Guest Commentary

Sedgwick County Commission’s focus is on serving you

David Dennis

David Dennis
David Dennis The Wichita Eagle

As the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners begins a new year with newly elected commissioners, we are focused on serving you – the citizens of this county.

We have moved through the very public difficulties of past year and I am pleased to share that in the past two months we’ve had solid internal operations. Throughout everything, our professional and dedicated staff continued to have one mission: to deliver needed services.

Now with the new year and new commissioners comes the responsibility of listening carefully to you, our many valued partners and our staff on the front lines. Therefore we are beginning a strategic planning process that will feature robust input.

By working together with our many public partners – including the 21 municipalities in Sedgwick County, regional partners and the state of Kansas – we are able to deliver needed services and projects. In many ways, local and state governments are like suppliers for an aviation manufacturer – each of us seamlessly provides a different component that results in quality service delivery.

Here are just a few of the issues we are working on with our partners:

Mental Health – Private and public groups are having important and productive discussions about how to address our community’s mental health needs. As a critical part of this issue, Sheriff Jeff Easter and District Attorney Marc Bennett have highlighted mental health as an important cost-saving measure for local law enforcement.

Transportation – The great safety improvements to the I-235 and Kellogg interchange are nearly complete. Now the many public partners it took to solve that infrastructure issue are working on how to improve the North Junction, where I-35, I-235, K-254 and K-96 come together.

Economic Growth – Sedgwick County is an active partner in creating the best environment to grow jobs and our regional economy. We work closely to ensure we have the right policies to encourage growth and welcome business – and talented people needed their fill jobs. We continue to play an important role in workforce development through funding of the National Center for Aviation Training at WSU Tech.

Cultural and Community – Keeping and attracting people to our community is imperative and the county plays an important role in these efforts with our support of the Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, Intrust Bank Arena, Sedgwick County Park and Lake Afton.

It’s an exciting time to think about the future of our community and ensure we meet your needs as efficiently and effectively as possible. One area we are exploring in 2019 is immediate and longer-term opportunities for functional consolidation with the city of Wichita.

This commission will continue to build upon past successful projects and future needs important to a vibrant and growing community. These successes are dependent on our capable and professional staff and its leadership and their support of us as elected leaders.

David Dennis is chairman of the Sedgwick County Commission