second, this will continue the trend of having state responsibilities fall down to the local level. There is not enough money to take this on, and it will only be the beginning.

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fishy81 2 years, 8 months ago

Whoa up city. You said that the closure of the SRS office would required more police efforts. Soooo you passed a budget for 4 new police officers. Well if this deal goes through you won't need all the new officers sooothe LEAST you could do is rescind the authorization of those new position and use that money to fund the SRS office rental budget. I mean you want your cake and eat it too.

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Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

LJWorld.com:

Please have the downloadable documents saved to .doc format so that those of us with older, slower computers, and full hardrives; and older versions of Word can read these documents. It is very simple to save the documents as they are in the older .doc (or even .rtf) formats.

Many people don't have the space on the hard drive to save the MS Word "compatability pack" and open it. We're poor, don't you know?

Thank you.

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autie 2 years, 8 months ago

Hmm. You suckers blinked first. Sidesucky trickstered your butts. But what about the Senate committee asking why Sidelicky did this instead of the admin in topeka as promised to the legislative committee previously?

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Soapbox 2 years, 8 months ago

I do not want to pay for the SRS twice......go spend someone else's money! CNN HEADLINE: Dow plunges 630 points..........So does Obama's chances of being re-elected!!!!!!! snort snort, laugh, really laugh....can't to to spread the "I told you so's!".............more laughter!

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George_Braziller 2 years, 8 months ago

Wait a minute here. Just four days ago it was reported that :

“The cuts were supposed to be at the administration level in Topeka and not be dispersed to local offices,” said McGinn, who as the lead budget-writer in the Senate was instrumental in putting the final state budget together that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/aug/04/statehouse-live-legislative-committee-seeks-answer/?kansas_legislature

The office will remain open but there is something about the deal that really smells.

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sourpuss 2 years, 8 months ago

This is just a microcosm of the recent debt ceiling debacle. You hold something important hostage until the other side gives in to your demands and then call it compromise. While I think it is terrible the city and county have to take on this expense, leaving people without help is worse. It is a lose-lose, not a win-win as conservatives will like to paint it, but at least people will still have local access to these important services.

Cheer up though, we've nearly gotten through a whole year! Three (or seven) more to go! :)

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ChangeIntheWind 2 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence officials are letting SRS officials off of the hook and covering a bad decision with a bad decision; some things never change: There is always a simple solution to a complex problem, and it is usually wrong. Lets see what really plays out, is this really community colloboration or community clobberation.

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majorfunding 2 years, 8 months ago

Wow. Perhaps this means i must change my vote in the next election!! I also think we should discover the names of the individual commissioners who are supporting this plan . Then we could besiege them with support.

I is so rare to see any part of the government actually working, and exhibiting correct thinking, and taking selfness actions supporting the disadvantaged among us.

I

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homechanger 2 years, 8 months ago

Good idea. Let's raise property taxes even more. Then rent for these poor and disabled can increase and they can move away to Topeka where they will be closer to the much needed handouts. This is a stupid shortsited plan. Why not just hirer a driver to take these folks to the nearest srs office. Probably cheaper.

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Lana Christie-Hayes 2 years, 8 months ago

"With the payments, SRS says it would keep the office in operation for two years and would make a good faith effort to keep it in open permanently without further local subsidies after the 2013 payment."`~~ I'm ok with the temporary arrangement, but think the local reps. need to get something more concrete about what happens in 2013! "good faith effort" means nothing in the Brownback administration!

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senegal66025 2 years, 8 months ago

I am wondering what Brownback being a Christian has to do with this? I don't think you would use the term Muslim or Jewish in the same context. Why don't we keep religion out of this and talk about the facts. That it would be a great thing for the 87 people working here and the thousands of people being serviced here by SRS to have this happen. Why dont we quit the yelling and try to figure out a way out of this mess that both parties have got us into.

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MorningGlory 2 years, 8 months ago

I want to like this idea, I really do. I believe in the work that SRS does, but all I can think of is "Sucker!".

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4accountability 2 years, 8 months ago

If there was a opinion that it was going to cost Lawrence large sums to fill a perceived loss of services by the SRS office closure then I guess they have nothing to lose by picking up this expense. It was going to happen, one way or the other.

