Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Week To Go

The two candidates running for mayor in Shawnee came out of a 4 person primary.  Both are good people.  My personal preference would be Michelle Distler.  

In Ward II,  I feel that Eric Jenkins needs to be elected.  It's time for Neal Sawyer to retire from the council.

In Ward I Ben Terrill needs to replace Jim Neighbor.

And lastly, in Ward IV Mickey Sandifer has refused to state, in writing what he learned at the recent NLC event in DC.  That's typical of him.  He always wants to talk about it, so he can't be held to his statements.  This is not the first time.  So, let's start a write-in campaign.  Write-in my name, your name or the name of anybody else who lives in Ward IV

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jim Neighbor Cites Old and Bad Info

At the candidate forum last Thursday night, council member Jim Neighbor cited some erroneous information.

The question came up about the potential changes for city elections.  Neighbor was claiming that if the city elections were moved to the fall, that city elections would suffer, because they would be listed on the bottom of a long ballot, and there would be a "voter fall off".

Well, whoever is supplying Mr. Neighbor with his information is not staying up to date on what is happening in the legislature.  I wonder who that could be? wink wink

The most current update to the bill (Mar 19, 2015, a full week before the forum) to change municipal elections, provides for two very important items:

1.  Municipal elections would remain non-partisan, unless the municipality changed that
2.  Municipal elections would be on the top of the ballot, ahead of the "biggies"  (governor, president, congress,etc)  Try this for verification.

I do wish that elected officials would get their info straight.

Another reason to get somebody new and fresh to represent Ward I in the upcoming election.

Elect Ben Terrill to the city council.  His background indicates he will stay up to date on his research

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, March 25, 2015


Ahhh, Mickey Sandifer never ceases ti amaze me.

At Monday's council meeting there was an item to approve a resolution that a developer had submitted an application for housing tax credits.  This was strictly to confirm that the application was filed.  Nothing more.

In his "wisdom" Sandifer commented on how he has been against construction that was based on housing tax credits since he felt those types of housing units brought high crime with them.  In this case he felt the location was ok since the police were already in that neighborhood (DDACTS enforcement??).

Here's the kicker.  If he had read and understood the application it was for senior housing.  That's right, not family housing but senior housing.  Elderly, old, most likely retired.  I didn't realize that seniors living in housing that received tax credits were considered to have a penchant to be criminals.

When Sandifer says things like this I believe he is showing how clueless he can be. And that is much of the time.  I really feel bad that he is running for reelection unopposed.

Hey, I've got an idea.  Write-in candidates.  I'm gonna write-in my name.  If you live in Ward IV do the same.  Write-in your name, my name or the name of anybody else in Ward IV.  It won't be enough to beat him, but it might make a statement.

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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jim Neighbor Supports Cronyism & Nepotism, Needs To Go

Jim Neighbor who is running for reelection as Ward I city council member has shown, by his voting, that he supports cronyism and nepotism.

First, Neighbor was one of the council members that voted to appoint Alan "The Mayor's Uncle by Marriage" to the city council to fill the seat of David Morris who had resigned.  Remember, Willoughby's appointment resulted in a KOMA violation investigation by the JoCo District Attorney, who subsequently issued a strong letter of rebuke.

Now let's fast forward to December of 2012.  Keep in mind that when Willoughby ran for a full term on the council he was soundly defeated by Mike Kemmling. Then when Dawn Kuhn resigned from the council that created a vacancy on the planning commission.  Willoughby applied for the position (on the last day of the application period).

Neighbor then voted to appoint Willoughby to the planning commission.  He was one of four council members that did this, forcing the mayor to cast the tie breaker, which put Willoughby on the commission.  If Neighbor had had any intestinal fortitude he would not have voted for Willoughby. Instead he went along with the cronyism/nepotism that was so obvious.

Now, what is really wild is Neighbor's reason for casting that vote. He claimed it would bring "stability" to the planning commission.  Read more about that here.

Ward I deserves better than that.  They need Ben Terrill to represent them.

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, March 21, 2015

Shawnee Candidate forum - Thiursday 3/26/15

This is info from the Shawnee Dispatch

The Johnson County League of Women Voters is holding another Shawnee candidate forum on Mar. 26.

The event will feature the candidates for Shawnee Mayor, Michelle Distler and Dan Pflumm, and the candidates for the Ward I city council seat, Jim Neighbor and Ben Terrill.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5325 Nieman Road. The forum is open to the public.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

National League of Cities - March 2015

Any long term reader of this blog knows how I feel when it comes to the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Kansas League of Municipalities (KLM).

I feel that attendance at their conventions can be positive.  Those who go can quite possibly bring back useful information to their cities.  My complaints have been that there were many times when the city sent, IMHO, too many people to these conventions.  The suggestion was to send four people, the mayor, two council members and the city manager.  They could then report back to the governing body about what they learned at the various seminars that could be useful to our city.

At the convention of the NLC that was recently held in DC, we sent only three people.  That's good. We sent Mayor Meyers, Council Member Sandifer and City Manager Gonzales.  I do question the mayor's participation on this trip since in about 3 weeks he will no longer be mayor. Based on open records requests for similar trips a safe guess is that we spent $5K-$6K for this trip.

So, what kind of report of useful information was given to the governing body?

Below is the info as obtained via an open records request.  The info is in an email from the city manager to the governing body (council).  This is all that was mentioned in that email about the trip.

National League of Cities. We had a very good experience at the NLC Conference, with the highlight being 7th row back to hear President Obama speak in person to the membership. It was very cool. We also had good visits with Senator Roberts, Senator Moran and Representative Yoder's staff person. They provided us with some current information on efforts being made in regard to trains and quiet zones; and were intrigued with the "active handicapped access" symbol. We will follow up with them.

Golly, can you imagine the excitement that would have been expressed if they had been sitting in the third row?

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, March 18, 2015

Elect Eric Jenkins in Ward II - Say Sayonara to Neal Sawyer

It's time for a change Shawnee.  Eric Jenkins (website) needs to be elected as the council member in Ward II and Neal Sawyer needs to say sayonara.

On a personal basis, Neal is a nice guy and likable.  But, IMHO and that of many others, he has erred on many votes.  Some of which will be brought out on future posts here.  In his last election he only won by eleven votes.  That was real close.  What it means is that virtually half of his ward did not want him back in office.  He has also lost his election for precinct committeeman.  This has to tell you something.

Now, let's talk for a moment about Neal's actions on the council.  He has a habit of playing the teeter totter game.  If you go up to him and talk about an item (particularly spending) that may have been contentious, and that you do/did not favor he'll tell you "remember I spoke out against it".  Which is usually the truth.  But did he vote against it?  What he does is he speaks against an item in debate.  Then when it comes time to vote he makes a statement about his vote, beforehand, and will usually say something like "I am against this or don't agree with it but feel I have to vote for it because.......".  On the other hand, if you liked the item, he'll tell you he voted for it, but not that he spoke against it.  Hence, teeter totter.

Just search the minutes of council meetings (except for that period of time when we did not have full minutes which he had voted to do away with and leave only audio).  So, what is he doing?  He's playing both ends against the middle.  He is another person who, IMHO, has abrogated his responsibilities to bureaucratic control.

Eric Jenkins would bring a welcome change to the council.  Eric has a strong background and would bring some new perspectives to the council.  Visit Eric's website 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Volunteers at Shawnee St. Pat's Day Parade

Great parade. First time in years that we had decent temperature and no rain.

Guess who was spotted, but not really in the parade.  Seems that Michelle Distler, candidate for mayor was working as a PD volunteer to assist with traffic control at key intersections.  She is a graduate of the 2011 Citizens Police Academy.  As such, when the request went out for CPA graduates to volunteer to help out she gladly said she would.  This was not her first volunteer tour of duty, as over the years she has accumulated many, many hours as a volunteer.

