Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on ballpark development, children, parking and taxes (March 17, 2019)

Skin in the game

Here we go again. Our mayor and City Council are playing at downtown real estate development with prime, publicly owned land and the taxpayer’s purse – without transparency.

As they move toward signing a deal with the Baby Cakes owner, I am reminded of a quote by Thomas Sowell, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

To this end, I suggest the mayor and City Council members who vote to approve this deal this week pledge $50,000 each from their own personal funds as their individual performance guarantees that the Baby Cakes owner will fulfill his contract with our city for the next 10 years.

If a majority of our City Council and mayor aren’t willing to pledge their personal guarantees for this deal, perhaps they should open a nationwide search for other Triple-A teams whose owners and investors are willing to openly compete for the opportunity to play in our beautiful new downtown sports facility.

Are we giving away too much to the Baby Cakes owner? It appears that we might just be selling Wichita short with this deal and its secret group of investors.

John Todd, Wichita

Care for children

How can Catholic legislators in Kansas ignore the plight of existing, vulnerable babes and children, underfunding their care? On March 12, our taxpayer dollars funded the House-full of legislators for three full hours fomenting about double-irrelevancies: “unborn” children and New York state.

Meanwhile Kansas’ vulnerable children are given occasional attention, not the security they need to flourish. The Bible tells us plainly to be good to all kids. Every religious legislator must redirect their attention from the tininess that’s inside some women’s bodies toward compassion toward our society’s very real, sometimes neglected, abused and/or needy babies, children and teens.

As a practicing Catholic, I plead that our senators and representatives, the Catholic Conference of Bishops, and all Kansans with compassion find energy and funds for the care of defenseless foster children, public schoolchildren, immigrant children and other state and local realities to embrace all the dear children God trusted us with.

Jane Byrnes, Wichita

Ballpark parking

Where are we going to park when visiting the new stadium? Since the design eliminates the parking lot adjacent to Lawrence Dumont, what is the plan going forward? I have read that the intention is to use parking on the east side of the river and shuttle or "build a bridge" to accommodate visitors. Does Wichita really think the elderly, moms and dads with strollers or even young people are going to participate in a hike just to watch a few innings of baseball or other community events? Not in Wichita! I suggest the success of our new stadium hinges on easy, convenient access, either admit to citizens the reality (no parking) or we better start buying adjacent land to accommodate the visitors.

Terry Leiker, Wichita

Tax bill

I’m a small-business owner living in Wichita, and I'm writing to oppose Senate Bill 22, the tax bill. I’m tired of a Legislature that is always okay with handouts for businesses but never for citizens. Let the rich and wealthy business owners in our state use their own bootstraps for once, instead of being handed money that could be used toward any number of public services that are desperately needed in our state. It’s corporate welfare like this that got our state into trouble during the Brownback administration; we cannot return to that time.

Adrian Waller, Wichita