Marilyn_Hull (Marilyn Hull)

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City of Lawrence auditor resigns amid budget discussion, hopes city keeps position

Thank you for your service to the community, Michael. Glad you are landing on your feet.

July 17, 2017 at 6:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two affordable housing projects request city funding; $200,000 in grants still unspoken for

If the idea is for the city to leverage other investments, the two local nonprofits that build affordable homes may need to build capacity to take on more projects per year. That requires, at a minimum, doubling or tripling private fundraising for the non-grant-covered portion of costs. Is there a plan for helping these organizations ramp up their fundraising?

July 14, 2017 at 8:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Too much at once?

I see a lot of advantages to a holistic approach from the start. There are many agencies that work with people experiencing mental illness. Coordination is crucial.

And I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier for people to get treatment for addiction. Substance abuse is devastating to families. It triggers a cascade of other problems--domestic violence, unemployment, trauma in children to name a few--that cause suffering and strain the public purse. We can attack the problem or pay for the consequences.

July 9, 2017 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local group wants voters to reject city sales tax that would generate more than $100 million

I support the concept of increasing affordable housing, and am agreeable to being taxed for services that make a real difference. To gain my support for this tax, the city will need to provide more specifics showing exactly how taxpayer investments are going to increase the percentage of Lawrence residents that are not housing cost burdened.

So many relevant cost drivers are out of local government control--land values, building materials costs, construction labor costs, and the mortgage interest deduction (which privileges property owners over renters), to name a few. Who is to say that $10M is going to make an appreciable difference? Show us the math, please.

July 7, 2017 at 7:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Keep the fund

Long range pedestrian/bicycle plans are already in place. City/county transportation planners have developed bikeway and pedestrian plans within the last five years. The Pedestrian Bicycle Issues Task Force provided detailed five year funding recommendations to the city commission. And there is a city Transportation Commission that stands ready to advise the commission on priorities and projects.

June 30, 2017 at 7:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Streets first

"Advocates for bike and pedestrian improvements argue that the intent of the infrastructure sales tax was to fund stand-alone bicycle and pedestrian projects that would improve the city’s standing as a bicycle-friendly and pedestrian-friendly community."

False as stated.

Advocates for bike and pedestrian improvements argue that the small percentage of the infrastructure sales tax that is budgeted for ped-bike projects should focus on building better bikeways and pedestrian routes in areas of the city that have the most people who walk, bike, and and use wheelchairs for everyday transportation.

Improving the city's standing as a bike-friendly or walk-friendly community will be a secondary result, but is not the primary purpose of the funding. The purpose is simply to make it easier and safer for people to get around without relying on cars.

June 27, 2017 at 3:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City looks to prioritize sidewalk improvements; funding may increase to $1 million in coming years

Studies show 59% of people who ride bikes do not feel safe in unprotected bike lanes. I think we can get the biggest bang for the buck by investing in a shared path system that can be used by cyclists as well as pedestrians and people who are wheelchair mobile.

June 25, 2017 at 8:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City looks to prioritize sidewalk improvements; funding may increase to $1 million in coming years

“I just would hate to see the program go down the tubes to fund other issues,” Soules said.

I know of no one who is suggesting flushing street maintenance down the tubes. As a citizen who drives, walks and bikes, I'd like to see a balanced approach to meeting our evolving transportation needs.

The available ped-bike funding should improve walking, biking and wheelchair access in existing Lawrence neighborhoods that have the highest density of people who walk, bike and are wheelchair mobile. Facilities need to connect people to everyday destinations such as schools, workplaces, shopping, etc.

June 25, 2017 at 9:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Audit finds the city failed to bill businesses for hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments

The auditor's position was ultimately funded last year. So we have one on the job. The city manager's budget calls for eliminating the position this year.

June 3, 2017 at 12:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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