To its credit, the Wichita City Council seems to be focusing on needs, not wants, as it reviews projects and considers a local sales tax ballot initiative. But even agreeing on that is proving challenging and could be a difficult sell to the public.
Budget mess With the state sinking in debt and borrowing more, less state funding will trickle down to communities. While wealthier school districts will have no problem relying more on local support for public schools, its a dismal prospect elsewhere including smaller, rural districts in western Kansas.
For many people, Memorial Day has become more about boating and barbecuing than remembering the men and women who died while serving in our military. This year, take time to honor their sacrifice. Attend one of the Memorial Day ceremonies in the Wichita area, such as the short service at 8 a.m. Monday at Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway. Reflect on and cherish their courage and commitment.
The U.S. military shouldnt give someone a uniform and a job to do unless the Department of Veterans Affairs, in return, is prepared to do its job of delivering health care and other promised benefits.
Though great news for taxpayers, that oversize check for $255,678 presented to Sedgwick County last week reflected Intrust Bank Arena’s past, specifically the county’s share of 2013 profits. The concern is about the facility’s future, including a depressing scarcity of summer bookings.
Sedgwick County Commission races are shaping up to be some of the most interesting elections this year. They also are some the most consequential, as the outcome could shift the control and direction of the commission.
As public and private schools wrap up the year Thursday and Friday, and children eagerly dive into 2 1/2 months of liberty, area communities will need to shift their focus to seasonal safety.
To their credit, Wichita and Sedgwick County leaders aren’t letting a long-running dispute over where to relocate the joint law enforcement training center get in the way of seeking a solution together. It only makes sense to keep up the communication and collaboration, for fiscal reasons but also for public safety.
It was a nice surprise to see Gov. Sam Brownback veto the Legislature’s $5 million transfer from the Kansas Endowment for Youth Fund to the Kansas Bioscience Authority as he signed the $14.6 billion budget. In the process, he offered a rare official endorsement of the fund, which state leaders of both parties have dipped into for nearly 15 years now.
Lagging economy Gov. Sam Brownback and his supporters have their bias: They still contend lower taxes will bring in more businesses. Yet state budget cuts are draining revenue needed to provide high-quality schools and public services that attract businesses, setting up alarming possibilities of annual deficits and deep budget cuts to come.
If Wichita City Council members werent stunned by how items on a community priority list added up to a potential $3 billion tab, a lot of citizens surely were. With the council now having heard all eight white paper reports that could factor into a sales-tax ballot initiative in November, some key decisions and a big sales job loom.
Students and legislators had to be unhappy to see all six state universities request higher tuition rates and fees. But as students and their parents go looking for more cash, irked lawmakers should look in the mirror.
Rarely is a war memorial erected while the fighting continues. But because the war on terrorism may be perpetual as well as global, outlasting the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year, it’s fitting that the Operation Freedom Memorial will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Saturday in Wichita’s Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway.
With dozens of eager Republicans to pick from, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, gave Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, one of seven GOP spots on the committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. That reflects well on Pompeo, who in turn needs to reflect well on the 4th Congressional District by doing his best to ensure the probe is substantive and productive.
Gov. Sam Brownback has bragged about the number of new jobs created since he became governor. But how does Kansas compare with the nation and other states? Hint: It isn’t that great.
To its discredit, the Kansas Board of Regents seems unlikely to give up its insistence that university leaders be able to fire faculty or staff members for tweets or Facebook posts “contrary to the best interests of the employer” or that impair “discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers,” among other potential offenses.
Do city leaders still think Wichita needs a new Central Library – or even view a full-service public library system as a core municipal responsibility anymore? Citizens deserve to know.
Revenue shortfall This past legislative session had a surreal tone, as many legislators chose to ignore the elephant in the Statehouse the fact that Kansas is going broke. Its budget is only balanced by drawing down reserves.
Though Secretary of State Kris Kobach likes to say that the law he pushed made it easy to vote but hard to cheat, Kansas actually has made it harder to register and to vote by treating constitutionally eligible voters like cheaters. At least some judges are concerned about the consequences of such legislation, in sharp contrast to Kobach and other state leaders.
State officials need to provide a better explanation of why Kansas’ tax collections were down in April than “it’s Obama’s fault.”