Wichita Eagle

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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In Wichita, revision of water history

In Wichita, revision of water history

In 2014 Wichita voters rejected a sales tax which would have provided $250 million to spend on a water project. What were the city's concerns? A recent Wichita Eagle article has ignited some revising of history regarding Wichita's 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.] The article is grim, starting with, "Next time water comes out of your tap, don’t take it for granted. Wichita’s only water treatment plant could fail at any moment." The article reports on the poor condition of…
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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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Retiring Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh praised

Retiring Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh praised

The praise for retired Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh can't be based on our region's accomplishments under his guidance. That is, if people are informed and truthful. In January a group of Wichita business leaders submitted an op-ed to the Wichita Eagle to mark the retirement of Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh. I quote portions here, with emphasis added: He easily won re-election because his constituents and the rest of us knew he was dedicated to strengthening our community, region and the state. ... In economic development Commissioner Unruh was chairman in 2006 when the board voted to build a…
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In Wichita, a gentle clawback

In Wichita, a gentle clawback

Despite the mayor's bluster, Wichita mostly lets a company off the hook. As reported in Wichita City Council to consider a clawback, a company failed to meet the targets of an economic development incentive, and according to that agreement, owes the city $253,000 in clawbacks. The city council, however, decided to require the company to pay only $100,000 of that. The city reasoned that because the company is planning an expansion, that would offset the other $153,000 of the clawback. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell described this is holding the company accountable. The Wichita Eagle quoted him as saying, "This is…
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