clawhorn (Chad Lawhorn)

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Comment history

Douglas County Commission to forward report on future jail population to architects

Hi Ryan:
I don’t think your assumption is accurate. We’ve checked with the reporter, Elvyn Jones, and he stands by the report. The idea of violent offenders spending less time in jail awaiting trail is consistent with what I have heard Justice Matters advocate for, and it is consistent with the position I’ve heard the County Commission take. The idea is that if you can reduce the amount of time an offender spends sitting in the Douglas County jail waiting for his/her trail to begin — say that time drops from 100 days to 50 days — you have reduced the capacity pressures on the jail. It in no way is saying that violent offenders should be on the streets rather than in jails. In the case of violent offenders who are convicted, they most often do not serve their sentences in the Douglas County jail, but rather in a state-operated prison. The County Commission tentatively has agreed to add another pro-tem judge to the local court system to help reduce the time it takes to move someone through the court system, and thus out of the Douglas County Jail and into another facility, if convicted. I hope that helps. Thanks, Chad Lawhorn, Editor.

July 27, 2017 at 10:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence City Commission to consider asking voters to renew city sales tax

Hi David:
We did write about this particular issue. I addressed it in a Town Talk column in May 2015. It provided an explanation from the city about the difference between the $75 million number — which was used when the project was seeking tax incentives — and the approximately $45 million number when the project got its building permit. The $45 million represents just building materials and labor. The $75 million also included land costs, demo cost, and quite a few soft costs. Despite the explanation, I still noted it was odd, but the issue didn’t seem to cause much concern with others. The current question is why the project has a tax value of about $29 million when the building permit was close to $45 million. Tax values and building permit numbers don’t always match, but they usually are a lot closer than that. I’ve had discussions with a county official about it. One explanation is the project still really isn’t finished from a tax valuation standpoint (and definitely wasn’t on Jan. 1 when the tax value was set.) If you remember, the city has placed occupancy restrictions on the building until it gets some parking issues and other issues resolved. The lack of the robotic garage also will likely reduce the value of the project some, as the building now has to rely on leased, off-site parking to a large degree. Still, it is an interesting question. Unfortunately, I think we’ll probably have to wait until the 2018 values to get a better picture of it. Here’s the link to the May 2015 article: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_...

July 11, 2017 at 1:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence residents on track to be hit with largest property tax increase in recent memory

The simple answer is likely between 15 percent and 22 percent, depending on your income. Here's the article we did on the subject. Look to the side of the article, and there is a graphic that you can click on that gives you more details. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/apr...
Thanks.

June 27, 2017 at 6:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence residents on track to be hit with largest property tax increase in recent memory

Hi: I'm not sure I'm following you on the comment about the school district. In the 2013 bond issue school leaders promised that would be a no-tax increase bond issue, and it was. But for the 2017 bond issue they told voters to anticipate a 2.4 mill increase to pay for the additional debt added by the bond. They didn't make any promises this time that they were going to reduce other parts of their budget by a commensurate 2.4 mills. Thanks.

June 27, 2017 at 6:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence violent crime rate up in 2016; role of marijuana sales questioned in increase

Just to be clear, the article notes that rather prominently: "A more detailed reading of the numbers, however, raises the question of whether violent crime was unnaturally high in Lawrence in 2016 or unnaturally low for the previous two years. For example, the 335 violent crimes in 2016 were still lower than the 370 in 2012 and comparable to the 329 incidents in 2013." Thanks.

June 19, 2017 at 12:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

As City Commission candidates get ready to talk about adding jobs, here's a look at how Lawrence is actually doing

Ken:
Those are interesting numbers, and I've seen some versions of them previously, however, I had not looked at them recently. What can feasibly be done to make Lawrence a regional economic hub is an important question. Our geography plays against us in some regards. But there is a real benefit to being a hub. Look at Columbia, Mo. It is much more of a regional hub, and as a result, its metro area (which is larger geographically than Lawrence's) has 101,000 jobs. Lawrence's has about 56,000. Thanks, Chad

June 5, 2017 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime Lawrence resident files for City Commission election, wants to see millennials active in politics

Hi: Our understanding is he has lived in town for about 30 years.
Thanks,
Chad

May 25, 2017 at 5:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Store that will sell popular items from Amazon coming to Lawrence

That's the spot. Merchandise is in the store and visible from outside, but it is not open yet.

May 19, 2017 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Salary shouldn’t be a secret

Richard: Good question about how the city handles such matters. The City Commission is responsible for approving fewer employment contracts than the school board, but they do approve some. The City Manager is a good example of one approved by the City Commission. When Tom Markus was hired as the City Manager, the city commission announced him as its selection on a Thursday, said his hiring was contingent upon the approval of an employment contract, released that employment contract that included all details of his proposed salary and benefits, and then voted on that employment contract on the following Tuesday. It was a good, clean process, in my opinion. Thanks, Chad
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jan...

May 18, 2017 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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