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Leaders for unified government in Wyandotte County don't want to see it scrapped

Wyandotte County's Unified Government
Posted at 11:13 PM, Nov 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 15:05:23-05

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — There is an effort to find out if residents want to keep the Unified Government of Wyandotte County in Kansas City, Kansas or scrap it.

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But two men who were leaders in the fight to change the governing structure remember what happened after the consolidation.

"We stopped dying," Wyandotte County stopped dying somewhere around the year 2000, somewhere after consolidation," said Kevin Kelley, a leader in the push for consolidation, in a 2007 documentary produced by KCPT.

Mike Jacobi saw the same sad truth.

"Everybody was leaving, taxes were skyrocketing and valuations plummeting. Every demographic was bad," Jacobi said Thursday night.

Jacobi was among the boosters for a unified government.

"We were national news," Jacobi said Thursday night. "This was a big deal. We were in the Wall Street Journal. Two of everything all over again and nobody is going to want to do that," he said.

Residents are now being asked to weigh in on whether to change the governing structure.

Bonner Springs residents got the first shot at a Thursday night community meeting.

They was a 32-question survey created by Edwardsville Mayor Carolyn Caiharr available at the meeting.

The survey's last question is, "Would you vote to consolidate?"

One Bonner Springs resident said she was not happy with service provided by the Unified Government.

Another resident said they just got a road paved in their neighborhood for the first time in 50 years.

"I've lived here for 25 years. We came after unification and I've seen all of these things as I've become more aware and I've seen what's not being done." a Bonner Springs resident said.

Here is a list of upcoming community meetings where the survey will be available for Wyandotte County residents:

  • Nov. 20 at the Edwardsville Community Center at 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 28 at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library at 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 30 at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library West Wyandotte Branch at 6 p.m.
  • The last meeting is on Dec. 7 at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library South Branch at 6 p.m.