Wichita city council celebrates while others face cuts

It’s reported that the City of Wichita is facing a $6.5 million shortfall. The city’s looking at several ways to reduce costs, including closing police substations during the overnight hours ($148,000), reducing lawn mowing at parks ($100,000), and cutting back on swimming pool hours ($2,000).

Here’s one simple thing the city could do to save money that won’t cause very many people any pain at all: cut back on celebratory luncheons.

On Tuesday April 14, 2009, after the city council meeting, 37 guests lunched at the Hyatt Regency. The total cost of this event to the city, according to the estimate of charges that I asked for, was $1,046.99.

The event was titled “Wichita City Council Changing of the Guard.”

That’s not the total cost of the festivities on that day. A city council meeting was held. It was light on business, but long on sentiment. A video presentation of the highlights of departing council member Sharon Fearey’s tenure was shown. Maybe someone else will want to ask how many hours of city employee time it took to create this video.

Even in good times I don’t think the city should be spending taxpayer funds on celebrations like this. Now the council is asking others to cut, but is spending like this on itself. It’s a mixed message that Wichitans need to remember.

5 Comments

  • Thank you Voice for Liberty for pointing this out. City council members don’t get it.

    I doubt any of them use our parks or swim but they continue to eat!

  • Mayor Brewer has an overtime budget which last year spent about $30,000 because his secretary takes four hour lunches and the job doesn’t get done. Under Mayor Mayans and Mayor Knight there was not an overtime budget. The staff was on flex time and ALL the work was done without extra expense.

  • Wichitator -

    Non functional expenditures on food, travel, and hospitality items in general deserve close inspection at all times and at all levels of government.

    Wichita liberty is an invaluable Kansas resource for pointing out this city expenditure.

  • City Council travel expenditures have increased since 2007. Mayor Brewer’s travel expenditures have more than doubled in the last 2 yrs.

  • Here’s another example of stupid spending. Our Sleepy Hollow Park is not getting mowed because of “budget cuts”, but the Wichita Police had enough time and money to print a flier and put it under EVERYONE’S door, accusing a neighbor down the street of hosting a party that involved underage drinking.
    While of course we don’t appreciate underage drinking, this is a neighbor that we haven’t even ever SEEN in ten years because all he does is go to work very early and come home very late and has never caused a single problem in the neighborhood. We are three doors down from him, and keep late hours, and never saw or heard a single thing.
    If he broke a law, then haul him into court–but don’t waste time and money blanketing the neighborhood with “Scarlet A” letters!

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