Sedgwick Co. Commission Selects New Chairman; Movement To Recall Ranzau Moves Forward

Jan 13, 2016

Jim Howell stands in his office in this file photo from 2015.
Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Commission has selected a new chairman, even as a movement to recall the previous chairman continues to move ahead.

Commissioner Jim Howell was named chairman in a 4-1 vote.

Credit www.voteranzau.org

Richard Ranzau completed his year as chairman with a wrap-up of his accomplishments. They include a new tag office, space for the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, as well as the Metropolitan Area Planning Department, and maintaining the mill levy rate.

Ranzau led a revamping of the way that roads and bridges are funded by deciding to pay cash for them rather than issuing bonds. To make that work, he cut some public health and arts programs. This, along with his request that WIC recipients be asked for their status as U.S. citizens, brought protest.

In his remarks, he poked at the media.

"We live in a day and age where media stories are often driven by emotion and conflict, and sometimes the facts and the truth are a casualty," Ranzau said.

The group working to recall Ranzau has filed with the Kansas Supreme Court to reevaluate their petition and allow a recall vote to go forward.

Ranzau was voted chair pro tem for 2016.

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