Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hypocritical MSM Getting It Shoved Where the Moon Don't Shine

Well, looks like the MSM, (CNN, MSNBC etc) and their Democratic Party puppet masters are getting it stuck to them.  They had been complaining about POTUS not providing enough press briefings.  Now that he is doing it, and gaining support from America they want him to stop.  Or, they want the broadcast stations not to carry them live.  What a bunch of flaming hypocrites. 

How about Hillary (the witch of Benghazi)  Clinton trying to take a shot at and denigrate POTUS.  What a witch.

Anyway, regarding the basic topic of this post, ya might wanna check this out  by clicking here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Social Distancing, Quarantines, Shelter In Place & Etc.

Been reading about people and their reactions to the current situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No doubt it will have a horrendous impact financially on many people.  But what can we do?  Should everybody go back to normal work now and just let this thing spread further?  In the long run we will recover.  We have in the past and we will now and we will in the future.

There are certain complaints I hear though that truly upset me.  These are the folks who complain about not being able to dine in at restaurants, go to the movies, visit their favorite sports bar, etc etc etc.

If ya wanna talk about having it rough ask one of the few living vets from WWII what restrictions they had in Europe, and/or the Pacific?  What part of a normal life did they have?  Add to that those that served in Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc.  Toilet paper shortage?  They were lucky if they had functioning toilets.  Most often a slit trench latrine. Then take it a step further.  What about the POWs in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam?  And what about the folks that were held hostage by Iran for 444 days.  Talk about quarantine.  Talk about isolation.  Talk about not being able to do what you want.  The Iran hostage event was in 1979.  Probably 1/2 of America wasn't even born yet.

Soooo, suck it up snowflakes.  We WILL persevere.  And, we still can do more than what most of those I mentioned could do in their circumstances.  Bet that the "residents" of the Hanoi Hilton would have loved to call up a restaurant and drive over for curbside service.  Or spend more time with their families.  Or, go out and walk/jog a trail, ride a bike or just take a short drive.  Even still being able to go to the grocery store and the aforementioned curbside service.

Now, let's look at another aspect of the situation.  These irresponsible idiots who are doing anything and everything to blame Trump for the situation.  He is doing a great job.  You can't have a vaccine for something until you know what it's make up is.  You can't have a vaccine until you know the cure won't be worse than the disease.  Just like a computer virus.  Folks go bananas when they get one and blame Norton, McAfee et al.  When a new one comes out these companies need to analyze it so they can develop the cure.  The difference is that a biological cure can take quite awhile as opposed to a computer logic one.  So, for all the idiots who are trying to make Trump look bad, you've been doing that for 3-1/2 years and just making yourselves look foolish.

As for Nancy Pelosi, what is with the BS of tacking on items to the recovery bill for stuff that has nothing to do with the COVID problem?  This sicko has to go bye bye.  A republican majority after the next election will cut her off as she won't be speaker anymore.  She is doing almost as much damage to Americans as the COVID virus itself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Kansas Attorney General Speaks out on Public Meetings During Health Crisis

In a recent article in the Lawrence Journal World, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has some comments regarding government meetings during the current Covid-19 situation.  Rather than link to the article, I will copy|paste it here.  If you want, you can view it on the Journal World site by going to this link https://www2.ljworld.com/announcements/2020/mar/23/kansas-attorney-general-transparency-meetings

Note:  Within the article are two links.  One is for the AG's press release and the other is for a proposed administrative regulation.

****************************

As many official meetings move online due to help stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, the Kansas attorney general’s office has proposed formal rules for state and local governments to ensure their meetings remain open to the public.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a recent news release that following the Kansas Open Meetings Act during a declared emergency, when many people are apprehensive and rumors can run rampant, is of even greater important than usual to ensure openness and transparency in the government decision-making process.
“An important way for public bodies to provide reassurance is to go the extra mile to ensure their actions are transparent during the time of emergency,” Schmidt said in the release. “This new guidance will help state and local government bodies throughout Kansas operate transparently even when the public cannot gather in person for meetings.”
The release states whether a public body is meeting by telephone or videoconference or in person but without public access due to emergency limitations, members of the public must be able to observe. Specifically, if the meeting if being done remotely, then members of the public must be able to join in the electronic conferencing. If the meeting is in person, then the public body must take steps to allow members of the public to listen to or observe the meeting by telephone, videoconferencing, television broadcast or similar method. There must be no cost for the public to participate.
When the public is participating in a public meeting remotely, members of the body must take steps to help the public understand the proceedings despite not being physically present. For example, each speaker in the meeting should identify himself or herself by name before speaking or voting so remote listeners or observers can more readily know who is speaking. Likewise, each motion should be clearly stated and each vote tally clearly announced.
In addition, there must be a method for distributing any agenda or other written materials that ordinarily could be picked up in person by members of the public attending the meeting. Those procedures must be explained to the public before the meeting begins. The procedure for any executive session must also be clearly explained at the outset of a meeting.
Schmidt advised public bodies and agencies to immediately begin following the new guidance, although the regulation will not be legally binding until approved by the State Rules and Regulation Board and filed with the Secretary of State. The release states that the proposed regulation was submitted Friday for approval as a temporary regulation and will become legally binding once that approval process is completed.
In addition to the legally binding regulations, Schmidt also provided additional actions that are strongly recommended, such as widely disseminating information about changes to meeting procedures before they occur and posting recordings of meetings on the public body’s website. A copy of the proposed regulation, K.A.R. 16-20-1, and the best practices document are available on the attorney general’s website, ag.ks.gov/open-government.

Was the Core 4 Meeting Legal?

At what point can government entities hold meetings without proper notification to the public?

KCTV5 is trying to find out in view of the recent "Core 4" meeting and subsequent closure order.

For full info please read the KCTV5 letter at this site https://www.kctv5.com/news/local_news/kctv-news-investigating-legality-of-core-meetings-shutting-down-kc/article_07688952-68ab-11ea-a1f6-ef0da3a5e5ff.html


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Is The Bellmont Promenade Project Being Honest With the City?

It's come up again.  About Hobby Lobby and Dick's Sporting Goods.  Based on my blog post of 2/15/2018 and a previous article in the Shawnee Mission Post I would definitely think the council should ask to see letters of intent.

So folks don't have to look up the item from 2018, it is copied below:
***************************************************************

Bellmont Promenade - WOW or WHOOPS

Did Legacy Development snow the City with their proposal for the Bellmont Promenade project at Maurer and SMP?

A recent article in the Shawnee Mission Post https://shawneemissionpost.com/2018/02/12/hobby-lobby-dicks-sporting-goods-proposed-anchors-bellmont-promenande-shawnee-69711 indicates that two of the proposed anchors are Hobby Lobby and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Huh?  We had a Hobby Lobby in Shawnee at Pflumm and SMP about a mile or so from the Bellmont Promenade project.  It was closed, because Hobby Lobby consolidated some of their stores into a new location near Ikea on Johnson Drive.  Is Hobby Lobby really going to come back to Shawnee?  I'd question that.  Would Dick's Sporting Goods really put a store in Shawnee with one in the Merriam Town Center across the road from the Ikea location.

Look at the list of the other proposed tenants.  Where is the WOW that the developer said we would get?  Where are the truly unique destination businesses that would draw shoppers from outside of Shawnee?

