To the editor:
In the past 10 years, most of the city commissioners that have been elected live west of Massachusetts Street or north of 23rd Street.
From the west side of the city limit to the eastern city limit is approximately 10 miles. I believe people are aware of some of the problems in other areas of the city but don’t really comprehend how those problems impact the people living in that area. The unemployment in Lawrence is 7 percent. In Lawrence, 10 percent of families live below the poverty line. Knowing this, the City Commission still wants to raise taxes.
I understand that the city has needs that require more money. Fixing or replacing the Kansas River water intakes, some of the upgrades to the police department are the most important, along with the constant repair or replacement of city streets. We can have these improvements without raising taxes. Take the funds allocated to the library expansion and fix the necessary and most important items first. When the economy improves, go back to the expansion of the library. Things that are needed should be taken care of before what is wanted.
Money for discretionary spending has disappeared for a large section of the population. Taxes should only be raised when there is no other solution. Maybe it’s time to make some much needed changes in the election of city commissioners. There are five city commissioners. Divide the city into five districts and elect a commissioner from each district.