Opinion Columns & Blogs

New zoo agreement is a relief

It’s a relief that the Sedgwick County Commission and the Sedgwick County Zoological Society reached a new funding agreement last week. Some commissioner tried last year to change the zoo’s operating agreement, including boosting the county’s voting power on the zoo board and setting guidelines for the zoo director’s public statements. The dispute raised the possibility the county might take over the day-to-day operations of the zoo – a terrible prospect. But after Karl Peterjohn lost his re-election bid – in large part because of the zoo dispute – the commissioners backed off the changes. And now, after several months of constructive negotiations, there is a new funding agreement. “Our partnership is as strong now as it ever has been,” commissioner Jim Howell said. That’s great to hear. – Phillip Brownlee