Thursday, February 1, 2007

Mayans: Against the grain .0085 percent of the time

Perhaps the sharpest jabs early on in this year's city campaigns has been the assertion by councilman and mayoral candidate Carl Brewer that Mayor Carlos Mayans is divisive and that Mayans' go-it-alone tactics hurt the city. Mayans, a polished politician with 10 years of battle experience in the Kansas House and experience defending himself during campaigns, took it upon himself to tally the Council minutes.

What he found was he voted against the majority .0085 percent of the time -- or 11 out of 1,288 votes since 2003. Click "Read more" to see those against the grain votes.

From Mayans' e-mail:

"In other words, 99% of the time, the Mayor has had consensus on the Council.

Now, what issues did the Mayor voted against and why? You will note that in that area it is really about (1) Fiscal Responsibility, and/or (2) Social Justice.

Vote 1: 1/24/06, Page 143/Jrl 185. I voted NO on a 6-1 vote against more money for attorneys to fight the Genesis court case because at that time there was no consensus on what the final cost would be.

Vote 2: 1/24/06, Page 144/Jrl 185. I vote NO on a 6-1 vote against the Humatec legal contract on a different court case because this issue was discussed in Executive session on a day that I was out of town and the staff did not inform me about the issue.

Vote 3: 3/7/06, Page 304/Jrl 185. I voted NO on a 6-1 vote against the sale of the Carneige Library because this issue was discussed by staff with the other members but not with me. The sale was a contigency sale not a true sale. Another party was not allowed to bid a higher offer. The amount of money available from Historic Preservation Tax Credits were not fully disclosed. This property was build at a price of $1.2 million and we sold it for $300,000.

Vote 4: 3/7/06, Page 332/Jrl 185. I voted YES on a 2-5 vote to continue Travis Smith as the Mayor's intern for another 2 months. Travis was working on providing information about the budget as he had a Master degree with emphasis in Public Finance and that was not supported by the City staff.

Vote 5: 4/4/06, Page 432/Jrl 185. I voted NO on a 6-1 vote against the repayment of the Eaton Hotel. We loaned the partners $3.3 Millions dollars and the Council accepted a repayment of $427,319.41.

Vote 6: 7/18/06, Page 383/Jrl 186. I voted NO on a 5-2 vote against the funding of the Airport Terminal design at $12.6 million knowing that the staff's financial package to fund the project included about $40 million in Airport grants when the entire Federal budget for airport construction in fiscal year 2005 for the entire State of Kansas did not exceed $30 milliion. The staff could not tell us where the money was going to come from if the grants were not available. Recently, the Wichita Eagle did a story concluding that the original concept could not financial feasible and that the project must be cut from $250 million to $150 million.

Vote 7: 8/1/06, Page 424/Jrl 186. I voted NO on a 4-2 vote against the WSU Resolution. Several Council members assured me in public workshop that if I was able to convince President Beggs of starting a football program they would be supportive. In addition, the resolution is contrary to City Ordinance Sec. 2.04.030 (a) "The Mayor shall be the official head of the City on formal occasions and shall serve as the leader in activities and duties of the City Council. As the official head of the City, he shall not only lead but shall speak to the aims, policies and programs of the City...."

Vote 8: 8/8/06, Page 470/Jrl 186. I voted NO on a 4-1 vote against building the Tennis Dome at Riverside Park because the deal was not financially sound, the neighborhood did not want the project and the park board had not approved the project. As a matter of fact, Charter ord. 125, Section 5. (a) states "Property designated permanently for park purposes by the City shall not be converted to other uses or permanently altered without the consent of the Board of Park Commissioners."

Vote 9: 9/12/06, Page 29/Jrl 187. I voted NO on a 5-1 vote against the agreement for the NE baseball complex because the City assumed by contract all financial responsibility if the project was not financially viable. In addition, we were going to fund the cost of irrigation of the field for the next 8 years without knowing the cost.

Vote 10: 11/7/06, Page 311/Jrl 187. I voted NO on a 6-1 vote against the amendments to the Department Heads and non-exempt pay plan because we continue to increase the pay of only a few folks at the City which sends the wrong message to the bargaining units. This is the third time in two years that he have updated the pay plan for these same individuals while the rank and file are not being compensated properly. In addition, while we have budgeted for the bargaining units employees a 2 1/2% pay increase, most management personnel is being budgeted at between 5 and 6% percent with the Risk Manager at 13%.

Vote 11: 11/14/06, Page 370/Jrl 187. I voted NO on a 6-1 vote against a paving project on 37th Street South where the neighbords were told what the cost of their share was going to be and after they signed the petition it was 6 times more.

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