Light Rain and Windy, 52.0°
Log in ·
The city commission and administration have had a number of conversations over its billing procedures, misspent allocations and poor decisions regarding financial speculation. I *know* that Diane Stoddard and Tom Markus have done an outstanding job of initiating better audits, and I most certainly agree with Ms. Bowen that knowledge of these issues is certainly better than secrecy, which appears to be the modis operandi of our state government.
After reading the KC Star exposé on how dark Kansas government has become, Lawrence's city administration is transparent *in comparison*...
Posted 16 November 2017, 8:34 a.m.
Now will the board please consider doing what East Lansing, MI did in establishing district protection overlays of modest housing neighborhoods? Why won't this city board open other opportunities than *just* new construction?
Say another large manufacturing plant comes to town, bringing 1,600 jobs off-the-bat to Lawrence. While apartment owners would salivate, the fact is *most* of those workers bring families, almost all of whom would *appreciate* the opportunity to live in a single-family house, with a sidewalk and front yard!
If this committee will not consider any type of affordable *used* housing stock, then by-god, set aside dedicated land for new trailer's only parks.
Since when did *any* needy family EVER turn down an older, used modest house in older, established neighborhoods anywhere on this planet??!??
Cities all over this country are trying new (and old) kinds of plans to make affordable housing work, and many more than not are realizing it doesn't work with new-construction-only-so-we-won't-be-held-liable mentality!
Explain how a modest ranch house goes from $67 grand less than 20 years ago is worth almost $200,000 today???? unprotected land use, that's why!!
Protect modest housing areas that have all the community infrastructure in place NOW, or we will *never* be able to support blue-collar industry the size of Sunflower Ammunition, or Amazon or any other, period.
Posted 14 November 2017, 12:26 p.m.
...note that even Douglas County is guilty of dark government practices... (that both democrats and republicans are heavily invested in keeping their legislative votes a secret) until they were challenged.
And, before anyone declares nothing can be done to change this situation, note that four people were able to change committee practices of not taking Minutes to start doing so... by state law!
Read the kc star Exposé this week, then come back to start a better conversation other than finger-pointing or anecdotal evidence of how everyone would regret having public initiatives or petitions, okay?!?
Posted 12 November 2017, 12:26 p.m.
What *none* of the comments so far have addressed is how our state legislature and, worse yet, our executive branches of government have hijacked not just public input, but public examination of the legislative process over the last two decades.
Kansas is one of the darkest states in the union for open meetings, recorded votes, KORA requests and financial accountability, period.
Everyone who lives in this state needs to read the exposé (starting today!) in the Kansas City Star about their cities, their counties and their state governments have done to make this state over into a dictatorship... that's right, a dictionary's description of governance without oversight or accountability... run by individuals who can hide their votes, their meetings' minutes, and their lobbyists from public scrutiny.
The exposé runs this week, and into thecnext
Posted 12 November 2017, 12:13 p.m.
Well, since the women's (four, I think) statements have been cross-checked for veracity, it would apoear Moore couldn't keep his pants zipped when he was a prosecuting attorney. Perhaps that explains his extreme conservative faith ... he decided he was forgiven, not by *any* of the women or child he molested, but by his religious beliefs.
Wow, dude. You absolutely did these crimes, and you need to face these women and explain *to them* why you don't owe them contrition.
As for all the Republican congressmen, have the guts to actually practice what you preach. Condemn this man, and stand up for sexually abused people , most especially abused children!
Posted 11 November 2017, 8:59 a.m.
I completely agree that sprawl is a big issue here. Having an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will also go far to alleviate industrial/commercial creep into the wetlands. And if anyone wants to see the complete failure of mitigation on drainage and pollution, look at any ditch behind commercial buildings on South Iowa and east on 31st Street behind the USPS building.
