Brewer optimistic about Layton

Robert LaytonMayor Carl Brewer said he’s spending at least an hour a day with Robert Layton, the new city manager. Trips to Topeka, hallway chatter and hour-long update meetings — the two seem to be getting along well.

Brewer, who strongly backed Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan as the next manager, complimented Layton for being “very candid” about city issues and that the two seem to agree on things 90 percent of the time (Brewer didn’t say what the other 10 percent involves). But, as he chatted with a reporter Tuesday, Brewer said he’s still watching carefully to ensure Layton’s transition is smooth, especially considering ongoing budget problems, state cuts and the influx of federal stimulus money.

Layton will get another little test Thursday when he speaks to the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. Though most businesspeople stayed clear of the manager search, there was a strong battle among others — mostly in strong support or opposition of Buchanan. It will be interesting to see in the next few months what impressions the biz community forms of Layton, a man who got nearly flawless reviews from business people in his former city, Urbandale, Iowa.