Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

Haysville mayor quits economic development group and says he’ll cut off city funding of it

WICHITA — The mayor of Haysville has quit Haysville Forward Inc., the city’s economic development group, and says he’ll cut off any future city funding for it.

Ken Hampton made the announcement March 1 after he lost a vote to continue as the group’s president, which he’s been for the last several years.

“I was shocked, so I can’t remember the exact quote word for word, but it was basically he had the ability to shut down the committee, and as of now he considered HFI disbanded,” says Tim Massey, an HFI member and director of the Haysville Chamber of Commerce.

“I might have said it will probably end up being dismantled,” Hampton says. “What I told people … is we’re not going to give further support. I looked at the bylaws to see what we need to do as far as the city cutting ties.”

He says he’s still studying the bylaws.

Massey says HFI members weren’t sure what to think.

“After they got up off the floor? There was one person that asked if he had the authority to do that or did the City Council know he was doing that. He said that yes, he had the authority to do that.”

The city has given various amounts to the group over the last few years – from $5,000 to $10,000 on average. In the last few weeks, Hampton says the city gave HFI $23,000 from its transient guest tax.

He says he believes because of that money, whoever is mayor should be president of the group.

“I wasn’t going to say, ‘Hey, if you don’t vote for me, we’re not going to do this,’” he says of letting the group know how he felt before the vote.

“It wasn’t an anger thing, it was a principle thing in my opinion,” Hampton says. “If you don’t stand up for your principles, then why do anything?”

Massey says while he didn’t expect this outcome, he knew there was trouble.

“I’m like the guy after the tornado,” he says. “Yes, I saw it coming. I was sitting there in my trailer.”

Massey says not much economic development has happened in the last half year or so.

“The group just feels like we haven’t done anything,” he says.

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EarthWise Pet Supply to open in April

Animal lovers Lisa Obregon (left), who is holding Chanel, and Kim Bonnesen, who is holding Bebe, are preparing to open EarthWise Pet Supply in April.

UPDATED — People are eating more natural foods these days, so it’s probably a natural follow that that’s what they’ll buy for their pets, too.

Kim Bonnesen and Lisa Obregon are opening EarthWise Pet Supply to sell pet food and supplies in 1,900 square feet at 327 N. Hillside, which is between Yamasa and Domino’s.

“We’ve been talking about doing a business together at least the last couple of years,” Bonnesen says.

Bonnesen owned Brint’s Diner for about a year a decade ago.

She says she decided if she ever owned her own business again, she wanted it to be a franchise.

“There is some support there,” she says. “Especially when you’re getting things going from the ground up.”

Bonnesen and Obregon started looking at franchises. They both have pets and liked the idea of EarthWise.

“It just kind of seemed like a natural fit,” Bonnesen says.

“It’s going to be your premium natural pet foods,” she says. “More healthy options for your pets.”

Obregon says they’ve taken training that has taught them much more than they previously knew about taking care of their own pets better.

“Pet nutrition is extremely important,” she says.

She says the right kind of food can help pets avoid allergies and even extend their lives.

“People love their pets … and they’re almost willing to do anything for them,” Obregon says. “I know we are.”

She says she and Bonnesen want to pass along what they’ve learned, which is part of why she wants to open the store.

“That’s one of my main reasons, was to educate the public.”

The store also will have a groomer and two areas for customers to wash their pets.

In addition to food, the store will carry pet supplies and treats.

“This is definitely a higher-end option,” Bonnesen says. “It’s not going to be pricewise what you would find at a grocery store.”

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