Wichita city government

The downside of Being the Air Cap

Harry R. Clements of Wichita contributed this article, which is a summary of a larger study he performed. Click here to read the full study in pdf format. Mr. Clements's article makes a striking conclusion as to why airfares in Wichita were so high. I would be curious as to whether any of our government leaders have read the study. We should also ask why our government leaders are not performing research like this when they propose to spend large sums of taxpayer money. Wichita State's Center for Economic Development and Business Research recently placed a guest article of mine…
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Let free markets determine downtown Wichita’s viability

"Wichita's been an east/west town for as long as I can remember. Obviously, we're trying to change that," says Tom Johnson, president of the upcoming downtown project, WaterWalk. (Wichita Business Journal, March 4, 2005) A healthy community needs a healthy downtown. ... In Downtown, public investment has a proven track record of generating new, private investment. Since 1990, the government's investment of $165 million has stimulated $248 million in private investment. (Voteyea.com website.) "Anything downtown seems to be off-limits for criticism or analysis. I don't know why it is," Lambke said. (Council member Phil Lambke, Wichita Eagle, November 14, 2004)…
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Open letter to Wichita City Council regarding AirTran subsidy

January 24, 2005 Dear Councilmember: I am writing to express my concern about the upcoming renewal of the subsidy being paid to AirTran Airways. You may recall that I appeared before the Council last May and spoke in opposition to the subsidy. Since then I have learned more about the Fair Fares program. As an example, Mr. Troy Carlson, then Chairman of Fair Fares, wrote a letter that was published on September 16, 2004 in the Wichita Eagle. In that letter he claimed $2.4 billion economic benefit from the Fair Fares program ($4.8 billion for the entire state). I was…
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The motivations of politicians

Presently Mr. Bob Knight of Wichita, a private citizen, is promoting the building of a casino in Park City, Kansas. These articles from The Wichita Eagle have reported Mr. Knight's position on casino gambling in Kansas when he was the mayor of Wichita: GOP governor hopefuls stake their positions (July 3, 2002) "Knight and Kerr said they oppose gambling but would consider voter approval." Trump has no plans for local casino (May 9, 2003) "Last year, Ruffin said, he approached former Mayor Bob Knight about the possibility of relocating the track to downtown and adding a casino if lawmakers approved.…
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The Real Scandal at City Hall

In 2003, local Wichita news media devoted extensive news coverage to two officials in the City of Wichita's finance department. They were accused of improperly spending between $52,000 and $73,800 on travel. While I don't condone this waste and I'm glad that our local news media uncovered it, the amount involved is relatively small. Furthermore, the people who wasted this money are no longer in a position to repeat. The real scandal, however, is the ongoing lack of care exercised when spending our money. Time and time again we read in the newspaper how the mayor or city council members…
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Remarks to City Council, May 11, 2004, Regarding AirTran Airways Subsidy

I delivered these remarks to the Wichita City Council as they were preparing to vote on extending AirTran Airway's subsidy for another two years. The extension passed with only one dissenting vote. Mr. Mayor, Members of the Council: I speak today in opposition to the continuation of the subsidy the City is paying to AirTran Airways. There are several reasons why I believe this subsidy should not be continued. The primary reason is that the subsidy, since it is paid to one company and one company only, is not fair to the other companies. Yes, it is true that fares…
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