Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rec center support

August 16, 2012

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To the editor:

The rec center/sports village is good for Lawrence. The project and all its possibilities have received overwhelming positive support at town halls and public forums. There are understandable concerns about costs, but if we listen to our city experts and look at the actual facts, you will find a very solid plan to ensure success. I have frankly been impressed with both the rigor and transparency from our city leadership as this progressed from “idea” to “possible” to “we can do this.”

We are naturally fiscally conservative and watch spending closely to ensure we are living within our means. That is a fundamental of responsible leadership. So too is a responsibility to seize opportunity when presented, and that is precisely what the rec center represents: a unique and rare opportunity for Lawrence and the whole area. The number of parties coming together to make this project happen is unprecedented, and the resulting facility will have few equals in the country with Lawrence/Douglas County benefiting for generations.

I believe in the rec center. I believe the different groups involved are all world class and are designing a world-class facility. I believe our commissioners and city leadership are watching the dollars very closely, and I believe their plan is sound. I also believe the majority of Lawrence sees the positive and are excited to have yet another reason to proudly call Lawrence home.

Comments

jafs 3 years ago

There are a lot of "I believe" statements in this letter.

And, if anybody can "ensure success" of a project like this, they should be filthy rich from their ability to predict the future - are the city commissioners?

There are many unknowns about how this will play out in practice.

It's one thing to say this is a gamble, and some believe it will pay off, and it's quite another to present it as some sort of guaranteed success. Anybody who does the latter is either naive or deliberately lying.

Stanley Rasmussen 3 years ago

Why do you have to try to sling mud at Mr. Rexroad (naive or lying)? How about simple trust in the current City Commission? IMO, from top to bottom, they might be the best City Commission Lawrnece has ever had, but I have only lived here for 33 of my 50 years.

jafs 3 years ago

If he has such faith in the current city commission that he believes they can guarantee the success of this project, that's very naive.

paulveer 3 years ago

JrM, if by "best" you mean most solidly and obviously in the pockets of monied interests, then yes.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"I believe I can fly I believe I can touch the sky ..."

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

Hey, that's as far as you get in writing skills when you are a finance or computer science major. "I believe that we should believe politicians".. ... HAHAHAHAHAHa

Kate Rogge 3 years ago

We can't afford it. We shouldn't do it.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years ago

And the entitlement mentality keeps getting worse and worse....

pizzapete 3 years ago

That big flat screen TV is not only affordable it's going to make you money if you buy it now with this special offer. Sure, the $3,000 price tag may seem expensive now, but you'll only pay $99 a month for 20 years, (plus shipping, handling, and a one time yet to be determined fee). After twenty years at only $99 a month, you'll own the TV outright and because of the today's state of the art electronic technology it will be worth at least $15,000 to anyone in the future looking for a 20 year old TV set.

Still not convinced you can afford the TV at $99 a month? Well, there are several revenue generating options for that, too. 1. Collect a "special" tax from anyone who wants to use the it. When guests come over to watch a game or movie, simply charge them $2 a piece for the privilege. Just think, this "special" tax will discourage your kids from over using the TV and you'll get to watch all the shows you want. 2. Inform our city commission that you're going to allow your neighbors an unspecified number of hours to use the TV each month. That way the city will agree to pay your share of the $99 fee, as it's for the good of the community. 3. If steps one and two don't work out, no problem, the city can always raise property taxes to make up the difference.

Stanley Rasmussen 3 years ago

I think the Rec Center is a great idea for Lawrence for many reasons. I know firsthand from being a parent and from trying to rent gym space every week, that we don't have enough places for our kids' and adult activities. The Rec Center is a great opportunity to leverage money from private developers, the University of Kansas, and the city to complete a project that none alone would likely complete. The combined track, soccer, and gym facilities will provide great opportunity for outside money to be spent in Lawrence at tournments and sporting events held at the facilities. The Emp-T may actually get some ridership if the City offers express service between the Rec Center and downtown. This is a project that will benefit the entire community for many years. I strongly support the Rec Center.

jafs 3 years ago

I have looked into all of the information that's been made available in newspaper articles.

So far, nothing has convinced me to change my mind - this is an expensive project that may or may not succeed.

