Josh Shorter, Candidate for Wichita City Council, District 4

Josh Shorter,  Candidate for Wichita City Council, District 4
Josh Shorter, Candidate for Wichita City Council, District 4 Campaign Photo

Biographical Information:

  • COO, Integrated Components Inc. (Aircraft Component Manufacturer)
  • Bachelors of Business Administration with a focus in Management and Entrepreneurship
  • District 4 Advisory Board 

Personal Information:

Wife, Karyn, 1 daughter, expecting child in May
 

Campaign website:

Shorter for Wichita

What issues will you make a top priority for Wichita?

“Re-prioritize spending on core city services. Infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) need immediate attention, especially in the 4th District. Transparency: City council has lost touch with the citizens. We need to increase citizen engagement in city government. Moving one city council meeting a month to the evening would be a good start. Jobs: Our tired policies of financial handouts to the select few have cost Wichita tens of thousands of jobs. We need a renewed approach to creating a fair and free market for all.”
 
How do you specifically plan to address the city’s aging infrastructure — including the aging water system that recently required $600,000+ in improvements to address a large leak? How do you propose paying for the needed improvements?
“In 2013, water and sewer utility customers paid nearly $6.5 million in franchise taxes to the city’s general fund, where it was spent on things other than water and sewer infrastructure. At a time when the mayor and city council have put off needed maintenance on water and sewer infrastructure, money has been directed away from these utilities’ needs.”
“The city explains the purpose of the franchise tax as “fee paid to the City of Wichita for the ability to access City-owned easements for utility lines.” While this may make sense in the context of a privately-owned company selling cable television, it makes no sense for the city to charge the water and sewer utilities such a fee. After all, the city owns the water and sewer utilities, but is charging itself a fee to access something it owns. Really, it is the citizens of Wichita who own the easements, but have to pay through water and sewer rates to access them.”
“Instead of directing this money to the general fund, we should spend it on infrastructure needed for the utilities. It is misleading to the citizens to charge them this fee and then not use it for the intended purpose.”
 
The Wichita area has seen a variety of layoffs, including thousands from aviation in the last few years. What is your specific plan to bring more jobs to Wichita and improve the economy?
“Wichita has to stop trying to “buy” jobs. We need to change the culture from our government away from tinkering in the specific details towards one that fosters free-market ideals for all. We need to be focused on providing the core city services and infrastructure companies require for their employees. The vast majority of all jobs created in Wichita are created by Wichita companies. We need to make sure we are providing the same services and opportunities to them and not taking them for granted.”
What specific city issue do you think deserves your immediate attention and how to you plan to address it?
“Infrastructure. As outlined above, we need to make sure that we are spending the money we have for infrastructure on infrastructure items. We need to stop stealing from our maintenance budgets for non-maintenance projects. Wichita has a history of poorly maintaining our investments. We have to refocus our spending on core city services that benefit the entire city.”

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