Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Update on Westbrooke Village

OK, here's the latest on the status of Westbrooke Village Shopping Center

Apparently it did not sell at auction the other day.  I'll take a guess and say that the owner wasn't seeing the price they wanted so they may have been the ones to "buy it".

Anyway, Mission Peak Capital is headquartered in KCMO and does business nationwide.  Here is a link to their web site

Friday, December 16, 2016

We Don't Want To Spend $1.5 Million

Happy that Westbrooke Village Shopping Center sold two days ago at auction.  Will be interesting to see who actually is buying it and what their plans are.

One of our illustrious (sarcastic) council members had a whopper of a suggestion a few weeks ago.  Apparently a developer wanted to build apartments on the location, but only if the city kicked in $1.5 million dollars cash (not including the possibility of other incentives).  Yepper, $1.5 million, and if the city (read that as us, the taxpayers) didn't do it we were showing that we were anti development and future growth.

Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and that idea never went anywhere.  We won't mention the council person by name.................not yet anyway  :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Westbrooke Village Sold at Auction

Yesterday the Westbrooke Village Shopping Center located at 75th and Quivira was sold at auction for $4,625,000.   According to city officials the appraised value of the property is $5,700,000 so it would appear that the buyer got a good deal. 

At this time it is not known who the successful bidder was but closing is supposed to take place in 30 days.

Now the big question is what will the new owners do with this shopping center?  Over the years various individuals have had a variety of suggestions, yours truly included.  Will they keep it as a shopping center?  Will they knock it down and create apartments?  Hotels?  Redesign and build a whole new shopping center?  I am sure we will find out in due time.

Anyway, my suggestions from December 2014 can be found by clicking here.  Pay particular attention to my 2nd suggestion.  Is that a good idea?  Is it viable?  Does it appeal to the new owners?

Anyway, here is hoping that whatever the new owners decide to do works out for them AND the citizens of Shawnee.  We could use a win-win situation.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Commercial Development WITHOUT Government Incentives

Wow, did ya hear it on the TV this morning?  The modified plans for the redevelopment of the Metcalf South Shopping Center are going to the Overland Park City Council for approval. 

Here's the kicker.  The cost of this redevelopment is going to be approximately $80 million dollars and the developer is doing it all with private funds.  No incentives from the City of Overland Park.

We have a council member who would probably say that because OP is not offering any incentives they are not business friendly.  LOL

Let's keep this in mind when developers come to Shawnee wanting government (read that as citizen paid for) incentives. 

Interesting, eh?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund Update 11/22/16

Here are the figures as of today:

Last year, the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund raised $17,263.
So far this year, the fund has raised $13,937.54.

Let's all work together to exceed last year's figure.
The funds go to two worthy causes.

More information on how you can contribute from $5 (for an ornament) up to $2,500 (for a holiday package) is available by going to the web site here

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Popular Vote vs Electoral College - A Different Perspective

There is a bunch of whining going on about how Clinton got the popular vote, and folks being upset that Trump got the electoral college vote.  And then there is a movement that folks want electors to change their votes.  Wild.

Let's look at this:

Clinton popular vote 61,047,207
Trump popular vote 60,375,961

Now, let's look at the California popular vote

Clinton  5,589,936
Trump   3,021,095

Subtracting California you get

Clinton   55,457,271
Trump    57,354,866

A little different, eh?

The electoral college was put in place so as to prevent large states (or centralized populations)  from controlling a national election.  But of course, the California liberals would like to control everything.

If you look at the map, Trump was way ahead in the number of states (and counties).  Pushing to have the electors counteract that is a bunch of nonsense.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Personal Safety Seminar - Nov 30, 2016

The following item was posted on social media by the city's communications manager, Julie Breithaupt:

The Shawnee Police Department will be presenting a Personal Safety seminar on Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00 PM at the Shawnee Civic Centre.  Learn how to better protect yourself, become more aware of your surroundings and stop a criminal from ruining your holiday season.  Don't miss out on this important seminar as we give you the tools to staying safe. Bring a friend, neighbor or loved one.  There is no charge to attend and no registration is required. For more information, contact Officer Roman Madrigal at or (913) 742-6859.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund 2016

The drive is on now for the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund.  This fund is used to support local charitable organizations.

More information on how you can contribute from $5 (for an ornament) up to $2,500 (for a holiday package) is available by going to the web site here

Just think, big donations are great but if 10,000 folks contributed $5 for an ornament, the fund would raise $50,000. 

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund will benefit two great organizations this year. The Shawnee Lions Club plans to use the money to buy a vision screener that will be used in local schools to check hundreds of kids for possible eye conditions. Rebuilding Together Shawnee will use its share to help even more local residents who need repairs on their homes.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Vote Tomorrow Tuesday Nov 8, 2016

I sure hope that the citizens of Shawnee break their apathetic trend and vote tomorrow.

Historically, the folks here in Shawnee show a very poor turn out for city elections, a little better when it's a governor's race, and somewhat better when it is a presidential race.

Here are the figures for the last 2 presidential races:

2012   72.54%      42344 Registered   30718 voted  (approx. 12000 did not vote)
2008   79.10%      40791 Registered   32266 voted  (approx. 8500 did not vote)

That's a lot of folks not exercising their rights. 
There are still countries in the world where folks don't have that right.

Please, vote tomorrow (unless of course you already used early voting.............we don't want to be like Chicago )

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Two Fallen Police Officers in Iowa

Less than 24 hours ago two police officers were brutally ambushed and killed in the Des Moines area.
A suspect has been taken into custody.

May they rest in peace.  Our condolences to their families. 

These maddening attacks against those who have taken an oath to protect us have to stop.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Eric Jenkins vs Cindy Neighbor

In the 18th State Rep district the choice is clear........Eric Jenkins.

Cindy Neighbor apparently thinks she is running against Sam Brownback and not Eric Jenkins, who is an extremely open minded individual. 

Neighbor, on the other hand is probably a very confused individual, as she is a perennial office seeker.  She runs as a democrat, she runs as a republican, sometimes she wins, often times she loses (like she did two years ago running for the same District 18 spot).  She runs for this office, that office, any office she can.  Heck, she'd probably run for dog catcher if it was on the ballot.