You are right that there was a sales tax voted on some years ago for parks and rec projects, but I'm pretty sure that the voters at the time didn't have any conception of projects like these, but were voting for neighborhood rec centers, parks, etc.

Are you aware that the city has engaged in similar projects that haven't worked out as well as they projected they would? Why do you think this one is more certain to succeed?

jafs 3 years ago

And, although the money to purchase the facility won't involve new taxes, money to extend/maintain infrastructure and operate the facility almost certainly will come from those.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"If you would actually read the details of the project (JAFS and Sunflower voter) you would understand the tremendous draw this facility will be."

Absolutely! Just ask Kansas City about how great their plans to attract a basketball or hockey team turned out when they built the Sprint Center!

(Oh, wait ...)

classclown 3 years ago

After reading the first two paragraphs, I swear I heard Rod Serling's voice.

Surely he must have Lawrence confused with another town when he speaks of how fiscally conservative and responsible "we" are.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Your pom-pons are really cute, Gary. Did Fritzel and the Schwadas buy them for you?

3 years ago

bother to look at the budget just passed and you will see for the 2013 CIP $3 million dedicated specifically from property tax revenue in a line item for the "regional rec center infrastructure" (and $1 million for 2014). the current sales tax would be paying for the lease of the actual building.

jafs 3 years ago

Great - I'm sure that we don't have anything better to do with property taxes of $4 million.

For one thing, when the state cuts funding for a variety of things, we'll have to make that up with local property and sales taxes - I'd much rather do that with the existing money than raise those rates for it.

Gail Grant 3 years ago

The initial plan was to build a long needed West side rec center. If you'll look on the city map you'll see that there is no rec center anywhere west of Holocom park. So less than half of the city is covered by three rec centers , and the west side has none, so if teens want a place indoor to play basketball, they don't have one, gym cost nothing to the east side but is not available (only from private businesses) for the west and north side. So these funds were suppose to go there, this has turned into much larger project which frankly I'm not sure will serve the kids as it will not be inside the neighborhoods but this is where the money came from

jafs 3 years ago

I agree - that was the initial plan, and it would have been much less expensive to build and maintain.

This project will not serve the needs of the westside as well, clearly.

If we were discussing a reasonable sized westside rec center, I might be more supportive of it.

Jeremy Farmer 3 years ago

I personally agree that this is a very good thing for our community. I'm excited about the prospects of people that it will bring into our community, and those that will eat, fill up their car with gas, sleep here and shop here.

Here are a few things that I feel it necessary to say.

  1. Where is the dignity in this conversation? It is unimaginable to me the lack of respect that exists on these comments. I would consider Gary a good friend. We don't see eye to eye on everything, I'm sure. But you don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand. I have been quite disconcerted for a long time with what I see. I used to think the answer is just to eradicate anonymous posters. But personally, as someone graciously pointed out on an ljworld forum, anonymous people can do a lot of good, and they do, all the time. This monster gets fed because we don't have the dignity to respect each other. For those with opposing views, when you personally slander someone's viewpoint, you do nothing to change anything. Freedom of speech is wonderful. But this isn't what our founding fathers had in mind.

  2. Everyone wants what is best for Lawrence! Can we keep this in mind, please? No one is anyone's cheerleader. No one is getting paid by anyone for anything. Just because we disagree doesn't make us in anyone's pocket or it doesn't mean that we don't want Lawrence to grow. There seems to be animosity on both sides of the field here. But we're all on the same field. We all want what's best for Lawrence. We all may have different ways of getting there, but our differences with each other should never stop us from making a difference.

  3. Things are made better when people talk about them. Inevitably, there will be loss involved with every decision. We are all stakeholders. We all love this community. Sometimes, one side may lose, Sometimes, the other side may lose. I can assure you, if we think this is about winning and losing, we've missed it. Time will tell when it comes to these projects. In 10 years, this may be chalked up as a huge mistake. I personally don't see it that way, and I hope that it doesn't happen...but rest assured if it does, I'll be the first to say so. On the flip side, so much of the development that people have been against in Lawrence that has been successful...sometimes, it's just best to admit that we might have been errant in our judgments and everyone moves on. Admitting defeat doesn't mean that you can't have an opinion in the next thing. If there is a community that has been right 100% of the time, I think we'd all be clamoring to move there.

jafs 3 years ago

But people have very different ideas of "what's best for Lawrence".

