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Letters to the Editor

Tax thoughts

July 7, 2011

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To the editor:

We’re seeing hints of increased taxes in support of city services, and discussion of changes in those services. I have some observations.

Last summer, some Centennial Neighborhood streets were repaved. This project took the entire summer since the workers were around an average of one day a week. They’d show up, post “no parking” signs, then disappear. By the end of the summer, the repaving was finally done. Soon after, cracks (large and small) began to appear in the new pavement. When this was reported, a bit of crack filler was dribbled in the small ones. They came and put pink spray paint on a large crack near my house, put up no parking signs and disappeared forever.

About a month ago I contacted the city manager’s office to find out what, if anything, will be done about the 30-foot-long crack. No one has ever gotten back to me, and nothing has been done. Could it be that contractors just get away with shoddy work with no supervision? Sure looks that way. Letting them off the hook, though it might save effort, is bound to be expensive.

Although having only one collection a week has limitations, our trash collection is excellent. The people doing it work hard, even sometimes picking up trash left on the ground. We have a number of excellent voluntary recycling options, none expensive or difficult. So, we set up a commission to change something that works well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Comments

tbaker 2 years, 9 months ago

Besides running the various court systems and military and police funtions, name one single service a government entity provides that is done better, faster, and cheaper than the private sector does it.

Fort Leavenworth is a excellent little case study. In about 2006, the Directorate of Engineering and Housing (all federal government employees) who performed all the same functions of a small town city government were replaced by a contractor. There is no comparison to the level of performance one sees today compared to when government employees were doing it.

When a person's job depends on customer satisfaction, things get and stay better. The employment of those city employees painting lines on the street and disappearing forever does not depend on what the citizens of Lawrence think of their work. If it did, I'm am quite certain things would be different. The city should close the street department and contract it out.

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KULHSLIONSfan 2 years, 9 months ago

They are probably so busy trying to address your unbelievable number of complaints about your neighbors they just haven't had the time. The city may have to hire additional help to keep up with the number of complaints originating from you, the top complainer in the city. Maybe it has finally gotten to the point where you complain so much about your neighbors and the houses you pass on your way home from KU that the city has tired of your unending complaints.

I believe they did a great job in our neighborhood and have been responsive to concerns.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

If the roads were privately owned, does anyone think the owner would stand for such a project taking so long and being done so poorly?

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