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Archive for Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lawrence City Commission approves funding for SRS office

August 9, 2011

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Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday agreed to pay half of a $450,000 local package to keep the state’s SRS office in the community, but commissioners bit their tongues while approving the unique deal.

“I’m really uncomfortable with the precedent here,” said Mayor Aron Cromwell. “Local governments are being asked to pay for a state office, but I’m not going to sit up here and put ideology in front of people.”

Under the deal, the city will pay $112,500 in both 2012 and 2013 in order to help the state offset its costs to continue operating the SRS offices near 19th and Delaware streets. The county will pay an equal amount in those two years. Tuesday’s unanimous approval sends the deal to Douglas County commissioners, who are expected to approve it today.

The deal staves off a July decision by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to close the Lawrence office, which employs 87 people and serves several thousands of clients per month.

City commissioners on Tuesday said they and their colleagues at the county were forced to act quickly to make a deal. According to several commissioners, furniture at the SRS office was being marked for moving on Friday, and movers were delayed while negotiations between local officials and the state took place.

“I was convinced that when those desks and pieces of furniture got in the moving truck, SRS was not coming back to Lawrence,” City Commissioner Hugh Carter said. “We didn’t have the luxury of waiting for others to change this decision in Topeka.”

Erika Dvorske, president and CEO of the United Way of Douglas County, urged commissioners to treat the deal like an economic development investment. In addition to keeping the 87 employees in the city, she said her office estimated that Lawrence residents would lose out on $2.4 million worth of food stamp assistance by not having an office located locally. That estimate was based on the belief that about 20 percent of the current food stamp recipients would not be able to keep up with the reporting requirements of the program if the office were in Topeka or Kansas City.

Longtime City Commissioner Mike Amyx said he struggled with whether to support the deal.

“In all my years, I never thought about having to deal with an issue quite like this,” Amyx said. “This has been a tough one. We are asked to make decisions about all sorts of things, but this one really came down to being about people’s lives.”

There is a chance that city and county commissioners may not have to pay the entire $450,000 to the state. The agreement has a provision that if the legislature provides funding to keep the Lawrence office open, the city and county are no longer obligated to pay.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said after Tuesday’s meeting that she has some hope that legislators will consider the issue when the session begins in January.

“I think there is going to be considerable concern about transferring state costs to the local level,” said Francisco, who supports the local deal as a means to keep the office open. “I think many legislators will understand that concern and try to address it."

Comments

doc1 3 years, 1 month ago

Horrible idea. The City Can't afford it! Oh joy, even more tax dollars wasted.

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kansasredlegs 3 years, 1 month ago

All those closed-door meetings and no one thought to ask the Landlord to lower the rent before a "bailout"?

I guess if I was in the landlord's shoes, I too wouldn't have offered to lower the extraordinary rent price to keep that pig trough and slop flowing into my pockets,having full faith and confidence that our inept, slow-thinking Commissioners would not have the guts and would come through and pay in full. The landlord was over a barrel, a lawsuit would have failed, and he would have been hard pressed to find another sucker at that price. Could have knocked at least 1/3 off the price. Missed opportunity.

I'm glad it's staying, but you failed the the local taxpayers with your shortsided, fast-tracked negotiating. Oh well, it's only taxpayer money, right? Didn't Corliss at least pipe up and say this can be a win-win situation -- We can keep SRS and get a lower rent price. Unbelievable.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Why should the owner of the building be forced to take a cut on his income?

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

Because they are charging too much.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. If they're charging too much, find a new place - at the end of the lease. The lease has been signed, and the amount was agreed upon. Whether it is too steep, is another story.

I'd like to see you rent house, anywhere, signing a lease that clearly outlines the rent, and then decide halfway through that the landlord is charging you too much; expecting him to reduce the rent.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

That's a typical Republican response-- blame the victims of Brownback's political grandstanding.

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majorfunding 3 years, 1 month ago

You must be kidding. They are state workers and if you would do a little research instead of just shooting you mouth off, you would already know they are working cheap as it is.

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kernal 3 years, 1 month ago

May be we're setting a precident here; are other cities are beginning to sweat? Wonder how long before, or if, Johnson County has to follow suit. Seems to me if they don't, then it will be blatently obvious the situation with Lawrence was strictly political, instead of just obvious.

