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Archive for Friday, June 27, 2014

Editorial: Speak up

Local residents have a little more time to voice their opinions on a couple of important city issues.

June 27, 2014

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Never let it be said that Lawrence residents were shy about expressing an opinion.

The city of Lawrence currently is collecting public input on two issues that will have a significant impact on local residents: the location of a new police headquarters and an update of the Horizon 2020 Comprehensive Plan.

Megan Gilliland, the city’s communications manager, said the online form seeking comments on the police facility had received 68 replies as of about noon Thursday. She said the form will be taken down Tuesday so she can prepare a report on the responses for city commissioners. That still leaves plenty of time for residents to weigh in on their preferences. The online form can be accessed from the city’s home page under “Police Department Facility Information.” The document includes information about the four locations under consideration, along with a space to write comments.

Go for it.

The Horizon 2020 update has been the focus of a number of public meetings across the county since mid-April. Two more information meetings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 16 at the Dreher 4-H Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The sessions are designed to allow people to drop in anytime during the scheduled two hours.

If you can’t attend a meeting, information about the plan, as well as an online survey, can be accessed from the city’s home page under “Horizon 2020 Process.” The survey asks residents to offer input and opinions on residential, commercial, industrial and economic development as well as city services such as parks, transportation and cultural and historical resources.

Gilliland said she had received 164 Horizon 2020 survey entries. That’s good, but more are needed. The updated Horizon 2020 will help determine how Lawrence grows and develops in the years to come. There’s usually no shortage of opinions in Lawrence on the topic of growth.

So, don’t let other Lawrence residents speak for you. The more responses the city receives to these important surveys, the more accurately officials can reflect the wishes of their constituents. Tell them what you think.

Comments

Lawrence Morgan 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I would suggest that the Journal-World feature one of the questions involved in the 2020 survey each week--and then let residents respond over a period of time.

It's a bit like "on the street" - the Journal-World website needs a much better way of making things available that take time to respond, as well as contests, for example. Google, for example, runs contests with a long time to respond, but with major prizes. So does the BBC.

The Journal World doesn't even note such contests at the present time, when if they knew about it young people all over Lawrence would want to reply

There needs to be sections that people can go to on the web site that contain questions and contests which can be dealt with over a long period of time, not just a few days after publication. Many people don't have time enough to respond when an article or question comes up to which they might want to make a reply. But before they have time to think it out clearly and write it down, it then disappears without further notice.

The same thing is true of art and music events - there needs to be special sections where people can respond, discuss and add to these events over a period of time.

And, of course, the Journal-World should also put blogs back on the front page, as well. I, for example, will be doing a blog shortly about Brazil, which could involve young people creating entries and sending responses all summer.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't spend another $30 million on a city project without a vote from taxpayers. It still seems to 15th and Wakarusa could be remodeled to meet demands in addition to still work out of the current 11th and New Hampshire location. Make 15th and Wakarusa the criminal division.

The over zealous decision on the Rec Center and leaving the taxpayers out of the decision most certainly was not appreciated. I noticed last week that JOCO is set to improve their already desired facilities. What makes Lawrence decision makers believe it is smart spending behind the philosophy that Lawrence can effectively steal from our neighbors?

Bruce Bertsch 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We did vote on the Rec Center when we elected the current officials. This is a republic, not a democracy for a darn good reason. The idea that we should put everything to a vote is crazy.

Carol Bowen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The city relies heavily on scheduled open houses and it's website. If the Journal World provided more comprehensive coverage of these two issues, communication with the city would be greatly improved.

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