Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Response by the KSRA to Jeff Vaught

Councilman Jeff Vaught sent out an email and posted an item on his blog with some comments directed towards the KSRA (Kansas State Rifle Assoc.).  Patricia Stoneking, President of the KSRA has responded to those comments, a copy of which is posted below:

Mr. Vaught, again you have your facts wrong and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

The KSRA PAC had 55 donors in 2011, not 12. Certainly as someone who ran for office you must know that your Campaign Finance report reflects donations that are not itemized. So if you are going to espouse specific figures, let’s get them right. I would want to believe that your level of education affords you the knowledge of what it means to take things out of context and that is exactly what you have done.

The KSRA PAC was established by the KSRA in 2009 for the purposes of being more effective in promoting pro Second Amendment individuals to local and state offices. The KSRA is a 501(c)4 affording it the privilege of being involved in politics and legislation. The PAC was established as the vehicle to use for those ends so that we could achieve what our 8000+ members expect us to. Apparently you find something insidious about the organization donating to its own efforts. We are accountable only to our members and to the Ethics Commission and it is absolutely absurd to insinuate that there is something wrong with the KSRA allocating money to a wing of its organization to assist in achieving its goals. You might wish to check your math as well because the PAC raised $5501.52 in 2011 whereas your figures add up to $4600.00. I digress for a moment and point out you must have forgotten about all of those small donations that are not itemized. I’m sure to the logical person these facts shed a different light.

Additionally Mr. Vaught, individuals who care deeply about their Constitutional Second Amendment rights and have the means to make sizeable donations will always be the largest donors. When the first Ethics Commission Report for 2012 is filed on July 30, 2012 for the period January 1, 2012 through July 26, 2012 you can then add a few more equally large donors to your list of people who you can accuse of trying to buy the elections. Your rhetoric in this regard is deplorable.

Regarding your comments as follows: “First, you need to know about me. I'm a long time NRA member, conceal carry supporter, avid sportsman, and I have always been a defender of the Constitution, especially the 2nd Amendment. My concern with Ms. Stoneking's comments is the implication that Shawnee has tried to pass ordinances taking away resident's gun rights. Where and when?? The last thing we did was lessened the restrictions on deer management (led by me). Here is a link to Shawnee's ordinances. Enter 3003 in the search box or the word 'gun'.” “There has been any nonsense coming out of Shawnee City Council regarding firearms nor has there been any controversy in recent years. In fact, City Manager Carol Gonzales has never gotten a complaint on a weapons issue, never! If this is such an issue, why has no one ever addressed it to the city manager? Also, when we updated some language in late 2011 in regards to firearms, I attempted to contact Mike Egan to get his input. He never returned my calls. And, not one person form KSRA or any other pro gun organization was at the meeting to voice their concerns. I read the language of it carefully to make sure that we weren't infringing on the rights of gun owners and I don't believe we did. So again Ms. Stoneking, can you please give me some examples of what you are talking about.”

Considering that you were only elected in 2010 and sworn in to office on April 12, 2010 you are obviously not aware of all of the issues that we have dealt with. Here are just two examples.

On September 1, 2011 I was contacted by a concerned party about AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 9.13 OF THE SHAWNEE MUNICIPAL CODE REGULATING THE USE, DISCHARGE, AND POSSESSION OF WEAPONS AND FIREARMS WITHIN THE CITY OF SHAWNEE. I have attached a copy for your reference. I was asked to review the ordinance, which I did, and I found that proper exemptions for those with Concealed Carry Permits were not in place on several provisions. I then contacted the City Attorney and received a call back from Karen Torline on September 6, 2011 and spent a great deal of time reviewing the changes that needed to be made with her. On September 13, 2011 I received a copy of the revised ordinance incorporating the changes and corrections I asked for. I have attached a copy of that for your records as well. I will suggest to you that a Second Amendment friendly administration would have easily known that the exemptions would be a critical part of the ordinance. Of course it was not hard to reach that conclusion and based upon the fact that you state “I read the language of it carefully to make sure that we weren't infringing on the rights of gun owners and I don't believe we did.”, it’s a good thing I reviewed it and requested the changes as you obviously did not identify the need.

During the 2008 Kansas Legislative Session KSRA supported the passage of The Emergency Powers Act. It became law July 1, 2008. This Act expressly prohibits any jurisdiction of this state regarding confiscation of firearms during a disaster or national, state or local emergency. On August 11, 2008 your City Manager and Councilwoman Dawn Kuhn advocated for changes to the Shawnee Emergency Preparedness for Disasters ordinance that allowed for the confiscation of firearms during those times of emergency. Councilwoman Michelle Distler brought to everyone’s attention that the provisions in 2.04.065 possibly needed to be changed to be in line with state law. Even City Attorney Rainey conceded there were “obviously very significant and substantial questions”. However, disturbing discussion took place at that meeting as well as the September 8, 2008 meeting with several wanting to go ahead and pass it with the illegal provisions and that was brought to our attention by a concerned party, after which we felt intervention was necessary. I provided Councilwoman Michelle Distler with copies of the state statute concerning this subject so that she could present that material to the City Manager, City Attorney, Mayor and City Council Members. We had multiple lengthy discussions to ensure that she understood the state law and could present it to the interested parties. Following are links to the minutes from the three meetings in which this matter was discussed. The discussion that took place should be an eye opener for you.

