Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All We Can Do is Watch

Look what is going to be happening at the Kansas Speedway this summer!!


Read the article above. See what all the talk is about. A two day music festival, at the speedway, drawing upwards of 100,000 people, each day.

We sit right down the road from there. And what kind of bleed off are we going to get from there? What do we have along the I-435 corridor that would draw a large number of those folks to spend money in Shawnee? While Village West continues to grow what has Shawnee done to attract any strong development along that corridor? We spent money for a study. Whoopeeee!!!

I know. We could send tour buses up to Village West and offer folks a tour of the largest landfill in the midwest. Then, after that, Dawn Kuhn could take them on a side tour to see where the new Burger King is going in.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Last Tuesday, 4/19/11 the council's Public Works and Safety Committee had its monthly meeting.

One of the items on the agenda concerned the policy about mowing rights of way. In some cases it is the home owner's responsibility, in other case the city's. Basically it appears that the committee was trying to make the policy uniform in nature with specific guidelines.

The above is a subject that cannot be gone into in just a few paragraphs here, and yes, I do have my thoughts on this subject. Especially with regards to some specific areas that were mentioned.

What bothered me was the committee chairperson, Dawn Kuhn just flat out lying to a member of the public over what some may consider an inconsequential matter.

An elderly gentleman got up and complained about his hearing aids being broken and that he could not hear what was being said even with the PA system that we have.

Ms. Kuhn's response to this was:

"These are not PA system microphones. They are purely recording microphones, for our minutes and our, uh, for the record of the meeting so it doesn't matter how loud we speak into them or how closely we are they will not amplify our voices."

If they aren't connected to the PA system why did the assistant city manager head to the room where the equipment is stored when this was going on? If they aren’t connected to the PA system, then how come every time I get up to speak, I tap the mike to make sure it's on and you can hear the thump?

Other examples that they are connected to the PA system:

When the council chambers are filled to capacity the proceedings can be piped into the lobby and also into the council's conference room.

My point here is that if Ms. Kuhn, a seven year veteran of the council, having served 2 years as council president and currently is the chairperson of this committee would lie to a resident about something as picayune as this, what else would she lie about?

A cup of coffee says Kuhn will try and do some kind of Tijuana Two Step on this. Oh, her quote above is not from my memory, but from a CD of the meeting.

Good starts with being honest with residents, especially senior citizens.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Numbers Are In

Well, the numbers are in.

The four individuals who went to the National League of Cities spent a total of $8,563.03. This does not include the little over $700 that was paid in advance for Councilmember Jaff Vaught who did not go.

I'll have to check with the city manger on that. In the last email I received from her on that subject she said "The City has requests in to the airline and to NLC to have the amounts credited. Review processes are underway for each."

Anyway the four people who went were: Mayor Meyers, Councilmembers Neighbor and Sandifer, and City Manager Gonzales. In my opinion that was two more people than was needed, especially in these tight fiscal times. As predicted in a post of mine prior to the trip, Mickey Sandifer spent the most money and stayed the most number of days in DC. He personally was responsible for $3,034.55 of the total amount spent.

Also, as mentioned in a post prior to the trip, our delegation stayed at the primary convention hotel. Sandifer was 5 nights , the other three were 3 nights each.

A more detailed breakdown is shown below:
(You can click on the image for a larger view)

As a reminder, in a post on 2/6/11 I indicated which cities were planning on sending folks to this conference. Shawnee, Olathe and Prairie Village all planned on 5. Mission planned on 4 and Roeland Park was looking at 1. The following cities were not planning on sending anybody Lenexa, Merriam, Overland Park, Leawood, Topeka and the UG of Wy Co and KCK.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Thank You Mr. Mayor

In the Spring/Summer 2011 City Line newsletter (available here: http://gsh.cityofshawnee.org/pdf/events/CityLine/CityLine_Spring_11.pdf )
Mayor Jeff Meyers makes various comments about folks getting involved in city government. Among these comments are:

"It is my desire that every citizen and every business feel a part of Shawnee and its City government. Many people don't think about it, but there is no form of government that is closer to you and has more impact on your daily life than your City government."

"The impact of your City government on your everyday life is tremendous."

"It is because that impact is so significant that your engagement is so important."

These comments seem to echo many comments I've made over an extended period of time. The difference being the mayor says it so eloquently and diplomatically, where I've said that the citizens of Shawnee are disgustingly apathetic. Especially when it comes to what happens in their city. Their participation in city elections stinks. Their participation in representative government stinks. The facts confirm that.