Daily Archives: Sept. 8, 2010

Barnett resigns from Kansas Senate

barnett_jpg_330x330_q85From the Associated Press

Republican Jim Barnett of Emporia is resigning from the Kansas state Senate with two years left in his latest term.

The Emporia Gazette reports Barnett announced the decision Wednesday in a statement that didn’t give a reason. He’ll step down Oct. 1 and will announce his future plans within the coming week.

Barnett is a physician who retired from an Emporia medical group earlier this year to campaign for Congress. He is serving his third four-year term in the Senate. Messages seeking comment were not immediately returned.

He was the Republican nominee for governor in 2006, losing to Democrat Kathleen Sebelius. This year he ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in Kansas’ 1st Congressional District. Barnett’s current Senate term runs through 2012. The Republican Central Committee for the 17th District will hold a convention to pick his replacement, who will finish his Senate term.

Secretary of state denies objection to Libertarian candidate leaving 4th Congressional District race

TOPEKA – The Secretary of state is denying an objection to a Libertarian’s withdrawal from the 4th Congressional District, clearing the way for Wink Hartman to run instead.

On Wednesday, the office determined there was no basis in state statute for one person to object to a candidate’s declaration of incapability, said Tyler Longpine, spokesman for Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs.

On Sept. 2, David Moffett, who had been the party’s pick, filed a statement with the Secretary of State’s office declaring he was “incapable of fulfilling the duties of the office if elected.”

Later that week, word leaked that Hartman, who came in third in the GOP primary in August, was considering continuing his run for the congressional seat as a Libertarian.

The objection was filed by Wichita Republican Mark Kahrs on Sept. 7. It maintained that “Mr. Moffett has had no material change in circumstance since his Libertarian Party nomination… which would not render him incapable of fulfilling his elected duties and justify his withdrawal.”

The objection cast Moffett as a place-holder candidate and said allowing such maneuvering would “serve as a catalyst for increased political gamesmanship, undermining public confidence in the candidate selection process and the integrity of Kansas elections.”

Tuesday evening, Hartman had a teleconference meeting with Libertarian Party leaders to discuss becoming the party’s candidate. A final decision is likely Friday.

Sedgwick County settles with Bel Aire over jail fees

Sedgwick County commissioners have agreed to settle with Bel Aire over jail fees.

Bel Aire will pay about $35,000 — or 37 percent — of what it owes from January 2008 through December 2009 and will begin paying 100 percent of its fees from Jan. 1.

The county began charging cities an hourly fee for inmates held only on municipal charges. Some cities refused initially to pay, and the county sued some of them, including Bel Aire.

The lawsuit continues against Wichita, which has said it considers the fees to be double-taxation.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in March.

As of August, the county says the city owes about $9.6 million.

Intrust Bank Arena takes a loss in July

intrustbankarena.kscomIntrust Bank Arena took a loss of about $60,000 in July, which county officials had anticipated with the slow-down of performances in the summer.

Assistant county manager Ron Holt told commissioners the loss was not a surprise as many tour groups take the summer off. And he stressed that the loss was less than expected.

“One month does not tell the story,” Holt said, adding that arena management expects the year to end well.

The arena has brought in about $4.9 million in gross income since its opening in January through July.

After operating expenses of nearly $2.9 million for that time period, net income for the downtown venue is just more than $2 million through July.

Activities have slowed down for the arena with two events in July.

Sedgwick County passes plan for Derby, Mulvane

derbymulvaneSedgwick County commissioners this morning unanimously passed a plan for the area between Derby and Mulvane that is essentially a road map for growth and development through 2030.

Commissioners commended the city managers and city councils of Derby and Mulvane for working together and with planning staff.

“I think the fact that these cities came together and came together as well as they did is commendable,” commissioner Gwen Welshimer said.

Commissioner Dave Unruh said residents expect their leaders to work together.

“I think it’s a good plan. It’s a logical plan,” he said.

The plan covers the unincorporated areas located between the Derby and Mulvane city limits, the Arkansas River and 127th Street East.

Area officials said the plan was needed to:

–Document an agreed-upon future land use plan for the area.

–Coordinate delivery of future municipal and county services.

–Define anticipated future city boundaries for Derby and Mulvane.