Wichita Mayor

Wichita needs transparency from its agencies

Wichita needs transparency from its agencies

When the Wichita city council delegates spending to outside agencies such as Visit Wichita, it should insist on the same transparency requirements the city itself faces. The Kansas Open Records Act is designed to give citizens access to data concerning their government. In the words of the Kansas Attorney General, "An open and transparent government is essential to the democratic process." The preamble to the Kansas act states, "It is declared to be the public policy of the state that public records shall be open for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this act, and this act shall…
Read More
Should Wichita have a deputy to the mayor?

Should Wichita have a deputy to the mayor?

A proposal to hire a deputy or chief of staff to the Wichita mayor is a good idea which will increase transparency and accountability of elected officials. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider a proposal to create the position of Deputy to the Mayor. I've excerpted the relevant portion of the agenda packet in pdf form, available here. I include partions below. How could a deputy or chief of staff help improve the city? As an example, at the April 14 council meeting, approval of a loan for a portion of the new water treatment was on the agenda.…
Read More
Wichita to Ghana, again

Wichita to Ghana, again

News of a Sedgwick County Commissioner's trip to Africa has raised some controversy, and something like this has been tried before. The Wichita Eagle reported this regarding Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacy Cruse's visit to the West Africa country Ghana: "She said she focused her efforts on economic opportunities related to aviation and education. She said she talked to Ghana’s minister of aviation about potentially establishing an aviation school and setting up an aviation maintenance shop at the Tamale International Airport in Ghana. She didn’t make any formal deals on behalf of the county or any local companies. She said forming…
Read More
Longwell: ‘There is no corruption’

Longwell: ‘There is no corruption’

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says there is no corruption involving him, but this is only because of loose and sloppy Kansas and Wichita laws. In an advertisement in the November 3, 2019 Wichita Eagle, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell defended himself against charges of corruption. Referring to a recent investigation by the Sedgwick County District Attorney, the ad states: In 2018 and 2017, Bennett found I was 100% compliant. In 2016 he found only one instance where I was $21.33 over the annual $500 threshold allowed for "goods and services" received from local companies. Here's what the District Attorney found in…
Read More
Questions for Mayor Jeff Longwell

Questions for Mayor Jeff Longwell

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell urges Wichitans to reach out to him with questions through email and social media. I've posed a few questions to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell on Facebook, usually tagging both his personal profile and campaign page. But he hasn't answered any, despite urging citizens to contact him. Here are some recent questions: October 17 A question for Mayor Jeff Longwell and Mayor Jeff Longwell for Reelection: Mr. Mayor, the city may be looking at several large investments soon, like a convention center or performing arts center. How can you assure us that your influence over these items…
Read More