Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking Ahead to July 9th, 2012

On July 9th, 6:00PM, at a special meeting of the city council a replacement for Ward II will be selected.

I decided to look back at the minutes of the 5/10/10 special meeting when Jim Neighbor was selected to replace Cheryl Scott.

It would appear that the major underlying reason given by those who selected him was that he had run against Dan Pflumm. He was available to be appointed since Pflumm won that election.

One of the comments was (from the minutes):

Councilmember Kuhn stated if she is going to have to weight between everyone here, the fact that Mr. Neighbor has walked the doors and heard from his constituents, showed the initiative, and was interested previously is great.

And then, a specific comment by (at the time) newly elected councilmember Jeff Vaught was very intriguing. (from the minutes):

Councilmember Vaught stated he thinks Jim did a heck of job campaigning and got more votes than he did in the election, obviously 640-some people in Ward I like him

What Vaught was apparently referring to were these figures, where Neighbor, even losing to Pflumm got more votes than even Vaught:

Daniel P Pflumm     737 53.02%
Jim Neighbor          649 46.69%

Jeff Vaught             470 52.75%
Dennis Kissinger    409 45.90%

So, let’s look at the recent election, where Dr. Kemmling ran against Neal Sawyer since he is one of those applying to fill the position.

Neal L Sawyer       661 50.42%
Mike Kemmling    650 49.58%

Dr. Kemmling was only 11 votes off the mark (well 12 to win). That was awfully close, maybe the closest in Shawnee history.

Additionally, Dr. Kemmling even out polled Mr. Morris (the individual whose position is being filled at this meeting) when he had run:

David Morris        475 59.15%
Frank C. Goode    324 40.35%

He even pulled more support than recently reelected council member Dawn Kuhn:

Dawn Kuhn       536 56.07%
James Ferris     413 43.20%

So, using the logic from before by some of the very same councilmembers who will be voting this time, it would seem to me that Mike Kemmling falls into the same category.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Five Apply for Ward II Seat

Five people have now applied for the open Ward II council seat caused by the resignation of David Morris.

These five will be interviewed on July 9th as per this from the city's web site:

Mayor Jeff Meyers has called a Special Meeting of the Governing Body for July 9, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 11110 Johnson Drive to interview candidates and appoint someone to the Ward II Council vacancy.

The five are:

Mike Kemmling; By challenging long term incumbent Neal Sawyer this past April and coming within 11 votes, Dr. Kemmling was involved in what was probably the closest council contest in recent history. Owns a Shawnee based dental practice.

Alan Willoughby: Retired Ford Motor employee and Shawnee Planning Commission member

Mark Mollentine: Local chef and member of various organizations

Charlotte E Keyes:  Employed as a project manager and previous service on the Shawnee Planning Commission

Charles Jean-Baptiste:  Retired HUD employee and various civic associations

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wonderscope Does Not Need City's Money

At last week's committee meeting Jeff Vaught voiced exception to the city giving Wonderscope $10,000.

Hmmmm, why does that sound familiar?  Oh, I know why.  Because it was brought up many times in the past, most notably at the 7/27/09 budget hearing. Hmmm, wasn't that the last budget hearing before Vaught decided to run for office?  Guess he wasn't there or at the committee meetings leading up to it.  Oh, maybe he read about it here, in my post of 7/29/09?  Also note two things about Dawn Kuhn.  Previously she had said that Wonderscope's financial records were private.  Wrongo, charity organization IRS Form 990's have to be made available to the public.  Also, last week Kuhn got very defensive about Wonderscope, again.  Could her reaction be because maybe she has had a long term personal friendship with a member of their board?  Who knows?

Anyway, below is a copy of part of the minutes from 7/27/09.  Thank you to Vaught for agreeing with me.  Oh, and let's give that money to Old Shawnee Town

Oh, the minutes mention the form 990's up to 2007, with the 2008 and 2009 forms not available.  Those are now available but the 2010 and 2011 forms are not.............

