Renaissance (Matthew Herbert)


Comment history

Finalizing tax break for Eldridge Hotel expansion eliminated from CIty Commission agenda, deferred to later date

A quick point of clarification: when a commission is seated with only 4, it still takes 3 to pass but the city attorney does not serve as a tie breaker. The only issue where the city attorney is authorized to hold a tie breaking vote is the vote to select a new 5th commissioner.

September 29, 2015 at 6:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chairs appear at East Lawrence bus stops; city responds with plan for new amenities

If transit funds are going to be used for the purchase of additional bus benches, it would be neat to see VanGo Arts get involved with the creation of the benches since they are already making incredibly well done and creative benches. If we are going to spend the money anyway, we might as well have it go to a cause/organization that is very helpful within the community.

September 21, 2015 at 11:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

District adding laptops after concerns of unequal access to digital textbooks

While I appreciate the district taking steps to address this inequity, I feel that we face a troubling logical disconnect between our problem and our present "solution". If a kid has no computer at home with which to complete his now digital assignment, it is logical to assume that he also has no internet access at home. Why would a family without a computer pay for internet? If we send a kid to an internet-free home with a laptop, we might as well have sent him home with a giant rock.

September 15, 2015 at 6:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Free State Festival seeking sizable increase in city funding to keep event alive in 2016; city set to approve host of street parties, rides, parades

David- a quick clarification: When an event draws in large numbers of people, it is said to "put heads in beds". These individuals pay a nightly hotel tax which is exactly where TGT funds come from. By paying for the festival using only TGT funds the city is quite literally doing exactly what you ask, David. Unless you've been sleeping in a Lawrence hotel, YOUR money is not being spent here.

September 15, 2015 at 6:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas City man arrested following pursuit and crash in southwest Lawrence

When a spike strip won't work at completely stopping all traffic, you can always rely on a roundabout to do the trick. (:

September 10, 2015 at 6:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Former City Commissioner Terry Riordan to apply for vacant spot on commission; no applications on file yet

Greg - The commission accepts applications from anyone who applies. The only rules that exist require the applicant to be an eligible voter and a resident within city limits.

September 4, 2015 at 10:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City delays action on fire codes for animal facilities

Kristine -
Thank you for your concern about constituent e-mail and specifically your concerns about a lack of a response. The e-mail you are referencing arrived in our mailboxes at 1:43 yesterday afternoon. Yesterday's meeting began at 4:00, with most of us having arrived at city hall by 3:30-3:45 (we had a city-county meeting prior to the commission meeting). Assuming commissioners checked their e-mail right as your note arrived, this would have left commissioners no more than a 2 hour and 17 minute window to read and respond to your note prior to our meeting. Given that all of us also have day jobs, this could have proven quite difficult. I cannot speak to the inbox of any other commissioner, but I can tell you that regarding city commission issues, yesterday I received 43 e-mails between 6:00 a.m when I woke up, and 3:30 pm when I arrived at city hall. Your feedback is absolutely important to me and I value what you and the other 92,000+ residents of our community have to say. I have made it a point to try and respond to every e-mail I have received, but I would simply ask that you give us a reasonable time to read and respond to your e-mail. For greatest effect and likelihood of a response/dialogue, in the future I would recommend you and other community members who wish to offer support or opposition to a specific issue do so prior to the afternoon of the commission meeting.

September 2, 2015 at 10:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Former Congressman Jim Slattery urges passage of Iran nuclear arms deal

Having had the chance to hear Representative Slattery give this speech on Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center in front of a crowd of roughly 40 people, I must say that regardless of your opinion on his stance, the man has done his research and is familiar with the region and their culture. Unfortunately, much of our Congress has not (on BOTH sides) and are simply stating a party-issued message. When you actually study the issue and read over the agreement, you will note that a large amount of rhetoric on BOTH sides is simply inaccurate as the result of misunderstanding the issue(s) at hand. We are steadily becoming a country that governs on emotion and that is a very dangerous thing.

September 1, 2015 at 7:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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 )