Over the past year Lawrence residents have been shaken from a deep slumber. For years Lawrence seemed liked the ideal suburb. We saw ourselves as a peaceful township, with few concerns. We were the type of place people left other townships for to raise their children, and their children chose to stay to raise their children. However, a number of events have shaken us from our dream into a much bleaker reality. One party rule has resulted in a wane of accountability in our local government.
First, we have had a revenue problem for years, which council has done little to fix. This resulted in an attempt by council to bully residents into approving a 17 percent tax hike, or cough up even more taxes to have our trash taken away. This type of government should not be welcomed; “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” should not try to intimidate the people.
Secondly, the township has helped produce its financial troubles by being hostile towards businesses, which bring in revenue. For example, when Capital Health desired to construct their new hospital in Lawrence, the township pushed them away resulting in millions of tax dollars lost in revenue produced by businesses supporting the hospital.
Thirdly, despite the tirless effort of many of our officers, it would appear that our police department is in disarray. Our police department is operating with bare bones staffing as once quite neighborhoods are experiencing home burglaries and officers are being assaulted by criminals. Furthermore, the leadership of our police department is embroiled in a legal challenge for allegedly violating the basic First Amendment rights of several officers.
The name of Lawrence township derives from Capt. James Lawrence, a naval hero in the War of 1812 and commander of the USS Chesapeake. His dying words to his men as they fought the Royal Navy where “don’t give up the ship." Our once great township is in dire need of reaffirmation of our greatness. We cannot continue to surrender to subpar policies and leadership.
- Kyle Collins