Daily Archives: Jan. 29, 2007

Peterjohn for Duckett?

In an email received by The Hall Monitor, Wichita school board at-large candidate and long time anti-tax advocate Karl Peterjohn shows his support to district 4 candidate Cindy Duckett. Her company provides scholarships for students to attend private schools.

From the email:

“Cindy is running in district four in the primary but only one other candidate filed so she will be running district wide in the April 3 general election. I believe that she has an excellent chance of winning.”

The email, written to James Hodges and recieved by countless others, shows that Duckett has given Peterjohn equal support.

“She was strongly urging me to file too and she was the last candidate to file before the noon deadline. I filed for the at large seat just seconds before her and am now one of five candidates to be narrowed down at the Feb. primary.”

Negotiations at the speed of snail

Remember a month ago when hundreds of police officers picketed City Hall, signs in hand, pleading for more cooperation and fair salaries?

And remember when City Manager George Kolb was on every newscast in town telling taxpayers that they’d either see reduced city services or a tax increase if the police get what they want?

Well, it’s been pretty quiet since — all the salaries are stagnant and so are taxes. Since the PD and city issued a joint press release saying they wouldn’t continue to vent their frustrations and roll out worst case scenarios at each other in the media, the issue has been publicly calm.

Sgt. Chester Pinkston, the union president, tells The Hall Monitor that the city is inching its offer up, little-by-little. But apparently not enough…

“We’re still not near a settlement,” Pinkston said.

“But we’re still optimistic,” he followed. “It’s just moving at a snail’s pace, unfortunately.”

History shows that’s often the way these things go.

Meanwhile, the fire department’s union is in waiting. The city backed out their most recent meeting because one of their players couldn’t make the meeting, Doug Pickard, president of the firefighters’ union, said.

“We’re just kind of treading water,” he said.

It’s not clear how the two contracts fit together, but, according to press release the city handed out in mid-December, “Any contract with this group (being the police) for more than the budgeted 2 percent will further increase pressure for a tax increase or reduction in other services.”

Not exactly a pleasant scenario for city leaders in an election season where most of the 26 candidates out there are repeating the mantra of lower taxes, increased public safety and fiscal constraint.