Thursday, December 31, 2009

Franchise Fees & Rate Increases

Looks like KCP&L wants more money. And who else benefits? Well, the City of Shawnee will 5% of the increase via its newly reinstated franchise fee. Well, 2% starting in April and then the additional 3% next January................... Check it out

When Councilperson Distler started talking about potential utility rate increases during the discussion of the franchise fee she was basically ignored by some of her fellow councilpersons. Fact is, this is probably just the first of many, many more increases that the various gas and electric utilities will get. Just wait and see what happens with cap and trade. Get your checkbooks out.

Just remember who voted for and who voted against the franchise fee reinstatement:

Voting for:

And Meyers breaking the tie

Voting against:


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tobacco Tax Tiddlywinks

Looks like the governor wants to raise tobacco taxes again. See the AP article at

This makes me ask the same old question (which none of our local legislators, to my knowledge, wants to address): As the tax increases and smoking declines, eventually the goose laying the golden egg is going to go bye-bye. What will replace it?

Now, for all those folks who try to tell us that the tax increaes are going for health care, read these two items from that article:

"Martino said Parkinson has not decided whether to ask legislators to dedicate the new revenues to health programs, or use it to help the state balance its budget for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1."

This one is even better:

"But in 2002, when legislators boosted the cigarette tax from 24 cents, they did it to help close a budget shortfall. " So keep shoveling that bovine scatology about using it for health costs.............a 55¢ per pack increase (from 24¢ to 79¢ back then) and it went to a budget shortfall.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kuhn Doesn't Get It


1. Back in June 09 I brought up at a city council meeting info regarding a local ban on cell phone use/texting while driving

2. A few days after that, councilperson Distler requested info as to how cities that had enacted oridinances were handling the situation.

3. In October, staff gave a presentation. Apparently there was a miscommunication as to what was asked for, and the presentation did not cover the request.

4. In November a motion was made to have the item researched again to answer the original request and to present that to the council. The motion passed but there was a substantial amount of concern, and even anger among some council members and staff about redoing the research. The primary concerns being time and money.


Prior to the council meeting of 12/14/09 I contacted Michelle Distler and indicated that I would be willing to volunteer to do the research and presentation. That would eliminate staff time (and associated costs). The only thing is that Ms Distler would have offer a motion to rescind the one from November and accepting my volunteer offer.

At the 12/14 meeting Ms Distler offered that motion. This is something that should have taken less than 2 minutes to proceed with as everything (research, time, money etc) was being taken off of the shoulders of staff. Dawn Kuhn then proceeded to offer a second to the motion if the research was sent in as a report but without a presentation to a committee of the council.

Basically the discussion now, (because of Ms Kuhn) dragged on for almost another half hour. The purpose of presenting the info to a committee of the council, rather than sending in a report, would be to get whatever info was obtained to go on the record. Even the mayor tried to explain to Kuhn that if the motion to rescind was not approved, then the original motion (requiring staff to do the work would stand). Apparently she couldn't see that. She seemed to be concerned about the flood gates opening and citizens of the community storming the gates of city hall to give presentations on items of interest to them. Well, to give a presentation would require council approval. Next, there is always the old "business from the floor" segment of a council meeting where anybody can get up and speak about literally anything. Heck it happened that night, with a gentleman who had drainage problems on his property. And, even though there is a 3 minute time limit, that item went on for awhile (justifiably so).

Ms Kuhn's actions came real close to the item staying on staff's shoulders. After her long winded, nonsensical comments, I came within milliseconds of withdrawing my offer to volunteer to do the work. Fortunately I thought better. The item came to a vote and it passed. (7-1..Kuhn voting yay, the only dissent being Ms Scott) Result: Staff does not have to spend time (and money) on redoing the research. It now falls on my shoulders.


The initial info that I have received from some of the cities that have these ordinances appears to be a mixed bag. Some positive, some negative. Both will be included so as to allay the fears of those who think I may try and color the results.

Ms Kuhn's rambling self aggrandizing commentaries are classic examples of the old sentiment, "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS" She has become a master at circumlocution. Is there anyway to get a refund to the city for all of those leadership classes she attended?

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Kuhn Kalled on the Karpet

Wow..............this letter appeared in the Shawnee Dispatch:

To the editor:
Our Boy Scout den attended the Nov. 24 City Council meeting. We are grateful to Mayor Jeff Meyers for the premeeting tour and letting the boys lead the pledge of allegiance.

Council members won’t always agree but Dawn Kuhn’s behavior was totally unprofessional. Her obvious disdain for and catty remarks to fellow Council member Kevin Straub brought the phrases “drama queen” and “Harper Valley PTA” to mind.

From an unbiased and outside point of view — having never met any of the Council members — it appeared Straub may be the black sheep on the Council. The other members didn’t seem interested in the point he was trying to make either, but none came close to matching Kuhn’s tactless demeanor.

It’s unfortunate for the Boy Scouts earning a citizenship badge and high school students meeting a curriculum requirement that this was the model of city government portrayed. Healthy debate and openness to hearing alternatives should be welcome, but this wasn’t on her agenda this night.

Lori Onions

For those wishing to read it as it appears on the Dispatch's website, here is the link:

I was there that night. Among the ad hominems that Ms Kuhn tossed out were that Mr Straub was "stupid" and an "impotent coucnilmember". Not necessarily the first time she has done this.

The thing I find disconcerting is that Ms Kuhn is the currently sitting Council President. That means that in the absence of the mayor she would assume his duties. This includes filling in for him at events that he might not be able to attend, or act on his behalf in case of disability, or assume the position if he is unable to perform.

If she cannot control her personal animosities to a fellow member of the council, in council session, I'm not sure that I would like her to continue to sit as President of the Council.

My opinion.........a public apology and resignation as council president would be in order.

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