Welcome to Off the Cuff, featuring Ryan Baty, a candidate for Sedgwick County Commission, District 4. In this series, Llayton will propose a community focused question and get feedback from Ryan on the topic.
Q. What does our community need the most?
- Three characteristics come to mind: Leadership, Civility, and Collaboration.
- Leadership- Good leadership is often the determining factor of whether organizations, sport teams, and even communities will prosper or stagnate. We need leadership that understands and navigates our community.
- What we have often seen are examples of poor leadership. The most recent example is the management of Covid community response and engagement. We’ve seen language, action, and a demeanor that used shaming as a tool and it let to incredible division and partisanship.
- I believe the way in which our leaders managed the Covid response will be seen as causing more harm than good. Bad leadership and poor communication results in a loss of credibility and trust. What we need now is for our leaders to understand the responsibility of community leadership and to manage it wisely.
- Civility- People are exhausted from the lack of civility on the local level. Frankly, it’s difficult to get much accomplished if we continue to huddle in our own corners and launch grenades over to the other side. The result is more divisiveness and stagnation.
- Collaboration- Local governments need to be experts in collaboration. There are brilliant people and organizations in this community. Credible leadership understands the benefits of getting people into one room in order to tackle some of our most important issues.
- There are some things that come to mind as areas in which we can better collaborate. The first is consolidation. How can we discuss consolidation in areas of government that deliver more efficiency for tax payers?
- A second area of collaboration opportunity is on our mental health and homeless crisis. We have multiple organizations doing great work in our community and leadership can help centralize a more collaborative effort.
- Another area of colloboration is between government and our business community. We have terrific organizations like Greater Wichita Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce, so how do get these organizations and other local government officials in a room together and have conversations that will better facilitate economic growth? Government should not be the catalyst, but the conduit. The private and non-profit sectors are often the best equipped to deliver efficient results.
We have big needs in our community, but leadership, civility, and collaboration really stand out as our most urgent needs.
Ryan Baty for County Commissioner, District 4. Watch the full “Off the Cuff” interview here: