Comment history

Candidates say it is time to move on from recreation center issue

As election vote draws near candidates all start to sound alike as they unscrupulously pander for votes…

The move-on approach of a candidate’s advocating sweep-under-the-rug of the recent funneling of taxpayer’s funds to a private individual before the dollar amounts are even known or accurately estimated could be a mistake. Corliss will be writing checks to Fritzel as fast as he can, but checks will be written during term of next city commission.
Transparent accounting, if ever provided by this staff will be during next city commission.

The next city commission will be up to their eyeballs in this issue.

March 7, 2013 at 1:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Candidates say it is time to move on from recreation center issue

For the last 10 years +/- election candidates provide the same old pitch. They’ll wisely manage taxpayer money and they will bring good jobs to Lawrence. Consensus seems to be miserable results.

Did Schumm threaten to cut off city funds to the chamber if they didn’t hire Carter???
Carter’s propensity to publicly attack and berate at city meetings is embarrassing.

(a) The neighborhood organizations.
(b) Opposition to his views.
(c) And at last Tuesday’s meeting the Journal World for reporting the facts about major issues such as the taxpayer funded Fritzel boondoggle.

Is this the person to be representing Lawrence to talk to major employer’s executives about bringing jobs to Lawrence?

Greg Williams has his hands full.

March 7, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City approves development agreement, tax abatement for $25M Rock Chalk Park recreation center

Folks, last night Schumm, Dever, Carter, and Cromwell directed millions of your taxpayers dollars to a private company owned by Thomas Fritzel.
It wasn’t about KU at all. All the agreements between KU Endowment, KU Athletics and Fritzel where already executed months ago, READ THE AGREEMENTS.
Last night was about obligating taxpayers for fees to Fritzel and his architects, no bid infrastructure cost, waving development fees and other costs all on land he controls for fifty years to subsidize building his private leasehold improvements.

March 6, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Strings attached

Thomas Fritzel has committed multiple site plan violations, not just destroying the old Varsity house intentionally. If the wall along the alley is three feet to tall that would make building to tall, added landscaping retaining walls to reduce the over building height when measured from the top instead of from ground level and many other violations. The city should have stopped all work on site until this was completely resolved. Thomas Fritzel has worked overtime to finish the exterior of this apartment project. he learned a lesson at Tuckaway at Frontier apartments, its impossible for the city to make you remove astro turf after its installed. Compromise for Fritzel is a win. At Frontier he was told to stop installing astro turf, he kept going until it was complete, the city let him off.

Thomas Fritzel is hoping to be cleared of his wrong doing by offering to assist in fund raising for the donation of $50,000 which as stated in the editorial would be tax deductible, another win for his family, who will benefit from such tax deductions.

The community should insist the the city make Thomas Fritzel admit he violated the site plan agreement and fine him personally. The fine should be paid directly to the city. As far as fine dollar amount goes, if the building is to tall and violates the height ordnance is the building safe for occupancy. Building height being to tall along the alley, will it allow for proper access in an emergency.

Make him admit to the violations.

November 20, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: Dillons on Sixth Street seeking to add drive-thru pharmacy, $1 million worth of improvements; downtown restaurants scramble to pick up breakfast diners; city to contemplate Varsity House

Site plans are legal contracts between the city and a property owner that describes the manner in which a property has to be developed. Violations of a site plan and its agreement is illegal.

Thomas Fritzel is a habitual violator of site plans and site plan agreements at the Varsity House apartment project and others.
His motto "Its easier to ask for forgiveness then it is to get permission".

November 19, 2012 at 11:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: More recreation center talk in advance of tonight's forum

"Many city officials believe the $25 million project has much more potential now to attract regional and national youth tournaments and sporting events than it did when it was proposed as a much smaller project a year ago."