Mr. Vaught, I don’t need to attend your meetings. The KSRA has eyes and ears everywhere in this state. It’s called grassroots activism. When something is awry I always hear about it and I will always respond as appropriate. My time is valuable sir and the work that needs to be done is accomplished without having to attend your meetings to police everything you do. Our interest is only in Second Amendment issues and we don’t feel compelled to sit through hours of business having nothing to do with that. Our members are going to call us. It’s why they are members. I cannot answer for them as to why they did not complain to your City Manager other than to say the average citizen is not an expert in Second Amendment legislation or ordinances and they are members so they can depend on professionals who have a great deal of expertise and knowledge such as I and my board have.

This public dialogue began with your vitriolic and unwarranted statements at the council meeting earlier this week because you are obviously unhappy that the KSRA PAC has endorsed candidates that you do not like. As I’ve already stated, we have every legitimate right to make endorsements and/or grade candidates for any office we choose. It is quite perplexing that you have made such blatantly false and serious accusations. As a sitting councilman who is not up for reelection you do so at great peril as you might find yourself having to work with those folks. Your actions are obviously personally motivated.

As a side note, I have read your blog and I also received an email from you and you disparage the Kansas Legislature, the Republican Party Leadership, the Republican Caucus, “a State Representative”, “several organizations and associations” and calling people liars, calling members of the Republican Party “rogue” and “righter than right” all in the light that they have committed some terrible offense but claim you are concerned about the perception of your city. YOU are a representative of your city, the others are not. Couple that with your statements regarding KSRA and I’ll just close by giving you a morsel of wisdom. If you think someone has done something wrong, doing wrong yourself is never the solution and only makes you as guilty as those you accuse. Those who wish to truly bring people together pave the path to peace, not throw gasoline on the fire.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Few Items

Has anyone else noticed that the incumbents and their spokesperson(s) have avoided the challengers' comments about the incumbents' votes on certain issues?  The challengers apparently disagree with the way some of the incumbents have voted on the council.  Yet the incumbents do not answer as to why they voted for those items and refuse to defend their actions as such.  Maybe it's because they can't defend some of those votes.  For some of those votes check the post "The Real Voting Record" 3/21/12 by scrolling down.

Daily chuckle:  Jim Neighbor's ad this week in the Shawnee Dispatch where he references his "reelection campaign".  Jim, you can't be in a reelection campaign, because you never were elected in the first place.  You were appointed.  So this is your "election campaign".  Stop trying to mislead people by making them think you had been elected.

Will Jeff Vaught query his ward mate and get the questions about who she is answered? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letter to Mayor Jeff Meyers

I have just sent the following by email to the mayor.  If he responds, I will publish that here.
- -- --- --- --- --- ---- ---       -- ------    - ----------------    --------------      ------------

Dear Jeff,

Reference is made to the recent council meeting of Monday 3/26/12 and Council Member Jeff Vaught’s comments. And, I will explain how I feel this reflects on you.

I am sure you are aware that it is upsetting that he said I had no stake in Shawnee since I do not pay property taxes direct. He did say he realizes that the amount is included in the rent but unlike him I do not have a statement showing that type of item.

Vaught’s comments were indicative of an individual who believes that renters as opposed to owners are in a different class and cannot have a stake in the city they live in. Apparently he truly does not understand the concept of the property taxes being included in the rent. Nor does he probably understand that renters pay personal property taxes on their vehicles, sales taxes, franchise fees, ad nauseam, all to the benefit of the city. And, by renting, in my case, contributing to $235,000 in property taxes.

Using Vaught’s concept that renters don’t have a stake makes me wonder what his feelings are about the current State Rep in the 23rd District, Brett Hildabrand (Shawnee/Merriam) and his immediate predecessor, Milack Talia. Mr. Hildabrand currently resides in an apartment, and did so at the time of his election.

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Talia also lived in an apartment at the time of his election and then subsequently moved into a private residence. Would he care to tell these two gentlemen that they don’t/didn’t have a stake in the 23rd District because they are/were renters?

Now how does this reflect upon you? As the mayor of Shawnee you are supposed to be the mayor of Shawnee, not the mayor of one group of residents. When a council member says that just because a person rents they do not have a stake in their city, then it was incumbent upon you to set him straight. That all persons living in Shawnee have a stake in the city. You failed to say anything about that? Does that mean that you agree with him that renters do not have a stake in the city? Over the years I have heard you admonish speakers who, in your opinion, were disrespectful to members of the council. In this case a member of the council disrespected an entire group of people and you sir, said nothing.

