Letter to the editor: Problematic mayor

To the editor:

The decision of the Lawrence City Commission to spend $117,833 for a “comprehensive study” of the Lawrence Police Department was wise. This study and the potential strategic master plan that Citygate Associates will develop using data accumulated during the course of its study will hopefully give all Lawrence residents confidence that the City Commission will be basing its decisions about future policing in Lawrence on an objective analysis of reality.

Unfortunately, there is reason to be concerned about the objectivity of City Commission decisions regarding policing because Mayor Jennifer Ananda has consistently displayed antipathy toward statutes, ordinances and law enforcement. Her deeply held personal bias against establishing legal limits on personal behavior was clearly displayed by her vote against approving a city ordinance that would grant Lawrence police officers the legal authority to ticket violators of official public health orders. This same bias was shown in her opposition to reducing the speed limit on residential streets to 25 mph. Ananda doesn’t want concerns about public health or personal safety or anything else to stand in the way of her fervent desire to reduce police department funding and the number of police officers in Lawrence.

In its editorial of Sept. 20 the Journal-World thanked Commissioners Stuart Boley, Courtney Shipley and Lisa Larsen for steadfastly supporting, against Ananda’s opposition and Brad Finkeldei’s hesitancy, passage of the ordinance that now greatly strengthens our community’s fight against COVID-19. May they show this same commitment to prudent judgment when they consider the results of the Citygate Associates study.

Gary J. Bjorge,



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