Paul Gray

Education gap on Wichita City Council

Education gap on Wichita City Council

Currently there is discussion in Wichita on whether higher education is valued by residents. Following, from April 2011, a look at the educational achievement of the Wichita City Council. The members of the council cited below were Lavonta Williams, Sue Schlapp, Jim Skelton, Paul Gray, Jeff Longwell, and Janet Miller. Carl Brewer was mayor. Before Jim Skelton left the council in January, none of the four men serving on the Wichita City Council had completed a college degree. The three women serving on the council set a better example, with all three holding college degrees. Of the candidates running in…
Read More
Wichita being sued, alleging improper handling of bond repayment savings

Wichita being sued, alleging improper handling of bond repayment savings

A lawsuit claims that when the City of Wichita refinanced its special assessment bonds, it should have passed on the savings to the affected taxpayers, and it did not do that. A lawsuit filed in Sedgwick County District Court charges that the City of Wichita improperly handled the savings realized when it refinanced special assessment bonds at a lower interest rate. The case is 2018-CV-001567-CF, filed on July 13, 2018, and available here. The suit names David L. Snodgrass and Leslie J. Snodgrass as plaintiffs, and a long list of defendants, namely: The City of Wichita, Kansas Wichita City Manager…
Read More

Downtown Wichita economic development numbers questioned

When the Wichita City Council recently received the 2012 Project Downtown Annual Report, a city council member took the opportunity to question and clarify some of the facts and figures presented in the report. In his questions, Wichita City Council Member Paul Gray (district 4, south and southwest Wichita) asked whether the amount of public investment presented did, in fact, include all public investment. In his answer, Scott Knebel, who is Downtown Revitalization Manager, said no, not all forms of public investment were included in the figures presented in the report. He told the council that an analysis is being…
Read More

Open records again an issue in Kansas

Responses to records requests made by Kansas Policy Institute are bringing attention to shortcomings in the Kansas Open Records Act. Those who have made records requests in Kansas are probably not surprised that KPI has had difficulty in having its records requests respected and filled. In 2007 Better Government Association and National Freedom of Information Coalition gave Kansas a letter grade of "F" for its open records law. Last year State Integrity Investigation looked at the states, and Kansas did not rank well there, either. See Kansas rates low in access to records. This week KPI president Dave Trabert appeared…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday April 10, 2011

Local elections, qualifications of Wichita's elected officials. On today's edition of the KAKE Television public affairs program This Week in Kansas, Wichita State University's Ken Ciboski, Chapman Rackaway of Fort Hays State University and myself join host Tim Brown to discuss local elections in Kansas. Mention was made of a recent article I wrote that was critical of the educational attainment of some Wichita City Council members. See Education gap on Wichita City Council. Steineger, Kansas senator, to address Pachyderms. This Friday (April 15) Kansas Senator Chris Steineger will speak to the members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday April 5, 2011

Law, liberty, and the market symposium this week. This Friday (April 8) a symposium titled "Freedom, Liberty, and the Human Spirit" is offered in Wichita. The event is from 8:30 am to noon, in Alumni Auditorium in the Davis Administration Building on the campus of Friends University. The presenter is John R. Hays, Jr of Austin, Texas. The three sessions are titled Freedom's not just another word for nothing left to lose; Who's directing the show, and how can it possibly work without a director; and Markets, liberty, and economic progress. The event is free and open to the public,…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday March 13, 2011

Wichita city council this week. There is no meeting of the Wichita City Council this week, as most members will be attending a meeting of the National League of Cities in Washington, DC. These conferences are designed to help council members be more effective. But for three of the council members that will be attending, their future service on the council is measured in days, not years. These three lame duck members -- Sue Schlapp, Paul Gray, and Roger Smith -- will be leaving the council in April when their terms end. Their participation in this conference, at taxpayer expense,…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday February 18, 2011

Wichita-area legislators to meet public. Tomorrow members of the South-Central Kansas Legislative Delegation will meet with the public. Tomorrow's meeting is in the Sunflower Room of the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 21st and Tyler Rd, at 9:00 am. Generally these meetings last for two hours. The first of these meetings, two weeks ago, was focused more on hearing the concerns of citizens rather than allowing legislators to speak a lot. ... Two other meetings have been scheduled. One is on March 19th -- right before the legislature adjourns for its break -- at Derby City Hall, 611 Mulberry Road.…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday February 9, 2011

ACLU leader to speak in Wichita. On Friday (February 11) the speaker at the meeting of the Wichita Pachyderm Club will be Doug Bonney, who is Chief Council and Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri. His topic will be "150 Years of Kansas Liberty." This speaking invitation has caused a bit of controversy, with some Pachyderm Club members -- and non-members -- criticizing the selection of a speaker whose group is associated with liberal political causes. But the invitation is in line with the club's mission of political education, as stated on the…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday January 18, 2011

Education reformer to speak in Kansas. Next week the Kansas Policy Institute hosts education reform expert Dr. Matthew Ladner at several events in Kansas. In Wichita, he will speak at a free breakfast event on Tuesday January 25th. Information on that event and those in Topeka and Overland Park can be found at Kansas Policy Institute Upcoming Events. Ladner, of the Goldwater Institute, will speak on the topic "Good to Great -- Lessons for Kansas from Florida's education revolution." Florida has been at the forefront of education reform in recent years, according to a study by EducationNext. Kansas, on the…
Read More