Daily Archives: Dec. 8, 2010

Three candidates poised to compete for interim District 3 City Council job

A map of District 3

A map of District 3

The Sedgwick County Elections Office finished verifying petitions from four candidates vying to become the interim city council member in southeast Wichita’s third district.

The elections office confirmed this evening that Roger Smith, Paul Michael Loop and Hoyt Hillman have at least 100 signatures from District 3 residents in support of their candidacy. A fourth candidate, Jack L. Silvers, submitted signatures. But Election Commissioner Bill Gale said that fewer than 100 checked out as registered District 3 voters.

With just three candidates, the District 3 Advisory Board will have to forward all candidates to the city council for a vote. (If more than five candidates had emerged, the advisory board would have had to narrow the field.) Whoever lands four votes from city council members will be appointed to the District 3 seat until April 5, when residents elect a representative for the remaining two years in Council member Jim Skelton’s term. (Several candidates have already voiced interest in running for the remainder of Skelton’s term.)

Skelton is leaving because he was elected to the Sedgwick County Commission on Nov. 2 and will be sworn in as a commissioner in January.

Intrust Bank Arena netted $30,432 in October

intrustbankarena.kscomIntrust Bank Arena’s net building income was $30,432 in October, assistant Sedgwick County manager Ron Holt told commissioners today.

Through October this year, the downtown arena has netted more than $1.8 million. Voters approved a one-cent sales tax to build the venue.

There were 89 events at the arena through October, including 21 concerts and 33 family shows.

Upcoming events include the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Dec. 15, Barney Live in Concert on Dec. 18 and 19, Wichita State University’s men’s basketball Dec. 21 and Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria” on Dec. 29 through Jan. 2.

Commissioners vote for Cook Airfield expansion, rezoning

After hearing comments from people for and against a runway expansion and rezoning at Cook Airfield, Sedgwick County commissioners voted to approve a conditional use permit and rezone land near the airport from rural residential to single family residential.

The board voted unanimously.

Commissioners Tim Norton and Dave Unruh had earlier voted against closing a portion of 71st Street South to allow the runway extension but said that issue was separate from the conditional use permit and rezoning.

Discussion gets heated between Welshimer and Derby city manager

Tensions rose between Sedgwick County commissioner Gwen Welshimer and Derby city manager Kathy Sexton this morning.

Sexton is a former assistant county manager.

Sexton was speaking against a zoning change and conditional use permit requested by the owners of Cook Airfield to expand their runway and build homes nearby. Welshimer accused Sexton of not telling Derby residents all the facts about the issue. She also said she was not allowed to speak at a Derby meeting.

Sexton countered by saying that she received a request from Welshimer to speak for 20 minutes at a meeting. Sexton said she then asked Welshimer what she wanted to speak about but didn’t hear anything back from Welshimer. Later, she said Welshimer responded she wanted to talk about the airport, but it was after the meeting in question.

Welshimer then said that was “neither here nor there” and focused on allegations that Sexton does not tell Derby residents all the information they need to form opinions on matters.

“Are you saying I’m not doing my job?” Sexton responded.

Commissioners have heard from several people in support of and against expanding the airport’s runway and rezoning the area.

Commissioners are expected to vote later today.

Packed crowd at county commission for Cook Airfield issue

There’s nearly standing-room-only at this morning’s Sedgwick County commission meeting as several property owners near Cook Airfield have turned out to speak about a request to rezone land near the airport and extend the airport’s runway by 1,300 feet.

Commissioners earlier this year approved rezoning land from rural residential to single family and to allow a runway extension, but owners of the airport had not notified all property owners in the area.

Stay on kansas.com for more information.

County employees eligible for 2 percent merit raise pool

Sedgwick County commissioners voted for a 2 percent merit raise pool for employees next year, excluding themselves from a pay increase.

Commissioner Karl Peterjohn voted against awarding raises because of the precarious economy. He also was against giving raises to any elected officials.

Sheriff Robert Hinshaw and register of deeds Bill Meek said they would be willing to forego raises.

The raise pool will go to employees with exceptional work records. Raises are not awarded for cost of living or for seniority.

Commissioners discuss 2011 raises for employees

Sedgwick County commissioners are discussing what the raise pool for employees should be next year.

Commissioner Karl Peterjohn noted that the state is not awarding raises, as well as many cities in the state.

County manager William Buchanan suggested a 2 percent merit raise pool for employees doing exceptional work.

Commissioners have agreed not to accept a raise.

Stay on Kansas.com for more information.