The city of Wichita is now accepting applications for residents interested in serving on the 14-person citizens’ oversight committee that would oversee sales tax expenditures if the measure is passed Nov. 4.
The tax would be 1 cent on every dollar spent and would collect nearly $400 million over five years and end earlier if the amount is collected sooner.
It would go toward four areas: $250 million to expand an existing water supply, $80 million for job development, $39.8 million for transit and $27.8 million for street maintenance and repair.
People can nominate others or themselves for the committee, said city manager Robert Layton.
The group would meet quarterly to review all expenditures in each of the four categories, issue reports quarterly to the mayor, City Council and public and make sure dollars are spent in a manner consistent with the referendum, Layton said.
Council member Janet Miller said she had already received several inquiries from residents about how to “put their name in the hat.”
“Both school bond issues had citizen oversight committees and the arena did as well, so we’re looking to model this after those,” Miller said.
“There’s also been some misinformation out there that there is no oversight (for the sales tax) and it seemed important to want to clarify for people that there is a plan for that.”
The application asks for basic information, why a person is interested in serving on the committee, and if the person has any business or financial background.
That background is not mandatory, but helpful, Layton said.
Council members will each appoint a member from his or her district and one member at-large, according to city documents. The mayor will have two at-large appointments.
The deadline to apply is the end of November if the tax passes next Tuesday. Council members would then have through December to make committee appointments.
To download the application form or get more information on the committee, visit www.wichita.gov/ or call 316-268-4331.