Is the Wichita city council burdened with too many public hearings? Wichita’s mayor seems to think so.
It’s not like the Wichita City Council is overburdened with citizens wanting to speak at public hearings. Sure, once in a while when the council is considering something really important like renaming the airport, many will want to speak.
But by and large, the routine business of the council is conducted with little input from the public. (This includes the dishing out of grants, tax abatements, and other favors worth millions to council members’ campaign contributors and cronies.) Many public hearings draw no speakers. For others, maybe one or two citizens will appear and offer an opinion.
Yet, it has become commonplace for the new mayor and council members to carp about the length of city council meetings.
This is in a city that just last week received an award for, in part, “community engagement.” Which tells us a lot about the worth and validity of these awards.
But for Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, too many public hearings means, well, too much community engagement. Or, maybe too much of his time wasted. He didn’t say which, but I think we know what he meant.
Oh, and the public hearing where the mayor brought up his concern about wasting time with too many public hearings? No one wanted to speak. Video below.