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antichristobserver 2 years, 8 months ago

Any city or county elected official who supports this will "never" get my vote again.Just one more example of what is wrong with religious nuts getting involved with politics or getting elected to public office.

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Jimo 2 years, 8 months ago

So the whole thing was a money shakedown by the Governor? Or Sam found it too controversial to handle along with all the other controversies, lawsuits, etc. he has going right now? Or, to be charitable, I guess I can't rule out that his recent Prayer-a-palooza trip made him reflect briefly on the proper role of a Christian vis-a-vis the poor.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

The question becomes since local taxpayers are picking up the tab when should each Lawrence/Douglas County taxpayer expect a refund check from the state?

Where is our money? What is the administration doing with these tax dollars that are no longer coming back to Lawrence/Douglas County?

Is there a paper trail?

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SpicePirate 2 years, 8 months ago

I want to know where SlickTricky gets off potentially going forward with this.

Please don't get me wrong. I am a fierce proponent of SRS staying open in Lawrence. My exasperation is that there is even still the issue of the city/county having to foot the bill in the first place, given recent revelations from the Ways and Means Committee Chair that all of the monies that SRS were to cut were supposed to come out of Topeka, and not surrounding offices. Those new positions they've created are opposite what they were supposed to be doing.

That being the case, we should be seeing an extra clause, stating that in the event that the state legislature finds that the office was wrongfully closed, that SRS is required to reimburse the City/County for those funds wrongfully garnered by this deal.

They are already, effectively, paying for those new job postings with the money stolen... sorry, "SAVED" from the Lawrence office. One of which should not even be allowed, as it is in violation of the separation of church and state.

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weeslicket 2 years, 8 months ago

from the article: The deal is contingent on approval after public hearings of the Lawrence City Commission, which will take it up Tuesday, and the Douglas County Commission, which will consider the proposal Wednesday.

hope they think a little longer and a little harder about this.

were the city and county to be reimbursed for this "temporary partnership", then it may make some sense.
but the article also said: Under the proposal, IF the Legislature stepped up to provide the funding to keep open the Lawrence office, then the city and county would be released from its payment obligation.

that's a rather large, unguaranteed if.

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BoppinBoppin 2 years, 8 months ago

One step closers to having a nationally recognized little blue state in Kansas known as Lawrence. First state to be 100% landlocked by another state.

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mr_right_wing 2 years, 8 months ago

Seems perfectly acceptable to me. Win-win.

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mcontrary 2 years, 8 months ago

Even more administrative expensives could be saved if we could get rid of the governor.

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antichristobserver 2 years, 8 months ago

One of the most stupid things the city and county have ever done, and they are not known for smart decisions. This lets the idiot christian conservative governor claim victory. All the idiot governor had to do was not hire all those new high level positions in SRS and dump that Fla numbskull he hired and would have saved just as much, if not more money.

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pinecreek 2 years, 8 months ago

Playing right into Brownback's hands...what a stupid plan. What will he farm out to local communities next? Maintenance of state highways? Paying for your local Highway Patrol coverage? Dumb, dumb, dumb.....

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k67 2 years, 8 months ago

It's ridiculous that the City and County are taking on paying for an expense that should come out of the State budget. So, what will happen in the future in those counties that can't afford to pay? They'll be penalized by experiencing an inequity in service access, while the more affluent counties will be penalized by being saddled with facilities costs that should be the responsibility of the State.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Still doesn't mean if will happen. Brownback won't give up any concessions because he thinks it will make him feel like he looks bad and he hates Lawrence anyway.

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local_interest 2 years, 8 months ago

Glad this plan is coming up. Expecting people to drive to KC or Topeka, because the option exists (a four lane highway) doesn't mean people can. Sure there are people that take advantage of the system, but that doesn't mean you can punish people are desperate and just trying to feed and clothe their kids. Or any of the other services SRS provides.

Hope it works out. (Waiting for the but I don't want my taxes helping anyone by myself!!!!, crowd to chime in.)

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Debra Schmidt 2 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm, I wonder if the Governor will need to visit Texas and pray about this before it is approved. Pass the offering plate! I support whatever it takes to help those who are obnoxiously overlooked by leaders to the west.

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