Renaissance (Matthew Herbert)

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City Commission outlines 'transparent, open' process for picking new commissioner by early October

Hi David,
Earlier this week I submitted my list of three individuals I was appointing to the commissioner selection committee. In the spirit of transparency, I am happy to give each a brief write-up to explain their individual backgrounds/qualifications.
Michelle Fales is a business development officer/vice president of Silver Lake Bank. Her area of focus within the bank is business development within Douglas County. In addition to her work with Silver Lake Bank, Michelle serves her community as treasurer for the Free State High School Booster Club and member of the USD497 Finance Advisory Council. Michelle's strength on this committee comes from her wealth of experience in Lawrence politics having served as a campaign manager for both Hugh Carter and Judy Bellome in their city commission races as well as serving as treasurer for Mark Bradford's school board run.
Mark Preut is an assistant principal at Lawrence High School and a KU graduate holding a degree in political science. Though he has lived in Lawrence 17 years, Mark's strength on this committee comes from the outside perspective he brings in with his experience with city government outside of Lawrence having served as President of the Nortonville city council (the equivalent of our vice-mayor as their mayor is elected separately) from 1999-2003.
Dustin Rimmey is the director of debate and forensics and chair of the international studies program at Topeka High School as well as serving as a member of the district's race and equity team. Dustin holds degrees from Emporia State and Kansas State including a master's degree in political science and government. In addition to being a National Forensics League Diamond Coach, Dustin has earned a James Madison Foundation Fellowship. Dustin's strength on this committee comes from his ability to critically analyze candidates in a forum style debate. Having served on the National Forensics League National Judging Committee for the last two years, I feel confident in saying that no member of this committee will be able to critically analyze candidates to the depth of Mr.Rimmey.
I am proud to have the opportunity to promote three strong candidates who deeply value public education.

August 22, 2015 at 6:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lions’ Bledsoe has handle on hype

I wanted to post about what a 'good kid' Amani is. But, when he's half a foot taller than you and has you by a SOLID 100 lbs of muscle., you don't call him a "kid". So, instead, I'll simply note what a fine young MAN he is.

August 10, 2015 at 4:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City board recommends approval of tax incentive for downtown apartment project

Clara- the issue hasn't even come before the city commission yet. It came before a public incentives review committee. Can we at least have the opportunity to speak on the issue before we are accused of lying to the public or being weak? @ David- as to where we stand today, my position remains unchanged. It will take a compelling argument to get me to support the incentives, and $1000/room rent being sold as "affordable" is not it.

August 5, 2015 at 9:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

More details emerge on pending west Lawrence retirement community; city set to tackle bus hub question; major changes to 21st Street possible

David, the two examples you provide (Vegas and NYC) have populations of 600,000 and 8.5 million respectively. I'm not sure those will be our comparison models in determining the efficient needs of Lawrence. Keep in mind that since KU operates their own bus system, the population our public transit is pulling from is about 70,000 people.

July 19, 2015 at 7:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

More details emerge on pending west Lawrence retirement community; city set to tackle bus hub question; major changes to 21st Street possible

I would encourage any community members wishing to speak and be heard on the topic of the T or T hub to come join in the open forum I have established. I want to hear your thoughts. Today's topic is the T hub. http://www.facebook.com/groups/herber...

July 18, 2015 at 7:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dole Institute's youth leaders learn about politics, civic engagement

One of the best, most unique aspects of this program is the fact that unlike other summer sports/debate camps high school kids can attend, students at the Youth Civic Leadership Institute pay absolutely nothing. If you can get yourself to KU and home from KU everything else is 100% covered. Happy 10th anniversary, YCLI.

July 17, 2015 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Streets, infrastructure polling higher than police headquarters in new city survey results

Just as an FYI: The 2016 proposed budget includes $8.7 million in residential street maintenance and major street projects from the General Fund, infrastructure sales tax, gas tax revenues and general obligation bonds. This amount reflects the city-share only of these projects and does not include the East Ninth project costs or the funding for design of Wakarusa drive improvements. This amount is approximately $1.4 million over 2015 budget.

July 7, 2015 at 9:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence sees 1.86 inches of rain on Friday

2.25" out by Rock Chalk Park.

July 5, 2015 at 8:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Trio of Lawrence commissioners say they want to get tougher on economic incentives

At the end of the article, where it notes that Commissioners wish to spend $75,000 studying the issue of affordable housing, I would like the record to show that I DID NOT support that expenditure and in fact spoke out against it in the study session. We have $110,000 in an account SPECIFICALLY for affordable housing. I believe that money ought to be put towards affordable housing expenses, NOT to hire an outside company to come in and tell us about a problem we already know exists.

June 9, 2015 at 9:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Important input

4) "It’s an important decision that deserved a more thoughtful process than it apparently will receive."

Under the proposal that was withdrawn by Commission Boley (not voted down/rejected as the article states, incorrectly) our ad hoc group was to be asked for a recommendation by November. If we had any hope of proceeding with facilities within the 2016 budget, a recommendation was to be required by July, from a group that as of June 1st didn't even officially exist. When we met with three of the individuals who were suggested for the group they themselves agreed the timeframe was probably unrealistic given that the ad hoc committee would have to arrange meeting times around individual work schedules and was unlikely to meet more than 3-4 times per month. Even if we moved budgeting to the 2017 budget and gave the group until November as presented, the ad hoc group was unlikely to meet more than a dozen times before a recommendation was to be presented. As to the implication that this is rushed, recall that discussion for expansion of the police facility began in 1993. An ad hoc group would have added 90 days to a process that has been in the works for 22 years.

June 5, 2015 at 4:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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