Here’s a message someone sent to me. It’s from Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. It describes some of the ways that government grew in Wichita during 2008. It also promotes the mayor’s plan for greater centralized planning and control over Wichita’s future.
All this government expansion leads to less prosperity, making the mayor’s wish for a prosperous new year ring hollow.
We made 2008 a wonderful year. We made investments to help stabilize and secure out aviation industry. We maintained competitive and affordable airfares. We retained and attracted new jobs. We took first steps to improve our parks and recreations system with the adoption of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan. We were also honored when Old Town was named A Great Neighborhood in America. As we enter the new year, I want to thank you for your support in our successes.
2009 provides another opportunity for us to partner to achieve greater successes. I believe it’s time to transform downtown Wichita. We need to start by connecting Old Town, the Intrust Bank Arena area and riverfront development such as the Wichita WaterWalk. That’s just the beginning.
As we embark on the planning process, I need your input because downtown is everybody’s neighborhood and because public engagement is key to success. The interest you have shown in helping to forward my vision for a new and revitalized downtown sends a unified message that downtown is “our neighborhood”. I need you to continue to share that vision in the coming months.
The Wichita City Council recently decided to form a steering committee charged with collecting input from citizens. Their feedback will be used to create the vision and the next steps to build a better downtown. That committee will be appointed in early 2009 and will, soon after, begin holding public meetings.
Please stay engaged and keep me informed about your ideas for downtown. Here’s wishing you a prosperous new year.
Mayor Carl Brewer