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Important to Support Good COWs

What's a COW?  I mentioned this a few years ago.  It's council member from other ward.

A voter can only vote for council members in their own ward.  But anybody, from any ward, can help support somebody who is running in any ward.  What kind of help?  Donations, help with delivery of literature, and various other things.

So, even if you don't live in Ward I you can help to support Ben Terrill http://www.benterrill.net/

And, even if you don't live in Ward II you can help to support Eric Jenkins   http://www.ericjenkinsforshawnee.com/

Shawnee needs these two individuals on the city council.  It's time to replace Neighbor (I) and Sawyer (II)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ward I Needs Ben Terrill - Say Goodbye to Jim Neighbor

The general election is coming up on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

IMHO, the voters of Ward I need to elect Ben Terrill, and not reelect Jim Neighbor.

On numerous occasions Neighbor has shown that he cannot or will not respond to some basic, simple inquiries.  He runs from answering questions.  This blog has documented various instances of that and there are more.

He has shown to be one of the council members who have forgotten that they represent the people and that the city manager works for the council.  He has abrogated his responsibilities.

Ben Terrill will give Ward I a true representative of the people and not a pawn for a bureaucrat.  Ben enters this election with his only allegiance being to the people of Ward I and ultimately the City of Shawnee.

For more info about Ben go to http://www.benterrill.net/

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Money Talk Financial Foundations

A friend of mine has recently started a non-profit.  Information about this can be found at the Facebook page
and at its web site www.moneytalkff.org
If you shop on Amazon you can also help by using this link for your shopping
http://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-3216486   with no additional cost to you a portion of what you spend will be directed to the non-profit.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Vaught is in La La Land

Well it seems that Jeff  "The Arrogant One" Vaught still thinks he is a player in Shawnee politics.

On his campaign Facebook page he posted this little gem Saturday morning attempting to cast aspersions on the individuals who beat him, handily, in the primary:

I'm at another Legislative Breakfast this morning. Of course, neither of the two Shawnee mayoral candidates are here. What the legislature does directly impacts our city.

Well, one of the victors in the primary, Michelle Distler, had this to say and posted it as a comment on that FB page:

I apologize I cannot be everywhere at once Mr. Vaught. I was at the League of Women voters forum with Representative Rooker, Dr. Jim Hinson, and Dr. Berry listening to them discuss the local budget option and other things in regards to our schools. What the legislature does indeed directly impact us and fortunately since I can get that information from other sources the school discussion had to take priority with me yesterday

Sidebar:  What is truly ironic is that Vaught has claimed to know what the schools need. Remember, he misused an email list from the Riverview PTA to state how great he is.  So, why wasn't he at the forum on the schools?  Maybe he'd rather use the legislative breakfast for potential photo ops?

Some misguided folks have called him a leader.  A leader of what?  Well, he did lead in contributions collected for his campaign.  As a matter of fact based on current filings he collected almost as much as Pflumm and Distler combined.  He had the backing of a very prestigious campaign committee including some influential members of the Shawnee Chamber.

Maybe real people found him to be a leader of bovine scatology?

That nose just grows and grows.

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, March 07, 2015

Shawnee Council President

While we now concentrate on the upcoming general election (April 7, 2015), we may lose sight of what happens after that event.

Shawnee will elect a new mayor for the first time in many years, and there are two council seats that could see changes (hopefully) in Wards I & II.

But, what else happens that can have an affect on the city?  The council elects a council president. What are the functions of the council president?  The council president serves as the chairman of the council committee.  The council president also presides over the council when the mayor is absent, attends official functions in the absence of the mayor, and, if something happens where the mayor is no longer able to serve, the council president becomes mayor.

Let's consider the fact that we have two long serving council members vying for the mayor's seat. These are individuals that have both been returned to their seats by the voters in their wards, multiple times.

The results of the primary election indicate that a majority of Shawnee's voters would be willing to have either one of them serve as mayor.  Between the two of them, they garnered 58.32% of the votes cast, in a 4 way race.  In the general election, the individual that does not become mayor will retain their council seat.  As such, it only makes sense that that person becomes council president.

The choice of the council president is up to the rest of the council.  I can only hope that they see the logic of my comments above.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Jeff Vaught is Not a Mensch

What's a mensch?  It's a stand-up guy.  Click here for the explanation of the term and how it has become a loanword to the English language.

Why do I say this?  Easy.  A mensch would have called or at least emailed Distler and Pflumm directly and personally with congratulations, Tuesday night when the results were obvious.  Instead he resorted to a nondescript congratulatory statement on his campaign Facebook page, the next day.
Also he was the only candidate that did not return a call to the Dispatch in request for a comment.

Guess his feelings were hurt that the voters of Shawnee didn't agree with him about how great he thinks he is.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

School Daze

On Tuesday, 3/3/15 the day of the primary election at approximately 5:00 PM the principal of Riverview Elementary School and the PTA president jointly sent an email  to the parents of the children in that school.  Here is that email:

Dear Riverview Families,

We are thankful to have the support of our Parent/Teacher Association to help make Riverview the wonderful school that it is today.  The PTA supports a number of activities throughout the year for our students and teachers.

The PTA also provides a parent directory as a convenience for our families to assist with PTA/school related activities and communication among parents. This directory is Opt-In (parent choice) and is not intended for solicitations or marketing purposes. While the PTA and the school cannot control how others may choose to use the directory, we ask for your discretion in keeping the directory solely for its intended purpose.

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your continued support.

Beth Mildren, Principal
Paula Wharff, Riverview PTA President

Why did they send that email?  Could it be because a parent complained about receiving a political solicitation?  Now, it would appear that if that was the case, no laws were broken. But it would seem to be a lapse in ethics.  Could it be that the parent based their claim on the below email?  Note the date and time it was sent.  Late afternoon the day before the election.  Was this done so that any complaints would basically come too late? Click to see full size.


1.  John Segale, the 4th candidate, sent emails congratulating both Distler & Pflumm.  Vaught did not.
2.  Vaught never responded for a comment request to Shawnee Dispatch
3.  Hmmm, who had the most signs placed in areas restricted by code?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Distler & Pflumm - Advance------Vaught & Segale are out

OK, the primary results for mayor in Shawnee are in....................

Dan Pflumm              1259
Michelle Distler         1161
Jeff Vaught                   965
John Segale                  764

The people have spoken, and the good thing is that they have kicked The Arrogant One to the curb. The ironic part about that is that he had lots of big $$$ backing him and a high powered campaign committee,  But more about that in a future post.

The general election is going to be April 7th.  My personal preference would be Distler.

I am so happy, .......................

Monday, March 02, 2015

In Any Language, It's The Same................

No matter what language is used, Jeff "The Arrogant One" Vaught is still arrogant.

The below is compliments of google translate if anybody wants to check it for themselves.

Spanish - El arrogante
Itanlian - L'arrogante
French - L'arrogant
Greek - Η έπαρση
Hebrew - היהיר אחד
German - Der arrogante ein
Russian - Высокомерный
Latin - Et cadet superbus,
Irish - An ceann sotalach
Welsh - Yr un drahaus

Tomorrow's Mayoral Primary 3/3/15

OK, tomorrow is the big day to narrow the four person field down to two.

In my opinion, one person that needs to advance is Michelle Distler.............

Why Michelle?  Because unlike a certain other individual she not only talks the talk, she walks the walk.  Her record shows that she truly does support:

+ Transparency & Open Government
+ Responsiveness To Citizens
+ Community Involvement
+ Quality Development & Responsible Growth
+ Police, Fire & Infrastructure (Streets)

Additionally she knows how to make sure her campaign signs are legally placed to meet code requirements: (click to see full size)

Unlike this opponent: (click to see full size)