Wednesday, November 28, 2012

KC Star Editorial AND a New Article

Two interesting things showed up in the KC Star's "913" section.

One, is an editorial about some of the recent happenings in Shawnee. That editorial can be read at

The editorial makes some valid points.

The new article concerns Shawnee and other Johnson County cities and their participation the National League of Cities conference in Boston this weekend.  This is a subject that I covered on this blog recently.  The KC Star article can be read at:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Comments are Back

Regarding the KC Star article mentioned in the post below.

Apparently, in a transition from the Star's front page to the 913 section reader comments get lost.

Also, apparently there are two separate links to the article.  This link
shows the reader comments (as of this posting they are up to 24)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

KC Star's Take on Shawnee's Fractious Government

The Kansas City Star just ran an article which should be an eye opener to people who live in Shawnee.

After reading my few comments below, please go to the Star article and read it completely:

The attitude of some of our elected officials borders on arrogance and pomposity.  Such as: People asking questions are “just fishing to stir up some trouble,” Mayor Jeff Meyers says. 

Or, how about his comment as to why he did not allow public input at the council meeting that selected his wife's uncle to fill the position vacated by the resignation of David Morris:  Meyers said he did shut down discussion on the Willoughby appointment because, based on past experience, he thought the public comments were not in the best interest of the council making a decision.

Apparently the mayor has forgotten about Section 3 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution, which he swore to uphold.  "3. Right of peaceable assembly; petition. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances."

Note the part about "instructing their representatives"

And then the article brings up how Cheryl Scott's replacement was also picked.  At the time of her resignation Scott said it would be better for the council to pick her replacement than to let the people do it.

As for arrogance, it is possible that Jeff Vaught of Ward III is the leader in that respect:

But Councilman Jeff Vaught said all the Shawnee antics are small and he’s tired of all the racket from critics.“We are getting hammered,” he said, even though Shawnee is one of the most open and fiscally responsible cities in Johnson County.“In Shawnee we are getting beat up over this crazy stuff. I don’t get it.” Vaught probably forgot that during the appointment process of Willoughby he was critical of Mike Kemmling for interrupting council member, and as such was not qualified to be appointed to the council.  Heck a review of the video of that meeting shows that both he and Kuhn interrupt folks all the time, more than Kemmling. And folks wonder why the DA is investigating the council for their actions. Read the Star's might just open some eyes.  

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Mayor Should Thank Kevin Straub

By now many folks have probably heard about  Mayor Jeff Meyers, parking illegally in a handicapped spot.  This occurred this past Tuesday in the city hall parking lot during a city council meeting.

The mayor received a warning  about this infraction, and subsequently chose to donate $135 to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund. 

Kevin Straub, the former council member, reported the infraction to the authorities.  The mayor should have been thankful to Straub for doing this.  Why?  Because a donation like this one is tax deductible, whereas a traffic fine is not.  Instead the mayor is reported in the Shawnee Dispatch as being upset with Straub: Though Straub no longer resides in Shawnee, Meyers said, “he’s looking for anything and everything (to criticize the city for)." ttp://

Straub also questioned the mayor's explanation, as reported by KCTV 5:

In a statement, Meyers claimed that he knew "a full house was waiting on him because the parking lot was completely filled."
"The disabled spots were the only ones available and I made the decision that I would park there and accept whatever consequences occurred in order to get the meeting started. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best decision. It won't happen again," Meyers said in his statement posted on the city's website.
Hogwash, according to Straub.
He said he entered the U-shaped parking lot just ahead of Meyers. Straub said Meyers failed to circle around the entire parking lot so it's impossible for him to know that all the parking spots were taken.
"If you don't go all the way around, you don't know if it's full or not," he said. "But he was running late and grabbed the first spot that was available."
The mayor also has access to any number of doors at City Hall and could have parked in the back of the building where ample spaces were available, Straub said.
Straub said City Hall insiders have told him that Meyers actually forgot that the meeting had been moved to Tuesday night because of the Veterans Day holiday. Straub said someone called Meyer to ask where he was and the mayor had to dash to City Hall.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shawnee Citizen's Police Academy

On Wednesday night I felt honored to be one of 23 individuals who have completed the current Shawnee Citizen's Police Academy.

The academy was started again last year after being put on hiatus for many years.

 Before proceeding, allow me to make it clear that it does not qualify anybody to be a law enforcement official.

What it does do though is it makes the average citizen more aware of what the police department does. It also gives a microscopic view of what an individual has to go through to become an officer in Shawnee.

We learned that many officers wear multiple hats and are responsible for a variety of functions.  We also learned how officers are rotated through the various elements of the department to make them more efficient and better equipped to handle a variety of situations.

Watching the K9 officers put their four legged partners through their paces was very interesting.  And it was nice to know that they, along with our traffic accident investigations personnel have been called upon by neighboring cities to assist them where needed. That is indicative of the skill and training these individuals have.

Getting to drive a short course, with lights flashing was fun, and probably fulfilled a few dreams. 
Learning how various officers are always working to help to prevent crime and the various tools available to them for this purpose can be an eye opener for many.  And what type of class like this would be complete without some range time?

A ride along with an officer was also part of the course.  Allow me to say, that those interested can apply for a ride along without going through the academy.  The ride alongs themselves can be very enlightening, as compared to what is seen on TV.  I personally have been on ride alongs prior to the academy and have commented on them here on this blog.  The attitude and professionalism of the officers on patrol is extremely positive.

One of the interesting aspects of the class was the make up of the attendees.  Male, female, young, old, and a broad spectrum of job backgrounds. 

Going forward, the PD will be seeking volunteers from this group to assist in various areas, so as to allow officers and professional staff more time for their primary functions.  A small price, IMHO, to pay for what they give to the community.

Check the city's website for next year's class. I'm guessing that info for the 2013 class will probably be posted sometime in the late spring/early summer of 2013.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Hearty congratulations to:

Mary Pilcher-Cook                     State Sen 10
Greg Smith                                  State Sen 21

Brett Hildabrand                         State Rep  17
John Rubin                                  State Rep  18
Kelly Meigs                                State Rep  23
Charles Macheers                       State Rep 39

Steve Roberts                             State Bd of Ed  2

Friday, November 02, 2012

Another Vet Day Celebration - Sprint

On Thursday, November 8, Sprint will be holding a Veterans Day Celebration at approximately 117 and Nall.  Public is welcome.


Veterans Day Celebration on campus

Thursday, Nov. 8

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Aircraft will land at approx. 11 a.m.

Paige Field on the Overland Park Campus

Military and civilian public service displays:

·   US Army helicopters: AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-57 Chinook

·   Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon flyover during the National Anthem

·   US Army Reserve and National Guard ground equipment, Signal Corps, Military Police, Transportation Co.

·   Historical military vehicles - Military Vehicle Preservation Association

·   312th Army Band

·   Overland Park Police and Fire Departments – SWAT team, bomb squad and K9 demonstrations

·   Johnson County Sheriff’s Office – Crime Lab, weapons display, SWAT armored vehicle

·   Fraternal Military organizations, including the Marine Corps League and Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

·   Department of Veterans Affairs

·   Vietnam Veterans of America Huey display helicopter

·   Military life while deployed will be highlighted with military field gear on display

·   On-site military recruiters to answer questions and provide small mementos

·   Slugger, KC Wolf and KC Comets players

·   Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Riley and National WW1 Museum hands-on indoor display for visitors to use current and historical military gear in Building 6180 Employee Activity Center

·   Toys-for-Tots collection

·   Employee Resource Group information from Sprint and JPMorgan Chase

·   Lunch is available for purchase while supplies last: Roasterie Coffee, BBQ and chili stations
*Please note that due to last-minute missions, some military equipment or helicopters may be dispatched

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Veteran's Day - Sunday 11/11/12

The following is from the City's website:

Celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday, November 11th at the Shawnee Veterans’ Memorial Park, Johnson Drive and Pflumm at 4:00 p.m. The City of Shawnee, along with VFW Post 10552, American Legion #327, Knights of Columbus, Civil Air Patrol – Kansas City Composite Squadron #034 and the Sons of the American Revolution - Monticello Chapter invite you to join them in honoring all men and women who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces.
Richard Soetaert, VFW All State Commander, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Jim Allen, Johnson County Commissioner and former Shawnee Mayor will present the keynote address. This year’s ceremony will be dedicated to the men and women who served in the Vietnam War.

Refreshments will be served compliments of the Sweet Life and a reception will follow at Johnny’s Tavern following the ceremony. For more information call 631-5200.

I hope we have a good crowd.