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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sedgwick County consolidates with Wichita


According to The Wichita Eagle, Sedgwick County is considering consolidating some administrative services with Wichita for next year. The reason given is that this will streamline and cut expenses.
For years the Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita council members have talked of a “metro-government.” They tried to pass a law creating such a system, but voters rejected it. Those who voted against it wanted to keep the county government sovereign from the encroachment of Wichita. But now that seems like a mute point since there is less and less country outside of Wichita or the little towns every year.
It there is no or little county rural areas to manage, why not have metro-government? That doesn’t mean that the problems of a Wichita-only-government-for-all of Sedgwick County, except the small towns, don’t exist. It is more like the county autonomy doesn’t exist.
Living in the small town of Maize, we used to be a small rural town just a few miles outside of Wichita. Now Maize is surrounded by Wichita and a few years ago our city had to fight over some land Wichita wanted to annex that would have cut the city short of resources it needed to survive.
Now this town and the area around it are ‘burbs of Wichita. All wildlife is being run out. A wildlife refuge, south of town, is gone. The quality of a small town is gone. We are part of an ever growing suburbia with no sense of preservation of the past.
The problem is no longer “metro-government.” The problem is the over development of what used to be Sedgwick County.

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