Topeka's SRS case workers have admitted they'd rather the Lawrence SRS stay open as they would have a hard time adding Lawrence cases to their already "stretched thin" caseloads.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence needs to get a money printing machine.

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Ken Lassman 3 years, 1 month ago

Amyx, Cromwell called it right: tough call, but you gotta put folks first and sort out the ideology later. This is yet another example of the Brownback Administrative philosophy--lob a grenade and let the locals clean it up. More and more folks are realizing that the emperor has no clothes and he and his cronies are governing by ideological fiat. Kansas is paying a horrible price for his future executive branch getting potty trained.

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3 years, 1 month ago

As the article notes, it was unanimous. Thanks, Chad

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irvan moore 3 years, 1 month ago

it pains me to say it but the commission did the right thing, take the money out of economic development and save local jobs instead of giving the money to a new business that promises the moon and doesn't deliver. good job commissioners! (ouch, it hurts to say that)

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thefactsare 3 years, 1 month ago

When has the commission provided cash to a company that didn't deliver?

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TheBigW 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you seen the big fancy hanger on the airport that now houses life flight.....

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pinecreek 3 years, 1 month ago

No not a good decision--this is the precedent that could open the dam of 'state to local funding' initiatives from this Governor. Very very short-sighted....wait and see. We have 3 more years of this sort of thing. The state budget will be balanced, but at whose expense?

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goodcitizen 3 years, 1 month ago

@thefactsare....umm didn't we cough up 280k and free parking for Compton's playpen...how many net jobs will that create/save? And doesn't he want even more to fix up the Masonic Temple he paid too much for, and can't afford to rehab?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

He can easily afford to rehab it. He just enjoys the sport of getting government to subsidize his profits.

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grammaddy 3 years, 1 month ago

Brownback's plan all along. Make the Democrat county pay for not voting for his dumb butt. Punish the liberals. Make them pay for "HIS" state's help Time for a recall.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm curious about the numbers - if we're splitting about $250K with the county, where is the other $200K coming from?

Will the feds give us that money, or is it contingent upon state, rather than local, funding?

I'm glad that our community is doing this to support those that need help, rather than turn their backs on them, as the state seems to want to do, but I'm also a bit wary of the precedent it sets.

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Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

I was wondering the same thing jafs.... and agree with the sentiment in your last sentence. I also think there needs to be something set in stone about what happens after this temporary agreement expires in 2013. When Seidlecki says they will give a "good faith effort" to keeping it open when this agreement time ends, it makes me cringe. As I've said before "good faith" is an oxymoron with this administration!!!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Bingo. How many private individuals or organizations have stepped up to the plate and offered to help finance this idea through private funds? There seems to be an abundance of concern from some in the community but a lack of willingness to put money behind that concern.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

As soon as all of the taxes that I've paid into the system that have been spent in ways I disagree with are returned to me, I'll have plenty of money to support the causes I agree with.

In the meantime, that's not how the system works - we all pay into it, and we all decide, somewhat collectively, how it should be spent.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Note: I didn't say that people should be able to opt out. What I suggested is what I have suggested all along. Given that the state collectively decided to elect Brownback and given that Brownback has decided to close the SRS office, it surprises me that wealthy SRS supporters in Lawrence haven't stepped up. I've heard nothing about trying to raise private funds to pay the rent on the building.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, the state isn't saving any tax dollars by spending them on new administrative positions instead of paying rent on office space.

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dogsandcats 3 years, 1 month ago

It's a shame that the city and county have to pick up the state's tab on this - shame on you Brownback and Siedecki - but I'm very glad that the Lawrence SRS office will remain open. I don't personally know anyone who uses SRS services, but it's likely that at least one of my friends or neighbors does.

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

This is absolutely stupid and ridiculous. NONE of these people would lose services if our local office were to close. NONE! There are many ways to access those services, not just physically going into the office.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

You're almost certainly wrong. But being right wouldn't fit with your ideology, would it?

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps you should buy a clue before you begin spouting off about matters you clearly know nothing about.

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I've worked in this field for several years. Would you like links to the SRS pages where you can access the same information? Would you like me to give you their phone number? Do you think SRS Case Managers wont come to you? Would you like the number to Independence, Inc. or other centers that offer driving services for appointments such as these? Give me a break people, do you want me to carry you on my effing back?!! For the elderly and persons mentally incapable of using the internet and phone resources there are provisions in place for those people to still receive services. Use your heads. Additionally, don't speak of my not knowing or my frustration because it's simply something i disagree with because of politics...you dont know me and obviously don't know much

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Yea, those services are available because there is an SRS office in Lawrence. Shut it down, and those services go away, or become much more difficult to arrange. But you'd like that, wouldn't you?

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

Really?! The SRS toll free number and internet applications are all because of the Lawrence SRS Office? Im certain that not all of these transportation services are available for individual transportation but a quick search online for "Lawrence kansas transportation services, disability" came up with this. http://yellowpages.lycos.com/search?what=Handicapped+%26+Disabled+Transportation+Service&where=Lawrence%2C+Kansas Did the Lawrence SRS office create that webpage/search??

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Did you even follow the link?

"No Listings Found Sorry. We couldn't find any results for "Handicapped %26 Disabled Transportation Service" or similar terms near "Lawrence%2C Kansas". Please try one of the following suggestions to refine your search. Check your spelling or try different words that mean the same thing Change your location by entering another city, state, or zip code Browse through Lycos Yellow Pages business categories to find what you were looking for Try Lycos Web Search at http://www.lycos.com"

You just disproved your own point. But I guess you found out exactly how little you really know-- not that I expect you to acknowledge it.

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

hmm...thats not what I get? Maybe you shouldn't be such a bozo and you wouldn't have a problem, eh? OH!! I get it!!! You must be one of those that are needing services but just have no idea how to access them...get a life.

Handicapped Disabled Transportation Service listings in Lawrence Kansas Showing 1 - 8 of 8 Sort by: Relevance Distance Alphabet Action Transportation LLC

2705 Wildflower Dr Lawrence, KS 66047-1893 (Map)

785-856-4499

View Details Assist LLC

4229 Briarwood Dr Lawrence, KS 66049-1998 (Map)

785-865-4101

View Details BS Transportation

331 Maple St Lawrence, KS 66044-1552 (Map)

785-842-0544

View Details Clo

2113 Delaware St Lawrence, KS 66046-3149 (Map)

785-865-5520

View Details Douglas County Sheriff

1242 Massachusetts St Lawrence, KS 66044-3350 (Map)

785-843-0250

View Details General Public Transportation

2001 Haskell Ave Lawrence, KS 66046-3249 (Map)

785-843-5576

View Details Kansas State of

785-550-5368

View Details Total Transportation Services

3300 Clinton Pkwy Ste A Lawrence, KS 66047 (Map)

785-856-3400

View Details

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

Most of those aren't places you just call up and schedule a ride with. They serve targeted populations, based on specific services they provide. Do you really think the Douglas County Sheriff's office is going to take someone to apply for Medicaid??? LOL

Not to mention, you also didn't specify out-of-town transportation. That's sort of what we're talking about here...

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

I just said not all of those provide individuals transportation...don't be dense. That was just a super quick search. Also, Indy, DGCO Senior Services, not to mention persons on the HCBS waiver who are allowed transportation services thorugh any ILC's care attendants are all capable of driving out of town for doc appts ect. You are all just making excuses.

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

And as I mentioned, Independence Inc, DCSS and others provide specialized services. They are not available to the general public and they certainly don't have the resources to provide out-of-town transportation on a daily basis, even for the folks that qualify for their services.

Have you seen the waiting list for HCBS waiver services????????

Who is being dense, again?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"hmm...thats not what I get?"

It was your link, not mine.

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh, really?

You think the single mom working at a minimum wage job and driving an older, unreliable car can just take a day off work, hop in her car, and travel to KC or Topeka to apply for child care or food assistance?

You think people with disabilities can do the same? And yes, Independence, Inc. is a resource, however it is a limited one. They only serve certain populations and they do not have the resources to make daily out-of-town trips, let alone the staff to accompany folks out of town to facilitate the application process.

