Sharon Fearey

A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

It's interesting to look at campaign finance reports. Following, a few highlights on a report from the David Dennis campaign. He's a candidate for Sedgwick County Commission in the August Republican Party primary election. The report was filed July 25, 2016, covering the period from January 1, 2016 through July 21, 2016. These reports are available online at the Sedgwick County Election Office website. Keith Stevens, $200 A longtime Democrat community activist, always on the side of higher taxes and more government spending. Suzanne F. Ahlstrand, $250 Gary & Cathy Schmitt, $100 Jon E. Rosell, $100 Charlie Chandler, Maria Chandler,…
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In Wichita, corporate welfare not needed, after all

Last fall the City of Wichita awarded two forms of economic development subsidy to a proposed Save-A-Lot grocery store to be built in the Planeview neighborhood. The developer of the store was able to persuade Wichita economic development officials and city council members that the store could not be built without public assistance. But now a different developer is going ahead with the project -- without any of the subsidies Wichita approved, raising questions as to whether the city's original offer of public assistance was genuine economic development, or just another instance of corporate welfare. The subsidies approved were in…
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Wichita city council celebrates while others face cuts

It's reported that the City of Wichita is facing a $6.5 million shortfall. The city's looking at several ways to reduce costs, including closing police substations during the overnight hours ($148,000), reducing lawn mowing at parks ($100,000), and cutting back on swimming pool hours ($2,000). Here's one simple thing the city could do to save money that won't cause very many people any pain at all: cut back on celebratory luncheons. On Tuesday April 14, 2009, after the city council meeting, 37 guests lunched at the Hyatt Regency. The total cost of this event to the city, according to the…
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YMCA – Wichita conflict of interest

A local non-profit organization, held in high esteem, seeks to purchase property owned by the City of Wichita. So what's the problem? During his State of the City address for 2009, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer revealed his plan for a partnership between the city and the YMCA. So far this partnership has revealed itself in the city's plan to sell some city-owned land at First and Waco Streets to the YMCA. Council members Jeff Longwell and Sharon Fearey were appointed to represent the city in negotiations. The problem is that Longwell is a member of the advisory board for the…
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Sharon Fearey doesn’t appreciate the Wichita Eagle

At the December 16, 2008 meeting of the Wichita City Council, Sharon Fearey expressed her displeasure with reporting done by the Wichita Eagle. In this clip, she mentions the Wichita Eagle reporting of the history of Grant Gaudreau. Fearey implies that the Eagle knew that he had been removed from the Renaissance Square project over a month ago. But just two weeks ago, Allen Bell, development director for the City of Wichita, referred to Gaudreau as "principal developer." So Fearey's accounting of the facts isn't even close to Bell's. Is there a communications breakdown at city hall? It seems obvious.
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“Thank You, Wichita Eagle”

Mustering all the sarcasm she can, Sharon Fearey says "Thank you, Wichita Eagle." Speaking from the bench at the December 16, 2008 meeting of the Wichita City Council, she's referring to reporting that newspaper did that uncovered problems in the past of the person referred to as the principal developer of a project. Wichita city council member Fearey simply does not understand the concerns of the citizens of Wichita. Combined with her tasteless joke a few weeks ago (see Sharon Fearey’s Bad Joke for video), Wichitans can be thankful that term limits are bringing an end to her time on…
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No Diligence in Wichita City Hall

Rhonda Holman's Wichita Eagle editorial today (Need vetting of City Hall partners) correctly states that city staff "missed the mark in vetting negotiator Grant Gaudreau." Or is the proper title "principal developer," as stated by Wichita’s director of urban development Allen Bell? (See Wichita’s Faulty Due Diligence for video.) There's a lot of confusion over this matter, and times like this let us get a closer look at what's going on in city hall. We can also learn a lot about the attitudes of government officials and city staff. For example, a Wichita Eagle news story reported this: "Grant was…
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Sharon Fearey’s Bad Joke

At the Tuesday December 2, 2008 meeting of the Wichita City Council, a property owner was present. This man, owner of the Nifty Nut House, a popular store for nuts and treats, was in front of the council when council member Sharon Fearey asked this question: "Do we all get free nuts or anything?" (Laughter from the council and audience.) "Just kidding! You can't buy our vote!" It's troubling to me when elected officials think things like this are funny. Why was she even thinking of this? The Nifty Nut House has great products. I was thinking about them as…
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Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer’s Reformulated TIF Plan Still a Bad Idea

Today the Wichita City Council holds a special meeting to consider a reformulated plan to provide tax increment financing (TIF) for the area surrounding the downtown Wichita arena. It's still a bad idea. It appears there are two major changes in the new plan. First, the TIF district is smaller. Second, spending on the district would be 70 percent of the new property taxes -- the "increment" -- instead of 100 percent. Why is this plan a bad idea? Why, you may be asking, aren't I in favor of development and progress in downtown? To me, there's a difference between…
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Wichita Smoking Ban Starts. Sharon Fearey is Excited.

Today, September 4, 2008, marks the first day of the ban on smoking in Wichita. It's not quite a total ban, and that has some smoking ban supporters upset. In a letter to the Wichita Eagle, anti-smoking activist Cindy Claycomb writes "If you are a supporter of clean indoor air, please do not spend your money in businesses that allow smoking indoors, including smoking rooms. If we continue to spend our money at places that allow smoking indoors, that tells the business owners that we do not care -- that we will tolerate secondhand smoke even though we all know…
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Tiff over Wichita TIFs

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 in favor of government over individual action and preference. My post The Wichita Eagle’s Preference For Government documents one such example from the past. In this blog post Mr. Wilson reveals more of this preference and the faulty assumptions that go along with it. For example, he speaks of the need to "incentivize development." Incentives are designed to get people to do something they wouldn't do on their own. That pretty much describes downtown development.…
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What Wichita Vice Mayor Sharon Fearey Doesn’t Understand

In a Wichita Eagle article City tax districts aren't breaking even we find this whopper of a quote: Vice Mayor Sharon Fearey likened the situation to what would happen if she put a swimming pool in her yard. "I'd probably actually lose money, but for the years that I've had that swimming pool, I'd have a quality of life I couldn't get without it," she said. Evidently Ms. Fearey does not understand the difference between making a free choice to spend one's own money (the swimming pool in her backyard) with government taxation to pay for decisions politicians and bureaucrats…
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Government Art in Wichita

Do we really want government art in Wichita? David Boaz, in his recent book The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties writes this in a chapter titled "The Separation of Art and State": It is precisely because art has power, because it deals with basic human truths, that it must be kept separate from government. Government, as I noted earlier, involves the organization of coercion. In a free society coercion should be reserved only for such essential functions of government as protecting rights and punishing criminals. People should not be forced to…
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In Wichita, is Economic Development Proven Public Policy?

In a statement read by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and released on the city's website at Mayor Brewer Warren Theatre [sic] Statement, the mayor states "Economic development is proven public policy." The word "proven" was used several other times in the statement. (I don't know who wrote the title to the statement, but it combines the mayor's name with theater developer Bill Warren's name in a way that is, I am sure, unintentionally humorous. Mayor Brewer Warren? Who is he?) The Warren Theater economic development project is one example of economic development that has proven not to work, despite the…
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Let property rights rule Wichita smoking decisions

A system of absolute respect for private property rights is the best way to handle smoking, as it is with all issues. The owners of bars and restaurants have, and should continue to have, the absolute right to permit or deny smoking on their property. Not everyone agrees with this simple truth. Charlie Claycomb, co-chair of the Tobacco Free Wichita coalition, asks in The Wichita Eagle why clean air is not a right when smoking is a right. The answer is that both clean air and smoking are rights that people may enjoy, as they wish, on their own property.…
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Resurrecting urban renewal in Wichita?

Thank you to John Todd for this excellent article. Resurrecting Urban Renewal in Wichita? By John Todd On August 22, 2006, the City of Wichita hosted a Visioneering Committee "Public Forum on Community Revitalization" featuring Mr. Richard Baron, Chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) of St. Louis, Missouri in the Sudermann Commons Room at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex. An August 14, 2006 letter from City Manager George Kolb explains, "This forum is part of the City's commitment to and participation in a prisoner reentry initiative to help transform not only the lives of returning ex-offenders,…
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Local economic development in Wichita

Writing from Memphis, Tennessee Today's Wichita Eagle (November 5, 2005) tells us of a new economic development package that our local governments have given to induce a call center to locate in Wichita. The deal is described as "one of the biggest the two-year-old economic development coalition [Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition] has landed." There is an interesting academic paper titled "The Failures of Economic Development Incentives," published in Journal of the American Planning Association, and which can be read here: www.planning.org/japa/pdf/04winterecondev.pdf. A few quotes from the study: Given the weak effects of incentives on the location choices of businesses…
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