"Time will tell" - and if it doesn't work out as planned, that's a lot of tax revenue that could have been used for better things.

Jeremy Farmer 3 years ago

You're right. And the very things that make us have different ideas are the things that everyone likes the most about Lawrence - it's diverse. And we're better, not worse, because of it.

You're right jafs. I will give it to you. Wasted tax revenue. It could have been used for better things. But, what if it does work out as planned? Will you come out in ten years, just as I would if I were wrong, and voice your support for something that has brought Lawrence good things?

jafs 3 years ago

Yes.

But, it's a big gamble - I'd prefer not to take it at this time.

Do you have any examples of similar tax funded projects that have worked as well as expected? I have several examples which haven't - the Arts Center TIF is one - it was supposed to generate much more revenue for the parking garage than it did.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

"In 10 years, this may be chalked up as a huge mistake."

Does that make some kind of sense to you? Give it a whack, spend tens of millions of dollars, THEN find out it might be a "huge mistake"? Seems like fiscal responsibility should involve more than throwing money at an issue and waiting a decade to see if it turned out okay.

Jeremy Farmer 3 years ago

I have a friend and full disclosure: we probably have a lot that we don't agree with each other on. But when I see them, we have such great conversation. Everyone else sees them as being against everything. But they're passionate. And I admire that greatly. They don't bash me, and I don't bash them. We actually have each others backs. It's truly a beautiful thing. We've discovered that through having meaningful conversation, we may have more in common than we previously thought. But we would have never known that if we didn't find common ground.

We make a difference by having a thought provoking conversation to better our communities. Not by telling each other how stupid the other is. My hope is that Lawrence can be better in spite of all of us, not worse because of us.

I'm convinced there's got to be a better way, Jeremy Farmer jfarmer83@gmail.com

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Talking can be good, Jeremy. But you and I both know that the decision has already been made on this project. No amount of talking will change that.

Jeremy Farmer 3 years ago

I support this decision now, bozo. But I support it because no one else wants to come to the table and have a conversation about it. I'm just told them I'm idealistic for my views or that I'm in the pocket of the developers, or that I'm ignorant for believing what I do. It's unfortunate that such a wall exists strictly because of my opinion on something.

I'd love to sit down with you and have a conversation. I'm sincere when I say that. I'll listen intently and hear you out. I've talked to several that know you and I would even more look forward to that now than at first when we bantered back and forth a month or so ago.

If those that are so knowledgeable are just that, let the rest of the community benefit from those viewpoints, rather than the caustic rhetoric that exists most of the time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

There've been plenty of valid concerns brought to the table about this project-- namely that the construction costs, operating expenses and benefits to taxpayers are unknown, which makes the main driver behind this project appear to be the benefits it will provide for the developers, with the very strong possibility that taxpayers will be stuck paying for a very expensive Rec Center that mostly sits idle.

You don't share those concerns. What's to discuss?

Fred Henderson 3 years ago

We heard that groundbreaking/construction will start in about 2 months. Heard that tidbit from a a person who will be working at the site. The rec center is a done deal, no matter what.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

I'm not a big supporter of putting this issue on the ballot, but I'm not that opposed either. If someone approached me and asked that this issue be placed on the ballot, I would sign such a petition. But I've seen no such person nor have I heard of such a petition. Either opponents are not that many or they don't feel strongly enough to do the grass roots work needed that would let the city commission know that there is significant opposition. If the decision has already been made, it's because you let it happen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

It only takes the votes of three commissioners to sign off on this. Judging from public statements, there are at least three commissioners who have already made up their minds on this, (just as this letter writer and several posters on this thread have.)

So it has nothing to do with those who oppose it "letting" it happen.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

If you really believe that, then begin a petition asking for a recall of those commissioners. Get that put on the ballot, or even get just a few thousand signatures, and you'll get their attention. Or have the issue itself be put on the ballot, through a petition drive.

The bottom line is this, there are two ways to get the attention of politicians; money, or a significant number of voters. If you're saying that you can't compete with the big money, then deliver a significant number of voters, if you can. It may be difficult, but it is possible.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Maybe you're right-- but the undercurrent of your message is similar to telling a woman who got raped the she "deserved" it because she asked for it in some way or another.