Your silence and inaction at the meeting on this item would lead me to believe that you give tacit approval to his commentary on that subject.


Part II of Is Dawn Kuhn Really Dawn Kuhn?

The original post on this subject was last Thursday 3/22/12 and can be viewed by just scrolling down to it.

We know now, and verified by the city that Dawn Kuhn is getting paid as Dawn White.  This despite the fact that all of her documents (including financials) connected with her filings for office are listed as Kuhn..

It gets stranger.  After submitting a KORA (Kansas Open Records Act) request the city has confirmed that she has submitted reimbursements for expenses and been paid accordingly under the name of Dawn Kuhn.

So, she gets paid her city council salary as White, but gets her city expenses as Kuhn. 

Since she represents her bank as Kuhn, I wonder:  Are they paying her as Kuhn or as White?  This could get real interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

KSRA Responds to Vaught's Comments

I have received an email from the President of the KSRA (Kansas State Rifle Association) in regards to Councilmember Vaught's comments last night.  The KSRA is the local affiliate of the NRA.

Here are those comments:

Over the last several years the Mayor and certain members of the City Council of Shawnee, KS have repeatedly moved to pass city ordinances regarding firearms that are NOT legal, contrary to state law and not
even in the purview of local control. Those actions have resulted in the KSRA receiving a multitude of complaints from members who live in Shawnee. The KSRA has intervened each time to stop those ordinances from being passed.

When elected officials try to run over its citizens on Second Amendment issues it is our job to promote candidates for election that will not waste the tax payers money trying to promote gun control.

Jeff Vaught, Shawnee Councilman, had the audacity to declare in the council meeting March 26th that the KSRA PAC is doing the bidding of Shawnee resident Mike Egan because he is one of our biggest
contributors and alleged that we are trying to "buy the election". No Mr. Vaught, you are dead wrong and your statement is ludicrous. There is NO "secret" agenda. We've been quite public about it. We are
promoting Second Amendment friendly candidates so we can quit spending our time keeping you in check. We've grown weary of the nonsense coming out of the Shawnee City Council regarding firearms laws.

We are not the only group who seems to have a problem with the actions of the current officials. There are other organizations and interested parties who are also supporting the opposing candidates. To hear Mr.
Vaught tell it we have some kind of grand conspiracy going on that even includes Representative John Rubin. The KSRA PAC has every right to endorse candidates that it feels will protect the Second Amendment.
It is the reason the KSRA PAC exists and what our contributors and members expect us to do, none of which, including Mike Egan, have any say whatsoever on who is endorsed. We have a specific and logical
method for evaluating candidates and endorsements are a result of that evaluation. It is commonplace for organizations such as the KSRA PAC to make endorsements in any race it feels elected officials should be

For those who would like to hear Mr. Vaught's statements, you can listen to the audio recording here. It is towards the end of the audio recording at about 25:00.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An Interesting Evening

The council meeting was really interesting this evening.  And, as Jeff Vaught said, I’d probably be blogging about it.

First, he questioned the KSRA (Kansas State Rifle Assoc.) endorsements of certain challengers for city office.  He wanted to know what did that have to do with Shawnee?  Suffice it to say over the years there have been various items that have come up before council about the use of firearms.  And most recently about hunting within the city limits.  Also, a couple of years ago his ward mate attempted to introduce an ordinance that would allow for the confiscation of weapons if the mayor declared a state of emergency.  If my memory serves me, that got shot down (no pun intended) because it violated state law.

He also ranted and raved about Mike Egan, quoting from comments that Egan made at a 2009 council meeting.  Ironically, he wouldn’t be able to do that now, since we no longer have detailed minutes (he voted against them).  That is, unless we want to listen to the audio CD and then play transcriber ourselves.

He alleges that Egan was running a slate against the incumbents, and that Egan owned the KSRA and the KFL (Kansans for Life).  If that is the case, how come the KFL endorsed Sandifer?  

Then he proceeded to rant about me.  He said that I do not have a stake in Shawnee because I don’t have a tax receipt.  He admitted that the taxes were part of my rent but because I didn’t have a tax statement that made a difference.  That is the height of arrogant snobbishness.  History lesson Mr. Vaught…….there was a time when only white, male, landowners could vote in this country, but that got changed, over a period of time.  Would Vaught have us go backwards?  When property taxes go up, rents go up.  When franchise fees, sales taxes, etc. are levied, we pay them too.

Now, what stake does he have in this country?  Did he ever serve in the military?  Even in peace time?  Even in the guard or reserve, ready to go if necessary?  I personally did four years, including a year in Nam.  But let’s bring it to his generation.  He is 2 years/4 months older than my oldest son.  Now my oldest did his four years from ’88 to ’92, including Desert Storm (1/34th Armor, 1st Inf Division – The Big Red One).  Did Vaught serve, or was he one of those who let other people’s sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, serve in his stead?  Maybe we should make that a requirement to be able to vote?