RAY ERLICHMAN stated something happened at one of the budget meetings a few weeks ago and a comment was made about the contribution the City makes to Wonderscope. He stated there were four specific comments made by four specific individuals sitting up there tonight. He stated Councilmember Pflumm was first and said he wanted to see the books. He stated Councilmember Distler said “They are like every other tax exempt organization and their information has to be made available just like the United Way”. He stated Councilmember Kuhn said, “No, they do not have to make their information available, because they are private.” He stated Mayor Meyers said, “If anyone wants to take the time to look for it, there are forms out there they can look at.”

RAY ERLICHMAN stated Wonderscope’s records are not private. He presented a blank IRS Form 990. He stated right underneath the year it reads Open to public inspection. He stated anyone who is a 501C organization that files for tax exempt status, their complete tax filing, including all addendums, schedules, salaries, everything else has to be made public.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated just to make sure there is no concern or question, he presented a copy from the IRS’s own website that basically says this form has to be made available to the public, not ‘can’, ‘may’, ‘will’, ‘at the discretion of any individual person’. He stated with that in mind, he pulled out Wonderscope’s forms for 2007 and 2006. He stated the 2008 forms are not yet available online and naturally the 2009 forms will not be filed until next year. He stated the 2008 forms would have been filed this April, unless they filed for an extension.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated there were two things on there that bothered him and he realizes that the contribution to Wonderscope for 2010 is scheduled to be $10,000.

Councilmember Straub stated it is scheduled at $20,000 on the budget.

Mayor Meyers stated it was changed to $10,000.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated Councilmember Pflumm is going to get almost what he wants.

City Manager Gonzales stated she might add that the Council has received that information and also Chairman Tubbesing provided a website that included very detailed budget information, because she is unsure what specifics Mr. Erlichman plans on talking about this evening.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated he has one question of concern. He stated if the Council already has that information that is fine, but has a question that bothers him.

Councilmember Straub stated he did not receive that information and asked if it was sent to all Council people.

City Manager Gonzales stated it was sent in an email with the link to the website that included the Wonderscope budget.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated at then end of 2007, there were net assets of about $165,000. He stated that is what the line says, though he is not an accountant. He stated his concern is with those kinds of assets, the Executive Director was given $60,564 in 2007 and in the 2006 filing that figure was little over $52,000, so that worked out to something like a 15% increase. He stated even though with certain dollars amounts, the $10,000 the City is going to contribute to them, some people might say that is a drop in the bucket on a $76 million budget.

RAY ERLICHMAN stated his concern is if the organization has $160,000+ assets at the end of the year and they can afford to give their Executive Director a 14% increase and he does not know yet what they received as an increase in 2008 or what they are getting in 2009, why do they need the City’s lousy $10,000. He stated the $10,000 that they want to give them would take care of four or five years of snow removal for the elderly. He stated that $10,000 is 20% of what the City just got hit with for the revitalization out there on Monticello Road. He stated that was a $50,000 bill the City was not planning on and here is 20% of that bill.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ward II Applicants

So far three individuals have applied for the Ward II vacancy caused by the resignation of David Morris:

Mike Kemmling;  By challenging long term incumbent Neal Sawyer this past April and coming within 11 votes, Dr. Kemmling was involved in what was probably the closest council contest in recent history.  Owns a Shawnee based dental practice.

Alan Willoughby:  Retired Ford Motor employee and Shawnee Planning Commission member

Mark Mollentine:  Local chef and member of various organizations

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday, Strange to Me

Well, last Monday was really, shall we say, different.  Making a long story short I suggested an independent "Lessons Learned" exercise regarding the loss of Perceptive Software.  Apparently some folks misunderstood the reasoning.  Oh well.  In many cases an outside look at different things that have happened can be enlightening.  People cdan learn what went right and what didn't, and what can possibly be done to prevent a similar situation in the future.

