citizen1 (David Reynolds)


Comment history

Letter to the editor: Tax-break skeptics

And this is why the city is constantly asking for more money in taxes from homeowners. Because of the constant denigration of business by some in this community..."Corporate Welfare"!

I wonder how many of you will shy away from & give back to the government what ever reduction in taxes come your way with the current legislation in Washington.

No wonder new businesses don't come to Lawrence, with the negative attitude conveyed.

Even with incentives businesses still pay some taxes, plus they increase employment. Based on recent experience the city is very content on grabbing all the alcohol & food taxes, all the while supporting the lowest wage jobs. And I always thought Lawrence supported "Living wages".

Possibly if the city knew how to manage incentives better they could see & realize their benefit. But then the city would have to want to really increase the economic pie in Lawrence versus relying on employers that do not pay taxes.

For a city that doesn't like to give away incentives, the major employers in Lawrence enjoy the most robust of them all, paying neither real-estate nor sales taxes.

Why are the following companies receiving such lavish incentives so welcome in Lawrence, & considered to be major contributors to society, yet a private or corporate business receiving incentives is castigated as receiving corporate welfare. I believe those in the city that are against incentives need to stop and think about real value to a community beyond the mere "Political Agenda"!

Some of he major employers are: The city of Lawrence & all the utilities, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, University of Kansas, USD 497, All the various charities including the arts, etc.

December 15, 2017 at 4:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Getting help with Farmland

This comment is a little late, but I have to observe that the city should never have assumed the responsibility for cleaning up a severely contaminated site.

The city had no experience with this level of contamination; it had no financial assurances based on bids &/or sales contractural clauses with Farmland to ensure the city tax payers would not end up liable for this fiasco.

Further, to limit the city tax payer liability for clean-up, why didn't the city contract with a private developer to purchase the ground & develop it, then help the developer lease/sell the property for economic development?

December 5, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas senators say Roy Moore should step aside if sexual misconduct allegations are true

The progressives have a selective conscious when it comes to politics & especially the opposition party.

The expression applying to the progressives: "it’s never whether the person is guilty or not, but the “seriousness of the charge” that counts" applies in the case of Roy Moore.

The progressives circle the wagons for their own. Case in point is Senator Menendez. The progressives seem to ignore the fact that the sitting Senator Mendendez is actually on trial for accusations of bribery charges. Yet where are those righteous bloggers above calling for Menendez to resign from the senate?

When Democratic senators & even the DNC were asked if Melendez should resign they all basically said, we don't want to engage in speculation, or wait to see if he is convicted.

But let a Republican be accused, rightly or wrongly, and it's a mad house to see who can ask the Republican to step aside first.

It's even worse that that the Republicans eat their own. The two Kansas senators seem to be self-righteous in asking Moore to step aside. It's easy for them to take the "me too" route in politics. I wonder where they would stand if someone accused them of something.

Politics is a "Blood Sport"! One would hope it would be a patriotic calling to serve and try to improve the country & secure an improvement for today & future generations.

But no!. Politics has turned into a pure power grab & to do "EVERYTHING POSSIBLE" to hold onto power. Including personal destruction, pitting demographics against each other, supporting the breaking of laws to encourage illegal aliens, etc.

I could go on but just highlighting how politicians & their minions are trying to tear the country apart.

I don't know if Roy Moore is guilty or not. But this is "supposed" to be America..."Innocent until proven guilty"! Being as the opposite is happening, we see this is another, not so subtle, way the country is being deminished, by eliminating another pillar by which we judge each other.

November 13, 2017 at 10:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Tuesday’s election sent a righteous message

Another progressive that hasn't gotten over the good old fashioned kicking the progressives took in 2016. They are just looking for something, just anything to be happy about.

But the truth is, what did Tuesday demonstrate? Virginia is a Democrat strong hold, it was in 2016 & it was last Tuesday.

So what was so"righteous" about last Tuesday in Virginia, the author is celebrating?

