We cannot claim to be a walkable and bikable city when we put the burden of sidewalk repair on our own citizens. Sidewalks are public infrastructure and should be funded as such.
All agreements with outside agencies need to be reviewed to ensure the taxpayers of Lawrence are not paying for services or support that is ineffective or out of balance with our other community partners.
Nearly every neighborhood I have spoken to has a story about poor communication from city hall impacting them. We must find ways to communicate directly with our citizens better.
In November 2017, voters in the city approved a sales tax designated to alleviating the affordable housing issues in Lawrence. We must be aggressive in projects that are dedicated to increasing our affordable housing stock.
Plan 2040 will be the overarching guiding document for our city for the next 20 years. However, the plans reflect a narrow view of where Lawrence will be even 5 years from now. By heavily restricting growth policies behind a vague "community benefit" clause, we risk doing more harm than good.
My father died of lung cancer just over 11 years ago, so reducing smoking rates is something I truly wish to see. That being said, I also believe that adults can and should make their own decisions about their bodies. I cannot support the Tobacco 21 ordinance.
I support a new city ordinance that would restrict employers from invading the private lives of citizens and force them to submit to a drug screening as a condition of employment. So long as an employee can do the job, what happens outside the workplace is of no concern to the employer.
Downtown Lawrence is one of the crown jewels of our community, and it needs to be protected. Speculative developers maintain valuable empty storefront space that charges rents far above the median. By taxing vacant commercial properties, we push these landlords towards lowering their rent into more sustainable ranges and help solve a portion of the vacancy issues downtown.
Large developers shouldn't be the only people eligible for property tax abatements. Let's open up this economic tool to allow individual homeowners to improve energy efficiency within their homes, including installing solar panels. This would reduce the tax burden on homeowners worried about inflating the price of their own home.
Our current Police Oversight Board has little recourse in investigating possible misconduct, only receiving documents voluntarily turned over. We must put more muscle in our citizens review board to ensure proper oversight.