jmacmurr (James MacMurray)


Comment history

Documents reveal 'appalling' overtime at Kansas state mental hospital

Ohhh the hubris of locating state facilities somewhere it is difficult to source the talent necessary to run them.

Larned, KS...120 miles to Wichita...Population of little over 4,000 with a 20% decline since 1980.

January 18, 2016 at 3:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board prepares for $47.5 million bond sale

Would love to see the school board do these bond offerings as a competitive sale rather than a negotiated deal with a bank. Given the strong Moody's rating (third highest Aa2, Aaa and Aa1 are higher) and that the school district has been in the debt market many times before, they would attract many bidders and probably lower their cost of borrowing.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has a multifactor decision matrix that would steer this transaction to be competitive.

For a additional 1-2 page reading on the topic see

January 10, 2016 at 6:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bioscience Authority not fully severing ties to state, officials now say

Looks like someone got a nice payout to leave? Kind of disgusting to offer silver parachutes to public employees whose primary skill set was doling out taxpayer money.....

"Additionally, subsequent to June 30, 2015, the Authority executed a plan to scale down staffing to the level required to maintain the existing portfolio of investments. Costs of $1,077,926 associated with this plan have been paid in 2016. Similar agreements have been executed with the remaining personnel."

Note 2 on page 20

January 5, 2016 at 10:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City may take over remaining school inspections after flaws revealed; contract with New York Elementary construction company cut short

Shame on the school district administration for cutting corners and shame on the city for turning a blind eye.

September 24, 2015 at 12:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Promoter not sure now on canceling 1,000-foot water slide event in west Lawrence; city gets report on its financial health

I was looking forward to the event but when you simply lob out (at least to the public less than 2 weeks out) a location that will end up having some logistical challenges, you better be willing to deal with them rather than just packing up camp and blaming it on the community.

With George Williams way closed for 48 hours from 6th to just before Harvard you have a little less than 150 housing units to the West of George Williams Way that only have one path out which is the traffic circle at Harvard. If you say event parking it is at Langston Hughes (only 90 stalls), all this traffic will have to pass the pedestrian traffic for the event. Additionally, there is no public land along this stretch of road other than the side walk easement. Where would the concessions be? Where would the port-a-pots be?

Would have been fun, but I'm not looking to have fun at someone else's expense.

July 27, 2015 at 1:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A potential danger zone for Lawrence's public transit system; restaurant expansion at Sixth and Wakarusa

Those aren't my numbers. I have provided the reference source.

July 23, 2015 at 3:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

A potential danger zone for Lawrence's public transit system; restaurant expansion at Sixth and Wakarusa

Assuming I found the right page in the 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the transit system: (page 73)

For fiscal 2014, Charges for services of $305,674 covered 6.5% of Total expenditures of $4,678,792.

July 23, 2015 at 12:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sales tax collections on the rise in early part of 2015; city sharpening pencil to build $50 million sewer plant on budget

looks like the financing was done on Tuesday 7th. Quote below from the offering document

The Series 2015 Bonds are being issued for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, extending or enlarging the System, more specifically described as follows (the “Projects”):
1. Kaw Water Treatment Plant supply improvements
2. Oread Storage and Booster Pump Station rehabilitation and/or replacement
3. Water Tower Maintenance and Booster Pump Station improvements
4. Kaw Water Transmission Main
5. Waterline assessment, relocation, rehabilitation and replacement
6. Kaw Water Treatment Plant structural, mechanical, electrical and process improvements
7. Wakarusa Wastewater Treatment Plant, Influent Pump Station and Force Mains
8. Kaw Wastewater Treatment Plan co-generation and backup power improvements
9. Rapid inflow/infiltration reduction program
10. Sanitary sewer assessment, relocation, rehabilitation, replacement, cured-in-place pipe, manholes and
relief sewers
11. Pump Station and Force Main improvements
12. Nineteenth and Kasold Pump Station
13. Clinton Intake
14. Water Plant capital repairs
15. Taste and Odor/Clinton Process Improvements
The total estimated costs of the Projects are $88,129,300. A portion of the Projects were previously financed with
the City’s General Obligation Temporary Notes, Series 2014-I (the “Series 2014-I Notes”). The Series 2014-I Notes will be
redeemed at their maturity on May 1, 2015 with a portion of the proceeds of the Series 2015 Bonds.

April 9, 2015 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Bus snafu

If school was closed February 6th (which it was) it should have been closed March 3rd. The weather conditions were essentially the same. It seems to me that it would have been very easy, at least for the middle schools and high schools, to swap the scheduled day off today (3/7) for Monday (3/3).

March 7, 2014 at 9:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Frigid temperatures delay school buses, leaving some students in the cold

Which begs the question if schools were closed February 6 why were they not closed March 3. I suspect that something else is really guiding the decision making process rather than student safety.

March 3, 2014 at 8:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )