Impressed by plans to move forward
A recent presentation by a local group affiliated with the construction industry (SMPS Wichita) addressed the issues our community faces now that the sales tax referendum failed. It featured Tim Goodpasture, an analyst from the city’s Office of Urban Development, and Ben Nelson, the strategic services manager in the Public Works and Utilities Department.
Goodpasture spoke about how economic and jobs development will progress absent the $80 million that would have been directed to this effort. Nelson spoke about how the city will deal with decaying infrastructure and water needs in the coming years without the money the increased sales tax would have provided. Both gentlemen did an excellent job of detailing plans that make lemonade from lemons.
Many of us wish the sales tax had passed. But since it didn’t, and our needs didn’t go away, we must press on.
The entire audience was very impressed with their plans and the focus they have adopted. I feel better knowing these guys are working for me. You should, too.
And it should be noted that Jennifer Baysinger, the spokeswoman for the “no” campaign, was at the meeting. She restated that the opponents had promised to try to move our community forward and she was keeping her word. I was impressed.
Wichita City Council members, most of them at least, need to give some critical thought to the question of a new main public library.
Why have New York City, Chicago and other major cities been able to retrofit their 19th- and early 20th-century library buildings to meet 21st-century needs without building new structures? Our building is not that old.
The times I have gone to the Central Library were pleasant, it wasn’t crowded, and my needs were met. I find it less and less necessary to go to a physical library, particularly for research purposes, with the advent of a continuously expanding Internet resource.
Building a new library is a waste of money. The council needs to take a look at what other cities have done to bring their much-older facilities up-to-date technologically. It does not require a new building to incorporate technology. Heating and air-conditioning systems are straightforward projects. Most important, in my experience the building is not overcrowded with patrons, so the size is adequate.
Libraries are like fine wine: They grow more graceful and lovable with age. Ours has just begun to mature. It’s a keeper.
I would like to thank the person who found $238 and a debit card and didn’t turn it in at Red Lobster on Jan. 18. That was money that my mother had been saving for a new couch.
By the way, the card was reported stolen, so please use it.
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