Some things can indeed be done online, however one must be literate and have a basic understanding of computers. They must also be able to actually get to a computer. Not everyone has a car or someone available to drive them.

What provisions are you talking about for those folks? I'm aware that they were going to try to have a someone available to handle child abuse cases, but I certainly did not see mention of SRS assisting people with disabilities, people without phones, computers, the elderly, or the mentally incompetent. Are you talking about having other agencies that might associate with those folks provide transportation and hands-on services? If so, you are forgetting that all of the agencies that provide assistance to folks in need are already operating on a very lean budget, with a high likelihood that their funding sources will be further diminished due to cuts at the state level and falling charitable contributions.

If you truly do work in the human services field, perhaps you should find a profession that allows you to do something you feel is worthwhile.

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ashamedofyou 3 years, 1 month ago

The human services field used to be worth while until you see all the people abusing it. It loses a bit of it's shine. For the single mom with an unreliable car working for minimum wage, the library has computers available. And most younger people these days have some sort of telephone they can use, whether it be their own or a friend/family. It is so, so frustrating to me to listen to people make exuses for every reason under the sun to make things easier when the resources are still available, just through a different avenue. For people that are truly unable to gain access through those avenues there are accomodations in place. If you're blind, do you think they're going to make you drive to topeka or joco? no, more than likely they will do a phone interview or send someone out to you. I know I sound uncaring and unfeeling but just because one is elderly or has disabilities does not mean they are completely incapable of figuring things out on their own or getting the help they need to do so, for some, yes they may have a problem but for the vast majority, no. For persons needing the assistance who have no physical restriction keeping them from going to the library or picking up the phone, i'm sorry there is no excuse. Now i'm done arguing as I can see it's pointless.

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

Not all services SRS provides can be accessed via the telephone phone or computer. For first-time food assistance, for example, one must apply in person.

The applications themselves are convoluted and confusing. To expect someone with limited skills, either cognitive, physical, or general literacy skills to be able to navigate them independently is simply unrealistic.

You still haven't defined the "accommodations" that you say are in place for people who do not have access to transportation. As I've pointed out, not everyone qualifies for the niche services that you mentioned, and the agencies that provide them simply don't have the resources to provide out-of-town transportation to a large number of people, or even the the people that they already serve.

You are right. This argument probably is pointless. Some people see the world how they think it should be, rather than how it actually is. I'm just thankful that our city commission, along with the DA, United Way, educators, and other advocates see the realistic need to make federally mandated, and very necessary services accessible to the people that need them.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Even if you're right in all of your assertions, the fact remains that there is absolutely nothing to be gained by shutting down the Lawrence SRS office. Doing so would without a doubt create hardships for those seeking services that could once be got from an office right here in town, and it would undoubtedly mean that many people who might get help otherwise would not.

Which begs the question of whether you really care about the clients of the SRS, or whether you look down on them, and want to see them made to pay for whatever transgressions you've convicted them of in your own mind.

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

You are right ashamedof you. This was a decision made based on money but not money to go to the needy. It was about continuing to feed a greedy landlord and keeping jobs in Lawrence.

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Godot 3 years, 1 month ago

Waiting for Schwada's big "thank you, thank you, thank you" to the Lawrence and Douglas County taxpayers.

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meggers 3 years, 1 month ago

I think the state owes a big thank you, as well. After all, they would have been stuck paying the remainder of the lease, even with the office closed.

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kseagle 3 years, 1 month ago

Yet another complete waste of our tax dollars in this town!! The left needs to WAKE UP and realize there isn't an unlimited supply of money. The SRS office needs to be closed and those that use it, need to grow up and take responsibility for your own situation.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The state didn't save any money by eliminating this funding - they're just spending it on new administrative positions instead.

Is that what you'd prefer they spend the money on?

Children, abused spouses, and developmentally disabled people are among the population that SRS serves - they should all just "grow up and take responsibililty"?

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backyardwino 3 years, 1 month ago

I used to work there. . . how does an infant that has just been rescued from abuse and neglect , as you say, "grow up and take responsibility for [their] own situation?"

