Tag: Tim Norton

Unruh recollections disputed
Sedgwick county government

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 Commissioner Unruh. I know because I was involved in Scholes’ hiring, but as a citizen, publicly opposed the firing of General Scholes, as well as cou...
In Sedgwick County, Norton’s misplaced concern for an industry
Sedgwick county government

In Sedgwick County, Norton’s misplaced concern for an industry

In the campaign for Sedgwick County Commission, the incumbent Tim Norton touts his experience, judgment, "intellectual stamina, thirst for data and feedback," and his efforts in economic development. Following, from January 2013, an example of how uninformed he is regarding basic facts about the Kansas economy. In Sedgwick County, Norton's misplaced concern for an industry Expressing concern about a large industry that he said is important to Sedgwick County and Kansas, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. He cited the commonly-held belief that humans, with their desire for large suburban home lots, are depleting the stock of available farmland. Specifically, Norton said "Agribusiness is the third largest economic driv...
Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences
Sedgwick county government

Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences

In the campaign for Sedgwick County Commission, the incumbent Tim Norton touts his experience, judgment, "intellectual stamina, thirst for data and feedback," and his efforts in economic development. Following, from January 2013, an example of how uninformed he is. You also see his preference for government regulation over economic and personal freedom. Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences Last week at a meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. In support, he cited the commonly-held belief that humans -- especially with their desire for large suburban home lots -- are depleting the stock of farmland to the point of being detrimental to agribusiness. Here's part of what Norto...
Wichita Chamber speaks on county spending and taxes
Sedgwick county government

Wichita Chamber speaks on county spending and taxes

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce urges spending over fiscally sound policies and tax restraint in Sedgwick County. Today the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce issued a "key vote" alert. This procedure, used by political groups of all persuasions, alerts elected officials that the Chamber prefers a certain outcome on an issue. Those who vote in harmony with the Chamber are likely to receive support in their next election, while the noncompliant are implicitly threatened with opponents the Chamber will support. Here's what the Chamber sent to commissioners: From: Barby Jobe Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 2:47 PM TO: SEDGWICK COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FROM: WALTER BERRY, Vice Chair, Wichita Metro Chamber Government Relations Committee RE: KEY VOTE ALERT ...
Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget
Sedgwick county government

Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget

When someone invokes "ideology" in their criticism of you, you know that they've either run short of actual arguments based on fact, or they don't know what ideological means. In its op-ed this Sunday, the Wichita Eagle editorial board blasts the Sedgwick County Commission for cuts to various programs, mentioning "Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, the Arts Council and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition" specifically. I might invite the Eagle editorialists to revisit the county's recommended budget for 2013, prepared under the leadership of then-chairman Tim Norton, the body's sole Democrat, both then and now. According to county documents, Norton's recommended budget made these cuts: Zoo: $255,889 Exploration Place: $112,405 Arts Council: $0 GWEDC: $0 So t...
Wichita arena sales tax not a model of success
Wichita city government

Wichita arena sales tax not a model of success

Supporters of a new sales tax in Wichita use the Intrust Bank Arena as an example of successful application of a sales tax. As Wichita debates the desirability of a sales tax, a former sales tax is used as a model of success. Let's take a look at a few of the issues. Ongoing vs. capital expenses A portion of the proposed sales tax will be used for operational expenses, and the demand for this spending will not end when the sales tax ends. The sales tax for the Intrust Bank Arena was used to build a capital asset and establish a small reserve fund. Spending on capital assets is characterized by a large expense in a short period of time as the asset is constructed. Then, the spending is over -- sort of. For the proposed Wichita sales tax, 63 percent is scheduled for capital as...
Wichita city government

Wichita not good for small business

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Voice For Liberty. The Wichita Business Journal reports today: When it comes to having good conditions to support small businesses, well, Wichita isn’t exactly at the top of the list, according to a new ranking from The Business Journals. In fact, the Wichita metro area’s small-business vitality score is nearly at the bottom -- 99th out of the 101 U.S. metro areas included in the study. (Wichita near bottom for small-business vitality score, April 2, 2014) Many in Wichita don't want to recognize ...
Wichita city government

