Archive for Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Proposed park is simply ‘fuzzy logic’

November 8, 2000

Citizens of Baldwin, as the editorial debate continues on this subject I would like to take the time to formally thank Mr. Paine. Why you ask do I choose to do this? Well, quiet frankly my replies nearly write themselves, since I am literally handed tons of ammunition by my adversary to refute the business/recreational park. Now lets get down to business. The citizens of Baldwin want details on the financing and design of this proposed park. Not images of canoes on a pond, verandas looking into the sunset or any other type of page filler. I do not look upon Mr. Paine's proposal as "fuzzy math," but of the whole project as "fuzzy logic."

"Fuzzy logic No. 1." My opponent and his expert feel that land valuation of the park will be 50 to 75 percent that of land along the K-10 corridor. My response to that is quite simple. Are you kidding me? Land along a four-lane highway linking a city of 80,000 (Lawrence) to a metropolis approaching over 500,000 (Kansas City) has a comparison to land situated between a city of 3,000 (Baldwin) and the Franklin County line? Mr. Paine, do we get three magic

beans or beach front property in Nevada to go with this logic to make it believable? This quite frankly is laughable and offensive to "common sense."

"Fuzzy Logic No. 2." The taxation levels of commercial property are higher (25 percent) than that of residential (12 percent). Okay, so far so good, but why are they higher? The reason they are higher is that commercial property puts a larger strain on a city's utilities and infrastructure. Also do businesses just roll over and pay this high tax? Heck no they ask for tax abatements!! For an example look at American Eagle moving to Ottawa instead of Lawrence. Reason

why they did? Ottawa opened its arms and wallets and gave HUGE tax abatements. If you mention the word tax abatement at a Baldwin City Council meeting I suggest you have paramedics and a lifeflight on standby, cause somebody is going to passout. Also the ridiculous fee structures that the city of Baldwin imposes on development is a huge trip wire to commercial development. I know this first hand while trying to get our shopping center up and running.

"Fuzzy Logic No. 3." The strategy of the park is to put the recreation facilities on the Northeast corner and the business park on the Southwest. Okay, we got the geography down, but where is the strategy? Where are the details that make it a strategy? Strategy, as defined by Webster's dictionary is "A plan of action resulting from the practice of strategy." Well we got geography but as far as strategy goes we have not seen it. Strategy equals a plan. We are paying for this park, Mr. Paine. We deserve to be a part of the plan, and its corresponding strategy.

"Fuzzy Logic No. 4." For those who grew up in the "Great Depression" land appreciation should not be taken as a given? So we buy this "cheap land" and boom we are going to make all this tax revenue, and land appreciation? At the risk of offending the older citizens of Baldwin, and in order for them to remember the Depression they would be in their 80s. I am a lot more concerned about my generation, Generation-X to be specific, the baby-boomers, Generation-Y, and the next unnamed generational group that will have to pay for this boondoggle. Care to address our concerns, Mr. Paine?

In short folks, this project is heavy on price, loaded with false promise, extremely short on detail and, quite frankly, driven by "fuzzy logic." Next week I will have the wording for the petition that will be circulated in Baldwin to place the issue on the ballot for the April 6, 2001, election. I have appreciated the help that has been given to me over the past month in organizing against this project. Keep up the good work my fellow taxpayers, and above all keep the ideas flowing in to me. Ken Hayes at or my home phone 785-594-3431.

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