Daily Archives: Feb. 1, 2007

What’s the Council up to?

After several weeks of hiatus, the City Council will meet next Tuesday and it’s going to be a full meeting.

Here’s a taste: A tribute to Bob Martz, the District 5 councilman who died suddenly of an apparent heart attack Jan. 18; hire an architect to design three new fire stations; agreements with Century II tenants; and much more.

Mayans: Against the grain .0085 percent of the time

Perhaps the sharpest jabs early on in this year’s city campaigns has been the assertion by councilman and mayoral candidate Carl Brewer that Mayor Carlos Mayans is divisive and that Mayans’ go-it-alone tactics hurt the city. Mayans, a polished politician with 10 years of battle experience in the Kansas House and experience defending himself during campaigns, took it upon himself to tally the Council minutes.

What he found was he voted against the majority .0085 percent of the time — or 11 out of 1,288 votes since 2003.

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Out of office due to run for office

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback has circled the globe (seen in this photo in Iraq) and made several trips to the key primary states as he goes into full presidential campaign mode. But, one place he hasn’t spent much time is in the Senate, where the Associate Press is reporting he has missed more than half of his roll call votes this month.

“That’s a higher absence rate than any other member of the Senate except Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who is recovering from a brain hemorrhage he suffered before the new session of Congress began,” the AP wrote. “… Before this year, Brownback had a 98 percent voting record.”

Brownback spokesman Brian Hart said Brownback “will continue to serve the people of Kansas to the best of his ability.”

Closer eye on where big box stores go?

How do you win over College Hill voters’ hearts? (or at least the most vocal ones) Get tough on Wal-Mart.

That’s part of Elizabeth Bishop’s strategy as she takes on Sue Schlapp and several other candidates in northeast Wichita’s District 2.

Bishop proposes copying Lawrence, which now requires big box stores, like Wal-Mart, to conduct their own “retail market impact study.” In short, the company has to pay an independent consultant that they haven’t worked with in at least five years to find out how the big box will affect local retail shops.

It’s a clear pitch to appeal to hundreds of College Hill residents who came out strong against the now dead proposal for a Wal-Mart SuperCenter at Kellogg and Oliver. What’s unclear, at least in her initial candidacy announcement, is how that jives with the theme of the city elections this year: economic development.

The Wal-Mart would have added 300 jobs, after all. Of course, as Bishop alludes to, it’s not clear how many other jobs and ownerships would have been lost if the store would have won the Council’s approval.