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Mayor says city staff has had several 'missteps'

WICHITA, Kansas - After all the problems the city has faced this year, ranging from bidding problems in major projects, to the near crisis with the water supply, Mayor Carl Brewer has officially pointed his finger at city staff. The culprit from his point of view saying, "The I forgot to do that and the I don't know just aren't acceptable before the city council."

While the mayor is currently in China, unavailable to back up his statement further, other elected officials are taking a more moderate stance.

"I'm very comfortable and satisfied with the job the city manager has done, and I've told him before he does 99 things right and then the one time of one thing that doesn't go right as a lot of people would like, there's a lot of criticism," said Pete Meitzner, Wichita City Council Member.

While officials do agree the ball has been dropped, rather than point the finger at others, many say the solution is to sit down as a group and figure out the disconnect.

"Whenever the council, they did a workshop, they [city staff] let the council know that we're between 18 months and 24 months of the city being out of water, it raised a lot of eyebrows and got a lot of attention, as it should've," said Jeffrey Blubaugh.

Blubaugh says last week, the group got together to have what he says may be the first strategic meeting they've had to discuss the problems in a long time.

"We want to make sure that we're being proactive and strategic about goals for the city and the best way to be looking forward for these type of issues and not be reactively trying to pursue how we're gonna address them whenever you're on such a short time frame."

Officials say that they hope to go into 2014 with a game plan to stay ahead of problems.

The first, obviously being the water issue means looking for a third water source to ensure that residents and the city aren't faced with another drastic situation out of the blue.

 

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