Plenty of Inefficient Spending in Wichita's Budget
Posted by Dave Trabert on Friday, June 15, 2012
It's always interesting to see how government's view of the world is so much different than the private sector's.  Last week President Obama said the private sector was 'doing fine' even though there are still 6 million fewer jobs than at the beginning of the recession.  Now the City of Wichita says a 0.4% budget shortfall is 'pretty grim'.  Finding $2.4 million in a $549 million budget is barely a rounding error.

In 2011, the City spent $3.4 million on overtime.  Wichita spent $706,343 in payroll on gardeners and $822,037 on tree maintenance workers (5 supervisors for 15 workers).  Did you know the City employs a Tennis Pro for $93,972?  Add about 35% to each of those numbers for payroll tax and benefits.  Details are at available at

I seriously doubt that we need a Tennis Pro on the city payroll; gardening and tree maintenance are classic examples of things that can be provided by the private sector at lower costs (remember the $1 million or so saved by privatizing parks maintenance?).

It took me about 15 minutes to find these few examples.  Why is City Council and staff agonizing over closing a 0.4% budget gap?  Sounds like we are being set up for a tax increase.