2008: A year of change ahead

Wichitans got a new mayor and two new city council members this year. In 2008, the city will pick up a new city manager, and it also will see the next steps in the changing face of downtown. (Not to mention a presidential campaign, the start of council campaigns in Districts 1, 3 and 6 and a new legislative session.)

Already, from Kellogg one can see three cranes in the sky — something Mayor Carl Brewer has often noted as a sign of progress in other cities. One crane is helping turn a once vacant field into the WaterWalk after what seemed to be an eternity to many of the projects’ critics. The other two are beginning the first phases of construction on a downtown arena. These things are almost certain to face continued criticism from people who have questioned government’s involvement in them from the start. But the construction also will give people a chance to see the reality of what millions and millions of their tax dollars can do. We will be watching the price tags of these projects as well as the plans to redevelop the surrounding neighborhoods.

We haven’t posted here on The Hall Monitor in more than a month. But 2008 will bring a change in that, too. The blog is being redesigned, and, once it is complete sometime in early 2008, we will be back with regular posts that we hope will offer stories that aren’t in The Eagle (or anywhere else) and expand your understanding of what’s happening in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas and beyond.

Until then, here’s to safe and happy holidays and a strong new year.