RENEWING COMMUNITY TRUST
"We must change the culture at Wichita City Hall. Insiders and special interests have far too much influence, and Wichita taxpayers are ignored."
— Brandon Whipple
IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY & PARTICIPATION
A top priority will be to change the culture of City Hall from a place of insider deals made behind closed doors to a transparent and professional body that is accountable to all people in our community.
ESTABLISH A CODE OF ETHICS & CITY ETHICS COMMISSION
To improve the transparency and accountability of special interests and city hall insiders in the City of Wichita, I am proposing the creation of a standing, quasi-independent Ethics Commission who would employ an Ethics Director responsible for offering training, advisory opinions, and enforcement of a Code of Ethics for elected officials, registered lobbyists, and special interests seeking business or favorable deals from City Hall.
The Ethics Commission, further, would be responsible for monitoring and enforcing campaign finance contributions, financial conflicts of interest at City Hall, and gifts and honoraria given to elected and non-elected public officials and candidates in the City of Wichita.
END NO-BID CONTRACTS AT CITY HALL
No bid and sole source contracts with the City of Wichita must be avoided. There are five examples in recent months when the incumbent Mayor pushed through initiatives with seemingly pre-determined results, excluded certain bids from consideration, or inappropriately scheduled hearings and votes all to be blamed on staff.
These practices are anti-competitive and cost taxpayers money, hurts our City government’s standing among its constituency, and makes the business of improving our image difficult. At best, it looks like our City is flying by the seat of its pants without a plan. At worst, it looks like pay-to-play.
PROHIBIT GIFTS TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
The City of Wichita does not prohibit gifts to members of the City Council. The City's policy, which has not been updated since 1975, permits special interests to provide gifts to members of the Wichita City Council. This practice must end.
The City loses the trust of the public and consumers when unfettered gifts of unlimited value are permitted to be provided to City Council members, especially when those gifts occur in proximity to important votes.
I will support closing the gift loophole for members of the Wichita City Council.
DISCLOSURE OF CITY COUNCIL CONTRIBUTION HISTORIES OF ALL RECIPIENTS OF CITY CONTRACTS
The contribution history of individuals and entities receiving contracts and non-contractual payments for goods and services is the public’s right to know prior to the execution of payments and contracts for payments.
It is my priority as Mayor to authorize the Wichita Ethics Commission to provide this information to the City Council and to Wichita’s taxpayers so that there is transparency and accountability for all city spending prior to authorization such spending.
PUBLISH THE CITY'S CHECKBOOK ONLINE
Wichitans have lost trust in their local government and to improve the trust of our taxpayers, we must improve the transparency of our municipal government. Making city transactions available to all citizens without the necessity of legal documents requiring such disclosure is an important first step and an important oversight.
The best watchdog of City expenditures and transactions are the citizens and taxpayers themselves. The City of Wichita fails to make these transactions available without an open records request on a continuing basis. Any citizen should have the ability to review the city’s transactions for each month, both current and historic, to determine how the City of Wichita is utilizing taxpayer resources.