Comment history

Cost estimates for Rock Chalk Park infrastructure come in about $3 million higher than expected; Self's foundation to make $2 million donation

Anybody else feel a little like Snowball from Animal Farm? The facts keep changing, the story gets worse and nobody seems to really care.

This project is a good example of what happens when city government stops looking out for the interests of taxpayers.

June 5, 2013 at 9:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bid for recreation center comes in about $10 million lower than expected; questions grow over other cost estimates

“When we pay more (for the infrastructure), that helps support KU’s mission out there, and that is a community mission,” Schumm said. “They do get a better deal, but that is fine with me.”

I think this quote pretty much sums it up. Not what I want to see from someone who is supposed to be advocating on behalf of the taxpayers.

May 16, 2013 at 4:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bid for recreation center comes in about $10 million lower than expected; questions grow over other cost estimates

This was my concern when the estimated price was made public. I did some research early in the process and found out that similar sized rec centers in the region (Wichita) were being built in the $10M range. I thought the estimate was too high then, and now we see in fact it was. So now the taxpayers are going to own a $10M dollar asset and be on the hook for up to $15M in infrastructure costs on a project that is not going to directly generate any tax revenue.

I'm very curious where we'd be today had there not been a ground swell of opposition to the original no bid plan.

May 16, 2013 at 10:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City issues permits for $11 million in apartment construction, $600K expansion at Hallmark

I agree. Incentives (to the extent they are used) should go to attracting new business, not to subsidize speculative development.

February 22, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City gives preliminary approval to development agreement for $25M recreation center

That's been my main concern with this project and others like it. The city is using cash on hand to pay for questionable projects and infrastructure improvements for retail development then raising taxes/rates (which require public referendum) to pay for more popular projects like road improvement, the library, the proposed water treatment plant, police station, ect..

This method for funding governem projects is completely backwards and needs to be changed.

February 20, 2013 at 1:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City gives preliminary approval to development agreement for $25M recreation center

I was at the meeting as well and gave a brief statement and asked for a city wide vote. It was clear from the beginning of the meeting that the commissioners (besides Amyx) were already in support of the project. When they asked questions of Mr. Corliss were actually just giving him an opportunity to explain an aspect of the project that he previously hadn't.

It was also clear from the presentation that this project is about a "Regional" rec center, not a community rec center. One of the design highlights was that a large portion of the building could be "shut down" during the week when no one was using it.

Essentially we are paying $10 million for a community rec center and an additional $15 million for a tourist attraction. Plus all the additional costs associated with operating a larger facility.

February 20, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Riordan leads Lawrence City Commission candidate field in fundraising, new reports show

And just so the records clear. I'm not taking any campaign contributions. My $0 total does not relect a lack of effort or support.

February 19, 2013 at 11:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

More twists with recreation center project: KU Endowment now requiring city to pay for land; UPDATE Self's Foundation again planning donation to city

I signed the petition and believe this project should be subject to a full public vetting process which includes a referendum.

I find it deeply troubling that even at this late date many in city government do not appear to know exactly what is going on. It's a lot of money to commit to a project when no one seems to understand all the details.


February 15, 2013 at 4:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence attorney likely to file for seat on Lawrence City Commission

Thanks Beard,

I've decided not to take any campaign contributions so I don't have a budget for a website. I do have an email address though, so feel free to contact me with thoughts or questions. MichaelRost2013@gmail.com

January 16, 2013 at 10:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime physician and Lawrence attorney both file for seats on Lawrence City Commission

I absolutely support small business, and I personally patronize many downtown businesses. What I disagree with is the use of tax payer money to subsidize private, for-profit projects. Essentailly what your doing is increasing the tax burden on a business on 23rd Street to help bring more customers to a business in another part of town. I don't think this type of tax policy is fair to the taxpayers. And yes, I understand the TIF is not "money out of our pockets" but there are oppertunity costs associated with granting TIF's and you have to also assume the project would not have been done without the TIF's. I appreciate your perspective and if you'd like to discuss this or any other issue in more detail please send me an email at MichaelRost2013@gmail.com

January 9, 2013 at 9:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )