Sedgwick County residents can comment publicly at County Commission meetings, pictured above, during the public agenda every Wednesday except the last of the month. (Alex Unruh/The Beacon)
Sedgwick County residents can comment publicly at County Commission meetings, pictured above, during the public agenda every Wednesday except the last of the month. (Alex Unruh/The Beacon)

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A $484 million annual budget. $45 million in annual capital improvements. Over $100 million in COVID relief funds. 

These are the dollars a Sedgwick County resident can influence by participating in Sedgwick County Commission meetings. Here’s how. 

Where to find Sedgwick County meeting times and locations

The county posts meeting dates, times and locations up to four days in advance on its website. 

Sedgwick County Commission meetings are generally held at 9 a.m. Wednesdays, except for the last Wednesday of the month, on the third floor of the Sedgwick County Courthouse, 525 N. Main St. County staff meetings, where department leaders typically give presentations on important topics, are generally at 9 a.m. Tuesdays in the same room. 

The county usually posts agendas for commission meetings on its website the Friday before the meeting. This is also where any Board of Bids and Contracts meetings or special County Commission meetings are posted. 

The county also has many advisory boards and commissions, listed here. These include Citizen Advisory Boards — boards that advise each of the five county commissioners and are made up of residents from each County Commission district. Find which district you live in here.

This site includes email addresses and phone numbers for contacting various boards to request meeting information.  To find information about Citizen Advisory Board meetings, contact the Sedgwick County communications office at communications@sedgwick.gov or 316-660-9370. 

Under the Kansas Open Meetings Act, if you request notice for meetings, you must be provided with the time, date and location of the meetings for one fiscal year.  

Some advisory boards list their meeting dates, locations and/or agendas on their own webpages. These include: 

How to watch Sedgwick County government meetings

County Commission meetings and staff meetings are streamed live on the county’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. They are also broadcast on PBS Kansas Channel 8 at 9 a.m. each Wednesday, except for the last Wednesday of the month. Bel Aire City Channel 7, Derby City Channel 7 and Wichita City Channel 7 also broadcast the meetings at different times throughout the week.

County Commission meetings and staff meetings are also archived on the county’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page

Anyone can attend County Commission meetings and staff meetings in person in the commission meeting room on the third floor of the Sedgwick County Courthouse, 525 N. Main St. 

Parking at the Sedgwick County Courthouse is at the northwest corner of Elm & Main. The Sedgwick County Commission Office will validate parking passes for those who come to public comment.

After parking and upon entering the Sedgwick County Courthouse, visitors are required to go through security, including metal detectors, x-ray scanning, and examination of property.

Board of Bids and Contracts meetings are also livestreamed and archived on the county’s website

Other meetings, such as the Advisory Board meetings, are not typically recorded by the county. Some have Zoom or remote technology options to join, such as the Community Corrections Advisory Board and Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board. To find out if the meeting you wish to view has a remote participation option, reach out to the board contact listed on the county’s Boards and Commissions site. For Citizens Advisory Board meetings, contact the Sedgwick County communications office at communications@sedgwick.gov or 316-660-9370. 

For people with hearing impairments, closed captioning is available for County Commission meetings on the county’s website. Individuals with other needs for watching or participating in meetings may contact the county’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, Crissy Magee, at 316-660-7056.

How to participate in Sedgwick County Commission meetings online or in person

Each County Commission meeting has a public agenda period at the start of the meeting for community members to address what they wish. Comments are limited to five minutes, said Akeam Ashford, director of strategic communications.

Those wishing to comment may sign up the morning of the meeting outside the commission meeting room. Sign-ups close at 9 a.m., when the meeting begins. 

Public agenda comments may also be submitted on the county’s website or emailed to communications@sedgwick.gov by 5 p.m. the Tuesday before the meeting. 

After the public agenda has concluded, the chairman decides which of the other agenda items will include an opportunity for public comment, Ashford said. 

Other county meetings, boards and commissions also permit public comment.

Whom to contact with questions about specific meetings

Each board and commission has contact information here. You can also contact the Sedgwick County communications office at communications@sedgwick.gov or 316-660-9370.

Quick links to participate in government meetings

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Hack covers local government for The Wichita Beacon. She is a Report for America corps member.