For Wichita real estate developer David Burk of Marketplace Properties, being on the receiving end of sweetheart lease deals with the City of Wichita is becoming a habit.
Wichita developer David Burk remains in favor at city hall despite allegations.
Today’s Wichita Eagle contains a story about a well-known Wichita real estate developer that, while shocking, shouldn’t really be all that unexpected.
The opening sentence of the article (Developer appealed taxes on city-owned property) tells us most of what we need to know: “Downtown Wichita’s leading developer, David Burk, represented himself as an agent of the city — without the city’s knowledge or consent — to cut his taxes on publicly owned property he leases in the Old Town Cinema Plaza, according to court records and the city attorney.”
Some might say it’s not surprising that Burk represented himself in the way the Eagle article reports. When a person’s been on the receiving end of so much city hall largess, it’s an occupational hazard.
The City of Wichita Department of Fiance has prepared an update on the financial performance of the Old Town Cinema Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. There’s not much good news in this document.
In Sedgwick County, two fiscally conservative commission candidates prevailed.
A proposed entertainment district in Old Town Wichita benefits a concentrated area but spreads costs across everyone while creating potential for abuse.
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer’s decisions regarding government ethics are inconsistent.
Citizens of Wichita are rightly concerned about whether our elected officials and bureaucrats are looking out for their interests, or only for the interests and welfare of a small group of city hall insiders.
The evaluation matrix released for a project to be considered next week by the Wichita City Council ought to be recalculated.
Speculation that politics might influence a decision over the location of State of Kansas offices is amusing, given that one of the players has a history of awarding campaign contributors and friends
What can we say about a mayor who is concerned about the appearance of impropriety when shopping for his personal automobile, but is not able to understand the problems with his own behavior in office?
It’s worse than President Obama saying “You didn’t build that.” Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer tells us you can’t build that — not without government guidance and intervention, anyway.
The City of Wichita should not approve a measure that is not needed, that does not conform to the city’s policy (based on relevant information not disclosed to citizens), and which is steeped in cronyism.
Is it possible that “Graft takes the collective wealth of working taxpayers and transfers that wealth to the benefit of corrupt government officials and their private sector accomplices” in Wichita?
Wichita needs to be concerned why the city’s political and bureaucratic leadership is not “forthcoming and honest” with citizens regarding economic development results.
If cronyism is a problem, the solution preferred by Wichita’s political class is to follow Jeff Longwell’s advice: Just don’t talk about it.
Reactions to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s State of the State Address for 2013.
Wichita’s mayor and city council need to examine their own errors of cronyism before lashing out at a member who made an inconsequential mistake.
Actions of the Wichita City Council have shown that campaign finance reform is needed. Citizen groups are investigating how to accomplish this needed reform, since the council has not shown interest in reforming itself.
While the dedication ceremonies for Wichita’s Waltzing Waters fountain are promoted as celebrations, we might use this opportunity to review the history and impact of WaterWalk, which has absorbed many millions of taxpayer subsidy with few results.
While many believe that judges should not “legislate from the bench,” the reality is that lawmaking is a judicial function. In a democracy, lawmakers should be elected under the principle of “one person, one vote.” But Kansas, which uses the Missouri Plan for judicial selection to its two highest courts, violates this principle.
It’s worse than “You didn’t build that.” Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer tells us you can’t build that — not without government guidance and intervention, anyway.
Tonight the people of Wichita witnessed a victory for common sense over political cronyism.
The Wichita Pachyderm Club, as part of its regular Friday luncheon series of educational meetings, will conduct a public forum on the February 28th Wichita city election. The subject of the election is a Wichita city charter ordinance that rebates 75 percent of the Ambassador Hotel’s guest tax collection back to the hotel.
It is now confirmed: In Wichita, tax increment financing (TIF) leads to taxpayer-funded waste that benefits those with political connections at city hall.
Discussion of setting an election date provided another example reinforcing the realization that Wichita has a city council — with the exception of one member — that is entirely captured by special interests.
In a free society with a limited government, taxation should be restricted to being a way for government to raise funds to pay for services that all people benefit from. But in the city of Wichita, taxation for private gain is overtaking our city.
Everyone who cares about Wichita — the entire city, not just special interests — ought to be opposed to the continued use of tax increment financing (TIF) districts and other forms of subsidy that direct benefits to a small group at the expense of everyone else.
While the Wichita Eagle criticizes those it calls “naysayers,” it is the newspaper’s editorial board itself that is harmful to the people of Wichita and their economic freedom.
Making contributions to candidates for political office is part of the American political process. But for the Wichita City Council, we see a troubling trend of contributions made by people who also ask the council for money.
In a free society with a limited government, taxation should be restricted to being a way for government to raise funds to pay for services that all people benefit from. But in the city of Wichita, private tax policy is overtaking our city.
The flow of tax dollars Wichita city leaders have planned for Douglas Place, a proposed hotel in Wichita, creates a mechanism where taxpayer funds are routed to a politically-connected construction firm. And unlike the real world, where developers have an incentive to build economically, the city has created incentives for Douglas Place developers to spend lavishly in a parking garage, at no cost to themselves.
Today: Live music example of overcriminilization, regulation in Wichita; Tax reform in Kansas; Downtown Wichita site launched; Juvenile justice system to be topic; Campaign contributions flow to Wichita’s subsidy supporters; Organ events; Urban planning in Wichita: an outside perspective.
As part of an effort to provide information about the Douglas Place project, a proposed renovation of a downtown Wichita office building into a hotel, Americans for Prosperity, Kansas has created a website. The site’s motto is “Limited government and free markets in Downtown Wichita benefit everyone. Centralized planning and crony capitalism benefit only a few.”
In selling a plan for the revitalization of downtown Wichita, promoters started with a promise of much private investment for just a little public investment. But as the plan proceeded, the goal kept slipping, and the first project to be approved under the final plan will probably not come close to meeting even the modest goals set by the Wichita City Council.
As part of the subsidy plan for Douglas Place, a downtown Wichita hotel being proposed, developers plan to make extensive use of historic preservation tax credits to fund their project. This form of developer welfare, besides being inefficient, is largely hidden from public view.
Today: How not to grow an economy; Son of TARP; Wichita City Council; Critique of Keynesian policies; Junior Kansas legislators to speak.
A meeting of the Wichita City Council provided a window into the attitude of Wichita elected officials, particularly Mayor Carl Brewer. Through their actions, and by their words, we see a government that cares little for the rule of law and good government, and one that is disrespectful to citizens who call attention to this.
Yesterday’s meeting of the Wichita City Council revealed a council — except for one member — totally captured by special interests, to the point where the council, aided by city staff, used a narrow legal interpretation in order to circumvent a statutorily required public hearing process.
Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting will provide an opportunity for the mayor, council members, and city hall staff to let Wichitans know if our city is governed by the rule of law and proper respect for it, or if these values will be discarded for the convenience of one person and his business partners.
Today: Carl Brewer, Corporate welfare, Downtown Wichita revitalization, Sue Schlapp, Tea Party, Politics, Free markets