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Council members should at least discuss travel

Over The Eagle editorial board's objections, the Wichita City Council last week approved expenditures to attend a National League of Cities conference March 12-16 in Washington, D.C., for six council members, including three who'll be off the council less than a month later. Only Vice Mayor Jeff Longwell plans not to attend, because of scheduling conflicts. As usual, there was not a word of council discussion about the travel expenses. Too bad. Missing the point, council member Sue Schlapp said earlier in the meeting: "I hope as a lame-duck member of the City Council, my information is still pertinent to what goes on here on a daily basis, so I do feel I am still relevant." The question is not whether lame-duck members' views are relevant; it's whether, especially in a budget crisis, their taxpayer-funded trips are justifiable in the waning days of their council service.