Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thieves in the Night

It has been reported that there are sign thieves out there. Yep, folks that go around stealing the political signs of candidates.

How sophomoric. How illegal. When a homeowner gives a candidate permission to place a sign in their yard they are exercising their right to free speech.

When a thief steals that sign they are trespassing on the property, and they are stealing something of value. Curious, since it involves free speech before an election I wonder if maybe, just maybe there could be a federal civil rights violation here?

I don't care who the candidate is, stealing of their signs is just wrong.........and illegal.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Political Cowards

Freedom of speech is great. One example is this blog, and the thousands of others out there, letters to the editors of newspapers etc.

What irks me though is when people say things (read that as attack) but they do not have the courage or intestinal fortitude to identify themselves. Those folks are nothing more than fecal matter.

What is setting me off? A mailer recently was mailed with some negative info about Kevin Straub. Hey, they even referenced an old blog post of mine. What gets me is the signature block: "FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, NOT PAID FOR BY ANY CANDIDATE"

Well, how do we know it wasn't paid for by any candidate? Since whoever was responsible for this failed to identify themselves. Anybody can prepare that statement, even another candidate since there is no information showing who, where or when this item was prepared.

That is cowardly. Additionally, if they are attacking one candidate, then deep down they must have positive feelings for another one.

Methinks I know who is actually responsible for this. Just a hunch, but without proof I can't say.
That's OK, fecal matter eventually floats to the surface. Guess they have to take the negative road since their choice probably couldn't stand on their own merits.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ward III Primary......Tue, March 2, 2010

There will be a primary in Ward III next Tuesday, 3/2/10. Four individuals are running and the top two vote getters go on to the general election on April 6.

In the past I've had some issues with Kevin denying that. But in this election I'd have to say if I lived in Ward III I'd vote for him.

Sound bytes and blurbs on campaign literature aside...........I've been to many council and committee meetings this past year. Straub's actions to try and maintain freedom of choice with regards to trash disposal are to be commended. Contrary to the comments of his wardmate. The same goes for his feelings towards the franchise fee.

His methods are sometimes unorthodox, but he is something of a rebel. Sometimes being a rebel is good.

Now, when it comes to challengers' comments about "restoring civility" to the council. Heck, they're going against the wrong person. Wanna restore civility to the council? Unseat Diva Dawn Kuhn in 2012. I've sat in on these meetings. I've heard her antagonize and bait Straub on more than one occasion, and on others get downright nasty. When Straub was having problems getting some info from the city manager, Kuhn was heard to chime in with "Well, I always get answers to my questions" Right.........the queen of the rubber stamps gets what she wants.

Civility? What about Mr Travel himself, Mickey Sandifer. When asked to explain some travel costs, in a council meeting, his reply was 'None of your business". (By the way Mickey, this constituent is still waiting for your explanation, and it is my business). This is another one that would need to go in 2012 to restore civility.

Nobody agrees with everybody all the time. Straub is very passionate in what he believes. I don't always agree with his methodology, but he does care.

Unfortunately it's too late for me to move to Ward III to vote for him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great Scott.......Part 2

Well, it looks like the Shawnee Dispatch has rendered an opinion on this situation (see my blog post below from January 30, 2010....."Great Scott!!!!!!.........Is She Moving?????)

In an editorial dated 2/10/10 the Dispatch calls for Ms Scott's resignation. The editorial can be viewed at

As pointed out, Cheryl Scott could have resigned in time for the seat to be placed on the spring election ballot. The resignation could have also had an effective date to coincide with the election, so she would not have had to leave office prior to then.

When she does resign, the only way her replacement will chosen by the voters is if the council does not act within 60 days and then the matter would go to a special election. Highly unlikely because of costs.

The only question that remains is did Ms Scott choose to delay her resignation or was she encouraged by others to do so? And if she was encouraged to delay the resignation by others, who are they?

