Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2012

City debt

August 22, 2012


While our national discourse is about nastiness and the federal debt, our city is seemingly going the other way debt-wise. I refer, of course, to the recent library bond issue, the rec center and other expenditures.

Does anyone really believe the future of reading is in hard-cover books? We have unlimited information on the Internet, and have computers, Apples, iPads. telephones, cameras, Blackberries, electronic readers, audio books and, for all I know, blueberries, peaches and bananas available at our fingertips to replace the library. Why are we spending millions of dollars on a new building to add more meeting rooms and computers?  Use existing office space, or, instead of renting Borders, buy it, and remodel it for this and other office space the City says it needs.

This week we learned of the decision to change garbage pickup, with the main reason seemingly to reduce workers’ compensation costs. We are told that the trucks have the hydraulics necessary. While they do have hydraulics, they are not the ones specifically required to side-load/dump containers as the current recycling collector uses. What will the retrofit or new units cost? If we are going to do this, shouldn’t we also consider doing city-run recycling now? The procedure is the same, and, if our present collector is making a profit, which I must assume he is, wouldn’t the city do so also?

And how about our 90 miles of deteriorating roads?


grimpeur 5 years, 10 months ago

"And how about our 90 miles of deteriorating roads?"

The roads? What about them? We passed a sales tax increase set aside for pothole repair. But it's still not enough revenue to support recreational drivers' lifestyle choices.

If you're really concerned about the state and cost of roads, you could start by asking your thousands of neighbors who are driving less than two miles to work, or the tens of thousands who are driving into or out of Lawrence, alone, every day, with 4-8 empty seats in their cars, past their neighbors' workplaces and past their coworkers' homes, alongside thousands of others doing the same thing and going to the same places, to walk, bike, or (the number one answer) carpool when possible.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 10 months ago

What, you suggest riding a bus? Come on. Have you ridden a bus on these streets? I drive one every day and get the #(%Y#( shaken out of me. There is no respite from streets that have swollen to a pointed bump that opens the secured windows in the bus I drive by just going over the bump and shaking me and my passengers. The city's priorities stink and we need a council that can think clearly about what we need and how to spend out money. I am tired of giving tax breaks to the same people and they build a huge building that stands empty or because no one can afford the rent.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 10 months ago

I am tired of giving tax breaks to the same people and they build a huge building that stands empty or because no one can afford the rent. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Heh...and you drive a moocher mobile...go figure.

grimpeur 5 years, 10 months ago

"What, you suggest riding a bus?"

Well, if the bus serves. Check the JO--it's SRO. Other than that, as I mention above: "...walk, bike, or (the number one answer) carpool when possible." So there are lots of other ways to get to where we're going. But we spend our time coming up with excuses for using the car instead of finding more sensible ways of making long and short trips.

Your work is impacted negatively by the state of the roads. The roads get ruined by unnecessary motor traffic created by people who should be finding another way to school or work, especially if they complain about road conditions, congestion, tax increases, or the rest. Nobody wants to be the one to change his or her personal habits, no matter how much those habits cost the rest of us. Also, we like our cars.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

H. Millard Klein maybe it's time to alter how final decisions are made at city hall? How about a Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

Perhaps it's time to create an active group of taxpayers to design an ordinance that places more final decisions in the hands of the voters. Yes a Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights for we the people who pay the bills.

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. It would not matter who the commissioners are and would certainly be no different if I were a city commissioner or if you were a city commissioner.

Let’s place the voting taxpayers aka the largest group of stakeholders in Lawrence,Kansas in the position of deciding how they would like to have tax dollars spent. A Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights would be appropriate.

Taxpayers want more opportunity to approve tax incentives and projects such as the the monster field house tax dollar boon doggle.

Taxpayers want more opportunity to approve projects that involve tax dollars across the board. After all we taxpayers are the source for corporate welfare. Why shouldn't we have the opportunity to decide how reckless or how fiscally responsible our tax dollars should be expended?

Put this question on the upcoming ballot. Let's vote in a Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 10 months ago

I think I'll pass on TABOR. Hasn't had all that spiffy a record so far where it's been implemented.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 10 months ago

Who the heck is this "current recycling collector" he keeps referring to? Does he truly not know that we have a number of private curbside recycling services in Lawrence? That there is no one city-sanctioned one?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

Print isn't dead by a long shot. Everything worth knowing isn't out there on the interwebs.

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