The Shawnee Dispatch covered this pretty much in depth at

Another resident of the community addressed the council.  He was attempting to get the council to reconsider its previous decision that eliminated full minutes of council/council committee meetings.  Apparently he had done some research about a situation involving his neighborhood (believe that is also where Jeff Vaught lives) and was trying to explain why the full minutes are useful for research.  Anyway, Vaught who previously was in favor of eliminating the full minutes proposed that it be looked at again.  It should be noted, that when this originally came up, of the currently sitting council members only Michelle Distler and Dan Pflumm voted to keep the full minutes and the corresponding governmental tranparency.  The KC Star covered it in this article

Sidebar 1:  Vaught went after Eric Jenkins, demanding the answer to a question by rapid firing "answer the question, answer the question, answer the question".  Wonder what would happen if I said that to Vaught, since he has steadfastly refuesed to answer a very simple question:  what is his education level?  He would not list that in the questionnaire submitted to the Dispatch at the election that he ran in.  And, when I approached him about it, he wouldn't answer it.  That is a common resumé question.  What is he hiding?

Sidebar 2.  Let's shout out "answer the question, answer the question answer the question" to Dawn Kuhn.  Actually 2 questions, but very simple ones:  First, why is she being paid under two different names by the city, White for payroll, and Kuhn for expense reimbursement?  Second, which of those two names is she being paid as by her non-governmental employer, Bank Midwest?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Kuhn Avoids Direct, Simple Answers

Ward III Councilmember Dawn Kuhn is still avoiding some direct, simple answers to two very simple questions.

Scroll down to two posts on 5/31/12: 

1.  Is it Kuhn or is it White?
2.  Kuhn Responds..........Which Causes Me to Respond Back

Why is she avoiding direct responses to these two simple questions?  What is she hiding?

1.  Why is the city paying her as Dawn White (her council salary) but reimbursing her for expenses as Dawn Kuhn.  She says White is her maiden name.  Great.  But why is the city paying/reimbursing her under two different names?

2.  She says she is paid appropriately by her private employer.  That is avoiding the other question.  She is a Vice-President, Banking Center Manager for Bank Midwest.  Are they paying her as White, like the city?  Or are they paying her as Kuhn?  Keep in mind, as a bank VP she has to from time to time sign documents on behalf of the bank.  Would they pay her as White?  Or would they pay her as Kuhn (the name she uses as a VP)?  If her bank payroll is White that is the same as the city, but if Kuhn then that means she is getting paid salaries under two different names.  Then that would bring up the question:  Why?

Why would a person use multiple surnames for various forms of reimbursement?  Kinda makes ya wonder.

Unanswered questions do not disappear. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Shawnee's Apathy Rears Its Ugly Head

OK, this is not an indictment (or endorsement) of Jim Allen.

This is an indictment of the sheer apathy bordering on stupidity of the citizens of Shawnee.

Jim Allen, is running for reelection as a county commissioner.  He is running unopposed.  Nobody, no matter how qualified, should ever run for political office unopposed.  And, he even ran for mayor unopposed 3 out of the 5 times he ran for that office.

See info at

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Software Firm Says So Long to Shawnee

Perceptive Software, and its 700 employees are going to be leaving Shawnee and relocating to................Lenexa.

For more info on this go to:

This will not be an easy pill to swallow.

What happened?  Could it have been avoided?  Or, was there nothing that could be done to save it?  How long did we know that this was a possibility?  What contingency plans have we worked on?  What do we have, if anything, waiting in the wings as a replacement?  Or replacements?

What will be the impact on Shawnee?  Whatever the impact, what will it take to recover?  How long will that take?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Why Did Morris Resign? Answer Given!

For more information behind Council Member David Morris' resignation see the article in the Shawnee Dispatch at

Apparently the impetus for his resignation was a problem with City Manager Carol Gonzales.

The article linked above goes into more detail, but I found this part of it to be telling:

Morris added that he and Gonzales had “butted heads” over his approach to constituent complaints for some time and that he had experienced ramifications.

“In the political arena, if you get put in the doghouse, answers don’t come particularly quickly, and sometimes phone calls don’t get returned particularly quickly,” he said.

Gonzales said she didn’t think it was appropriate to respond to Morris’ charges.

It would not surprise me if other council members, past and present, had gotten the "doghouse" treatment.

Read the article.  It could prove interesting.