If you have time, read the info below:

When the Constitution was written, only white male property owners (about 10 to 16 percent of the nation's population) had the vote. Over the past two centuries, though, the term "government by the people" has become a reality. During the early 1800s, states gradually dropped property requirements for voting. Later, groups that had been excluded previously gained the right to vote. Other reforms made the process fairer and easier.
1790 Only white male adult property-owners have the right to vote.
1810 Last religious prerequisite for voting is eliminated.
1850 Property ownership and tax requirements eliminated by 1850. Almost all adult white males could vote.
1855 Connecticut adopts the nation's first literacy test for voting. Massachusetts follows suit in 1857. The tests were implemented to discriminate against Irish-Catholic immigrants.
1870 The 15th Amendment is passed. It gives former slaves the right to vote and protects the voting rights of adult male citizens of any race.
1889 Florida adopts a poll tax. Ten other southern states will implement poll taxes.
1890 Mississippi adopts a literacy test to keep African Americans from voting. Numerous other states—not just in the south—also establish literacy tests. However, the tests also exclude many whites from voting. To get around this, states add grandfather clauses that allow those who could vote before 1870, or their descendants, to vote regardless of literacy or tax qualifications.
1913 The 17th Amendment calls for members of the U.S. Senate to be elected directly by the people instead of State Legislatures.
1915 Oklahoma was the last state to append a grandfather clause to its literacy requirement (1910). In Guinn v. United States the Supreme Court rules that the clause is in conflict with the 15th Amendment, thereby outlawing literacy tests for federal elections.
1920 The 19th Amendment guarantees women's suffrage.
1924 Indian Citizenship Act grants all Native Americans the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote in federal elections.
1944 The Supreme Court outlaws "white primaries" in Smith v. Allwright (Texas). In Texas, and other states, primaries were conducted by private associations, which, by definion, could exclude whomever they chose. The Court declares the nomination process to be a public process bound by the terms of 15th Amendment.
1957 The first law to implement the 15th amendment, the Civil Rights Act, is passed. The Act set up the Civil Rights Commission—among its duties is to investigate voter discrimination.
1960 In Gomillion v. Lightfoot (Alabama) the Court outlaws "gerrymandering."
1961 The 23rd Amendment allows voters of the District of Columbia to participate in presidential elections.
1964 The 24th Amendment bans the poll tax as a requirement for voting in federal elections.
1965 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., mounts a voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama, to draw national attention to African-American voting rights.
1965 The Voting Rights Act protects the rights of minority voters and eliminates voting barriers such as the literacy test. The Act is expanded and renewed in 1970, 1975, and 1982.
1966 The Supreme Court, in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, eliminates the poll tax as a qualification for voting in any election. A poll tax was still in use in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia.
1966 The Court upholds the Voting Rights Act in South Carolina v. Katzenbach.
1970 Literacy requirements are banned for five years by the 1970 renewal of the Voting Rights Act. At the time, eighteen states still have a literacy requirement in place. In Oregon v. Mitchell, the Court upholds the ban on literacy tests, which is made permanent in 1975. Judge Hugo Black, writing the court's opinion, cited the "long history of the discriminatory use of literacy tests to disenfranchise voters on account of their race" as the reason for their decision.
1971 The 26th amendment sets the minimum voting age at 18.
1972 In Dunn v. Blumstein, the Supreme Court declares that lengthy residence requirements for voting in state and local elections is unconstitutional and suggests that 30 days is an ample period.
1995 The Federal "Motor Voter Law" takes effect, making it easier to register to vote.
2003 Federal Voting Standards and Procedures Act requires states to streamline registration, voting, and other election procedures.

Ward IV Election....McAfee is a Breath of Fresh Air

Yep, Dylan McAfee is young.  He hasn't learned how to snow folks like the incumbent, Mickey Sandifer.

Anyway, without going into total detail today, I'll refer you to three recent posts in this blog.  Just scroll down to read them, and you'll see why Dylan McAfee would be a breath of fresh air for Ward IV on the Shawnee City Council.

"Sandifer Should Be Ashamed" 3/14/12

"Sandifer Gets an "F" in Understanding Property Taxes" 3/10/12

"Did Sandifer Stick His Foot in His Mouth?" 3/8/12

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Who is Jim Neighbor Kidding?

Gee Jim, do you really think you can tap dance around and fool people?

In his ad that appeared in the hard copy of the Shawnee Dispatch 3/21/12 on page 7 he makes some statements in his bid to get votes:

"Jim Neighbor retired as a Captain with United Airlines after 34 years of flying.  He prepares for Council meetings with the same attention to detail as he did planning each flight."

