Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey

Special interests will capture south-central Kansas planning

Special interest groups are likely to co-opt the government planning process started in south-central Kansas as these groups see ways to benefit from the plan. The public choice school of economics and political science has taught us how special interest groups seek favors from government at enormous costs to society, and we will see this at play over the next few years. Sedgwick County has voted to participate in a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. While some justified their votes in favor of the plan because "it's only a plan," once the planning process begins, special interests plot to…
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In Kansas, planning will be captured by special interests

The government planning process started in south-central Kansas will likely be captured by special interest groups that see ways to benefit from the plan. The public choice school of economics and political science has taught us how special interest groups seek favors from government at enormous costs to society, and we will see this at play again over the next few years. This week the Sedgwick County Commission voted to participate in a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. While some justified their votes in favor of the plan because "it's only a plan," once the planning process begins, special…
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Pay-to-play laws are needed in Wichita and Kansas

In the wake of scandals, some states and cities have passed "pay-to-play" laws. These laws often prohibit political campaign contributions by those who seek government contracts, or the laws may impose special disclosure requirements. Many people make campaign contributions to candidates whose ideals and goals they share. This is an important part of our political process. But when reading campaign finance reports for members of the Wichita City Council, one sees the same names appearing over and over, often making the maximum allowed contribution to candidates. Their spouses also contribute. And when one looks at the candidates these people contribute…
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Wichita BOE’s Nolan expresses concern

At Monday's meeting of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, board members expressed frustration over the mishandling of a construction contract. It's not clear where fault lies, or whether the board has any interest in finding where that fault should be laid. At the meeting, board member Lanora Nolan expressed dismay that none of the public speakers mentioned the kids. The school district has a larger responsibility than just the education of children, however. It needs to be responsible to taxpayers -- the "adult issues" Nolan bemoans. She also said the delay of the fields is…
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Wichita school board members should not be re-elected

Next Tuesday, four members of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, seek to be elected again to their current posts. These members -- Lanora Nolan, Lynn Rogers, Connie Dietz and Betty Arnold -- are part of a board and school district that is increasingly out-of-step with education reforms that are working in other parts of the country. Their policies and actions are harmful to both Wichita schoolchildren and Wichita taxpayers. At the time when most of the country is starting to realize that quality teachers, not the number of teachers, is what makes the biggest difference…
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