Was the city given a snow job?  I remember all of the HS students that spoke in favor of the project.  They said they wanted to have jobs closer to home (understandable) as opposed to working at  the Legends at Village West.  But seriously, what kind of jobs would HS students be qualified for?  Would they be jobs in upscale WOW type of destination retailers.

IMHO, this project is not a WOW.  It is a WHOOPS. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hot Dog - The Signs Are Gone

See my post below.  Did somebody finally get the message?  LOL

The deceptive signs are now gone.  Wheeeeeeee.  Whose chimes got rung on that one?

Now all we need is for the developer to come thru with quality food and retail that they were beating their chests about in 2017.  Ain't a gonna happen!!!!!!

Oh well, at least now folks won't get a false preview of what is/is not going in there.

And The Deception Continues

On January 12th I posted an item about the deception of the developer for the Westbrooke Green project.  In that post was an image of the sign placed at the entrance to the development (there are two of these signs).  It was noted that the developer is still using an image from the December 2017 plans for the development and not from the scaled back version of December 2019. 

To me, showing an image of a project that will not be done is deceptive.  There is a big difference from what the city was told in 2017 to what has been chopped up in 2019. 

I also was critical of Council Member Larson-Bunnell for voting for the current project.  In one of her replies to me she indicated that she had not been on the council in 2017.  Duhhhhhh, she could have researched the info to see the big differences.  Oh well, so much for common sense, or lack thereof.

Now, let's talk about certain council members.  The aforementioned Larson-Bunnell, Zimmerman and Constance.  These three are what is left of the group that voted for the severely reduced project.  This project stinks.  The developer is getting a load of incentives to include the fact that the city is giving up its 1% sales tax at that location.  When will the city ever see any financial benefits from this project?   What will it cost the city in services because of this project?

These three council members are all up for reelection in 2021.  Actually about 1-1/2 years from now if there are any primaries.  These three were also supporters of the boondoggle known as the community center.  You know the one.  The one where they thought it was a good idea to blow $54 million on a project and have the citizens of Shawnee foot the bill in higher property taxes and user fees.  Amazing isn't it?  Hit the citizens up for money for a boondoggle and then have no qualms about giving up incentives to a developer who has deceived the city.

These three need to be defeated at the next election should they be dumb enough to run.  As for Constance, she wants to be a state senator and has filed for the election this year which is only nine months away.  Her actions on the city council indicate that she could care less about Shawnee and its citizens.  She would be a disaster as this city's representative in the state senate.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

I Got My Hand Slapped

Yepper, I got my hand slapped, by the mayor at the city council meeting of Jan 27, 2020.

Mickey Sandifer was being appointed to the Visit Shawnee committee.  I spoke in opposition to that appointment.  Why, because Sandifer had deliberately gone to a National League of Cities meeting at the end of November knowing full well that he would not be serving on the council anymore.  Former coucnilmember Stephanie Meyer did the same thing.  Sandifer's expense for that meeting were approximately $2,500.  He has a history of atending every NLC meeting every year.  There are two of them a year.  And, his expenses were usually the highest of all the Shawnee attendees.

Anyway I objected to his appointment.  Immediately after taking my seat the mayor had this to say (copied from the minutes of the meeting):

MAYOR DISTLER: If a Councilmember chooses to do that I would certainly honor it, but I would like to give my reasoning as to why I am appointing Mr. Sandifer personally because this man has given more time to this City before he was ever a Councilmember, during the entire time he was a Councilmember, and wants to continue to give his time to this City after he’s a Councilmember. And of anybody that understands the value that volunteers bring and what we save in money, I think it would be someone who is an active volunteer with our City. And he has put in more hours than that $2,500 will ever, ever be paid in this [inaudible], ever. Just Old Shawnee Days, he is there from before opening until after close for four days in a row and every single event that this City puts on. So, that $2,500 that does not repay his service to the City.

So, I guess wasting $2,500 of the city's money is OK because of his volunteer work? Hope he had a nice time in San Antonio.  Wonder how many seminars he attended, or did he take one of his grandkids and go sightseeing instead?

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Kansas State Constitution

At the Jan 13, 2020 council meeting one item I brought up from the floor was a "homework" assignment for the newly sworn in members of the city council.  The assignment was a simple one:  to read Section 3 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the State of Kansas.  Remember, all council members took oaths to support and defend that document and the Constitution of the United States.

Every once in awhile some existing council members also need to be reminded of the contents of that item. It seems that occasionally we get a member of the council who thinks they are better than everybody or that they know everything.  They fall into the category of extreme arrogance.

Anyway for the newbies, and those that may have forgotten it, here is that section of the document, with certain items highlighted by yours truly.

§ 3. Right of peaceable assembly; petition. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances.

For the record, the Bill of Rights comes before the other sections of the constitution.  There was a reason for that!!!!!!  Oh, and that section has been in effect since 1859.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Is Lisa Larson-Bunnell the "Mystery" Councilwoman?

Please see my blog post right before this one.

Is Lisa Larson-Bunnell the "mystery" councilwoman mentioned in the lawsuit filed by Austin Homes?  Even though she denied it to a member of the community just prior to the council meeting of 1/27/20?

Remember this info from the lawsuit: 

"(b) The prejudgment of the matter by another councilmember, who wrongfully and inappropriately (i)offered to assist the owners of neighboring properties in preparing the protest petition before the Application had been heard by the Planning Commission; (ii) attend the Planning Commission to publicly show her support of those in opposition; (iii) made statements in social media about her position on the development before it reached the City Council for hearing, and (iv) read from a script at the December 9, 2019 City Council meeting, prepared before the evidence and testimony had been received."

OK, this is from the minutes of the 12/9/19 city council meeting: 

"COUNCILMEMBER LARSON-BUNNELL: All right. Thank you. I did create some prepared comments for this evening."

She then proceeded to read her prepared commentary.  Basically in line with item iv above.  We know she was at the planning commission meeting..............her social media site had numerous comments about the project, including the fact that she did attend the planning commission meeting. 

 Did she assist the citizens in the preparation of the protest petition?  Basically, is she the unnamed councilmember, "her" listed in the lawsuit?  Was she truthful with the citizen who inquired prior to the 1/27/20 meeting as to whether or not it was her?

Time will tell.  I will be very interested in reading any pre trial depositions that become part of the record of the lawsuit.

This will get interesting.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Who Is The "Mystery" Councilwoman?

In a recent article in the Shawnee Mission Post it has been mentioned that Austin Homes and its owner Greg Prieb have filed a lawsuit against Shawnee.  The suit alleges that the city wrongfully turned down their application for their Woodsonia project.

The action is filed in JoCo District Court under case number 20CV00246 and that is public information.

In support of their allegations they mention many items.  Naturally it will be up to the court to decide if the allegations have merit.  Among these allegations are the following:

"(b)  The prejudgment of the matter by another councilmember, who wrongfully and inappropriately (i)offered to assist the owners of neighboring properties in preparing the protest petition before the Application had been heard by the Planning Commission; (ii) attend the Planning Commission to publicly show her support of those in opposition; (iii) made statements in social media about her position on the development before it reached the City Council for hearing, and (iv) read from a script at the December 9, 2019 City Council meeting, prepared before the evidence and testimony had been received."