Now, taking a page from her playbook, can the citizens of District 18 afford a Democrat in office?  Are the citizens of District 18 ready to give back all of the hard earned 2d Amendment friendly laws that we have gotten here in Kansas?  The Democratic party has vowed restrictions.  Remember how the Democratic party shoved Obamacare down our throats?  We see what that is doing to the nation.  What will happen to your healthcare if Democrats like Cindy Neighbor wind up in the state house?  What will happen to healthcare here in Kansas?

I could go on, and on, and on.  but I won't.

Suffice it to say that the citizens of District 18 will suffer if Cindy Neighbor is elected.

Eric Jenkins is the logical choice in that district.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Huma Abedin - Liar or Dummy?

The national scene is just too much not to make a comment.

Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's numero uno flunky has got to be kidding.  The FBI has recently reopened its look see at HRC's email situation.  Primarily because of Abedin emails found on her husband's laptop. 

Now Abedin is saying she doesn't know how those emails wound up on her husband's computer.
Is she stupid, or does she think everybody else is?  Must be the latter as she has been taking lessons from HRC for about 20 years.

OK, Huma, let's see if we can help you figure out how those emails got on that computer.
Here are some possibilities:

1.  Vladimir Putin put them there.
2.  Wikileaks put them there
3.  The Republican National Committee paid a bunch of folks to break into your husband's residence with all those emails on DVDs and uploaded them to the computer.
4.  The magical email fairy made them appear on the computer.
5.  You used your husband's computer and did it yourself.  Duhhhhhh.......................

If you haven't voted yet, don't forget to do so, and just for the heck of it, become a deplorable and vote for Trump.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Part 2 - Winter is Coming - Will Your Car Get Stolen?

Did you read the post below?  If not, ya might wanna give it a try.

Now here is part 2.  I've been in touch with the Shawnee PD and there are some interesting numbers to think about.

1.  Approximately 1 in 4 stolen autos during the winter months are ones which were left running. 
2.  Of the stolen vehicles left running, 55% are stolen from single family residences, 38% from apartment complex parking lots and 7% from convenience store parking lots.

I don't know about you folks, but since we are short of personnel at the PD and blackout minutes are still high, I, as a taxpayer would prefer to see our PD not have to deal with unnecessary crimes caused by citizen irresponsibility.  C'mon, it affects all of us, one way or another.

Let's use some common sense, please. 

Winter is Coming - Will Your Car Get Stolen?

Hmmmm, what does winter have to do with stolen vehicles?  That's easy.  People have a tendency to start their vehicles and leave them running unattended.  Golly gee willikers, that is an open invitation to have the vehicle stolen.  And yes, even if you lock the car because you have a spare set of keys, a thief can see the keys in the ignition, bust out a back window (doesn't want glass on the seat) unlock the door and take off.

Location doesn't matter.  Cars left running and unattended have been stolen from private driveways, parking lots of apartment complexes, shopping centers and from right in front of a convenience store.

As a matter of fact it is against the law to leave a car running with the key in it and unattended.  The only exception being those vehicles with remote starting devices (no keys in the ignition and steering wheel and shift lever are locked up).  Need proof of this.............. please click here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Eric Jenkins - State Rep - District 18

Those Shawnee residents who live in Ward 2 are familiar with their quality city council rep, Eric Jenkins.

Eric is now running for state rep out of District 18.  A highly qualified individual, Eric's public service crosses various aspects of life.  He is a retired colonel in the US Army, served many years as a senior manager with FEMA, has served on the Shawnee planning commission and now the city council.  I could go on and on with his qualifications, but suffice it to say he is substantially more qualified than his opponent.

His web site is at

On November 8th, voting for Eric is a vote for yourself.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Qrivit vs City of Shawnee as of 10/21/16

OK, here is the latest.  As of today the total amount spent by city to defend this lawsuit is $17,917.50

No comment from me.  Just the info for folks to think about.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Setting the Record Straight - Sister Cities

Some ill informed individuals have been posting items on social media about the city spending money to send some folks on a trip to our sister cities in Europe.

OK, let's set the record straight.  No city (i.e. taxpayer) funds are used for these trips.  The Sister Cities Committee uses donations as a partial payment for these trips.  Participants representing the city have to pay the difference out of their own pockets.  Spouses have to pay 100% of their expenses.

Friday, October 07, 2016

I'm A Bully --- And Fathers Are A Protected Class

Had an interesting thing happen to me last Sunday.

While standing in the parking lot of a grocery store a woman came up to me and accused me of being a bully because I have attacked Councilmember Jeff Vaught.  She asked why and I replied that as long as I disagreed with things he has said or done, that I would voice my opinions.  He is an elected official and his actions are subject to public scrutiny.  She seemed to think that he was in a protected class as she repeated that I should remember "he is a father". Well so am I.  She was informed that as long as he continued to say and/or do things that I disagreed with, I would continue to voice my opinion.  Her response...."...that is what I thought you would say because that is the type of person you are."

I believe this lady probably needs a remedial lesson in civics 101.  No elected official is exempt from criticism based on their parental status.  But maybe she doesn't read newspapers, watch TV news and/or documentaries, or see political commercials.

Many consider what I do a service, since many Shawnee residents don't attend council or council committee meetings.  As a matter of fact I wonder,  has this lady ever attended a council meeting?  Or maybe multiple meetings?  If she did, she would have seen Vaught on many occasions belittle members of the public and even his fellow council members.  And as for bullying, well, he has a history of attempting to bully (not just convince) members of the council to agree with his viewpoint.
He casts aspersions starting with his signature statement of how he can't understand how folks can't agree with him.

Oh well, such is life.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Two Upcoming Events

Here are two upcoming events that you might want to consider:

Quarterly Q&A With the Mayor: This takes place this evening, 10/29/16 from 7 to 8PM at
Sombrero's Mexican Cantina, located at 22702 Midland Drive.

Meet Your Shawnee Police Officers:  There's another big community outreach event being planned for Sunday, Oct. 2nd at Hy-Vee, 63rd and Pflumm, from 1200-1600 hours. It will be similar to the great National Night Out event that was held on August 2nd.  There will be police vehicles/equipment and Hy-Vee is providing a complementary cookout lunch for the event.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Congratulations to Steve McCorkill

Many of you may remember Steve McCorkill's many years of service to the City of Shawnee, and retiring as a sergeant in our PD.  And for those of us who attended the Citizen Police Academy (2012-2014), the great job he did there.

