Advertisement

Archive for Monday, July 11, 2011

Live blog: Monday night’s public forum on closure of Lawrence SRS office

A crowd fills Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont Street, for a public forum on Gov. Sam Brownback's administration's decision to close the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The forum was held Monday, July 11, 2011.

A crowd fills Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont Street, for a public forum on Gov. Sam Brownback's administration's decision to close the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The forum was held Monday, July 11, 2011.

July 11, 2011, 5:26 p.m. Updated July 11, 2011, 8:41 p.m.

Advertisement

SRS Secretary Rob Siedlecki discusses closure of Lawrence office

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki spoke with Lawrence Journal-World editors Monday, July 11, 2011, about the planned closure of the Lawrence SRS office. Siedlecki said there was no chance the Lawrence office will be spared closure, but maintained there will be some SRS presence in the city. Enlarge video

Twitter widget

Tweets from tonight's meeting about closing the Lawrence SRS office

Local legislative leaders are having a public forum tonight to discuss the recent decision by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration to close the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

The meeting is set to start at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt. We'll be providing live updates right here, if you can't make the meeting.

Earlier today during a meeting with Lawrence Journal-World reporters and editors, SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. said he would not be attending tonight's meeting nor would anyone from his office. In the same meeting, Siedlecki said he wanted to be as transparent as possible.

We're following all the tweets from tonight's meeting using the hashtag, #LKSRS.

6:54 p.m. — More than 500 people have gathered in the church. All of the local legislators are here as well community leaders. The bottom area of the church is full and the top is filling up.

7 p.m. — The Rev. Peter Luckey is welcoming everyone, and praised the local legislators for organizing the event. Luckey said we are "united" and "care" about the community. A huge round of applause followed.

7:05 p.m. — Luckey said "we can not turn our back on this." It will be another roadblock between our families and the help they need to get medical care and food on the table. "We are here to help."

He has received a huge round of applause and a standing ovation by many in the crowd.

7:10 p.m. — Tom Holland said he and other legislators will take the comments and concerns of this community back to the SRS. Now, they are going to take comments and questions from the community. These must only pertain to the closure of the Lawrence office. There are two microphones in place. They are giving each person approximately 2 minutes to speak.

Among those in attendance and taking notes are: city and county commissioners, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, the police chief, the sheriff, and local legislators.

7:29 p.m. — Residents are questioning how they are supposed to find transportation to other towns. Bert Nash COO expects case workers will spend at least 30 percent more time dealing with cases because of the closure.

7:35 p.m. — A resident said there may not be legal action, but there can be political action. He encouraged people to voice their opinions by showing up on the steps of the Capitol in Topeka. He is proud of the turnout here, but thinks this community needs to take its voice to Topeka.

Almost everyone's comments are receiving applause. There's a real sense of this community coming together to make a difference.

Also, there will another community forum from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 23, at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

People are questioning why SRS officials are not here to explain the closure and address this community's questions.

7:40 p.m. — A resident questioned the recent hiring of out-of-state workers. She wonders how much they are making and could those salaries make up the closures. What are their jobs? Where's the transparency?

Another resident wanted to know why faith-based organizations haven't tried to appeal to the "Pope himself." The comment received laughter and applause.

7:45 p.m. — A Cottonwood employee who works with disabilities wants to know why there was no public input on the matter.

A school leader is concerned about students who may need the services. "It's a huge step backwards to close this office."

Another resident is very concerned about the technology that's going to be used. He is worried there will be just tables with pamphlets, and he knows how difficult it can be to navigate the Internet. He also believes the closure will cause more work for community agencies and churches.

7:50 p.m. — Residents are telling local representatives that they are having a hard time reaching Gov. Brownback and SRS officials.

A resident said we don't sacrifice our children — "We help them." Her comment received huge applause.

Loring Henderson, of The Lawrence Community Shelter, doesn't even know where to begin. It's going to be a huge loss. If this decision stands, he predicts the shelter's workers will spend more time to get its clients to the other SRS offices. He predicts he will spend more time fundraising.They currently have nine families with 17 children who are using SRS. The decision will affect them greatly.

8:05 p.m. — A woman said it's going to have a devastating effect on the mentally ill. She said it's going to be harder for them to get food and access to care. It is going to put more financial stress on agencies, like Bert Nash, whose funding is already being cut.

A woman who is an advocate for the mentally ill said it's just another message to those with disabilities that they are not worthy to be helped. These services continue to be cut.

8:10 p.m. — A KU student said that if the SRS office closures are being done to save the state money, then why is the state spending so much on transportation and building highways?

Former Judge Jean Shepherd said she is very concerned about the relationships that will be lost. She said the schools and the social workers know each other. She's concerned that children might unnecessarily go into foster care.

8:30 p.m. — The public forum has come to an end. Stay logged on to LJWorld.com for a summary of the meeting.

Comments

Eride 3 years, 1 month ago

Thankfully Siedlecki won't be attending. The last thing any of us wants is for him or anyone in the executive branch to be accountable for their actions.

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

What do you get about the fact that I CAN'T go. I am disabled! I could no more fight that crowd than I could at Kanrocksas! I want to go! I desperately want to go! And I can't! On a positive note, I do have people there representing me, asking the questions I have and keeping me updated. So biggunz, are you there? Probably not. You're sitting at home in your AC trying to drag down the people who are at least showing support.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Honey, "Can't" lives on "Won't" Street. Know what I mean?

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Then I wish on you my level of pain I live with on a daily basis. Something I have never done before (and probably never will again).

0

sourpuss 3 years, 1 month ago

He's just baiting you. The LJWorld forums are some of the ugliest places on the Internet. Only here was I told that I deserved to get cancer and that the person was sorry I hadn't died. Why? Because I supported universal health care.

Don't feed the trolls and don't let them get to you. Mean people always look for someone to pick on.

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Obviously you aren't there either, although our motives for it are different. Given your reasons, I suggest you stop bad mouthing the people that really do care and shut up.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh. No. I'm right here and this is some rather amusing theatre....far better than anything the Lied Center has ever put on......Perhaps more people in Lawrence will begin to grasp the concept of "tyranny of the majority" and realize voting has NOTHING to do with Democracy.

Wait, is it ok to type that kind of "speech" in Lawrence, Kansas......home of Political Correctness where most DO wear the Lawrence issued rose colored glasses??? (A handful of us took 'em off or never wore 'em from the get and frequently get into "trouble" for said actions....).

0

deec 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm not there because I don't live there. That doesn't mean I don't love and care about my home town.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm right here.....accessing the wonderful world of Wi-Fi warfaring....and can tell you that this "meeting" is just a dog and pony show; wholly meaningless, not to mention useless except for ONE THING: It is DOCUMENTING that the vendors who work so closely with the local SRS office (....AND get a ton of money from SRS central office) and its minons are NOWHERE to be seen or heard from. JUST as I earlier predicted.

The arrogance of Lawrence, Kansas with respect to the rest of the state of Kansas has come back to bite itself on the backside. Lawrence "progressed" itself out of a local state social service office. It's really kind of amusing......

0

Ralph Reed 3 years, 1 month ago

Then get up and say something. We won't bite.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

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

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

p>LJWorld.com deleted my remark above. I don't know why....I was simply relating that my stomach is about to cause me to throw up due to the "remarks" from our local politicians. The fact I'm able to access my home computer might be troubling to LJWorld.com . Nonetheless, it's all I can to do keep my stomach contents inside me......

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps because, obviously, you are in the minority here.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh...most certainly and the Good Lord knows being in the minority is NEVER where you want to be because the MAJORITY EXPLOIT YOU and deny you your rights!

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Quite true. I'm still curious as to why, given your feelings regarding this matter, you bothered to go. So you could jeer at the attendees? (check) Laugh at the comments? (check) Act like a "welfare elitist"? (check) Is that worth the "turmoil in your stomach"?

0

Ralph Reed 3 years, 1 month ago

This is true. Why else do you think Brownback is doing the things to Lawrence that he is?

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh....I see now.....I meant to type Holland but typed Sloan. My bad. Got the Tom part right, though. Let's use the "strength based perspective", 'k?

0

LadyJ 3 years, 1 month ago

I was there for you cait and I think 500 was a very low number

0

Ralph Reed 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree LadyJ. 500 is a very conservative estimate. We got there about six and were lucky to find a seat where I could hear.

Cait. We were there for you also.

0

northtowngrl 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the live blog! Couldn't make it off work in time to beat the crowd. So glad its a packed house!

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

As there were no public forums or public input into this decision and there was no input from legislators, is there any possibility that this could be a violation of Kansas "Sunshine" laws? Actually getting data from SRS took an FOIA request.

0

deec 3 years, 1 month ago

Probably not, it was an administrative decision. They probably are hard at work creating a false paper trail to justify their decisions even as we speak. I wish some srs workers had the courage to set up a site like the DOL people did, so you Ks taxpayers could see wht's really going on.

0

xclusive85 3 years, 1 month ago

What website did the DOL people set up? I never heard about it. I would love to look at it, if it is still possible.

0

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Indeed. My point is that there was public input when Kansans voted for Brownback. Brownback's agenda has been clear for years so why is everyone shocked?

0

kantubek 3 years, 1 month ago

"A KU student said that this is being done to save money, but she questions the decision to spend so money on transportation instead of caring for people."

LJW, please revise this.

0

Karrey Britt 3 years, 1 month ago

Sorry about that. She questioned the decision to spend so much money on transportation and building more highways instead of SRS services.

0

Sparko 3 years, 1 month ago

Mean-spirited, small minded and incompetent. Brownback. How he was ever elected to any office is a mystery solved only by looking at his puppet-masters. What next?

0

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

How was he ever elected? I am no Brownback fan, but I gather he was elected in much the same process that Sebelius was elected.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Neither of which have held a real job in their lives. Sebelius' only claim to fame is that her daddy was Gov. of Ohio. Obama messed up selecting her. She didn't do right by SRS either. Trust me.

0

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

I didn't say I liked either of them. I was simply pointing out that Brownback, like Sebelius, was elected by the voters of Kansas. Brownback's agenda has been transparent for years and thus one can only conclude Kansans are getting what most of them wanted.

0

BigDog 3 years, 1 month ago

I see a lot of whining and complaining on here. How about suggestions and solutions? What are your suggestions for budget reductions of the $42.5 million required of SRS by the legislature? The cuts are required to have $1 million of the cuts from SRS administration.

It is easy for legislators to put the blame on the Brownback adminstration, the adminstration is implementing the budget that the legislature passed. The Governor's budget proposal contained far smaller cuts. Not to excuse the Brownback adminstration but legislators shouldn't get off of the hook for their part in budget cuts to SRS.

0

John Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago

I could be mistaken, but I believe most of the Lawrence delegation voted against the budget that produced the SRS cuts.

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

You are NOT mistaken johnc. It was stated in Saturday's meeting at the library that all the Lawrence legislators voted AGAINST it!

0

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"How about suggestions and solutions? "

Satellite office of JoCo, with two or three people to give out and accept paperwork for shipment to JoCo for processing. Web-based questionnaires. One on-call social worker if needed by police or other emergency agency. If a joplin-sized challenge strikes, bring in the army of social workers from all over kansas and house them in a middle school. Their is room if we need it.

No $300,000/yr buildings. Buy a copier and teach a custodian how to change a cartridge. Make social workers shred their own documents. What are they doing giving intact documents to people that should never see them anyway?

0

Nonsense 3 years, 1 month ago

PLEASE NOTE: TOM SLOAN WAS NOT THERE!

0

Karrey Britt 3 years, 1 month ago

I had trouble getting Internet service at times, so I apologize for the gaps especially at the end of the forum. Rep. Paul Davis ended the forum by encouraging everyone to contact the governor's office. He said that Lawrence legislators and leaders will continue to fight to keep the SRS office open.

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

What those that oppose this latest move don't get is, that if you live in Lawrence, and even many in surrounding communities.. you WILL be effected quite adversely by the closing of the Lawrence SRS office. There is a network of agencies in Lawrence that work together, and SRS is at the center of the wheel, with the spokes that go out to form the wheel that makes this community go round and work for the better of the whole. I've lived in Lawrence all my life, and have had to access services in the past. I now speak as an advocate for those who's voices are weak now, while mine has been restored! I love this town, which is more like a city now. I hate to see it become just another adjoining arm of Kansas City. That's the direction this move is making.. to take away our community and make it part of the "greater" Johnson County. If you care at all about Lawrence, you would see that closing the SRS tears apart the very social infrastructure that makes our town so great!!

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

I meant to say those that DON"T oppose the latest move.. sorry.. my fingers got ahead of my thoughts.. cuz I'm P.O.d!! lol

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps. Kindly explain why NONE of this "network of agencies" save some joint like Henderson's folly has troubled themselves to step forward and be heard?

Not word one from Kaw Valley. Nothing from DCCCA. Nothing from The Farm. Nothing from nobody. Don't wanna hear "they're scared" either. They're supposed to be stand up outfits. I've never seen 'em as such.....poverty pimps is how I've seen 'em and known 'em to be....they just waiting for the dust to settle and when it's all said and done, they'll just belly up the bar with a new group of strumpets.

So, go on now, larrytowngirl, explain why none of this "circle" is involved in trying to prevent this closure, which appearing more and more likely to happen....Go on now...

0

Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Rob Siedlecki is from Florida.

The new secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services will be Robert Siedlecki Jr., who is chief of staff with the Florida Department of Health. He is former legal counsel to the Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush.

The neoconservative fundamentalist christians are on a march to take over Kansas government no matter what.

0

Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

To the editor:

First it was William Quantrill. Now it’s Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach. These “Topeka Ruffians” have openly declared war on women, immigrants, the poor and needy, the arts and now Lawrence, itself. The lies and hoodwinking to achieve their Republican agenda are one thing.

The complete disregard for the quality of life here in Lawrence, especially for the neediest, is totally unacceptable. There is an expression “there is each of us and all of us.” Each of them wants to slash and burn the critical institutions that all of us pay for. Ain’t gonna fly. I promise to dedicate my time, energy and money to recall these (for want of a better word) “leaders.”

Who will join me?

Charles Gruber

0

thiatt 3 years, 1 month ago

Disappointing meeting. 1.5 hours of compelling statements and stories about how this move will gravely impact the health and safety of our community and the panel, led by Tom Holland refused to take or answer any questions. Tom Sloan didn't show. The Floridian leadership of SRS was invited to attend but declined to face the concerns of our community. And in the end, the promise from the elected leadership of Douglas County was to pass comments along to the governor and explore every alternative. The only fight in that room came from the people, not the politicians. So far the only elected leader that has stood up on this issue has been Charles Branson.

0

Ralph Reed 3 years, 1 month ago

Some did comment and they did ask for suggestions.

Also, Tom Holland stated at the beginning that purpose was to listen to comments and say very little, if anything

They were as surprised at this move as everyone else. A couple of them said they found out about the closure Sunday buried in their email. This is typical of the Brownback regime. They announce everything Friday late or on the weekend and hope people forget by Monday.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

You are apologizing for these "people". In a dinky "state" like Kansas, there is no excuse for not keeping your eye on the ball when you're in an elected position. The excuse about seeing it via email brought a tear to my eye. It was on this very website less than 2 hours after SRS staff got the notice on FRIDAY.

0

4accountability 3 years, 1 month ago

The most productive thing Mr. Branson can do is focus on prosecuting child abuse cases. He knows that he makes decisions on cases that sometimes let down victims based on the resources he has to work with. Hopefully he can focus on what he can do to be more efficient and more effective in his own office. Time spent doing that may be more helpful than questioning others who also have unpopular decisions to make at times.

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

So let's kill the biggest, strongest, most self-reliant baby!!! All he does is holler and upset the status quo! Right Seidlecki???? HOGWASH!

0

overthemoon 3 years, 1 month ago

every single slash and burn cut being made by states and the federal government are going end up costing more than they save.

0

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

"I was simply relating that my stomach is about to cause me to throw up due to the "remarks" from our local politicians. "

Alceste I call you out as a liar. You were not there. The politicians weren't doing the talking, the public was talking. More lies from conservatives.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

They spoke REALLY loudly as far as I am concerned. Their yelling began when they said they weren't going to say much if anything. It grew to a all out shouting match when it was said it was discovered buried in an email. And then they started using foul political speak even suggesting they were going to lobby Brownback & Company. They're small, little people on a par with many other "leaders" in this community.

Why don't you be a tomatothrower instead of a grower?

That meeting was nothing but a waste of time. There was no planning. There was no organization. There was no leadership or concepts placed anywhere to combat what Brownback wants to do. He will continue to rest on the singular issue of the close to $400,000.00 in operating costs of the Lawrence SRS buildings that he wants cut out. If anybody thinks Siedlecki dreamt this up....oh boy oh boy.....and as for the remarks about "the legislature ordered these cuts"....where do you think their marching orders came from?

It was disgusting and at the same time amusing watching and listening to the likes of tomatogrowere cry and kvetch and not organize. "Leaders" could have stepped forward and used the time in a constructive fashion instead of using the time for a collective cry. Instead, the dopes just sat around and applauded each other. And, again, I'll ask/state the obvious: Where are all the "friends of Lawrence SRS" in terms of who they do business with; outfits such as Kaw Valley; The Farm; heck...even the regressives over at CASA; the other vendors; the KU School of Social Welfare, etc., etc., etc. What a joke. Don't mourn. Organize. Yeah, I was there LISTENING to politicians. I heard PLENTY.

0

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

Our SRS does not need to be run by a non-Kansan. Go back to Florida!

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

What a provencial thing to say/write. And incorrect. It documents just how uneducated so many really are.

What SRS requires as it's head is a motivated, strong, apolitical Public Welfare professional with a proven track record demonstrating a critical understanding of the federal code that dictates policy in the social services arena and in the financial/cash assistance arena. Who cares if such a person is from Uganda? Kansas and SRS has NOT had such a professional, EVER. Certainly not Robt. Harder. And, if that ever happens, than that person can go about re-writing Kansas law so that it serves the people and not the lawyers who are the ones making big bucks due to the way many of the laws are written. The process can be professionalized as opposed to politicized which is what it's all about today.....

While Alceste recognizes such an "appointment" shall never happen....if it ever did.....such an appointment might bring Kansas out of the dark ages with respect to Public Welfare and end some of this non-sense which is driven by head bobbing mediocrity. You want to advance within SRS career wise? Be mediocre and practice head bobbing.

Until this state embraces the need for change in our very localized way of viewing oppression and poverty and need....each of which drive child abuse and neglect matters (not to leave out all the other things a public welfare agency is supposed to address)....we're gonna continue to be on par with Mississippi and Alabama; have one of the highest removal rates for children in the Nation; and continue to function with an underclass as the people doing the rowing on this ship of fools.

Again, why not be a tomatothrower instead of a tomatogrower? Stop with the hand wringing already....

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Hollis!!

Ike Turner played that joint as did Elton John and James Taylor. I see you know what's important in this thread!

0

cletus26 3 years, 1 month ago

i'm glad to see that there was a good turnout and that people were able to at least vent about their fustrations and concerns..

0

justajoke 3 years, 1 month ago

The Lawrence office has the same number of intakes as the bigger offices in the region per worker. I think someone needs to ask for a break down of cases per division. These numbers aren't accurate. The cost savings isn't accurate either, now the state will be paying to relocate workers, mileage, cell phones, laptops and other items that are needed to do the job. Postage won't be a savings either because now intakes will increase and you will have to mail more documents. I am betting that the KC Metro Region has already save close to the amount needed by the firing or ( forced retiring) of the 8 people that have left in the last 3 weeks...

0

lunacydetector 3 years, 1 month ago

why don't you people get the school district to donate one of their closed schools like they did east heights for the boys-girls club? problem solved. stop sitting on your rear ends and have our local legislators lobby the school district instead of massing a b*tch forum with no answers. geez people.....you are pathetic. srs is/was paying rent where they are at. i guarantee you they were paying more than $300K a year for their buildings.

0

grammaddy 3 years, 1 month ago

Who owns the building SRS is in now?

0

Lawrence Morgan 3 years, 1 month ago

The Journal-World has done a real service for publicizing and presenting this situation. Lawrence

0

2GenLtown 3 years, 1 month ago

Good job to all those who showed up to represent Lawrence and those in our community who are not able to speak for themselves. May God bless you.

0

grammaddy 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom Holland was there but Brownback wasn't?Hmmm.

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

You know the deal: I got you your membership card into Skull and Bones for use of the basement.

No, I shall not sponser you for membership into the Trilateral Commission. (That "No" is, as always, negotiable provided I am given half ownership of that island you just bought and a largish cottage constructed per my plans; same completed before any further discussions). It's not my fault I was in London, Brussels, Montreal, and Paris in 1972 "commodity brokering" some of Douglas County's finest and grew chummy with David Rockefeller. It simply was fate. You could have been there, but no....you had that Suzi Creemcheese at the Bodega that needed addressing. shrug

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

This is the letter I sent to the governor this morning.. perhaps some of you that support this could read it with an open mind and reconsider as well!!! Governor: I am writing in opposition to the closing of the Lawrence SRS office. I feel strongly that this is absolutely NOT a solution to helping our great community or the state of Kansas, either financially or socially. Moving forward with this decision will not only hurt the entire Lawrence community, but many surrounding communities will also be effected quite adversely by the closing of the Lawrence SRS office when trying to absorb the many case loads as well. Those offices are already working beyond their own capacities. I know it is said that employees will be transferred to help with those, but we all know that is not going to be what will happen. Many employees will retire or quit, and their positions will be eliminated. There is a network of agencies in Lawrence that work together for the good of the entire community at large. SRS in Lawrence is at the center of a well functioning wheel. Spokes that go out to from the wheel are the many other social agencies, such as Bert Nash, DCCA, Cottenwood, The Community Shelter, CASA, law enforcement and the courts etc. etc., and the list goes on and on. This is the wheel that makes this wonderful community go round, and ultimately work together for the betterment of the whole.

0

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 1 month ago

letter to Brownback cont. pg 2 I've lived in Lawrence all my life, and have had to access services in the past. I thank God that they were there to help when I needed it, including the help with access to medical care. I now speak as an advocate for those who's voices are weak, while mine has been restored! I love Lawrence and the tight knit community that it is. I hate to see it become just another adjoining arm of Kansas City. That's the direction it seems that this move is making.. to take away our community and make it part of the "greater" Johnson County. If you care at all about the people of Lawrence and the surrounding areas, you would see that closing the SRS tears apart the very social infrastructure that makes our community so great!

It seems to me that the only real "savings", according to the numbers that WERE released, is in the building rental. I agree that $300,000+ per year is astronomical, and ridiculous! I'm sure there are other options, if time is taken to seek them out, that would be much more feasible and financially responsible. A couple that have been mentioned are the empty spaces at the Tanger Mall in North Lawrence, where the DMV is, or possibly one of several schools that have been closed. Both of these are REAL solutions and I'm sure would not be that difficult to obtain at a very reasonable cost.

In closing this letter I would like to respond to the comment by Mr. Seidlecki that closing these offices is like trying to "decide which child to sacrifice." That statement in itself is abhorrent, however, if that were the case, WHY would want to sacrifice the strongest, most self-reliant, and viable child? This is the "child" (Lawrence SRS) that works hard for all the children and people who need a little extra help. It is an irresponsible and ignorant decision and I IMPLORE you to reconsider. Please open your heart and mind to the Lawrence community and allow for further investigation into truly useful resolutions to this situation.

I do hope you have taken the time to read and consider this letter, and I hope to be hearing that you have made a decision to listen to our cries for sensibility regarding this most critical matter.

Sincerely, Lana Hayes Just another little person in Lawrence

0

Peanutcat 3 years, 1 month ago

Many SRS employees were there last night. They requested that I forward a thankyou to everyone for the show of support. They have no voice in this process and have been told that there would be repucussions if they actively participate.

0

Peanutcat 3 years, 1 month ago

They were also told today that there will not be enough posistions in the surrounding areas. If they are not willing to move they will lose their jobs and wont be eligible for unemployment.

0

notanota 3 years, 1 month ago

What a surprise. Who could have seen that happening with the whole insistence that he wasn't laying people off? Nice of him to wait until after the meeting to announce that, too.

0

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

He isn't laying them off. That's the point. If they can't move to Western Kansas they are free to resign, saving the state unemployment and making Brownback able to say he didn't lay off any SRS workers, when in fact he did. Do they really think we are that stupid?

0

Alceste 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes, and he is correct for the most part.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.