I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor of Great Bend. I think most of you know I was born and raised in Great Bend and that I serve the interest of all of you and not just the chosen few.
In 1960 we had a population of 16,670, in 1970 - 16,133, in 1980 - 16,608, in 1999 - 16,055. and in 2011 we have a population of 16,092; broke down as - white alone - 12,250 (76.6%); hispanic - 3,164 (19.8%); black alone - 245 (1.5%). So if anyone wants to make their claim to fame population growth I don’t see that and the facts don’t support it.
Does anyone really think that part time jobs and recruiting companies that pay $8 an hour with no benefits is going to attract people to Great Bend or even keep them here? The city jumped on the bandwagon of hiring part time help so they don’t have to pay insurance do they really think this is helping Great Bend grow? The part time employees did not get raises when everyone else did. That was never my intent when raises were being discussed.
I know that we can do better that recruiting companies that pay poverty wages with no benefits and perhaps we need to look at the balance of wages from the top to the bottom in the city as there are some major disparities. There is no economic development in Great Bend as long as we only recruit low paying jobs and there will never be until we change the current administration and quit heeding the people who tell this administration what to do because they are afraid of losing their own cheap labor pool and because they are afraid they will lose their slice of the pie. They can’t seem to comprehend that if the pie is bigger their slice will be bigger. We need to work together with the other communities around us and the county and quit hiring people to do jobs that they are not capable of doing and then hiring consultants to do the job we hired people to do. Quit wasting taxpayer dollars. Great Bend can’t do anything without hiring consultants and then when they get the results and they don’t like them they either try to change the outcome of ignore the findings.
One of the ball fields came out wrong and the picnic areas were set to low because the city changed the plans, and we still do not have a set structure to manage the ball field, now they want to do the same thing to the convention center.
Your mill levy in Great Bend had been raised around 3 ½ mills in the last 3 years. The other claim to fame is that the mill levy hasn’t gone up and it has. We were given the convention center as a way to unload it onto someone else and we could have made it nice for the million dollar budget we originally planed. The city leaders want to tear it down and build a new one and since the college got involved I will keep an open mind and see what develops. The city wanted to raise your taxes another 3 to 5 ½ mills to build a new center at the cost of five million, I can see that escalating to ten million with a support structure of 16,000 people, some of those being children, and $8 dollar jobs. Then we have to pay for the personnel and the cost of running this structure and the city wants to use city personnel who are already stretched too thin to take care of the work that needs to be done now.
I will strive to keep Fuller Brush open and I welcome Sutherlands’ to our community. I will work to recruit real jobs to Great Bend and will help the small business’s already here to expand instead of ignoring them
I will not stand by and watch your neighborhoods’ be disrupted by blowing sand or commercial day care centers that the residents oppose because the wealthy have more influence than the middle class. I believe in equality for all and I will support right regardless of your social class.
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That is exactly what Great Bend has been doing so if losing jobs like Great Bend Manufacturing, Great Bend Packing, Central Kansas Medical center, Stickney Coors, Kummer Budweiser, Pepsi Cola, and Coca Cola is what Great Bend wants then we are on the right track.
We used to have numerous IGA stores, several small used car lots, a meat market, convenience stores all over town and two shopping malls. Where are they now.
The crime rates in town are unacceptable with the following stats..
2010 Crime Rate Indexes Great Bend Kansas United States
Total Crime Risk Index 78 116 100
Murder Risk Index 17 88 100
Rape Risk Index 46 132 100
Robbery Risk Index 5 54 100
Assault Risk Index 158 94 100
Burglary Risk Index 95 107 100
Larceny Risk Index 146 120 100
Motor Vehicle Theft Risk Index 36 77 100
The first number is Great Bend, the second is Kansas and the third is the U.S.
I hear from people constantly that they are being held hostage in their own neighborhoods due to drug dealers and drug houses, the rape index is 46, really?, and burglary is 95. is this the Great Bend we want? It is time to stop and look around and ask yourself, is this the Great Bend I want to live in.