Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Outgoing mayor reflects on year

Cromwell touts KU partnership, library plan progress

April 4, 2012


Lawrence city government has embarked on a new era of cooperation with business, and in particular Kansas University, outgoing Mayor Aron Cromwell said Tuesday night in his state of the city address.

Outgoing Mayor Aron Cromwell gave his State of the City address to a full house at City Hall on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Bob Schumm will take over as mayor.

Outgoing Mayor Aron Cromwell gave his State of the City address to a full house at City Hall on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Bob Schumm will take over as mayor.

“Our working relationship with KU has never been better,” Cromwell said in an interview with the Journal-World.

Cromwell said a renewed sense of cooperation with KU probably was one of the more significant developments during his one-year term as mayor that ended Tuesday as commissioners elected Commissioner Bob Schumm to serve as mayor for the next 12 months.

“There is a true spirit of cooperation now between the city and the university, and we’re actually listening to each other,” said Cromwell, who credits Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little with making better relations with the city a high priority of her administration. “And KU is looking very hard for spin-off opportunities for their research, which could be very positive for Lawrence’s economy.”

Schumm, a downtown restaurant owner and landlord, was unanimously elected by fellow commissioners to serve as mayor, his third stint in the position since the late 1980s. Schumm for the past year has served as the vice mayor, which traditionally has been the position next in line to serve as mayor. Commissioners also unanimously elected Commissioner Mike Dever to serve as vice mayor.

But as has traditionally been the case, Tuesday’s changing of the guard ceremony largely was devoted to giving the outgoing mayor a chance to reflect on the past year. Cromwell, who will remain on the commission as a commissioner, said:

• He was pleased with progress that has been made to design a multimillion-dollar expansion to the public library. Schumm labeled Cromwell as the driving force behind the effort to win voter approval of an $18 million bond issue for the library project.

“I’ll always remember Mayor Cromwell for his work on the library,” Schumm said. “He is the one who spent hours knocking on doors asking voters their opinions.”

• The city’s operations had made good strides in becoming more environmentally sustainable. Cromwell, who is an environmental consultant by trade, said the city had reduced its energy usage, created a new program to promote urban agriculture and had improved the city’s recycling options. In particular, Cromwell led the efforts to create a new glass recycling partnership with Kansas City-based Ripple Glass. Cromwell said during the first month of operation, the new glass recycling bins have diverted from the landfill 1 ton of glass per day.

• Discussion of changes to the city’s trash system would continue. Cromwell was chairman of the city’s Solid Waste Task Force, which has made several recommendations to add a new curbside recycling program and mandate the usage of city-issued trash carts instead of standard cans or bags.

Cromwell said the trash issues have taken longer than he anticipated but said the community dialogue has been positive.

“I’ve heard the absolute necessity of maintaining the high levels of customer service that is offered today,” Cromwell said of the city-operated trash service. “I’m confident the city can create a system that is economically friendly, environmentally friendly and safe for our workers.

“I’m going to make sure that this issue maintains its momentum. It will continue to be a priority of mine.”


lunacydetector 6 years, 2 months ago

before the new mayor gets to push a time wasting pet project down our throats like mayor bonnie (from bonnie & clyde) did with her recycling drama, manhattan, kansas, a city that used to look up to lawrence's business friendly leadership, is completely kicking our butts. omg, manhattan is nicer (and newer) than lawrence these days.

dynamo77 6 years, 2 months ago

Good Riddance! Can't believe he claims the Ripple debacle to be a success. Who pays to haul the glass to KC? We pay to haul our glass, give it away, and let ripple make a profit on it. What a joke. Send it to the landfill and keep our money in Douglas County or at a minimum don't force the taxpayers to fund it. How long before deffenbaugh handles all of our trash in the city? I'm sure he's brokering a deal for that before he officially leaves. The Library? Did we really need an 18 million dollar homeless day shelter? Hopefully Schumm can put us back to being an efficient and intelligently run city.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

Buffalo Bob will be every inch as bad as Bonnie the Trash Collecting Librarian. You can bet your FatTire Amber Ale on that one, NOW!

irvan moore 6 years, 2 months ago

mr. cromwells priority is not a lawrence priority, please mr. schumm, stand up for this community that has rewarded your hard work and revisit the misguided (and predetermined)findings of the hand picked cromwell driven task force. this could be the issue that will make you a beloved mayor who did what was right, please think of the citizens of your city and think about your legacy.

logicisking 6 years, 2 months ago

for a city that is supposed to have a weak mayor, you all certainly give him way more power then he actually has. dry your tears foamers... and then do the right thing and blame it all on obama instead.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

So, if he didn't really have any power, what exactly is it you're complaining about?

patkindle 6 years, 2 months ago

the problem is we have too few voters that work for a living and too many voters that vote for a living

netnetnet 6 years, 2 months ago

Amyx doesn't add a whole lot either. Except, maybe, why a person shouldn't wear a hair piece. What is up with Dever and cromwell? They act like there is always an inside joke on everything. Commenting to each other and then giggling.

patkindle 6 years, 2 months ago

Except for rumble and boondoggler, I can’t think of a lot worse local politicians Than cramwell, unless you count two of the 3 county commissioners But they were elected by the masses just like obama and brownslick

1029 6 years, 2 months ago

Hopefully the new mayor will repeal that no tethering law. I'm always afraid my dog is going to be arrested while I'm in the bar, or that some kooky liberal is going to set him free.

lunacydetector 6 years, 2 months ago

The city commission, the city manager, the planning staff - everyone who has a say in anything needs to fill up one of our empty T busses and take a road trip to manhattan for a day and see just what we are missing.

6 years, 2 months ago

the amount of bitching & moaning on here is ridiculous. stop your armchair politicking, step away from the keyboard, and actually walk outside and do something meaningful for the city.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 2 months ago

It's easy to snipe from the outside. Most of the comments above make no sense at all. A mayor in Lawrence cannot repeal anything, and decisions are made by a majority of the commission within the scope of federal, state and local law. The commissioners were elected. They may not represent your sense of priorities, but they do represent someone's priorities. That's how they got elected.

Any resident of Lawrence is eligible to be a city commissioner. If you feel strongly about Lawrence's direction, then run for office. If you win, I pledge to respect your role whether or not I agree with you. Being a city commissioner takes time and commitment. Who will run for office if they will have to listen to verbal abuse?

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