Meetings scheduled to address closure of Lawrence’s SRS office; Brownback administration remains mum

? Opposition continues to mount to the decision by Gov. Sam Brownback administration’s to shut down the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, at a meeting of the Douglas County Democratic Party, Robert Harder, the first and longest-serving director of SRS, will talk about the recent changes going on at SRS and how it will affect Kansans. The program will be at the Lawrence Public Library.

Then at 7 p.m. Monday, local legislators will host a public forum on the recent announcement to close the Lawrence SRS office. That meeting will take place at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.

Last week, SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. announced the closure of nine SRS offices as a cost-cutting move. The Lawrence office, with 87 employees, was by far the largest one.

Brownback said people served by the Lawrence office could use the Internet or travel to other cities for assistance. Siedlecki said the Lawrence office needed to be closed to capture the biggest savings: about $300,000.

But the Brownback administration has so far declined to discuss further details about the decision, despite repeated requests by the Journal-World to do so.