Monthly Archives: November 2008

Public hearing Tuesday for arena TIF district

The Wichita City Council will take public comment Tuesday about a plan to expand a tax increment financing (TIF) near Intrust Bank Arena, the first hoop the city must jump through to get it passed. The clock starts ticking after the hearing, with Sedgwick County having 30 days to either give it the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

The plan is the city’s second attempt to expand the TIF district. In August, Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan sent a strongly-worded letter to interim City Manager Scott Moore saying the county could not support the district for four major reasons, including that every taxable downtown property was having some part of its county property tax diverted to the city to pay for city projects. Read More »

Salerno up for job near Boston

On the same day the International City/County Management Association announced they had publicly censured Pat Salerno, the would-be Wichita city manager who backed out of his contract, he was announced as a candidate for a job in Hingham, Mass., a city of about 22,000 people about 20 miles south of Boston, the Boston Globe reported today.

The Globe reports that city selectmen will narrow a field of five candidates to two finalists today, interview them Dec. 2 and announce a new town administrator Dec. 4.

Sebelius mentioned for energy, labor posts

Kathleen Sebelius’ name continues to pop up in national media coverage of Obama’s transition. MSNBC’s First Read says her name might be leaked today as the pick for Labor or Energy and notes that the vetting process is well under way.

Nicole Corcoran, Sebelius’ spokeswoman, said she has not been offered a position.

You’ll also find her here and here in stories by The Associated Press.

‘Last manager standing’ at City Hall

City Hall got a little Bruce Willis on its Web site, proclaiming “Last Manager Standing” in a headline about the City Council selecting Robert Layton as its new city manager.

After reporters noticed the headline on Wednesday and asked a county staff member to print out a copy of the home page screen, the city changed the headline to “City Manager Update.” However, city officials say the timing of the change was a mere coincidence. Read More »

Wichita is Onionized

We hope we don’t ruin the fun by typing about parody here on a stuffy government blog, but we couldn’t resist the chance to chatter about The Onion’s election coverage — complete with a Wichita dateline.

Using the tone of some of the stories chronicling President-elect Barack Obama’s win, the satirical periodical reports that Alan Klemke won the District 4 City Council seat in the Nov. 4 election. (Of course, being a serious news source, we feel compelled to note that Wichita’s city council elections are in April and District 4 isn’t up for election in 2009.)

Here’s a taste of The Onion’s story: Read More »

What people say about Wichita’s city manager finalists

While we hang out in the city council lobby waiting for the council to emerge from a private meeting, thought we’d take time to share some of the insights from the people who attended the city manager finalist forums Wednesday and Thursday. The information comes from the slips people submitted to the city after the forums. The Eagle requested them and the city obliged. There were some we couldn’t read, and others that just said “good” or “bad.” These excerpts are just some of the most colorful quotes. So read on for more… Read More »

District 6 race about to heat up

City elections are five months away, but already it appears District 6 will have two fairly well-known candidates vying to fill Sharon Fearey’s position, which she will leave because of term limits.

Bob Aldrich plans to announce his candidacy next week. Aldrich has played roles as vice president of the Orchard Park Neighborhood Association, precinct committeeman, park board member and Wichita Pachyderm president. He came in third place (by six votes) in the 2005 primary for District 6, then quickly pitched support to Richard Lopez, who ended up losing to Fearey, who got 57 percent of the turnout. Read More »

Kansans praise Scott Moore in Texas newspaper

Former Mayor Carlos Mayans praised Wichita’s interim city manager, Scott Moore, for handling tumultuous political times in City Hall with “quiet demeanor,” according to a profile by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Moore, who has received nearly universal praise since taking on a higher-profile position as interim manager, is one of two finalists vying for the city manager vacancy in Corpus Christi, a city of 285,507 on the Texas coast. In an interview with The Eagle, Corpus Christi Mayor Henry Garrett said Moore has a “good shot” at the job.

Meanwhile, Corpus Christi’s former city manager, Skip Noe, is one of five finalists for the job in Wichita. The Caller-Times reports that “some council members criticized Noe for communication problems and mismanagement of the city’s water problems.”