6:48 p.m. — Mayor Carl Brewer’s State of the City Address is over. This year, he didn’t unveil any major plans or break any big news about new developments. Instead, he focused on the difficult economic times, the city’s effort to streamline its services and the need to help the hungry and homeless.
“While we may from time to time not see eye to eye on every issue, on this, we can agree: we must keep our children safe and sound in neighborhoods that protect the investments we make in our homes and our quality of life,” he said.
Perhaps the closest thing to a surprise was the announcement of the long-awaited customer service line, which aims to give Wichitans a way to voice concerns by calling one phone number.
“All you have to do is dial: W-I-C-H-I-T-A. That’s 942-4482,” he said to applause and a bit of laughter.
Brewer outlined the economic incentives the city, county and state used to create and retain jobs — particularly in Wichita’s cornerstone aviation industry. And he said the city would continue to fight to get Southwest Airlines to provide service at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport.
“We were ready for Southwest in 2010 with funding in hand – and must be ready in 2011,” he said.
See the bottom of this post for a copy of Mayor Carl Brewer’s State of the City Address.
6:30 p.m. — Mayor Carl Brewer has been hitting hard on aviation, perhaps no surprise given its economic importance in the city and Brewer’s former career with Spirit Aerosystems.
He said the city saved 745 jobs, created 435 jobs and leveraged $94.4 million in private investment. Some of that, of course, came with help from other government entities as well.
6:25 p.m.: — Mayor Brewer announced the long-awaited customer call center that will gives people one number to call to register concerns, get information, and seek resolutions to problems at City Hall. “All you have to do is dial:
W-I-C-H-I-T-A. That’s 942-4482,” he said to applause and a bit of laughter.
6:20 p.m. — Mayor Carl Brewer called 2010 a “difficult but productive year.” He said the city was successful in protecting aviation jobs, did not increase the mill levy despite a budget crunch and moved ahead with downtown revitalization.
“In the midst of this, we continued our work to care for the less fortunate, the unemployed, the hungry and the homeless,” he said.
5:50 p.m. — A few hundred people are at Wichita City Hall for Mayor Carl Brewer’s State of the City speech, slated to start at 6 p.m.
As he did last year, Brewer will use the speech to encourage people to donate to the No More Hungry Kids campaign, which aims to provide food for children in a partnership with the Kansas Food Bank. (Learn more at www.nomorehungrykids.org.) Brewer is also expected to touch on budget cuts, the local economy, crime and downtown development.
The State of the City Address can be viewed online here or on cable channel 7.
The program will start with the entrance of top city officials, judges and the mayor and city council. That will be followed with a post of the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation by Bishop J.C. Gilkey Sr. Mayor Brewer will be introduced by Daniel Depew, the youth council mayor.
Full text of Brewer’s speech:Mayor’s 2011 State of the City Address