Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DC Disconnect

Whoops....in his exhuberance to make sure that the city was not squandering its money by purchasing rubber froggies for the swim program (see below posts)Kevin Straub overlooked something else.

What did he overlook on that report of payments? Two items: #237105 3/5/09 for $280 for travel advance and #237106 3/5/09 for $539.20 for airfare reimbursement. Both items payable to................Kevin Straub. These two items were for the trip to Wash DC for the National League of Cities conference.

Here's the kicker. It seems that Mr Straub's flight developed mechanical problems and never got off the ground. Also, since it was at the beginning of the spring break, the airline was unable to reschedule him on another flight in a timely manner to be able to attend the conference. Now, none of this is his fault.

But, since he was unable to attend the conference shouldn't the funds paid/advanced to him be reimbursed to the city? The travel advance should definitely be an easy one. No travel was performed. The airfare reimbursement? Well, since it was the airline's fault it would seem like they would have reimbursed/credited him, and then he would pay the city back. Did they already issue a credit?

From what I can tell, as of this morning, no reimbursemnt has been made. When will that happen? He knew over two weeks ago that the trip was not going to happen.

Wonder why he didn't make an announcement at the last council meeting as to what his intentions were regarding this matter.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's say he just forgot that the trip wasn't taken.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Plunk Your Magic Twanger Froggy

Ahhhhh, last week's City Council meeting. What fun :-( as Kevin Straub again showed us how he prioritizes things. He exercised his option to challenge an item on the list of items presented for payment.

Which item? Well, would you believe 6 rubber frogs that are used to give swim lessons to young children. Cost of these items.............less than $50......that's total (not each).......and they last approximately 5 years.

Maybe we can get Froggy the Gremlin to plunk his magic twanger and make this man disappear. Who is Froggy the Gremlin? Those of us who are old enough can remember a 1950's children's TV show with Andy Devine that featured Froggy the Gremlin. How did Froggy appear (and disappear)? By plunking his magic twanger.

For the voters in the USD 232 School District: Do you really want this man on the school board?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Letter Writer Takes Exception to my Blog Entry

Apparently, former city council candidate, and current Parks & Recreation Advisory Board member Bob Dyche took exception to my blog entry about his letter to the Shawnee Dispatch.

In the interest of fairness, I believe his email to me needs to be quoted here, along with my reply:

His email from 3/19/09:

I just wanted to drop you a line and clarify what I wrote about and maybe you will clarify your blog. As for USD 232 bidding out the general contractor job, they didn't. JE Dunn was chosen by the board in a 4 to 3 vote. They (JE Dunn) never did bid on the projects that they were hired to do. Alvie clearly states this in and email I received, but you in your infinite wisdom you have jumped to conclusions. I will forward you the email. You are right about 1 thing. I am supporting Kevin for the school board position. Also I am wondering why you are so interested in our elections when you reside in the Shawnee Mission district. You know nothing about me, however last year and now this year you have chosen to attack me. I don't get it. Is it your duty to attack anyone associated with Kevin? If you have any questions for me just contact me. I would be happy to meet and discuss whatever may be on your mind. Thanks Bob Dyche

My reply of 3/20/09:


But, they did NOT fail to bid over $70 million in actual construction contracts. If you read my blog, you will see that I asked folks to scroll down and read Cater's comments. They will also see the 2d comment that way, which was (according to the entry on the Dispatch) posted by KStraub. Regarding your other comments. I suggest you go back to school and retake Civics 101. I can voice an opinion. It does not matter which school district I reside in. (I can voice an opinion about the Mayor's race in Merriam, whcih I did) But, with Mr Straub being a sitting city councilman in Shawnee, his other public forays for elective office are open for comments. As far as "attacking" you Bob, Come on now. That's not an attack. You ran for office in Shawnee, I voiced an opinion (that was last city election). Now, for the letter in the Dispatch, Weren't you appointed to that board by Straub? That's not an attack. That's showing a relationship. Now, that could be a positive. Folks who agree with either one of you could then transfer that to the other one. In your infinite wisdom, did you ever consider that? Have a great day.

He claims I attacked him. My, my, how one interprets things. I merely pointed out his misleading info when he ran for city council. That's an attack? That's called setting the record straight.

