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A Word in Edgewise

By Commissioner Tim Norton

May 14, 2015

Last year after several years of space planning,  strategic review and issuance of a RFP, Sedgwick County purchased the former I.R.S. building for housing the downtown tag office location, the Metro Building and Construction Department (MABCD), the Metro Area Planning Department (MAPD), the Sedgwick County Appraiser,  WAMPO, and some other County offices.   After thoughtful analysis, questioning of staff that did the yeoman’s work, and review of all the diverse components of the capital investment budget, leases and debt policy, I voted to move ahead with the purchase.

I concluded that we had waited long enough to move the tag office out of the insufficient Murdock location and needed to move ahead with the consolidation efforts that created the MABCD to better serve citizens and building community.   At the time our County Treasurer appeared to be very supportive.   She was quoted in the Wichita Eagle saying, “I am just ecstatic …. I think it’s going to just be a wonderful move.”    Personally, I agreed.

Today, the Treasurer has backed out of the project leaving the first floor vacant.  Now it appears we will be looking for another even larger  location for the Tag office which could or could not happen any time soon.  Several commissioners are advocating for a variety of scenarios and changes that postpones the usage and slows down the consolidation efforts that many in our business community have endorsed and were anxious to see realized.   One is proposing an independent audit of the process that the County organization used to buy the property. 

I am disappointed that all the hard work to find an adequate location in the downtown government footprint, the long-standing search for a new and more citizen friendly tag office, the ongoing struggle to combine some City/County functions and departments to be more efficient and effective for our business community, and eliminate leases by moving offices to the new location, has been delayed, criticized and unraveled.   I dedicated time, effort and intellectual capital for several years to insure we moved the process forward, found a workable site, and  kept the needs of the citizens and business interests in the forefront.    It is time to check ‘done’ and move on.

Thanks for letting me get a word in edgewise.

T.N.

Video Files

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
5th District Commissioner Jim Howell
January 23, 2015 - 20 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
GraceMed - With David Sandford
September 26, 2014 - 18 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
Project Access - With Anne Nelson and Jon Rosell
September 15, 2014 - 16 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
Sedgwick County Zoo Elephant Exhibit - With Scott Ochs and Mark Reed
September 10, 2014 - 17 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
Wichita State University - With John Bardo
March 11, 2014 - 15 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
Child Advocacy Center - With Diana Schunn and Marc Bennett
March 11, 2014 - 18 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
City-to-City - With Suzy Finn and Taylor Gill
October 25, 2013 - 14 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
City-to-City - With Janet Miller and Jon Rosell
October 18, 2013 - 20 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
FIT Wichita - With Mim McKenzie and Claudia Blackburn
October 9, 2013 - 15 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
Visioneering - With Sam Williams and Ron Holt
October 1, 2013 - 15 minutes

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
with Jan Luth about Star Wars at Exploration Place
May 23, 2012

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
With 5th District Commissioner Jim Skelton
January 26, 2012

"A Word in Edgewise" Video
With Commissioners Richard Ranzau and Tim Norton
January 19, 2011 - 17 minutes


Sedgwick County...working for you

Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.