Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jenkins Challenging Sawyer in Ward II

Eric Jenkins, as previously mentioned on this blog, has filed to challenge Neal Sawyer for the Ward II seat on the city council.

It's time for a change in Ward II.  Eric's election would prove to be very positive for the city.

Eric Jenkins' web site is at:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Vaught, in His Own Words, Denigrates 25% of Shawnee's Population

On March 26, 2012 there was an item posted on this blog here 

One of the items in that post dealt with Jeff "The Arrogant One" belittling and denigrating people who rented in Shawnee by saying they don't have a stake in Shawnee.  This is 25% of the residents of Shawnee.

Now, you don't have to read what was said, you can hear Vaught, in his own words, by scrolling down to the You Tube link.

Quick additional background:  I was in the audience and Vaught decided to use his position on the dais to attack me, and by virtue of what he said, all people in Shawnee who rent.  He said even though we pay property taxes in our rent, because we don't have property tax receipts we don't have a stake in the city.  Strange logic.  Just like everybody else we pay personal property taxes on vehicles, franchise fees on utilities, sales tax on purchases etc.  And yes, landlords don't give renters a free ride on property taxes.

Oh if you are wondering where the 25% figure comes from that's easy.  The city has over 6,300 multi family units.  That does not include duplexes, fourplexes and single residences that are rentals. Multiply those numbers by the average number of folks in a residence and you come up with approximately 25%

Now  "His Arrogance" is running for mayor.  Who wants a mayor who feels that 25% of the folks in the city don't have a stake in that city?

I'm really going to enjoy seeing who provides him with endorsements.  Better yet, it will be interesting to see who provides financial support to his campaign.  By default, you have to surmise that they agree with his analysis concerning renters.

Here it is, in his own words:


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Two New Hotels for Shawnee

There is an item on the city council agenda for tomorrow concerning the possibility of two new hotels on Midland Road near Renner.

Now this makes sense.  These hotels would be basically a destination venue.  Something that folks from outside of the area would come to specifically.  Just browse back through this blog.  I have been saying for years that we need some destination venue on the I-435 corridor to get some of the bleed off from Village West, the speedway, sports venues, etc.  Ironically, the principal behind this project owns a hotel in Village West.  Guess he must know something about bleed off.

This sure makes more sense for economic development compared to more shopping centers, with fast food restaurants that will just split local revenues.

Now if we could add some more destination venues, especially along the I-435 corridor, to Shawnee, life would be good.

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Agendas" & "Special Interests" Revisited

At just about every election I have posted an item about the use, or rather misuse of the terms "agenda" & "special interests".

It is ridiculous for someone to say to vote or not vote for a person because they have an agenda and/or are supported by special interests.

Let's look at each one individually.

Agenda:  What is an agenda.  It is a plan or a list of items that a candidate wants to get accomplished.  Heck, I wouldn't want to vote for somebody unless they did have an agenda.  Who wants somebody in office who has no idea as to where they are going?  The only time an agenda is a "bad" agenda is if it doesn't agree with what you would like to see accomplished.

Special interests:  Heck, every candidate is supported by special interests.  And every voter has special interests.  People will support candidates who have ideas that mirror their own.  A candidate says that he/she is in favor of painting sidewalks purple.  OK, folks who agree with that will support that candidate, including with money.  Folks who disagree with that will not support that candidate.  As with agendas, the only time that a candidate being supported by special interests is wrong is when those special interests do not coincide with what a particular voter agrees with.

So come on folks, let's be real about those two terms.  Candidates, don't use them.  Be specific instead.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vaught Speaks - Get Your Hipwaders

On Jeff Vaught's campaign web site he says "...Jeff has the proven leadership and consensus building capability..." and that he ".... refutes the political divisiveness that only separates us....."

This is a man who has insulted other members of the council and members of the public with his know it all arrogant attitude.  Don't believe me?  The below was originally posted on this blog on 3/17/13, and there are many more instances out there.

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?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Great Letter in the Shawnee Dispatch Today

Nathan Carter, a Shawnee resident had a great letter published in the Shawnee Dispatch.  It can be viewed at

In his letter Mr. Carter laments about the previous low turnouts in city elections and urges everyone to vote in the upcoming city elections (primary March 3 and general April 7).

Any long term reader of this blog knows this is a subject that I have commented on many times.  Shawnee residents are pretty good at turning out for presidential and gubernatorial elections.  When it comes to city elections, turn out sucks.

Ironically, it is city government that has the most effect on people's daily lives, from police/fire to snow plowing, to parks, street repairs, sales taxes etc.  Also, it is the level of government that is easiest for citizens to make their feelings known (which by the way in Shawnee we don't have enough of this either).

It's amazing how many people don't even know who their council members are.  They usually can't even name one of the two in their ward.

Let's get the voter turn out up on this year's elections.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Arrogance Personified - Jeff Vaught - Part One

This has been labeled as "Part One" as there will be more to follow.

I have followed the council for many years and have come to the conclusion that Jeff "the Arrogant One" Vaught has to be the most arrogant person to serve on the council.

It is my opinion that the worst thing that could happen to Shawnee would be for this individual to become the mayor of our city.  We will, over the course of the next few weeks show you why we have come to that conclusion.  We will also show you why, when he speaks, it is our opinion that persons listening to him need to wear hip waders.

But first, part one of the arrogance.  Most candidates on their web sites usually list their email as candidatename@candidatewebsite   Well, what has Mr Arrogance gone and done?  He apparently feels he has already won the election.  Ready for this?  His email address is

More to gets better.................

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Power Play Donation and Candlelight Vigil

Additional info regarding memorials for Jon Bieker.

PowerPlay Shawnee is happy to announce that we will be donating 50% of the entire day's gross receipts from playcard sales on Thursday, January 15th to the Jon Bieker Memorial Fund. From 11:00am to 10:00pm on Thursday, January 15th, 50% of any money that is put on a playcard at the PowerPlay in Shawnee will go to that fund. All funds going to the Jon Bieker Memorial Fund will go directly to the victim's family to help in funeral costs and other needed expenses. The funeral is Saturday, January 17th. Come in for a great day of fun, and help us support a very worthy cause.

On Thursday, January 15, the Shawnee Downtown Business Association and the Shawnee Downtown Partnership will host a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Jon Bieker. The vigil will begin at 7:00 pm in the parking lot of She's A Pistol (5725 Nieman Road). Those gathered will then walk downtown where people will be able to sign a banner and share their condolences with the Bieker family.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Visitation Info for Jon Bieker

The info below is from the Amos Family Funeral Home web site

Jon Bieker

Jon Bieker, 44, of Gardner, KS, died, Friday, January 9, 2015. Jon lost his life protecting his dream.
Jon was born August 5, 1970 in Salina, KS to Donald Joseph and Sheryl Richardson Bieker. Jon spent most of his early life in WaKeeney, KS. He worked for a number of years on large computer infrastructures specializing in system and network integration as well as network security. In 2009, he and his wife, Becky, founded She’s A Pistol, LLC, with the goal of helping customers find the right method to defend themselves. Jon continued to work in the computer field until November of 2013 when the business required his full time involvement.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Bieker, in 2013. He is survived by his wife, Becky Bieker; his mother, Sheryl Bieker; a sister, Andrea Smith, and many more family and friends.


Private family services were held. A candlelight vigil will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, beginning at She’s a Pistol. A public visitation will be held from 2 – 5 p.m., Saturday, January 17, at the Amos Family Funeral Home & Crematory.

Memorial Contributions

A memorial fund in Jon’s name has been established at US Bank.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Memorial Funds for Jon Bieker

updated 6:41AM 1/12/15

Shawnee's loss is Heaven's gain.

So far, three, maybe four memorial funds have been established:

1.  Kansas State Rifle Association:

2.  GoFundMe She's a Pistol (owner) sponsored by Tarra Stoddard "The American Woman Shooter Magazine"
Click here for the GoFundMe site

3.  Another GoFundMe has been set up by friends of the Biekers from Lenexa KS
Click here for this one

4.  Also, I haven't confirmed it but it appears that a memorial fund has also been established through any branch of US Bank....She's A Pistol/Becky Bieker

updated 6:41AM 1/12/15

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

We Need Michelle Distler as Mayor

Michelle Distler would be a great mayor for Shawnee.  She is probably the most prepared council member at meetings because she does her research.

She also does not believe in "backroom shenanigans" and has proven that.  Remember the District Attorney's investigation and subsequent findings related to the appointment of Alan (the current mayor's uncle by marriage)  Willoughby to what at the time was an open council seat?  Her comments were a major catalyst for the DA's investigation which resulted in a very strong letter of rebuke by the DA.  Yet, one of her opponents, Jeff Vaught, attempted to dismiss the DA's findings. Hmmmm, wasn't Vaught one of the council members who voted for Uncle Alan?  Was he part of the backroom shenanigans?

Michelle Distler would bring integrity to the position.

Anyway, if you would like to contribute to her campaign you can do so by going to her web page

If 500 people would donate just $20 each it would be very helpful to her campaign.  Even $10 would pay for two yard signs.  Now for those who can, the maximum donation allowed by law is $500 per person or business.  Also, that maximum can be "hit" twice, once during the primary cycle (prior to the primary election) and once during the general cycle(prior to the general election).

Important dates:  Primary Election is March 3, 2015 and the General Election is April 7, 2015

Information on voter registration, advance voting (in person or by mail) and other important items can  be found on the JoCo Election Office web site

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Updated Candidate Filing Info

Dan Pflumm Ward 1 Council member has filed for mayor.  That now brings the field to four, with Michelle Distler, John Segale and Jeff Vaught also in the running.  The primary election will be Tuesday March 5, 2015.

Eric Jenkins has filed for council in Ward 2.  Eric will be challenging current ward 2 councilmember Neal Sawyer.Eric's victory would be a breath of fresh air for Ward 2