That a democrat won when he was supposed to? Sounds to me like that is a great big "Whew"...the Democrats didn't lose.

November 11, 2017 at 5:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Housing hopes

I was busy this morning and couldn't finish my post above.

There is a seventh item that impacts "Affordable Housing". It is the cities regulations, plans, etc.

Example, constraints on land use, such as limiting lot sizes, sizes of rooms & thus homes allowed, not allowing true modular homes within the city limits. FYI, true modular homes have nothing to do with mobile homes. True modular homes are built with the same materials as site built homes, are inspected by agencies approved by local officials to the same standards as site built homes. A new type of home that is popular with milliners is the so called "Tiny House". Maybe that could be allowed.

True modulars & tiny homes can have significant cost savings due to construction is in a plant, out of the weather, versus site built homes. Lead times are generally short versus site built homes. A very large percentage of homes built and occupied in the north east part of the US are true modular homes.

There are many factors that control the affordability of a home.

Raising taxes does not help home affordability. To the contrary as it adds an eighth factor increased taxes on materials used in construction. You might say its a small amount, but keep adding up the pennies & dollars and pretty soon you have real dollars & unaffordable homes.

I find it absolutely baffling the city can only think of taxes & demanding dedication of an amount of all new subdivisions having "affordable housing" on them, as the solutions for affordable housing.

Why can't our city commission, staff & the Affordable Housing Task Force be more thorough in their thinking. Possibly asking the folks who actually develop, build homes, finance & sell homes for a living in the community to participate in the solutions. That might yield some creative solutions versus...just another tax increase.

November 5, 2017 at 8:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Housing hopes

Aileen, I also wish for better & more affordable housing. I empathize with the young woman's situation, and I wish her the very best. The story addresses emotions not the facts of the situation needing to be addressed to solve the problem for other people like the young lady.

The problem with the current tax to support "affordable housing" is that it is one dimensional, and does not consider the "Real" issues surrounding affordable housing. Thus, this plan may sound and feel good to those proposing it, but it has no opportunity to make a significant difference in affordable housing in the long term.

First, the city just contracted with a firm to identify how to improve affordable housing in Lawrence. Thus, vote in a tax without knowing the real need? I think not!

Second, this tax, regardless of size, is regressive against the very people it is trying to help.

Third, it is not sustainable. Any tax voted in Tuesday, can be voted out at a future Tuesday.

Fourth, to help the poor & move them into decent affordable housing, they must have decent jobs. Nowhere is the city being aggressive in pursuit of companies, with not only the possibility of decent paying entry jobs, but also for employees to be upwardly mobile within the company. We have far too many people on the commission & in this town crying about "corporate welfare", and not enough people educated regarding the competitive nature of business recruitment.

Fifth, the city has a significant role in cost of housing and development in the city of Lawrence. All the proposals ignore this situation, either out of ignorance, indifference, or willfulness. Last year I had a new house priced and the costs the city imposed beyond the $2,100.00 b building inspection fee, was $7,000.00 for water & sewer system development fees & the Master Street Tree plan requirements. This does not include the exactions for the many studies, & development costs the city requires.

Sixth, the city is now requiring a certain percentage of "affordable houses" in each new development. While sounding good to those proposing this method fail to realize they are negatively impacting others in the housing market. They are imposing “PRICE CONTROLS”!

Buy artificially controlling housing prices in this way, does nothing but raise the price of housing for others wanting to move into the accompanying development. Those foregone costs for land, infrastructure, materials and labor must be recovered. They will be recovered throughout the rest of the development by artificially increasing costs on the remaining houses.

In the 1971 President Richard Nixon instituted “Price Controls”. The result was disastrous.
See below.

So I believe a no vote is required at this time. We have a year to come up with better solutions.

November 5, 2017 at 12:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to consider contract for affordable housing study

Something the city of Lawrence & the Affordable Housing Board may want to consider is the successful creation of "Affordable Housing" thru the "Hand" project, located about 24th & Haskell.

