Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Part III of Potential Revitalization of Westbrooke Village Shopping Center

Well, this past Monday night the council voted to move forward with a plan to revitalize Westbrooke Village Shopping Center.

Something definitely needs to be done.  A big box retailer is good if and that is a big if, it can draw from outside of Shawnee.  If all it does is cannibalize existing businesses, then it does not do the city any good.

Anyway, I'm not going to go into total detail here tonight.  The Shawnee Dispatch pretty much covered the high points here:

Pay close attention to Councilmember Sawyer's comments.  There is a certain validity to them

I'll have more later on.
WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Part II of Potential Revitalization of Westbrooke Village Shopping Center

On Monday, 4/28/14 the city council will consider a plan for the revitalization of the Westbrooke Village Shopping Center at 75th St & Quivira.

The council committee had voted to forward this item to the council with no recommendation.

The center needs to be revitalized.  No doubt about that.  Is the plan that is proposed though the right one?  There appear to be, IMHO both positives and negatives to that plan, both of which I intend to address at the council meeting Monday night.

Read the info contained in the agenda with documentation at$FILE/City_Council_2014_4_28_Agenda_with_Supporting_Documentation.pdf

If you feel that you would like to comment on this item, show up Monday night and let your opinions be heard.

WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

City Council Leadership Positions

At last Monday's city council meeting (4/14/14), two positions were voted on and approved:

Jim Neighbor as council president (a big mistake in my book)

Stephanie Meyer as vice chairman of the council committee

These terms are for one year.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Making A Tragedy Even Worse

Very seldom do I use this blog to discuss anything not related to Shawnee, KS.

Today is one of those days.  The recent killings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom were a dastardly event, perpetrated by a hate filled sociopath.  Many folks, much more eloquent than I can ever hope to be have already expressed sympathy to the families involved.  Let me just add my wishes and prayers, that the three victims be allowed to rest in peace.

How can the tragedy be even worse?  It appears that members of Topeka's infamous Westboro Baptist Church have plans to picket the funerals tomorrow of Dr. William Corporon and his 14 year old grandson Reat Underwood.  We have for too long put up with the hate filled picketing of this group.  Ironically, when their founder Fred Phelps passed a few weeks ago the family asked to be able to grieve privately.  True hypocrites.

It is my understanding that many teenagers, some who were classmates of the young Mr. Underwood, are planning on gathering at the funeral to shield the family from the despicable display of the WBC.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, I ask that all of you say some sort of prayer, that the young people shielding those families tomorrow are successful in their endeavor and that the families may be allowed peaceful bereavement.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tonight's City Council Leadership Elections

Tonight the city council will elect a new council president and a vice-chairman of the council committee.

Jeff  "the Arrogant One" Vaught would probably love to be elected council president so he can use that in his campaign when he runs at the end of this year for mayor.  Walking around, beating his chest and announcing "I am currently council president".

I sincerely hope the council does not bestow this honor on him for the following two reasons:

1.  FACT:  When the council was considering restoring full minutes (which they did do) he vehemently opposed that.  If he had been successful, full and complete written documentation of council meetings would not have been restored, depriving the citizenry of true open government.
2.  FACT:  When Policy Statement 7 was last being reviewed, and changed, Vaught was strongly in favor of limiting citizen comments at meetings.  Fortunately others didn't see it that way.

Ironically, in the last election he referred to himself as a patriot.  What a joke.

WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Leader or Tyrant

At last Tuesday's (4/8/14) council committee meeting, council president Jim Neighbor gaveled down a citizen (Ernie Straub III) and another council member (Neal Sawyer).  I personally felt his actions were reprehensible, so I sent him an email.  Naturally, he did not respond to the email. Could it be because his ghostwriter was unavailable.  We do know who usually writes his emails for him.

Anyway, here is what I sent:


You really surprised me last night when you gaveled down Ernie Straub III when he came up to speak.  You said he was not to get into personalities with Jeff Vaught. 

Well guess what?  He wasn’t engaging in personalities.  If you listened to what he said he was refuting a statement that Vaught made.  Vaught had indicated that he had spoken with folks in the affected area and knew what they wanted.  Mr. Straub wanted to point out that the comment did not seem credible as Vaught never knocked on his door.  The development that Mr Straub lives in has very few residents.  Which ones did Vaught talk to?  That is NOT engaging in personalities.  That is presenting a counter argument.  Are council members going to be permitted to make statements and not have them challenged because that would be “engaging in personalities”?  Are council members going to be permitted to use the dais as a shield to protect them from being held accountable for their statements?  Are statements made by councilmembers supposed to be taken as gospel truth? 

I find your actions last night to be the height of rudeness towards a member of the community.  And then you top that off by gaveling down council member Sawyer because he was trying to make an analogy about other types of spending.

