Sunday, November 27, 2011

Council & Planning Commission Workshop

Last Monday, 11/21/11 the City Council and the City Planning Commission held a workshop primarily focused on economic development.

It was a somewhat interesting evening.

One of the few intelligent comments of the evening came from Commissioner Tom Beckenbaugh when he said that Shawnee needed a magnet to draw people to it.  Hmmmmmm, I liked that, and as any reader of this blog would know, that is something I've been saying.

Much time was devoted to the proposed business/industrial park at 43d and K-7.  But, will a business/industrial park be a magnet?  It can bring tax paying businesses to Shawnee, but is it a magent that brings tourism and strong economic injections to the city?  Is it a magnet that will draw folks down from the Village West complex after their races, concerts and other mass public gatherings.

Granted, when those events occur the 200 or so hotel rooms fill up and some restaurants see a slight uptick in business.  But we don't get the heavy influx that a magnet attraction would bring...........from those events and year round.

Most of the discussions were monopolized by council reps Jeff  (I'm in commercial real estate) Vaught and Dawn (motormouth) Kuhn..  Vaught never misses the opportunity to tell us what he does for a living, and usually multiple times in the same evening.  Ironically, if one goes back they will see that for a commercial development real estate person his knowledge of the International Building Code was very limited (as to what it covers).  And Kuhn was sounding more like a candidate on the stump than a council person.

Curiously Vaught seemed to be pushing, among other things, redevelopment.  This was ironic since at a committee meeting I could swear I heard him tell another council rep that redevelopment was not economic development.

There was an exciting moment when council member Sandifer took offense (quite angrily too) at a comment by Vaught that seemed to be a nasty reference to how/where Sandifer was raised.  Funny also, because Vaught was critical in the past of former council member Straub's actions/comments at council meetings.