Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What To Do With Westbrooke Village

Just returned from a Christmas trip to Sault Ste Marie, MI.  Beautiful country up there.

Anyway, a recent article in the Shawnee Dispatch http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/dec/22/city-business-owners-talk-westbrook-village/
indicates that certain individuals might be interested in feedback as to what to do there.

Well, I'm sure they really don't want my input.  Primarily because I'm not a loudmouthed owner of a one man (or is it two?) commercial real estate operation.  But, I'll give it a try anyway.  :-)  :-)

First, and I've said it many times before, what Shawnee needs is a destination venue.  Something that would attract folks from all over the metro to specifically make it a point to come here.  Small shopping centers, with local oriented businesses are not the answer to true economic growth.

Currently we have a new Holiday Express nearing completion.  This is good as that will give us 3 hotels in the I-435 corridor, and a chance to get some of the bleed off from Village West in KCK which includes the speedway, the soccer stadium, concerts etc.  There also appear to be plans to build two more hotels in the same general area.  That would bring us to five.  Again, that's good. These are mid priced limited service facilities.  We need them.....but we also need a destination venue.  That brings us to my first idea for the Westbrooke Village property.

A full service hotel with a convention center.  The proximity to I-35 could be very helpful.  major conventions could show large amounts of dollar turnover, and would bring in folks from outside the area.  The space could also be used to build businesses that would be complimentary to such a facility.

Idea number two:  An international market place.  This would be comprised of businesses that would reflect original concepts from foreign countries.  And, NOT just restaurants.  Clothing stores, furniture stores, you name it. Things that people in the metro are looking to get from the "old country".  Naturally, this is a basic concept and would need some serious input.  It could be a legacy development for somebody.  Also, any restaurants that were to be part of the concept would have to be non-chain and a serious cap on fast food, if any.

Anyway, there's my two cents.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Citizen Escorted From Podium at Council Meetuing

Is it true.  Was a citizen escorted from the podium during last night's discussion about a TIF District for the proposed Shawnee Landing project?

I had to miss the meeting because of the need for a super early wake up call.

In all the years I've attended various meetings at city hall I have never seen anything like that.  The person who was supposedly escorted from the podium is not an individual that I would call violent. Anyway, trying to find out more about what happened.

Happy Hiolidays

Wishing all a Happy Holiday season.

For me, it will be fun.  Spending it with the kids, grand kids and great grand kids.

Hope everyone else can enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shawnee Mayor's Race - 2015

So far three individuals have filed to run for the Mayor of Shawnee.  Since more than two have filed there will be a primary election on March 3, 2015 and the general election will be held on April 7, 2015.

Between the three who have filed the obvious choice would be Michelle Distler who is currently a Ward IV council person.  Her web site is http://www.michelledistler.com

Folks who are interested may contribute once during the primary cycle and once during the general election cycle.  That becomes important if you are contributing the maximum allowable of $500 per person or business. Would like to see folks get behind Michelle as she would be a definite asset to the city.

The other two who have filed are Jeff Vaught, currently a Ward III council person and John Segale a former council person and county commissioner.  Vaught's site is http://www.jeffvaught.com and Segale's is http://www.johnsegale.org  Vaught's history of arrogance would be one reason that he would not be what Shawnee needs for mayor.  Also, he has insulted approximately 25% of the residents of Shawnee by basically saying if they rent they don't have a stake in the city.  This, at an open council meeting.  Someone like that would not be an all inclusive individual.  On Segale's web site  he is complaining about the things that Vaught is taking credit for.  In the last mayoral election there was a primary and Segale was eliminated from going into the general election by a virtual unknown at the time.  That's gotta tell ya something.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Westbrooke Village Deal - Dead Part II

On 11/17/14 there was a post on this blog in which I said that it appeared that possibly four members of the council were not notified that the deal was dead.

In a November 19 article in the Shawnee Dispatch http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2014/nov/19/westbrook-village-developer-terminates-deal/
this appears:

Gonzales is authorized as city manager to make payments up to $50,000 without consent from the city's governing body, although she did notify the City Council of the termination and the amount to be paid in an email dated on Sept. 26.

So, let's see what was said, compliments of a KORA request:  From the 9/26/14 email;

Westbrook Village. The ownership of Westbrook Village has not been interested in pursuing a sale of
the property at this point, so I am expecting a letter from Drew Snyder of MDDS requesting to
terminate the agreement with them. They have substantially completed the first element of the
Agreement, but in light of not being successful any further, they have agreed to reduce the payment
for their efforts from $50,000 to $25,000. The project could very well come back at a future date, but
at this time the owner is not very cooperative at this time .

Guess it is a matter of semantics.  There was NO definitive statement that the project was over, Just a statement that she was expecting a letter that it would be as such.  One would think that certain individuals would know the difference between definitive statements and ones of conjecture.  Heck, in a conversation with the Dispatch reporter even he thinks that a conjectural statement is a definitive statement.  Was there ever a follow up notice that the letter had been received?

Typical non-definitive statements so that a person can eventually "swing" either way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Back On Line

Have ya missed me?

On Sunday, 11/23/14 my computer got infected with a virus.  Pushed on by what looked like a normal Adobe notice of update for Adobe Flash Player.  In about 23 years of using a computer this was the first time this has ever happened to me.  Or was it a "push" by one of my political enemies?  Nahhhhhh............that's a reach.

Anyway, took the infected unit to the "computer hospital".  Problems were compounded by a failing hard drive and a need to salvage as much of my work files as possible.

Anyway, the unit was discharged from the hospital yesterday, but then took a short trip back for a minor adjustment.

So, we are now back on line.  Look for some updates in the very near future.

Also, a reminder that the spring city general elections are April 7, 2015.  If you're not registered to vote, please do so.  And, please vote.  Let's get a decent turnout this year.  We have the mayor's position and four of the council seats on the ballot.