Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City Commission to appeal closure of Lawrence SRS office

July 13, 2011


City commissioners are ready to send a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback urging him to reconsider the decision to close Lawrence’s SRS office.

Commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously directed Mayor Aron Cromwell to sign a letter asking the governor to keep the office open. Cromwell said he wanted to give the Douglas County Commission the chance to join in the letter, but commissioners urged staff members to write the letter soon.

“I think time is of the essence here,” said City Commissioner Mike Amyx. “I think the hardship created by so many people is something I can’t even guess what it will be like for clients of SRS.”

Commissioners gave Cromwell the authority to sign the letter without it first being reviewed by the full commission. But commissioners said they did want the letter to clearly ask the governor to keep the existing office intact rather than asking for SRS to keep at least some presence in the city.

“We don’t want a watering down of the SRS presence in the city,” City Commissioner Bob Schumm said.


kansasredlegs 6 years, 10 months ago

It's not a watering down Bob, the tap was turned off.

allamerican4ever 6 years, 10 months ago

like a letter from a smalltime mayor will change his mind lol lol

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

Info from "Medicaid Improvement" website:We are interested in your ideas for remaking Medicaid to improve the quality of care provided and reduce costs. As you consider suggestions, please keep these guiding principles in mind:

Improvement of quality of care and services
Integration and coordination of care for a holistic, population-based approach
Encouragement, and elimination of disincentives, for the disabled to work without losing health coverage
Emphasis on Medicaid as a short-term option for coverage, getting people back to work
Expectation of personal responsibility for active participation in health maintenance
Elimination of silos between population groups and providers
Expectation of accountability for outcomes
Achievement of significant savings Names are required to submit ideas. I think a flood of emails exploring how cutting workers and services is not going to improve the quality of care might be in order.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 10 months ago

In my opinion, this letter will be helpful. Thank you, City Commission.

Bleubird 6 years, 10 months ago

The City's action is timely and much appreciated.

While this SRS office that serves so many people with limited means is slated for closure due to budget problems, is the lavish statehouse renovation still proceeding at taxpayer expense? What is that cost up to now? $500 million?

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

That's the kind of thing that makes me crazy.

If we want to save money and cut some spending, that's fine. But why can't we cut stuff like that instead of education and social services?

notanota 6 years, 10 months ago

Because poor people are all lazy frauds and buildings are way more important than people. HTH!

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, the legislature voted to continue the funding for the Arts Commission, and the governor simply ignored them, and defunded it anyway.

And, I'm sure there are more things like the statehouse renovation that I'd cut before cutting arts as well.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

Are you crazy? We need a shiney like-new capitol. The legislators need a 60-million dollar underground parking garage because they can't be bothered with potentially having to talk with citizens. Also, they're made of sugar and will melt if they get wet.

FYI: the state would cease to exist without the implementation of a new logo. Yeah, I said it. A new state logo! We bankrupt...poor people must sacrifice, old people must sacrifice, children must sacrifice, so that the state can have a new logo. Throw out the old business cards, letter head, envelopes, and web-pages because we have new state logo that must be implemented, or else!

I want to know why I'm the only one brining up this new state logo debacle. Why won't the local news media hold Sam Brownback and the Republicrats' feet to the fire over this? I guess the news media is just like the politicians--all show and no go.

countrygal07 6 years, 10 months ago

Even though Lawrence needs the SRS to stay open, Brownstains isnt gonna listen. He could care less. He is a inconsiderate, heartless individual that shouldnt have ever made it in office. He doesnt care who he hurts, or how mant people this will affect. He doesnt worry about the ones that will lose their jobs, hell he has a job so why worry about anyone else. His salary should be reduced.

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 10 months ago

He doesn't understand that the world does not revolve around him and his do whatever it takes, ruin as many people's lives, so long as he can make a name for himself as a retardlican, no matter how many poor people he hurts or people he leaves dead and bloodied along the way, just so long so he can make a name for himself as a retardlican, no matter how many poor people he hurts or people he leaves dead and bloodied and dying along the way!

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 10 months ago

don't mean to make light of your post, but couldn't help but think of the Zoolander quote

allamerican4ever 6 years, 10 months ago

there are people all over this state that travel more than 25 miles to get social services, every town doesnt need a srs office

appleaday 6 years, 10 months ago

It's a hardship for anyone having to travel to get these services since most folk receiving the services don't have adequate transportation. It just doesn't make sense to force over 10,000 people to have to do this. The impact on other communities is much less because fewer people are affected. And by the way, for those who don't have cars, the transportation needs will have to be picked up some other way -- buses and vans at SRS cost. Getting the internet web site updated so that people can actually use it (check it out for yourself -- many of the SRS services cannot be accessed online) will cost money. There was no actual cost/benefit analysis for this move except for looking at the supposed "savings" of closing this office. It will probably cost way more in the long run to keep providing services to our population without a local office.

notanota 6 years, 10 months ago

No kidding. They'd have had an argument if they'd updated the website FIRST to make it easier to apply for all services online and then announced they were reducing the office presence. That would have made some sense. But then, they'd have needed to spend money on that website update. Probably at least what they're "saving" by closing Lawrence.

They can argue that they're saving money without layoffs by pointing at the bottom line. They won't point out that they achieved this through passive aggressively forcing workers to quit or take early retirement by moving their jobs to another city and by making it harder to apply for services rather than reducing the need for the services.

Meanwhile, they'll find more ways to funnel taxpayer money into religious organizations where it will be less easy to track, and they'll tell you without a hint of irony that they're reducing fraud and waste in the process.

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 10 months ago

There really is a difference between the Lawrence SRS office and the others on the list. Lawrence has a much larger population, and a huge network of agencies that work together. I'm not trying to be insensitive to those other office closings, but Lawrence really is a "hub" for so many communities, for more reasons than just having an SRS office available to them. Lawrence serves several communities/counties when it comes to providing serves.. not just SRS services, but services that do work directly with SRS.

xclusive85 6 years, 10 months ago

Love this post. I have been searching for these exact words in all my posts these last few days!

Tara Painter 6 years, 10 months ago

then shut down the smaller towns life Ottawa, if you were to stupid to notice we have a homeless problem, that S.R.S helps with, must be nice to think of only yourself.

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 10 months ago

I would love to see the letter published so we can all read it. Hopefully the LJW will be sure to obtain a copy for the citizens of Lawrence. I'm not sure what good it will do, but I'm glad that local legislators and elected officials are doing what they can to support the community. To that I say, Thank You.

shadowlady 6 years, 10 months ago

I am just at a loss for words, just to think someone could be so insenstive to other peoples needs. You have Obama on one hand threatening to cut off the Social Security, if the Republicans don't give him what he wants (to me that is blackmail in a political way), then on the other hand you have Brownbeck, closing the SRS. What in the world is this country coming to?? I say quit giving foreign aid, they say we are broke, so where is the money coming from to aid these foreign countries and then they want to hurt the American people, by threatening to cut off checks, close SRS. All of this just makes me sick.

nonon69 6 years, 10 months ago

"You have Obama on one hand threatening to cut off the Social Security, if the Republicans don't give him what he wants (to me that is blackmail in a political way)"

Huh? Obama simply stated that if the debt ceiling isn't raised there won't be enough money to send the SS checks out, lol. That's a far cray from blackmail or insensitive.

notanota 6 years, 10 months ago

You listen to too much Fox. Obama said he couldn't send out checks if the default ceiling isn't raised. He can't. He'll be legally obligated to send that money to creditors before little old ladies and veterans can see a dime.

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

Write it in crayon and sign it from god that will be the only way to undo his doings

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

It feels good watching the commission beg while they raise my taxes to expand a useless library in a town with a dozen world class libraries sitting on top of Mt Oread.

Beggars are pathetic. Remember while you are down on your knees in front of brownback, you aren't down there on my behalf. You have wasted every last bit of good will or care all but a few had for you and Lawrence.

I hope you are sent back to your little backwater with a bucket full of tears to share with the accomplices that have enabled you to take the money I work for to prop up a failing business district that has never served my needs.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago


Sounds like you should move - you're very unhappy here.

The commission didn't raise your taxes for a library expansion - that was put to a vote.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm with you Liberty, I go to work every day, pay my taxes so some schmuck does not have to.

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

That schmuck is most likely a child, a disabled person, or an old person. For example as of May, 2008 for food assistance, "Type of Household. 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."

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

"The maximum gross income a single person could earn and still qualify for food assistance was $903 a month (as of 2010). Add $312 for each additional person in the household." A household with one adult working full time at minimum wage with one child would qualify for food aid. And the qualifications are based on gross income, before SS taxes or other deductions are removed.

irvan moore 6 years, 10 months ago

i don't see how we will save money if most of the money saved is from rent, don't we have a lease that will require the rent to be paid for gosh only knows how long?

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 10 months ago

Information about rent and who it is paid to seems to be very difficult to obtain!... Transparency is NOT one of this administration's strong points.. They are like the cowardly bullies that we see in elementary school, and seem to be just as ignorant and selfish!!

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

Luckily. I came across this thread after reading one with several comments that in effect said "people voted for the library, so it is justified". Well, people voted for brownback, so what he is doing is justified.

How do you like being ruled by a motivated minority? Sickening isn't it. Welcome to the other side. Maybe some day you will grow altogether tired of being ruled by people elected to serve you, but I won't be holding mu breath waiting for that.

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

The solution to that problem is for everybody to vote.

I do my part, and I encourage others to vote as well.

notanota 6 years, 10 months ago

Not quite. The library was a specific bond issue which was outlined in advance and presented to the voters directly. It passed.

Brownback won a majority of votes, but that doesn't make every action "justified," nor does it mean he has a mandate to make foolish decisions and not hear about it from his constituents. We did not elect a pope. The same goes for Obama or any other official we elect. Announcing the closure on a holiday weekend Friday news dump is a sure sign that they'd rather have less participation in the process, not more.

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

"Brownback won a majority of votes, but that doesn't make every action "justified,""

It makes every legal action he undertakes as justified as the library extension. Justification doesn't await your approval.

OTOH, sue the state for an injunction. Go do it now. Do you need directions to the courthouse?

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

I know you don't base the validity of an election on what the electorate knew/knows. That idea is in the corner sitting next it's brother, Mr Literacy Test.

If you didn't mean it that way, then don't appeal to emotion. That's almost as bad as questioning whether your fellow citizens are smart enough to vote.

Choose a side. Do you believe in democracy or do you believe in democracy only when it forwards your political ideology?

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

They should have known what Brownback would do.

gudpoynt 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh Liberty, I do hope you're attempting to draw a comparison between cost/benefit analyses of the public library bond issue and the closing of the SRS office.

Here, I'll help get you started:

1) For every cost you realize as a result of the library, compare it to a cost of someone losing their SRS services (or their SRS job).

2) For every benefit you realize in the state saving $300K by closing the SRS, compare it to a benefit that someone will get by having a new and improved library in town.

Please expound on this. Feel free to extrapolate it out to ALL people affected.

I'm dying to see just how much of a crusty a hole you are willing to portray yourself as. (Not that you aren't doing a bang up job already :-)

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

Wrong guess.

At this point it isn't about the srs, the library, brownback or money. It's about people cherry-picking electoral results.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you just posted in the wrong place. I posted something about the money somewhere else, and you meant to reply there.

As for your #1 and #2:

1: I have no reason to believe anyone will lose their srs service or job. Neither may be as convenient, but "inconvenient" is not a synonym for "lost". OTOH, I won't be surprised when they do lose their benefits or jobs. I won't say they are lazy, you can think that up by yourself.

2: I don't see a single benefit to ANY public library in a town the size of Lawrence full of university libraries, community centers and bookstores. Others might see the benefit of drawing people downtown and getting a free parking garage, but then again, I think those people really care because they have to pay horrendous rent for their downtown storefronts and they need people to bring in some money.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

The problem is that he wasn't elected by 'the people'. He was elected by those who voted. And there's speculation that most, if not all, ballot boxes are rigged.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if the Lawrence SRS office had implemented the new state logo before it got closed down? Hopefully not, because new business cards and envelopes are expensive. We'll never know. All we can know is that the state is bankrupt and everybody, but a few, must sacrifice!

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 10 months ago

Everybody except for the richest among us.. Sick SOBs.. the lot of them!!

oldvet 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow! Some serious class envy here... remember, the only person stopping you from being rich is the one who looks at you in the mirror every day...

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

Horatio Alger wrote fiction. It's hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no legs.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

Class envy? Sorry, fellow veteran, but you couldn't be farther from the truth. I christen thee 'Shallow Hal.'

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

I know you're a stickler for grammar, Hal...please, let me correct myself; further, not farther.

oldvet 6 years, 10 months ago

Reply to the letter:

Something like... "Thank you for your letter. The decision to close the Lawrence office was a difficult one to make. The current budget has forced difficult decisions. We will have a presence in Lawrence in the future if free space is provided. Have a nice day.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 10 months ago

Ah yeah! Hey Hal! Hold my beer and watch this! Let's throw another million dollars on the 10-year money pit called 'state capitol renovation.' I bet all those tunnels they built connecting surrounding buildings to the Capitol cost a pretty penny. Does the State of Kansas own the new $60-million underground parking garage, or lease it? Tell me, Hal, now that the State is bankrupt, when do you think all that scaffolding will finally come down? We can't renig on contracts, eh?

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 10 months ago

Save Our SRS -- Rally in Southpark Saturday, July 16 · 9:30am - 10:30am South Park gazebo 1141 Massachusetts Street Lawrence, Kansas Created By: Save Our SRS - Lawrence, KS (facebook) Join us this Saturday, July 16th from 9:30am to 10:30am at the South Park gazebo for a rally to protest the decision to close the Lawrence SRS office. There will be guest speakers from around the community as well as live music and opportunities for you to find out what you can do to help save our SRS office. Rally with us this Saturday and make sure your voice is heard!

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

I think it will be interesting to see if SRS is able to maintain the federal timeliness requirements with less workers. They have to process (at least for food stamps) claims in 30 days. There are potential fines and penalties for poor performance in meeting standards. For emergency food stamps, there is a 7 day time frame. Texas was fined for too many errors in figuring benefits a year ago. There was a class action lawsuit in NY for irregularities in processing emergency claims. Everyone who might be qualified for benefits really should apply now before the various offices are closed. It would be unfortunate if Ks. ends up being investigated and fined by the federal government for not meeting requirements.

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

Ya think? I'm only waiting for the housing market to come back and for obama's banks to start lending again.

"that was put to a vote."

So was brownback. Remind me again how the library expansion got on the ballot. Did it just appear there by magic?

jafs 6 years, 10 months ago

That may be a very long wait.

If I were you, I would seriously consider getting out now.

What's your point? Yes, the city commission put it on the ballot to be voted on. Wouldn't you rather they do that than simply make the decision themselves?

Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

I'd rather the commission make the decision and watch the court battles.

As for being out, ummmmm, no. This will be part of every thread I see that even makes me think someone is alluding to the citizens of Lawrence voting for a library expansion or whether brownback should be allowed to annihilate the Lawrence branch of srs. It's just too good at making the hypocrites use one election to bolster their argument while ignoring or downright disregarding the results of another.

Nope. Too perfect.

lunacydetector 6 years, 10 months ago

the city will have egg on its face if s.r.s. closes its offices. instead of the lone rider there will be no rider on the T.

the city deep down and the school district for that matter, is really greedy. if they weren't, there would be a free empty building handed to the state free of charge for the s.r.s. office.....don't you think?

this letter is b.s.

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