Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2004

Letters to the editor

March 25, 2004

To the editor:

Habitat for Humanity is one of the best programs ever developed in the United States. It blends charity with work, in a joyful union of giving and receiving, that brings out the best in human beings. Could there be any moment more full of blessings than the one when all the work is done, the new house stands ready, and the keys are put in the hands of the new owner?

I am sure there are many, many other Baldwin citizens who felt real disappointment when the city council voted not to waive permit fees for the Habitat home to be built in Baldwin. Perhaps these other citizens believed, as I did, that waiving the fees would be a unanimous decision. The community lost something vital when this did not happen.

Mary Swan

Baldwin City

Tto the Editor:

I have been reading with interest the controversy surrounding the Baldwin City Council's decision to not waive the building permit fee for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity is an extremely worthwhile organization whose goal is to help families attain homeownership. The Lawrence Home Builders Association has formed a relationship with HH which we plan to expand into home building partnership in the near future. Baldwin City is fortunate to have a HH initiative in their community.

Although it would at first seem obvious that a City should waive the permit fee for such a worthwhile project, theres an important issue to consider. Permit fees are legally required to only cover the governmental costs of regulating the construction of buildings.When a fee is waived or discounted, the governmental costs of the particular project are deferred to all other permit fee payers. In other words, if HH's fee was waived, it would raise the cost of housing for other people also trying to attain homeownership. I am sure critics of the Council's vote don't intend for new homeowners to subsidize HH through a higher permit fee.

Baldwin City residents can show their passion for affordable housing by embracing the HH project! Donate personal resources to collections or offer labor -- action speaks louder than words. Best wishes to HH in Baldwin City!

Bobbie Flory

Executive Director

Lawrence Home Builders Association

To the editor:

Kansas Children's Campaign has been supporting an expansion of Smart Start Kansas, an effective strategy for improving the quality of early care and education in the state. If successful, our effort will ensure that Kansas children are healthy and prepared to succeed in school, and will reap benefits in many facets of a community for years to come.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has proposed $10 million for Smart Start Kansas, and 289 businesses, units of government, public school districts, non-profits, and child advocacy organizations from across the state have joined in a coalition to advance early education in Kansas, which includes increased funding for Smart Start.

Investments in early care and education result in greater school readiness, improved test scores, reduced need for special education, and increased high school graduation rates. Further, children who have quality early learning opportunities are more likely to complete higher levels of education, have less reliance on social services, commit fewer crimes, and receive higher wages.

The future of Kansas, from children's success in school to economic development in communities, starts with quality investments in Smart Start Kansas and other early education opportunities. To find out more, visit the Kansas Children's Campaign website, www.ks4kids.com.

Rochelle Chronister

Kansas Children's Campaign

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