The only difference in projects is the addition of softball by KU. Softball will be collegiate only not public. This one additional feature will not effect the recreation centers ability to attract more or better tournaments. KU already has softball, so those games already exist. City tennis courts will be rec play only not for tournaments, so those don't change anything. The rec building is the same size, KU track and soccer are the same.

So why do so many city officials believe spending more for the same will yield much more potential of regional and national youth tournaments.

The projects are still the same size, the price is now double.

November 8, 2012 at 9:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: More recreation center talk in advance of tonight's forum

All the info used regarding costs are from articles in the LJW.

Thomas Fritzel is setting this all up to make millions in profit from the City taxpayers.

On the west of SLT project he promoted a month ago, Fritzel was willing to build the recreation center building, 181,000SF for approximately 16 million dollars. Back then (one month ago) Fritzel was offering to lease the recreation center to the City for 24 million dollars for twenty years, 1.2 million a year. The 24 million dollars including his financing (interest) costs of approximately 8 million dollars, that left 16 million to build the building, parking, etc.

Now Fritzel wants 25 million dollars for the same building but paid at completion. Different deal now, but not a better deal for the City, its much, much worse.

The City will now be financing the principal payment to Fritzel of 25 million, with todays interest the City will be on the hook for better then 35 million dollars, (25 million principal - 10 million interest) over time for same building, 181,000SF

SO! why the big difference. KU Endowment is covering for Fritzel's involvement in the project. Insisting that Fritzel be the only builder for the recreation center the City will own and maintain. KU Endowment writes in a letter they are buying and will own the property. Will KU Endowment alway own the property or will they flip it to Fritzel after all approvals from the City are granted and deals made.

This project is really being rushed along, the project information has been limited and tightly held from the public. The public will have only a few minutes to learn about this project and even less to be heard. Schumm is fast with gavel and short tempered when he's questioned. Schumm is not the best suited for this type of public project. Lets slow it down, not make any decisions until after the next election in April, clear minds make better decisions.

Right now there's five body's on the commission sharing one mind, Schumm's.

November 8, 2012 at 3:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Details on proposed city/KU sports complex emerging; deal likely won't involve standard bidding process

Chad... Details?

City's rec center and Rock Caulk Park layout in the JW is different then the building and site on the city's web page that accompanies a convoluted estimate....

It's gonna be very confusing for anyone instructed to manufacture a "MOCK" estimate to cover Schumm, Corliss et al guesses without plans and specifications.

Chad you're only scratching the surface of this mess...
Hopefully your bosses will now instruct you to report all the details... not limited to what you get from a couple of selected sources.

November 2, 2012 at 11:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: City trying to determine what type of fine it can levy on Varsity House project; Deciphera undertaking new strategy, rumors of layoffs

A brokered settlement with Tommy Fritzel??? The same guy Schumm, Corliss et al have been negotiating with for months on a 25-30 million dollar -No Bid- city recreation center??? What's a significant monetary settlement for a project with a 5 million dollar mortgage and potential monthly rents of $65,000 that’s shut down while legal issues are sorted out??? Try an amount commensurate with the projects value and large enough to make Schumm et al look good, say $250,000 - $300,000 dollars. Tommy can simply add a measly 1% to the recreation center cost… the unsuspecting tax payers pay, city commission looks good, historical group gets paid and Tommy is very, very happy… what a wonderful solution.

October 30, 2012 at 10:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Varsity loss

It's time to dig deep. It's a case of bait and switch. The city knows there are many more site plan violation at the Varsity House apartment project. The obvious, was the faulty replica of the original Varsity House, it was blatant and impossible to not mention. So to protect Thomas Fritzel and KU the city put on a show. The show was scripted, and city commissioners were the actors. Publicly spanking Thomas is what Schumm wanted to cover up their friendly relationship. Good cop, bad cop.
Now that they have silenced the vocal few they can let Fritzel finish his dirty work.
It's time to check the rest of the site and building. What's built is not what was permitted.

October 27, 2012 at 8:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )