City of Wichita officials on Tuesday provided an update on efforts to engage and educate residents on the proposed one-cent sales tax, which will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Good morning, we are one week away from the Nov. 4 election and we wanted to update you on the City’s activities to educate residents about the 1-cent sales tax proposal and tell you more about the Citizen Oversight Committee. If approved, it will fund four community priorities including:
- a future water source,
- better street maintenance,
- an improved transit system,
- and job creation and retention.
So far, City staff have met with numerous groups to provide educational information about the sales tax proposal.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with City staff before the Nov. 4 election, please contact Janet Johnson in the Office of Community Engagement at 268-4351.
We will meet with you just about any place and time to get you good information on the City’s plans for the four community priorities.
We have distributed – approximately 173,000 education flyers to Wichita households. The mailers were sent out last week and you can find electronic versions of the flyers the City’s website www.wichita.gov/salestax.
We have made information available the city’s web site, its Facebook and Twitter sites and on City7.
Over the past few weeks, the number of web site views has grown significantly. We have had more than 3,000 views over the past 13 weeks and a third of those views have been in the past two weeks. The web site educational material is spurring interest.
We’ve also sent information through electronic newsletters to neighborhood groups.
I also want to take a minute to provide answers to some questions that continue to be asked by residents:
- We’ve been asked why the four initiatives have been bundled together. The Wichita City Council chose to put the four initiatives as part of the one-cent sales tax proposal based on feedback from the community engagement process. People also told us they preferred to fund those four community priorities through a citywide sales tax. We heard you, so in August, the City Council decided to place the sales tax question on the ballot.
- We’ve also been asked about the oversight process. If the sales tax is approved on Nov. 4, I want to ensure Wichitans that there will be oversight, accountability and transparency of the sales tax funds in the form of the Sales Tax Citizen Oversight Committee:
- The Committee will include a cross section from the community and will be made up of 14 members. %EF%83%98
- Nominees must be residents of the City of Wichita %EF%83%98
- Each council member will appoint one member from their district and one at-large member. I will appoint two at large members.
- We are asking people to visit www.wichita.gov to fill out the application forms. %EF%83%98
- Applications and nominations will be taken through the end of November. %EF%83%98
- The City Council will finalize the nominations. %EF%83%98
- If you need more information, you can contact the City Council Office at 268-4331.
Again, you can find educational material and the City’s plans at www.wichita.gov/salestax.
Obviously, elections are important but this one has been nearly three years in the making.
In my 2012 State of the City address, I announced plans for an extensive community engagement process to bring Wichitans together to discuss and resolve the big challenges facing our community.