How do we know that you are well prepared?  Because you say so?  Because a member of the community said that a few weeks ago (see my post Macheers Makes Sense, below).? We don't know how well prepared you are because you hardly ever say anything.  We very seldom know why you vote the way you do, because you do not express your opinions.  You function more like a wind up doll, casting a vote based on possibly what you've been told to do.  By the way, civility at council meetings does not mean keeping your mouth shut. 

Jim Neighbor has never missed a budget planning session or a council meeting vote on the budget or when tax dollars are spent.

It's nice to know that you get a perfect attendance award.  But it is obvious that you do not wish to publicize your voting record.  Why do you emphasize your attendance record rather than your voting record?  Is it because your voting record would be considered not to be in Shawnee's best interests?  Like voting for the CID at 10 Quivira Plaza?  Like voting to eliminate detailed meeting minutes?

Tell us, how do you feel about the way you were appointed to the council, rather than an election being called?  What about Cheryl Scott's delayed resignation?  What do you think about that?  And then, when there was no election scheduled, that it would appear you were not the best qualified to be appointed? 

Folks in Ward 1, please strongly consider Charles Macheers over Jim Neighbor on election day, April 3, 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Dawn Kuhn Really Dawn Kuhn?

Why is the City of Shawnee paying councilmember Dawn Kuhn as Dawn White?

The Kansas Policy Institute has a web site and on the site they publish information about various Kansas government entities.  For selected cities payroll information is published showing the employee’s name, position title and pay for the year designated.

For the years 2009 & 2010 (the only years showing for Shawnee) the site does not show Dawn Kuhn as a councilmember, but does show Dawn White.  All other councilmember names were correct.  When they were queried as to the possibility of a mistake, the response was that they used information as provided by the city under a KORA (Kansas Open Records Act) request.

Without going into an item by item breakdown of what occurred next (I do have the backup documents) the city confirmed that the information that was on the web site was the information they (the city) had provided.  Additionally, the city confirmed that if I asked for the same information, that I would be given the same listing.  Therefore, that means that White is who is showing up on city payroll records.

Let’s look at facts:  Dawn Kuhn filed to run for public office as Dawn Kuhn.  She is a registered voter under that name.  She has taken the oath of office (verbally and in writing) as Dawn Kuhn.  Her name is on the tax rolls for her property as such.  She votes on the council on city issues under that name.  She makes motions and seconds motions under that name. Most likely (since she is a registered voter) her driver’s license is probably Kuhn also.

Now, let’s look at what Kuhn does for a living in her non-governmental working environment.  She is a Vice President/Banking Center Manager for Bank Midwest. And that shows on both the bio information she has submitted, and on her business card.  Common sense is that in that capacity she has to from time to time sign various documents as an officer of the bank.  So now the questions beg to be answered: Would a bank pay an officer under one name but let that person identify themselves under another name?  Would a bank pay a person under one name and allow that person to sign on behalf of the bank under another name?  Unlike government agencies, banks are not subject to KORA so there is no way I can ask them.  But somebody needs to.  If she is getting paid by the bank as Kuhn (which would make sense) then that brings up other questions.

Is this deception?  Is it fraud?  Or is it OK?  I don’t know, but I think this situation needs to be reviewed by both the JoCo Election Office and the JoCo DA’s office.

Sidebar:  As of today the 2011 information is now on that web site and it still shows Dawn M White.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Real Voting Record

Recently, the Shawnee Dispatch had an article about “voting records”.  The article at referred to the voting habits of incumbent and challenger candidates for the city’s upcoming election for council and mayor.  Basically which elections did they vote in. 

Any reader of this blog knows that I feel very strongly about citizen participation in the electoral process. 

By the same token, there is another voting record history that could possibly be just as, if not more important.  That history is how the incumbents voted on various items that came before them.  So, let’s look at some of those issues  (ward numbers are in parentheses):

5/14/07 Voted to spend $3.5 million for the Monticello Rd fiasco which is going nowhere, and in which some citizens lost their homes:
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Sawyer (2)

4/26/10 Voted to spend $67,500 to build a 115 foot temporary connection from 57th St to Oak Valley West Shopping Center:
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Jeff Meyers, as mayor, voted for it to break a tie

 7/24/06 Voted to raise property taxes 17%, the most in Shawnee history:
                Sandifer (4)
                Sawyer (2)
                Kuhn (3)
                Jeff Meyers, as mayor, voted for it to break a tie

8/24/09  Voted to charge residents a 5% fee on their utilities
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Sawyer (2)
                Jeff Meyers, as mayor, voted for it to break a tie (actually four ties, four separate ordinances)

8/8/11  Voted to institute a ½% sales tax for shopping at the Ten Quivira Plaza Shopping Center
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Neighbor (1)

2/14/11  Voted to eliminate detailed written minutes of council meetings
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Sawyer (2)
                Neighbor (1)

1/25/10  Voted for the new trash laws
                Sandifer (4)
                Kuhn (3)
                Sawyer (2)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Macheers Makes Sense

Charles Macheers makes alot of sense and should be elected as the new councuil member in Ward 1 to replace Jim Neighbor.

