Opinion Columns & Blogs

Cost to reopen boys ranch worth it?

Following the instructions of the new Sedgwick County Commission majority, county staff is including a reopened Judge Riddel Boys Ranch or a new youth residential facility in its work on a 2016 county budget proposal. At a briefing last Wednesday, commissioners heard the cost of that move for 2016 would be $3.2 million. That’s a sizable county investment, especially given the state’s continuing lack of interest in spending more to help the county operate what was a state program – and commissioners’ tough talk about potentially cutting help to 17 county-funded groups in an effort to avoid a projected county budget deficit. Are the commissioners now leading the county looking at the big fiscal picture, or just trying to reverse a decision they opposed? – Rhonda Holman