I've seen it. It's sad. That's just a distateful remark.

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Don Whiteley 3 years, 1 month ago

Hear! Hear!

People, we're going to run into this lots more and we need to adapt or perish! There are thousands of people in Kansas dealing just fine with the SRS without an office in their city and town. With two other SRS offices within 30 miles, Lawrence should NOT have been special. Our Federal, State, and Local governments cannot continue to provide existing levels of service without burying us in debt. How much more services could we provide our citizens if we eliminated our debt and used the interest to fund services instead of paying this money to financiers? For God's sake, wake up!!

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The state's not saving a dime by eliminating funding for this office space - they're spending it instead on new administrative positions.

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somedude20 3 years, 1 month ago

Good trumps evil! Brownback was ever so happy to put people's lives in danger just so that he and his god can have a hearty chuckle at their expense. I agree that it is bad for Lawrence to pay a state cost but it will keep people alive and you cannot put a price on that (well, I guess you ca...$250,000) so sit and spin Brownback, you evil SOB!!!!

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onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry to say this, but Really Bad Choice of spending money on a situation that will still be there in 3 years..Probably will never go away! WAKE UP Commissioners! Our country is in DEEP financial doo doo and it is going to be painful for every single person before we start recovering from this situation. YOU have a responsibility to make financial decisions knowing that available funds are shrinking and people DON'T want a city tax to raise the city's debt ceiling too! What happens when the community needs something done in the next 3-5 years that need this money and we don't have it? (Oh wait, it won't be your problem right?) Do you think the fed is going to be so generous? BAD CHOICE of spending!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

You obviously assume that not doing this would have no consequences to the city's and the county's bottom lines. You're wrong, of course, but as with the poster above, being right wouldn't fit with your ideology.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

They aren't "right." The closing of the SRS office here would cause cost increases for many agencies, governmental and non-governmental.

It's been pretty well demonstrated that this closing doesn't save any money-- it merely shifts the burden of the costs.

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skinny 3 years, 1 month ago

If the City of Lawrence has this kind of money to just throw away then they have no business raising our Water, Sewer, and trash rates!!!!

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majorfunding 3 years, 1 month ago

I say BRAVO to the city. This was a wise decision. If the SRS had been forced to leave Lawrence, the lives of many people would have been impacted, and in some cases, lives might have been lost.

But we should always keep in mind that Brownback has done this, which is but one more indication that he should not be Governor.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

I'll bet half the people using the SRS services could work if they wanted to. Moving the office is the right thing to do. They should probally cut off everyone, drug test them and have them re apply.

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deec 3 years, 1 month ago

32 percent of our food assistance cases are composed of 1 adult with children. 11 percent are two parent households with children. 5 percent are other family situations with children. The elderly and disabled make up 32 percent of the caseload and other kinds of cases with no children make up 20 percent Income. 31 percent of all food assistance cases have earned income. 11 percent have income from child support. 27 percent have Social Security income and 23.5 percent have SSI income. 14 percent of all food assistance recipients report no income. Of the food assistance recipients who lose eligibility each month, 10.5 percent lose eligibility due to earnings from employment. (Note: Cases can be counted in multiple income categories.)

Time on Assistance. The average time on assistance for a food assistance recipient is 17 months. 27 percent receive for 6 months or less. 41.5 percent receive for one year or less. http://www.he.k-state.edu/fnp/2009_Updates/Profile_of_Todays_Food_Assistance_Recipient.pdf

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heygary 3 years, 1 month ago

How about nixing the Library ... it is a luxury we can not afford

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Godot 3 years, 1 month ago

What will the commision cut from current services/positions to offset this new entitlement expense?

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FlintlockRifle 3 years, 1 month ago

Tne commission can bite my==*@@* forget the tongue bit

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Just because you are fat, does not mean you are disabled. If you need to sit around all day, do it at Vangent, on the phone with medicare people, being a productive member of society. We have tax payer supported door to door service with the handicapped empT bus to take you to and from work.

Novel idea isn't it Bozo?

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Qualifying for disability is extremely difficult - it's much more likely that there are people who qualify that aren't getting disability payments than the opposite.

