Hypocritical Heartless Hutchinson

Posted in the Hutchinson Forum

Since: Jun 07

Hutchinson, KS

#1 Jan 31, 2011
Several years ago the City of Hutchinson, Kansas, told a federal judge that the city shouldn't be forced to install the sidewalk ramps for wheelchairs required by federal law because it couldn't afford to do so. Since that time the city has given money to a large corporation and spent money on a hiking trail among other things.

The city could find money for a hiking trail for the able-bodied but not sidewalks so those with mobility problems could get to the store.

Now the hypocritical city staff is trying to convince the city council that people would be required to keep their houses painted regardless of their financial circumstances. The city believes private citizens should repair leaky roofs even though the city has failed to fix the roof in its downtown firehouse.

The city staff apparently believes it is more important for those in poverty to spend their money on the appearance of their houses than to spend money on food, clothing, energy and health care. The apparent motive is to make it appear the city doesn't have anyone living in poverty.

Many Hutchinson residents have enough trouble coming up with money for food, energy and health care. They cannot afford to buy paint. The city staff's attitude seems to be let them drink paint.

Some of those here in Pottersville, I mean Hutchinson, believe those who cannot afford to keep their houses looking the way others want shouldn't be allowed to have houses.

Some don't understand that landlords have to pass along maintenance costs to tenants in the form of higher rent. Several years ago when I found out how much a nearby house was being rented for, I thought the rent seemed high. Then I considered how much monthly income the landlord ended up with and wondered how anyone could make enough money to be worth owning rental property.

Since: Jun 07

Hutchinson, KS

#2 Jan 31, 2011
The purpose city staff give for wanting a strict maintenance code is that many of those who work in Hutchinson prefer to live elsewhere. The city staff ignores the possibility that the real problem with Hutchinson housing isn't the way it's maintained, but its age and its cost.

Hutchinson's population has been stagnant for 50 years with the result that little new housing has been constructed since 1960. Many new residential units are in apartment buildings, particularly government subsidized low income apartments.

Thus much of the housing in Hutchinson was designed for the lifestyles of decades ago rather than the lifestyles of today.

In some older neighborhoods the only place available to park cars is in the street or in a backyard reached from the alley. Even some people who have driveways have to have the garage in the backyard because there is insufficient space between houses. Some houses have to share a driveway to their backyards.

The lack of an attached garage and close proximity of the houses creates a privacy problem. Garages provide a sound buffer between houses. When living spaces are only 5 - 10 feet apart music and arguments can be heard in adjacent houses.

Kitchens may be too small because they were designed when all cooking was done on a stove. Some kitchens may lack counter space for microwaves and other appliances. Washers and dryers may need to be put in the basement because there isn't space for them on the ground floor. Older houses often have fewer electrical outlets per room.

Many older Hutchinson houses are small even for one bedroom houses. The city has allowed some houses that may have been two or three bedroom houses to be divided into two and even three separate apartments. One block that had single family homes when we lived there 50 years ago now has apartment buildings in the back yards.

When my family moved here in 1958 from Wichita, my parents had trouble finding a new home because housing prices were significantly higher than in Wichita. We had to rent for a couple of years until they found something in the price range of the new three bedroom they had owned in Wichita.

Considering how few houses have been constructed in the last 50 years, that situation may still exist. Even with the high travel costs, it may be cheaper for some to buy the type of housing they want in Wichita than to live in Hutchinson.

Hutchinson might actually reduce the supply of houses if it carries out its threat to try to force people to spend money they don't have on housing maintenance. Many might have no financial choice but to abandon the property, particularly in the case of rental property. Others might be discouraged from attempting to purchase many of the vacant houses in town if they had to quickly bring them up to high city standards.

The city staff's recommendation that any new garage be similar in appearance to the house could make if more difficult to sell houses that currently lack garages or have garages that need to be replaced.

Hutchinson\s real housing problem isn't a lack of well maintained houses, but a relative lack of newer houses that are suited to modern lifestyles. The city may also have a problem competing with neighboring towns in terms of house prices.

Hutchinson shouldn't introduce new laws regulating homeowners until it complies with federal laws. Hutchinson shouldn't expect people to respect its laws while claiming that the city can defy federal laws. If Hutchinson can defend its lawless behavior by claiming it cannot afford to comply with the law, it should extend the same privilege to its citizens.

Since: Jan 11

Cedar Vale, KS

#3 Jan 31, 2011
Just wait a few months and the city will be claiming it needs money to hire inspectors. another example of how government wants total control of our lives.

Athens, TN

#4 Jan 31, 2011
Now this forum has gone viral - so people all over the world will see Hutchinson through the eyes of its citizens.

Shame on you Hutchinson City staff - get your priorities right.

Look what happened to the City Commissioners in Bell, California when their citizens posted online.

Since: Jan 11

Cedar Vale, KS

#5 Jan 31, 2011
I bet the real reason people prefer to live in Wichita is that they are going to shop and eat there anyway.

Since: Jun 07

Hutchinson, KS

#6 Jan 31, 2011
kathsua wrote:
I bet the real reason people prefer to live in Wichita is that they are going to shop and eat there anyway.
Good point. wichita also has better entertainment options including more movies. I wonder how many of the Hutchinson workers living in Wichita are laid off aircraft workers.

Since: Jun 07

Hutchinson, KS

#7 Feb 2, 2011
30moves wrote:
Now this forum has gone viral - so people all over the world will see Hutchinson through the eyes of its citizens.
Shame on you Hutchinson City staff - get your priorities right.
Look what happened to the City Commissioners in Bell, California when their citizens posted online.
If the city council doesn't put the issue on the April ballot, I'm looking forward to signing a petition to vote it out.
New to Hutch

Hutchinson, KS

#8 Mar 20, 2011
Wow reading all of this and trying to take it all in and process whats said..I moved here from the St Louis area the first of Jan, I love all the old houses, and I can see where you might think they are high in price, no way could I touch a house in St Louis area for the prices I can here, so I love that aspect of the costs, but true as I look for a home to buy in the area its becoming more and more difficult. I might find the perfect house but then I look next door and see a dump and yes I mean dump, money or no money there is no reason for trash to be in the yards, porches to be clutered with other trash, there are things that can be done without money around ones home to help the outward appearance. Question is there any volunteer organization that is perhaps going around and helping those who can not afford it clean up their homes? If not why not start one? Hutch to me has alot of great shopping and history here and I think alot look for that especially after living in a big city. I have had no problem at all finding employment, the first few weeks I was here until I got all resumes out I worked for manpower they kept me busy. Homes would sell easier for the price here and the town would grow if yes some of the homes outward apperance was better, and at the sametime I understand the cost is not just something some can put out there to do, food and other things are more important with families for sure.
New to Hutch

Hutchinson, KS

#9 Mar 20, 2011
Maybe a group of volunteers could be formed and some business's (since it would help them in the long run too)would donate money to help buy paint, the city donate dumpsters for the areas being worked on and we can all start to help improve Hutchinsons outward apperance one block at a time and clean up the city. If no money in the city why not look to other sources to donate a corner and fix for to make handicaped accesible? My mother is handicapped and yes it would be nice if she could go around the block or to a store on her own. Even though new to the area we need to find solutions to the problems as citizens this is our home if the city doesn't have the funds or won't do it then its up to us to achieve it the best we can.

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