Letters to the Editor

Slow down

July 9, 2012


To the editor:

Until I read Chris Taber’s letter to the editor July 3, I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who thinks the proposed recreation center is just plain nuts. Yes, some important people in town want it, but we don’t always get what we want, nor should we. However, we really need some very important things that are going to raise taxes a lot, like a $54 million sewage treatment plant and $30-$40 million for upgraded police facilities and additional manpower. These are not glamorous, but we won’t be able to get by without them. We’re already obligated to pay for the big, new library and Xanadu Stadium at Lawrence High, plus other ongoing obligations that make taxes high enough as it is. 

What if, sometime soon, Lawrence is hit by a big tornado or is in the path of a huge Colorado-type wildfire? Would there be enough money in city coffers to deal with such an emergency and help residents and the town rebuild? This stuff happens all around us.

I ask my fellow citizens and my city commissioners for wisdom and restraint when it comes to obligating all of us to pay for fancy buildings that somebody thinks would be a neat thing for Lawrence to have. I understand the city is already working with developers and has annexed the land for the rec center. I ask, PLEASE slow down and think.


cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

The "Xanadu Stadium" isn't at LHS. It's at the other school north of 15th, and was paid for largely through one gift from one individual who had a son playing football there at the time.

By contrast, in addition to taxpayer funds, contributions to the new athletic complex at LHS, including the football stadium, were made by many individuals both in Lawrence and elsewhere and have resulted in a beautiful setting that is tasteful, functional, and already loaded with tradition.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

"Denial" isn't a river in Africa, but is a word used from time to time by racists mocking a certain dialect of the English language.

nativeson 5 years, 7 months ago

The athletic facilities upgrade was a decision by the school board. The City Commission is tasked with the rec center and the other large expenditures. I think the rec center decision should be about the responsibility of the City to be the ultimate risk-taker in the venture. I do not think it makes sense for the taxpayers to take the ultimate risk on the deal if private development is involved. It should be the other way around. However, I do think that adding facilities on the west side is not being unfair. The indoor aquatic center is the only public facility that has been added West of Lawrence Avenue since the early 1980s.

As far as the police facilities, I do not accept the alternatives presented which is $0 or $30 million. It is unreasonable to assume that less costly alternatives would not improve their situation dramatically.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree-- a complex similar to the E. Lawrence or Holcomb rec centers would meet the needs of Lawrence's citizens, and take some of the load off of the other centers in E. Lawrence, the Community Building and Holcomb. The proposed super-complex is for the benefit of developers and speculators, not the vast majority of Larryvillers.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 7 months ago

Bozo, it's "Holcom." How long have you lived here?

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