Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2001

A sure sign of dishonesty

June 21, 2001

Welcome to Eudora, home of 6,300 people give or take a couple thousand.

A year ago, former mayor Fred Stewart decided to count the people in town and update Eudora's welcome signs. He figured each household had an average of three people. Using that logic, he multiplied the number of city utility customers by three. He came up with the number 6,300.

When the 2000 United States Census numbers were released, city officials were surprised to learn their city was not as large as they thought. The official population of the town, according to the government, is 4,307.

The Eudora City Council acknowledged the problem at its meeting last week but decided against taking action.

Are we the only ones who think that is insane?

The sign is wrong. That was proven when the U.S. census numbers were released. Inflating the town's population by nearly 2,000 people is dishonest and misleading to those who visit, those who live here and those who might want to do business here.

Council member Dan Gregg said during the meeting he would be more likely to trust the formula used by former Mayor Fred Stewart to arrive at the number used on the sign than he would the census.

Eudora has probably grown since the census, But what's wrong with going with the most recent, verifiable number? Is the city ashamed of 4,307? Why intentionally mislead people? It's wrong and we know it. Fix it.

Don Cooper of the Commercial Group in Topeka developed Pinecrest Apartments and is in the midst of expanding the development. He supported the council's inaction, saying that Eudora is still a good place to do business, and the growth around the city would support the higher number.

The problem is, the sign doesn't say "population 6,300 and growing if you count those who will inevitably move here in the future and those who live outside the city limits."

Using their logic, why not just round up to 10,000. We're bound to get there eventually.

We urge the city to change the sign to the official number released by the U.S. Census Bureau. It's the right thing to do. Let's be honest with Eudora's residents and those who pass through.

At the very least, the council should place an asterisk next to the number. We'll even buy the one can of paint it would take to change the six into a four. It would be well-worth the $15.

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