Karl Peterjohn speaks from audience to county commission about TIF district

Karl Peterjohn hasn’t been sworn in yet as a Sedgwick County commissioner, but he made his concerns about tax increment financing (TIF) districts known Wednesday morning when he took advantage of the public comment portion of the county commission’s meeting .

His comments that TIF districts give developers an unfair advantage give a glimpse of what votes could be like when Peterjohn moves from the audience to the bench after the first of the year. Peterjohn has been regularly attending commission meetings since the Nov. 4 general election.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve a 16-block TIF district near Intrust Bank Arena. Many are looking for Peterjohn to swing the board’s majority vote. When there is a split vote on the commission, members Kelly Parks and Gwen Welshimer typically line up together, as do Tom Winters, Dave Unruh and Tim Norton. Commission observers believe Parks, Welshimer and Peterjohn could have a majority vote on controversial issues in the future.