At the time all this was happening there were three female members of the council:  Stephanie Meyer, Lisa Larson-Bunnell and Lindsey Constance.  So, which one of these three ladies is the "her" mentioned in the lawsuit?  Prior to the 1/27/20 council meeting a member of the public asked Larson-Bunnell if it was her.  Apparently she said no, because that member of the public so stated it from the podium.  That leaves just Meyer and Constance.  Here is my take.  Constance is a rep from Ward IV and I seriously doubt that she would get that involved in a Ward III project.  Meyer was a Ward III rep but if one looks at her list of campaign contributors in her failed mayoral election there is some major representation by folks/companies in the construction/development arena.  And, she has by virtue of her employment over the years been closely associated with folks in that industry.  Would she really take that public of a stand against one of them?  And the election was already over.   Larson-Bunnell is a lawyer  and capable of preparing a protest petition.  But she has denied that it was her.  Anybody want to read the 12/9/19 minutes of the council to see which member said they were going to read comments that they had prepared before the meeting?

Anyway, two things will come to the surface:  1) pre-trial depositions will reveal the "mystery" councilwoman and 2) the court will decide if there was any wrongdoing, not me.

Wonder what it will cost the city to defend this one?

Sidebar:  The attorney representing the petitioner, Austin Homes, is the same attorney who handed the city a big loss in its recent eminent domain action on Johnson Drive

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Council Presidency Still Not Decided - New Procedures to be Discussed

At this past council meeting on 1/27/20 the issue of a new council president and a vice-chair of the council committee had still not been decided.

Leah Wankum of the Shawnee Mission Post has a nice article about what happened and it can be read by clicking here.

I would like to point out a few things that took place.  When the item came up Councilmember Eric Jenkins brought forth info about how the current procedures did not cover what had happened previously.  At the previous meeting, the votes for both procedures were tied and in both cases the mayor did not vote to break the tie.  As such, no council president, no committee vice-chair.  Jenkins thought it was time to fix the system before proceeding further.  Makes sense. 

During that discussion Councilmember Lindsey Constance snuck in a motion to elect Matt Zimmerman as Council President and Dr. Mike Kemmling as Committee Vice-chair.  Seconded by Zimmerman.  Now the discussion continued with more councilmembers seeming to want to fix the system.  But, the only way to proceed was if Constance withdrew her motion.  She refused.  Uh oh.  Trouble in River City, because the seconding of the motion was withdrawn.  This should have been an eye opener for Constance.  It wasn't.

Moving down the road a motion was made by Jenkins to bring the matter to the committee for a revision of Policy Statement 7 and Charter Ordinance 45.  Again, it makes sense, let's clean up procedures.  While the clean up is taking place Dr. Kemmling as the senior council member by length of service would act as interim President and Chair of the Council Committee.

Follow this:  When the vote was taken to move it to committee new councilmember Tammy Thomas who had spoken eloquently on the situation voted yes, followed by Zimmerman, Jenkins and Kemmling.  Hmmmmm, 4 votes to take it to committee for a review and revision of procedures.  Now it comes to Lisa Larson-Bunnell who voted no (apparently she was upset that she hadn't won the election for council president and didn't care to fix the system).  Knappen was absent. Then Constance voted no.  In a way that was a dumb move, considering the person she nominated voted to fix the system.  Duhhhhhh!!!!! Then the other new councilmember Jill Chalfie (who had remained silent) looked at Constance with a deer in the headlights look and also voted no. 

So, the item will move to the council committee to work on revisions to the governing documents so as to make the system more defined.  It's a shame that Larson-Bunnell, Constance and Chalfie could not see the advantages to fixing a system that needed fixing.

Let's see what happens at next week's committee meeting, Tuesday 2/4/20 at city hall at 7PM

Friday, January 17, 2020

A Council Meeting With Gross Procedural Errors 1/13/20

This past Monday's meeting (1/13/20) of the city council was an abomination. Soooo many things were off base that I had to wait a few days before blogging about it. Had to calm down, gather my thoughts so that I could post coherently.

First, there was a tie in the vote for President of the Council. The choice should have been a no brainer. Keep in mind that one of the functions is to be able to assume the mayor's position should the mayor become unable to perform. So, let's look at the two individuals who were up for the election to this position.

Lisa Larson-Bunnell: Just finished one year on the council after having been appointed to replace now convicted felon Justin Adrian. Recently she did win an election to be the councilmember for the remaining two years of that term.

Eric Jenkins: Is an elected four year member of the council and just reelected for another four years. He also served for twenty-one years on the Shawnee Planning Commission. He has  been a member of the Shawnee Downtown Partnership Committee and the Shawnee Economic Development Council. Additionally he served as the SMNW Advisor to the SM School Board. As a senior manager with FEMA he performed in various capacities to include that of Federal Coordinating Officer. That is the FEMA individual who is responsible for approving/authorizing activities to rebuild communities devastated by disasters.

The mayor exercised her option not to break the tie. This IMHO was a bad move. The choice should have been obvious. Duhhhhhh!

So what happened next? The city manager whispered something into the mayor's ear and the next thing we hear is that the item is being tabled until a future meeting. The same thing happened with the election for the Vice-Chairman of the Council Committee (Kemmling vs Constance).

What? A unilateral decision to table an agenda item? Despite the city attorney's subsequent comments about the mayor ruling on points of order, he skirted the issue of the tabling of the item. Check Robert's Rules of Order. A motion would have needed to be made, seconded, and then affirmed by a majority vote to table the item. Bad advice to the mayor if that is what the city manager whispered. There was still time to revisit the issue and either continue the voting process or table the item properly. That would have been something that the city attorney needed to jump in and advise.  Very unhappy that the city attorney did not step in on this one.

Now this brings up another contentious item. The fact that the city manager and the city attorney sit on the dais with the governing body. This has been brought up before. Shawnee is the only city in JoCo where this happens. These two staff members need to either be seated with the rest of the staff in the gallery or at another table in the well. This would also eliminate whispered comments by either person to the mayor or any member of the governing body. Any comments they make need to be on open mic and thus recorded in the minutes. These are open meetings. Going forward any whispered comments will be reported as violations of KOMA. Not a threat......a promise. Get them off the dais to take away that temptation.

Sidebar: Not too long ago I mentioned that Councilmember Lindsey Constance, based on some of her comments, would probably be taking over for Mickey Sandifer as making the dumbest comments on the council. She proved me right this past Monday. Even after the explanations of how the mayor does not have to vote to break a tie she inquired if there was any way to make the mayor vote to break a tie. Duhhhhhh! Hey "teach" (said with a strong NYC accent) ya needs ta read Charter Ordinance 45 and Policy Statement 7. Let me know when ya finished yer homework assignment cuz I got a 20 question test fer youse. Ya wanna be a state senator and ya don't even know the basics of these two documents for the city. IMHO she probably only wanted to be committee vice-chair so as to beef up her political resumé. Useless...............

Sidebar 2: Without a council president, if something happened to the mayor, the next person in line would be the senior council member by tenure and that would be Dr. Kemmling. Even if we had a vice-chairman of the council committee that person is not in the line of succession.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Larson-Bunnell and the Westbrooke Green Deception

On December 15, 2019 I blogged about the 6 council members who condoned the deception and lies by the developer for the Westbrooke Green project.  You can scroll down to read it or click here to go directly to it.

Of the six council members who voted for it, I was most surprised by Lisa Larson-Bunnell.  Since she is a lawyer I just could not understand how she could condone the deception by the developer.  so, I wrote her an email.  Here is what I said on 1/8/20:

*********************************************************************

Mornin’

Happy New Year………………………..

