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.


friendlyjhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

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

BigAl 4 years, 10 months ago

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

Michelle Reynolds 4 years, 10 months 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!!

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

As long as we don't get blinded by the "jobs" idea without looking at the type of jobs. Your kids would still qualify for food assistance if you worked for typical Menards wages. There's no point in giving a business tax cuts on the front end and still needing to subsidize the wages of the workers with food assistance on the back end. The only winner in that scenario is the business owner.

Catalano 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Now we're up to tax cuts on the front end?

scaramouchepart2 4 years, 10 months ago

The only jobs that will add to Lawrence's economic future are not part time wait staff and part time gaming table staff. We treat people like cattle and wonder why we have problems. It is not just about outside money coming which a casino will produce for the Delaware, not Lawrence, but about jobs that pay enough that people can afford to live here. The majority of prole going to casinos go home to sleep and eat in the casino. They don't shop downtown. This is win, but not for Lawrence and if on trust lands no taxes for the state or local economy. Not like you think. Yes lawrence has done a poor job bringing business to town, but jobs that don't bring people to live here do not support the local economy.

Catalano 4 years, 10 months ago

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

Catalano 4 years, 10 months ago

That was for the failed casino proposal:

"Back then, before the multimillion-dollar Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway was built in Wyandotte County, the tribe was exploring a casino with a 400-room hotel, convention center and museum. Dee Ketchum, a Kansas University basketball player in the 1950s, was chief of the Delaware tribe at the time and estimated the complex would add about $50 million a year to the Lawrence economy. "

Reynolds' letter referenced $50 million now: "The project IS estimated to bring $50 million a year to Lawrence’s economy," Does he know something we don't know?

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months 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?

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

It would be instructive to know a little context on Detroit - the emergency manager who is declaring bankruptcy was not democratically elected but, in fact, appointed by the Republican governor -- using highly unpopular legislation snuck into an appropriations bill to avoid a SECOND voter referendum. This "fiscal conservative" is also allowing $285 million in public funds to be used to build a new stadium at the same time as the Chapter 9 filing.

David Reynolds 4 years, 10 months ago

Kochmoney, the comments about Detroit are entirely not relevant to the points Mr. Reynolds is making about the situation here in Lawrence.

The issues in Lawrence are about a significant lack of leadership, forward planning, problem solving and a very myopic view of what Lawrence should be.

Detroits issues go back to the turn of the last century. Lawrence's go back to the mentality that killed the so called "Corn Field Mall" and the ever restrictive codification of a "Utopian" Lawrence.

Lawrence can "Have It All". It just needs to realize "My Way or Highway" doesn't work. In stead cooperation, problem solving and a willingness to have a win-win result achieves benefits for all.

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