Sedgwick county government

End this now. Nominate Sarah Lopez.

End this now. Nominate Sarah Lopez.

Sedgwick County Republicans have a chance to do the decent thing and avoid the spectacle of a rump county commissioner. Rump: a small or inferior remnant or offshoot especially: a group (such as a parliament) carrying on in the name of the original body after the departure or expulsion of a large number of its members (from Oxford languages) Now that the vote canvass is complete in Sedgwick County, Sarah Lopez has won the seat for Sedgwick County Commissioner, District 2. The vote count is 17,041 for Lopez and 16,777 for the incumbent Michael O'Donnell, a margin of 264 votes.…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2019 nears $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2019 nears $5 million

A truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and it hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There are at least two ways of looking at the finance of the arena. Nearly all attention…
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Intrust Bank Arena economic impact holds mistake

Intrust Bank Arena economic impact holds mistake

A report on the economic impact of the first ten years of operation of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita incorrectly reported tax revenue. Recently Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita promoted the results of an analysis of the economic impact of the arena through its first ten years of operation. [1. INTRUST Bank Arena Reports Economic Impact Study Results Through First 10 Years. February 14, 2020. Available at https://www.intrustbankarena.com/release/366/intrust-bank-arena-reports-economic-impact-study-results-through-first-10-years/.] The arena partnered with the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University to conduct the study. [2. Analysis by CEDBR, version 2, dated 1/6/2020. The…
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Wichita to Ghana, again

Wichita to Ghana, again

News of a Sedgwick County Commissioner's trip to Africa has raised some controversy, and something like this has been tried before. The Wichita Eagle reported this regarding Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacy Cruse's visit to the West Africa country Ghana: "She said she focused her efforts on economic opportunities related to aviation and education. She said she talked to Ghana’s minister of aviation about potentially establishing an aviation school and setting up an aviation maintenance shop at the Tamale International Airport in Ghana. She didn’t make any formal deals on behalf of the county or any local companies. She said forming…
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The finances of Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita

The finances of Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita

A truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. Despite hosting the NCAA basketball tournament, the arena's "net income" fell. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and it hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There are at least two ways…
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Sedgwick County Commission needs to slow down, get things right

Sedgwick County Commission needs to slow down, get things right

Sedgwick County needs to make sure past issues are known and settled before proceeding with hiring a new county manager, writes former commissioner Richard Ranzau. While most members of the Sedgwick County Commission are eager to move on from events of the past two years, it's important to know what really happened. Some important questions: A majority of commissioners wanted to fire former manager Michael Scholes, with chair David Dennis presenting Scholes with an ultimatum on September 28, 2018. Later, in November, the same commissioners hired an outside law firm to investigate Scholes so that a politically correct reason could…
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Retiring Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh praised

Retiring Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh praised

The praise for retired Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh can't be based on our region's accomplishments under his guidance. That is, if people are informed and truthful. In January a group of Wichita business leaders submitted an op-ed to the Wichita Eagle to mark the retirement of Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh. I quote portions here, with emphasis added: He easily won re-election because his constituents and the rest of us knew he was dedicated to strengthening our community, region and the state. ... In economic development Commissioner Unruh was chairman in 2006 when the board voted to build a…
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Unruh recollections disputed

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…
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Taxpayers will miss Richard Ranzau

Taxpayers will miss Richard Ranzau

When a county commissioner's questions produce a reversal of the county manager's spending plans, you know we have good representation. That's what happened in 2013 when the county manager wanted to spend $47,000 to clear some trees. Commissioner Richard Ranzau thought the expense should be the responsibility of the neighborhood that would benefit from what he thought was a thinly-veiled request to shove off spending to the county. What did the county manager say after Ranzau's questions? “We got out in front of ourselves without doing much critical thinking, and I take full responsibility for that,” Sedgwick County Manager Bill…
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