CASE STUDY 5 – Wichita Confronts Contaminations
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There were several Intergovernmental Actors involved in this case which included the EPA Four State region VII and indirectly the US 11 Circuit Court in Atlanta (federal level) by the ruling that lenders could incur superfund liabilities. The State of Kansas was included along with the Department of Health and
Environment (KDHE) and Legislature and State Property Valuation Director. The local governments included Wichita’s; School Board, County Appraiser’s Office, City Council – Mayor Bob Knight, City Manager – Chris Cherches, and Sedgwick County.
The City Manager Chris Cherches and the group he surrounded himself with, had or grasped very quickly an in-depth knowledge of the complexity of the processes involved when dealing with the different layers of government. These groups of city leaders were able to think out of the box to resolving their
enormous crisis. They also were very effective at dealing with each individual level of government to implement their corrective action plan and eventually even got buy in from every group involved. The City Manager knew that the only possible way to resolve the city’s issue was to keep the scope of this
crisis to the lowest levels of government. This case is a revelation as to the enormous complexity of intergovernmental relations and management and the problems they presents to state and local government when they fall into its folds. Our government needs to recognize that there is a desperate need for an increase of studies in areas of public administration. Without the continuing analysis of the paradigms that face our government’s ability to fulfill the needs of its constituents and an increase in these areas of study into the 21 century and beyond, we will continue to bankrupt our country from the bottom up, through government’s inefficiency, ineffective and fiscally irresponsible legislation.
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