A resignation is in order, now!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another Modification to the Crystal Ball Post I've received an email from Jessica Marshall basically standing by the use of the term "abatement";

Her email is quoted below and she included a link to a page on the city's web site:


This is from the city's Web site about the downtown incentive program:

The Downtown Improvement Incentive Program is a 90% tax abatement program that is available for any type of new construction or building improvement that increases the value of a property in the defined Neighborhood Revitalization Area.

The developer says it is one thing, the reporter says it is something else.

OK's my take.........Read the submitted documentation and decide for yourself which it is. Or, could it be both?

Let's Modify the Crystal Ball Post

I received an email from Kevin Tubbesing. Apparently, what his project is eligible for is a rebate not an abatement, and as such there is no cost to the taxpayers. Shame on me for quoting a reporter from the Sun.

The content of the email is as follows and should clarify the situation:

I do appreciate your attention to the project I am bringing to downtown, but I would ask that you reconsider what appears to me to be a negative tone toward the incentive. As you will see in the attached public documents, this property falls within a downtown revitalization district and is therefore subject to a rebate - not abatement - of taxes generated from improvements to the property. In other words there is no cost to the taxpayer as without the improvement the property value the corresponding taxes would remain unchanged.

Thank you for considering."

The documents he refers to can be viewed at:




Sidebar: I sure hope that the Sun makes the change from abatement to rebate also. Especially since they have a substantially larger number of readers.

Sun Publications Has a Crystal Ball

A recent article in the Jouhnson County Sun was about Stag Commercial Properties acquiring the Commerce Bank Building. The article goes on to explain what the owner of Stag has in mind.

Very interesting and can be read at

One thing about the article that has me confused is this statement:

"Tubbesing will (emphasis added) receive a tax abatement as part of the city’s Downtown Improvement Incentive Program, which is available for new construction or building improvement that increases the value of a property in the Neighborhood Revitalization Area. Loans and grants also are available for downtown business owners."

Since tax abatements have to be voted on before anybody will receive them I guess the writer of the article must have a crystal ball. Maybe the writer can pick out the next winning lottery number for me? Redevelopment/revitalization is good.................but how does one know ahead of time how the council will vote?

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Revisiting The Trashman

See my previous post of January 26th, 2010 "The Trashman Cometh"

I am really concerned that administratively an effort will be made to make it very difficult for more than one trash hauler to be able to actually do business in Shawnee.

The folowing is from the Shawnee Dispatch at:

"Straub said he also was concerned the ordinance would hurt the smaller haulers. He said the cost of buying new containers could hurt them. He also was concerned with the insurance coverage the city was requiring for haulers.

The owners of two smaller hauling companies, Superior Disposal and A-1 Disposal, both said they, too, were concerned about the insurance coverage required, though they thought they could handle the container costs.

Vicki Charlesworth, assistant city manager, said the insurance coverage requirements were recommended by the city’s insurance broker to make sure the city was protected. However, the insurance requirements were listed under the administrative portion of the ordinance, so if the requirements were found to be inappropriate, they could be changed without a vote of the Council before the ordinance took affect.

A handful of residents spoke before the Council, most requesting the ordinance be tabled, but Meyers emphasized again that what the county decided shouldn’t have a major effect on what the city was doing.

Straub added that he thought there should have been more public notice about the ordinance vote and said he thought some on the Council were trying to rush it through, though Meyers said no one wanted to rush it through and he resented the implication."

In the above, who would be the one(s) to determine if the insurance requirements were found to be inappropriate? Think about that one.

A few months ago, Councilmember Straub started a petition web site to get folks to sign up to indicate whether they wanted to have a choice in who did their trash hauling and recycling. Ironically he was publicly excoriated for that by the council president, Dawn Kuhn (I commented about that at the time, felt she was wrong, and he was right).

Straub and the other three incumbents (Distler, Pflumm, Goode) up for reelection have been at the forefront in attempting to maintain choice for the citizens of Shawnee in this matter. They need to be able to continue to do everything to provide oversight of this matter. If not, it is possible that the city could wind up with a single hauler by default.

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