Government planning

Wichita develops plans to make up for past planning mistakes

Wichita develops plans to make up for past planning mistakes

On several issues, including street maintenance, water supply, and economic development, Wichita government and civic leaders have let our city fall behind. Now they ask for your support for future plans to correct these mistakes in past plans. In February the City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The amounts of money involved are large, and portions represent deferred maintenance. That is, the city has not been taking care of the assets that taxpayers have paid for. When Wichita city leaders ask for more taxes to…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Government planning, taxes, and carbon

WichitaLiberty.TV: Government planning, taxes, and carbon

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The document holds some facts that ought to make Wichitans think, and think hard. Then: What is the purpose of high tax rates on high income earners? Finally: Advances in producing oil and natural gas make for a more competitive and carbon-efficient economy. Episode 33, broadcast March 2, 2014. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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Where’s Wichita’s water?

Where’s Wichita’s water?

As part of the Community Investments Plan process, citizens have told the City of Wichita they're concerned about future water supply. Through both the mailed survey and direct feedback obtained in citizen forums, creating a reliable source of water was the top priority, according to city documents released this week. Those who have been paying attention might be surprised that there is a water crisis, and that citizens are concerned. That's because when Bob Knight was mayor, he was told that Wichita had sufficient water for the next 50 years. That was about ten years ago. More recently, the city…
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In Wichita, citizens want more transparency in city government

In a videographed meeting that is part of a comprehensive planning process, Wichitans openly question the process, repeatedly asking for an end to cronyism and secrecy at city hall. As part of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Comprehensive Plan, the City of Wichita held a number of focus groups meetings. Their purpose, according to city documents, was to provide "information on the components of the Plan and provide input on a draft survey." (Some indication of the reverence given to the plan to city planners may be inferred by the city's use of capitalization when referring to it.) The community meetings were…
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In Wichita, the case for business welfare

On Tuesday the Wichita City Council will consider granting an exemption from paying property and sales tax for High Touch Technologies, a company located in downtown Wichita. Let's take a look at some of the aspects of this company's application and the city's agenda packet material (available here). In its application letter, High Touch argues as follows (emphasis added): To demonstrate our commitment to Wichita, as well as accommodate our expected growth plans, High Touch Technologies would like to purchase a 106,000 sq. ft. building in Downtown Wichita. At this time, High Touch Technologies is requesting your support for the…
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Wichita and Visioneering peers job growth

Visioneering Wichita and other planning agencies take responsibility for growing the Wichita-area economy. What is the record so far? In the following video, the record of job growth for Wichita, the nation, and our Visioneering peers (Kansas City, Omaha, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa) is presented. Data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Visualization created using Tableau Public. Click here to use the visualization yourself, or watch the video below. (Click here to watch the video on YouTube, which may work best.)
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Like it or not, we’re coming to plan for you

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken We've learned that the government planners will plan for you, whether or not you want it. Despite having voted against participation, two Kansas counties are still listed as members of a regional planning consortium. Further, a month after the Butler County Commission sent a letter asking that references to its participation be removed, its name still appears. The new website thinktomorrowtoday.org promotes and supports the sustainable communities government planning process in South-Central Kansas. The planning effort has…
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Be wary of expanding Wichita transit spending

Today's Wichita Eagle carries an op-ed designed to gather support for funding an expanded Wichita regional transit system. The article is Chase M. Billingham: State should support transit. Before deciding to expand Wichita's transit system, and especially before deciding on a new taxing scheme to fund it, we need to make sure we understand more about transit. Here's a claim from the op-ed that is incorrect: "Already, local revenue sources and fares account for about half of Wichita Transit’s operating budget." That doesn't align with figures I've found. In July I reported on the transit system's finances, and found that…
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A vision for Wichita

Why are some in Wichita so insistent on pushing their vision of what our city should look like, and why are they willing and eager to use the coercive force of government to achieve their vision? In the article below, Randal O'Toole, using a work by Thomas Sowell, provides much insight into understanding why. Reading this post, I couldn't help think of Wichita: the "manufactured crisis" of too much driving and too little walking; the desire by many, including several Wichita City Council members -- even self-styled conservative members -- to expand the power and reach of government; and the…
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It will be a busy Tuesday in Wichita

Tuesday's meeting of the Wichita City Council is likely to take more than a few moments, as the agenda is loaded with items. The agenda packet may be viewed at this page in general, or this link specifically for the August sixth meeting. First, there are four speakers on the public agenda, which is where citizens may sign up in advance to speak on any topic. (When speaking on specific agenda items, speakers do not need to sign up in advance, but need to stay on topic.) Then, the city will consider a forgivable loan to Triumph Aerospace Systems, Inc.,…
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