By Joe Stumpe
First off, thanks to everyone who filled out and returned the community survey that was in last month’s issue. The survey was designed to give people a lot of latitude in what they chose to focus on. In fact, that was the point.
For the most part, people who responded seem to like their communities, while seeing room for improvement. Here are some excerpts of the survey response:
“Life is good!” a Hesston resident living in a retirement community wrote, although noting that the city “desperately needs a grocery store.”
A Derby resident was even more effusive about her home: “I am retired and the city is wonderful, friendly, easy for shopping, church of your choice and activities to attend.” The only short-coming she could think of was a lack of men’s clothing stores.
A Wichitan gave the city a “totally 10” on overall satisfaction. “I’m focused on culture here — the WAM (Wichita Art Museum), Mark Arts, MTW (Music Theater Wichita), Wichita Symphony … I especially like WSU classes for seniors and Lifelong Learning.”
A Riverside resident said that neighborhood has beautiful parks and places to walk and complimented employees of the small post office on north Arkansas. But she thought service at the city’s largest chain of supermarkets has gone downhill and is “not happy with current folks trying to keep our governor from doing her job.”
A west-sider gave that side of town all 9s’ and 10’s while nothing that Maize Road between Alamo and 16th still floods “even though they have tried to fix it!”
An Augusta resident gave that city high marks for its parks, library, senior center and churches, only wishing for “more shopping opportunities.” Another Augustan complimented its local businesses but said the city needs more industrial type employers.
A Mulvane resident said he likes most things about the place except for his property taxes, which he said go up every year.
A Haysville resident also thought his property taxes were too high and noted the town has “few restaurants, no nightclubs, departments stores” and only one drugstore. Overall, though, he rated his community an 8. Another resident called Haysville a “nice town to raise a family, nice town if you are a senior!”
A Clearwater resident gave her community all 8’s, 9’s and 10’s in areas like government, nonprofits and overall satisfaction.
Not that everybody was happy.
“Wichita is an expensive, violent, cold weather city, with high taxes,” wrote one resident.
One Wichitan described local conditions as “poor to average,” citing roads with too many potholes, poor handling of homelessness among veterans and a lack of affordable health care for the elderly.
Another Wichita resident complained that she had been unable to get the due dates on her electric and gas bills changed to coincide with end-of-month pension checks, that her mail was not delivered until after dark during the winter and that sand put down on the streets during winter is not cleaned up. Noisy drivers were another concern.
So, as you can see, lots of people have different opinions about different things. I’ll publish some more responses in future issues.
As promised, we held a drawing among respondents for $25 gift certificates to restaurants in each of the three counties we serve: Riverside Café in Wichita; The Breadbasket in Newton; and Sugar Shane’s Café in Augusta. The winners are: Steve Marshall of Mulvane; Sabrina Nibbelink of Augusta; and Marlene Habegger of Hesston.
Thanks to the generosity of Botanica, we are holding a drawing among people who make a donation of at least $50 to The Active Age over the next six months. Each month, we will hold a drawing and one of those donors will receive a family membership to Botanica, valued at $65. The memberships let you visit Botanica as often as you like and are good for two adults in the same household plus all children and grandchildren under 18. They also come with two one-day guest passes.
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.