For Wichita’s economic development machinery, failure

Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. As Wichita embarks upon a new era of economic development, we need to ask who to trust with this important task. The good news: In a recent op-ed, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer wrote that the city needs to make a decision regarding "A more aggressive approach to job creation." (Carl Brewer: Wichita can have a great next year, December 22, 2013 Wichita Eagle) The bad news: Wichita has performed very poorly in job creation in recent decades, and even if we decide on a more aggressive approach, pretty much the same crew is in charge. Many in Wichita don't want to recognize and confront the bad news about the performance of the Wichita-area economy. Last year, when presenting its annual report to local go...
Wichita city government

Wichita performs a reference check, the video

Citizens of Wichita are rightly concerned about whether our elected officials and bureaucrats are looking out for their interests, or only for the interests and welfare of a small group of city hall insiders. The video below explains, or click here to view in HD on YouTube. For an article on this topic, see Wichita performs a reference check, sort of.
Wichita city government

Wichita performs a reference check, sort of

For a video presentation of this material, click on Wichita performs a reference check, the video. Citizens of Wichita are rightly concerned about whether our elected officials and bureaucrats are looking out for their interests, or only for the interests and welfare of a small group of city hall insiders. Cronies, if you will. A recent application filed with Wichita City Hall regarding the West Bank Development Project raises two questions: Did the government officials listed as references give their permission, and were any of the references contacted to learn what they knew about the applicants? The application filed by the River Vista development team shows this: The team, consisting of George Laham, Dave Wells, Dave Burk, and Bill Warren listed numerous local, state, and fed...
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV August 11, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV, host Bob Weeks asks if shoppers have ever paid extra sales tax in Wichita's Community Improvement Districts, and describes efforts by the city to avoid disclosure of this tax. Then, are there similarities between Wichita and Detroit? Finally, a Sedgwick County Commissioner is worried about agriculture being driven out of the county, but Bob thinks he doesn't need to worry. Episode 8, broadcast August 11, 2013. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
Regulation

Language makes a difference

No longer is it "Sustainable Communities." Now it's "South Central Kansas Prosperity Plan." Either way, the program is still centralized government planning, with great potential to harm our economy and liberties. The newly-renamed planning initiative has a new website set to launch in a few days -- Let's Talk Prosperity. But no matter how politicians and bureaucrats dress it up, we need to remember the roots of this program. It took from 1987 to 2012, but Sedgwick County actually adopted the language of the United Nations regarding sustainability. Those critical of sustainability planning are concerned that engaging in the practice has the potential to import harmful policies and practices originating from the United Nations. Critics of these critics say this is nonsense and ...
Sedgwick county government

Government planning, itself, is dangerous

The very existence of a government plan is dangerous, as its construction creates powerful constituencies that have shaped it to fit their needs and are highly motivated to see it implemented. In Sunday's Wichita Eagle, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton defended the regional community planning initiative underway in south-central Kansas. (Tim Norton: Planning effort helps shape region’s future) Much of the Commissioner's article simply described the program and the need for it in vague generalities that are neither correct or incorrect, and which do little to advance understanding of what is really likely to happen. But Norton did write something useful when he attempted to deflect the fact that this is a government plan, backed by the ability of government to compel com...
Sedgwick county government

In Sedgwick County, misplaced concern for an industry

Expressing concern about a large industry that he said is important to Sedgwick County and Kansas, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. He cited the commonly-held belief that humans, with their desire for large suburban home lots, are depleting the stock of available farmland. Specifically, Norton said "Agribusiness is the third largest economic driver in our community, in our region." But is this true? Using 2010 figures from the Kansas Statistical Abstract, these are the largest industries in Kansas in terms of gross domestic product: Industry GDP (millions) State and local government $13,047 Real estate and rental and leasing $11,794 Health care and social assistance $9,898 Durab...
Sedgwick county government

Saving farms from people

Last week at a meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. In support, he cited the commonly-held belief that humans -- especially with their desire for large suburban home lots -- are depleting the stock of farmland to the point of being detrimental to agribusiness. Here's part of what Norton said (video below): Now I know people don't like the idea of sprawl and growth rings and all that, but the truth is there is a balance between where people live and preserving our good agricultural lands and how do you make that work. And that's being able to sustain part of our economy. Agribusiness is the third largest economic driver in our community, in our region, and to say that we're okay with every five...
Wichita city government

Wichita economic development solution, postponed

Recent reporting in the Wichita Business Journal on Wichita's economic development efforts has many officials saying Wichita doesn't have enough incentives to compete with other cities. That is, we are not spending enough on incentives. Whether these incentives are good economic development policy is open for debate. I don't believe we need them, and that we in Kansas and Wichita can chart another course to increase economic freedom in Kansas. That will make our area appealing to companies. But our local bureaucrats, most business leaders, and nearly all elected officials believe that targeted incentives are the way to attract and retain business. (Charts at the end of this article illustrate the record in Wichita on jobs.) Our leaders have identified what they believe is a soluti...
Sedgwick county government

Sedgwick County Commission: Let’s not vote today

At the October 31 meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Karl Peterjohn introduced a measure that would let the Kansas Legislature know that the commission supports improving the tax climate in Kansas, and specifically would limit property tax growth. But electoral politics forced a delay in a vote. In response to Peterjohn's proposal, the coalition of one Democrat and two liberal Republicans that form the working majority on the commission maneuvered to delay voting on the measure until after the November 6 election. With the item appearing on tomorrow's agenda, it's very likely that the majority coalition -- Commission Chair Tim Norton, Dave Unruh, and Jim Skelton -- will vote against the proposal. Why the rush for delay? Norton was facing a vigorous challenge in the election....
Sedgwick county government

From the United Nations to Sedgwick County

It took from 1987 to 2012, but Sedgwick County has adopted the language of the United Nations regarding sustainability. Those critical of sustainability planning are concerned that engaging in sustainable communities planning has the potential to import harmful policies and practices originating from the United Nations. Critics of these critics say this is nonsense and overreacting. Examples as reported in the Wichita Eagle come from Commissioner Dave Unruh and Commission Chair Tim Norton: Unruh said he sees the grant simply as an “effort to make decisions about our future for us and our future generations that will save money, conserve resources and be the best solutions for all the folks in our region.” ... Norton said he sees the grant as a way to “look to the future, try to fi...
Sedgwick county government

Sedgwick County tower sale was not in citizens’ best interest

The sale of a radio tower owned by Sedgwick County reveals another case of local government not looking out for the interests of citizens and taxpayers, with the realization that the stain of cronyism is alive and well. As a result of system upgrades, the county no longer needs a radio tower located near 77th Street North and Interstate 135. Pixius Communications, LLC made an offer to purchase the tower and the five acre tower site for $280,000. The county proceeded making arrangements for the sale, preparing a sales agreement contract between Sedgwick County and Pixius with a sales price of $280,000, along with several other legal documents necessary to support the sale. These documents are available at the agenda file for this item. According to sources, County Manager William Buch...
Sedgwick county government

Tim Norton commercial: Some context

A television advertisement for Tim Norton, candidate for re-election to the Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners, contains claims that, while probably true, hide the reality of Norton's record. Tim Norton television advertisement One claim in the ad is that "I've worked hard to create new jobs, and save what we have." A graphic in the ad reads "Over 18,000 new & retained jobs." I don't know the source of the job claims, but the numbers provided by Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, our area's economic development organization, must be viewed with caution. An example is MoJack, a company which had received a forgivable loan from Wichita and Sedgwick County based on promises to create a certain number of jobs. But later MoJack revised its projections of job cr...
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