Well, Steve has decided that he has many years left to help and guide up and coming new officers.  He recently accepted a position with the Kansas Law Enforcement Academy as an instructor.

Check out his staff page by clicking here

Congrats Steve and the best to you in the new position.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Good Samaritan - Josh Owen - Needs Help

We'll keep this simple.  Josh Owen, the good samaritan who intervened when a woman was being attacked at Wal Mart and was shot as a result, needs financial help.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up

Please donate whatever you can.  A thank you to Mike Frizzell - Operation 100 News for posting it on his FB page.

Also, please pass this on to folks that you feel might be interested in helping.

Thank you.

Upcoming Events - Third Thursday & Open House

We have some upcoming events in Shawnee that are interesting:

Third Thursday With The Mayor:  Mayor Distler hosts an open dialog at the Civic Centre on Thursday 9/15/16.  More info can be found on the city's web site by clicking here

Shawnee Open House:  This will be held on Sat 9/17/16 from 11AM to 4PM at the John B Glaser Fire Station (71) at 6501 Quivira Rd.  Personnel and equipment from all departments will be available.  There is info by clicking here to view the most current copy of the City Line newsletter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crime Doesn't Pay........Especially In Shawnee

It's been all over the local media and is even out there on various national web sites.

Quick recap:  This past Sunday a bad guy attacked a woman in a Wal Mart parking lot while she was placing her baby in a car seat.  A good samaritan, hearing her screams went to her rescue.  Bad guy number one shot the good samaritan.  (He is currently recovering after surgery).  Good samaritan number two shot at bad guy number one.  Bad guy number one will not recover.  Bad guy number two ran from the scene. 

Today, two days after the event, the Shawnee PD effected an arrest of the suspected bad guy two and he has been charged in JoCo with various felonies.

What is the point I am trying to make?  Crime will not be tolerated in Shawnee.  People will come to the aid of other people.  And, our PD will be very diligent in pursuing and locating perpetrators.  A quick resolution of these types of cases is very important while the evidence and witness accounts are fresh. 

Congrats to the PD for their handling of this matter.  And a prayer for the good samaritan (a veteran of the conflict in Iraq/Afghanistan) for a full, speedy recovery.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Free First Aid and CPR Classes

The City of Shawnee is offering free HeartSaver First Aid CPR & AED Training.

More info is available by clicking here

These techniques can prove to be very helpful and even life saving.

Check it out.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Colin Kaepernick Is A Jerk

I posted the below item on 8/30/16 on another blog that I have.  It's not about Shawnee, but it's about our country.

And for those who don’t like the title of this post, too bad.  I’m exercising my First Amendment rights.
OK, in this country the pampered, overpaid “role model” (as he describes himself) has a right to sit down during the playing of our national anthem.
But, has he ever attempted to figure out how he got that right?  I doubt it.  Let’s make this fairly short and sweet.  He has that right because over the centuries millions of men and women have fought for those rights, and many of them paid the ultimate price.  Our country is not perfect.  We know that.  But, it sure is a lot better than many (most) others.  Let’s see this pampered athlete get a 12 year $114 million dollar contract some place else.  Better yet, let him relocate to another country and see what happens to athletes who don’t show respect for their country’s flag and anthem.  North Korea comes to mind.  He’d be shot by anti-aircraft guns as Kim Jong Un makes an example of him.
He’s biracial.  I get it.He feels really bad about some recent events.  I get it.  But why dishonor all those who fought for his rights to protest?
I am reminded of Pat Tillman who gave up a promising and financially rewarding NFL career to serve his country.  And he paid for his patriotism with his life in Afghanistan while serving as an Army Ranger.  Hey Colin, ya wanna make a statement?  Enlist in the military.  Find out what it’s all about.  Why don’t you enlist?  I’ll tell ya why.  Because you don’t want to give up your millions, and more importantly you don’t have the cajones to serve.  I don’t care how big your tattooed biceps are, you are a punk piece of trash.
Oh, in case you are wondering: US Army, SSG, 1964-1968 including Vietnam 67-68.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shawnee Citizens Win a Big One

The citizens of Shawnee have won a big change in city government.

At this pat Monday's city council meeting the council voted 8-0 to change the method that is used to fill a vacancy on the council. 

The previous method was to fill the vacancy with an appointment that lasted until the expiration of the original term.  This was the method used when Alan Willoughby (the uncle by marriage of former Mayor Jeff Meyers) was appointed to fill the spot caused by the resignation of David Morris.  That particular appointment caused the JoCo DA to conduct an investigation into possible violations of KOMA (Kansas Open Meetings Act).  According to the DA's letter....."KOMA  was enacted to prohibit the 'backroom' deals that were going on in Shawnee."

The new method still allows for an appointment but only as a temporary measure.  The seat will then go up for a vote at an election to fill the position until the expiration of the original term.  A definite win for the folks in Shawnee.

Sidebar:  It was nice to see that Jeff Vaught voted with the majority on this item, without a comment.  Actually, I was quite surprised that he did that.  Ya see, at the most recent committee meeting on this item, and previous ones, he spoke out at great length, really great length, many times, in opposition to letting the citizens make the choice as to who should represent them. My guess is that he voted to approve because 1.) he finally realized his previous stance was wrong, or, 2.) he wants to tell folks that he is in favor of citizens being able to choose their representatives, when in reality he has shown a proclivity in the past to be against open government.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Change in Filling Council Vacancies & Vaught's Arrogance Does Not Disappoint

At the council committee Tuesday night an item was passed with a recommendation for council to approve.  The item concerned how to handle future vacancies on the city council.  Currently, the methodology employed is for the council to appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy until the term expires.

This method has proven to be somewhat problematical in the past, with undertones of behind the scenes manipulation to predetermine who the successful appointee would be.  And one appointment, that of Alan Willoughby (former mayor Jeff Meyers' uncle by marriage)  resulted in an investigation by the JoCo DA as a possible KOMA violation.  The DA, in a severely worded letter of reprimand indicated that it was his opinion that the spirit of the KOMA (Kansas Open Meetings Act) was violated.

