robchestnut (Rob Chestnut)

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Public incentives approved for apartment project at Eighth and New Hampshire

Increased density means fewer lane miles of roads to pave, fewer water lines to maintain and overall makes for less investment in infrastructure. Being more spread out increases costs for police, fire and public works departments. My point is that the commission decided a number of years ago to promote increased density with its development code for these reasons.

December 2, 2015 at 2:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Public incentives approved for apartment project at Eighth and New Hampshire

A few items to consider:

Downtown residents create demand for services in the area. This continues to be a trend that will preserve an active and vibrant downtown.

Density helps leverage infrastructure investment. Lawrence was 5,000 citizens per sq mile within the city limits 50 years ago. It is now less than 3,000. This trend needs to reverse.

All that being said, the downtown guidelines exempting properties within the district from holding to parking guidelines will reach its limit as we create more density. It is time for the planning commission to take this up to provide guidance for future projects.

December 2, 2015 at 7:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to interview 8 city manager applicants

The City Manager job is one of the most challenging positions anyone will ever undertake. We take for granted the services delivered daily. Clean water, wastewater treatment, street maintenance, park and recreation management and a whole host of benefits that enhance life in the Lawrence every day. I am happy to see that so many qualified candidates are willing to take the challenge.

October 14, 2015 at 2:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Larsen, Morgan advance to fill vacant Lawrence City Commission seat

Bob, I agree that business experience should not be an obsession. However, it can be helpful in understanding complexities in a large organization such as the City of Lawrence. Your point is well taken on purposes. Clearly, it is important to understand the difference charters between the public and private sector.

October 2, 2015 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Another national chicken chain files plans for south Iowa Street; shopping center near 25th and Iowa to undergo major renovations

I would love an Olive Garden. For the record, there was a proposal for Olive Garden that was denied several years ago.

September 3, 2015 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Budget choices

An attempt to compare the budget situation with the State of Kansas and City of Lawrence is unfounded. The "tax increase" referred to by Mr. Lippencott during this budget session in Topeka was an attempt to fill a $400 million hole created by the tax bill passed several years ago exempting self-employed income and lowering tax rates overall. The analysis of this benefit showed that those with Kansas Adjusted Gross Income over $100k received more than 80% of the benefit of these reductions. No tangible economic growth resulted from these actions, and the administration did not have a plan on how to reduce expenditures in anticipate of lower revenues. So, the legislature chose to fill the hole with regressive taxes and further depletion of state fund balances.

The City of Lawrence did approve a budget that will produce a deficit if projections are correct for the next budget year. I agree that this trend can't continue indefinitely, and it has moderate risk of creating issues down the road if we see sales tax proceeds level off and assessed valuation in Douglas County remains stagnant. However, the fund balance is much more robust as a percentage of total spending in Lawrence than it is with the State of Kansas.

August 17, 2015 at 8:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU Endowment nearing $60.5 million goal for business school, KU's most expensive privately funded building

Private funding is common for large capital projects at major universities. This building is way overdue with the tech demands of a modern B school. Congrats to the Dean and everyone that contributed to this endeavor. I attended from 79 to 83. Summerfield was old at that time.

July 11, 2015 at 4:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU chancellor's husband worked closely with people implicated in UNC's massive academic fraud case

The UNC story has new relevance now since the NCAA released their report on Thursday. This investigation is not close to being over, and I know that UNC alums are very unhappy with their administration and staff as they should be for these paper classes continuing 18 years.

Remember, the Wainstein report was paid for by UNC. So, it is not independent. We have experienced this phenomenon locally with a recent audit of Rock Chalk Park expenditures. The audit will provide only that information that the scope is defined to achieve.

My concern is not with what our Chancellor knew about regarding these events, but I ask why she was unaware of it given her direct accountability for the program during part of her tenure at UNC. If the NCAA finds a lack of institutional control at UNC, she shares some of the responsibility for this shortfall in leadership.

June 7, 2015 at 8:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas House passes budget requiring higher taxes to balance

Across-the-board cuts simply do not address the issue. Essentially, the House is saying they are unable to figure out how to manage the needs of the state with lower revenues. So, you pass the decisions down to non-elected administrators that have no priorities provided to them by the very people who are elected to make those decisions. This will lead to a lot of bad decisions on resource allocation.

It is disappointing to see a legislature unwilling to face the fact that the tax bill is a failure. Not only will it result in bad spending choices, but it continues to create a more regressive system for Kansans.

June 4, 2015 at 7:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Appeals board questions Douglas County codes enforcement policy

The core issue this story highlights is not specifically about Kris Kobach or building codes. It is about the lack of process that has surrounded these proceeding. Governing bodies should not have "unwritten rules" as a method of enforcement of any codes. This practice delegates policy decisions to non-elected officials that should be considered by those elected by their constituents. If the county wants a better process for the public related to building codes, they need to have public discussion that leads to a better policy that they vote on and put into place.

If the quote by Mr. Sherman is accurate regarding our County Adminstrator's belief that "it is totally his discretion in how he interprets what the law is" we have a fundamental problem with our County government. The statement lends itself to conclude that our County Commissioners are delegating significant policy decision-making authority that should be held exclusively by the elected body.

May 31, 2015 at 10:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )