Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us I would like to wish all who read this blog the best.

A Happy Hanukah, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shawnee's Poor Voter Turn Out

Well, it's poor for local elections, and OK for Presidential elections.  But, Presidents don't plow snow, respond to fires, protect the community, keep our parks functioning, set local property taxes, sales taxes etc.

We have another local election coming up in April 2013.

Look at these figures for the recent (November) Presidential election and the local city election this past April.

Presidential election Nov 2012

Registered voters (total city)  42,344
Total voted     30,718    72.54%

Ward 1   Registered   11,030      Voted   8,297  
Ward 2   Registered   10,256      Voted   7,022  
Ward 3   Registered   10,598      Voted   7,969  
Ward 4   Registered   10,460      Voted   7,430   

City election April 2012

Registered voters (total city)  40,105
Total voted               5,229     13.04%

Ward 1    Registered 10,553    Voted  1,634
Ward 2    Registered   9,713    Voted  1,337
Ward 3    Registered   9,977    Voted     978
Ward 4    Registered   9,862    Voted  1,280

The people of Shawnee ought to be ashamed of themselves, for their lack of voting at the last city election.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Public Hearing for Shawnee Parkway Plaza

There will be a public hearing on January 14, 2013 to consider incentives to revitalize the Shawnee Parkway Plaza.

There is a good article about this at the Shawnee Dispatch's website

That shopping center which sits just east of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm Road is a mess.

As much as I dislike various incentive programs, this just might be an appropriate use of them.

This would be a virtual total makeover.  Currently, there are problems not only with appearance, but with the integrity of the structures.  Revitalizing a shopping center at that location can be beneficial to the city in the future.  Couple that with some of the recent development that has occurred at the northwest section of that intersection and the whole area can become a magnet for increased financial gain for the city.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

How The "Good Ole Boy" Network Works

One indication of how the Good Ole Boy Network works is the election of the council president in Shawnee.

Now, why is that position important?  Because, if something happens to the mayor, the council president becomes mayor. Also, with the change from two split function council committees to one full member council committee the president of the council is chairman of that committee.

So, let's see who has been council president, and how long they have been on the council:

Sawyer (on council since 1/2002) president, 2005, 2006 and 2011
Sandifer (on council since 4/2004) president 2007 and 2010
Kuhn (on council since 4/2004) president 2008 and 2009
Vaught (on council since 4/2010) president, current, 2012

So, four folks have held that position in the past 8 years.  We haven't even mentioned those who served during those 8 years who no longer are on the council.

Interesting that Pflumm (4/2002) and Distler (4/2006) have never been president.  Wonder why?  Is it because they don't "toe the line?"

Willoughby, just appointed 7/2012 hasn't been here for a council president election, and Neighbor (appointed 5/2010 and elected 4/2012) also has not been president, but only eligible 2011 (Sawyer) and 2012 (Vaught).

Curious isn't it, that Vaught, in the second year of his first term became president.  Was this a payback for his electioneering from the council dais for the incumbents running for office?

How many of these folks have abrogated their responsibilites and have become subservient to the city manager, forgetting that the city manager works for them, not the other way around?  Think about former council member Morris' resignation and the reasons for it.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Bully, Cry Baby or Know it All?

Is it possible for one person to have all three of those traits?

Well, if your name is Jeff Vaught and you are a Ward III council rep in Shawnee, the answer is yes.

At a recent city council meeting Vaught appeared to be using his position to make bullying statements regarding some recent news articles.  Similar to the way he used bully tactics during the last election, from the council dais.

The comments were also a form of a cry baby attitude.  Seems Vaught really didn't like some of the articles and bemoaned the fact that positive articles were not written about Shawnee.  He proceeded to rattle off a litany of positive and supposed positive items (there might be some issues with some statistics he mentioned).  Well, apparently he doesn't read the local newspaper, the Shawnee Dispatch.  There has been a plethora of positive items in that paper. 

Now, back to the negative items.  If you don't like negative items appearing in the media, then take action to prevent them from happening.  Quit blaming the messenger(s) and start accepting responsibily for creating negative actions. One example has to do with the actions by Mr. Tony Lauer and his neighbors in the Crimson Ridge Subdivision.  Now, the mayor has been critical of some of Mr. Lauer's actions (persistent questions, and KORA requests).  Did the mayor ever think that if the original questions were answered, and completely, there may have been no need to push for more?  When a governmental body either fails to completely and/or honestly answer questions from its citizens, it raises more questions.  Such as what else is being hidden?

We won't even touch on the KOMA investigation regarding the appointment of Uncle Alan to the city council.  Or the partying by five council members and the mayor on election night April 2012.  A quorum of the council, and its presiding officer.  And, proof of this was posted by Jeff Vaught on his blog site.  Don't believe me, here it is:


Now, what about the "know it all" aspect?  Well, during a discussion at the last council meeting Council Member Neal Sawyer alluded to the fact that he was hesitant to make a certain point as he was probably going to be challenged by Vaught, and, according to Sawyer, Vaught knows it all. 

Vaught attempted to show his "know it all" attitude at another council meeting a few weeks ago.  Basically, a question came up about a department making a purchase using a vendor on state contract.  When some questioned the price, Vaught, in his know it all mode, said that if the purchase was made using the state contract, it was the best price.  Wrongo.  It was the lowest price that the state had on contract.  That part is true.  But there are many vendors that do not submit pricing for state contracts.  And these vendors have lower pricing than what is on state contract.  That is why state agencies do NOT have to buy on state contract, but can buy off contract if the same or comparable item can be purchased from another source, at the same or lower price. And that does occur.