Archive for Thursday, December 30, 2004

Community appears ready to face 2005’s challenges

December 30, 2004

The past three years we have used the last newspaper of the year to write a community resolution list, citing issues we would like to see resolved in the coming 12 months.

It's something of a difficult task this year because of the absence of pressing problems demanding attention. In a sign of a healthy community, Eudora appears to be entering 2005 with neither the city nor the school district in desperate need of timely action to resolve a consuming issue. But there is always room for debate or incremental improvement.

Before looking ahead to 2005, we'll review our resolution list of 12 months ago. The most disappointing end to any of last year's resolutions was the fate of USD 491 Marty Kobza's application to the state for a life science charter school. Those rating the applications were unable to share Kobza's vision, opting for more traditional proposals.

Perhaps there is hope that a proposal will resurface in some form, given the status of a second issue on last year's list -- that of a downtown revitalization grant. The city put a year of effort into the process of applying for a downtown grant before deciding it wasn't right for Eudora. The work wasn't wasted, however, when City Administrator Mike Yanez suggested a more appropriate grant for the beautification project developed in 2003.

As for a new item, we would add the question of who should pay for growth-driven infrastructure improvements, which remains unresolved. The City Council examined an excess tax for street improvements before dropping the subject this summer, and approved greater plan review fees as recently as Monday. The city's flirtation with greater so-called impact or development fees is owed a greater debate. The vehicle for that could perhaps be this spring's city elections.

Finally, although it far exceeds the ability of this community to influence, we hope for a workable resolution in Iraq and the safe return of Eudora residents stationed or destined there.

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