Visioneering

Project Wichita, remember Visioneering Wichita

Project Wichita, remember Visioneering Wichita

As Project Wichita gets ready to gather information and set goals, let's be aware that we've done this before, and not long ago. Project Wichita is a new initiative to do something about the future of Wichita. I hope it works. But we've been down this road before, and I don't know of anything created that has been of lasting value. That past effort was Visioneering Wichita. I'd supply a link to its website, but the site went stale from lack of updates. Eventually it was abandoned, although its remnants may be found at archive.org. (Visioneering Wichita does have a…
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Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

We can understand self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. It's what they do. But a city's newspaper editorial board ought to be concerned with the truth. In February the Wichita Eagle editorialized about Project Wichita, a ramping-up effort to do something about the future of Wichita. [1. Wichita Eagle Editorial Board. Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future. Available at http://www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article198178899.html.] It's worthwhile to take a look at the op-ed, if only to learn something about the quality of Wichita Eagle editorial writing. I understand civic boosterism; the desire to paint a positive image of the future. But this rosy…
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When should Wichita compare itself to peers?

In a Wichita Eagle article about the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita, we see Wichita public relations consultant Vera Bothner complain that Wichita is being unfairly compared to other cities in our region, in particular Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Kansas City. Wichita is smaller than these cities, she says, and we should not hold Wichita to a standard that it can't meet. But in public life, we find Wichita frequently compared to these cities. These three cities are part of the four metropolitan areas that Visioneering Wichita choose as peers. (The other is Omaha.) During the recent sales tax…
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To Wichita, a promise to wisely invest if sales tax passes

To Wichita, a promise to wisely invest if sales tax passes

Claims of a reformed economic development process if Wichita voters approve a sales tax must be evaluated in light of past practice and the sameness of the people in charge. If these leaders are truly interested in reforming Wichita's economic development machinery and processes, they could have started years ago using the generous incentives we already have. At a conference produced by Kansas Policy Institute on Friday September 19, a panel presented the "nuts and bolts" of the jobs portion of the proposed Wichita sales tax that voters will see on their November ballots. I asked a question: Listening to…
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‘Transforming Wichita’ a reminder of the value of government promises

‘Transforming Wichita’ a reminder of the value of government promises

When Wichita voters weigh the plausibility of the city's plans for spending proposed new sales tax revenue, they should remember this is not the first time the city has promised results and accountability. Do you remember Transforming Wichita? According to the city, "Transforming Wichita is the journey by which we are fundamentally changing the way we measure, report and perform the work of delivering services to the citizens of Wichita." In more detail, the city website proclaimed: "TW is the journey by which we will be fundamentally changing the way we deliver services to the citizens of Wichita. Our vision…
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