Daily Archives: Feb. 1, 2008

Council 2/5: What to look for

Wichita City CouncilAfter two weeks off, the Wichita City Council returns to its Tuesday meetings next week. So what’s up?

They’ll vote on a city manager profile package — AKA what they want in the next big boss. Here’s a peak: 10 years experience in a local government management position or closely related line of work, and a bachelors degree in public administration or related field from an accredited university. That said, they prefer 15 years in the trenches and a master’s degree. The rest of it is fairly routine stuff about having communication skills to deal with a city council, citizen groups and media. We note this quote because it will probably be the trickiest to find in a candidate who’s been under the microscope for 15 years: “Unblemished record of personal integrity and ethical conduct.”

City Council will also vote on an Arkansas River Access plan that includes some 20 new places to drop a canoe between Hutchinson and Oklahoma. That includes at least three sets of rapids that are created by damns and other obstructions along the way. The city will need other local governments to go along with the plan to make it work, and most of the preliminary discussions appear to have gone well, judging from the council’s agenda reports.

And, once again, the public agenda is stacked with people who want to debate a smoking ban. This week, there will be a presentation of a survey that tells what non-profit groups say about the ban. We’ve already heard concerns that a total ban could hurt non-profits that rely on Bingo contests and other smoker-friendly events for their fund-raising. But other non-profits will likely be concerned about the public health components outlined in medical studies. Council members Jeff Longwell and Lavonta Williams have been working on a compromise. It could be another month before a solid draft emerges.