Janet Miller

Wichita City Council Member Janet Miller

Education gap on Wichita City Council

Education gap on Wichita City Council

Currently there is discussion in Wichita on whether higher education is valued by residents. Following, from April 2011, a look at the educational achievement of the Wichita City Council. The members of the council cited below were Lavonta Williams, Sue Schlapp, Jim Skelton, Paul Gray, Jeff Longwell, and Janet Miller. Carl Brewer was mayor. Before Jim Skelton left the council in January, none of the four men serving on the Wichita City Council had completed a college degree. The three women serving on the council set a better example, with all three holding college degrees. Of the candidates running in…
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The use of sales tax proceeds in Wichita

The use of sales tax proceeds in Wichita

Must the City of Wichita spend its share of Sedgwick County sales tax proceeds in a specific way? Sedgwick County collects a one-cent per dollar retail sales tax. The county keeps some, then distributes the rest to cities. On Facebook, a question arose regarding how Wichita may spend its share of the sales tax proceeds. Couldn't some funds that go towards building Kellogg be rerouted to, say, fund the operations of Wichita's public library system? A former city council member argued that "As it stands, Wichita cannot spend its allocated portion of that sales tax on anything but roads and…
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Wichita being sued, alleging improper handling of bond repayment savings

Wichita being sued, alleging improper handling of bond repayment savings

A lawsuit claims that when the City of Wichita refinanced its special assessment bonds, it should have passed on the savings to the affected taxpayers, and it did not do that. A lawsuit filed in Sedgwick County District Court charges that the City of Wichita improperly handled the savings realized when it refinanced special assessment bonds at a lower interest rate. The case is 2018-CV-001567-CF, filed on July 13, 2018, and available here. The suit names David L. Snodgrass and Leslie J. Snodgrass as plaintiffs, and a long list of defendants, namely: The City of Wichita, Kansas Wichita City Manager…
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, the urge to expand it is irresistible. Earlier this year the City of Wichita installed 70 cameras in Old Town for the purpose of enhancing public safety. [1. Leflier, Dion. If you think someone’s watching you in Old Town -- they are. Wichita Eagle, June 22, 2017. Available at http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article157654759.html.] Now we've learned two things, according to Wichita Eagle reporting: The cameras aided in making one arrest for a serious crime, and the role of the cameras has expanded to include traffic enforcement. [2. Manna, Nicole.…
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, it probably won't produce the promised results, yet will be expanded. This week the Wichita City Council will consider adding more surveillance cameras to Old Town. City documents don't specify how many video cameras will be installed as part of the $618,261 program (for one-time installation costs only), except that it may be "as many as 100." The city is also asking council members to pass an ordinance with bonding authority of up to $750,000 to pay for this project. In other words, the city is…
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In Wichita, developer welfare under a cloud

In Wichita, developer welfare under a cloud

A downtown Wichita project receives a small benefit from the city, with no mention of the really big money. Today the Wichita City Council approved a subsidy for a project in downtown Wichita. The city will lend the developer of a project at 303 S. Broadway $620,000 to improve the building's facade. The property must repay this amount through an assessment on its property tax. The benefit to the property is that the city is able to borrow money at a lower interest rate, and this reduces the cost of borrowing for the project. The agenda packet for this item…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas revenue and spending, initiative and referendum, and rebuliding liberty

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas revenue and spending, initiative and referendum, and rebuliding liberty

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The Kansas Legislature appears ready to raise taxes instead of reforming spending. Wichita voters have used initiative and referendum, but voters can’t use it at the state level. A look at a new book “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.” View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 83, broadcast May 3, 2015.
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Wichita has examples of initiative and referendum

Wichita has examples of initiative and referendum

Citizens in Wichita have been busy exercising their rights of initiative and referendum at the municipal level. The Kansas Legislature should grant the same rights to citizens at the state level. What recourse do citizens have when elected officials are not responsive? Initiative and referendum are two possibilities. Citizens in Wichita have exercised these rights, but Kansans are not able to do this at the state level. Initiative is when citizens propose a new law, and then gather signatures on petitions. If a successful petition is filed, the matter is (generally) placed on a ballot for the electorate to decide…
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In Wichita, the need for campaign finance reform

In Wichita, the need for campaign finance reform

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. Consider recent actions by the council and its members: The council voted to give a movie theater operator a no-interest and low-interest loan, after having already received the benefit of tax increment financing. A minister dabbling in real estate development made a large contribution to his council representative just before he asked the city council for tax increment financing. The council voted to give a construction…
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Wichita’s vampires and monsters

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: The City of Wichita urges citizens to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. Originally broadcast June 29, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this issue, see "Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters."
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Vampires on the prowl in Wichita and the city council’s treatment of citizens.

