Earlier this month, a majority of the Sedgwick County Commission refused to allow me to resubmit my nomination of Bob Weeks to the Wichita Airport Advisory Board (Sept. 5 Local & State). I want to publicly thank Commissioner Richard Ranzau for supporting my attempt to submit this nomination, which was unanimously approved by the commission during its initial county vote.
In August, the Wichita City Council pulled Weeks’ nomination off of the consent agenda and rejected it on a 4-1 vote with two members absent and only council member Jeff Blubaugh voting for the nomination. I believe that Weeks deserved an up-or-down vote by the entire City Council and the opportunity to have a public discussion on his nomination. That will not happen.
Weeks possesses two important characteristics that I seek in making appointments or nominating people to important positions: integrity and intelligence.
Weeks has already demonstrated knowledge and interest in commercial aviation in Wichita. I would urge citizens to visit his website, Wichitaliberty.org, and type “Wichita airport” in the search box. This will pull up a number of airport articles, including “Wichita airport statistics: the visualization.” Weeks has collected data on passengers, departures and available seats. I recommend it to all elected officials involved in aviation in this region.
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Weeks said: “Of particular concern should be the trend in departures and seats. Both are declining in Wichita, as they are also for the nation. But the gap between Wichita and the nation is widening in recent years. This trend is an example of unintended consequences of government intervention and regulation.”
Another post on the site, “Wichita City Council can’t judge airport contract,” lays out the unseemliness of the City Council judging whether a $102 million contract should go to a group that includes the mayor’s fishing buddy and a major campaign contributor to most council members.
I want to promise the citizens of Sedgwick County that I will continue to nominate people who have the same standards of integrity and intelligence that Weeks possesses. I just hope that in the future they will receive fair and appropriate consideration.
Commissioner KARL PETERJOHN
Sedgwick County Commission