If anyone is interested in reading those comments from last year's election cycle they can be found, on this blog, at:

From 3/14/08 http://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2008/03/dyche-misleads-voters-in-ward-iii.html

From 3/18/08 http://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2008/03/memory-chuckle.html

From 3/23/08 http://shawneeray.blogspot.com/2008/03/does-candidate-shoot-from-lip.html

Maybe he feels that any comments he makes as a candidate should not be challenged, but taken as gospel truth. Question: Is he going to run for council again? In the next election? Against Straub? Or, in place of?

Curious, does he write his own material or does he employ a ghost writer? Just curious.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Condolences to the Scott Family

Condolences to Councilmember Cheryl Scott and her family on the loss of her husband Bob.

May the grief of the family for his passing be overcome by their memories of his life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Straub Supporter Misinforms

There was a letter in yesterday's Shawnee Dispatch at http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2009/mar/18/concerned-taxpayer/ by Bob Dyche supporting Kevin Straub for the USD 232 Board.

In the letter Mr Dyche alleges that the current board awarded $75 million worth of construction contracts without competitive bidding.

Fortunately, if you scroll down when reading that letter you will find a follow up comment from Alvie Cater, Community Relations rep for the district. That comment sets the record straight. No entity in this state would award those kinds of contracts without competitive bidding and not face the wrath of the state attorney general.

Oh, isn't Bob Dyche the same person that was recently appointed to the Shawnee Parks and Recreation Advisory Board by Kevin Straub? And didn't he run for city council last year, against Dawn Kuhn, with Straub's support?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jill Quigley Asked to Comment

I have sent Ms Quigley the same email and documentation as previously sent to Ms Pilcher-Cook, Mr Talia and Mr Steineger, concerning tobacco taxes.

I figured since parts of Shawnee are in her district, well, why not?

Let's see what happens.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Talia Continues to Ignore the Situation

Guess that this area's new State Rep doesn't like answering questions from the public.

It has now been 23 days since my first email to him.

USD 232 Election for 2009

Well, I have commented before about Kevin Straub's candidacy for the school board. Two years ago the voters were intelligent enough to not elect him. Hopefully they will do the same thing this time.

Check out the article in the Shawnee Dispatch at http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2009/mar/11/challengers-top-concerns-are-education-finances/

It's a great political sound byte to say that one is concerned about finances. Lest we forget last year's brouhaha over a dinner in Washington DC. If a reminder is necessary, Mr Straub and another council member took some federal legislative aides to dinner and spent $392. The problem that arose was that neither of the council members could be specific, for almost four months, as to the indentity of these legislative aides. It wasn't until 7/28/08 that the actual names became known. And that only happened because I finally was able to determine who they were, and informed the council members who it was that they took to dinner.

The point here is that Mr Straub was so vehement in expressing how important that dinner was for Shawnee's future, that he couldn't even remember who attended the event.

Strange man....................................

Thursday, March 05, 2009

State Rep Talia Fails to Respond

Well, as of this morning the new state rep in this district has failed to respond to my question about cigarette taxes.

Maybe young puppy freshman legislators don't feel that they have to respond to their constituents? Maybe he didn't understand the question? Maybe he didn't understand the info provided by the Kansas DOR?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

State Sen Pilcher-Cook Responds

Unlike her predecessor, Nick Jordan, Mary Pilcher-Cook resp0nded to the inquiry about cigarette sales taxes.

Below, please find her response:

Dear Ray,

Thank you for your efforts at educating the public. I have a consistent voting record of voting against all cigarette tax increases. It is unfair when government discriminates against certain people and forces them to pay more taxes than others.

A tobacco tax is unpredictable in its results on the state budget. Last year Maryland doubled its cigarette tax to pay for health-care coverage and cigarette sales decreased by 25%, putting the state in fiscal distress and creating a budgetary disaster.

Not only are cigarette taxes an unpredictable source of revenue, they are a regressive tax, targeting only certain individuals. It might appeal to some politicians who want to use a "tax thee but not me" approach, hoping they won't anger their voters, but it's an unfair tax.

It is through lower taxes overall that we receive the highest economic growth, which in turn produces the revenue to the state to provide public services.

Best regards,

Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook