Letters to Wichita City Council and Sedgwick County Commission Regarding Downtown Wichita TIF District

John Todd has prepared letters that we hope will influence local governments regarding the downtown Wichita TIF district. One, to the Wichita City Council, asks them to conduct a proper public hearing. A second letter to the Sedgwick County Commissioners asks them to not consider passing this TIF district until Wichita conducts a proper public hearing. A third is a letter to the Wichita Eagle explaining citizens’ concerns.

If you’d like to sign these letters, please contact John Todd at john@johntodd.net. Here’s the one to the Wichita City Council:

Mayor Carl Brewer
Wichita City Council Members
Wichita City Hall
Wichita, Kansas

Subject: Citizens request for a new and open City Council public hearing before implementing the Center City South Redevelopment TIF District, commonly known as the downtown Wichita arena TIF district.

The December 2, 2008 public hearing as conducted by the Wichita City Council concerning the expansion of the Center City South Redevelopment TIF District was not a true and meaningful public hearing. Therefore, we ask that you withdraw the proposal until a proper public hearing can be held before the City Council. This issue needs to be sent to the District Advisory Boards (DAB) for their review. Wichita citizens in general and DAB boards both need all the details and a complete cost analysis for this TIF district scheme.

Let me refer you to Randy Brown’s letter in the Eagle (see “Reopen TIF issue” Dec. 7), referring to Bob Weeks’ letter in the Eagle (see “TIF public hearing was bait and switch” Dec. 5) that hit the nail on the head by saying, “conducting the public’s business in secret causes citizens to lose respect for government officials and corrupts the process of democracy.” Brown further states, “… we (the people) had a mockery of the public hearing process rather than an open and transparent discussion of a contentious public issue. The Wichita officials involved should publicly apologize, and the issue should be reopened. And this time, the public should be properly notified.”

The citizens of this community deserve open, honest, and transparent government. The Wichita City Council needs to hold a new and open public hearing on this issue before proceeding with the implementation of this project.

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