Ever since the vote for this project on 12/9 I have debated whether or not to send you this email.

Finally decided to do so.  Of the six councilmembers who voted for this project I was most surprised by you.

Why?  Because you are an attorney.

The developer has lied and deceived the governing body, city staff and the people of the city.  Heck, once the agenda packet indicated that I had downloaded items from their web site, they finally took it down.  For two years their web site was showing a project that they knew would never be completed as shown. Their billboards on the property showed a project that was not going to come to fruition They knew that they could not move Pizza Street (and likewise Mi Pueblito), even though that was in the “plans”.  They knew they would not get fine dining.  PJ’s comment at the community meeting that upscale restaurants need drive ups for the delivery services was horse manure.

I could go on and on with the various lies and deceit but will stop there.  Now, to explain how that relates to your profession.  Basically, if this had been a court of law they committed perjury.  Would you not challenge somebody who lied on the witness stand?  Would you not challenge somebody who lied at a deposition?  Yet you, by your vote in favor of this project accepted the developer’s lies and deceit.  And to add insult to injury they are getting an outrageous incentive package, to include the fact that we are giving up our 1% sales tax.  How does this bring funds to the city? 

Anyway, I have rattled on long enough.  Suffice it to say that I am thoroughly disgusted that you voted for this project which was an affirmation, IMHO of the lies that the developer tossed out.  I pull no punches.  I am not politically correct.  Rest assured, that should you decide to run for a full term for your council position in two years that I will do everything that is allowed by law to work against your reelection.

Ray


*********************************************************************
And, the deception continues.  Here is a picture of one of the two billboard signs, taken 3 days ago.  They are both the same.  Note, the image is from the plans of December 2017 which have not been valid for a long, long, time.  Click on the image to see a larger version.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Meyer & Sandifer Waste $4,700 of Your Money

Back on 11/13/19 I posted an item about the November National League of Cities Meeting that would be held in San Antonio at the end of that month.  You can read it by clicking here

Thanks to a KORA request I have received copies of the expense reports for the four individuals that attended that meeting.  The part that is upsetting is that both Stephanie Meyer (failed candidate for mayor) and Mickey Sandifer (who did not file for reelection) both knew that they would not be returning as members of the governing body approximately two months after the conference.  These two really stuck it to the city.  Hope folks remember this in case Meyer ever decides to run for another public office in the area.  Sandifer is probably out of any future political endeavors.

Anyway, here is the breakdown of who spent what.  It is interesting to note that as in the past Sandifer usually has the highest expense report.  Also, remember that there are 2 NLC conferences during the year and he almost always attended both.  And there are other conferences by various organizations.

Mickey Sandifer.......................................$2,518.62
Lisa Larson-Bunnell....................................2,418.80
Stephanie Meyer........................................2,178.81
Nolan Sunderman........................................2,055.80

Keep in mind that Council Member Larson-Bunnell will be around for another two years and Nolan Sunderman as city manager for at least another year (until contract renewal time).  They may have gotten something out of this conference.  But what did Meyer and Sandifer get out of it that would be beneficial to the city?  A paid "vacation"??????  Did they bring guests with them???  (Sandifer has been known to bring a grandchild with him in the past).  Maybe go sightseeing instead of attending seminars???  San Antonio has lots of interesting sites, including the Alamo, that are open during the day.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Justin Adrian Sentenced in Court Today

Justin Adrian, former HS teacher and Shawnee City Council Member was sentenced today in JoCo District Court. 

Today, Johnson County District Court Judge Sara Welch sentenced Justin Adrian to a 32 month underlying sentence. Adrian will be required to serve 60 days of shock time and then will be placed on probation for 36 months. He will have to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

On October 17, 2019 Adrian pleaded guilty to Aggravated Battery and Sexual Battery

To view the official press release click here

Friday, January 03, 2020

Mary Pilcher-Cook's Resignation and Mike Thompson's Entry

I come back to Shawnee and all kinds of things are going on.  First, after many years of dedicated service to the people of Shawnee Mary Pilcher-Cook (R) has decided it was time to step down.  Her voice will be missed in the state senate.

Mike Thompson (R) has entered the race to fill out the remainder of her term and has indicated that he would be running later in the year for the full term.  State Rep Tom Cox (R) has indicated that he would not be pursuing the remainder of Mary's term, but would still be entering the contest for the full term.

As time goes on I will get into this situation in more depth.  Suffice it to say that IMHO Mike Thompson would be an excellent choice to represent the people of Shawnee in the Kansas State Senate.  A true social and fiscal conservative he would be a strong voice for us in the state senate.

On the other side of the aisle Lindsey Constance (D) has declared that she would be entering the race for that senate seat.  What a joke.  Right now I'll mention two of the many things that IMHO would disqualify her from representing us in the state senate.  First, she was a proponent of the proposed community center and when confronted would never admit that the cost was really $54 million not $38 million.  She wanted to ignore the interest payments on the bonds.  Dummy.  Next, she condoned the deception of the developer by approving the new Westbrooke Green project plan on 12/9/19.  Someone who condones deception, lies, bait and switch does not deserve to be rewarded with advancement to higher elected office. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year (And Surviving Holiday Travel)

First, let me wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.  Lots of things will be going on, and we plan on being involved.

Now that my travels for the holiday season are over, let me regale you with my version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

First it is important to know that I visited Sault Ste-Marie, MI for the holidays.  All the way up on the upper peninsula of Michigan approximately 1-1/2 miles from Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Further clarification also needs to be made about air travel to that mecca of the far north.  Flights to "The Soo" are limited. Daily there is  one flight each way between Minneapolis/St Paul and one flight each way between Detroit.

So, on 12/23 I left KCI and arrived in Detroit (DTW) with 30 minutes to catch the connecting flight.  Virtually an impossibility when going from concourse A to concourse C (long walk, under the runways).  Because at my age I am not as spry as I once was and have difficulty walking extended distances, I booked a wheel chair.  We got to the gate just as the plane was pulling away.  There goes the only connection from Detroit to "The Soo" for that day. 

The only other connection to the Soo is out of Minneapolis substantially later that day.  But, ya gotta get to Minneapolis.  Well, the folks at Delta rebooked me to MSP and from there to CIU (Chippewa County International-"The Soo").  Well, turns out the flight into DTW that was supposed to go to MSP was a little over 2 hours late arriving.  We were supposed to wait for an approximate 30 minute turn around and then on to The Soo.  Well, that turned into an approximate 1-1/2 hour turn around.  By the time I landed at MSP I had one hour to get to the gate for the flight to CIU.  The airport at MSP is much bigger than DTW and I was having to go to gate A4 from G14.  Suffice it to say, with the wheelchair I made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  That flight took off on time, original ETA 11:30PM.  We had a good tail wind, no bad weather then, and actually got in about 25 minutes early.  Because of miscommunication between my two sons, the one that wound up picking me up was about 15 minutes later than the original ETA, meaning I sat in this itty bitty airport for about 45 minutes.  No, there is no public transportation there.

How about the return on 12/30?  Now we have weather problems.  Plane out of The Soo needed to be deiced multiple times.  Short story: four hours late for take off.  Needless to say, the flight from MSP to KC was long gone.  Got rebooked and had one hour to make the gate change.  This time, at MSP, was a little closer, from B concourse (which in reality is actually further away than A) to D concourse.  Made it with 30 minutes to spare (thank you wheelchair).

Sidebar:  The weather in The Soo was so bad the day I left that my one grandson who had what would have been a 4 hour drive home made it in over 8 hours.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Another Voice Concerning the Woodsonia Project

Mike Frizzell has a very interesting item posted on his Facebook page.  Mike has been attending most council and council committee meetings for quite some time now and even planning commission and parks board.

It's nice to see a member of the younger generation getting involved.  Check out his post at https://www.facebook.com/MFrizzell85/posts/10157605612206063

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Six Councilmembers Condone Deception by Developer

Six of our illustrious councilpersons voted last Monday 12/9 to condone developer deception by voting to go ahead with the changes for Westbrooke Green (75th and Quivira).

Who were these six that condoned the developer's lies and deceit?: Stephanie Meyer, Jim Neighbor, Mickey Sandifer, Matt Zimmerman, Lisa Larson-Bunnell and Lindsey Constance. Three of them (Meyer, Sandifer and Neighbor) won't even be on the council past the first meeting in January. Only councilmembers Eric Jenkins and Mike Kemmling saw through the nonsense proposed by the developer.

Suffice it to say that the plan presented last Monday was a substantial change in what was proposed two years ago. The developer could not come through with his promises of retail, fine dining and a complete demolition of the exisiting structures. He still can't come up with retail and his dining experiences appear to be all fast food with drive up windows. His response to that was that because of delivery services like Grub Hub restaurants were going to be required to have drive ups (his statement at the 11/20 community meeting). Two years ago he promised to move Pizza Street to a different part of the center after changing the make up of the buildings. Can't do it. They still have about 6 years on their lease. He knew that two years ago. Deception!!!! Mi Pueblito has a "long, long time" left on theirs. He knew that going in two years ago. Where is the 24,000 sq ft grocery store? Ain't a-gonna happen!!! More deception!!!

At the council meeting I showed some of the pix that were on the developer's web site of the original plans. The pix were taken from the site a week before the meeting. When the agenda packet showed that info, the web site came down. For two years they were still telling the public about the original plans. Their billboard signs at the center still show images of their original plans.

Probably the only group that is moderately happy with the change in plans are the neighbors near the perimeter since the number of apartments is being reduced. Oh, they have gone from "luxury" to "market value".

What is this costing the city? The TIF money which we won't see. The 1.5% CID tax that goes back to the devlopers (bringing any sales tax in the center to over 11%). And the city is even giving up its 1% base sales tax to the developer. What covers added city services because of the center?

Sidebar: With the departure of Mickey Sandifer who has repeatedly made some of the dumbest comments from the dais who will take his place as dumb statement guru? My money is on Lindsey Constance!!!!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Independence Mayor Who Endorsed Stephanie Meyer Draws Interest of FBI

Ahhh, politics.  Strange things do happen.  About two weeks before the election, Stephanie Meyer was very proud to accept the endorsement of the Independence, MO mayor.


Now we come to find out that the FBI is interested in donations that Mayor Weir received from various PACs.  Don't take my word for it.  Read it here:  https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237681249.html

Did Shawnee escape a bullet?  I don't know.  If my memory serves me, hasn't Meyer in the past tooted her horn about her knowledge/relationship with contractors?  Probably nothing to be concerned about.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Some Post Election Chuckles

Did ya see the article in the Shawnee Mission Post about contributions? Well it seems like Stephanie Meyer tried to buy the election for mayor and got shut out. According to the article she had approximately $25,000 in contributions compared to re-elected Mayor Michelle Distler's $15,000. You can read the article here https://shawneemissionpost.com/2019/11/21/bressler-carignan-contributions-from-developers-flooded-in-to-some-city-council-races-but-it-didnt-always-translate-to-victories-84587

Remember how Meyer the Liar tried to say that the Mayor was getting large outside donations? If needed you can have your memory refreshed by going here https://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2019/09/stephanie-meyer-liar-extraordinaire.html



Suggestion for Meyer: If you want to stay in government, at any level, look to get an appointed position. You can't seem to win against walking, talking, breathing opponents. Auf Wiedersehen. Gut, dass du los bist. (1)

Funny sidebar: At the first council meeting that took place following the council meeting that approved the NDO, Mickey Sandifer held the door open to the council chambers for folks to go in. I casually said that that was nice that a council person would do that. Mickey's reaction? "I'd like to slam it in your face", and that was heard by others. That's OK, Mr. "I love to take trips at city expense" is gone after January 13th. Sayonara Mickey.

 

(1) For those who don't speak German: "Good-bye" followed by "Good riddance" or literally "Good thing you're out"


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Public Info Meeting - Westbrooke Green Project (75th & Quivira)

An item posted on Next Door indicated that there would be a public info meeting concerning the Westbrooke Green project (75th & Quivira)

The meeting is supposed to be tomorrow Wednesday 11/20/19 at 6:00PM at the Shawnee Civic Centre 13817 Johnson Drive (Johnson and Pflumm)

The severe downgrading of the project along with the loss of amenities makes this revised plan a joke.

The developer and his attorney need to be confronted about the lies they told to obtain the original incentive package.  Is the downgrade being proposed because of citizen concern?  Or is it because for all the chest beating and pomposity given at the December 2017 council meeting the developer is unable to put his "financial stack together"? 

Is this going to turn into another Belmont Promenade?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Thoughts About Official Final Results - Mayoral Election 2019 Shawnee

The official canvas has been completed and the final results of the recent city election have been certified.

Some interesting things stand out in the mayoral race. First, Mayor Distler won ALL four wards. That's right, 3rd Ward council person Stephanie Meyer could not even win in her own ward. As previously stated in this blog, that also happened in the primary election in August. I had said at that time the voters of Ward 3 were apparently telling the rest of the city something. Additionally, if one digs into the report of the results it will reveal that of the 46 precincts in the city the mayor was victorious in 40 of them.

Ms. Meyer, for all her pontificating and her "I know better" attitude proved once again that she did not have her finger on the pulse of the city.

Remember also that she has never won an election when she had a real live opponent. She had been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the council and when it came up for a full term election she ran unopposed. In all of her elections where she had an opponent, she lost. That's gotta tell ya something.

If you read my previous post of Wenesday 11/13/19 you will see that her parting shot to the city is to spend taxpayer money to go to a National League of Cities convention. In her case it will prove to be a waste as she will no longer be on the council as of the first meeting in January. Sayonara and good riddance.

A special shout out to former councilmember Jeff "the irrelevant arrogant one" Vaught. His strong support for Ms. Meyer (as also in the case of the community center project) proved my point. Folks vote opposite of what he says. Thank you Jeff for helping to insure that Meyer would not become the mayor.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Meyer and Sandifer Give Shawnee the Bird

Background:  The National League of Cities (NLC) holds two conferences a year.  One in March which is in Washington, DC and one in November, in a different city each year.  This year's November conference will be 11/20-11/23 in San Antonio, Texas.

Four individuals from Shawnee will be going (3 elected and 1 staff).
Council member Lisa Larson-Bunnell
Council member Stephanie Meyer
Council member Mickey Sandifer
City manager Nolan Sunderman

Wait a minute.  Meyer and Sandifer are going?  That was the information that was provided to me this morning by the city.  Two members of the council, who will not be on the council come January are going to be spending between $1500 to $2000 each to go to a conference for which the city will receive no benefit.  Is it legal?  Yepper!  Is it morally reprehensible?  Yepper!  It is my opinion that these two unethical dolts have finally shown their true colors about whether or not they care about the city or its citizens.