The method now would basically permit the council to appoint a replacement, but only until such time that an election can be held for someone to be elected.  This then allows the ward citizens to choose who would fill the seat for the remainder of the term.  Hopefully it will receive final approval at a council meeting.

Why Do I say Vaught's arrogance doesn't disappoint me?  That's an easy one, "Mr Thinks He Knows It All" was in favor of leaving the current plan in place.  Apparently he believes that the council is better equipped to choose who should represent the citizens of the ward as opposed to the citizens themselves.  This is another example of his absolute disdain for true transparency in government.

Other examples: (just a few right now)

He was a proponent of the elimination of full minutes of council meetings, which we wound up with for a period of time.  Then, fortunately, the council realized the error of that decision and when the matter came back up he was against reinstating the full minutes.  Fortunately a majority of the council disagreed with him and we got the minutes back.  Methinks he probab;ly didn't want folks to know what he really says at these meetings.

Then, when the matter of citizens speaking at council committee meetings came up he was against that.  Yepper, he didn't want input by the citizens.  He claimed that committee meetings were work sessions for the council.  Heck, the committee meetings are a great time for citizens to provide input so that certain items can be hashed out before they get to a formal council meeting. They are also open meetings. (His stupidity was showing through on this one).  Again, fortunately, the majority disagreed with his non-transparency attitude.

Another one was to allow for public input at council meetings during that portion that is shown as "Miscellaneous Council Items"  Yours truly really got involved with this one as Vaught would use this part of the meeting to call out folks and they were unable to respond.  When the item came up he said they could always respond at a future council meeting in "Business From the Floor".  What an arrogant piece of work is he.  Again, the majority of the council was in favor of the transparency feature.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Filling Council Vacancies - Item on Agenda

Tomorrow, at the council committee meeting the subject of the methodology for filling council vacancies that come up because of resignations or other non-scheduled events will again be discussed.

There are various options.  One is to go directly to an election.  If there is one the city can piggyback on there is no expense to the city.  If no piggyback available it could go to a special election which could cost approximately $30K.

Another method is to continue what has been done in the past, which is the council appoints the replacement.  This is, IMHO unfair to the citizens of the ward that the vacancy occurs in.  Also, for those not familiar with the history of council appointments, a previous city council received a very strongly worded letter of rebuke from the JoCo DA when the former mayor's (Jeff Meyers)  uncle by marriage was appointed to the council. The DA claimed that the council at that time violated the spirit of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. That was Alan Willoughby who had been appointed to replace David Morris who had resigned from the council over a dispute with the city manager.

There is another possibility.  It is a hybrid.  The council would appoint a replacement who would serve only until the next election that the city can piggyback on.  This is as opposed to being appointed to finish out the term.  Then, the election would be held with the winner finishing off the remainder of the term.

I personally have been in favor of an immediate election, but there is enough opposition to that because of the possibility of high costs that realistically I don't think it can happen.  The appointment process with the person lasting until the completion of the term of office I find abhorrent.

Alas, I hope the council goes with the hybrid.

This item can involve who and how a person is selected to represent you.  Might be a good idea to show up tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Quick Correction-Additional Info to Yesterday's Post

Whoops, I got the name of the PD's newest K9 wrong.  It is Grimm, not Grif.  Definitely don't want to upset him :-).

All three are dual purpose K9s, in that all of them are patrol trained, two are narcotics trained and one is explosive trained.

We are very fortunate to have these K9s as part of our PD.  Just a side note, the acquisition of Grimm was made possible by a grant from NFL quarterback Ben Rothlisberger.  It seems that he donates funds, thru a grant, for PDs in cities/metro areas that his team plays in so that they can acquire these fine animals.  Our PD qualified for the most recent one in this area.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Shawnee PD Shines at National Night Out

Last night our Shawnee PD participated in the National Night Out.  This is an event that is designed for members of the community to better familiarize themselves with the PD, and is a family friendly event.

There were various displays of equipment and officers from all sections of the department.  There were also members of the command staff, administration and dispatchers there.  Individuals that could answer and explain just about any question that a citizen had.  Even the KHP showed up with their "convincer".  The machine that makes a believer out of you about wearing a seat belt.  Our newest K9 officers were there, Ryan Skinner and Grif.  Grif is a dual functioning K9, patrol and explosive detection, and will join our other two K9s who are patrol and narcotic trained.

What was really encouraging was that each time an officer greeted a member of the community they shook their hand and introduced themselves by first and last name, without rank, from patrol officer to chief.  Great way to get on a positive one on one with an individual.

There was a variety of food and beverages courtesy of a group of businesses and faith based sponsors, who also did the BBQing.  Literature was available which covered various services offered by the department and also what people can do to make their environment safer.

The individual who was responsible for making sure everything went off as being fun, informational, and partnering was our CORE Officer, Roman Madrigal.  The CORE Officer is responsible for taking the lead on various community outreach programs, and Roman's skills showed that he is the right man for that job.  Well done.

A side note:  there are still some openings for this years Citizen Police Academy.  Click here to sign up.  The class starts 9/8/16.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Come Meet Your Shawnee PD

Our Shawnee PD will be participating in the National Night Out on Tues, 8/2/16 from 5:30 - 8:30PM at 75th Street and Nieman Rd in the Wal Mart parking lot.

This is a family based event, and there will be items of interest for all members of the family from the youngest to the oldest.  You will have the opportunity to view up close various pieces of police equipment and speak with officers from the various sections (patrol, traffic, STAR team, K9 and others).  These individuals would like to answer your questions about what it is that they do.  Rumor has it that our four legged K9 officers are discussing with their two legged partners on being able to show some of what they do.

Local businesses are helping to sponsor this event and food and refreshments will be provided.

Mark your calendars and please be there for an event that promises to be fun and informative.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Show Up or Shut Up

Wow...............the title of this blog sounds like "fighting words".

OK, what is meant by those words?  Well, it has to do with the budget.  On Monday, 7/25/16 the city council will be holding a public hearing on the new budget.  The meeting starts at 7:30PM.

