Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"HOT" Complaint Filed with DA for Possible Violation of the KOMA

A complaint has been filed with the Johnson County DA's office of a possible violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act, as it pertains to the mayor and the city council.

For more info

New Blogger in Town

There's a new blog in town, "Shawnee, Kansas - FWIW"


Also, if you haven't seen the video of the Jeff Vaught hypocrisy, scroll down, it's right below this post.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vaught's "Food for thought..." hypocrisy (video)

At the July 9th Special Council Meeting, Council member Jeff Vaught (Ward IV) advised Dr. Mike Kemmling that he couldn't vote for him, because he (Dr. Kemmling) interrupted Councilmember Kuhn and himself.  See the video below.  It might prove interesting.  Oh, the audio on the camera is a little weak, so Vaught's comment was:
“It is interesting and honestly I am just going to direct this at you Mr. Kemmling, I really tried to, in listening to the questions, I really tried to keep an open mind but even when Miss Kuhn was questioning you, 4 times you tried to interrupt her. You tried to interrupt me. And I’m thinking, I’m just trying to ask questions here, put it out there,  and that desire to talk over somebody is not good. If we all did that up here, trying to talk over each other, it would get really ugly real quick. The only reason, I really believe, people that run for city council is because you like to be heard and if all 8 of us tried to be heard at the same time, its going to explode. So, I’m struggling with that. I know you went out and campaigned. I just, I have a type A personality and I can be pretty aggressive, but I’ve also learned to sit and I’ve got to mentally know when I’ve had to just sit and listen and not voice my opinion. It can be difficult but that’s just part of the game. It’s a lot of listening and probably a lot less talking than listening and it’s hard to do. Just some food for thought.”

Methinks Mr. Vaught needs to munch on some of his own "food for thought", along with his ward mate Dawn Kuhn.  These are not the only instances of these two interrupting other people.  They do it at almost every meeting, be it a member of the public, staff, or other council members.  Did you notice Council member Sawyer asking to be allowed to finish after he was interrupted?

Friday, July 27, 2012

What Is On Sawyer's Mind?

OK, in April Neal Sawyer barely ekes out a reelection victory 661-650 in Shawnee's Ward II.

Then three months later he's running for state representative.  Doesn't he care about the commitment he made to the folks in Ward  II?

Anyway, here's the kicker.  If Sawyer were to get elected as a state rep he technically could keep his Ward II job.  Yep, according to Kansas law you can't hold multiple partisan elected positions, but since the city's elections are non-partisan he could do that.  Problem is, the state rep's position is virtually a 24/7 job when the legislature is in session.  Now, can he really handle both?  I don't think so.  According to the city's web site he still holds his non-governmental job.  Can he hold 3 spots?  I definitely don't think so.

So, my suggestion is let's make sure we don't have to suffer the consequences of finding out.  Make him fulfill his obligation to the the people in Ward II by not electing him to the state legislature.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sandifer Not Supporting Leib

Well, well, well.................Shawnee City Council Member Mickey Sandifer is no longer showing up as a supporter of Jason Leib for state rep:

The qwuestion still remains, did Sandifer initially support Leib and then withdraw that after various items came out or did Leib use Sandifer's name without his permission?

What items?  Apparently Mr. Leib has a DUI history and a bunch of tweets which would indicate an extreme fondness for alcohol.  http://thekansascitian.blogspot.com/2012/07/exclusive-alcohol-plagued-past-casts.html  Also, Mr. Sandifer has expressed that he is a strong proponent of right to life, where Mr. Leib does not share those views.  This is/was a strange situation.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Three Reasons NOT to Vote for Jason Leib

Three good reasons NOT to vote for Jason Leib.

The reasons are from his own web site at http://jasonleib.com/about/

What are they?

He is being supported by Dawn Kuhn, Mickey Sandifer and Neal Sawyer.  Three good reasons NOT to vote for him.

Those three contributed in one way or the other to the slap in the face to the people of Shawnee recently regarding the appointment of the Mayor's uncle to a council position.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Keep Brett Hildabrand, Forget Jason Leib

Brett Hildabrand is being challenged in the republican primary by Jason Leib for the 17th House District.

Check these items out...............good reasons to keep Hildabrand:

For a map of the 17th district go here

Since the map is in Adobe (pdf) format you can click on the "+" sign to increase the size to be able to view the street info.

Letters to the Shawnee Dispatch 7/18/12

This letter by resident Alan Dunz appears in the hard copy of the Dispatch and on line at


This letter is on line only at

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mayor Responds As To Why He Did Not Allow Public Comment

Mayor Jeff Meyers has responded as to why he did not allow public comment at the special council meeting which selected the replacement for the open seat in Ward II.  The individual finally chose was Alan Willoughby, the mayor's uncle (by marriage).

Here is the response:


My basis for the decision not to ask for public comment is that after allowing public comment last time I did not feel it was helpful to the process.The public had the ability to contact council members prior to the vote of the Council and did so. I did not feel comments in that form was necessary for the Council to make their decision.


The mayor and the council all took oaths to support the constitutions of the State of  Kansas and the United States.  Methinks maybe they need to reread the entire first amendment to the US Constitution.

Welcome to Shawnee, USSR

Charles Macheers for State Rep

I’m going to take a brief break discussing Shawnee City politics to talk about something else important to the city of Shawnee and that is the race for State Representative in the 39th District. With the recent redistricting, the 39th District is entirely within Johnson County and includes most of northwest Shawnee. Charles Macheers, a great conservative, is running for State Representative in that district and I fully support his candidacy. Among his many supporter is current State Representative, Owen Donohoe who is retiring and is endorsing Charles as well.

While the issues are many, there are three key things you need to know about Charles’ beliefs:

First, Charles is committed to ensuring the state runs efficiently and effectively. In the past 10 years, Kansas government spending rose 47%. Unfortunately, private sector GDP per capita only grew 8.9% over the same period. This pace cannot be sustained—we must do a better job at maintaining an effective, efficient government in the state of Kansas. Kansas ranks #7 among all U.S. states in state spending growth. This is not a statistic we should be proud of. Charles will work to eliminate inefficient government spending and to improve the effectiveness of state-funded programs.

Second, Charles believes that it is important to maintain local—not federal—control of education budgets. He believes the state needs to be fiscally responsible with education funding to ensure that they can respond to the needs of students, parents and teachers—and not Washington—when it comes to determining how taxpayers’ money is spent.

Third, job creation is a priority for Charles. He believes that Kansas needs a competitive tax policy to attract jobs to Kansas and enable our current businesses to expand and add jobs. Growth in the private sector is the key to expanding the tax base. A small business owner himself, Charles understands the importance of keeping tax and regulatory burdens low so that Kansas businesses can grow and bolster our state economy. His endorsement by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce reinforces his pro-business, pro-jobs stance.

Besides being sound on issues, Charles is endorsed by interest groups that are important to all of us including Kansans for Life, the Kansas Chamber and Northwest Johnson County Republicans.

You can read more about Charles on his website: http://www.macheers.com/. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. You can link to both from his webpage.

I fully support Charles Macheers and hope you will too by voting for him in the Primary on August 7, for State Rep in the 39th District, or by advance ballot. And then we can support him in the general election in November.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Simple Answers Are Hard to Come By

See the post below about the clarification concerning Kuhn/White.

Here is the city manger's response to my email, and then my response to that.  Simple questions always seem to be the hardest to answer, don't they?

Ray, we have spent several hours of staff time over the past few years looking into and addressing this question for you. We are comfortable that we are handling it appropriately. If you, in your research, find something to the contrary, please let me know and we will certainly look at it, but I'm not going to spend any more staff time on this issue at this point.

Carol Gonzales
City Manager
City of Shawnee

And here is my reply to that. 


First, you have not spent “several hours of staff time over the past few years looking into and addressing this question” because my initial inquiry was dated 3/11/2012, and that was only because the web site Kansasopengov.org showed a Dawn White and not a Dawn Kuhn, and I thought their web site was wrong.

There were three or four quick inquiries, to the city which resulted in three or four quick responses.

It seems strange that one person (an elected official) would receive two forms of compensation under two different names from the city.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Will City Manager Clarify Kuhn/White?

Below is an email I just sent to the city manager.  If Kuhn won't answer why she is receiving compensation under two different names, maybe the city manager will explain why the city is paying them that way.


I know that you are aware of my questions to Dawn Kuhn as she cc’d you on her reply to me which did not really answer either of the questions I asked of her.

Of the two questions one cannot be answered by your office. The other question can, since as City Manager the finance department reports to you. It really is a simple question, for which a specific answer should be forthcoming.

Why does she receive her payroll checks as “White” but her expense checks as “Kuhn”? I realize that “White” is her maiden name, but that response of hers did not clarify why two names are being used for one person for two different forms of compensation.

I will add a second question to you: What standard acceptable method of accounting allows for this type of name splitting for the two forms of compensation?

Thank you


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Email to the Mayor - Why No Public Comment?

I have just sent the following email to Mayor Jeff Meyers:


If you remember, last week I asked why there was no public comment at the Special Council Meeting that selected the individual to fill the open seat in Ward II.

You replied that it was your decision not to ask for public comment.

Subsequent to that, some folks have asked me why I didn’t ask the obvious follow up question. So, I will ask it now.

What was the basis for the decision not to ask for public comment, particularly when it comes to the choice of an individual who will represent members of the community at council?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Shawnee Shenanigans Part 4

Continuing the saga from Monday's special council meeting that appointed the mayor's uncle (by marriage), Alan Willoughby, to the open position in Ward II with NO public input allowed. If you have not read parts 1, 2 and 3, please scroll down and read them first.

Let's move along on Monday night with councilmember Jim Neighbor.  He is probably the easiest to comment on, since he very seldom comments on anything.  One never knows where he stands on most issues until he votes.  Don't believe me?  Check the written minutes for the meetings that have them and the audio for those that don't.

That brings up Neal Sawyer, the other council member from Ward II.  Keep in mind that Mike Kemmling, one of the applicants on Monday night lost to Sawyer in the recent election by only 11 votes.  Probably the closest margin of any recent modern election in Shawnee.

What did Sawyer do?  Nothing.  He abstained on the vote for Kemmling and he abstained on the vote for the mayor's Uncle (by marriage) Alan Willoughby.

Considering the election results were 661 to 650 maybe, to show unity, and to be considerate of the people in his ward, maybe Sawyer could have supported Kemmling?  Or was his silence a form of acquiescence to the charade that was taking place?

Now here's a kicker.  Sawyer is now running in the primary for a state rep seat.  What?  He just got reelected to the council in April of this year (3 months ago).  What does that tell the folks in Ward II?  Could it be that he is telling them that he doesn't care about the unspoken commitment he made to serve them for three years?  I surely hope they don't reward his attempt to leave them by voting for him for state rep.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shawnee Shenanigans Part 3

Continuing the saga from Monday's special council meeting that appointed the mayor's uncle (by marriage), Alan Willoughby, to the open position in Ward II with NO public input allowed. If you have not read parts 1 and 2, please scroll down and read them first.

Moving along, it came to Dawn Kuhn to ask questions of the applicants.  Where other council members asked short questions Ms. Kuhn went on an inquisition for about 10-15 minutes.  Her demeanor was not that of a council member seeking info, but rather that of Tomas de Torquemada.  Very inappropriate, especially for one who has preached civility.  We'll make the video available and one can see for themselves.

It will also be obvious that she kept looking at her iPad.  Was someone in the audience sending her info?  Were they sending her questions to ask?  There was a problem with that, I believe, in Wichita recently.  Or maybe she was just getting love letters.

Also, how many times did she interrupt Mike Kemmling? 

She and others keep talking about how they respect disagreement but want civility on the council.  How they want people who can work together.  Horse nonsense.  Her actions Monday night were anything but civil.  Working together is a euphemism for wanting folks who march in lock step.   That really is not good for Shawnee.  Differing opinions bring out discussions which can lead to new and different ideas.

OK,  now it is Dawn Kuhn's turn to answer questions.  Questions that she has arrogantly refused to answer directly and has only attempted to answer with Tijuana Two Step type of answers.  Apparently she feels that she is above answering questions from the citizenry.  Well, she needs to learn that as an elected official she works for us, we don't work for her, and any member of the community can hold her accountable.

Here are the two questions:

1.  Why are you getting your city payroll checks as "White" and your city expense reimbursement checks as "Kuhn" (why use two last names instead of one from the same source)?

2.  Which last name are you using for payroll at your non-governmental employer, Bank Midwest?

No Tijuana Two Steps, specific answers please.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shawnee Shenanigans Part 2

Continuing the saga from Monday's special council meeting that appointed the mayor's uncle (by marriage), Alan Willoughby, to the open position in Ward II with NO public input allowed.  If you have not read part 1, please scroll down and read that first.

First item of business:  Award for the Best Comedy Act by a Councilmember Trying to be Serious.  That award goes to..............................Jeff Vaught.  Vaught said he couldn't vote for Mike Kemmling (clearly the choice of 1/2 the folks who voted in the election, but remember, no public input allowed) because Kemmling interrupted Dawn Kuhn three times and interrupted him (Vaught) once.  Huh?  That's a reason not to support someone?  And, he said it with a straight face.  Now, is Vaught sure of that?  Maybe he had his players reversed?  Maybe it was Kuhn who interrupted Mike Kemmling?  And what about Vaught?  Did he really get interrupted?  Or did he do the interrupting?  And hasn't he (Vaught) interrupted others?  Oh, by the way Jeff, remember, you still haven't answered the question as to what is your education level.  Like you like to say:  answer the question, answer the question, answer the question (and wasn't that interrupting somebody else?)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get down to Mickey Sandifer.  Mickey chose the time just before the votes were being taken (and the applicants could not respond back) to, in a very hostile manner, attack Mike Kemmling and accuse him of running the filthiest campaign ever in Shawnee.  Mickey, I won't be politically correct, I just won't be vulgar:  you sir are a liar.  Since when does sending out literature, stating verified actions that an opponent has taken (like votes in council backed by minutes) become filthy?  You stated that Mike Kemmling wanted to fire staff.  Where in any of his literature did he say that?  Show us Mickey.  Back up what you say.  You can't, and that sir, makes you a liar.

Now, you want to talk about filthy campaigning.  What about the piece that was mailed and arrived the day before the election, that was sent out basically supporting you and the other incumbents?  That was filth, and lies, with claims that the Koch Bros. were behind the challenger's candidacies, that they had spent $100,000.  This piece of trash was mailed using a phoney PO Box, and without stating who sent it, which is a violation of law.  And neither you Mickey, nor any of the incumbents that it was designed to back, said anything to disavow this piece of trash.  And in case you forgot what this piece of filth looked like, it's posted below.  So again Mickey, put up or shut up.  Back up your lies, as if you could.  (Click on either of the two images to see them larger).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shawnee Shenanigans Part 1

In preparing to write about what happened last night at city hall I realized it could not be properly explained in just one blog post.  As such, this will be the first one. 

So, let's set the stage.  There were actually two separate city council meetings last night.  This is important because there will be two separate "summary minutes" and two separate audio/cd files.

The first meeting was the special council meeting.  This was the meeting in which Alan Willoughby was selected to replace David Morris as a Ward II councilmember.

The second meeting was the regularly scheduled council meeting.

During the first meeting councilmember Dan Pflumm inquired as to whether or not Mr. Willoughby was related to anyone on hte governing body.  Yepper, that is where it came out publicly that he is the mayor's uncle by marriage. Important?  Yes, because if the question was not asked would the info have come out?

