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grexroad (Gary Rexroad)

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Your Turn: Planning must respect community vision

I agree with Ms. Davis assertion that a community vision should guide development. I also agree that development in West Lawrence is needed and likely inevitable. There are a couple of points we should discuss…

• Our comprehensive plan sets this area for consumer business. Members of the planning commission, who were present at the time H2020 was drawn, have stated this was their intent and believe it a good location for a retail center

• More important, The Southpoint developers have been working hand in hand with today’s city planners and have received their approval

So far, we have not been able to convince developers that West Lawrence is right for them. We need to think seriously about building incentives into that area making it a logical and attractive direction for development. Saying yes to the Southpoint project will not limit or restrict development in West Lawrence. When Mercado becomes a viable option, people will build.

Our downtown is alive and important and a big part of what makes Lawrence special. I believe the two best things we can do for our downtown is to drive density by design into that area (more people and businesses) and to do what we can to keep people here to spend their retail dollars. We lack the options today’s consumers want which is why so many go to Topeka, KC and the Legends. If those options are made available, people will have a choice to stay home which benefits every business.

Let’s also remember how badly our city needs sales tax revenue. Our infrastructure needs (Library, Police HQ etc.. ) have outpaced our revenues Two separate studies have shown the Southpoint development will increase sales tax revenue for Lawrence and DGCO. We have an opportunity to draw shoppers from other cities to Lawrence to experience our wonderful community and deposit their sales tax revenue while they are here.

The Southpoint project is a good fit for the intersection of two highways, is consistent with our comprehensive plan, has the support of our cities planning staff, would make a great gateway to our city and would bring badly needed sales tax revenue to our community while keeping shoppers at home and drawing others from surrounding communities.

July 28, 2014 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Planning Commission recommends denial of major shopping center along SLT

A disappointing miss for our community… We need development in west Lawrence but we cannot force a developer to invest in an area just because you want it there. It has to make sense for them too. Let’s hope our City Commissioners can pull together a 4-1 approval to get this great project producing sales tax $$ our city desperately needs

July 22, 2014 at 8:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Broadband strategy

I agree on the critical need for high speed internet in order to stay competitive. Lawrence must act and soon. This is no longer a future nice to have. It is a right now differentiator.

How we go about getting there will be of critical long term importance. We need to build on our new success and be careful not to slide back into the old behaviors which locked Lawrence for so long.

The debate over public incentive to encourage private investment in development has raged in this town for some time. The math though is clear that in the right situations, deferral of a property tax as a part of the full economic model, will return expanded economic benefit many times over. One has to look beyond the simple issue of property tax to see it and few are willing to do that work. Another source of confirmation is the knowledge this this method of incenting development is a standard across the country.

We should also be very careful when considering a move for the government to take over this private industry. If the government steps in to take away this booming market, it will drive innovators and investors away from our community. The very people we hoped to attract.

These are tough decisions and require carefully thought out and experienced positions.

June 2, 2014 at 8:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Commissioner floats idea of City Commission meetings including comments from Twitter users

I don't use twitter often, my age I guess, but I do know it is a very popular communication platform and used broadly by a large and often younger demographic. Chad listed a number of very good questions which should be thought through before jumping in but I applaud Mr. Farmer for keeping his promises to engage with all of our community and draw their opinions into the conversation.

October 24, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Vision needed

"Local leaders should be looking at Lawrence’s strengths and how to build on them. Instead of just drawing zoning districts on a map, the city should first think about the broad future of Lawrence" well said and so very important.

October 16, 2013 at 8:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Journal-World websites to require commenters to identify themselves

Thank you Lawrence Journal World and The World Company. This is an important development for Lawrence and I believe represents courageous leadership on the part of the World Company.

Asking for attribution does not prevent anyone from sharing an opinion or disagreeing with another's point of view. I believe you will find more people willing to be engaged in this community dialogue when they find a civil conversation taking place. More from our community will be engaged helping us all to make decisions inclusive of all opinions.

I also believe this change will help others from outside Lawrence see us as the community we are. Open to all ideas, respectful of others and a remarkable place to call home.

Gary Rexroad
785.226.2908

October 9, 2013 at 9:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Details, details

I respectfully disagree with the Editor. This project has had far more intense inspection than any in recent memory with hundreds of critical column inches from this paper alone.

I believe our commissioners are representing us well, have been transparent and are acting in good faith. They are people of integrity and are owed our mutual respect and thanks for their service.

The editor points out some potential problems yet to be worked out.

"What happens, for instance, when city events or just routine use of the recreation center conflicts with a major event at the KU facilities? How will parking be apportioned? Will people attending a KU event take up all the free spaces that should be available for patrons of the city’s center? How will parking be allocated if the city center is hosting a major event?"

Aren't those exactly the kind of problems that accompany success? I am excited for that day to come...

This project has been delayed long enough. Commissioners, please approve this project.

March 5, 2013 at 8:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chamber still considering major, private capital campaign; eco devo leaders hoping to get an assist from Phil Mickelson

It might be time to take another look at the Chamber of Commerce. All things change over time and from what I have seen of the Chamber, the work they do is good and for the benefit of Lawrence, not themselves.

•This Chamber has a fierce and loud pride for our city and is out across our country telling our story
•This Chamber is more active than ever in the search for great job opportunities we will all benefit from
•This Chamber is independent of the state group and has policy based on the needs of our city.
•This Chamber brings candidates from all parties to our city to hear about our issues. Not Republican or Democrat. Not Liberal or Conservative but for all of us.
•This Chamber runs programs like Leadership Lawrence with members from all over our community helping us come together to solve our city’s issues.

This is great work and I think deserves recognition as being good for our city. Good for those who need jobs. Good for our future. Maybe it is time to our past behind us and find a way to work together? Maybe it is time to give this Chamber of Commerce another look.

February 21, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Commissioners give rec center update

The Rock Chalk Sports Park will be a benefit and asset to Lawrence for decades to come. We can no longer afford to be held hostage by paranoia or a lack of vision. Anyone really watching the details of this VERY complex deal can easily see all of the Commissioners, KU and the Developers have acted with integrity and transparency. Build it!!!

December 26, 2012 at 2:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commissioner Hugh Carter takes job with Lawrence Chamber of Commerce; announces he won't seek re-election in April

Sincere congratulations to Hugh Carter and to Greg Williams. To Mr. Carter for a well-deserved opportunity and to Mr. Williams for making a great hire.

I hate losing Mr. Carter from the City Commission because he is always such a well-reasoned and thoughtful contributor to Lawrence. I know however that your skills and passion for this great community will not go wasted at the Chamber. The direction Mr. Williams has set and the energy on the board created by very strong leadership paints a great future for our community. This is an exciting time be in Lawrence!!!

December 14, 2012 at 3:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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