The federal government routinely denies all disability claims the first time they're received, and forces people to prove it, which is often a long and arduous process.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Then you just keep going from Dr. to Dr. on the taxpayers dime till you get one that will say what you want. It is a game and there are many that are very good at gaming the system.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Who needs actual verifiable facts when you can just make them up to suit what you want to believe?

Why don't you just be honest. You hate people who need help of any sort, and you actually enjoy their suffering. You'd even like to increase that suffering.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to see some evidence that many people are getting disability payments they don't deserve.

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bingcherrydk 3 years, 1 month ago

I definitely wouldn't say many, but one example would be people who get disability for ADHD.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

If it's serious enough to make it near impossible for them to work, then it's valid - my wife supervised somebody with ADHD - it was a nightmare.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Drunks... how about that one. They dont need disability, they need to be put to work where they cant get booze. Pretty simple.

What a life, getting paid for drinking all day. The "Do gooders" continue their downward cycle.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Evidence means something other than your assertion.

Give me a link that shows the federal government is paying "drunks" because their problem with alcohol qualifies as a disability to the federal government.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Then you just keep going from Dr. to Dr. on the taxpayers dime till you get one that will say what you want. It is a game and there are many that are very good at gaming the system.

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Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps one day you will know what it's like CHIBW~~I've gone through one heck of a process over the last 2 years, with help from SRS, to obtain my disability, which, after going before a judge am finally about to recieve. It's not as easy as going from "doctor to doctor" as you say!.. You are uninformed and ingnorant. God help you if you ever need help!.."Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."..I guess that leaves you OUT!

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kernal 3 years, 1 month ago

Social Security no longer provides disability benefits for being morbidly obese or a substance abuser. As for conditions caused by morbid obesity and substance abuse, I'm not clear on that.

As for telling fat people to sit on the phone at Vangent, some are too wide to fit on chairs and the movement required to do the job is difficult for them.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

They have no problem watching Oprah all day?

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rhd99 3 years, 1 month ago

I could've sworn I heard on 6 News @ 6 last night that the city had an extra $10 million left after all budget obligations were planned for. Is this correct? If so, then we have a golden opportunity to keep SRS Lawrence opened for many years, no matter what Brown Nose in Topeka tries to do.

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nativeson 3 years, 1 month ago

The City keeps a fund balance normally set at 15%-20% of its general fund expenditures. This has been a long policy to ensure that large loss of funding sources will keep the City solvent. It also allows Lawrence to borrow for capital projects at very favorable rates. Spending down now would be a mistake. You must tax at the rate you spend, otherwise you end up like 2006 with a $3.5 million deficit that took several years to dig out of for a subsequent commission.

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nativeson 3 years, 1 month ago

The statement from Senator Francisco reflects the reality.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said after Tuesday’s meeting that she has some hope that legislators will consider the issue when the session begins in January.

“I think there is going to be considerable concern about transferring state costs to the local level,” said Francisco, who supports the local deal as a means to keep the office open. “I think many legislators will understand that concern and try to address it."

This money will never come back to SRS, and they will never fund a Lawrence office with state funds again. It is gone, and they found a muncipality willing to allow their citizens to pay twice for the same service. Lawrence and Douglas County have now entered into a slippery slide down into the abyss of social service funding. In less than 60 days, the County has put $1 million toward land to help the Community Shelter and over $100k annually for SRS.

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onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree that our community leaders are trying to shore up projects that were once politically popular. They are not looking at the reality of the other projects that they will contend with in the near future that will effect the tax paying voters who are feeling the desperation of what we are facing in America.. Go ahead Bozo...lets hear what a person with your username has to say.

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irvan moore 3 years, 1 month ago

i really don't like this commission and am more than happy to vent about them but today i'm proud of our city commission for making this very hard and in a lot of cases unpopular choice. thanks for looking out for those who may not be able to help themselves.

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nytemayr 3 years, 1 month ago

Well this is interesting. State taxes are collecteed for services distributed to all state citizens. The city of Lawrence is paying a "special tax" to provide the same services in a office located in Lawrence Kansas.