In the late '90's the city of Lawrence teamed up with the Lawrence Homebuilders Association, & some banks for creative financing, to create Affordable Housing. The project was named the Hand Project. I forget all of the exact details, but the city thru their funding source paid for the Land, material & labor provided by the Lawrence Home Builders at very reduced costs. The project was a very big success. At the time those homes sold for about $100,000 each.

In 2000 the first home sold, a 1421 sq ft home, resold for $107,500. In 2016 the same size home in the Hand Project sold for $153, 900. If you track inflation from 2000 thru 2016 the home would be worth $149,830, a $4,070 difference. These homes have been held below "Market Level" increases for 16 years. Now that's the kind of success I believe we are all looking for.

I believe it would be wise for the city to consider working with people experienced in their area of endeavor, to try to accomplish their goals versus operating in a negative way demanding "Affordable Housing EXACTIONS", which only drive up the price of housing for others, thus making the housing market in Lawrence that much "MORE UNAFFORDABLE".

If the City Commission, the city Administration, staff & their Affordable Housing Board, would start working "WITH" its constituents versus "AGAINST" them the city might find they can accomplish a lot, especially for the long term.

October 17, 2017 at 2:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to consider contract for affordable housing study

This is amazing.

Why are we paying for a study of Affordable Housing? Shouldn't we know the answers, considering the city has a tax issue on the ballot to solve Affordable Housing? I thought the city had an Affordable Housing Board to advise us. Are we saying after all these years the board who is advising us still doesn't know how to solve the problem, yet we are to support a requested tax on the ballot?

If we don't know the answers then this says the city is asking for carte blanch to use the tax revenue how ever they want. This may not be in agreement with what the citizens prefer or not, let alone needed.

This city never fails to amaze, in their arrogance for asking for a tax that is not justified interns of a NEEDED EXPLICIT use.

The city also continues to promote the idea that it is only the developers responsibility for housing being unaffordable, and thus it is up to the developers to solve the problem. Thus ignoring the city's responsibility for raising costs thru all the fees, studies, exactions, delays and law suits over the last 2-3 decades, and the increased costs associated with each listed item over time..

I read a story, in the ljworld, the other day that now there will be a requirement to "Justify" every new development. This is just another cost making housing more unaffordable in Lawrence.

The city seems to have a very short memory. When Rundle & Highburger were on the commission they initiated a study to see if housing paid for itself in the first year. The preliminary study came back saying it basically did. Thus they stopped the study from being completed and thus formalized because that would have codified the issue versus the continued negative agenda against growth. Thus taking the issue off the table.

People forget that housing is the gift that keeps on giving, or the goose laying the golden eggs...each new house generates income in the thousands of dollars each year into perpetuity for the city.

Maybe someday the city will realize that the only real answer to affordable housing is good paying jobs.

Maybe that $80,000 would be better spent on an incentive package that will do some real good and have an immediate payback.

Speaking of incentive packages, those saying incentive packages are corporate welfare only exacerbate the problem of businesses not wanting to settle in Lawrence.

In the most simple terms "Incentives to businesses" are no different than say the sale retails store, and auto mobile company have. The sales are a way of attracting customers. Incentives are a way for cities to attract jobs/opportunities for it's citizens. It's very competitive in the real world of attracting businesses to any given city. Until we wake up and start acting like business people Lawrence will always have a shortage of good jobs.

Lawrence is addicted to studies, how about spending the tax payers money responsibly. Thank you.

October 16, 2017 at 10:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Not in workplace

Interesting reading these blogs & reflecting on what is going on in the NFL, or more importantly, what is not going on in the NFL.

What is not going on is a sense of history & forward thinking.

First, I am amazed at the lack of historical knowledge of the NFL players & those that support them, primarily the media & some in this blog.

The NFL went to England to play several games where the players took a knee during the USA national anthem, but stood during the playing of "God save the Queen, the UK national anthem. Evidently our schools & universities fail us again, as the NFL players are totally ignorant of the major roll England had in the slave trade around the world & specifically in the colonies. Doesn't one realize the genesis of much of the race prejudice against black started because of slavery? For over 200 years England engaged in the slave trade including the Caribbean nations & the American colonies.

Secondly, the most effective person, I believe, that helped improve the environment & race relations for blacks was Martin Luther King. The one thing I don't remember him doing was protest in venues where he would deliberately alienate the very people he was trying to win to his cause. He used the streets, the pulpit, meetings with politicians & venues that invited him to hear his message. He used the attacks on his person & others to gain support for his cause.

The lack of forward thinking is contrary to MLK. The NFL & media picked a popular venue where people wanted to escape from politics, only to stick politics right back into their face. Thus, the NFL is suffering the worst support in its history.

According to a Washington Examiner report: “More critically for the NFL, the fall off in favorables occurred among important audiences,” according to the analysis.

“Among males, NFL favorables fell 23 percent, going from 68 percent to 45 percent. In looking at a more specific audience, males 34-54, NFL favorables fell 31 percent, going from 73 percent to 42 percent. Among this group, the NFL has a surprising negative image, as it went from +54 percent in August to -5 percent in September.”

The protest further failed because the player(s) allowed the media to carry the message…big mistake given the lack of trust by the public of the media. Mark Styen, a conservative, don’t be offended, said in an interview: “…in the space of about 20 minutes, we have gone from the Confederate flag is racist to ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is racist. We’ve gone from General Lee is racist to Dr. Seuss is racist.

Moral: If you want to protest & actually achieve change, understand your subject’s history, outside partner’s popularity, venue purpose & audience potential support.

October 8, 2017 at 12:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Deadly equation

Ken with regard to your specifics:

In any of these situations, there is not a one size fits all solution. One must know the circumstances & the environment of the situation before any reasonable solution or action can be taken. That's one of the problems in this situation, the politicization, the rush to judgement & promoting one size fits all solutions based on agendas not looking at things seriously and objectively.

That said:

Counseling should be available for anyone contemplating suicide, not just middle-age men. The problem is in identifying them.

The gun purchasing ban on people with restraining orders due to domestic violence. I am not so sure about that, especially as an "every situation" solution. I would have to see more specifics. Possibly a sub-set of that category. Based on what I understand, not everyone accused of domestic violence is a threat of gun violence.

Regarding gun violence & treating it like an infectious disease...Absolutely Not!!!
Gangs are formed out of the persons environment...single parent families, poverty, squalid living conditions, lack of education, drugs, & due to poverty gang members enticed into selling drugs for easy money...generally a lack of hope. With this lack of hope the gang offers a sense of purpose, an identity/importance, not in a constructive way, but to a person without hope they are easily influenced.

Thus my recommendation for gangs is more community interaction & support. As I have preached here for years there is a need for employable job skills & education and decent jobs within communities. Better education. Our public schools have failed minorities horribly over the decades, and are not environments promoting hope and a way out. Single parent families are promoted by the "Great Society Programs" set up during the '60's. They are means tested programs. My recommendation for this is if the joint income of the married couple exceeds the means tested value, but is still less than the income provided by the welfare program, then the program should just pay the couple the difference between what they earn and what they would otherwise get without the combined income. Drugs are a scourge. This will take a combined effort of citizens & police. We need to reach these families and give them hope so we and they can clean up their living conditions. In short our actions in this case is for the community to provide hope, and a visible way out of their current situation. This situation does not have an easy solution, but with real concerted effort and goal setting I believe we can start to make a difference.

With regard to "collecting good data", I believe we already have it. Books have been written about these problems. The very last thing we need is another study.

What we need to do is acknowledge the issues involved, take the politics out of the equation, and get down to work with real solutions.

October 5, 2017 at 5:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )