Sunday, March 31, 2013

Which Face is Jeff Vaught Showing Today - Part 2?

Let's talk about the minutes of the council meetings.

At one point we had detailed minutes of council proceedings.  With audio CDs available for a fee.

Then, Vaught got involved with the movement by some, not all, but enough, of the city council to change that to summary minutes with audio available.  Now, what was supposed to be summary minutes actually turned out to be action minutes, an even less informative method of a written record.

On his facebook page Vaught indicates that he was a positive force in getting the issue of bringing back detailed minutes.  Well, in a way he was.

But, what happened when the issue came before the council committee (8/21/12)?  Now, since we only had action minutes at that time basically only the final vote is recorded.  Vaught was one of 4 councilmembers who voted against bringing back the detailed minutes.  Since four others voted in favor, the item was moved forward to the council meeting of 9/10/12 with a "no recommendation" from the committee.  If someone wants to listen to the audio of the council committee meeting of 8/21/12 it is available on the city's site.  Listen to it and then make up your own mind if Vaught was in favor of reinstating full minutes. 

At the full council meeting of 9/10/12 he did vote to reinstate the full minutes.  Ironically, at various subsequent council meetings he has made negative comments about the costs of those minutes.  But, I guess full minutes aren't as important as sending 8 people to Boston for a conference (when 4 or less would have been more than sufficient).

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Is It A "Goode" Letter?

Recently, the Shawnee Dispatch ran an article about a letter signed by Frank Goode. 

The letter purportedly has Frank withdrawing support for Mike Kemmling and endorsing Alan Willoughby.

The Dispatch goes into quite a bit of detail on how this letter turns up the Friday before the last published edition of the paper.  The reporter did some additional research and it appears that Willoughby walked into the nursing facility where Frank was, and, as Frank says he (Frank) was a little "dopey".  Frank has had some major medical problems and apparently has gone through various procedures and apparently different meds.

Read the article and see for yourself.  It looks to me like a candidate (Willoughby) was trying to take advantage of a sick old man who was medicated for his health problems, and attempting to blame his opponent (Kemmling) for dirty tricks.  Uncle Alan, you should be ashamed of yourself.

As I posted on the Dispatch:  Willoughby is claiming the other side is up to dirty tricks. Hey, Uncle Alan, did you read the DA's letter? Your appointment to the council was a dirty trick, a backroom deal, with your nephew as the ringleader

The article is here:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Which Face is Jeff Vaught Showing Today?

Jeff Vaught appears to be very proud of the fact that at one time he was the president of his Homeowner's Association (Crimson Ridge).  It's in his literature, his web site etc.  My question is, are his neighbors proud of him now?

There has been much written in the Kansas City Star and The Shawnee Dispatch about the proposed Crimson Ridge Stream Mitigation Bank locally referred to as the "snake habitat".  An on line search will come up with a plethora of articles.

Basically, this is something that the residents of his sub-division are not happy about.  Ironically, neither is the US Department of the Interior or the Environmental Protection Agency.

Has Mr. Vaught done anything to encourage the city to also object to this project?  He is the council member for Ward III.  Or, has he abandoned his neighbors in their fight?

Some additional info on this can be found at:

And as mentioned previously, a web search will come up with even more (and links from the two items above). 

The gentleman challenging Vaught for the council seat, Gordon Herron, is also a resident in the Crimson Ridge sub-division.  Vaught needs to be replaced with Gordon Herron.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cronyism & Nepotism Start Here

It comes as no surprise that a postcard has been mailed to the voters of Ward II with a statement by Mayor Jeff Meyers supporting Alan Willoughby (his uncle by marriage) for election to the city council for a full term.

This endorsement is a classic case of chutzpah.  And if you don't know what that means, please, Google it.

Does the mayor want us to forget that the appointment of Mr. Willoughby to finish out David Morris' term was classified by the JoCo DA as coming about because of "backroom deals" with the mayor being the "ringleader"?

Now the mayor wants the people of Ward II to condone those actions.  I hope they don't.  Dr. Mike Kemmling is not part of the city hall "inner circle" and that circle needs to be broken.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Michelle Distler - Ward IV

At next week's city election, Michelle Distler is running unopposed for Ward IV councilmember.

It would be nice when the residents of Ward IV go to the polls to vote for other offices that appear on the ballot, that they also cast a vote for Michelle Distler.

Her dedication to working on behalf of her constituents is deserving of a confidence vote.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dan Pflumm for Ward I

On election day, April 2, 2013 methinks the residents of Ward I need to return Dan Pflumm as their councilmember over John Segale.

Recently it needs to be noted, Dan Pflumm was one of two councilmembers who did not go on a junket to Boston for an NLC conference.  Six councilmembers (Neighbor, Sawyer,Willoughby, Kuhn, Vaught, and Sandifer), the mayor and city manager did go, and 4 of them took guests.

Even more importantly, Dan Pflumm (along with Michelle Distler) did not participate in the shenanigans at city hall that resulted in the appoinment of Alan Willoughby (the mayor's uncle by marriage) to the city council.  The JoCo DA referred to those shenanigans as "backroom deals" with the mayor as the "ringleader".  Dan Pflumm stood up to the shenanigans in an attmept to maintain dignity at city hall.

Dan has also been battling to change the way the the landfill impact money the city receives from Deffenbaugh is allocated.  Current policy is for the dollars to be split equally between street maintenance and economic development.  He wants a larger percentage to go for street maintenance, since that is one item that Shawnee has taken a hit on in the recent past.  Dan has also fought for fine tuning the budget as opposed to increasing taxes.

Dan's concern about keeping Shawnee viable as a place to do business is shown by his decision to move his company from a rental office into the former Commerce Bank Building which he bought, right in the middle of downtown Shawnee.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More Vaught Arrogance & Hypocrisy

Jeff Vaught, the classic arrogant example of someone who says "do as I say, not as I do"

In the April 2012 election he was highly critical of  the idea of folks from outside of Shawnee getting involved in Shawnee elections.

So, go to his web site and as of this morning you will see five endorsements:

Tom Zarda
Matt Hughes
Don Julian
Ed Alexander
Jerry Moran

From what I can tell, only Mr. Zarda is a Shawnee resident, and I believe one of the other gentlemen may live out of state.  Now it's also ironic that last year he was critical of state reps (who are Shawnee residents) from getting involved in city elections......yet he has no problems with Mr Moran who eventhough he is a US Senator, he is definitely not a Shawnee resident.  Get all the endorsements you want, just don't be hypocritical and set different "ground rules" for yourself than you try and set for others.

Also on his site he says that he:
"Led the move to eliminate the city's long term retirement liabilities by moving away from a defined benefit plan and migrating to a defined contribution plan."
Did he?  Or was that being worked on way before he was even on the council?  There are other items he seems to be taking credit for that I would question. 
Humorous side bar:  When referring to people who serve in the legislature, they are "legislators", not "legislatures".   As in:     "........attends the Legislative Breakfast Series where state legislatures discuss bills and actions currently moving through Topeka."

This man does not deserve to be returned to the city council...........ya gotta vote for Gordon Herron on April 2, 2013.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Willoughby Avoids Backing Up Statement

Ah yes, it seems like Alan Willoughby (the mayor's uncle by marriage) is joining that group of individuals who, when asked a direct question avoid a direct answer.

Background:  At last week's forum between him and Dr. Mike Kemmling, Willoughby was asked if he thought it was ok for the city to send 8 people to Boston for a convention (6 council members, the mayor and the city manager).  He thought that was fine.  He then proceeded to offer the info that 4 of the folks (he being one) had brought guests (at no cost to the city).  He then proceeded to volunteer that the city had been asked about doubling up attendees in hotel rooms and that couldn't be done, because when they got backed they looked it up and it was "illegal".

Illegal?  It's illegal to double up in hotel rooms to save money.  Well, illegal means a violation of law.  So, I did some more research, and couldn't find anything that said it was illegal to double up meeting attendees.  I did find some references that some companies, and government agencies have personnel policies against it, but I did not find anything that said it was illegal.

So, I did what any ordinary citizen would do.  I sent Willoughby an email asking him to provide the information as to where this practice was illegal.  Now that should have been easy for him to do, since, according to him "they" looked it up upon returning from Boston.  So, it should have been readily accessible.

Well, Willoughby hasn't responded.  It's not nice to ignore's not nice to make a statement and then not being able to back it up.

Willoughby's appointment to the council was a farce.  He does not deserve to be elected to a full term.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jeff Vaught Insults Another Councilmember

There was a very interesting exchange, 3/5/13 at the city council meeting, between councilmembers Jeff Vaught and Neal Sawyer.

During a discussion on an item, Mr Sawyer made reference to how the council had sold the idea of the CID at 10 Quivira Plaza to the public (a previous incentive package). Apparently Vaught took exception to the the expression "sold".  This is ironic, since "selling" is Vaught's business. He never misses an opportunity to publicly announce at a council meeting that "I am in commercial real estate". Heck, everything that comes before the council is an item that is being sold. People are always trying to "sell" the idea of approving or disapproving something. I guess this is just another simple word that Vaught has a problem understanding. 

Anyway, view the video clip below. Listen carefully and you will hear Vaught refer to Sawyer as being juvenile And then Sawyer saying that with Vaught everything is juvenile. Vaught's belittling of Sawyer is uncalled for, yet he belittles many people from his position on the dais, including members of the public. Ironically, he used to accuse his predecessor of impolite behavior towards other members of the council. Vaught does not, IMHO, present a positive image for the city council. He presents himself as a self effacing bully, intent on belittling people. With his constant reminders to us of what he does for a living I've often wondered, does Vaught want to be on the council to serve Shawnee and its citizens, or is he in it for his own personal aggrandizement?

This is a good reason to vote Vaught out and vote for his opponent, Gordon Herron on the April 2, election for council member in Ward III.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Last Night's Forum Kemmling/Willoughby

Last night there was a forum in downtown Shawnee which was organized by former councilmember David Morris and Hartman Hardware owner Mike Unterreiner.  Attorney Kevin Bennett served as moderator.  This was the first attempt at something like this in Ward II and these three are to be congratulated for even taking on the task.

So, what happened?  Well, you had to be there to appreciate it.  Mike Kemmling , for the most part gave specific answers to questions.  Remember, the questions were basically asking these two what their thoughts/positions were on a variety of topics.  Most of the time Alan Willoughby referred to a manila folder he had (complete with tabbed pages) and rather than his ideas, thoughts and positions rattled off inconsequential statistics.  Wonder who put that together for him?

Anyway, he did answer some of the questions directly.  One of them pertained to the mayor not permitting public input at the council meeting where he was appointed to the council.  He apparently thought it was OK for no public input to be allowed.  Ironically, he made the statement a number of times that the council "elected" him.  Oh boy, another person that does not understand the way local government works.  The council did not "elect" him, it appointed him to fill an unexpired term caused by a resignation.  Maybe he doesn't realize that he is NOT running for reelection, but for election to a full term.  Kemmling thought it was not right for the mayor to prohibit citizen input and cited precedences of citizen input, to include the appointment of Jim Neighbor a few years ago.

There was one topic of discussion where Willoughby was not sure of the expiration of the parks and pipes tax.  What did he do when he wasn't sure of that date?  He shouted out to councilmember Sawyer who was in the back of the room for verification.  Hey, Uncle Alan (he is the mayor's uncle by marriage) this was supposed to be between you and Mike Kemmling.  If you don't know an answer say so.  Do not shout out for third party assistance.  Going forward, if something like this happens again I would expect the moderator not to permit the person in the audience to answer (learning curve time).

When the question csme up concerning the city recently sending 8 people to Boston for a National League of Cities conference, Mike Kemmling thought that two people would have been enough, and that those two could bring back the info to the others.  Alan Willoughby thought that sending eight people was ok (6 council members, he was one of them, the city manager and the mayor).

I sincerely hope that the citizens of Ward II send a message to city hall that they no longer want cronyism in city government.  One way to do that is to vote for Mike Kemmling.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ward 3 Herron vs Vaught

I sincerely hope that the voters of Ward 3 in Shawnee elect Gordon Herron to replace Jeff Vaught as their council member. Eventhough it is the voters of that ward that determine the councilmember, it is important to remember that when any council member sits on the council and acts, he or she is acting on behalf of the entire city, not just one ward. It is my opinion that Jeff Vaught is not qualified to act on behalf of the City of Shawnee.

Let's look at just 3 reasons right now:

1. Jeff Vaught was highly complicit in the appointment of Alan Willoughby (the mayor's uncle by marriage) to replace David Morris. This whole thing was, as the District Attorney said, "the result of backroom deals". Ironically, if you read the DA's letter, Vaught actually was inclined to vote for Kemmling who garnered almost 50% of the vote in a previous election. Why did he change and vote for Uncle Alan? Was it arm twisting by the mayor (the "ringleader" according to the DA)? See and hear Jeff Vaught's ridiculous reason for not voting for Kemmling and the hypocrisy of that reasoning by clicking here:

2. How about the fact that Jeff Vaught does not even understand his job? In his arrogant, self effacing bravado he feels that other council members have to go through him. Want proof? Read this:

3. Jeff Vaught's support of the CID for 10 Quivira Plaza showed little caring for the people most affected, the folks in Ward 2. This plan, increases the sales tax in that shopping center so the owner can make improvements. Problem is, the merchant with the largest volume of business is a grocery store and the neighborhood is one of the more modest income areas of the city.

Again I sincerely hope folks support Gordon Herron over Jeff Vaught. Support can be helping to hand out literature, placing yard signs, and yes, making contributions to Gordon's campaign. Regardless of where you live, if you feel like I do that Vaught has to go, please support Gordon Herron. Visit his web site at:

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ward 2 Candidates Forum

Dr Mike Kemmling, winner of the recent Ward 2 primary and Alan Willoughby who came in second will appear at a forum on Tuesday, 3/12/13 at 7:00PM.

The location is 11009, just to the west of Pegah's Restaurant (across the street from Hartman Hardware).

More info is at

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Shawnee PD Receives Award From AAA

At Tuesday's 3/5/13 the Shawnee PD received the Gold Community Traffic
Safety Award from AAA Kansas.

The purpose of the award is to encourage communities to address local traffic safety issues in a coordinated and cost-effective way. Communities are scored on the success of their efforts in conducting traffic safety enforcement, education and engineering programs.  Examples of these traffic safety programs are Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, “Click It or Ticket” deployments, and sobriety checklanes and saturation patrols to deter impaired driving.

For 2012, Shawnee qualified for a GOLD Award. The GOLD award is given to communities that implement programs and projects that demonstrate SUPERIOR efforts at addressing local traffic safety issues. They accomplished this through expanded traffic safety programming.

The Shawnee Police Department also conducted high-visibility vehicle and motorcycle enforcement to combat aggressive drivers and hazardous driving, Operation Impact and nighttime seat belt enforcement.  They even connected with young drivers through the "Smart Choices" program in the high schools to improve seat belt use, and DUI and texting while driving prevention education.

The award was presented to Sergeant Jim Baker and Traffic Safety Officers Matt Klein, Steve Walsh, Matt Sumpter, and Nate Karlin with the 2012 Kansas Triple A Community Traffic Safety GOLD Award. Congratulations on a job well done.

St Patty's Day & Heroes Pull

Don't forget after the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Sunday March 10th at 2PM there will be a charity event at the Splash Cove parking lot (Johnson Drive and King St in downtown Shawnee)

Various teams have been formed and will attempt to pull a police armored vehicle and a firetruck 50 feet.

This is being done to raise money for Kansas Special Olympics. All money raised stays in Kansas and helps the Special Olympics .

So, what about donating. Each team member is trying to get as many doantions as possible, and there is a little challenge going on to see who can raise the most money.

One of the teams is the City Hall Crusaders and their page is    You can click on the name of an individual team member and make your donation in their name. I chose to make mine on behalf of my Ward 4 councilmember Michelle Distler, and her page can be accessed directly at

Join in..........the donations don't have to be big..............every bit's for a good cause.........and then turn out on the 10th of March to cheer the team on............I can hardly wait to see them pulling those vehicles.

Side note: If you're bashful, the donation page (since this is a charity) has a box that you can check to be anonymous.