Archive for Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Cohen lists issues

February 7, 2001

To the editor:

We have a great town to live, raise children and retire in but we are facing rapid growth, rising taxes and long ignored infrastructure and service problems. At this pivotal time I believe, as many others do, the city needs fresh new leadership. That is why I want to serve on the Baldwin City Council.

Here are some of the issues I am concerned about:

* Better communication. Too many important decisions are being made without citizen input, such as the industrial/recreational park. The council must actively involve and inform its citizens. As a public media relations official at KU and a former journalist, I know of many inexpensive ways to do this. One method used effectively by other cities is an annual citywide customer service satisfaction survey to set goals and prioritize.

* Customer service. So far higher taxes and rates have not provided better services. We must look for ways to cut expenses and finally resolve nagging issues like water pressure and electrical service problems. We must address the power plant's future and whether it is too much for a town this size to efficiently manage by itself.

* Growth management. A 20-year master plan for development is needed so the city can anticipate future service demands and act accordingly. A moratorium and high impact fees drive away business and increase housing costs; it is not the way to manage growth.

* Collaboration. The city must be a partner, not an adversary, to such valued entities as Baker University, the recreation commission and the Maple Leaf Festival. It is the only way we can achieve progress, such as providing more recreational opportunities for all ages.

I look forward to discussing these and other issues at the city council forum Feb. 15 at the junior high school. I hope everyone can attend. I also invite you to e-mail me at if you have any questions. I would appreciate your support on Feb. 27.

Todd Cohen
Baldwin City

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