Brownback is having a epiphany!!! If through various State departments the Governor can target offices and services for closure then, the Kansas of State can force local governments to pickup the bill and fund the state without ever taking the issue to the state legislature! Only target areas with the money to respond to the threat!

Obama pay attention you too can reduce Federal spending using the same tactic!!!!

Honestly........ this is brilliant!!!!!

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Frightwig 3 years, 1 month ago

Brownback had better balance the state budget. That's all I'm saying. If he expects to make drastic cuts and let local governments scramble to repair the damage, he'd better have a balanced state budget to show for it at the end of the day.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

If Brownback is going to abuse his office I say HE owes Lawrence/Douglas County taxpayers a sizeable rebate check soon. Where are those state SRS dollars going?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

True Entitlements

The one consequence that usually goes unmentioned by the local media,city hall and elected officials - local profiteers are draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

ENTITLEMENTS

These range from the obvious to the obscure and include big projects-like the billions we spend on new roads as well as smaller ones-like the tax-breaks that encourage businesses to move to the edge of town and KILL downtown.

We've subsidized local profiteers at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe the status quo is actually fair and neutral. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of local profiteers driving development.

How we subsidize profiteers:

  • building new and wider roads
  • building schools on the fringe
  • extending sewer and water lines to not necessary development
  • extending emergency services to the fringe
  • direct pay-outs to developers - for example developers of the new building at 9th and New Hampshire are demanding taxpayers furnish their tenants with parking spaces built with our tax dollars.

Why should we taxpayers pick up that tab?

Why would a bank approve a loan if a project had no parking for it's tenants?

Again... The one consequence that usually goes unmentioned by the local media,city hall and elected officials = local profiteers are draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

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4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

The state agency said they could save money and provide the services by closing the Lawrence Office. We have to reduce spending. Most communities are not happy to lose an employer. If Lawrence wanted something above and beyond what the state deemed feasible then they simply chose to pay the cost. It is going to happen more and more. It is about time that government looks to trim the fat. That being said I would also suggest that the new position for faith based initiatives is a position of investment to save money in the long run. Local communities should bear the largest part of the load in caring for its members. They will be better at finding long term solutions if they directly see they will be footing the long term bill. Faith Based Initiatives can do that.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

If the city "Chooses" to pay the cost, then it should be put on the ballot and voted on by the working people they are squeezing for the cash.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

They're not saving a dime - they've created several new administrative positions which cost the same, if not more, than the savings from not paying rent on the offices.

They're not reducing spending, for God's sake.

They're not "trimming the fat".

What will it take for people to wake up and stop repeating this nonsense about saving money?

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

You know this for sure? You were there when this happened?

I am sure you are sharing facts you know of, first hand.

Thank you for all you do for us! :)

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The information about new administrative positions is readily available - they've created at least two at approximately $100K each for SRS, virtually the same amount they're saving by not paying for the Lawrence office.

One of those positions is a PR spokesperson, which as far as I know, we've never had at SRS before.

I find it incredibly frustrating that people can't see through the "saving money" line, when it's so clearly not true.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

And, you're quite welcome.

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Sigmund 3 years, 1 month ago

merrill (anonymous) says… "profiteers"

Did you really use the word "profiteers?" Aren't you a "profiteer?" Don't your profit with more potential customers for your lawn care service from increased development?

"Profiteer" jeez ....

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Not only that, he uses gasoline powered equipment and profits from American imperialism and wars for oil! Omg.

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onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Quite honestly this problem doesn't go away in two years and if the majority of voters support this (which I seriously doubt) It would have been better to build a building and own a asset over 15 years vs. throwing a quarter million dollars down the drain for rent of two years.?.?.? The same people who support the homeless shelter should certainly agreeable for the SRS to share some of the sq. ft. of the new shelter.

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fishy81 3 years, 1 month ago

people (especially liberals) forget, if a business does not make a PROFIT they won't stay in business.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, that's not strictly true.

Non-profit businesses stay in business without making a profit, as long as their income meets their expenses.

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sunny 3 years, 1 month ago

unbelievable! More tax dollars!

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Which wouldn't have been necessary if the state hadn't chosen to create new administrative positions instead of continuing the funding for the Lawrence office.

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