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Archive for Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sales tax districts a hot topic in City Commission race

March 12, 2011

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$30 million. That’s the number that’s never far from the minds of City Hall budget makers.

In 2011, the city will need to collect a little more than $30 million in sales taxes in order to make budget. The public may spend a lot of time talking about property taxes, but when it comes to the city’s finances, sales taxes are a much bigger deal these days. More than 46 percent of the city’s general fund revenues come from sales taxes. Just 22 percent come from property taxes.

Lawrence city government over the last few years has become retail-driven. Just one problem: Nobody’s told Lawrence shoppers that.

For the better part of the last decade, the city’s retail industry has been in a funk — and one that appears to be deeper than just the downturn in the economy.

In 2006, the amount of per capita spending that took place in Lawrence was 12 percent higher than the statewide average. Now, the city’s per capita retail spending has fallen below the statewide average. The numbers can’t just be explained away by saying the national economy has declined significantly since 2006. The numbers compare Lawrence with other cities in the state that have had to deal with the declining economy as well. For some reason, the city hasn’t kept pace.

Trying to figure out why is a question the next group of city commissioners will have to answer. But it is far from the only retail question that will come up at City Hall. At least two other retail issues have been among the more controversial commission items of the year: a rejection of a plan to allow Lowe’s to build near Sixth Street and Folks Road and a running debate over whether new retailers should be allowed to use special taxing districts that could add 1 percent or more onto the sales tax totals of customers.

Here’s a look at what the candidates vying for the three open seats on the Lawrence City Commission are saying about retail issues.

Sven Alstrom

Alstrom, an architect, has made opposing the idea of special taxing districts a major part of his campaign. Alstrom was one of the loudest critics of The Oread, a new hotel at the edge of Kansas University’s campus that makes use of a special taxing district.

“I’m just really opposed to additional sales taxes on the consumer,” Alstrom said. “It feels artificial to me.”

The special taxing districts — technically called Transportation Development Districts and Community Improvement Districts — allow the extra sales taxes to go to infrastructure improvements that help the development. In the case of Community Improvement Districts, the money also can be used for private purposes related to the development, such as building improvements, security costs and other business expenses.

But advocates of the special taxing districts have argued they are an important tool in attracting retail development. Alstrom, though, thinks the districts are a long-term threat to the city’s retail scene.

“If Lawrence becomes known as a place that has 10 or 12 different sales tax districts, I think our retail industry is really going to decline.”

In other issues, Alstrom:

• Supported the city’s decision to not allow the Lowe’s plan to proceed. He said Lowe’s was too big of a departure from the residential uses that had been approved for the land.

• Will let the free market determine whether the city’s retail market is overbuilt. He said he may have opinions about whether the city’s retail sector is overbuilt in some areas, but he said he would be hard pressed to deny a project based on an opinion that the market was saturated.

• Would support a new type of zoning district that would lessen some of the building requirements for retailers. He said the new zoning category could be used in target areas — perhaps east Lawrence — where the city wants to encourage start-up retail.

Hugh Carter

Carter, a financial adviser, said the city needs to be open to the idea of special taxing districts. He said the districts may be an important tool in attracting retail development, but he said retailers have a strong incentive to not abuse the tool.

“I still think we have to leave it open and look at it on a case-by-case basis,” Carter said. “The developer has to weigh it as heavily as the city does to determine if it is economically sustainable.”

Carter also said he had reservations about requiring retailers who are part of the special taxing district to post a sign that makes it clear a special tax is being charged at the establishment. Carter said he believes the sign could create a negative environment, and he believes most consumers check their receipts after making purchases.

On other issues, Carter:

• Wishes more information was available about the Lowe’s proposal. Carter was on the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission at the time the proposal was filed. He voted against an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan that city staff members said was needed in order for the Lowe’s plan to proceed. Carter said he still agrees that changing the city’s comprehensive plan would have been a bad idea. But he says he would have liked a more in-depth analysis of whether the project could have been accommodated without the comprehensive plan change. He also wishes Lowe’s would have made a full presentation about how the store would have been designed. That perhaps would have eased some concerns of neighbors.

“I don’t know if I would change my vote, but I would like to have all the information.”

• Wants the city to partner more with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce to promote a buy-local campaign.

• Said he would be “hesitant” to turn down projects based on concerns that the retail market is overbuilt.

Mike Dever

Dever, the owner of a Lawrence-based environmental consulting firm and the lone incumbent in the race, said he’s open to the special taxing districts if developers’ plans are strong.

“If you receive an above-average improvement on a property in exchange for the property owner being able to charge a higher rate to help pay for those, then it can make sense,” Dever said. “But whether it makes sense at every location is something you are going to have to look at on a case-by-case basis.”

Dever, though, said retailers who are part of the special taxing districts should be required to post signs notifying consumers of the tax.

On other issues, Dever:

• Explained that he voted against the Lowe’s proposal because he thought it “strayed too far” from the plan that had been approved for the area. He said that plan was a key part of a compromise that allowed a Walmart to be built at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

• Believes addressing the city’s slow population growth is a factor in improving the city’s retail scene. He said many retailers consider 100,000 people to be an important benchmark in evaluating the potential of a retail market.

• Said he does not believe the city’s retail market is overbuilt. “I believe there are services that don’t exist in Lawrence that a city of our size could support.”

Mike Machell

Machell, a human resources manager for an Overland Park pharmaceutical company, said he’s “somewhat guarded” about the use of special taxing districts. He said they likely would be better to complete development in the city than develop on the edge of town.

“They can be effective if used wisely, but I think they need to be used very judiciously,” Machell said. “If we use them too broadly we create a crazy quilt of sales tax districts that could give us a reputation of a high sales tax community.”

Machell said he didn’t have a strong opinion on whether signs should be required for retailers who are in the district. But he said he would consider the idea.

On other issues, Machell:

• Called the City Commission’s decision on Lowe’s “painful,” but understandable. He said the city was put in a tough position because the city had given assurances to neighbors during the Walmart debate that the site wouldn’t be used for big-box retail.

• Believes it is critical to better communicate to commuters the importance of buying local.

• Thinks the city was too complacent in its efforts to counter the competition created by The Legends and other shopping areas built in Wyandotte County.

“You remember when Ross Perot talked about that sucking sound and NAFTA?” Machell asked. “Well, that sucking sound we’ve been hearing lately are sales tax dollars going to Wyandotte County.”

Bob Schumm

Schumm, a downtown restaurant owner and former city commissioner, has been an opponent of the special sales tax districts.

“I don’t like them, I don’t like them,” Schumm said. “I can’t say I will never, ever support one, but it would be close to that. I think it is a sneaky tax.”

Schumm said he thinks the taxing districts create a “very unfair” business advantage because some of the tax dollars can be used to pay for ordinary operating expenses. He said he supports signs for any retailer in a special taxing district and believes signs retroactively should be required for the two special taxing districts that already exist in the city.

“My whole mode of operation at City Hall is complete transparency, period,” Schumm said.

On other issues, Schumm:

• Said Lowe’s proposal was too far outside of what neighbors had been told would happen on the property. But he said the vacant land just west of Walmart might be an appropriate location for Lowe’s.

• Wants to consider the idea of a retail incubator where unique, start-up retailers could receive a small rent subsidy from the city for up to two years.

• Believes the City Commission does need to ensure that the city doesn’t become overbuilt in the retail market, or else it can lead to unattractive areas of town.

Comments

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Since the extra "tax" in CID's doesn't go to the city, it won't help with city revenue at all.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Since downtown Lawrence is so heavily subsidized by us taxpayers, the only real place a special taxing district should be is the downtown. To have an area that only contributes 24% of the retail sales taxes, yet any area maintenance for the downtown or beautification project is placed on the back of us citizens. As the so-called "Progressives" call for, how about a cost benefit analysis to determine if the citizens should really be footing the bill. This isn't even addressing the replacements and upgrades to the antiquated infrastructure that occurred downtown, all at the expense of the citizens. How about being fair?

As for the commissioners, the freeze dried hippies should be happy. Every one of them sounds anti-business. What a shame. - Notice how sales taxes decreased in 2006 AFTER the City changed the development code in 2005? There's the REAL culprit.

I'm voting NONE OF THE ABOVE! More blind leading the blind.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

....on another note, since MAYBE some of these candidates will read this: The blight you see in retail areas are caused by the restrictions the City placed on commercial properties in 2005. If you don't believe me, look it up. I put my retail business in Lenexa because Lawrence is HORRIFIC!

Too bad the City doesn't have any experts in retail advising them.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

Those who do not "believe" the market is over built or say we should not be concerned about concerns of an over built market should not be elected. That is reckless economics. This community can no longer afford economic displacement that which is the result of an over built community.

Every community has only so many retail dollars to work with no more no less. Once the markets become saturated every retail operation is then pulling retail dollars from the same pie. It's like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. More new retail operations do NOT magically create more retail dollars..... never has never will.

Once the market is over saturated all retail operations suffer and so do we taxpayers because these new operations are NOT paying their own way.

What retail stores has Lawrence lost? Abercrombie and Fitch Borders Talbots Liz Claiborn The Riverfront Mall shops Tanger Mall shops Eddie Bauer numerous restaurants K-Mart There are NEW vacancies that have never been filled Lands End at Sears Lawrence cannot support a camera shop Arensberg Shoes Johnson Bros Furniture Everything but ICE what have I forgotten is more like it....

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

You and your people including the good assistant professor who I am assuming advised your commission created blight! Which we still see today. There is NO credibility in your "progressive" philosphy.

independent_rebel 3 years, 9 months ago

Most of these were not lost because of saturation, and to claim so is misleading but typical. Hell, a lot of your examples were closed down over a decade ago. Poor business plans and poor management are the cause of most closings in Lawrence. Or choice. A few bookstores gave up when Borders was set to open. Just gave up. I can't remember a single person who thought the Tanger Mall was a good idea because of the stupid location. Same as the "mall" by the river. We wanted a real mall, south side of town, but the downtown protectors said "no."

You and your kind are the ones who should be held responsible for the declining retail sales based. You wanted to keep things small, and you got your way, and the result is poor choices and high prices and the most over-rated shopping area in the state: our downtown.

Sure, if a person was in a pinch for a trendy pair of shoes, or wanted to over-pay for some mediocre food, or wanted to watch a drunk bum slide down off a bench (my kids and I watched this last weekend) still clutching his brown bag that held his "beverage," then downtown is the place to be.

I've lived here 40 years, and I rarely shop downtown unless it's at Francis Sporting goods or haircuts at Rex's. I do enjoy a good walk downtown for amusement., but downtown is no longer special like it was when I was a kid. It's a mixture of overpriced restaurants, bars, specialty shops, overpriced clothes, rowdy students, and homeless people.

Downtown just doensn't have what most people need, and sorry, most of us don't live near downtown anymore. If we want to shop, we must drive, and if I'm going to do either, it's to Target, Wal-Mart or other southside & westside businesses. If not, I pass by downtown and head to Overland Park/Lenexa or the Legends. Better variety, better deals, and a much better atmosphere.

You and your kind have also discriminating. You all never speak out for locally owned businesses that are not located downtown. You always mention the downtown places, but nothing else.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"Said he does not believe the city’s retail market is overbuilt. "

Based on what?

“I believe there are services that don’t exist in Lawrence that a city of our size could support.” Such as? Where is the money to support these services? How would anyone know?

Are there tools available rather than speculate? to all candidates...

Of course the largest special interest group in our fair city will never believe that the Lawrence markets are over built..... the real estate/development/builders special interest group which spends big bucks to get their candidates elected. This group also occupies the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"You and your people including the good assistant professor who I am assuming advised your commission created blight! Which we still see today." What blight?

Hmmmmmmmm of course the largest special interest group in our fair city will never believe that the Lawrence markets are over built..... the real estate/development/builders special interest group which spends big bucks to get their candidates elected. This group also occupies the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

The above special interest group has controlled the city and planning commissions for at least the past 22 years out of the past 25 years. They have controlled the Chamber of Commerce for all of the past 25 years.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Look at the Legends. A huge retail development built in the middle of nowhere that generates $1 Billion is sales per year. That in itself ruins your assistant professor's philosophy about retail.

YOUR people made it virtually impossible to rent a vacant space in this town. Nothing has changed in 6 years. Notice the empty store fronts that have been vacant for years? You and your people cause those vacancies because NOBODY is their right mind is going to gamble thousands of dollars and 9 months of unknowns in order to rent a vacant space. It has created blight. Blight, blight, blight and the blame falls squarely on the backs of the "Progressives."

Perhaps you and your people should accept responsibility for this unjust maneuvering to keep Lawrence small, sales taxes in the tank, and the lowest population growth since the Great Depression.

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

A lot of the store fronts downtown are empty because rich developers bought up the buildings that used to be owned by modest business people for highly inflated prices, This ran up the value of neighboring buildings and taxes. They make more money using these properties as business losses on their taxes, than renting them at a rate which would allow a locally owned business to make it. We have lots of empty apartments and retail space, but rent doesn't drop. Why is that? Isn't their more supply than demand? The reason is that a few rich developers run things and they don't compete with each other.

Also, BigPrune, the Legends generate a billion in sales, but Wyandotte county gets very little of it, since they gave all these tax incentives. And did you know that it's a "special tax" zone. You know, the taxes paid to the developers. So the developers have little risk. And why did the downtown wine store close their Legend's store and come here instead?

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

That should be: Isn't there more supply than demand?

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

I read the much pasted paper and it isn't exactly the best statistical argument i have ever seen in my life. Please prove - quantitatively - that Lawrence is "overbuilt." Your list of store closings is anecdotal and does not suggest anything. In your proof, please operationalize the term "overbuilt" and control, where possible, for confounding exogenous variables. kthnxbai

Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

The thing that is killing Lawrence is the horrible pollution caused by internal combustion lawn mowers. They need to be immediately banned. Not doing that would be dumb and irresponsible!!!!

BruceWayne 3 years, 9 months ago

that reminds me I need to get the grass cut (with my internal combustion lawn mower) before it snows this afternoon.

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 9 months ago

Those CID tax districts are terrible. They should be stopped.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

They should only be permitted under these conditions-- customers are well-notifed both in signage and on printed receipts, and the state and localities get at least enough of a cut to cover their handling costs.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

Legends cost shoppers gas money and an extra once cent sales tax. Whoaaaa what a deal. My guess most consumers do not know about the additional once cent sales tax. It isn't exactly pasted all over the stores....

Not exactly located in the middle of nowhere necessarily how about strategically...

Local High rent and LOCAL over loaded markets = vacancies and higher cost of living...

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"David Cay Johnston then boggled the crowd with a blunt assertion: "We pay billions of dollars in taxes that never get to the government." Much of the sales tax we pay at big box stores and shopping centers is diverted to the large companies that own the stores. It's just one of the many swindles these chains have learned to perpetrate against city and county governments.

This is so effective that the Cabela family, which owns a chain of big-box sporting goods stores, receives 137% of its profits from taxpayer subsidies. If they couldn't work this scam, they wouldn't be in business at all.

The heart of the wealth transfer is tax increment financing (TIF). Store owners come to town leaders and offer to build a new store that, they promise, will "create jobs." In exchange, the city gives them the land, builds the store to their specifications, and finances it all with tax-free municipal bonds (which are usually held by associates of the store owners). To cap it all, the store keeps the sales tax generated in the store to pay off the bond holders. If the store is built on government land, it's also exempt from paying any property taxes.

Why do city governments take such a blatantly bad deal? Many of them are struggling, and believe that a new Wal-Mart will bring in shoppers from all over—shoppers who will stick around and shop in their town. It never works out that way. Under stiff competition the small shops go out of business, taking the town's tax base with them. Schools, parks, recreation programs, and libraries are starved. Almost always, these city councils would be far better served putting the money in upgrades to local Main Street businesses, rather than financing the competitor that will kill them.