Sandifer:  He knew months ago that he would not be back on the council when he failed to file to run to retain his seat.  A review of Sandifer's expense accounts for these meetings in the past (he usually attended both, each year) would show that he was the most prolific spender.  Has something to do with the fact that he would arrive the day before the conference started and leave the day after it ended.  He should never have signed up for this conference.

Meyer:  Guess she thought that she would win the mayor's race and as such be part of the governing body for the next four years.  Wrong!!!!!  It probably never occurred to this egotistical nitwit that she could lose the election.  She never should have booked this meeting.

In the past when an attendee cancelled the NLC would usually hold the fees paid to be applied towards a future meeting, even if for someone else.  But, I doubt that either one will cancel out.  So, when they get on that plane to San Antonio they will in effect be giving our city the "bird".


Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran's Day - November 11, 2019

Please remember them, the men and women who have served, and are still serving, to keep us free.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Liar, Liar - Developer and Lawyer Have Pants on Fire And a Sneaky Move

This coming Tuesday the city council will vote on scheduling two public hearings.  One for the Westbrooke Green project and one for the Stag's Spring project.

From the agenda:

Pants on Fire:

Consider Resolution No. 1896, providing notice of a public hearing to consider the adoption of an Amended Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Project Plan for Westbrooke Green, generally located at the northeast corner of West 75th Street and Quivira Road.
On November 4, 2019, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 finding the Amended TIF Project Plan is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. A Resolution is required to provide notice of the required public hearing on December 9, 2019.
 
Recommendation: Consider Resolution No. 1896, providing notice of a public hearing on December 9, 2019, to consider adoption of the Amended TIF Project Plan for Westbrook Green, generally located in the northeast corner of West 75th Street and Quivira Road.
 
 
 
Now this is NOT an item to approve the project or the amended TIF.  This is to schedule a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amended TIF and to hold it on December 9, 2019
 
Usually, after the public hearing a vote is taken.  It is my contention that the public hearing needs to be rescheduled until January.  The current council is a lame duck council with three members (Meyer, Sandifer and Neighbor not returning).  If these folks really believed in serving the city (along with the other members of the council) they would reschedule the public hearing until January.  Let the new council conduct the public hearing and then vote accordingly.
 
This amended TIF is an insult and an outrage.  In December the council (and as such the city) was presented with all kinds of graphics on what the project would contain, and how upscale it would be.  That was the basis for the original TIF.  What is being presented now for the amended TIF is not a "minor revision" but rather a wholesale reduction in everything that was originally presented/promised.  Table it until January!!!!
 
Sneaky Move:
 
Another public hearing schedule on the agenda for approval. 
 
Consider Resolution No. 1895, providing notice of a public hearing to consider adoption of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Project Plan for Stag’s Spring.
On November 4, 2019, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 finding the TIF Project Plan is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  A Resolution is required to provide notice of the required public hearing on December 23, 2019.
 
Recommendation: Consider Resolution No. 1895, providing notice of a public hearing on December 23, 2019, to consider approving a TIF Project Plan for Stag’s Spring, generally located at the northeast corner of Roger Road and Nieman Road.
 
 
 
This is really sneaky.  Scheduling a public hearing for a meeting on December 23, 2019!!!  Two days before Christmas.  Folks getting ready for the holidays, folks traveling out of town, folks entertaining visitors in town.  The city manager needs to be publicly ostracized for placing this item on the agenda and scheduling a public hearing for December 23.  And again, with a vote usually being taken after the public hearing, this public hearing needs to be rescheduled until January.  Is the developer yanking someone's chain on this one?
 

Thursday, November 07, 2019

City Election Results - 2019

Why did I wait almost two days to post my thoughts?  It's been a long election season...........needed some down time.

Ward 1 - Tammy Thomas defeated the incumbent Jim Neighbor. Probably one of the best things that could happen to Shawnee overall and to Ward I specifically. 

Ward 2 - Eric Jenkins, the incumbent here defeated challenger Andy Rondon.  Very good move by the people in Ward 2.

Ward 3 - (Full Term) Seat was up for grabs.  No incumbent running.  Kurt Knappen defeated Dawn Rattan.  Real smart move by the folks in Ward 3.  Really surprised that Rattan got the support she did in view of the situation with her residential property taxes.

Ward 3 - (Unexpired Term)  Lisa Larson-Bunnell (appointed temporarily) held off challenger Kevin Straub in a close race.  Seat will be up for a full term in two years.  Interesting to see how this shakes out when it comes up again.

Ward 4 - Seat was up for grabs.  No incumbent running.  Jill Chalfie defeated Kris Durbin.  Since this is the ward I live in rest assured Ms. Chalfie will be under the microscope.

Mayor - Michelle Distler romped to a double digit victory over Stephanie Meyer.  My prediction was right.  Meyer cannot win an election when she is running against a live opponent.  My concern:  based on some of the things that I have heard already we may have created our own local version of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Will Meyer blame everybody and everything for her loss, rather than she did not have her fingers on the pulse of the community?  Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Rattan - Wrong for Shawnee

Dawn Rattan is, IMHO, just plain wrong for Shawnee and unfit to represent the citizens of Ward 3 on the city council.

Why?

1.   A review of public records indicates that on 7/11/2019 property taxes for her residence were paid for 2018, 2016 & 2015.  Or that on 2/26/16 property taxes for 2014, 2013 and the 2d half of 2012 were paid.  Should she be sitting on a council that makes decisions regarding taxes? 

2.  Game playing.  Remember the $1000 In Kind contribution she got from Glam Sham for make-up for photos?  (Must have been a heck of a make-up job).  That was mentioned on this blog as to how it was in violation of Kansas campaign finance laws.  She then posted that it had been corrected, but never stated how it had been corrected.

Governmental Ethics Commission correspondence between that office and candidates becomes public record.  So we looked into it.  The GEC told her it was in violation and they then suggested she refund to Glam Sham the $500 overage amount, notify them that it had been done, and then report the refund on the general election filing.

Her campaign treasurer then emailed the GEC and said this:

Dear Ms. Schneider,

Thank you for returning my call this morning regarding the aforementioned campaign finance report. Per your instructions, we have returned $500 to Smash Glam to be in compliance with the limit of donations from a single entity for the primary election. Smash Glam has turned around and donated that to Dawn Rattan’s general election, which will be filed by October 28, 2019.

Thank you so much for your assistance.
Best regards,
Anh-Nguyet Nguyen
Treasurer for Dawn Rattan

So, $500 was returned on an In-Kind contribution (no money donated, just services) and then that entity turns around and sends the $500 back in the form of a donation for the general election.  Perfectly legal.  In the army we used to call things like that Mickey Mouse plays.

Previous posts about her candidacy can be found on this blog at:

https://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2019/09/is-rattan-for-real.html

http://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2019/08/dawn-rattan-1000-campaign-contribution.html

My opinion.......a big mistake to elect this person to the council.......big mistake.
Kurt Knappen would better serve the folks in Ward 3

 

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Ward 3 Resident Calls Stephanie Meyer Out

Mayoral candidate Stephanie Meyer has been highly critical of the fact that commercial properties only make up about 25% of the city's property tax base.  And naturally, she has been critical of the incumbent mayor, Michelle Distler.

