Sedgwick County Commission fails citizens

At yesterday’s meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Commissioners Tom Winters, Tim Norton, and Dave Unruh failed to take an opportunity to stand up for good government.

By ratifying the City of Wichita’s defective public hearing, notice is given that it’s open season on citizens. Their concerns are shoved aside. Commissioners say they were constrained by a very narrow range of action permitted by law. The reasons they voted against this TIF district in August are still there, though present in smaller measure.

The problem is that these politicians want something so badly that they’re willing to overlook major problems in procedures that are designed to give citizens a voice. Newspaper editorial writers aren’t helping. They’re usually at the forefront of “good government” efforts. But not the Wichita Eagle’s Rhonda Holman, who wrote this in today’s lead editorial: “Yes, as some argue, the city should have done a better job of allowing public input on the arena TIF district. The late changes to the Dec. 2 City Council agenda left the public and at least one council member unfamiliar with the plan to add $10 million for future parking needs, arming critics and fueling public distrust of local government generally.” But, she’ll go along with this action anyway.

Nothing that this TIF district can build is as important as destroying citizen confidence and procedures designed to give them a voice.

Thank you to Commissioners Gwen Welshimer and Kelly Parks for voting for the interests of citizens instead of those of Wichita’s political entrepreneurs.


6 thoughts on “Sedgwick County Commission fails citizens”

  1. Where is the outrage?
    Despite the fact that a 2nd public city council hearing might not change the outcome, it is the right thing to do. I am disappointed that the Eagle has not taken a stronger stand if their mission is truly to inform the public.

  2. Wichita Eagle’s editorial board members Brownlee and Holman campaigned for Mayor Brewer and will continue to run positive editorials because they are too vested in Brewer doing well, but it will not happen.

  3. This is Alice in Wonderland city council where the public hearing is held and then the facts are belatedly provided. The county’s 3-2 ratification of this disgraceful decision shows how badly local government is being run in the so-called “Air Capitol.”

  4. The Wichita Eagle writes about the importance of open government and transparency while supporting candidates that do not support those democratic measures. Editorial board writers speak of tolerance of ideas while chastising others with opposing points of views.

  5. My spouse has just turned me onto your blog. It is great to have someone at the fore front of the fight for local transparency.

    As someone who has seen the manipulation of the city first hand (the Cowtown debacle) nothing these people do surprises me.

    The fact that we consistently elect people with the IQ of tree moss and the sacred honor of prostitutes is something that has needed addressing for the 18+ years I have lived here.

    Oh and for everyones edification most journalists firmly believe that the great unwashed masses are not smart enough to decide important issue themselves. It is their job to educate and indoctrinate the plebeians as to what is “right” for them.

    Aren’t you grateful to have someone else make your decisions for you, without your impute and consideration. Think of all the time you’re saving.

  6. I have property on South Topeka. This is part of the Gilbert Mosley Water Contamination area. We have been in a TIF for about 6 years and still have 4 years to go. Do you have a TIF on top of a TIF. If so how can that be. This contamination covers an area from 21st street to Pawnee and the Arkansas River.

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