Every year I hear some folks griping about the budget (and some who like it).  But the gripers never show up to voice their opinions publicly and get their thoughts onto the record, or do anything to change it.

Over the past few months there have been a variety of  council committee meetings where the budget was discussed.  The schedule was posted.  How many members of the public showed?  How many will show this coming Monday night?

Maybe my comment in the title is not polite.  Well, it's not meant to be.  I get real ticked off when I hear folks complain about city government and do nothing about it.  And that includes Shawnee's abysmal voter turn out for city elections.

So, in case you didn't read it, I'll repeat it.  Monday is the budget up or shut up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

We Grieve For Another Fallen Officer

This afternoon the KCK PD lost Captain Robert Melton to an act of violence.  Not only did Captain Melton serve many years in law enforcement, with the KCKPD and prior to that with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, he was also a member of the Kansas Army National Guard. He had previously been deployed to Afghanistan.

We know that those not in law enforcement cannot feel the pain and hurt that his brother and sister officers are feeling.  On the other hand, those individuals who believe in law and order and who rely on the brave men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect us, also grieve.

When a member of law enforcement is killed by an act of violence it affects all of us.  Whether it is in Baton Rouge, Dallas, or in this case, right across the county line. 

It has been confirmed that the Shawnee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association will be making a memorial donation as it recently did for Detective Brad Lancaster.  The KC Star is reporting that Captain Melton was a member of the Honor Guard for Detective Lancaster.

Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and fellow officers.  Thoughts and prayers to those on duty, may they be protected.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

B & B Theater Renovations from Eco Dev Funds - Good, Bad & Ugly

At this past Monday's council meeting a proposal was made to use eco development funds to assist in in the renovation of the B & B 18 Theater (formerly West Glen 18).  Basically, the eco development funds would be spread out over a 10 year period using a formula similar to a TIF (tax increment financing) district.  There will also be either one or two additional restaurants in the shopping center.

When we consider that we have two new hotels going in across the street from the theater, along with a retail/restaurant building, it could make the entire area a mini destination venue.  The hotel count will jump to five and we have some nice existing eating establishments there.  The revitalization can bring in business from other surrounding cities and western Shawnee and reduce the number of those folks who go to OP and other areas.  Folks staying at the hotels, be it for business, pleasure, recreation (sports tournaments) etc will now have more entertainment/eating choices. All of this literally within walking distance if they want.  I think it can be positive.

During the discussion on this item both Council Members Jenkins & Pflumm brought up one very important fact.  This item appeared on the council agenda the Thursday before the meeting, which gave both council members and the public very limited time to review the project, prepare possible questions, and maybe even alternative suggestions.  Normally projects like this go to a council committee meeting first.  It is at the committee meetings that the "fleshing out" takes place.  Then, it goes to a council meeting, which also allows for even additional or follow up discussion.  This project needed to go to a committee meeting first.  I disagree with SEDC Exec Director Andrew Nave's comments and reasoning concerning the need to have a rush to judgment.  (Personally I would still have been in favor of the project). Others who deserved time to review/speak out about the item were not given that chance.

Councilmember Jenkins even pointed out that this was not the first time that an item had skipped the committee process and gone directly to council.

It is my opinion that whoever fast tracked this item to the council, without having come before the committee was wrong.  I also feel that that individual needs to apologize to both the council and the citizens of Shawnee for this "push".  Let's stick to proper procedures.  A few extra weeks would not have been detrimental to the renovation process.  I am reminded of an old saying that went something like "a delay or procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Lost Heritage, Let's Bring It Back

This past Monday yours truly asked the council to consider four items that have an impact on the city's heritage/history.

  1. City flag:  The only city flag that is displayed is the one at city hall behind the dais of the city council.  On the flag poles at city hall, the justice center on Renner and the safety center on Quivira what is on those flag poles is the advertising banner.  The one with the tree and the advertising slogan "Good Starts Here"  IMHO advertising banners belong strung from light poles like the Old Shawnee Days banner.  When flags are displayed at half staff as memorials (the US and Kansas flags) it is, IMHO disrespectful to have an advertising banner in that position.
  2. Pictures of mayors:  When the city council chambers were remodeled the pictures that were on the wall of Shawnee's mayors were removed and not replaced.  Those pictures are part of Shawnee's history and heritage.  When students and others were given a tour of city hall that was part of it. 
  3. Shawnee Town 1929:  When the name was changed from Old Shawnee Town the hairs on my neck just stood up.  The year 1929 was probably one of the worst years in American history.  It was the year of the stock market crash which ushered in the Great Depression.  The theory was to relate the exhibit to the old farming community.  I'm sure there is another way to do it.  Many city employees (Parks Department) and countless volunteers have worked very hard to make the Town a premier exhibit.  It is an ongoing project with more to come.  Associating this project with the year 1929 is, IMHO insulting to those who have worked hard and diligently to make it what it is, and an insult to the project itself.
  4. July 4th fireworks:  Years ago the city suspended its partnership with Lenexa and JoCo Parks for a display at Shawnee Mission Park.  The reason was cost.  The suggestion I made Monday night was to have the Shawnee Chamber partner with the Lenexa Chamber and work on a sponsorship program to get both businesses and private individuals to make it happen.  It can be a great family event, and also it can attract others from the metro.  Vendors can also be secured to furnish food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Citizen Police Academy - 2016

There are still some openings for this year's class of the Citizen Police Academy, which starts September 8th, 2016.

For more information please go to this page on the city's web site.

The academy is a great learning opportunity for citizens to find out more about what our PD does, and how they learn to do it.  It is set up in such a way that a citizen gets to experience (albeit in a very shortened version) what an officer goes through in their training. 

You may have noticed at various city events citizen volunteers for the PD.  These are individuals who have graduated from the academy and who have chosen to become members of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.  Joining the association after graduation is not a requirement, but if you are desirous of volunteering for some of these events, this is where it starts.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Republican Primary Elections Tuesday August 2, 2016

The primary elections (where there is one) will be held Tuesday 8/2/16

There are some Republican primaries which will affect Shawnee.  As such, below please find my choices.

US Senator -  Jerry Moran
US Congressman - Kevin Yoder

State Senator Dist 21 - Greg Smith

State Rep Dist 17 - Brett Hildabrand
State Rep Dist 39 - Charles Macheers

JoCo Sheriff - Cal Hayden

Monday, July 04, 2016

A Message for Reluctant Christians About Donald Trump

A friend of mine sent this to me.  It is an article that appears at by Wayne Allyn Root one of their columnists:

Information for those that think Donald Trump is a bully. Look again and think a little deeper.

A Message For reluctant Christians 

About Donald Trump

Wayne Allyn Root

6/24/2016 12:01:00 AM -  Wayne Allyn Root

I am a Jew turned evangelical Christian. I am also a passionate supporter of Donald Trump.

I have a message for Christians who don’t like Donald Trump: “YOU’RE MISSING THE BOAT.”

Christians have Trump all wrong. God sends messages in many forms. You’re just not
listening. God is talking, but you’re eyes and ears are closed.

Here’s a famous joke about God and how he talks to us.

“A deeply faithful Christian man is stuck on roof of home with massive flooding up
to 2nd floor. Rowboat comes. He says “No, I’m waiting for God.
I’ve prayed and I know he’s coming.”  2ndrowboat. “No, I’m
 waiting for God.” 3rdrowboat. “No, I’m waiting for

Water rises. The man drowns. Now he’s meeting God in heaven. The religious man
says “Where were you God? I prayed. I was faithful. I asked you to save
me. Why would you abandon me?”

God says,
“Hey dummy, I sent you 3 rowboats. Are you blind?”

Did  you ever consider Trump is our rowboat?

Maybe God is trying to tell us something important- that now is not the time for a
“nice Christian guy” or a “gentleman” or a typical Republican powder puff.
Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior.

Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished.

Maybe the rules of gentleman don’t apply here. Maybe a gentleman and “all-around
nice Christian” would lead us to slaughter.

Or do you want another Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, Gerald Ford or Paul Ryan?
Did any of them win? Did they lead
us to “the promised land?” Did
they change the direction of America? No, because if you don’t win, you have no say.

Paul Ryan couldn’t even deliver his own state Wisconsin!

And as leader of the House, Paul Ryan rolls over to Obama like my dog rolls over
for a scrap of food, or a steak bone. He’s a useful idiot. Nice, but
obedient. I mean Paul Ryan…not my dog. My dog is actually a pretty good defender and loyal.

Maybe God is knocking on your door so loud, but you’re not listening. Maybe God
understands we need a "war leader" at this moment in time. Maybe God
understands if we don’t win this election, America is dead. It’s over. The
greatest nation in world history will be gone. Finished. Kaput.

And with one last breath, maybe what we need to save us at the last second, is
someone different. Someone you haven’t ever experienced before-
because you weren’t raised in rough and tumble New York where nothing good
gets accomplished unless you're combative, aggressive, outrageous, on
offense at all times, and maybe just a tad arrogant

Someone with a personality you’ve never seen on stage at your church.

Maybe, just maybe, being a nice gentlemanly Christian would not beat Hillary, and her
billion dollars, and her best friends in the media who will unleash the
dogs of hell upon the GOP nominee.

I guess you think God is only nice and gentlemanly. Really? Then you’ve missed
the whole point of the Bible. When necessary God is a pretty tough guy.
When necessary, God strikes with pain, death and destruction. When necessary, God inflicts vengeance.

Maybe you think God couldn't possibly be associated with someone like Trump. Trump
is too vicious, rude and crude.

When we won WWII, was God "nice?" Were we gentlemanly when defeating Hitler? Were we gentlemanly when firebombing Germany? Were we gentlemanly when dropping atomic bombs on Japan? Is God ever "nice" on the battlefield? Or does he
send us vicious SOB’s like General George S. Patton, so the good guys can
 defeat evil?

It’s pretty clear to me God sends unique people to be "war leaders." That’s a
different role than a pastor or church leader. God understands that.

Maybe God purposely sent Trump instead of the nice Republican powder puffs like Paul
Ryan, or Mitt Romney, or John Kasich because he wants us to win.

And maybe it’s time to re-define “nice.” Maybe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren’t nice
at all- because they led us to defeat. And losing again would mean the end
of America. And God can’t allow that.

Maybe Romney and Ryan mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Or maybe they’re just jealous they had their chance and blew it. Maybe they’d
rather help elect Hillary than allow a Trump victory that would make them
look weak, feckless and incompetent.

I was reading the Bible this morning and I found the perfect verse that explains
the success of Donald Trump…

"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;They shall mount
up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk
and not faint.
" (Isiah 40:30-31)

It’s almost like God created this verse for Donald Trump and this moment in history.

Trump is our energy. More energy than
any candidate EVER. He took on the 16 best candidates in GOP history...all
younger than him...all with better political credentials...and destroyed
them with his energy. You mean that kind of energy in a 70-year old isn't
inspired by God?

Trump renews our strength. Or does the all-time record turnout and all-time record votes for a GOP presidential primary candidate not define “strength?"

With Trump we mount up with wings like eagles. With Trump as our
leader there is nothing we can’t do. Any man that can build skyscrapers in
Manhattan and vanquish 16 presidential opponents, while spending almost
nothing…can lead us to the heights of eagles.

With Trump we run, we are not weary. Just when we get
tired of the fight against Obama, Hillary, big government, big business,
big media, big unions...just when it all seems impossible to overcome the
powerful forces of evil... along comes Trump to re-energize us.

Trump inspires us. Trump gives us hope. Trump gives us confidence in victory.
Trump gives us just a touch of arrogance. Maybe God understands that’s
exactly what we need right at this late stage to save America.

God is about miracles. We don’t need a “nice guy” or a “gentleman” right now. It’s the
4th quarter and we’re losing 14-0. We need a miracle.

So let me repeat my message to Christians: “YOU’RE MISSING THE BOAT.”

I believe Trump is our miracle. I believe Trump is our rowboat.

Except he’s more like a battleship!

No one is saying Trump is perfect. No one is saying Trump is a perfect conservative.
But he is a patriot. He is a warrior. He is a capitalist. He is the right
man, at the right time.

Yes, he's a bit rude and crude and offensive. But that may make him the perfect
warrior to save America, American exceptionalism, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values.

The choice should be easy for Christians. It’s Trump…or it’s the end of the United States of America.


The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein




Thursday, June 30, 2016

CORRECTING THE CORRECTION - Qrivit vs City of Shawnee

OK, here goes................apparently there was a change made in which account the city was showing the expenditures for this item.

Are ya ready?  Three dozen CPAs, 135 auditors and 2 K9 units have certified this number as correct.

As of 6/22/16 the total amount that the city has spent in legal fees to defend the lawsuit brought by Qrivit is...........................$7,933.50

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CORRECTED Legal Fees for Qrivit vs City of Shawnee

I just received an email that the figure I was given yesterday was wrong.  Apparently that figure included legal fees associated with the TIF project.

Here is the corrected information, as it pertains to legal fees for Qrivit vs City of Shawnee

4/26/16 to 6/22/16............................................$7933.50
3/3/16 to 4/5/16 (previously reported)...............3316.50


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Legal Fees Are Skyrocketing

On April 13, 2016 I posted on this blog that the legal fees at that time were $3,316.50 in the matter of Qrivit vs City of Shawnee

This is as a result of the failed apartment complex project known as Vantage at Shawnee.

In that post I predicted that the legal fees would be $75,000 to $100,000 before it's all over.

I think now that might have been a low estimate.  As of today the fees have climbed to $60,806.14

I'll come up with a new guess.  I'm guessing now that the legal fees will go to $125-$150K before this matter is settled.  If we lose, will we have to pay the other side's fees?  If they lose will they have to reimburse us?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vaught Never Disappoints Me

It's almost a guarantee that Jeff "The Arrogant One" Vaught will either say something untrue, misleading, or just plain old BS when he speaks at council or committee meetings

Last Tuesday's committee meeting was no exception.  First, and it's been mentioned before, he has obviously inherited the title of "Motormouth" from former council member Dawn Kuhn.  At times he just goes on and on and on and on and on ad nauseum.

Now let's see what he did last week at that meeting.  Seems that when another member of the council has objections about new taxes he starts making denigrating comments about conservative republicans, and how Ronald Reagan "raised taxes nine times".  First it took a member of the public, not me, to remind the committee that our meetings are non-partisan. Next, just to make the statement that Reagan raised taxes nine times, without detailed explanation is doing everyone a disservice.  But then, Vaught likes to mislead.  It's in his nature.  Now, if you would like to learn more about this, and I would strongly recommend that his royal arrogance reads it too, to become educated, go here: 
What next?  Oh, during the budget discussions, Vaught, in his characteristic "I know it all" attitude made a comment that all senior staff were concerned about the budget since they all lived in Shawnee.  Not true, oh one who does not know everything.  The number two person in the City Manager's office, the Deputy, does not live in Shawnee.  But then, he knows everything, just ask him.
Last but not least.  He should learn not to challenge the voters in Ward 3.  He made a comment that if they didn't like the way he represented them, they could vote not to reelect him.  Apparently he has both a short memory and an inability to perform basic mathematical calculations.  Just one year ago, his royal egomaniac entered the primary race for mayor.  As we all know, he never got past the primary.  Voters didn't want him to lead our city.  They know what he is all about.  But here is the kicker.  In Ward 3, his ward, he only got 32.26% of the vote in the mayoral primary.  That means that 67.74% of the voters in his ward told him, "we don't want you to lead the city".  Bet that is a premonition of what will happen if runs for reelection.  Can his ego handle another election loss?


Friday, June 24, 2016

West Side Residents Are A Disappointment To Me

When Mayor Distler ran for office she made a promise regarding opening dialog between city hall and the citizens of Shawnee.

She has worked very hard to keep that promise.  Since being sworn in she has probably met with more groups in one year than all previous mayors combined.  She also established two informal citizen get togethers:  Third Thursdays With The Mayor and Quarterly Q & A.

The Third Thursdays are held at the civic center at 9AM and folks are invited for coffee and conversation.  The mayor usually gives an update on what has transpired recently in the city and then she opens the floor to comments and questions from those in attendance.  Usually there is a member or two from staff available to provide additional info and on  occasion other elected members.  Usually there is a pretty good turn out and those citizens are happy with the ability to interact in an open forum without the confines of a formal council type of meeting.

The Quarterly Q&A is held at a pizza restaurant off of K7 and 55th Street.  These are held at 7PM and are designed to attract those who cannot attend a morning event and also, those on the west side of town.  Last night was, IMHO, a very disappointing situation.

Here is the breakdown:   15 total people (including the mayor)

Elected and staff:  6 - including the mayor and the Exec Director of Visit Shawnee (the old C&VB)
Members of the press:  2
Folks who usually attend the 3rd Thursdays and live on the east side:  3
City intern and her friend:  2 (lives in Lenexa and wanted to see what it was all about)
Ward 3 residents:  2

There were more people there from the east side than from the west side.  Unbelievable.  There should have been many more west siders there.  This though, is another example of the apathy shown by the west side residents, particularly in Ward 3, when it comes to local affairs.  That is, unless it directly affects them.  You can see that in the voting numbers when they vote in city elections, the worst in the city (as a percentage of registered voters). 

One of the members of the press made a suggestion that if a BNSF train had rumbled through the area with its horn blaring and a sign to come meet the mayor maybe it would have caught their attention.

When individuals have the opportunity to meet and interact with their elected representatives in an informal atmosphere they need to take advantage of that opportunity. 

BTW, I have posted numerous times in the past about the apathetic attitude of the Shawnee residents on that side of town.  It is a disgraceful situation.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

New Feature on Shawnee Web Site

Recently the city has been posting "City Council Actions (date)' on the front page of the city's web site.

This is a great move, and positive with regards to transparency.  These postings, which are placed one or two days after a council meeting do NOT replace the minutes of these meetings.  By law, the minutes, which contain all info, including comments by members of the public, cannot be posted until they have been approved at a subsequent council meeting.

These "actions" give a brief synopsis of what happened and can be a quick ready reference especially for those who did not attend or listen to the streaming audio of the meeting.  Those needing to know who said what and what info was presented as back up will need to wait for the full minutes to be posted.

