From My Corner: December 8, 2022

Salaries increases at City Hall

Historically, the City of Lawrence has not paid good salaries to city employees and when Mayor Brian De Peña promised that he would readjust the compensation for city employees, it was a welcomed idea.  The mayor said that if we don’t pay appropriate salaries to good workers, they’ll end up leaving for other jobs which are understood.

One way to approach what the mayor considered to be a fair salary was by combining it with a stipend.  Then the controversy began because some people thought the increases were too high.  Either way, I’m not judging whether or not they were justified; I just want things clear.

A few days ago, Richard Russell posted on Facebook a list of stipends that the mayor had approved since last year.  He petitioned that information under the Freedom of Information Act request although not all of his questions were answered his complaint was about the stipends being paid to certain employees.

That was a bit strange because the City Council approved last June the new budget for the Fiscal Year 2023, which is posted on the city’s website.  Upon comparing the numbers on the approved budget and the chart Russell posted, I discovered they didn’t make sense.

The chart is shown here and the column to the right is what the city council approved for FY23.  Why that discrepancy?  Is the list of stipends that was sent to Russell an old document from before the approval of the budget?  Why the Assessor is budgeted for $72,375 if he was earning $95,390.88 with the stipend?

If the budget is correct by showing lower amounts, is the city still compensating employees with the extra money?  I just want to understand it.  That’s the list I want to see now: The actual list of stipends issued since July 1st, 2022.

Please consider this a Freedom of Information Act request for that list.


Christmas gifts

If you are like me, gifting books to children is my favorite at this time of the year.  Books can be fun, entertaining, and educational but this is a warning for you.

Things have changed tremendously in this country, particularly in the outreach to young people.

Make sure that you glance at the pages of the books you decide to purchase.  Children’s literature has been politicized and the messages may not be appropriate for your family.  You may choose to buy them after you see the theme or subject no matter what it is but just imagine if your gift deals with sexual issues like homosexuality.  That could be the end of the friendship with that family.

Even worst are the books on the market about transgender.  They begin telling the child in a very subtle way that it’s OK to feel as belonging to the opposite sex and even encourage them to begin treatment to surgically change their gender.  Don’t be surprised if your child one day reveals that he/she is under medical treatment because they are told not to tell their parents.  What the Hell is happening in this country?

A good example of these changes is what happened to an actor, Kirk Cameron who wrote a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated by Juan Moreno.  The description reads, “This fun story with brilliant art teaches the Biblical truths of the Fruit of the Spirit. Follow Sky Tree’s journey from a small acorn to a mighty tree that provides shade, sustenance, and lodging!”

Mr. Cameron has tried to do live readings for children ages 4 to 12 and he has been rejected from more than 50 libraries.  The reason they stated was that they don’t do promotions of religious views because they are “queer-friendly.”

Lawrence is a very different city because of the high number of Latinos living here; although I know this brainwashing is going on in Lawrence parents are afraid to face it.

Please, question your children about what they are being taught at school and if it’s something you disagree with, take action.


Water rates going up

On page 2 we published again the increase in the water and sewer rates.  Mayor De Peña explained that the funds in that account are extremely low and an increase is necessary.  As we know, that department is an Enterprise Fund which means that they are supposed to work and spend the monies collected from residents for their own needs.

In the past, those funds were depleted because they have been used to satisfy other expenses and now we must pay the consequences.

Mayor De Peña believes that we should plan on small increases twice a year so that it won’t be hard to take.

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