This is a bad idea, and just because opponents can't manage to stop it will not make it a good idea.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

I would never say such a thing about a victim of rape. But if you read my comment, I specifically said I would sign such a petition, even though my support for the rec. center is pretty well known. Why would I do that? Because I respect the possibility that my view might not be the views of the majority. But I wonder, Bozo. Do you share that respect? When your position is in the minority, do you respect the wishes of the majority?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

What the hell are you talking about? Why should I care one way or the other whether you'd sign a petition? If one happens to find it's way in front of you, sign it, or don't. That's your business.

And what do you think I'm going to do if this gets built-- blow it up or something? (FYI, I wouldn't.)

And really, do you think this commission gives a crap what the majority thinks? They know that the people they identify with (the developers and other movers and shakers behind this) want, and that's what they'll base their vote on.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

Do I think the commissions give a crap what the majority thinks? Yes. Every election day. But if you're saying that they don't care on the other days, then I'm saying to you, make every day election day. Force them to care. Or maybe admit that your position is the position of the minority. It is your choice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

It would be more efficient, word-wise, if you just told me to shut up.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

You really can't get over the fact that other people would have the audacity to hold an opinion different than your own. That's the bottom line, Bozo.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

What a hypocritical joke-- this whole thread has been your telling me I have no right to my opinions.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

Who's the hypocrite, Bozo. You deride every person that voices a differing opinion.. pompoms, plutocracy, etc. Every person who expresses a differing opinion is met with derision. Every differing opinion and they're either a pawn of someone else or a fool. You give no respect that others may simply disagree with you.

When did I say you didn't have a right to your opinions? I made suggestions as to how you might go about expressing those opinions. And the suggestions I made are all time honored, legal means of having a greater voice in how the government operates. If you choose not to avail yourself of those options, that's not me shutting you up. That's you shutting yourself up.

Tim Herndon 3 years ago

Nay-sayers must produce data to justify pessimism. Until then, the snarky jabs (i.e. "lying", "naive", "can't afford it", "who bought your pom poms", etc.) is unsubstantiated negativism, bullying for no good reason.

Build it and let the youth programming and municipal revenue begin.

jafs 3 years ago

Actually, I think it's much more the other way around.

Anybody who proposes spending lots of tax revenue on projects has the burden of showing it's a good idea.

jafs 3 years ago

And, this is not at all "guaranteed" to work, so anybody who claims that is either naive or lying.

I generally try to avoid insulting people on here, but sometimes I have to say what's obviously true, even if it offends some.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Quite the opposite-- the proponents are the ones who are asking taxpayers to pony up at least $30 million over the next 20 years to build this thing (and if we ever get a clear picture of what it will cost to build and operate, it could be much higher than that.)

So it's their obligation to show that the public will get their money's worth. So far, they haven't even come close to demonstrating that.

notajayhawk 3 years ago

I find myself agreeing with jafs and bozo.

I need a drink.

Many drinks.

Carol Bowen 3 years ago

Bucksilver, What jafs and Bozo said. And, I don't think I've challenged anyone's integrity in any of my posts.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

Great propaganda from the Bureau of Brown-Nosers. Just once, I would like to hear the real story on the Rec. Center. Just who all is pushing this and why.

Ex: Schwada and Fritzell are for this because it will provide additional occupancy and value to their land investments/plans.

Ex: The Parks and Rec Department are for this because our facilities are outdated, and at times overcrowded.

Ex: The wannabe junior power brokers are for this because, well, they are what they are.

Okay, I'm just dreaming.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

I'm not sure I understand your comment. You ask "just once" to be told the real story, then give several examples that are well known and have been discussed at length in this forum. I'd guess every possible reason has been thrown out there, some possible and some very improbable. Are you suggesting there are more, as yet undisclosed and undiscussed reasons? Would you like to share those reasons with the rest of us?

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

[Big Sigh] I would just once like to see this headline: DEVELOPERS OFFER TO DONATE LAND FOR REC CENTER IN HOPES OF GETTING SOMETHING MOVING ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CITY.

Or

CITY COMMISSION TO DISCUSS REC CENTER AS A MEANS OF JUMP-STARTING LAWRENCES' FALTERING GROWTH RATE.

Now stop being such a pompous a___. This is a blog. It is perfectly acceptable to post whatever you want.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

First, I'd appreciate it if you'd either not call me a pompous a__, or do not respond to my comment.