IMHO, you owe both gentlemen an apology.  And a public one at that.


You can listen to the audio portion of the meeting to hear what transpired, but to simplify things I have had the portion that pertained to Mr. Vaught's comments already transcribed since the minutes will not be available for a few weeks.  Mr. Straub was just trying to clari\fy that he never saw Vaught in his neighborhood, never knocked on his door, and there are not that many homes in Bell Meade since they are large acreage lots:

You know, I've campaigned in Belle Meade twice, I've campaigned in those areas, uh, you know I've heard a lot of support in Bell Meade to, to get a cut through street, uh, one in particular is right where that street is going to cut through there. Um, $800,000 house looking at a field of weeds and, and, and, uh, scrub grass, um, uh, watching cars drive around the barriers and cut through there. You know, it's, it's a quality neighborhood, um, the lots in Belle Meade, I know that, I believe they changed hands here in the last couple years, uh, you know, that could be, uh, some of those lots could have been a challenge as people look at that and go well I gotta drive all the way back to up to Clare and come all the way around to get out of here. You know, maybe they would have built out faster, and, and, those aren't cheap houses so we might have had another, you know, 3, 4 million dollars worth of, of, of assessment on our tax rolls right now so when we're talking about um, you know, 90 thousand or, uh, to me those aren't huge numbers. You know one of the interesting things is we are all being real protective of excise, you know, we voted to abate the excise tax. We don't have it right now. And it's, and it's been a great tool, and because of that we have eco-commerce park with an 80 acre development, 180,000 foot building, uh, being completed right now. So, you know, I've always said from the beginning that I'm adamantly opposed to excise tax so whatever the numbers here are, I mean if I could just waive the whole thing of the excise tax due I would because I've never believed in an excise tax, I just, it's, it's, to me, it's, it's, not a tax that I like so, um, we gotta do this and if for no other reason for public safety. We have residents living there that, I mean literally, ffff, for the fire department if they come up, you know, you, you gotta, come all the way up, come all the way back up to Clare which is, when you get past 55th street there, on Clare, it becomes very narrow, um, it becomes somewhat of a dangerous road for a fast traveling fire truck and you have some blind inters, or some blind driveways, uh, you have a very skinny road, you have some very deep ditches and you know, you know,  I don't, I don't think it's um, regardless of how we got to this point, for the quality of house on Belle Meade, I don't think it's fair just to dig in and say, well, no, um, we're just going to wait until this magic moment when somebody can step up and spend this money. People have been looking at this for years, um, finally somebody's come forward who says hey I can make this happen I just need a little bit of help and, you know, whether we like it or not, I think it's something we just have to do.

So, I'm in support of it and I know the people I've talked to in the area are in support of it.

WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Is It Menard's?

Last night at the council committee meeting a master development plan for the Westbrooke Shopping Center was discussed.  The development company was mentioned, but not the prospective retailer.

Is there any truth to this article from the Kansas City Business Journal?

Now it gets interesting.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Need Info Regarding Arson Fire

On Sunday, March 30, 2014 at approximately 6:30 in the morning an arson fire occurred at the Carlyle Apartments.

If anybody has any info regarding this, please contact the Shawnee Fire Marshal, Corey Sands at (913) 742-6102

Thank you

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Potential Revitalization of Westbrooke Village Shopping Center

There is a very strong possibility that the Westbrooke  Village Shopping Center at 75th & Quivira will be revitalized.
At the council committee meeting scheduled for 7:00PM on Tuesday April 8, 2014: 
Economic Development Director Andrew Nave will present information regarding a
proposed Master Developer Agreement with MDDS Development LLC for Westbrooke
Village Shopping Center at 75th and Quivira. A memo and agreement are included.
For more info on the above, please go to:$FILE/Council_Committee_2014_4_8_Agenda_with_Supporting_Documentation.pdf
This can be a major boost to Shawnee's economy.  The Westbrooke Village Shopping Center has been about 90% vacant for many years.  Yet it is the second largest center in Shawnee and one of the largest in JoCo.
Shawnee has three major east/west arteries that connect with both I-35 and I-435: Johnson Drive, Shawnee Mission Parkway and 75th Street.  The information contained in the above link appears to call for a major big box retailer to take over the northern section of the shopping center.  With access to the two interstates, a major retailer could pull from cities other than Shawnee.  The 75th St corridor at Quivira sees somewhere between 30-40,000 vehicles a day.
The potential for ancillary businesses to sprout up next to a major big box retailer can only be viewed as positive.
This could be a step in the right direction for Shawnee.
WARNING!!!!!! The City Manager of Shawnee has determined that local bloggers post items that may contain bad or misinformation. Please read these posts with care and determine for yourself whether the information is valid.