Daily Archives: March 23, 2007

Brewer and Mayans on their favorite topic: Business, business, business

It’s the opening line of every mayoral forum between Mayor Carlos Mayans and Carl Brewer, and it sounds something like this: “we need to diversify the economy, train our workforce and keep young people from leaving Wichita.”

It’s certainly a key issue. But how does government pave the way for something that hinges so much on the private sector? The candidates have a similar line there, too — keep doing what we’re doing. Continue to take on some risk for the businesses by issuing bonds to pay for expansions and give tax breaks — even though recent studies at Wichita State University show tax exemptions (state and local) have shifted tax burden from business and other special interests to homeowners and consumers. (Check out that study in a PDF file) Then, candidates say, cut down on regulations — though no one is saying which regulations.

Need more? Check out how candidates responded to the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce questions.

Fearey has had enough

Sharon Fearey, the north-central Wichita City Council member, has had enough of Mayor Carlos Mayans’ campaign claims. And, The Hall Monitor has noted, she’s had enough of people putting words in her mouth.

She penned an editorial that ran in The Eagle this week, scolding Mayans for claiming that Council members are never in their offices. She countered too, saying that Mayans misses his share of city meetings. The tension also showed last Tuesday when Fearey didn’t get a chance to explain her ‘no’ vote on move to overrule the city’s historic preservation board decision that the proposed downtown Kelly Hotel and Conference Center doesn’t fit in with nearby historic buildings. (See The Eagle’s story here.)

In the meeting, Fearey said she hit her button, indicating to the mayor that she wanted to talk. But Mayans wrapped up the hearing quickly and called the vote. Fearey, a former preservation board member, never said ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but went on record as a ‘no’ vote because, she said, architects and city planners could have come to a better compromise.