Dave Unruh

For Sedgwick County Commission, too much debate

For Sedgwick County Commission, too much debate

By moving to end motions and debate, the Sedgwick County Commission isn't effectively serving citizens and taxpayers. Yesterday's meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission offered an opportunity to learn how we can improve local government. The issue the commission was considering, significant in its own right, is not important to the following discussion. It's the process that needs improvement. There was a proposed ordinance. Commissioner Jim Howell offered two amendments -- really substitute motions -- that altered the proposed ordinance. Each failed by votes of three to two. Howell had two more motions to offer. But Commissioner David Dennis moved…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. 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 hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There hasn't been much talk…
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Wichita Chamber speaks on county spending and taxes

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…
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Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County taxpayers have been generous with funding for Wichita Area Technical College, and the former county manager has recommended reducing its funding. During the July 16, 2014 meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, county manager Bill Buchanan presented the recommended budget for 2015. It included a cut in funding for Wichita Area Technical College in the amount of $150,000. In response to a question, Buchanan told the commissioners: "The new president has been assertive and aggressive in trying to deal with their financial issues. They have, he has turned that financial, that institution around financially. They are in pretty…
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Sedgwick County spending beneficiaries overwhelm others

Sedgwick County spending beneficiaries overwhelm others

That so many speakers at a public hearing were in favor of government spending is not surprising. In a letter to the editor of the Wichita Eagle the writer stated "But apparently few of them felt strongly enough to come to the commission hearing and express their support of budget cuts." He was referring to the public hearing on Wednesday July 29, when some 50 people spoke, and just three supported cuts. This lopsided ratio is not surprising. It's an example of the well-known phenomenon of concentrated benefits and dispersed (or diffuse) costs. Explained in this video, it observes that…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. But no one wants to talk about this. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote 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 hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing…
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A Wichita Shocker, redux

A Wichita Shocker, redux

Based on events in Wichita, the Wall Street Journal wrote "What Americans seem to want most from government these days is equal treatment. They increasingly realize that powerful government nearly always helps the powerful ..." But Wichita's elites don't seem to understand this. Three years ago from today the Wall Street Journal noted something it thought remarkable: a "voter revolt" in Wichita. Citizens overturned a decision by the Wichita City Council regarding an economic development incentive awarded to a downtown hotel. It was the ninth layer of subsidy for the hotel, and because of our laws, it was the only…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Government accounting, Government ownership of infrastructure, and Wichita commercial property taxes

WichitaLiberty.TV: Government accounting, Government ownership of infrastructure, and Wichita commercial property taxes

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Government leaders tell us they want to run government like a business. But does government actually do this, even when accounting for its money? Then, is it best for government to own all the infrastructure? Finally, taxes on Wichita commercial property are high, compared to the rest of the nation. Episode 46, broadcast June 8, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Proper attention given to the depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. It's a business-like way of accounting, but a well-hidden secret. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote 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 hides the true…
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Wichita not good for small business

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 and confront the bad news about the performance of the Wichita-area economy. Last year, when…
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