Tim Norton

WichitaLiberty.TV August 11, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV, host Bob Weeks asks if shoppers have ever paid extra sales tax in Wichita's Community Improvement Districts, and describes efforts by the city to avoid disclosure of this tax. Then, are there similarities between Wichita and Detroit? Finally, a Sedgwick County Commissioner is worried about agriculture being driven out of the county, but Bob thinks he doesn't need to worry. Episode 8, broadcast August 11, 2013. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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Language makes a difference

No longer is it "Sustainable Communities." Now it's "South Central Kansas Prosperity Plan." Either way, the program is still centralized government planning, with great potential to harm our economy and liberties. The newly-renamed planning initiative has a new website set to launch in a few days -- Let's Talk Prosperity. But no matter how politicians and bureaucrats dress it up, we need to remember the roots of this program. It took from 1987 to 2012, but Sedgwick County actually adopted the language of the United Nations regarding sustainability. Those critical of sustainability planning are concerned that engaging in the practice…
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Government planning, itself, is dangerous

The very existence of a government plan is dangerous, as its construction creates powerful constituencies that have shaped it to fit their needs and are highly motivated to see it implemented. In Sunday's Wichita Eagle, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton defended the regional community planning initiative underway in south-central Kansas. (Tim Norton: Planning effort helps shape region’s future) Much of the Commissioner's article simply described the program and the need for it in vague generalities that are neither correct or incorrect, and which do little to advance understanding of what is really likely to happen. But Norton did write something…
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In Sedgwick County, misplaced concern for an industry

Expressing concern about a large industry that he said is important to Sedgwick County and Kansas, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. He cited the commonly-held belief that humans, with their desire for large suburban home lots, are depleting the stock of available farmland. Specifically, Norton said "Agribusiness is the third largest economic driver in our community, in our region." But is this true? Using 2010 figures from the Kansas Statistical Abstract, these are the largest industries in Kansas in terms of gross domestic product: Industry GDP (millions) State and local…
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Saving farms from people

Last week at a meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. In support, he cited the commonly-held belief that humans -- especially with their desire for large suburban home lots -- are depleting the stock of farmland to the point of being detrimental to agribusiness. Here's part of what Norton said (video below): Now I know people don't like the idea of sprawl and growth rings and all that, but the truth is there is a balance between where people live and preserving our good agricultural lands and…
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Wichita economic development solution, postponed

Recent reporting in the Wichita Business Journal on Wichita's economic development efforts has many officials saying Wichita doesn't have enough incentives to compete with other cities. That is, we are not spending enough on incentives. Whether these incentives are good economic development policy is open for debate. I don't believe we need them, and that we in Kansas and Wichita can chart another course to increase economic freedom in Kansas. That will make our area appealing to companies. But our local bureaucrats, most business leaders, and nearly all elected officials believe that targeted incentives are the way to attract and…
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Sedgwick County Commission: Let’s not vote today

At the October 31 meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Karl Peterjohn introduced a measure that would let the Kansas Legislature know that the commission supports improving the tax climate in Kansas, and specifically would limit property tax growth. But electoral politics forced a delay in a vote. In response to Peterjohn's proposal, the coalition of one Democrat and two liberal Republicans that form the working majority on the commission maneuvered to delay voting on the measure until after the November 6 election. With the item appearing on tomorrow's agenda, it's very likely that the majority coalition -- Commission Chair…
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From the United Nations to Sedgwick County

It took from 1987 to 2012, but Sedgwick County has adopted the language of the United Nations regarding sustainability. Those critical of sustainability planning are concerned that engaging in sustainable communities planning has the potential to import harmful policies and practices originating from the United Nations. Critics of these critics say this is nonsense and overreacting. Examples as reported in the Wichita Eagle come from Commissioner Dave Unruh and Commission Chair Tim Norton: Unruh said he sees the grant simply as an “effort to make decisions about our future for us and our future generations that will save money, conserve…
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Sedgwick County tower sale was not in citizens’ best interest

The sale of a radio tower owned by Sedgwick County reveals another case of local government not looking out for the interests of citizens and taxpayers, with the realization that the stain of cronyism is alive and well. As a result of system upgrades, the county no longer needs a radio tower located near 77th Street North and Interstate 135. Pixius Communications, LLC made an offer to purchase the tower and the five acre tower site for $280,000. The county proceeded making arrangements for the sale, preparing a sales agreement contract between Sedgwick County and Pixius with a sales price…
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Tim Norton commercial: Some context

A television advertisement for Tim Norton, candidate for re-election to the Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners, contains claims that, while probably true, hide the reality of Norton's record. Tim Norton television advertisement One claim in the ad is that "I've worked hard to create new jobs, and save what we have." A graphic in the ad reads "Over 18,000 new & retained jobs." I don't know the source of the job claims, but the numbers provided by Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, our area's economic development organization, must be viewed with caution. An example is MoJack, a company which had…
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