Archive for Friday, May 10, 2013

Poor leadership

May 10, 2013


To the editor:

Does the Milken report surprise you? Lawrencians have been saying all along, that we cannot afford all this developmental spending. What “laurels” are we resting on, second from the last place? Is this a joke? Menards wanted to build here but the city planners did not want it. Local jobs and the income that it would bring to Lawrence were not their priority.

Next item in the paper was Brownback wants to take money from the early-childhood endowment fund to balance state budget. Those funds came from major tobacco companies to settle a multistate lawsuit and were designated for early-childhood programs. NOW he wants to raid the funds. That’s lying and stealing. I hope someone stops him. What terrible leaders! This impression we are making on others is priceless.


Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

Get used to it. It will get much worse as the cuts and local tax increases roll out in the next couple of years.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 1 month ago

Your point is probably valid, to a certain extent. But I disagree, vehemently, with your conclusion.

I, for one, want to live in Lawrence for many reasons, most of which revolve around the size of the town, the convenience of nearly everything from nearly anywhere, the beauty of this particular portion of our state, the cultural diversity evident in the town, and the simple fact that this town is quite a bit more laid back than most larger metropolises (metropoli?).

To conclude that I should move because a business wants to locate here, or to deny the business the opportunity to provide services, and jobs, and tax income is pretty short-sighted. Menards, by itself, is not going to destroy the "character of the city". In fact, with a larger tax base and an increase in employment income, the city would have even more opportunity to fund exactly those things that make Lawrence my choice as a long-term residence.

Should industrial/retail growth be controlled by the politicians? Sure, but only insofar as the government should establish and maintain property boundries and rules to keep the various types of industry and businesses from encroaching on the very residential areas that make this an inviting town in which to live. And, it seems to me, the Menard's plan does nothing to distract from the quality of life in Lawrence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Menard's will have almost no effect on breadth of the tax base-- they'll be selling stuff that's largely already available here, so there will be little if any net gain in sales tax collections. Likewise, any new jobs it creates will almost certainly result in a loss of jobs among its competitors. And if any of those competitors goes out of business, there will be an empty building that increases the likelihood of blight as landowners neglect maintenance on buildings that produce no income for them.

Does that mean Menard's should be prohibited from building a store here? Of course not. But it does mean that the false arguments you put forward should not be a pretext for trashing the zoning already in place just because they demand it. There are other locations that are zoned for their operation if they really want to be in Lawrence.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Writer after writer has said they drive to Topeka or K.C. to shop at Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. You say the addition will do nothing to the tax base here, suggesting that any increase in shopping at Menards will take away the same sales at other local stores.

One of those two statements has to be incorrect. Either the people writing in saying they are currently going to Topeka or K.C. to shop are lying, or your statement is factually incorrect.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Writer after writer"

And how many is that? A half dozen or a dozen? That tiny bit of anecdotal evidence is hardly a good basis to trash the zoning already in place simply because Lowes and Menards want to build someplace that lacks the proper zoning, rather than existing properties that DO have the proper zoning.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 1 month ago

Bozo, you make the same arguments almost every time this subject comes up. The problem is that you couch your dire predictions with "almost certainly", "little if any", and the like.

Perhaps you are correct, perhaps not. But my "arguments" are no less true than yours. I have no doubt you feel strongly about this issue, as do I. But it seems to me that you are making some assumptions about the Menard's soning request that need to be researched a little deeper. The fact of building a large store does not necessarily "trash the zoning already in place".

I do believe in maintaining the "character" of the town I love, as do you. I do not believe that the simple fact of locating a store which will "most probably" provide employment and tax income for the city should put us, the residents, up in arms. New businesses as large as this will need employees. Will they come from other businesses or will they come from elsewhere? Who knows. But, and this is the point, they will create more jobs initially than now exist, and with any luck, the city will grow around those jobs rather than simply robbing them from other sources. If that happens, then the natural progression of business successes and failures will go on. Try looking at the whole picture and then put forth a rational, factual reason for your position. That's all anyone can ask.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"The problem is that you couch your dire predictions with "almost certainly", "little if any", and the like."

They aren't really predictions at all. They're merely statements of the obvious-- there is only so much money in this town that's going to be spent on the products that Menard's carries, and there are retailers in this town already selling them. Sure, a certain percentage of those purchases get made outside of Lawrence, but even if Menard's could completely reverse that phenomenon (which they won't) it wouldn't mean any dramatic increase in sales tax collections. The great bulk of purchases at Menard's WILL come at the expense of retailers already here.

"But my "arguments" are no less true than yours."

My arguments aren't based on highly optimistic assumptions bordering on wishful thinking.

"Try looking at the whole picture and then put forth a rational, factual reason for your position. "

I already have, many times.

And I've never said that Menard's and Lowe's should be prohibited from building stores here. I've just said they don't have the right to dictate where those stores can be built.

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