Want to know what he stands for?  Just go here

Funny thing happened prior to a council meeting a few weeks ago.  Another member of the community came up to me and said regardless of how he got into office (Neighbor was the beneficiary of the Cheryl Scott debacle), that Neighbor was the most prepared of all the council people prior to each meeting.  This person then added, that he felt that way, even though Neighbor hardly ever opened his mouth to explain his position or why he was in favor or against any item.  He just usually keeps his mouth shut and then votes.  So, how did this individual come to the conclusion that he was the "best prepared"?

Anyway, Charles Macheers would be a heck of an improvement.  Especially when one considers that Neighbor voted for the 5% CID at 10 Quivira and voted to eliminate the detailed council meeting minutes.  Naughty, naughty, Neighbor

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's Up Doc?

As we get closer to the election I feel it is necessary to comment again on the Ward 2 council race between Dr. Mike Kemmling and Neal Sawyer.

On Feb 8th this year I posted my primary reasons for supporting Mike Kemmling.  To those reasons I feel it is important to add that Neal Sawyer voted for the 5% franchise fee.

Different items mean different things to people.  Neal's vote for Jim Neighbor, was, to me, an insult to the folks in Ward 1, and to the democratic process itself.  He, like some of his colleagues were basically turning a blind eye to the machinations that were occurring.  And, his stand on the detail minutes elimination was also IMHO a swipe at the rights of the people.

So, again, I must say that I hope the voters of Ward 2 go with Mike Kemmling.

If you don't want to scroll down to my 2/8 posting I'll copy it below:

Mike Kemmling is challenging Neal Sawyer in the Ward 2 council race.

In an earlier post I indicated that I preferred Mike Kemmling over Neal Sawyer. 

This was the toughest of the five positions for me to take sides.  I like Neal.  He always has acted like a gentleman on the council.  So why would I choose Mike Kemmling for the council seat.

There have been many issues where Neal has said, what I feel to be the right things, but then has voted the opposite.  On verious occasions before his vote he explains this.

Two items that he voted for stand out to me.  He voted for the appointment of Jim Neighbor to the vacant Ward 1 seat caused by the Cheryl Scott debacle.  He voted to eliminate full minutes of council poceedings.

These two items bother me as they, IMHO, take away certain rights of the citizens of the community.  One right is to select their representative, the other being full transparency of what the governing body does.

I think it's time for a change in Ward 2 and feel that Mike Kemmling will bring a new perspective to the council.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sandifer Should Be Ashamed

Recently incumbent 4th Ward  councilmember Mickey Sandifer sent out a mailer, and among other things, has said regarding his opponent Dylan McAfee:

My supporters tell me he has been spinning some fanciful tales about my record as your City Councilman.  Unanswered, such tales can be damaging to a campaign.  Please contact me with any questions you have regarding my bid for re-election.  You can reach me at 913-268-5348.

Why does Mickey want folks to call him?  Simple, so he can hand them a line of nonsense and not be held accountable.  If he put his comments in writing then he could be held accountable.

Dylan McAfee has been basically saying the same things he has in his brochure.  Here is a small sampling of them:

1.        “Since April 2004 my opponent has taken numerous non-essential trips and spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel during tough economic times and publicly stated during the September 14, 2009 City Council Meeting that his travel is nobody’s business.”
(I personally have detailed many of Sandifer’s trips on this blog, and heard first hand the comment he made at a council meeting, Dylan’s comment is accurate)
2.       “July 24, 2006 my opponent voted to raise property tax 17% - The most in Shawnee History.”
(check the minutes….he did)
3.       “On February 14, 2011 my opponent voted to remove the transparency of city council business by voting to remove detailed written minutes.” (check the minutes…he did)
4.       “On April 25, 2010 my opponent voted to spend $67,500 to build a 115-foot temporary connection from 57th Street to Oak Valley West shopping center. “(he did…it’s in the minutes)
5.       “On August 24, 2009 my opponent voted to charge residents a 5% fee on their utilities.” (he did…it’s in the minutes.)
6.       “On August 8, 2011 my opponent voted to charge residents an extra 1/2% sales tax for shopping in the Ten Quivira Plaza shopping center to pay for the developers improvements.” (He did…it’s in the minutes)

So again, why does Sandifer want folks to call him?  Because he can’t refute these statements in writing.  Many of Sandifer’s actions have a negative effect on senior citizens.  A group he says he cares about.  He’s just upset that a “grandson” is more concerned about what happens to “grandma and grandpa” than he is.

Oh, if you go to Dylan’s web site he has links to the various city council minutes so you can see for yourself

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Election campaigns.  Wow, can they get interesting.

Now we have individuals claiming that the challengers for council and mayor are spreading lies.  Believe Jeff Vaught is one of those making those claims.