WichitaLiberty.TV: Vampires on the prowl in Wichita and the city council’s treatment of citizens.

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The City of Wichita urges citizens to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. Then proceedings of a recent Wichita City Council meeting are instructive of the factors citizens should consider if they want to interact with the council and city government at a public hearing. Episode 49, broadcast June 29, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Public service announcements on Facebook and Wichita City Channel 7 urge Wichitans to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. People are probably vaguely aware that many modern electrical and electronic devices consume electricity even when switched off. One source estimates that a cell phone charger consumes 0.26 watts of electrical power even when a phone is not plugged in. While in sleep mode, a flat panel computer display consumes 1.39…
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Wichita city council schools citizens on civic involvement

Wichita city council schools citizens on civic involvement

Proceedings of a recent Wichita City Council meeting are instructive of the factors citizens should consider if they want to interact with the council and city government at a public hearing. At the June 17, 2014 meeting of the Wichita City Council, one agenda item was a public hearing to consider adding a property to the city's facade improvement program. Susan Estes of Americans for Prosperity-Kansas appeared before the council during the hearing to express concern that a member of AFP (me) had made a request for information on the item, but had not received the information by the time…
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In Wichita, the attitude of some elected officials needs adjustment

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: Attitudes of Wichita government leaders towards capitalism reveal a lack of understanding. Is only a government-owned hotel able to make capital improvements? Then, two examples of the disdain elected officials express towards their constituents who don't agree with them. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Uber, not for Wichita

Uber, not for Wichita

A novel transportation service worked well for me on a recent trip to Washington, but Wichita doesn't seem ready to embrace such innovation. Have you heard of Uber and similar services? Uber says it is "... evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our [smartphone] apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 70 cities today, Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer." Uber works like this: Riders use…
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In Wichita, capitalism doesn’t work, until it works

In Wichita, capitalism doesn’t work, until it works

Attitudes of Wichita government leaders towards capitalism reveal a lack of understanding. Is only a government-owned hotel able to make capital improvements? One of the problems Wichita faces as it decides the future level of government involvement in its economy is an anti-market and anti-capitalism bias of many council members. It's also characteristic of city hall bureaucrats. The basic belief is that government is not hindered by the demands of businesses, such as profit. Therefore, it is able to do things that the private sector cannot, or will not, do. Wichita City Council Member Janet Miller (district 6, north central…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: For whose benefit are elections, school employment, wind power, unions, unemployment

WichitaLiberty.TV: For whose benefit are elections, school employment, wind power, unions, unemployment

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The controversy over the timing of city and school board elections provides an insight into government. Then: Can a candidate for governor’s claims about Kansas school employment be believed? Wind power is expensive electricity, very expensive. A Wichita auto dealer pushes back against union protests. Finally, what is the real rate of unemployment in America? Episode 36, broadcast March 23, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Starwood calls on Wichita

This Tuesday the Wichita City Council considers economic development incentives to Starwood Hotels & Resorts for a call center to open in Wichita. Besides the usual problems with cronyism and corporate welfare (see Wichita-area economic development policy changes proposed for explanation of some problems), there are a few issues to consider regarding this item. First, the site where the Starwood call center will be located is owned by Max Cole. He and his wife are significant campaign contributors to Wichita City Council Member James Clendenin (district 3, southeast and south Wichita). Under the concept of pay-to-play laws that Wichita needs,…
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Janet Miller corrects misinformation

A Wichita City Council member sets out to correct misinformation, but instead makes a number of factual errors. At last week's Wichita City Council meeting, Council Member Janet Miller (district 6, north central Wichita) took an opportunity to correct misinformation she says was presented. It wasn't the first time she's done that; see On Wichita’s Exchange Place TIF, Janet Miller speaks, City council members on downtown Wichita revitalization, Wichita Old Town TIF district illustrates cost and harm of subsidy, Wichita fluoridation debate reveals attitudes of government, and At Wichita City Council, facts are in dispute for other examples of Miller…
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