That elections have consequences was immediately clear again Wednesday at the first meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission under its new conservative management. The majority rejected a state health grant, second-guessed and undercut staff recommendations, repealed policies, rewrote the county legislative agenda and lectured on the role of government. Before the commission voted to reduce the $208,940 requested by Project Access to $175,000, new Commissioner Jim Howell also said that “the government shouldn’t have a role of being charitable.” Of course, nonprofit social services and other organizations are essential to carrying out the responsibilities of local, state and federal governments to care for their vulnerable populations. Judging from Wednesday, the commission’s future holds long meetings and lots of changes based more on ideology than reality. – Rhonda Holman
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