The Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) are hosting a Sales Tax Forum with representatives from both sides of the issue. The Forum will be held Tuesday, September 9, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Wichita Marriott (9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive). Schedule of Events
5:30 p.m. – Networking
6:00 p.m. – Remarks from Jennifer Baysinger, Coalition for a Better Wichita
6:15 p.m. – Remarks from Moji Fanimokun and Jon Rolph, Yes Wichita!
6:30 p.m. – Q&A from the audience
Please register at ypwichita.org. This forum is free and open to the public.
“We believe that it is important for young professionals to express their personal point of view about how to best help Wichita prosper,” said Suzy Finn, Executive Director of YPW. “This event is designed to educate our members, and anyone in the community who cares, so that they can make an informed decision prior to voting in November.”
Housed and staffed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, YPW’s mission is to attract, engage and retain diverse young talent to effect positive change for a brighter future. With a membership of more than 2,200, YPW’s number one aspiration is brain gain for Wichita by facilitating professional and social connections, encouraging leadership development and building community pride.
It’s September 4 today, which means we are only about 60 days away from the opportunity to vote YES for Wichita. As we announced on August 18, the Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce voted to support the 1 percent sales tax referendum that was passed by the Wichita City Council on August 5. The referendum aligns with the Chamber’s Mission and Vision and the approval of this referendum is a top priority for the Chamber this year. It is critical to our economic development success.
The Chamber Board of Directors and the Chamber’s Leadership Council reached consensus on this issue and are aligned on the importance of supporting the sales tax referendum. We believe that venturing boldly means taking a leadership role and supporting the strategic plan developed by our elected officials and government leaders from citizen input. In short, we believe in investing in ourselves.
The Chamber’s role is to be the primary educator on this issue for our more than 1,700 Chamber members. We are actively asking our members to support this initiative by voting YES on November 4, because we believe it provides the innovation and infrastructure needed to move Wichita forward.
The Yes Wichita campaign is the primary educator for Wichita voters. The Chamber is not a financial contributor to the campaign, but a number of Chamber members and some staff are lending their expertise and support as campaign volunteers. There are a variety of ways Chamber members can support the campaign and we encourage your involvement.
We look forward to answering your questions about this issue on our blog and in other Chamber materials during the next few months. We welcome your questions and look forward to sharing the answers with all Chamber members. Please forward your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamber President & CEO Gary Plummer signs a banner at a news conference launching the Yes Wichita campaign.
Our thanks to City Manager, Bob Layton, and senior members of his team for spending time with Chamber members on Tuesday afternoon providing background information and answering questions about each of the four components of the proposed sales tax: water supply, jobs initiative, public transit, and pavement maintenance. Gary Schmitt, Chairman of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, was also on hand to answer questions about the jobs initiative.
The audience posed a series of questions to the subject matter experts:
Is our jobs recovery just going to happen or is this jobs initiative necessary to get different results?
Will the funds generated by this sales tax be primarily used for capital investment rather than funding operations?
Will the city use local companies for the capital investment projects?
How sure are we that the Aquifer Storage and Recovery solution will really work?
The background information that’s been provided shows that the City is projecting an increase in water usage (7 billion gallons annually) by 2060. Is this increased demand primarily residential or commercial? Do your projections take into account increased revenues from increased usage?
Do you have similar questions? If so, we encourage you to participate in the last information session that will be held on Friday, July 18 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. This session is being offered exclusively to Chamber members, so please RSVP by noon on Thursday to Tracy Iles at email@example.com or 268-1114.