David Dennis

Sedgwick County Commission needs to slow down, get things right

Sedgwick County Commission needs to slow down, get things right

Sedgwick County needs to make sure past issues are known and settled before proceeding with hiring a new county manager, writes former commissioner Richard Ranzau. While most members of the Sedgwick County Commission are eager to move on from events of the past two years, it's important to know what really happened. Some important questions: A majority of commissioners wanted to fire former manager Michael Scholes, with chair David Dennis presenting Scholes with an ultimatum on September 28, 2018. Later, in November, the same commissioners hired an outside law firm to investigate Scholes so that a politically correct reason could…
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Unruh recollections disputed

Unruh recollections disputed

A former Sedgwick County Commissioner disputes the narrative told by a retiring commissioner. By Karl Peterjohn A version of this appeared in the Wichita Eagle. Lame duck county commissioner Dave Unruh’s recent commentary ("It’s time to set the record straight." December 14, 2018 Wichita Eagle.) is an attempt to re-write county commission history. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” Here are county commission facts correcting the commentary fiction: Commissioner Unruh was deeply involved in both the hiring, and recent firing, of county manager Scholes by…
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Sedgwick County tops $434K in extra personnel costs

Sedgwick County tops $434K in extra personnel costs

Sedgwick County has spent $434,663 in costs relating to the separations of two members of top management. Through December 21, 2018, Sedgwick County had spent $434,663 on matters relating to former County Counselor Eric Yost and former County Manager Michael Scholes. The bulk of the costs were severance payments to both. There was also $89,375 for a study of matters related to county management. Additionally, there were attorney fees for Yost, Scholes, and all county commissioners except Michael O'Donnell. Click here to view the report prepared by county financial staff.
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Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government

Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government

The Sedgwick County Commission scandals are an outrage for me. I must speak out against the appalling revelations that provide explicit evidence of illegal misconduct in our county government, writes Karl Peterjohn. Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government By Karl Peterjohn During the Watergate scandal the press repeatedly stated that the campaign break-in was not the primary crime, but the cover up involving the White House was. These scandals eventually led to criminal convictions, and ultimately, to the resignation of the president. Sedgwick County government now appears to have multi-part scandals. It is not clear whether these scandals will…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Richard Ranzau and Renee Duxler

WichitaLiberty.TV: Richard Ranzau and Renee Duxler

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau explains the current problems with corruption in the county. Then, Renee Duxler tells us why she’s running for Sedgwick County Commission. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 215, broadcast October 28, 2018. Shownotes Campaign website for Richard Ranzau: www.voteranzau.org Campaign website for Renee Duxler: www.reneeduxler.com
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Wichita, not that different

Wichita, not that different

We have a lot of neat stuff in Wichita. Other cities do, too. In New York Magazine, Oriana Schwindt writes in "The Unbearable Sameness of Cities: What my journey across the United States taught me about indie cafés and Ikea lights." I couldn’t stop noticing. I’d go on to see the same in Colorado Springs, in Fresno, in Indianapolis, in Oklahoma City, in Nashville. And it wasn’t just the coffee shops -- bars, restaurants, even the architecture of all the new housing going up in these cities looked and felt eerily familiar. Every time I walked into one of these…
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Sedgwick County jobs

Sedgwick County jobs

Sedgwick County had fewer jobs in 2017 than in 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released new data for the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. This represents data for the complete year of 2017, on a preliminary basis. From December 2016 to December 2017 Sedgwick County employment was level, changing by 0.0 percent. According to the BLS news release, that ranked 317 of the 347 largest counties. Using the monthly average job count, Sedgwick County had 248,772 (monthly average) jobs in 2016. For 2017 that fell to 247,022, a decline of 1,750 jobs or 0.7 percent. As can…
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Wichita in ‘Best Cities for Jobs 2018’

Wichita in ‘Best Cities for Jobs 2018’

Wichita continues to decline in economic vitality, compared to other areas. NewGeography.com is a joint venture of Joel Kotkin and Praxis Strategy Group. Its annual "Best Cities for Jobs" project ranks metropolitan areas according to growth in employment. Of 422 metropolitan areas considered, Wichita ranked 383, dropping 28 spots since the previous year. Among 100 medium size metropolitan areas, Wichita ranked 93, dropping 5 spots from the previous year. NewGeography.com uses employment data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2006 to January 2018. [2. "The methodology for our 2018 ranking largely corresponds to that used in…
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Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

We can understand self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. It's what they do. But a city's newspaper editorial board ought to be concerned with the truth. In February the Wichita Eagle editorialized about Project Wichita, a ramping-up effort to do something about the future of Wichita. [1. Wichita Eagle Editorial Board. Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future. Available at http://www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article198178899.html.] It's worthwhile to take a look at the op-ed, if only to learn something about the quality of Wichita Eagle editorial writing. I understand civic boosterism; the desire to paint a positive image of the future. But this rosy…
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Sedgwick County’s David Dennis on economic development

Sedgwick County’s David Dennis on economic development

Following the Wichita Mayor, the Chair of the Sedgwick County Commission speaks on economic development. Last week Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis penned a column for the Wichita Eagle praising the county's efforts in economic development. [1. David Dennis. Sedgwick County part of drive to strengthen area workforce. Wichita Eagle, March 5, 2018. Available at http://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article203559734.html.] Dennis is also chair of the commission this year. In his column, the commissioner wrote: "Economic development is a key topic for the Board of County Commissioners and for me in particular. Right now we have a lot of momentum to make our community…
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For Sedgwick County Commission, too much debate

For Sedgwick County Commission, too much debate

By moving to end motions and debate, the Sedgwick County Commission isn't effectively serving citizens and taxpayers. Yesterday's meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission offered an opportunity to learn how we can improve local government. The issue the commission was considering, significant in its own right, is not important to the following discussion. It's the process that needs improvement. There was a proposed ordinance. Commissioner Jim Howell offered two amendments -- really substitute motions -- that altered the proposed ordinance. Each failed by votes of three to two. Howell had two more motions to offer. But Commissioner David Dennis moved…
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