City should sell its real estate
My vote is to sell the Hyatt Regency Wichita, the Finney State Office Building and the nearby parking garage, plus other city-owned real estate, to the highest “cash” bidder without public financing incentives of any kind and to put them all back on the tax rolls (“Sell Hyatt or not? City Council weighs city-owned real estate,” March 29 Eagle). The cash proceeds derived from these sales should be directed to solving our city’s water, sewer and street maintenance needs, and used to offset a sales-tax increase to pay for these important projects.
Is it prudent to allow city officials who are subjected to enormous special-interest group pressures to deal or “speculate” in sophisticated real-estate transactions involving city-owned real estate? Are they qualified to do so? More often than not, the city-owned projects are in direct competition with private real-estate owners who, unlike the city, are required to pay real-estate property taxes, a revenue source that provides fire and police protection for our community and schools to educate our children.
Keeping taxes low is important for every Wichitan who works at providing a living for his or her family’s needs. It creates the venue that offers everyone the opportunity to achieve broad-based economic uplift with quality-of-life benefits.
As a past Haysville City Council member and current member of the Haysville Planning Commission, I have a few words about “‘Gridiron’ told: ‘Stop making fun of Haysville’” (March 28 Business Today). I was part of the council that built a new senior center (for which we received an award). We have a very nice, expansive library. We oversaw six new housing developments. We were able to turn South Meridian into four lanes, which gave us five avenues with four-lane access and egress for our city.
Many live in Haysville for the unbridled convenience to I-35 and to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. Our future holds promise for more parks and recreation, improved streets and sidewalks. New businesses have been built and more are in store. We have had the good fortune to stay a small city with big-city access.
Our greatest fortune is to have had, in the past and present, good leadership and thinking from those who represent us.
Some in the area may think we are deserving of snide commentary. They don’t know our city.
We live in Haysville because we like it. We have good neighborhoods, good schools, good churches and, most of all, good people.
Here’s how social order works: National media and advertising demean Kansas and sometimes Wichita. Wichita picks itself up, brushes off and makes fun of Haysville. If this reminds you of junior high, then you get the picture.
Recently, Haysville leaders have begun to question this arrangement. They’re standing up for themselves when visiting comedians and the “Gridiron” show relentlessly make their town the brunt of jokes (March 28 Business Today). They say this hurts community pride and their businesses.
Watch out, Haysville – you’re going to be told this is no big deal, to toughen up, get a sense of humor, and get back in your place. Well, I’m one Wichitan who likes your spirit. And if you don’t hear it from anyone else: I’m sorry.
Instead of telling you to get a sense of humor, I’m going to develop my own and stop taking cheap shots at your expense. I might even visit Haysville – just to see what you value enough to stand up for.
We are exposed daily to questionable decisions made by our various levels of governments and by private companies. However, the decision made by Costco Wholesale management to pay $60,000 to haul 950,000 jars of edible peanut butter to the county landfill in Clovis, N.M., tops them all.
How can conscionable business managers turn their backs on the poor people who are direly in need of this major source of protein? Institutions such as prisons are also in need of proteins such as peanut butter. The 25 tons of peanut butter had an estimated value of $2.6 million.
It is understandable why Costco officials would not answer telephone calls concerning their decision.
With all the horror stories, many of them false, being told about the Affordable Care Act, I would like to share a success story.
My 32-year-old son is an unemployed would-be schoolteacher living in Philadelphia.
After a lot of urging, he finally set about getting coverage under the act. He discovered that he was eligible for a substantial subsidy to help pay for a plan. Ultimately, he was able to buy a silver-level plan – one step above the lowest level – for 14 cents a month.
You read that correctly: 14 cents.
The cost was so low that he was able to add a dental plan and still will pay less than $20 a month for both.
Thanks to the ACA, another American citizen who did not have health care now does and no longer will have to worry about the financial consequences of a major health problem.