Local Positions in Depth
To facilitate implementation of curriculum, the League supports:
2. The League supports smaller classes and a greater number of professional personnel to work with children who have problems in the early elementary grades in order to prevent some of the problems of students at the secondary level. [Adopted December 13, 1973; Updated Feb. 1985]
The League supports the office of ombudsperson [Adopted Feb. 19, 1985]
3. The Wichita League of Women Voters supports the position of providing the best qualified personnel for the Wichita School District;
4. The League of Women Voters - Wichita Metro supports the following public school budget priorities: A. The League supports teacher salaries as the number one budget priority. Salary increases should reward performance that is evaluated on the basis of consistent, valid, and observable criteria. Other employee salaries should compare favorably with local compensation rates.
B. Facilities should be maintained in an economical manner to assure adequate conditions. [Adopted Feb. 19, 1985]
Funding priorities: refer to State Finance positions.
The League supports purchasing quality merchandise at the lowest cost. We also support a workable and efficient inventory control system. (In 1985, a problem in the area of inventory control was indicated.)
The League supports the employment of an internal auditor to monitor expenditures and adherence to school district policies. [Adopted Feb. 19, 1985]
5. The League of Women Voters of Wichita supports alternative education at the elementary, Junior High and Senior High Levels in the city of Wichita.
Alternative programs/schools should have the following characteristics:
The League of Women Voters of Wichita believes that parents and students have certain rights. Parent rights include knowing the philosophies, teaching methods, and objectives of a particular teacher. Student rights include the right to the kind and style of learning to which he or she best responds, to develop at her or his rate and to her or his fullest potential, and to have problems screened and diagnosed at an early age.
The League further supports community awareness of alternative education and initiation at the "grassroots" level (parents and community) with professional help in development of these programs. [Adopted September 25, 1975; Updated Feb., 1985]
6. The League supports mandatory busing and assignment of pupils as a partial solution to segregation in housing and unequal conditions in neighborhood schools. Selection should be made on a fair and impartial basis for all segments of the community.
The public should be educated to create community acceptance. Teachers and administrators should be educated to increase sensitivity in handling racial and socio-economic problems. The education of all children must be improved.
Support, as a long-range solution, of a strong, workable, vigorously enforced local fair-housing law.
All new schools should be located strategically to achieve a realistic racial and socioeconomic balance. [Adopted October 29, 1970; Updated Feb., 1985]
7. The League supports the increased use of school facilities with a fee schedule to cover the costs of operations. [Adopted Nov. 21, 1967; Updated Feb., 1985]
The League of Women Voters, Wichita-Metro opposes district elections for USD Board of Education Members for the following reasons:
[Adopted April 1990]
CITY MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT
LWVWM supports the Commission/Manager form as the most efficient and economical form presently available. It follows the sensible rule: for representation, elect; for administration, appoint. The City Commission should be small, elected at large on a non-partisan ballot.
The City Commission could devote more time to policy-making matters if efficient use were made of advisory boards. The responsibility for good government resides in the will of the people.
[Adopted Jan. 16, 1968]
DISTRICT ADVISORY BOARDS
The LWV Wichita-Metro supports permanent citizen district advisory boards to advise each individual city council member on policy matters. The boards should have a mandate to provide a public forum for citizen input to council members on a broad range of issues and a mandate to be a channel of information between the city council and the public. The city council should regularly evaluate the boards as a whole for effectiveness in communicating information of use and of interest to their districts as well as the other means of communication the city has.
Appointment by a council person is an acceptable way to select members of the district advisory boards as long as the members are selected to reflect the demographics of the respective city council areas.
The District Advisory Boards instituted in January 2000 as well as the City Council should be monitored to be sure the current practice of election of City Council members by district with each council person appointing a district advisory board doesn=t override the good of the city as a whole.
[Adopted March 19, 2002]
Support of permissive legislation which would allow increased inter-governmental cooperation.
Support of consolidation in areas of law enforcement which would eliminate unnecessary duplication, increase efficiency, and promote a more professional operation.
Support of the concept of an organization (such as the South Central Kansas Regional Council of Governments) which furthers cooperation of local governments in the solution of mutual problems.
[Adopted Jan. 28, 1965]
LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION/CONSOLIDATION
Local Government should be effective, accountable, efficient and accessible and deliver public service equitably to the taxpayers at the lowest possible cost. The current patchwork of 104 jurisdictions in Sedgwick county creates duplication of services, citizen confusion, tax inequities, dilution of leadership, and generates a bunker mentality of we versus they.
A united voice is needed for lobbying at the state and federal level and for attracting business ventures. Urban sprawl is blurring boundaries and creating a need for more services. As public services become more technical, expensive and specialized in nature, larger population areas are needed to adequately fund public services.
THEREFORE the League of Women Voters, Wichita-Metro supports the cooperation of city and county through consolidation of departments and services whenever feasible.
The League also supports consolidation of city and county into one county-wide government under the following conditions:
[Adopted May 4, 1999]
The League of Women Voters of Wichita believes that citizen participation and involvement in Sedgwick County Government should be improved. We support specifically:
The League supports the appointment, rather than the election of these Sedgwick County officials; Register of Deeds, Treasurer, and County Clerk.
Support the cooperation of city and county government through joint funding and decision-making of consolidated departments and through joint appointments to the respective citizens' advisory boards.
[Adopted Feb. 1978]
CITY GOVERNMENT/HUMAN RESOURCES
The LWVW believes there should be some kind of an advisory board dealing with human resources. This advisory board should be funded locally if necessary and should include citizen participants.
No optimum size for the Human Resources Board was agreed upon, but low-income and minorities must be represented.
Board operations should be improved through mandatory training.
There should be a closer relationship among the city commission, city manager, and the Human Resources Board, but there were no ideas on how this should be done.
It was agreed that food, shelter, and health services should be available to low-income groups. In order to achieve these, employment, job training, and education are basic. Trash service assistance was considered important.
[Adopted Dec. 19, 1981]
The LWV strongly supports all present services of the Health Dept. and would not like to see any present services deleted, especially health stations and clinics.
Concern for the present shrinkage of funds overrode considerations of additional services. If fiscal conditions change, support was expressed for expanded health education, alcohol/family counseling program, a home accident program, and more preventative health services and data analysis.
The State of Kansas should fully support the state mandated programs. The present level of state support (3.4%) should be increased.
The County should restore cuts in health services and eliminate duplication of functions of the joint department, such as animal control and environment.
Since the County is an important source for funding, the professional administration of the department should be shielded from political pressures.
[Adopted Feb. 20, 1982]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE
LWVWM believes that government services are vital to the quality of life. We find the current level and mix of government services adequate and we believe that cuts in these services would be detrimental to the welfare of the community.
We also feel that additional revenue is necessary to maintain adequate services. Rather than raise property taxes under current assessment practices, we would support the creation of alternative revenue sources including a sales tax, a wheel tax, an intangibles tax, and charges of county residents for city services.
In addition, the League strongly supports city-county cooperation, consolidation of services where feasible, and any other measures that could improve efficient delivery of local government services.
[Adopted October 1982]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRAFFIC PATTERNS/STREETS
The LWVWM believes that through effective planning and management of Wichita's street construction, repair, and maintenance projects, the city can make most efficient use of its resources.
The League supports development of an integrated system to coordinate and prioritize street repair and maintenance. Such a system should provide for the efficient scheduling of routine maintenance, based on the projected life span of the street, as well as allow response to emergency situations.
The League believes the current procedure for developing construction is adequate.
The League believes the current procedure for developing the Capital Improvement Plan with regard to street construction is adequate.
The League proposes the implementation of a formal policy and procedure to address changes to the C.I.P. This would include provisions for periodic review and examination of the plan to ensure its current viability. The C.I.P. should also be reviewed when considering new development, to ensure such development is compatible with the long range plan.
[Adopted January 1986]
[Adopted February 1988]
CONSENSUS OF STUDY OF PLAN 2000 / WI/SE PARTNERSHIP FOR GROWTH
The League of Women Voters, Wichita-Metro supports the concept of WI/SE Partnership for Growth and PLAN 2000 based on present knowledge based on the length of existence and information available, but members did not reach a consensus on specific agenda items.
The following suggestions and concerns were expressed and should be noted:
[Adopted April, 1992]
A comprehensive solid waste management system should be implemented in Wichita as soon as possible. As the metropolitan area grows, a regional system should be introduced to deal with problems of pick-up, recycling, and disposal.
Any system devised should include the following provisions:
1. Governmental responsibility for financing of solid waste control. Cost of this service should be distributed over the entire population.
2. Steps by local government to make solid waste management more efficient and thereby economical. The League suggests:
3. Recycling and re-use of materials should be strongly encouraged by government. The League suggests:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Wichita is not isolated from its neighbors; essentially, it is part of broader geographical, economic, political, social and cultural environments. As a result, the people of Wichita and Sedgwick County should recognize that they have responsibilities to the communities beyond their environs. Thus, this statement reflects not only the special characteristics of Wichita and Sedgwick County more broadly, but the entire region. A commitment to such a "global" perspective is essential in today's increasingly interconnected world.
Sustainable Development Goals
Related to Wichita, Sedgwick County, and future communities as they develop in the expanding metropolitan community:
[Approved May 2006]
Support of the concept of a separate development plan for the Core Area*; however, guidelines should conform to major LWVUS Principles.
Support of a separate zoning ordinance for the CED** that would permit down-zoning where needed and tax incentives for rehabilitation.
Support of a tax base for the Downtown that is competitive with the outlying areas.
Support of the use of Tax Increment Financing for the development of the Downtown. The League would encourage the City Commission to focus the use of industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) on Downtown development and would encourage a Downtown Advisory Committee to evaluate the impact of IRB's on the Core Area.
Support of decreasing the amount of land zoned commercial in the Wichita area.
Support of the use of public funds for rent supplement and housing rehabilitation. The League would not support large public housing projects in the Center City***.
Support the use of public funds for Downtown Day Care Centers.
The League believes that the City of Wichita should raise the local matching funds in order to receive the available federal monies for an improved bus system.
Support of the use of satellite parking sites with shuttle buses to the Core Area. We would not encourage a ban on cars Downtown or a Downtown parking tax.
Support of an improved public bus service that would include evening hours, shorter head-ways and shelters. We encourage better public information designed to increase ridership.
Support education of the public on conservation methods. Voluntary and monetary incentives should be complemented by more mandatory conservation measures such as prescribed thermostat settings in public and commercial buildings, prohibition of open refrigerator units and reduction of commercial lighting displays and non-essential street lighting.
Support an energy mix to replace our reliance on natural gas. The emphasis should be on renewable, non-polluting sources of energy:
Support the best use of all forms of energy by matching the type of fuel to the application.
Support decentralized systems for industrial complexes. Some industries are in close proximity and could share an energy source.
Support cooperation between government and industry. Government should research, educate, facilitate, fund pilot projects; business and industry should implement new energy systems with governmental encouragement, including tax incentives.
Support growth in Wichita in an energy-conscious manner.
The League supports continuous local outdoor air quality monitoring as is currently done and also periodic inventories to determine current sources of outdoor air pollution.
The League believes local governments bear responsibility to inform and educate the public about the problem of air pollution in our area. We commend existing efforts and encourage increased efforts to educate about:
The League supports government policies and actions which encourage citizens, industries, businesses and governments to reduce emissions voluntarily.
Local governments are encouraged to:
A. Use mass media publicity campaigns to encourage individuals to:
B. Develop publicity campaigns to encourage individuals, businesses, industries and governments to:
The League believes local governments should:
The League recognizes that local governments may have to institute mandates to meet air quality standards. If this becomes necessary, ordinances requiring vehicle inspections with requirements to bring vehicles up to standards and controls on area sources such as dry cleaners and gas stations should be considered.
Local governments should plan for adequate staff and equipment funding to monitor air pollution levels and to educate the public. If state and federal funds are not available local funds should be used.
Local governments should continue to employ a body such as the City of Wichita Air Quality Task Force to evaluate local and regional trends in air pollution. This is important to avoid the health and economic toll on the community which non-attainment would bring.
[Adopted May 11, 2004]
The city should actively shape the direction of future growth. Priority should be given to revitalization of existing areas (such as the downtown district) before expansion along the city's perimeter. Over-development of land should be discouraged. Developers should be required to finance initial land improvements and show projects feasibility.
There is a need for a new or revised zoning ordinance for the city of Wichita. The zoning ordinance should be more than define minimum standards. It should address but not be limited to:
The League supports enforcement of zoning through:
[Adopted February 1987]
[Adopted February 1989]
Promote social justice by securing equal rights for all, combating discrimination and poverty, and providing equal access to housing, employment and education.