Comment history

City commission to consider $725,000 loan to homeless shelter

The problem with this request has nothing to do with the merits of the Shelter. They continue to provide an important social service to the community. The primary issue is the chain of events that put this organization in a place where it is unable to pay its debt. There is no accountability placed on the staff and the Board to manage its commitments and raise the appropriate amount of funding to accomplish their goals.

The City and County expect this type of accountability with other agencies. They expect groups to make their requests and wait in line. The Shelter has successfully put themselves in front of many other worthy agencies.

Tax dollars that are spent on agencies, services or economic development should all have a process of accountability attached to them. That is why this situation is so frustrating. Citizens know that any future debt service payments will not be made, because the Shelter has had a history of broken promises.

October 8, 2013 at 6:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU enrollment continues to fall while incoming students' ACT goes up

llirrem - I speak from a standpoint of data and personal experience. Recession or not, KU has not had the same success as KState nor Arkansas with undergraduate. You can argue about the comparative quality of schools, but first-hand experience having kids in the age group (confirmed by plenty of other parents) is that the recruiting experience is night and day. KU is disorganized and unresponsive relative to adjacent state schools.

Data - One year does not a trend make. The growth of 6% comes after a loss in freshman enrollment of over 15% over the last 5 years. Freshman enrollment approached 4500 in 2008. Clearly, the development of the renewal scholarship program is a great development.

September 28, 2013 at 9:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU enrollment continues to fall while incoming students' ACT goes up

KU has been and continues to be the worst school in active recruitment in the state. They demonstrate a disorganized and disinterested recruiting effort that reflects poorly on a great institution.

September 28, 2013 at 5:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: The Undeserving

The entire situation with the Affordable Care Act reflects how dysfunctional our federal system has become in recent decades. As in typical fashion, it is a great idea in concept and a poor bill in its execution.

Over time, I am hopeful that the individual mandate has some teeth to it so that we actually get participation by younger and healthier participants. At this point, a $95 fine on your taxes (in 2014) will not induce someone to pay several hundred dollars a month for coverage.

My concern is that we will have adverse selection in the exchanges. The people who need coverage and are the most expensive to cover will elect to participate, and the healthy folks will not since there is no economic incentive to do so. This will balloon the federal budget and not significantly impact the number of uninsured.

Overarching all of this is Medicare. We will have twice as many enrollees in 15 years, and the health care system is ill-prepared for this transition. Currently, participants do not pay in near as much into the system as they take out in benefits.

So, what are we talking about now? Grinding the government to a halt, pointing fingers and fighting over a piece of legislation that in no way is the entire picture as it relates to the future of the economics of health care.

September 24, 2013 at 7:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Shelter support

"The Lawrence Community Shelter is worthy of city support, but there’s a limit to how much financial backing taxpayers should be expected to deliver."

The headline does not reflect the opinion of the leadership of LCS. In their mind, there is no limit to what the City should provide. LCS has historically committed to more than they can fund. They have always had an expectation that the City and the County should provide any and all funding necessary to execute their agenda. The taxpayers are superfluous.

They have had a brilliant strategy of accusing anyone who opposed any request by them of being heartless and uncaring for the poor and homeless.

The other issue at hand that is not discussed are the other worthy not-for-profit agencies in the community that are providing great services and living within their means. Because of the lack of planning and financial management with LCS, there is never a discussion about whether the funding provided to LCS should or could be used for better benefit in the community through other agencies. They seem to always be at the front of the line.

How could $725,000 of capital funding enhance the work of Health Care Access Clinic? This will never be discussed due to the fact that LCS is being rewarded for putting themselves over a barrel and holding the community hostage. It has happened over a period of decades. When is it time for the City to hold them accountable?

September 24, 2013 at 7:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sound Off: Genesis Health Club

In the end LAC ownership was not going to survive. Genesis rates that I saw at renewal were about the same, and at least they now have a computer system. The club needed some stability. My guess is that they will likely consolidate into the LAC building and vacate the Iowa location when the lease expires.

December 27, 2012 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Fair share

Liberal or conservative, the landscape is unpredictable. The lack of clarity regarding tax structure keeps investment on the sidelines. If a deal is to be made, make it long-term to create stability. That will help the economy.

December 24, 2012 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Patrol problem

For traffic control devices, you need to present the issue to the traffic safety commission. They are appointed to review these type of issues. Go the the City of Lawrence website and contact the appropriate city staff.

For speeding, you can contact traffic control with the LPD and they will respond by observing the street. However, compliance is 9/10ths of the law. If people do not observe what is posted, it is hard to force them to be more respectful of the neighborhood.

November 16, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Tasty or hasty?

I agree with the assessment that the 1994 sales tax should be revisited. That was almost 20 years ago with a number of issues that needed to be addressed at the time. The most recent sales tax for transit and infrastructure does have a 10 year sunset provision.

I also believe that the community has support and opposition to the proposed Rec Center. In the end, the commissioners must determine if they really believe that the probability of the net cost to operate the project can be funded by resources already earmarked. My concern is that we will be looking to take away from other services in the future due to an unforseen net cost.

November 13, 2012 at 2:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Tasty or hasty?

All the stakeholders in this project are above board, but they are representing their perspective organizations. The City must do the same. If the long-term financial commitments are not fairly distributed between the parties, then the City Commission must be willing to walk away at least for the time being to get a more balanced arrangement. This project has taken on a life of its own. It needs leadership to make it fair for the taxpayer.

November 13, 2012 at 6:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )