The chairman of the Sedgwick County Commission says the city of Wichita should be open to privatizing its struggling transit system. Commissioner Richard Ranzau is recommending changes to the proposed Wichita-Sedgwick County Comprehensive Plan, which is intended as a guide to future growth and development. Ranzau suggested less emphasis on bicycle and pedestrian transportation and a bigger emphasis on property rights. Those suggestions differ from the Wichita City Council’s plans for transportation and community growth. He said privatizing the public transit system should be given serious consideration. … Wichita Transit faced a $2 million shortfall before the council used one-year stopgap funding to buy time to find a long-term funding solution. Voters last year rejected a city sales tax proposal that included additional transit funding. Ranzau said the struggling system needs to survive without additional funding sources, particularly funding from roads and bridges, which he called a core function of government.
City fleet workers worry about plan to privatize dept.
Source: BY BRENT D. WISTROM, The Wichita Eagle (KS), Mon, Dec. 18, 2006
Just a few months after an international company appeared poised to take over the city of Wichita’s fleet maintenance department, it has backed out and two new companies have stepped in. But several fleet employees privately say they believe the deal could lead to delayed repairs of the city’s police cars, snow plows and lawn mowers, and would reduce their retirement benefits.