Jeff Longwell

Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell

Downtown Wichita jobs decline

Downtown Wichita jobs decline

Despite heavy promotion and investment in downtown Wichita, the number of jobs continues to decline. The United States Census Bureau has a program known as LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics, or LODES. According to the Bureau, “The LEHD program produces new, cost effective, public-use information combining federal, state and Census Bureau data on employers and employees under the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership. State and local authorities increasingly need detailed local information about their economies to make informed decisions. The LED Partnership works to fill critical data gaps and provide indicators needed by state and local authorities." Data is available by…
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Wichita mayoral debate

Wichita mayoral debate

Details of the Wichita baseball stadium land deal were an issue at the first Wichita mayoral debate. The Wichita first mayoral debate of the general election season between Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple was characterized by the Wichita Eagle headline, "Wichita mayor candidates accuse each other of lying in first debate." But I noticed a story told by the mayor that sounds like a good deal, but deserves scrutiny. It has to do with the four acres of land sold for $1 per acre to the owners of the new Wichita baseball team. The controversy is that the…
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Campaigning on Wichita as recession-proof

Campaigning on Wichita as recession-proof

The City of Wichita and Mayor Jeff Longwell shouldn't be using flimsy evidence that is contrary to actual economic data. Earlier this year Wichita city officials promoted an article that praised the Wichita economy. [1. Handy, Emily. The 7 Most Recession-Proof Cities in the US. Livability. January 22, 2019. Available at https://livability.com/topics/careers-opportunities/the-7-most-recession-proof-cities-in-the-us.] A tweet came from the official @CityofWichita Twitter account and reads "We have been named one of the top two recession-proof cities in the nation by @Livability. Wichita was praised for its ability to withstand turbulence in the national economy, steady job growth and the state's low income-to-debt…
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Can’t we have a literate mayor?

Can’t we have a literate mayor?

Mistakes on Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell's Facebook campaign page are troubling. On the Facebook campaign page for Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, we can read this in the "About" section: "Since 2015, Mayor Longwell has boldly lead Wichita into it's bright, better future. Undeterred by status quo or fear of change, he's helped poise Wichita to grab its limitless opportunity and prepare to take its place among the top cities in America." [4. Facebook. Mayor Jeff Longwell for Reelection. Available at https://www.facebook.com/mayorjefflongwellwichita/.] I see three errors or mistakes. First, an explanation from Professor Paul Brians: lead / led When you’re hit…
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On Wichita water, Longwell is right about one thing

On Wichita water, Longwell is right about one thing

A city hall news event sought to counter a news story that highlighted problems with Wichita's water supply, but it seemed more like a political campaign event. In yesterday's press briefing, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell addressed concerns raised in a recent Wichita Eagle article regarding Wichita water infrastructure. [1. Swaim, Chance. Wichita’s water plant: ‘Every hour that thing is running, it could fail.’ Wichita Eagle, July 21, 2019. Available at https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article232826482.html.] Longwell pushed back against the article's reporting, perhaps the most concerning being: "Wichita’s entire water system has a 'significant risk' of failure and lacks redundancy, meaning if a major…
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Wichita population, according to Mayor Longwell

Wichita population, according to Mayor Longwell

It is unfortunate that Wichita city and metro populations are falling. It is unimaginable that our city's top leader is not aware of the latest population trends. In May, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell told viewers of the KPTS Television program Call the Mayor that he was not aware of the latest United States Census Bureau estimates of population for Wichita. (A transcript of this portion of the program is below.) Mayor Longwell said he wasn't aware of the estimate, telling the audience, "census estimates are different than the census." Absolutely correct. The census, which is an attempt to count the…
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Naftzger Park, according to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell

Naftzger Park, according to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell

He had an opportunity to learn the true history of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. But Mayor Jeff Longwell didn't learn, or maybe he doesn't care. In March, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell answered a question about Naftzger Park, telling viewers of the KPTS Television program Call the Mayor that: "Actually what we found out is when our city fathers put in that park years ago they put the park in on private development land and so the development's actually not on Naftzger Park. Naftzger Park used to be planted on private development land and so they had to change the…
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State of the City, Wichita: Employment strength

State of the City, Wichita: Employment strength

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell's State of the City video relies on flimsy evidence and plucks scant good news from a sea of bad. This is a problem. Recently Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell delivered the State of the City video. It was posted to YouTube on March 28, 2019, and may be viewed here. In this video, the mayor said, "The recent Livability.com study measured employment rates strength over time, affordability, and community amenities." This isn't the first time the mayor and other city officials have mentioned this study, if we can even call it that. [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita, a…
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State of the City, Wichita: The bright future

State of the City, Wichita: The bright future

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell's State of the City video doesn't seem to be based on reality. Recently Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell delivered the State of the City video. It was posted to YouTube on March 28, 2019, and may be viewed here. Not long into the address, the mayor says, "... we must embrace the challenges we face and forge ahead into the bright future that is just around the corner." On that bright future: Since the mayor spoke, learned that the Wichita metropolitan area lost population during the year ending July 1, 2018. [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita population falls;…
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