Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Did Vaught Make Up the Numbers?

If you scroll down to my posts of 6/18/14 and 6/23/14 you will see where I was trying to get verification from Councilmember Vaught about a statement he made.  That statement was that 40% of the sales taxes collected in Shawnee were from non-Shawnee residents.  Believe his point was that with a sales tax increase for roads that a good portion would be coming from folks who live outside of Shawnee.  If true, that would be a nice shot in the arm.

So, I sent him an email, asking for verifiable documentation that would back up his statement.  He never replied. So, what was my next step?  To submit a KORA (Kansas Open Records Act) request to the city to see if they could help to verify the info.

What was the official response from the city?

The finance director receives sales tax documents from the state department of revenue, but they are not an open record. She is not permitted to distribute them. The city does not have a document that confirms or refutes Councilmember Vaught’s statement.

Unfortunately his original statement was picked up by the media, and published with no verification.  The Dispatch reporter that published that eventually emailed the city manager asking about it (info I got based on another KORA request), but there is no indication that the email was responded to within the time frame of the request.  Maybe it was responded to by phone?  Thereby eliminating a paper trail?  (See my posts about the cheerleading)

The sad part is that Jeff (the arrogant one) Vaught, in his big, booming, intimidating voice can apparently make up whatever he wants to and it gets accepted as gospel truth.

So, did Vaught make up the numbers?  Did he slip and disclose information that he was not supposed to reveal, or possibly even have access to?  Does the city even get figures broken down by residency, or do they just get sales tax info by business?  Thereby making residency an undetermined number?  What do you think?

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. 

Hmmmm, who dispenses misinformation?