Dale Goter will leave his position as the city of Wichita’s lobbyist at the end of the month.
The city intends to contract with a private lobbying firm to represent its interests in Topeka. Goter had served the city’s lobbyist since 2006.
His tenure representing the city at the Capitol spanned the administrations of Governors Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson and Sam Brownback.
“It’s not untimely for me. I’m 68 years old next month,” Goter said of the city’s decision.
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Goter highlighted cooperation between the city and state on Affordable Airfares and water policy as major accomplishments in recent years. But he expressed frustration with the strained relationship the city and state have on other issues.
“In recent years it’s been almost a little troubling to watch the deterioration of the relationship between local government and state government,” Goter said. “On the issues of local elections, some of the tax policy things that have become contentious between the state and city – it’s not just Wichita. Municipalities around the state feel that as well.”
Goter hosted Kansas Week and other shows on the public television channel KPTS for 17 years before becoming the city’s lobbyist. He also worked as a reporter for Hutchinson-based Harris News Service covering the Kansas Statehouse in the 1980s when Democratic Gov. John Carlin was in office.
Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, expressed surprise at Goter’s departure.
“Most of us knew Dale from before he worked with the city,” she said. “ … He does a great job, and I wish him well.”
In October, Goter will launch a communications firm, Gotervision LLC, based on a nickname Kansas politicos had for his old television show.
“It is a moment of transition and into maybe a less active schedule, but still I hope to be productive and useful,” Goter said.
The city’s process of choosing a private lobbying firm is ongoing, he said.