Wichita city government

Wichita Primary Election, August 3, 2021

Wichita Primary Election, August 3, 2021

In each city council district, the top two candidates move to the general election in November. This means in district 3, Mike Hoheisel will face the newly-appointed incumbent Jared Cerullo. In district 6, Maggie Ballard runs against incumbent Cindy Claycomb.
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Wichita City Council District 6 candidates

Wichita City Council District 6 candidates

The Save Century II committee presented a forum of candidates for Wichita City Council District 6. There are six candidates. The primary election is August 3, 2021, and the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election on November 2, 2021. (more…)
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Wichita ethics code to be considered

Wichita ethics code to be considered

The Wichita city council will consider an ethics code that overlooks a simple and effective solution to a problem. This week the Wichita City Council will consider the final version of a proposed ethics code. It does not cover campaign finance. It does cover gifts to council members, which has been an issue in the past. Part of the problem with the proposal is the creation of a new board, the Ethics Advisory Board. Its members will be asked to judge things like whether a gift is "... intended or has the appearance or effect ..." The board will be…
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Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

This week the Wichita City Council will update an agreement from last year, but it appears important issues were not addressed. Last February the City of Wichita approved an agreement with a local business to manage events at Naftzger Park. With the pandemic upending public events, the business -- Wave Old Town, LLC -- was unable to program any events. Therefore, the city wants to add additional time to the agreement. During the delay, the city could have addressed problems with the original agreement. Some problems concern the bidding process. My concern was the uncertainty in the profit-sharing agreement, which…
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Wichita property tax rate: Up

Wichita property tax rate: Up

The City of Wichita property tax mill levy rose slightly for 2020. In 1994 the City of Wichita mill levy rate -- the rate at which real and personal property is taxed -- was 31.290. In 2020 it was 32.749, based on the Sedgwick County Clerk. That's an increase of 1.459 mills, or 4.66 percent, since 1994. (These are for taxes levied by the City of Wichita only, and do not include any overlapping jurisdictions.) (more…)
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Zip code populations

Zip code populations

An interactive visualization of population by zip codes shows the parts of Wichita that are growing. As part of its American Community Survey program, the United States Census Bureau produces estimates of population in zip codes. I've gathered this data for ten years and present it in an interactive visualization. (more…)
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Downtown Wichita population is up

Downtown Wichita population is up

New Census Bureau data shows the downtown Wichita population growing in 2019. Data released today by the United States Census Bureau shows the estimated population for zip code 67202 in 2019 was 1,751, an increase of 80 from the prior year. Zip code 67202 is greater downtown Wichita, from the Arkansas River east to Washington, and Kellogg north to Central, roughly. The source of this data is U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. This is not the Bureau's estimate of the population in 2019. This is because for areas of population less than 65,000, the Bureau does…
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Downtown Wichita attraction attendance

Downtown Wichita attraction attendance

Attendance at downtown Wichita attractions presented in an interactive visualization. The Source of data is Visit Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau as presented in State of Downtown Reports published by DowntownWichita.org. Click here to access the visualization.
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Century II appeal filed

Century II appeal filed

A group opposing any future plan to raze Century II or the former central library building has filed an appeal of the decision in their lawsuit. A group called Committee to Save Century II organized and filed a petition aimed at requiring a popular vote before demolishing Century II or the former central library building. The City of Wichita challenged the legal basis of the petition and a judge ruled in favor of the city. Now, that decision is being appealed. Following, a press release announcing the appeal. For more information on Century II and its future, see my Century…
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John Todd: Wichita officials may have won a battle, but the Century II war isn’t over

John Todd: Wichita officials may have won a battle, but the Century II war isn’t over

On Century II, Wichita City Hall won the first round, but the public issue remains, writes John Todd. A special to the Wichita Eagle by John Todd. The Wichita City Council’s lawsuit against the Save Century II committee and the 17,265 Wichitans who had signed our petition won a first-round legal victory in state district court Aug. 28. The effort to have a binding vote by Wichita voters at an upcoming election was rejected by the court. This is a setback for Wichitans seeking to resolve this issue at the ballot box in November. This courtroom defeat demonstrates that the…
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Economic development incentive to be canceled

Economic development incentive to be canceled

The City of Wichita will consider canceling an economic development incentive for a firm that no longer meets policy requirements. Two years ago the Wichita City Council granted an economic development incentive for a freestanding emergency department in northeast Wichita. The incentive was in the form of property tax relief. The firm would be exempt from paying 88 percent of its property taxes for five years, with the possibility of renewal for another five years. [1. Weeks, Bob. Free standing emergency department about to open in Wichita. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/free-standing-emergency-department-room-open-in-wichita/.] At the time, the city estimated the first-year property tax…
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