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Rich Minder: ̶P̶l̶a̶n̶n̶e̶r̶ Dictator In Chief


A recent Lawrence Journal World story, Out to lunch no more? Board considers closing campuses, reported that the school district is considering locking down the city's two high schools during lunch.

One would suspect that the Board of Education, led by Rich Minder, had the safety of the students in mind. Although improved safety and nutrition are listed as reasons for considering this change, Minder crossed the line of district guidance to that of district dictating. “I think we’ll get it done,” said Minder, who figures students should be saving money while enjoying cafeteria food. “We’ll be successful.”

Minder, Lawrence School Board President, in an August 29th Channel 6 News interview stated, "There is no reason why we have to allow students to be going off campus, to spend money that most of 'em probably shouldn't be spending off-campus anyways. So, I'm all for closing down the lunches."

Shouldn't be spending off-campus anyways?

In essence, there is probably no downside to closing the high school campuses during the lunch hour. However, there is a huge downside to accepting the reasoning of Rich Minder to do so.

Just who is Rich Minder to tell the youth of Lawrence where and when they can spend their money? Who is Rich Minder to usurp control of teenagers' hard-earned or hard-begged-for money?

School Board President Rich Minder is the same Rich Minder that believes parents should not choose where to spend their money. Minder, due to his own inability to negotiate shopping, would prefer to have the community pay taxes that, in turn, would be used to purchase school supplies. Minder, frustrated with his daughter's school supply list recommended that the school district and community move towards a Soviet Style Central Planning system to procure all school supplies.

Minder is one of the original six investors in Delaware Street Commons, a Co-Housing Community. He believes in planned communities; as long as they conform to his plan - his dream.

Rich Minder is an Urban Planning dream catcher, snaring the dreams of rural home owners that do not meet his expectations. He holds in contempt those living merely on the outskirts of the city, near Langston Hughes Elementary School, for example. In a 2003 email to the school board, board member-elect Rich Minder wrote, "We would not choose to live an environmentally, economically and culturally unsustainable lifestyle such as those typically found in the environs of such places as the ironically named Langston Hughes elementary." In that email, Minder seemed to think it inappropriate that a rich white neighborhood would have an "ironically named" Langston Hughes Elementary School. When asked about the Langston Hughes comment, Minder replied, "It was an unwise comment."

Rich Minder, the Urban Planner, also believes that it is incumbent upon those in the rural community to support the type of community of which he dreams, and to eventually succumb to it. An email written by board member Minder in March 2010 and forwarded to this writer, reveals his expectation requiring "a major shift in lifestyle away from the automobile and will be linked to the afforementioned [sic] urban advantages, resulting in higher density, walkable built environment." He goes on to say, "that those who have chosen a rural non-farm lifestyle that requires a great deal of transporation [sic] expense would recognize the special responsibility they have to supporting collective efforts at building more sustainable patterns of settlement." In other words: Welcome to the commune, comrade!

Rich Minder is the Urban Planner that believes employers should arrange housing for employees. Coincidental to having six homes left to sell at Delaware Commons, Minder has now suggested a Teacher's Commune - or as he calls it, and as reported in the story, Special housing for city’s teachers suggested, a "teacherage." Potentially providing housing incentives to new teachers is not a new idea to Minder. He originally proposed the idea of a teacher housing subsidy shortly after being elected to the school board in 2003. This was after it was reported in the Lawrence Journal world that Delaware Commons Cohousing members sell land, downsize project. Minder's 'teacherage" idea ironically coincides with Reporter Mark Fagan's report, Taxes owed at Delaware Commons.

Just who is Rich Minder to tell the youth of Lawrence where and when they can spend their money?

Rich Minder is a member of the school board whose term soon expires and is up for reelection April, 2011.

After watching Rich Minder flounder as School Board President, one can find themselves missing Scott Morgan

After watching Rich Minder flounder as School Board President, one can find themselves missing Scott Morgan by Benjamin Roberts

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Paul Decelles 7 years, 7 months ago

Seems to me that Rick has lots of interesting ideas but has a real tin ear in terms of politics. For instance the school supply thing seems to be more in the line of merchants and the schools working together more closely in terms of making sure that people can buy the right supplies without having to buy extra stuff. But the central planning comment certainly isn't going to convince people that this sort of cooperation is a good idea.

Back in the 60's there was a push for urban renewal tearing down huge swaths of "blighted" urban areas and building new developments-urban malls and shopping areas and lots of these failed because they were excessively planned and not attractive to real people. Maybe Rick needs to look and see what lessons can be learned from these urban renewal experiences.

somedude20 7 years, 7 months ago

If I ever went to work looking like how Mr. Minder does at the top of this page I would be sent home and asked not to return until I combed my hair and ironed my shirt (and I would be rather embarrassed that another grown adult had to say something).

Amy Heeter 7 years, 7 months ago

Not to fuel the fire, but did you see this? http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/sep...

As far as off campus lunch goes; I have mixed feelings about that. Alot of kids leave at lunch to get stoned and I don't feel they should be doing that. I also do not feel they should be required to pay the price of school lunches either. If Mr. Minder feels kids should eat school lunches then the district should provide this free to all students. At the very least they could cut a couple staff members that are processing the applications. The way the school district taxes this community they should stop charging enrollment and text book fees as well.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 7 months ago

If the school board wants them to eat school lunches, maybe they should provide them with decent food.

SpeedRacer 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree! The changes in the food should be saving the District a lot of money as more kids are taking their lunch because they can't eat that cr*p.

jonas_opines 7 years, 7 months ago

Vizzini: He's a dictator! Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think you it means.

LadyJ 7 years, 7 months ago

I often wonder what happened to the pond that was on the property where Deleware Commons is built. I have many fond memories of that pond, including building and sailing a raft. I went to see if it was still there some years back, it was, a bit overgrown but there. There was a brick wall around at least some of it. Does anyone know if it was incorporated into the developement or just filled in?

cato_the_elder 7 years, 7 months ago

Jonas: My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

BigPrune 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh my God! Oh my God! Double rainbow all the way.............It looks like a triple rainbow!

Victoria 7 years, 7 months ago

His term expires in April, 2011. Your vote counts!!

Patrick Wilbur 7 years, 7 months ago

The open lunch thing is tired and worn out. They were discussing this when I was a student at LHS almost three decades ago. I would think the board would have more pressing issues, but apparently not.

Agree with many others on the school hours "problem." I wonder if Dr. Eberhart-Phillips has any employees and if he would be ok with them requesting alternate hours.

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