Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Community Meeting Wed 10/1/14

The city will be holding a community meeting at city hall, 11110 Johnson Drive at 6:00PM to discuss the two sales tax ballot questions.

The questions are:
1.  Whether to renew the 1/8 parks & pipes
2.  Whether to levy a new 3/8 tax for pavement

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Old Scam - New Twist

There is a new twist on an old scam.  Even though many of us feel we are too sophisticated to fall for it, there are some out there who probably will.  Those folks could be friends or relatives.  With that in mind, and I hate to say this, a common phrase used in urban legends, pass this info on.  Info has been given to local law enforcement.  Since most of these scams originate outside the U.S. they are close to impossible for our law enforcement to shut down and prosecute.

OK, here's what the email said (note the poor English, as usual):

Airport Storage and Cargo Unit
Kansas City International Airport
601 Brasilia Ave, Kansas City, MO 64153, United States

ATTENTION:Notice On Your Package reg #: JG1N8875BS

In view of your inability to receive your package reg #: JG1N8875BS originally scheduled to be delivered to you by the agency foreign payment service Seattle. This package in a metal box valued 2,316,000USD (Two Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen thousand United States dollars) arrived at Kansas City International Airport via Delta Airlines flight no.DL 9182.

The agency Foreign payment service Seattle staff came and applied for the release of this package for delivery to your address but has since not shown up.

I am writing to inform you that we have intercepted and investigated the said package and investigations proved the legitimacy and that the package was initially scheduled for delivery to you, you are therefore advised to make contact with Mr. David Beardsley, All American Courier, llc Director of Delivery to recover your package and deliver it to you. email is:

Note that this notice serves as our last recovery notice to you as the grace day given to you has expired and we shall begin to charge $20.00 for each day the package stays in our custody, you are therefore advised make move to recover your or we will be compelled to list your package as an unclaimed and maybe forfeited and moved to the United States Treasury Department for holding.

Best regards,
Brian R. Adams, Director,
Airport Storage and Cargo Unit
Kansas City International Airport.

As a side note, there is a way to track flights and flight numbers, so I checked DL9182.  Delta, from what I can tell last used that number 9 years ago on a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh.  The contact email address is a Philippines address and a review of the internet routing of the item indicates it may have originated in Russia.  'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sales Tax Questions on the November Ballot Part 4

This post is concerning the proposed 3/8th sales tax for pavement.  As previously stated, we probably do need a new tax but not necessarily 3/8ths.  There are other sources as stated in other posts here.

What I'm going to discuss tonight is a question that has really been bothering me.  We know that Jeff "The Arrogant One" Vaught had stated that 40% of our sales tax revenues came from non-residents of Shawnee.  We also know that he could not/would not produce documents to back that up.  We know that as the result of a KORA request the city said they could not confirm that info.  And last but not least, we know that in a recent article in the Shawnee Dispatch the city manager was quoted as saying that the city could not provide info as to sources of sales tax revenues.

So, here's the question that has been bothering me for quite some time:  When Vaught made his comment about the 40% why didn't the city manager state at that committee meeting that there was no way to determine that info?  Why didn't she correct him on the spot?  It's not like he hasn't been corrected about misinformation in the past.  Heck, even the fire chief had to correct him one evening recently.

Anyway, it is interesting to note that he was not corrected that night.  One can only surmise that the city manager did not make the correction at that meeting for one of the following reasons:
1.  She didn't hear him make the statement
2.  She didn't want to make him look foolish (even though he was providing misinformation)
3.  She knew it was wrong, was hoping nobody would pursue it, since if the figure was perceived to be accurate it would be a help to the plan. That would mean that theoretically a major portion of the taxes would be paid for by non-residents of Shawnee.

So, which one was it?  Or was it for another reason? 

How many pieces of misinformation will the city be passing on to the voters at the dog and pony road show?  How many pieces of viable information will not be given to the citizens?

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, September 20, 2014

Citizen Letter to the Shawnee Dispatch About Pavement Sales Tax

This week saw a letter by Greg Snell published in the Shawnee Dispatch.  Over the course of the past few years Greg has attended many City Council and Council Committee meetings.

His observations in the letter are something that Shawnee citizens need to look at, concerning the proposed 3/8ths of a cent sales tax for pavements (streets etc). 

The letter can be viewed here http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/sep/18/letter-editor-city-needs-be-better-about-watching-/

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. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sales Tax Questions on the November Ballot Part 3

As previously stated, I feel the city does need an increase but not the 3/8ths  being asked for, for pavements.  There are other sources.

That now brings us to this article in the Shawnee Dispatch http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/sep/03/city-hits-streets-promote-parks-pipes-and-pavement/

As the city continues its dog and pony show will it be up front about certain things?  As an example, this from the above article:

Although Council Member Jeff Vaught said at a public meeting this summer that the city generates about 40 percent of its sales tax revenue from non-Shawnee residents, Gonzales said the city doesn't have statistics that show revenue breakdown by resident or nonresident. An email requesting the source of Vaught's information was not immediately returned.

There are folks out there who know of Vaught's comment but are not aware of the fact that it cannot be substantiated.  When these presentations are made is the city going to tell folks that if they heard of Herr Arrogance's comments that they cannot be substantiated?  (Previously covered on this blog)  It's nice that the city manager mentions that in this new article, but what about the folks that haven't read it but read the previous one where he was quoted with that misinformation.
Hmmm, and only bloggers disseminate misinformation?   

It's also nice to see that Jeff "the arrogant one" Vaught also does not respond to media emails.  Now I don't feel so bad that he didn't answer mine.  Good move for a man that has his eye on the mayor's seat.  Heck, forget that, good move for an elected official..............it's called not being open and transparent.

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, September 07, 2014

Sales Tax Questions on the Ballot in November Part 2

OK, this is going to be about the proposed 3/8th of a cent sales tax for pavements.

Do our streets, curbs, sidewalks, gutters need work?  Yepper, they sure do.  And unfortunately it looks like we are going to have to have an increase in sales taxes to pay for it.  But does it have to be 3/8ths?

In my opinion I'd like to know why certain senior city officials didn't push for a smaller sales tax 2, 3 or even 4 years ago?  Instead, these officials were "high fiving" themselves because when the 2014 budget was completed in 2013 they were ecstatic that they did it without a tax increase.  See this post please http://www.shawneeray.blogspot.com/2013/09/shawnee-open-wide-and-say-ahhhhhhhhhhh.html

One of the reasons for asking for the 3/8ths is that as time goes on prices go up.  True, but if we had a 1/8th increase 2, 3 or 4 years ago wouldn't that have reduced the problem?  Couldn't that have reduced the number of streets that became severe problems?

What certain city officials have done here is, as I mentioned at a council meeting, like the student who has to read Moby Dick for a school assignment.  The teacher hands out the assignment around Labor Day and says that a report is due the Monday after Thanksgiving.  So, what happens?  The student starts to read the book while dad is carving the turkey.  That is what has happened here.  Instead of going smaller, a few years back, we are now getting hit with "we must do this higher amount or the sky will fall" type of situation.  Didn't they see this coming?  If they did their projections correctly they did.

My opinion is that unless there is a strong push for a destination venue in Shawnee that additional funds from the Deffenbaugh impact fee should be used for pavements.  Enough already with additional retail, what with all the other incentives it takes years before  the city sees any real tax money.  A destination venue on the other hand could be very beneficial.  Streets are very important for economic development.

I firmly believe that certain city officials have actually attempted to suppress the info over the years.
Here are two comments from Jeff "The Arrogant One" Vaught:

Fiance & Administration Meeting 7/5/2011 while discussing how to use the landfill impact fee:
Councilmember Vaught stated it goes back to reinvestment.  They could spend it on roads and there are roads that need it, but the City does have a Mill and Overlay Program and a road program.  They have been working towards that program and have not totally abandoned their roads and are back on track to get things done and have a schedule.

Shawnee Dispatch article 3/26/2013 Ward 3 candidates disagree on packing heat, shape of city:  "I don't have an agenda or some notion that Shawnee is broken and needs to be fixed," Vaught said.  "On the contrary, Shawnee is in great shape and, because of good government, we are seeing good things happening all over the city.  Housing starts are way up, commercial development is moving, and Shawnee is ranked with the best for quality of live.

So, as the city goes around "educating" folks about the 3/8ths tax, think about the comments above.  Ask, why didn't we go for 1/8th 2, 3 or 4 years ago?  There will be certain things that the city's dog and pony show won't bring out in the presentation.  Like the fact that certain officials may have Moby Dicked us.

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. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Back From Vacation

Well, I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Took a short hiatus before going on vacation and then went on vacation.  Had a great time.

Got to spend quite a bit of time with the grandkids.  They wore this old man out, so much so, that I actually dropped over 6 pounds while there.  Needed that anyway (and more). Where I was, daytime temps were in the mid 60s to low 70s most of the time and nights were mostly in the 50s.

I have some comments that I will be posting in the very near future about various topics to include the proposed 3/8th cent sales tax ballot question for pavement, the November elections and the coming spring city elections.