Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.
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Why is it that whenever a group of “leaders” cannot make a concise decision that will best affect citizens they have to go out and make a consensus of what other groups are doing in other cities and towns all to formulate a “trend” they feel they must follow? Whatever happened to independent thinking and actions? Whatever happened to “thinking outside of the box”?
To me this only shows weakness. And this is precisely what we have in this town: a weak and indecisive city commission. They have shown very little success in how to manage a town of this size. That brings me to one of my fears of how they will emulate how to manage the homeless problem where Lawrence could end up trending into another Oakland, California.
Love and kindness does go a long way, but there can also be too much of it given blindly. I believe in “tough love” and accountability and not all decisions will please everyone, all of the time. It is virtually impossible to please every person all the time. Today’s politics is trying to do just that and making a mess of a civilized life as we know it.
We need a city commission that can make decisions based on common sense for the whole, not just for small groups. Right now we have a city commission that is too afraid to step up and do what is best for the masses and the masses have been too apathetic to speak loud enough to be heard.
My point is: limiting and/or blocking the opportunity of citizens to voice their opinions on decisions that will affect the quality of life in this town is the same as taking away freedom of speech. This is Lawrence — not Denver, not California and not Washington, D.C., and this is the way we do things here. We speak out because “we are the people” and we care about this town. The city commission is making a wrong move in considering removing general public comment from commission meetings. It will be the same as trying to silence the citizens of this town.
— Kathleen Christian, Lawrence
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”It is understandable that everybody has different priorities, but we can assume that public safety is high on almost everybody’s list. This is why your Lawrence Professional Firefighters have confidence in the three incumbent candidates,” the IAFF Local 1596 executive board writes in this column.