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robchestnut (Rob Chestnut)

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Comment history

County OKs bonds for Baldwin City broadband despite concerns from competitor

Mr. Montgomery does have a point. It is somewhat ironic given his history of asking for municipal support of projects in the past from the City of Lawrence.

The biggest risk now is that taxpayers will be required to fund the debt service for the bond issue regardless of the success or failure of Dawn Fiber Design, LLC. I am not sure about Mr. Mann's comments about taking financial risk to build the system. My guess is that the LLC has few assets, and it is unclear how much investment is going into this project from stockholders of the LLC given the County is funding the capital outlay.

In the end, the bulk of the financial risk is being taken by a municipal entity, and the possibility of financial return has been given to a for-profit entity that is shielded from competition on the fiber-optic network that is being built out.

October 31, 2013 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City commission candidates give views on water/sewer rates, Police Department needs and other big-ticket issues

oneeye_wilbur - Good question regarding having a long-term capital plan during my first term. Honestly, the focus in 2007 was to get us out of a $3.5 million budget deficit from 2006 without an increase in taxes. We simply did not focus enough energy on the topic, and we did not take on any large projects during the recession. It is something that should been a bigger priority given the projects that did come onto the horizon.

March 24, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City's Public Incentives Review Committee to consider Rock Chalk Park property tax abatement today; member raises questions about city's analysis

Dear 2002:

I agree with your comments regarding parks, snow removal and other services that do not pay for themselves. My analysis is done as a Public Incentive Review Committee member. Our responsibility is to analyze the analysis done by the city staff. In this case, I felt that the benefit-cost analysis did not come to the desired 1.25:1 ratio specified by the policy. That is why I could not support it.

March 5, 2013 at 7:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City's Public Incentives Review Committee to consider Rock Chalk Park property tax abatement today; member raises questions about city's analysis

Dear JrMints:

I am not playing on both teams. The role of the Public Incentive Review Committee is to determine if the benefit-cost analysis done meets the criteria set up by the policy. I noted a number of issues that I felt were important that dropped the benefit of the project below the set criteria. The decision as a PIRC member is purely on the analysis done on the tax abatement, not the broader project.

The project is a good one. In one form or another, we need both the KU Athletic facilities to fulfill their Title IX demands and recreation space for the public. It is up to the City Commission to consider the broader impacts for the community. That was not my charge, and I was making a decision based on the information given to me.

I hope that clarifies my position. If not, please email me at robchestnut@sunflower.com. Thanks for your vote in the primary!

March 5, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission primary: Amyx, Farmer, Riordan, Chestnut, Criqui, Soden qualify for April election

Dear FlintlockRifle: I was compelled to run again after seeing what has happens over the last two years. 1) The mill levy has gone up almost 11% in two years after keeping it flat for the previous 4 years. 2) Bond and interest payments are budgeted now at $14m for the year after keeping it flat at $10m during the 4 years I served. 3) I want to ensure that water and wastewater do not rise too quickly as we move forward on the treatment plant. The City of Lawrence will consider in March raising rates that will add about $500 to your bill over the next 5 years. We need to be sure this money is spent wisely. 4) I am concerned that the commission has removed money from street maintenance over the last 2 years. In my first term we put another $1 million into street maintenance over a 2 year period that has now been completed removed.

Thanks for the question. Please e-mail me with any of your concerns.

February 28, 2013 at 8:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission primary: Amyx, Farmer, Riordan, Chestnut, Criqui, Soden qualify for April election

Dear UneasyRider: I would like to hear your concerns about my first term. Please e-mail me at robchestnut@sunflower.com. It would be great to meet with you and discuss the issues on your mind for the general election.

February 28, 2013 at 8:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chestnut wants to focus on big-picture issues with second term on City Commission

Dear Number_1_Grandma - I only saw this post today, and I do not recall our conversation. I tried to the best of my abilities to answer every e-mail and call during my first term with an informed opinion. If I missed the mark, I apologize. However, you can always call or e-mail me with any concerns that you have about issues.

February 25, 2013 at 2:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chestnut wants to focus on big-picture issues with second term on City Commission

Dear merrill: The Pooled Money Investment Board serves to manage funds that are held by the State of Kansas within several agencies. It does not act on any policy issues related to the budget for the state.

As far as my first term, we did have the unfortunate need to lay off a few people on the staff. We were left with a $3.4 million deficit from 2006 and declining sales and property tax revenues. The choices were difficult, but the commission as a majority decided to move forward with modest reductions in 2007, balance the budget and keep the mill levy steady. This set a course that allowed surpluses with no further reductions in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with no mill levy increase.

February 25, 2013 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chestnut wants to focus on big-picture issues with second term on City Commission

For those interested in any specific issues that are important to you, please e-mail me at robchestnut@sunflower.com or post them on my Facebook page at Rob Chestnut for City Commission. I am very interested in hearing your questions and opinions about the topics that the commission will face in the next term.

February 13, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chestnut wants to focus on big-picture issues with second term on City Commission

Dear repaste - I think the chamber of commerce needs to be accountable for the funds it receives from the City and Douglas County for economic development. Regardless of my interest in the position, it is critcal that we get a cohesive development strategy that all interest can support and make successful.

February 13, 2013 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )