Government waste

Border wall procedures criticized

Border wall procedures criticized

A government watchdog says the procedures for acquiring the southern border wall are inadequate, and the ability to maintain complete operational control is diminished. A report by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security finds that U.S. Customs and Border Protection found the procedures for procuring the southern border wall inadequate for the task. Specifically, the IG found that CBP did not attempt to identify "the most effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions to obtain operational control of the southern border as directed." Instead, the IG described the methods as "outdated." The report found other deficiencies and…
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Is the pursuit of intergovernmental grants wise?

Is the pursuit of intergovernmental grants wise?

Is the pursuit of intergovernmental grants wise? Would local governments fund certain programs if the money was not seen as "free?" An eariler version of this article failed to distinguish Jim Howell's position from the majority of candidates. I regret the error. At a forum of candidates for Sedgwick County Commission, the subject of intergovernmental grants was discussed. All candidates except for current commissioners Richard Ranzau and Jim Howell were fully in favor -- enthusiastic, even -- of the grant system. Both Ranzau and Howell expressed skepticism of the wisdom and efficacy of the grant system. Other candidates participating in…
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Wichita bridges, well memorialized

Wichita bridges, well memorialized

Drivers -- like me -- on East Twenty-First Street in Wichita are happy that the work on a small bridge is complete, but may not be pleased with one aspect of the project. It's a small bridge, on East Twenty-First Street between Mosely and New York Streets. At 49 feet long it is designated a bridge by the Federal Highway Administration. And we're glad it's there. But with city lane width guidelines for arterial streets at 11 feet, this four-lane bridge may not be not much longer than it is wide.[2. City of Wichita. *Street Design Guidelines, Approved by the…
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Wichita perpetuates wasteful system of grants; feels good about it

Wichita perpetuates wasteful system of grants; feels good about it

While praising the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a grant to Wichita State university, Wichita city planners boost the growth of wasteful government spending. News that Wichita State University received a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration was praised by City of Wichita bureaucrats. Such praise only serves to perpetuate a federal agency that does more harm than good, entrenching the "You take yours, I’ll take mine" logic that leads to ever-rising spending. The tweet from Wichita city planners is designed to make us feel happy for Wichita State University. Having accepted these funds, now we have to tolerate…
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Westar: First, control blatant waste

Westar: First, control blatant waste

As our electric utility asks for a rate increase, let's first ask that it stop blatant waste. Westar, our state-regulated electric utility, is asking for a rate increase. As part of any increase, we ought to insist that the utility do a better job of controlling blatant waste. Streetlights burning unnecessarily in the middle day in downtown Wichita is an ongoing problem. See In Wichita, wasting electricity a chronic problem and Waste in Wichita, the seen and probably unseen for examples. The problem may not be solved soon. No one has much motivation to solve the problem. The city pays…
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