Second, every single thing you just said has been said repeatedly. Your fist comment said "for once". I thought you were bringing something new to the discussion. you're not.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

Chuckle. I gather you get your jollies debating with bloggers. I'm just putting out my ideas/opinions for fun. I'm a bored housewife, get it? I will continue to blog as I please. Go pick on someone who wants to argue with you!

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

Your (intellectual) boredom is reflected in your writing. Thank you for your (non) contribution. Goodbye.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

Thank you for getting over me. See you in the funny papers.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

P.S., you really are a ___ . Is that better?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"First, I'd appreciate it if you'd either not call me a pompous a__, or do not respond to my comment."

I'd say you're looking to get called that again.

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

Then I'd ask you as well to not reply to my posts.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

Wow, you can do that on a blog? Oh, wait....I just replied. I wonder what will happen?

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

I know that I should stop, but this is really fun, and after all, I was really bored.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

There is a "shunning rule" on this forum, although it's rarely enforced.

MarcoPogo 3 years ago

This is a forum, not a blog. There's a difference.

And if we could really "post whatever" we wanted, comments would never get yanked down. Next you're going to claim that you have the right to Free Speech on here.

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

If there any criteria regarding how many times a certain idea can be stated? Can overstatement of an idea be grounds for shunning or being yanked down? How about nasty attitudes to fellow contributers? Just want to be clear as to what I am allowed to think and write.

MarcoPogo 3 years ago

You'd have to ask the moderators that question. They do the yanking. I'm impressed that "pompous a___" is still up.

Kate Rogge 3 years ago

Maybe because it is an objective statement of fact?

Biker 3 years ago

Can we cancel the public library expansion, approved by our city experts, and replace it with the rec center?

jafs 3 years ago

Well, since the library expansion was voted on, and the rec center hasn't been, I'd say no.

Just for the record, I voted against the library expansion. But, at least the library is in fact a public access institution, and available to all city residents, unlike the sports complex.

Biker 3 years ago

Good point. I would have been nice to know that the rec center was in the plans at the time the library expansion was passed. We can't afford everything the city proposes so we should be able to shift between the priorities, and then let the people decide.

rockchalker52 3 years ago

Jeremy, ya windbag, at least you don't 'merrill' your stuff ad nauseam. You are right, of course, about more being accomplished with civility than without it, but people gotta vent sometimes, baby!

A lot of us feel that the rec center project is a marvelous opportunity that demonstrates the mutual advantages of cooperation between public & private enterprise.

Clevercowgirl sez she wishes for these honest headlines:

DEVELOPERS OFFER TO DONATE LAND FOR REC CENTER IN HOPES OF GETTING SOMETHING MOVING ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CITY.

Or

CITY COMMISSION TO DISCUSS REC CENTER AS A MEANS OF JUMP-STARTING LAWRENCES' FALTERING GROWTH RATE.

Ok, but so what? please explain what's wrong with that? (besides the apostrophe that's out of place) ;-p

Clevercowgirl 3 years ago

I'm suprised that you only found that one error. I did not proof read at all today. I just didn't feel like it. CC sez....If we build it, they will come policy has never worked. Not with gas prices rising. It is a lot cheaper to visit Lawrence and live in KC or Topeka.

MarcoPogo 3 years ago

Since we're wishing for whatever headlines we want, I'd like to see these:

OREAD HOTEL'S CAVE BAR HOSTS SENIOR CITIZEN LAMBADA CONTEST

VIRGINIA INN EXPLODES

WEST CAMPUS "WAFFLE IRON" SCULPTURE RETRIEVED BY MOTHERSHIP

LINWOOD SYPHILLIS CONTAINED

Dan Simons 3 years ago

Could the 200,000 foot "Big Bag Warehouse" located on city/farmland property the future real growth opportunity for Lawrence, house enough courts for tournaments. Big building with concrete floor on 15th street, on the side of town where KC, Desoto, Eudora communities are all growing

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Are you referring to the building next to the RR tracks?