Also, during that first meeting councilmember Michelle Distler made it a point that she could not vote for Mr. Willoughby because prior to the meeting it had been determined who would nominate him, second the nomination and who would vote for him.  A done deal.  Just as had happened two years ago with Jim Neighbor

Now, let's fast forward to the second meeting.

During business from the floor, yours truly asked why there had been no call for comments from the public duirng the first meeting as we did have them when Jim Neighbor was selected two years ago.  The mayor replied it was his decision not to solicit public comments. 

Also during business from the floor, resident Gregg Snell inquired, with reference to the first meeting, as to whether or not the mayor had had conversations prior to the meeting that were favorable to Mr. Willoughby's selection with members of the council.  The mayor confirmed he had voiced support for his uncle (by marriage).  I enjoyed Mr. Snell's comment that the selection meeting had been nothing but Kabuki theater.

So, what did we have in the selection of Mr. Willoughby?  A mayor who presides over a council meeting that selects his wife's uncle, and does not allow comments from the public.  Was the mayor afraid that maybe some of the 650 people who had voted for Mike Kemmling in the election (one of the other applicants last night) might come up and say something about why Kemmling came within 12 votes of defeating Neal Sawyer? 

Thank you Jeff Meyers for slapping democracy in the face.

More coming in part 2.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

6 Votes

If one scrolls down and views the post below where I explain how close the election was between Mike Kemmling and Neal Sawyer something else pops out.

It was definitely alot closer than when Neighbor ran and lsot to Pflumm, but what is really an eye opener is that if just 6 people changed their votes Mike Kemmling would have been elected.

Where I come from that's telling me a bunch of people really wanted him to be their council rep.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

More About July 9th, 2012

I was out of town for a week enjoying some vacation time with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Fun, but the little ones wore this old man out.

Anyway, some folks have emnailed me with additional info from the 5/10/10 council meeting where Jim Neighbor was appointed to fill Cheryl Scott's position.  Remember that Monday July 9th the council will vote on a replacement for David Morris.

From Mickey Sandifer

Councilmember Sandifer stated in regards to the election, they have a sitting City Councilman who has been eight (8) years on the Council and in his previous elections had won by 300 or 400 votes. He stated there was a citizen that came out of nowhere and ran against him and came within 88 votes of taking him out of office, which tells him to some degree that the people have spoken and this man received 649 votes.

Note:  Mike Kemmling did alot better than that in his recent challenge to Neal Sawyer

From Jeff Vaught

Councilmember Vaught replied he thinks what he said was that it would be hard for him not to support a guy who received 200 more votes than him. He stated obviously the people in Ward I like him. He asked if that was him saying that regards to who else gets in the running, that is who he is voting for, no, but at that time in his position, there is a guy who received 200 more votes that he did and was pretty strong. He stated he knows what he went through to get onto the Council.

Councilmember Vaught stated he finds something interesting in what Mr. Straub said, in that they do have five candidates and while none of them ran for Councilmember Pflumm’s seat, Cheryl Scott’s seat’s election was only two years ago and no one asked them why they did not run two years ago, so maybe they should have all asked that question, because all of the candidates have lived in this community for a considerable amount of time, so why did not anyone run against Cheryl two years ago.

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 and he will go back to nobody else seemed to want to run when this seat was open and nobody ran two years ago when Cheryl was up for election, so based on that he will vote aye.

And then when asked why he should be appointed, Mr. Neighbor said:

JIM NEIGHBOR stated in addition to the meetings mentioned, since the filing deadline in January, he has walked door to door meeting his Ward I members in each of the 11 precincts. They have talked about what they want to have happen in Shawnee over the next two years and he wants to be their voice.

JIM NEIGHBOR replied that is a tough question. He stated he would have to say someone with better qualifications, perhaps better experience, and one who knows the ward better than him from the walking he did, have contact with the people – just an overall understanding. He stated he made a tremendous effort over the last six months to learn about this process and what is involved and understands the learning has been very steep and if elected would get even steeper.

These comments would all seem to apply to Mike Kemmling this year..................