However, I take BIG issue with the downtown proposal for a food market at the old Border's building, precisely because of the ridiculous idea that taxpayers would have to not only "trick out" the space, but PAY the food chain to move in for however many years that the tax breaks last to operate!!
Back to the SLT, trash blown from any kind of retail gas station/mini mart will eventually cause that area to deteriorate, let alone restaurants. Just look behind any strip mall in Lawrence to witness the run off of oil and grease.
Most importantly for me is this: City Commission sets Precedence along the greenspace betwwen Iowa (Hwy 59) and the East Lawrence Exchange *will* degrade the recovery of the Haskell/Baker Wetlands, and it *cannot* be emphasized enough how many more years will be taken up with lawsuits to prevent that pollution creep.
Posted 10 November 2017, 4:37 p.m.
I want to thank the city staff for following through with internal accounting audits (regardless of the bad news), and implementing better and more timely billing procedures for land leases and county co-pays.
Posted 9 November 2017, 11:50 a.m.
The school district *had* those costs figured into their bond calculations. However, if precedent is set in waiving permit fees, then they will belly up to the bar every time. The dangerous incident at New York elementary serves as an example of what the city may face with this much larger multi-site bond project, with an exponential danger to students at those locations.
And "No," it is not the same public tax dollars either way the city decides to go. The city's inspectors aren't subcontractors hired by the school district and thus beholden; nor do taxpayers *pay* additional monies for city inspectors to do their work on ensuring public safety, quality of work and outcomes... that is *precisely* why those fees exist, regardless of who the builder/developer/contractor is.
A sadder but wiser city development staff are also more wary of shortcuts, substitutions and gimmicks the district may propose (this being one of them) in this multi-year, complicated bond project, particularly involving the contractors' track records AND all the Change Orders sure to come from micromanagement by the former superintendent heading this project.
I, too, hope the city will ensure impartiality and refuse additional financial burdens overseeing this bond, which school officials will certainly try to save money on wherever they can get away with it.
Posted 6 October 2017, 12:14 p.m.
No one disputes the efficacy of either organization, Mr. Heckler. At least, I don't not.
But *limiting* the funding provided by a regressive tax of affordable housing to just those two organizations is *not* going to adequately serve the needs for the almost complete lack of modest housing stock in this city!
City Planners *have* to include the viability of modest housing stock for owner-occupied preservation. The city's Charter establishes it's Right to designate (And Protect) Zoned Areas for single home ownership for the welfare of *ALL* it's citizens, rich and poor. And most importantly, it has the right to restrict conduct of that housing insofar as land-use is concerned! When a Plat is presented to the city for a proposed type of land-use (single-family owner-occuoied, single-car, 25-foot setbacks, sidewalks, etc., etc.,) the city establishes the Rules by which that proposal is made. When a developer's plan indicates single-family housing, he/she is NOT intending for the *majority* of that housing to be presented as rentals. Yet, that plat presents what public, tax-paid infrastructures (sewage/water/storm drainage/curbing/street lights and so on) it needs to provide, maintain and continue building around.
THAT kind of home-owned modest housing stock tends to be in the immediate donut-hole around the urban core, which expands in concentric rings as the city expands. We All Know This!
THAT modest housing stock, in THOSE modest housing neighborhoods, has undergone a *complete* transition in land-use to a very different kind of neighborhood than what was established and agreed upon when it was built. And thus, modest housing, which DOES appeal to modest wage earners, has disappeared, leaving the working poor with TWO choices in Lawrence.
The city can inventory its existing modest housing stock in total, and determine under what percentage designated neighborhoods under siege by Investors and establish what East Lansing Michigan did.
It's battle-tested legal and smart growth tested, Mr. Heckler. And it doesn't need a funnel of regressive tax money to make it happen.
Posted 27 September 2017, 10:21 a.m.
If East Lansing, Michigan could do this, so can we.
Posted 26 September 2017, 10:55 a.m.
Full LJWorld.com site
© 2017 LJWorld.com