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Letters to the Editor

City districts?

July 13, 2011

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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.

Comments

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

And make sure each of the 5 have zero connections to the Chamber of Commerce.

The same goes when electing new school board members.

Ditto to Henderson's suggestion only I say expand to 7 commissioners with 5 from the eastside because the eastside has been neglected for the past 26 years.

In general I say yes Mr Henderson.

commuter 3 years, 6 months ago

Also, make sure that the commissioners have no connections to Merrill and his merry men.

nativeson 3 years, 6 months ago

Districts would be a disaster. The suggestion that decisions are geographically located is simply wrong. One of the strongest advocates for "progressive" politics supported by most of East Lawrence was David Schauner who lived in Foxfire, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in West Lawrencey. Gwen Klingenberg, a active neighborhood advocate, lives west of Wakarusa in West Lawrence.

If districts were created, they would be distributed by population which would essentially make the voice of East Lawrence smaller since it has dwindling population. I agree that raising taxes in not an answer in this economy, but this is not a geographic problem. It is a current commission unwilling to stand up to organized employee groups and make difficult fiscal decisions.

Fred Henderson 3 years, 6 months ago

If this is true we should elect all of the senators from ohio. Not from the state thet represent

Kate Rogge 3 years, 6 months ago

I like the idea of districts. While it was very nice of non-resident Schauner and Klingenberg to support East Lawrence concerns, I still think I would prefer to have a designated East Lawrence commissioner - who actually lives in the community and understands its people, strengths, and problems - on board as its representative.

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