Well, the topic of the tax base came up on her FB page and then one resident (of Ward 3) jumped in.
Here is what he said.....(and it makes sense):

Michael Moore
 
 
Pardon my intrusion, but following on to
questions above from Alisha Ali Vincent, your website has the following:

"Currently, only about 25% of the city’s revenue comes from
commercial taxes, putting much of the cost of government on
the shoulders of our residents. This is an unsustainable model
and will be further exacerbated as our vast infrastructure continues to age."

And this:

"Shawnee has largely avoided regional conversations on
economic development, and that means when potential
employers look at the metro, we’re not on their minds."
 
I don't mean to point out the Elephant in the Room, but
haven't you been on the city council for some 5 or 6 years
now? The Mayor is only 1 member of the council. If YOU as a
long-time council member haven't been successful in moving
the city in the direction your campaign is advocating, why
should voters believe you will be any more effective as
Mayor?

As a follow up to the above...If I recall correctly, you as a
council member, were a driving force in the recent passage of
the LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance. What would lead
voters like me to believe as Mayor your agenda wouldn't
include a plethora of similar needless actions while Shawnee
continues to languish with high residential property taxes andno business base?



One thing that I would add to Mr. Moore's comments is that Ms. Meyer seems to also lead the charge when it comes to incentives, literally giving away the farm, which in turn deprives Shawnee of tax income.  Incentives are sometimes needed, but why not the north 40 instead of the whole farm?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Ward 4 - Shawnee Needs Kris Durbin

The Ward 4 council race could be very critical for the future of Shawnee.
On one side we have Kris Durbin who has an 18 year record in the design build engineering and construction industry. As a Project Controls Manager he is responsible for managing infrastructure projects that are in the multi-million to billion dollar range. See my previous comments for additional info at https://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2019/10/kris-durbin-for-shawnee-city-council.html

His opponent, Jill Chalfie presents herself as the "community service candidate". While her years of volunteerism are to be commended, she does not possess the background to work with staff on projects such as Nieman Now.

Kris Durbin on the other hand does have those skills, and as we move forward his background will prove useful in working to make sure we do not have another situation like Nieman Now. He knows what to look for when it comes to infrastructure projects and can utilize his experience, knowledge and training for the benefit of all of Shawnee.

I urge the voters of Ward 4 to vote for Kris Durbin to be your council rep.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Stephanie Meyer Throws City Staff Under the Bus

In my post just prior to this one it was mentioned how Stephanie Meyer was critical of those who spoke negatively about city staff.

Well apparently Meyer must have some strong muscles attached to her jawbone because she appears to be able to talk out of both sides of her mouth. Or are they ligaments or tendons?
At the Shawnee Mission Post forum for mayoral candidates prior to the August primary Meyer seemed to throw the blame on a city engineer as the reason why Menard's did not locate in Shawnee. I blogged about it at the time and you can read about that by following this linkhttps://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2019/07/why-does-stephanie-meyer-lie-about.html

But, if you don't believe me, or want additional verification you can hear it in her own words. That's right, you can see and hear her on video. The comments are at approximately the 42:05 mark of the video. You will need to go here, https://www.facebook.com/pg/shawneemissionpost/videos/?ref=page_internal and then scroll down until you get to the video for the Shawnee Mayor's forum from July 9, 2019.


This individual will say whatever she needs to, to try and get elected. Hopefully, the rest of the city will see what the folks in her own ward saw when she took a whooping in her own ward in the primary. The results of the primary in Ward 3 were:
Distler 1004 51.38%
Meyer 639 32.70%
Tubbesing 277 14.18%
Sood 34 1.74%

Citywide, Meyer only got 26% while the incumbent Mayor, Michelle Distler got 57%.

What else will Meyer lie or be two faced about? Stay tuned as the election is just a little over a week away.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Stephanie Meyer - Enemy of Free Speech

In a recent post to the blog on her campaign web site, Stephanie Meyer had this to say:

"The incumbent has routinely allowed staff to be publicly attacked by extremists."
What Ms. Meyer fails to acknowledge is that it is not up to the mayor to allow or disallow comments, pro or con, by anyone. That would be censorship. And that would not only be in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution but also to Section 3 of the Bill of rights of the Kansas State Constitution. I have posted that section here before, and brought it up at various council meetings. This is what it says (the underlining is by me)


§ 3. Right of peaceable assembly; petition. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances.

So, if elected would Meyer attempt to censor free speech, or, faced with a constitutional dilemma (both federal and state) allow those comments? Thereby proving once again that she talks out of both sides of her mouth.

Stephanie Meyer would not be good for Shawnee and I would strongly urge the citizens of this city to reject her candidacy for mayor.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I Was Wrong on 10/11/19

Whoops, you won't see that headline too often.  Unlike some folks, I can admit it, even though it doesn't happen too often......LOL

OK, let's split this post into two parts:

Part 1:  My comments on 10/11/19 that the proposed Charter Ordinance 46 was a virtual blank check were wrong.  It was not.  And with some last minute verbiage adjustments by Council Member Jenkins and City Attorney Rainey the item became very acceptable to all concerned.

Part 2:  I still stand by my comments that it was abhorrent for a Charter Ordinance to be placed on an agenda for a city council meeting without first going through the committee process.  The item showed up late Thursday 10/10 for inclusion at the meeting of 10/14.  Let's get this straight, Shawnee and other cities in Kansas function on charter ordinances.  Other cities in other states function on charters and States function on constitutions.  A charter ordinance is the basic building block for other actions of the city.  It is not like an ordinance for how many pets you can have, property set backs or any of that stuff.  It is how the city is to be run and governed.  And, if folks can't see that then they are blind.  Charter ordinances, by their very nature need to go to committee first for a thorough hashing out and vetting.  Not, place on an agenda for action 4 days (two of which are the weekend) later.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Kris Durbin for Shawnee City Council - Ward 4

Kris Durbin would be the logical choice to represent the citizens of Ward 4 on the Shawnee City Council.

In these times when Shawnee is facing the potential of over $140 million in stormwater repairs, tens of millions of dollars in street repairs and other infrastructure work, Kris' background is sorely needed on the council.

He is employed in the design-build engineering and construction industry. The better part of his 18 year career in this industry has been as a Project Controls Manager. As such, Kris is responsible for combining the technical and commercial aspects of managing large multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, to enable project leadership and stakeholders to understand state of progress, the financial health, and the overall risks and opportunities of the initiative.

He has experience and exposure on projects valued up to $5.5 billion. His experience with contracts and projects with high amounts of risk and cost exposure will be a tremendous value to the governing body.

While his opponent appears to be a very nice and likeable individual she has avoided discussing the many financial issues affecting the city. Very candidly, since her experience has been mostly in the volunteer arena her comments tend to be fluffy feel good without getting down to the nitty gritty of what is facing Shawnee. We are also facing the potential loss of millions of dollars in property tax revenue based on current court rulings concerning big box retailers. Kris Durbin is well qualified to work towards positive solutions for these items.

On the personal side, he and his wife of 9 years Jacque are proud to call Shawnee their home where they are raising their daughter Makyla.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Kurt Knappen for Shawnee City Council Ward 3 (Full Term)

Kurt Knappen's business and community involvement background puts him head and shoulders, IMHO, above his opponent for the Shawnee City Council.

