If you thought Wichita had too many councils, commissions, boards, and advisory councils, get ready for another. At yesterday’s meeting of the Wichita City Council, Mayor Carl Brewer announced the formation of the Wichita Downtown Revitalization Steering Council.
Reading the mayor’s statement, I noticed the same theme of collectivism that permeates some of the speeches of our governor Kathleen Sebelius. It’s the language he used — “Wichitans need to determine our future by coming together to hope and to dream,” “expand on that excitement as we come together,” and “together, we can produce results” — that causes me to fear loss of entrepreneurship and individualism as we rely on an expansionist city government for everything from economic development to arts and leisure activities.
We really need to question the need for a council like this. The members are drawn from the same group of civic leaders who are involved in other big-government efforts like Visioneering Wichita. It’s likely this council will come up with recommendations that more taxpayer money be poured into downtown. I can also see the call for more public-private partnerships.
The announcement from the city, with meeting times and locations, is at Downtown Steering Council Named. You can read the mayor’s statement there. Wichita Eagle coverage is at New group to focus on future of downtown Wichita.