Johnston also noted that as a result, the nation is losing mom-and-pop businesses that are often more efficient in real terms than the big box stores, which carry tremendous overhead in management and distribution. He suggested that audience members do an experiment: first, eat at a chain restaurant like TGIF—and then go the next night to a local family-owned place. Not only will you spend half as much in the family place—the people working there are probably making more money. That's what real efficiency looks like. "

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Spam spam spam spam spam. What are Richard's connections with the Koch family? These should be investigated.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

"This is so effective that the Cabela family, which owns a chain of big-box sporting goods stores, receives 137% of its profits from taxpayer subsidies...." I'm calling BS on this lie you've posted repeatedly.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't it be incumbent upon the spammer to post proof rather than the person asserting the spammer is lying to post proof? For example, if I say that you drive a Hummer and that you bludgeon baby seals for fun, shouldn't it be up to me to prove that allegation rather than for you to disprove it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

As merrill said in his post, his information came from David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist. Where did snap's information come from?

I call BS on the both of you.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

He didn't provide evidence, he cut and pasted from a random part of a well worn article that discusses a chain that doesn't even have a store in Lawrence. I'm not going to buy the guy's book to read it, so it'd be nice if he at least quoted the evidence or perhaps discussed a store with relevancy to Lawrence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

The thread is about the taxing districts, which is how companies like Cabela's make a good deal of their profits. So it's quite relevant. Much more so than your chasing merrill around, anyway.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

" In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored." This economy may not bounce back anytime soon.

America has 9 million or more homes on the market and no jobs for an estimated 26 million.

Retail chains are cutting back. Talbot's and Border's are leaving Lawrence,Kansas. Then again Lawrence has an over built retail market so stores simply cannot support themselves.

The " boom town economy" mentality killed our economy. The uncontrolled real estate craze inflated market values,flooded communities with houses and retail establishments only to find out was supported by fraudulent lending. Ultimately killed the economy and 11 million jobs.

Let's NOT get duped again!

It will take several years to recover.

America is Over Stored

America Is Over Stored ( Do Lawrence,Kansas planners,Chamber of Commerce and city government not realize this?)

The Wall Street bankers boom town economics building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space. But the occupants haven't materialized.

The carnage in retail hasn't been this bad since an anarchist bombed Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886. In January, Liz Claiborne said it would shutter 54 Sigrid Olsen stores by mid-2008; Ann Taylor announced that 117 of its 921 stores would be closed over the next three years, and Talbots axed the Talbots Men's and Talbots Kids concepts and 22 Talbots stores. Even Starbucks has scaled back its yearlong saturation-bombing campaign.

But back out inflation and sales of gasoline, and retail sales fell in real terms in the past year. Clearly, demand is down.

And supply is up. This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space—from McStrip malls built near new McMansions, to hip new boutiques in the ground floors of hip new Miami condo buildings. But as is the case with those McMansions and condos, the occupants for new retail space haven't materialized.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, the national retail-vacancy rate rose for the 11th straight quarter to 7.5 percent—the highest level since 1996, according to research firm Reis, Inc.

With new projects coming online—34 million square feet of retail space will be completed in 2008—the rate is expected to spike further to 8 percent. In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored.

Con't http://www.newsweek.com/id/112762

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"You all never speak out for locally owned businesses that are not located downtown. You always mention the downtown places, but nothing else. " Nonsense

Locally owned is locally owned no matter what.

I have mentioned more than once and I am not the only one...: Checkers Fleetwoods Cottins Kiefs Westside 66 The Merc Vinland Valley Nursery local farmers * Crown Toyota etc etc.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

Who is this Kirk McClure person that often comes up in these discussions:

Kirk McClure – Lawrence,Kansas

Education Ph. D., City Planning, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning, 1985. Concentrations in Housing Economics and Public Finance.

Master in City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 1978. Specialization in Housing Policy Analysis.

Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1974. Special Major in Urban Studies.

Bachelor of Architecture, Graduated With Distinction University of Kansas, School of Architecture and Urban Design, 1973.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

By Kim McClure

July 24, 2009

To the editor:

The July 14 editorial asks, “What’s downtown going to look like five, 10 or 15 years from now?” The answer can be known, and the picture is not pretty.

Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

The recession has contributed to the problem, but had we properly managed our growth we would be much better off.

The developers’ short-term gain is now our long-term loss. Managed growth would have prevented much of the problem and would have protected and enhanced our downtown.

It will take many, many years to absorb this surplus space and, until this happens, it will be hard for downtown to compete. We can only look forward to many years of high vacancy and disinvestment. We need a City Commission that knows how to pace the growth of supply so as to protect our unique downtown.

McClure is from Lawrence

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/jul/24/retail-space/?letters_to_editor

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

His paper is crap, I read it. When are you going to stop the spam Merrill? Answer my question above. Prove quantitatively that Kirk's outdated paper is true. You can't. Have fun, old man.

commuter 3 years, 9 months ago

Merrill - You are right... We should not get duped again. This happened with the PROGRESSIVEs in charge of the City Commission. They helped screw up Lawrence. Time not to get duped again. Vote against anyone that Merrill supports.

Maybe Merrill & the good prof McClure should stick ti their day jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe one day those McClure will actually try to start a business until then sit down & spend your own time working on your notes for YOUR CLASSROOM.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

Bigprune said:

"YOUR people made it virtually impossible to rent a vacant space in this town. Nothing has changed in 6 years. Notice the empty store fronts that have been vacant for years? You and your people cause those vacancies because NOBODY is their right mind is going to gamble thousands of dollars and 9 months of unknowns in order to rent a vacant space. It has created blight. Blight, blight, blight and the blame falls squarely on the backs of the "Progressives.""

FTW. The noisy minority in this town drowns out any sort of rational argument about taxation and development. I contend that the large percentage of people would have patronized a Lowe's, but the knee-jerk vocal faux-progressives in this town killed it because it doesn't fit with their narrow vision of Lawrence.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

If you are right that it is a minority, then our system of democracy should mean that the majority will prevail.

Why doesn't that happen?

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 9 months ago

You are right, it should work that way and I am baffled by low voter turn out on taxation issues in Lawrence. I can only speculate that those with a strong interest in issues like our empty bus system or the library are able to get people to the polls more effectively than those who do not want more taxes.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Let's say a barber shop wants to go into Lawrence but the poor sap doesn't have any money. The owner wants to specialize in handle bar mustaches with matching pony tail. He has zero working capital and thinks his business will boom once he puts a sign on the storefront. Lawrence says they'll give this guy $200 a month to subsidize the rent in one of their proposed local retail incubators. The location is not a good one, out of the way, with poor visibility. Do you think he will succeed ? - in the 21st Century?

Let's say a barber shop chain wants to go into Lawrence, and they are heavily capitalized (meaning: they have money in the bank). They specialize in catering to sports fanatics. They do an assessment on the very best location for their business, because location, location, location is paramount. They choose the best traffic and demographic area and open up shop. They are extremely successful.

The little guy with a dream and no money goes out of business within a year. He cries foul because of the big chains, even though it was his terrible location, and because he catered to handle bar mustaches with matching pony tail freaks, and he essentially didn't know what he was doing.

Lawrence wants to promote the naive retailer?

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Lawrence wants to promote the naive retailer who doesn't have any money. A waste of money.

duh

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 9 months ago

Yadayadayadayadayada.

Same old BS we hear every election period, same old result. Nothing.

Blathering idiots signifying nothing.

They will continue the dance of death to Core-less and nothing will ever change

Performance evaluation of the city manager?????????????

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

None of these spineless, clueless, gutless chaps have the fortitude to do anything usefull, just dance, dance, dance. What was the song, Mr. Core-less???????

Ahhhhhhh.....blissfulness, ain't it grand!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

"It's going to be hard to find three tolerable candidates this year!"

That's certainly one thing we can agree on.

Charles L Bloss Jr 3 years, 9 months ago

I want the city government to require businesses that collect extra sales tax for themselves, to post a sign to that effect on their door. That way I can be sure to not shop there! The extra tax idea is one of the most absurd I have ever heard of. Let us know who and where they are. I refuse to pay extra tax to subsidize any business.

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