A post titled Keeping TIFs from a public tiff by Wichita Eagle business reporter Bill Wilson on the Eagle’s Business Casual blog reveals his bias…
Posts tagged as “Sedgwick county government”
At the imaginatively-named Bobby Rozzell’s Blog the author has a suggestion for Wichita government. Here’s the idea: Some smart local leader is going to figure…
I was one of the two campaign co-managers for Karl Peterjohn’s successful campaign for the Republican nomination for Sedgwick County Commissioner, third district. As such…
Several Wichita Eagle editorials in recent weeks have mentioned the success of the Intrust Arena being built in downtown Wichita. Success, I might ask, at…
This was received from a friend, and was also printed in the Wichita Eagle. The writer accuses the Sedgwick County Commission of doing something “questionable.”…
A press release from the Peterjohn for County Commissioner campaign 23 July 2008 The Wichita Eagle’s lead story July 23 mentions a new county proposal…
I’ve started a page that lists candidates for election in the Wichita and Sedgwick County area, containing links to candidate websites. It’s not quite finished,…
I am running for Republican precinct committeeman. The Wichita Eagle sent me a request to answer some questions to appear in a voter's guide. These are the questions asked (to the best of my recollection; I didn't record the text of the questions and now I can no longer log in to the system to see them) and my responses.
In February 2008, Janet Harrah of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University produced a report titled "Wichita Public Schools: Impact Analysis Operations Impact, Bond Impact and Success Measures." This report painted a glowing picture of the USD 259 (Wichita, Kansas public school district) bond issue in 2000. The district uses it to promote the success of the 2000 issue, and to promote the proposed bond issue that may be voted on sometime in 2008. The study may be viewed at the CEDBR website here.
I received this letter to Sedgwick County (Kansas) Commissioner David Unruh "over the transom" and I thought it merited reading by the general public. The author speaks of the "road to economic perdition." I had to use the dictionary to refresh my memory of the exact meaning of the word "perdition." While that term seems at first to be a little strong, I believe that trash franchising, like a ban on smoking, is just the first step in the plans of our local government officials. If politicians and newspaper editorialists can convince us that we require the force of government to take care of something as simple as picking up the trash -- something that works very well already – it's an easy jump to the next level of control. So perdition seems appropriate.
But what trash franchising does is to grant a monopoly to one (or sometimes a few) service providers for specific geographic areas. Under franchising, people living in an area will have either no choice, or perhaps limited choice, in choosing who picks up their trash. Rates will also be set by government.
The effect of this is that the profit motive for trash haulers is dramatically modified. Under franchising, trash companies have guaranteed customers paying mandated rates. What is the likely effect of this? I refer to Walter E. Williams, who said this: "Here’s Williams’ law: Whenever the profit incentive is missing, the probability that people’s wants can be safely ignored is the greatest."
In some cases the price system tells us that recycling is a beneficial use of resources. About 75% of automobiles are recycled, and used cardboard is often recycled in commercial settings. That's because the price paid for these recycled items is high enough that, in these contexts, recycling can be profitable. That's the price system at work. It tells us that the best use of an old car is to recycle it, and the same goes for cardboard boxes at the grocery store.
On Tuesday December 4, 2007, Sedgwick County hosted the formal groundbreaking ceremony for the downtown Wichita arena. While local government leaders and news media hailed the event as a transforming event in the history of Wichita, this writer does not share their enthusiasm.
Expanding gambling in Sedgwick County will lower taxes and provide “…tax relief…,” according to casino advocates’ campaign flyer. This claim is preposterous in light of the soaring property tax hikes and spending expansion plans being generated by local government in our community.
We need to correct the flawed downtown arena proposal’s mistakes. Since the legislature authorized the county sales tax for the downtown arena it has become abundantly clear that the case against proceeding with the flawed arena project has been made. Enclosed with this testimony is a copy of the 2004 flyer used in that election campaign that shows that the critics of this proposal were correct on the key points in this project.
“The arena critics are being proven right,” said Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, the oldest taxpayer organization in Kansas. “As the leading opponent of the 2004 downtown arena project in Wichita, it is becoming increasingly clear that this project is in major trouble.”
Image what our town could be like if the Wichita downtown arena vote fails and Sedgwick County Commissioners put aside for a moment their plans for the renovation of the Kansas Coliseum.
Suppose, instead, that arena supporters, along with those who would vote yes for the sales tax and anyone else who wants to, formed a corporation to build and own an arena.
Spirit Aerosystems CEO Jeff Turner defended the massive spending hike that was used as the primary justification for the county's 8.8 percent property tax hike in his editorial August 9, 2006. Turner's support for this increased government spending ignored some important ramifications behind this economically destructive vote.
At the July 25, 2006 Sedgwick County Commission meeting, during the public hearing on the proposed 2007 Sedgwick County budget, a speaker said this in support of funding for mental health services: "I agree with the previous presenter and I'd be willing to forego a few cheeseburgers this year so that if I need to pay more taxes to help provide services, I'm willing to do that."
It hardly seems necessary to remind this speaker that she may give whatever she wants of her time and money to any organization she wants. She doesn't need the Sedgwick County Commission to do it for her.
On August 25, 2004 and prior to the arena vote in November of that year, I presented testimony before this Commission questioning the wisdom of building a downtown arena without knowing the exact location of the parcel(s) of land the project would be located on. I asked the questions, does the Commission know the exact location of the arena project? Is the needed land for sale? Are the property owners willing to selling their land? And, most importantly, has the County secured a contract option to purchase the needed land with an exact purchase price? I believed then and now that the taxpaying public needed to know the answers to those questions before making a decision on a $184.5 million dollar project in the voting booth. From what I have been reading in the news recently, it seems apparent to me now that County officials failed in their "due diligence" responsibility to the citizens of this county by not securing the land for the arena in advance, and should now be willing to authorize another "non-binding" or perhaps a "binding" and final public vote on the arena project.