Letter: Getting to ‘yes’

July 26, 2013


To the editor:

Recent information has come to light pointing out Lawrence is a failing community in several respects. Lawrence ranked as the second-worst-performing small metro area according to new national economic index. USD 497 says 47 percent of Lawrence children need food assistance to eat. Large numbers of individuals still require meals at LINK. This is unconscionable! We publicly express concern about reduced funding for food stamps, but where is the job creation to eliminate the need for food stamps? One can blame the larger economy, but in reality Lawrence has always been in control of its own destiny.

Lawrence has serious economic growth and job creation problems that our community leadership has failed to address over the years. Lawrence has failed to add a major employer for at least 10 years.

Lawrence myopically believes we can survive on “business incubators,” “boutique” retail jobs and the general belief that businesses want to relocate here just because we are “Lawrence.” Our current situation belies arguments supporting those concepts. Lawrence competes for employment on a national scale, and we must act accordingly.

One example of Lawrence’s problem attracting major employers is criticisms expressed in Wednesday’s Journal-World article, regarding the Delaware Indians’ project in North Lawrence. The project is estimated to bring $50 million a year to Lawrence’s economy, and all we read are reasons why we shouldn’t proceed, yet we have children needing food in Lawrence!

Lawrence needs a major outreach program and cooperatively work with businesses to solve concerns that lead to a “yes” for all concerned.


Stain 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Even the university does not pay competitive wages.

Really it sucks to live here if you work for a living.


bearded_gnome 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"... yet we have children needing food in Lawrence!"

---Dave, it would be instructive for you to observe the recent filing of Detroit's bankruptcy. note that lawrence is a little drop of blue in a huge sea of red, so to speak. other parts of kansas seem to have better employment. hmmm. suppose it's who's in charge?


fmrl 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Any town which depends upon a university to drive its economy had better beware. As more and more people figure out the true value of higher education/indoctrination it is going to be in serious decline. It could happen suddenly and result in tens of thousands of vacant housing units and a downward spiral. Lawrence had better learn fast how to compete because it hasn't had to thus far.


Catalano 8 months, 3 weeks ago

$50 million? Where'd that number come from?


Michelle Reynolds 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks for thinking about the bigger issues. I feel this town make decision based in the issue on front of them and they don't step back and see what is causing the problem. You hit it on the head. What a concept... Add business to Lawrence the city gains jobs, we give jobs to the ones who need them, people stay here and shop here, grow our tax base to pay for all the things Lawrecians want ( libraries, rec center, depots) I don't see the down side.

Thanks Mr. Reynolds for having a larger vision!!


BigAl 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Great letter Mr. Reynolds. I couldn't agree more.


friendlyjhawk 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your letter. You raise many good points about the real needs in Lawrence.


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