For Vaught's sake, let's keep it real simple.  When a challenger claims that an opponent is for or against something, and then can cite the opponent's vote on the issue, including the date, how can that be a lie?

What is a lie?  Is a lie when Vaught failed to be totally forthcoming during the CID hearings.  You remember, when he tried to show that Liberty, MO had 2 CIDs and that both had grocery stores.  He failed to advise folks that in Missouri consumers pay less taxes on food than on non-food items in grocery stores.  Was that a failure of him to do his research properly?  Or did somebody feed him the information?  Or, was he lying by omission?  Whatever, he wasn't totally straightforward.

Oh, I know, it's only fibbing when his wardmate, Motormouth Kuhn can't even be honest with an elderly citizen. Remember, when an elderly gentleman asked for the volume to be turned up at a council meeting and Kuhn said the mikes weren't part of the PA system.  And they are.............but that wasn't lying, that was just misinforming or something like that...............right?  Couldn't have been lying as Vaught never said anything, and the poor elderly gentleman was left struggling to hear what was going on.

Oh well, am sure there are other times when Vaught let things least for those who he supports, or who tell him what to say.  But he can accuse the challengers of lying, when they are telling the truth.  Golly gee, he is a confused person, at least in my opinion.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sandifer Gets an "F" in Understanding Property Taxes

This quote is from Mickey Sandifer's recent on line questionnaire with the Shawnee Dispatch which can be read at

I am a homeowner familiar with all the tax obligations associated with owning property in Shawnee.

He went on to indicate that since his opponent lived in an apartment that he (Sandifer) was the better candidate.

I guess that Sandifer does not comprehend how property taxes affect folks who rent apartments.  So, for his benefit, should he read this, I will try and keep it simple, since I'd hate to overtax (no pun intended) Sandifer's brain.

The apartment complex that Dylan McAfee (Sandifer's opponent in the 4th Ward council race) lives in pays over $235,000 a year in property taxes.  That is almost 1/4 of a million dollars.  Now when you divide that by the number of units in the complex, that works out to approximately $550 per unit/per year.  That is, unless you think the ownership is going to give the renters a free pass.  Of course not, they include that in the rent.

Now when you realize how much living space each person has in an apartment, then proportionately it is possible that some renters may actually pay more than some home owners.  The only difference is that the renters don't get a separate bill.  Additionally, apartment renters in Shawnee also pay the 5% franchise fee on utilities.  And, all other utility fees, taxes, etc.  Oh my gosh.  Renters are affected by property taxes and franchise fees (another form of taxation).

It's time for the folks in Ward 4 to realize they have been snowed by Sandifer.  Dylan McAfee would bring youth and a vision of the future to the ward and the city.  And yes, for those who don't know me, I am very comfortable with his youthfulness even though I have grandchildren older than Dylan.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Shawnee Mission Times Endorsements

The Shawnee Mission Times has come up with their endorsements for the City of Shawnee races:

View it here

You will see that the endorsements are:

Eric Jenkins for Mayor -- -- over Jeff Meyers
Charles Macheers - Ward 1 Councilmember -- -- over Jim Neighbor
Mike Kemmling- Ward 2 Councilmember -- over Neal Sawyer
Jim Ferris - Ward 3 Councilmember -- -- over Dawn Kuhn
Dylan McAfee - Ward 4 Councilmember -- over Mickey Sandiver

Did Sandifer Stick His Foot in His Mouth?

Not too long ago (1/24/12) I posted an item here questioning who some of the folks were that were listed as registered to vote at Mickey Sandifer's house.  You can view that at

Now, let's look at Sandifer's answers in the Shawnee Dispatch's candidate's questionnaire at
 where he says in part.............." On a personal note, I would love to see my own children be able to move back to their “hometown” community"  That was in response to a question on affordable housing.

Hmmmmm, are the extra folks regisstered at his house his children who don't live there and he wishes they could move back to their "hometown"?

This is another good reason to vote for Dylan McAfee for city council to replace Sandifer.  Yes, Dylan is young.  Yes, he is not experienced..............especially in what appears to be deception.

Sidebar:  Jeff "BigMouth" Vaught has been ranting lately about what he perceives to be lies by challengers.  Wonder what his comment will be about this.  I am sure he and/or Sandifer will have some kind of Tijuana Two Step answer

Fires in Shawnee

First, let me commend the Shawnee Fire Department and the other cities' units that were involved in battling the three recent apartment house fires.  We also has some individual residence fires at the same time.

Most fires are started because of carelessness.  The Shawnee Dispatch's question this week for its Point of View Panel (which I am on for this year) drew some interesting responses.  That can be viewed at

If a fire occurs, timely notification (smoke alarms) can save lives, reduce injuries and property damage.

