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Do you think the public should have the opportunity vote on the proposed rec center?

Response Percent Votes
Yes
 
84% 567
No
 
12% 86
Unsure
 
2% 19
Total 672

Comments

jhawkinsf 2 years ago

If I thought 50% of eligible voters would actually come out and voice their opinion, I'd say yes. If I thought that number was 40% or even 30%, I'd say yes. But we've had elections with turnouts in the 16% range, which causes me to wonder if that is truly the will of the people speaking or is it just a few imposing their opinions on the majority. That may or may not be any better than simply having our elected officials unilaterally make the decision.

JayCat_67 2 years ago

Still should let the public vote. If 84% choose to not vote on the issue, then they have in effect "voted" to let the other 16% decide for them, and should have no reason to complain if the results don't go their way.

jhawkinsf 2 years ago

Wouldn't the same argument be valid if we simply said let our elected officials make the decisions they were elected to make? It seems to me that either both are valid or neither is valid.

JayCat_67 2 years ago

I am grasping what you are saying. But when there's this much money involved, I'd rather the electorate decide directly. It's much easier for a developer or other interested party to influence a handful of council members especially if they already have ties to one another. Call me jaded.

jhawkinsf 2 years ago

I've always wonder if you held an election and no one voted, would you still have a democracy? If the number who voted was exceedingly small, would it be significant? Does it tell you anything about the will of the people? And if in fact you reach some point of meaninglessness when the vote totals are very low, what number would we assign to that?

I'm not opposed to a vote, but if 9% vote one way and 7% vote the other, with 84% staying home, then I'm just as comfortable with elected officials making the decision and saving the cost of a special election. Call me cynical.

George Lippencott 2 years ago

Let we understand this. In 1994 some percentage of the 60K population voted for a sales tax with a fair amount of specificity provided by the then “lawgivers”. Nobody noticed that there was no sundown clause. Now the current “lawgivers” argue that the current 85K population (wonder how many actually were here and voted in 1994) are bound by the 20 year old vote even though there is an undercurrent seeking a new one.

Are our lawgivers convinced the voters actually support this initiative or are they afraid of the opposite and are intent on approving it with a hand wave to public opinion? I thought I lived in a progressive participatory city? (Are we not a blue dot in a red sea?) How can we argue about cuts in social services at the state level when our apparent highest priority is an additional recreation facility?

You would think our local state delegation would voice some concern??

Richard Heckler 2 years ago

It is an assumption that we elect officials to spend any way they want. I have never subscribed to such nonsense.

This is not for the kids. This is for the Chamber of Commerce and the real estate industry. Of course the real estate industry owns the Chamber of Commerce.

The powers that be only see new housing sales which is quite a narrow vision and one that is not sustainable without increased taxes. Every time our water rate increases that is a tax increase. Every time admission to the swimming pool increases that is a tax increase. Every time another mile of infrastructure is laid out that is a tax increase. Every time the cost of anything goes up that is a tax increase. These increases can be forced down our throats to cover the cost of expansion.

Or cover the cost of this field house project. And the $20 million USD497 PLAY ( athletic project) which was and is a tax increase.

clovis_sangrail 2 years ago

And the spawn of the special people out in Fox Chase addition and surroundings.

Scattered 2 years ago

Why are most things in your town for the elite? I cannot believe how much it costs for a child to play soccer or baseball. (yes, I know they have "scholarships") Maybe it's so pricey because you do not have a YMCA?

Now, a recreation center is desired which will be placed in the WESTERN more elite part of town. This really prohibits a lot of lower income people from being able to take advantage of the facility. Not everyone has a car, or can afford extra gasoline to drive across town. It is certainly not safe for a child to ride a bike to the center.

I realize that there are many wonderful, inexpensive or free activities in your lovely village. However, many things there reek of elitism, and I think that the location of this faciilty just plain stinks.

JackMcKee 2 years ago

There are other city rec centers and they are spaced pretty evenly all over Lawrence. That part of town has the aquatic center, but nothing like this.

love2fish_ks 2 years ago

Parks and Rec maintenance is already funded at a level that cannot keep pace with current demands. Development cost is small compared to the long term cost.

Step One should be to take care of what the city currently has and start funding the upkeep.

carrjo 2 years ago

You are the first one to mention the upkeep on this center. We have other centers that are in need of repair or be built on to yet here we are wanting to spend $$$ just because Coach donated money for it to be built. His money will be gone and we will be stuck with the remaining costs.

Richard Heckler 2 years ago

This issue is Do Taxpayers WANT to spend the tax dollar this way?

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