Dan Simons 3 years ago

yep, i assume infrastructure extensions would be less expensive than the mileage to SLT, we already own it, several arterial streets contect to it and that 400 acre tract is where we are supposedly focusing our future growth hopes on

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Makes sense to me. But I doubt that the Fritzels or Schwadas will be happy with your suggesting it.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Tune in next Tuesday as the first 3 regular agenda items = Tax increasing Rec Center:

http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2012/08-21-12/08-21-12_agenda_click_here.html

And there might be a protest petition presented?

6:35 PM Channel 25

Dan Simons has a significant thought or two on the table

Let the taxpaying voters decide if this is how they want sales tax dollars spent that were approved in 1994 and are NOT dedicated to such projects.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Let the taxpaying voters decide in April if this is how they want sales tax dollars spent that were approved in 1994 and are NOT necessarily dedicated to such projects.

This money could be spent funding the new library project thus eliminating that new tax

This money could be spent eliminating USD 497 portable buildings and to help fund the badly need rehab of our taxpayer owned elementary school buildings that have been neglected by previous board members. Thus avoiding a tax increase/bond issue.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

If this money was being allocated to a new series of bicycle paths, you nay sayers would be all over it.

Carol Bowen 3 years ago

I contend that if this venture is so promising, it could and should be a private venture. Let's stay with the neighborhood rec center we voted for.

Hmmm. Can the sales tax for a neighborhood recreation center really be used for a regional sports facility?

Fred Henderson 3 years ago

Heard a laborer say his next job site will be in a couple months at the rec center. Some powers that be must know something the rest of us don't.

average 3 years ago

The question to me is, is anyone else on the hook if we don't manage to book SEVERAL DOZEN marquee events per year (per the panglossian proposal)? Seriously, we're expecting events at a rate higher than cities 4 times Lawrence's size, which are neither an hour from a commercial airport nor within an hour of a much larger metropolis.

Does Gene take any hit if we get no tournamets at all? Do any of the current boosters take any hit at all? Does KU Athletics take any hit? Or is all the downside on the taxpayers' dime?

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

1994 Sales tax money

Do the pros outweigh the cons of the new proposed sports complex? The answer appears to be no. (Taxpayers are on the hook for the more than $20 million USD 497 sports project as we speak).

http://www.lawrencesmartgrowth.blogspot.com/

It is time in my estimation to revisit this 1994 sales tax and ask voters how elected officials should be spending this money. For any group of politicians to believe that voters blindly trust politicians with their tax dollars is not real and hasn't been for at least 50 years.

jafs 3 years ago

If voters don't trust them blindly with tax dollars, then they shouldn't vote for open-ended taxes that never go away, like the '94 sales tax increase.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

1994 Sales tax money

It is time in my estimation to revisit this 1994 sales tax and ask voters how elected officials should be spending this money. For any group of politicians to believe that voters blindly trust politicians with their tax dollars is not real and hasn't been for at least 50 years.

Bring the voting taxpayers back into the process after all we are the largest group of stakeholders in Lawrence,Kansas.

"Can the city approve this “Field House” without a public vote?" Yes they can.... Which could easily become $40 million or more. This project will need a very large advertising budget.

However there is nothing stopping them from putting this matter on the upcoming ballot which I believe is the ethical approach.

Politicians believe because they have the authority to spend tax dollars anyway they desire, no questions should be asked and voters should simply trust their motivations. I know very few taxpayers who accept this position.

This 1994 sales tax is not dedicated to the park department in spite of the fact a large chunk has been funding park department projects. This money could be spent to rehab our elementary schools and remove the portable class rooms that has been talked about for years thereby avoiding a tax increase or a bond issue.

This money could be spent to rehab the library thereby eliminating a tax increase as I introduced to the city commission perhaps a year ago and the LJW more or less supported this proposal in an editorial. In fact 5%-10% of this sales tax could be dedicated to the library for operations still leaving 90% for other uses that benefit all taxpayers.

This money could build this community a nice Vo-Tech center. College grads could improve their opportunities for employment. High school grads could improve their opportunities for employment. Laid off employees could improve their opportunities for employment. Anyone seeking to broaden their horizons could improve their opportunities.

Providing a nice Vo-Tech would be expanding the higher education industry. Investing further into the industry of higher education would be a solid investment. Students are good for economic growth and they love Lawrence,Kansas.

Committing tax dollars to the "field house project" is likely on the upcoming city commission agenda which I believe is rushing it considering the amount of concern being voiced from just about every corner in Lawrence,Kansas.

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