I can personally relate to this item.  Twelve years ago the apartment complex I live in was struck three weeks in a row by an arsonist.  The building I lived in at the time was the second target.  Those types of fire are tough to prevent, but reduced injuries and property damage were seen by functioning notification systems.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming

Let's go back in time.  On July 7, 2010 Kevin Straub had a letter published in the Shawnee Dispatch.  Part of his letter took exception with Dawn Kuhn's travel (Ward III council member).  The letter can be read by going here:

Then on July 14th, 2010 another member of the community, an Anthony Vincent wrote in basically  to defend Kuhn.  His letter can be read here:

What happens next?  I chime in with my own comments, and those can be read here:

Now, if you read that letter of mine, and then scroll down, you can see where Mr. Vincent posted an on line comment to my letter.  His comment was:  (emphasis is mine)

In regard to Mr Erlichman's letter above...
If we need 5 people to go to the conference then we should send 5 people, if we need 3 we should send 3, if we need 10 we should send 10, the point is that I trust our elected representatives to come to the proper decision on who should go or not go
I do not want to put the city's interests into the hands of private developers as the conflict of interest is obvious.
As to why a Ms Kuhn stayed two days over I really don't see that as an issue. As long as she didn't use city resources for personal gain then I have no problem with it. A second thought could be that she saved the city money by flying out on a later date with a less expensive ticket.
Picking apart an expense report is not the issue, the REAL issue will be the results of the trip and getting our retail sector back on it's feet. If they succeed then vote them back in and if not vote for someone else but you have to give them latitude to do their jobs.
Anthony Vincent

I think it's time to vote for someone else.

Sidebar:  Kuhn has taken multiple trips to Vegas and each time stayed extra days.  Granted, no extra charges to the city, but by doing that, she didn't have to pay for her travel.

Low Voter Turnout, Again

According to the Shawnee Dispatch, here are the results for the voter turnout in last week's mayoral primary:

"Of 40,272 registered voters in Shawnee, only 3,437 cast ballots in the Feb. 28 primary, according to the Johnson County Election Office’s precinct report. That’s a turnout of 8.5 percent.

Broken down, turnout in Ward I was 10.8 percent, Ward II was 9.3 percent, Ward III was 5.7 percent and Ward IV was 8 percent."

Interesting, that, as usual, Ward III has the worst turnout in the city.  Ahhhhhh, yes, the Ward that gives the city Kuhn and Vaught on the council..............

Sunday, March 04, 2012

On to the General Election

The primary held earlier this week is over, and Eric Jenkins (challenger) and Jeff Meyers (incumbent) move on to the mayoral race.  John Segale with a very poor third place finish is out of the running.

The general election is just a tad over four weeks away, April 3, 2012. 

Time for the citizens of Shawnee to elect four members of the council and the mayor.

It's no secret, I feel that the challengers (listed below)for each office should prevail.

Eric Jenkins for Mayor  over Jeff Meyers

Charles Macheers  Ward 1 Councilmember over Jim Neighbor

Mike Kemmling     Ward 2 Councilmember over Neal Sawyer

Jim Ferris               Ward 3  Councilmember over Dawn Kuhn

Dylan McAfee        Ward 4 Councilmember over Mickey Sandiver

Their web info is shown above so if you'd like you can make a contribution.  It does not need to be large.  Also, a reminder. If you are not happy with the actions of a councilmember who is not in your ward, eventhough you can't vote against them, you can still contribute to their challenger.  That councilmember is a COW (councilmember from other ward).

Friday, March 02, 2012

Shawnee Mission Times

Our post below about Vaught campaigning at the council got picked up by the Shawnee Mission Times

I had to chuckle.  The more I thought about what Vaught said, the funnier it got.  He basically couldn't understand why Eric Jenkins even brought up the subject of right to life, since that is an issue that is not acted on by city governments.

Believe it has something to do with folks wanting to know how an individual stands on a variety of issues, to see if they (the voter) can relate to the candidate.

Guess Vaught just doesn't get it.  So, what else is new?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Vaught Gets the Judge Judy Award

In the past I've mentioned Judge Judy's first book, "Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining".

Well, Monday night Vaught left a bunch of moisture in the council chambers.  In his comments about certain statements being made during this election cycle he seemed to take exception with the fact that the Cheryl Scott affair keeps getting brought up and that nobody on the council could have done anything about it.  That it was totally up to Scott.  That nobody else was involved.

Well a person would have to be either blind or stupid  not to see what had transpired.

Try these two previous posts of mine, which provide a wealth of background information:

That one was from back when it was happening, and then this one, is more recent with lots of other links:

When reading those posts, and any of the others linked from them keep in mind that Scott had sent her letter of resignation to the city manager.  Wrong..............that letter needed to go to the mayor.  A council member does NOT work for the city manager.  The mayor is "next up" in the chain of command.............if you read those links you will see why that is relevant, particularly with what did/did not transpire at a council meeting.

Also, in case you don't read all of the items linked off of the two posts above, remember that when Scott bought her Arizona house, it was the former city clerk that signed as witness to her signature on various documents.