He has spent the past 21 years working for just two companies to get better care for individuals suffering from type 2 Diabetes.  For the past 15 years he has served as a District Business Manager for his company which involves managing, leading and coaching a team of 9-11 individuals.
 
This experience includes hiring, performance management, setting the tone and vision, inspiring, coaching, budgeting and HR issues related to the team.  Including salaries and expenditures, he effectively manage a budget well over $1.5 million annually.  Importantly, he manages his team remotely, spending approximately 2 days per month with each.  This is important as it will help him in his dealings working with City Staff in a remote manner (via phone and email to a large extent).  He successfully deals with conflict first hand, manages out low performers, routinely gains consensus among a broad group of individuals and leads with innovative ideas while addressing tough issues.
 
Additionally, he has previously served as Treasurer of the J.C. Republican Party and as an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman.  Finally, he was appointed to the Lenexa Parks and Rec Board and received 2 “keys to the city” for his work on behalf of the community.
In Shawnee, he has served as a youth boys  head football coach (6 seasons), both boys and girls soccer coach (20+ seasons) and wrestling coach (5 seasons) in addition to serving at Westside Family Church and in various other volunteer capacities.
 
Additionally Kurt makes it a point to pay his property taxes on time.  His opponent, on multiple occasions, had to play catch up on 2-3 years worth at one time.  Not good for someone who is going to have to make decisions on items which concern taxes in Shawnee.
 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Proposed Charter Ordinance 46 - A Virtual Blank Check

There is no other way to put this.  There is an item on Monday's (10/14) City Council Agenda to pass a Charter Ordinance 46 to replace Charter Ordinance 43.  This item if passed would give the council (and not just this one) a virtual blank check to issue general obligation bonds for just about anything they want.  Yes, they could even jam a community center down the city's throat even though 72% of our citizens said no to this.

It is imperative that the citizens of Shawnee rise up against this abuse of power by certain members of the council, and show up at the meeting on 10/14 and express their displeasure concerning this proposed charter ordinance.

Link to the agenda for 10/14/19.

Copy of the memo and the proposed new Charter Ordinance 46.

Briefly, the agenda says:

The proposed Charter Ordinance broadens the types of improvements set out in Charter Ordinance No. 43 that may be debt financed by general obligation bonds to include streetlights, and any other improvement or equipment, whether owned by the City, another government entity, or a private party, when the Governing Body finds that such improvement serves a public purpose

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Kevin Straub for Shawnee City Council Ward 3 (Unexpired term)

Kevin Straub would be my choice for the unexpired Ward 3 Shawnee City Council position. Kevin's background and positions makes him eminently qualified for the job.

After leaving the US Navy Kevin became a Realtor for the past 28 years and a Real Estate Broker for 24 years. He has been a past president of the Clear Creek Subdivision HOA. He assisted in the development of Town & Country Villas a one level living community in Shawnee. He is respected in the business world as a member of the Agent Leadership Council at Keller Williams Key Partners.

As a former member of the Shawnee city council he brought recycling containers to all of the Shawnee parks and consistently voted against tax increases in our city.
He feels that most members of the Shawnee City Council have proven they are out of touch with the real priorities of the people they are supposed to represent. This was proven in the case of the community center, where they ignored the results of their own survey which showed that even though folks wanted a new community center a majority said they did not want to pay an increase in property taxes to do it.

Then, just last month they decided to wade into divisive social issues which split our community in two and are still working their way through the courts around the country.  Yet, up until recently we couldn't get honest communication about projects like Nieman Now. He feels we still need a sensible policy regarding tax incentives that doesn't give the farm away for any developer with their hand out. We have many members of the council who say one thing (we need more commercial development) then give it all away so we don't get anything from it when it happens.

Kevin will put needs first (storm water, street improvements etc.) ahead of frills. We are facing the possibility of some heavy infrastructure problems that need to be taken care of. Kevin will stay focused on that.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Eric Jenkins for Shawnee City Council Ward 2

Eric Jenkins is, IMHO, deserving of being re-elected to the Shawnee City Council to represent Ward 2..

Eric has spent most of his adult life serving both his community and his countryj. On the community side he has been a Shawnee City Counci member and served 21 years on the Shawnee Planning Commission. He has been a member of the Shawnee Downtown Partnership Committee and the Shawnee Economic Development Council. He has served as the SMNW Advisor to the SM School Board .

He is a retired U. S. Army Colonel having served both on active duty and in the reserves. He is a veteran of the Iraq & Afghanistan War and a graduate of the very prestigious Army War College. Among his diverse military assignments. He served as commander of ODA-114 (Operational Detachment Alpha-more commonly known as Special Forces A-Team, and as Battalion Commander of the 159th Military Police Battalion. At Ft. Leavenworth he led highly skilled senior officer and civilians in lessons learned collections missions into Iraq and Afghanistan.

His history with FEMA as a senior manager provided him with the opportunity to be involved in many multi state functions to include being a Federal Coordinating Officer. That translates into being the individual responsible for making sure that entire communities were rebuilt after a major disaster hit.

As a council member he stood up for the taxpayers of the city. He was a vocal force against the splurging of $54 million for a community center. He has long advocated that the council has to look at needs not wants, like the fact that we are looking at the possibility of over $140 million in stormwater repairs. A strong proponent of citizen rights, he led the initiative to allow citizen groupds to give full presentations at council meetings, not just insiders. He has been a long time advocate of promoting small business and he is opposed to over use of corporate welfare in the form of incentives.

Eric knows how to battle for the citizens of Ward 2 and it is felt that they need to return him to office.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Citizens For A Better Shawnee

Remember the group that spearheaded the drive against the proposed community center?  The group that showed the truth about the costs!  The group that showed how much pertinent information was being held back! (the term for that is lying by omission).  The group that helped to point out high dollar needs that the city has facing it, as opposed to wants!

Well that group has now morphed into Citizens For A Better Shawnee.  It will be taking an active roll in getting more citizens involved with the process of running the city.

You can read more about it here:  https://www.citizensforabettershawnee.org/

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Tammy Thomas for Ward 1 Shawnee City Council

Tammy Thomas would be an excellent choice for Ward 1 Shawnee City Councilmember.

IMHO ward 1 has been under represented for many years by Jim Neighbor. Neighbor's favorite comment at meetings on various subjects has been "I'd like to echo what so and so said". It's time that Ward 1 had a councilmember who would truly get engaged in items of concern for the city.
Tammy would bring a background of exceptional service and knowledge to city government. First, she has been a member of the De Soto USD 232 school board. From 2012-2019 she served as a Statewide Long Tern Care Liaison within the The Department for Children and Families. She was able to work and bring together State Agencies such as  DCF, KDADS, KDHE, along with Long Term Care Facility Administrators to support elder Kansas families to work the maze of gaining needed support.  The maze of elder Medicaid was very difficult and  many life long Kansas citizens were struggling to navigate it. She brought the right agencies to the table to engage in open dialogue with Long Term Care providers....face to face.  

She then went on to be the Kansas City Regional Director for the The Department of Children and Families. In that capacity she was responsible for five counties with full service centers (Atchison, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Douglas).

She currently is serving with a non-profit organization, Safe Families for Children. 

She has shown to be a compassionate individual who is willing to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. This is a skill that is sorely needed in a Ward 1 councilmember.

It is sincerely hoped that the citizens of Ward 1 will elect Tammy Thomas to represent them on the Shawnee City Council.