Rodney Wren, Sr. – Candidate for Wichita City Council – District 2

Candidates

Biographical Information:

  • Academic, educator, & debate coach
  • Masters Degree in American History & Government
  • Former speechwriter for Mike Pompeo

Personal Information: Candidate has not provided information.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media: Rodney Wren for Wichita City Council

What specific Wichita issue deserves your immediate attention and how do you plan to address it?

James Madison once said, “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” For too long the Wichita City Council has allowed their power to be manipulated by the politically well connected, wealthy donors, and other members of the “good old boys club.” It’s time for a change at City Hall. It’s time to elect principled policy makers to stand up to this cronyism. John Locke reminds us in his Second Treatise of Government: “The great and chief end, therefore, of men uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property… For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes Tyranny.”

Too often taxpayer dollars are given away to or future tax dollars are promised to wealthy “developers” or business cronies of those holding office in the name of “economic development.” This is not development; it is manipulation. Economic theory, history, and reality destroy the crony concept of “public-private partnerships.” And even if the powers that be can point to isolated incidents of “success,” this brand of tyranny is no different than mercantilism, feudalism, or involuntary servitude.

City leaders should immediately end the cronyism; and allow for a vibrant and growing economy created and sustained by minimal regulatory burdens, government resources utilized as efficiently as possible, and a low but fair tax rate.

How do you propose to grow the Wichita economy?

The presupposition of the question highlights two problems which are pervasive among too many elected and civic “leaders,” members of the media, and the body politic. First, government doesn’t create anything except for which it must first destroy, or prevent from being created by inefficiently taking resources out of the economy. Bastiat’s “Broken Window Fallacy” and his analysis of the seen versus the unseen, along with Hayek’s “Fatal Conceit” are illuminating and instructive on this point. Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” and Sowell’s “Basic Economics” are also good sources for understanding how markets and government work.

Second, the question connotes a rejection of economic theory and history, and supplants a preference for a command based economy instead of a market based economy. Politicians and their cronies who seek to profit off a command or quasi-command based economy will take advantage of an electorate who are largely not equipped with economic and historical knowledge, and use phrases like “public-private” partnerships in order to legally plunder from the public coffers under the guise of “economic development.”

If government could truly create jobs and economic prosperity, then there would never be poor societies because all government would have to do is pay members of that society to dig holes and then fill them in all day every day.

What is your vision for the east bank of the Arkansas River? What do you want to see happen with Century II?

I think it’s too early in the fact/opinion finding process to personally opine on this topic.

What is your vision for the baseball stadium & Delano?

I hope it creates excitement for citizens to partake in the many wonderful entertainment opportunities in Wichita. However, the baseball stadium and minor league team aren’t going to be a panacea to economic growth or downtown development. Detroit has an NBA team, an MLB team, an NHL team and the city has been run into the ground. So stadiums and professional sports teams aren’t proven drivers of economic development. The process should also be used as an example of the need for more transparency in government, and less cronyism.

Describe your vision for Wichita’s future and how you plan to achieve it.

Wichita needs a true destination attraction that comprehensively binds the city together. Downtown is probably the best place for this. Current plans are disjointed at best and lack cohesive foresight. City leaders could also be doing a better job as advocates for all of the current, various amenities Wichita affords its citizens.

Collaboration with education leaders and entertainment entities in the community could also be a tool for generating excitement about our city, thus attracting those who leave for college to return to Wichita or emigrants as a whole. Utilize the expertise of developers like Phil Ruffin to privately develop areas around the city and grow the economy.

Some citizens have expressed concern about a lack of transparency in city government decisions. How will you work to address those concerns from voters?

Move City Council meetings to the evening. Ensure effective communication is pursued to the utmost degree between all levels of government and to the citizenry. The above philosophical responses would apply here as well.

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