To the editor:
Thanks for Chad Lawhorn’s Town Talk and feature stories about our community. They are always enjoyable and informative. Sunday’s article about advisory boards is well timed.
We find it interesting that among the 47 city boards and task forces, there is not one dedicated to advising the City Commission regarding 50 percent of our residents; 58 percent of our residents live in rentals. It would seem appropriate to seek input from those most impacted by commission decisions regarding rentals: tenants, landlords, owner-occupied neighbors.
In the midst of current discussions about licensing and inspecting 20,000 rental residences in Lawrence, input has been volunteered by those involved, not sought by the city. The city’s “public hearings” have been just that — meetings where the public gets to hear what the city is already planning to do!
We think it should work the other way around — where commissioners get to hear what the public thinks, wants or needs BEFORE making their plans. In the case of this rental control plan it has not happened that way!
Please, let’s have a Rental Advisory Board to look into issues to determine if existing laws and ordinances are not working; and if not, why not. Let the most knowledgeable, experienced and involved residents find out whether more regulations are really needed BEFORE moving ahead with this massive effort to control 20,000 living units and the tenants living in them.
Put the horse where it belongs: in front of the cart!