To see the most current item go here  When you get there, click on the news item about the actions.  When you get to that page you can also view previous items.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Free Residential Security Assessments - Shawnee PD

The Shawnee PD has made arrangements for residential security assessments here in Shawnee.

More detailed info can be found here:

The individual conducting these assessments is a highly skilled, trained security specialist who is doing this on a volunteer basis for the PD.  His bio is on line and it is amazing.

I urge everybody to go to the above web site and make arrangements for this assessment.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Forrest Gump Was Right - Stupid is as Stupid Does

If you get a chance, check out these two previous posts of mine concerning auto thefts and auto burglaries:

From 11/6/15

From 11/19/15

I have been able to obtain some additional information.

Here in Shawnee we experience between 75 and 80% for unlocked, or no sign of forced entry, victim vehicles (car burglaries and car thefts).  As important as the numbers are, there is something else that needs to be talked about too - something known as "capable guardianship".  So often people go for the complex security items and systems when simple security measures are all that are needed.  Situational awareness (paying attention) and securing our homes we can really cut into those crime stats.  To reduce the risks we face, it makes sense to start with the basics and then get more complex.

There is a criminology theory, first published in 1979, known as "routine activities theory".  In simple terms this theory states that three things must be present for a crime to occur: 1. a motivated offender 2. a target and 3. an opportunity.  Individually we have the most control over the target and opportunity.  Removing targets and opportunities are how we demonstrate capable guardianship.  The police are part of that equation but it's a partnership - individuals bear some responsibility for protecting themselves and their things from those motivated offenders, and it can be as simple as locking our car doors and keeping valuables out of sight.

Here's a Wikipedia article about it.  Note the graphic that shows the confluence of the three items mentioned above.

If people who have their vehicles stolen, or items stolen from their vehicles because they did not take simple precautionary methods, are IMHO, idiots.  I could go through the list of dumb things that people do but there is not enough space here.  Some of these things are leaving your car running while you just run into the convenience store for just a second, leaving your vehicle unlocked and your cell, purse or other valuables in plain sight.

Folks, use some common sense..............there are other things our PD can do to protect and serve us besides responding to crimes that could have been avoided.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Citizens Police Academy - 2016 - Sign Ups

The Shawnee PD is now taking sign ups for the 2016 Citizens Police Academy.

Full information can be found at

This is a great program, and many of the graduates go on to perform volunteer duties for the PD.  And, even if you don't want to do volunteer work this is a great opportunity to have a better understanding of how our PD functions. 

Even though the first class is in September, slots fill up fast.  The city just posted it today and already 3 of 30 slots are filled.

Pass it on to those who you think might also be interested.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Citizen's Police Academy - 2016

The most current issue of "A Few Good Words.....From Inside Shawnee" had this:

Citizen Police Academy
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a police officer?  Well, now you have your chance.  

The Shawnee Police Department will begin accepting applications on June 6 for their 2016 Citizen Police Academy. Learn about law enforcement in your community from the men and women whose job it is to keep your City safe.  This 11-week program allows citizens the opportunity to meet and interact directly with police officers. 


The Academy meets once a week, beginning September 8.  To be eligible to participate, you must be 18 years old, live or work in Shawnee, and have no criminal record.  Don't wait.  The Academy is limited to 26 participants and fills up fast.  

An application to apply for the Academy will be available at starting on June 6 along with more information.  

A great program and I urge folks to apply.

If you are not already on the city's email list for notifications, you can get on it by going to

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Conflict of Interest? Yes or No?

The Nieman Rd corridor project goes from 55th Street south to Shawnee Mission Parkway.

With this in mind, yours truly asked last night at the council meeting that the city attorney make a determination as to whether or not two council members who own commercial properties in the corridor had a conflict of interest.  They are Dan Pflumm (Johnson Drive and Nieman) and Jeff Vaught (5700 block of Nieman).

To his credit, Dan Pflumm indicated that he was in favor of an opinion from the city attorney.  He is to be commended for that. Vaught kept his mouth shut (strange, eh?).

My request was based on a section of Charter Ordinance 40 that makes reference to council members abstaining from actions where there is a real or perceived conflict.  Also, at the May 3, 2016 council committee meeting when the item was discussed Vaught made the following comment(as per the minutes): 

"And, you know, I’ve got a building for lease up the street. There’s a building two spaces for lease across the street from me, and there’s a few other spaces for lease up and down. I’m telling you what, guys, I don’t get the calls. I show my property and the comments I get kind of embarrassing."

It appears to me that he definitely has a stake in this project.

Anyway, in response to Mr. Pflumm's concurring in the need for a legal opinion the city attorney did indicate that as far as he could remember they would not be in violation of state statutes.  I personally feel that an off the top of the head quick response on an item of this nature is insufficient.

As a result, yours truly has requested that a written opinion be provided, since the city's charter ordinance does refer to a real or perceived conflict.

My personal opinion...............they should recuse themselves from any discussions and votes on this project.  Let's see what the city attorney comes up with.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day

Tomorrow is the day where we can honor and show respect for those currently serving.

I remember 1968, after returning from Nam and while stationed at Ft. Hamilton, being a participant in the Armed Forces Day parade that marched down NYC's Fifth Avenue.  If I remember correctly, USMC General Leonard F Chapman Jr. (who was commandant at the time) was the reviewing officer)

If you know of someone who is currently serving, or happen to see a person in that status, say hi and thank you.

And, just in case you forgot why they serve..................................

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Nieman Road Corridor Project

Is this a viable project?  Let's make it simple.  There are those who are pushing for this project as it will supposedly create better traffic flows.  Not just for vehicles, but for pedestrians and bicyclists, supposedly creating a more attractive environment to bring folks into the traditional "downtown" area of Shawnee.

That concept has merit.  Here though is my question.  What are they going to be coming to the downtown for?  The businesses located there are a jumble of architectural designs, with no symmetry.  Some of the businesses are built close to the roadway while others are set back quite a bit.  This does not make for an aesthetically pleasing downtown, regardless of what is done with the roads. trails, and sidewalks.

Besides that, now let's look at the types of businesses.  Are they unique and strong enough to bring folks into the corridor?

Would it be nice to have a strong and vibrant downtown?  You bet.  Do we have any indications or even conditional commitments from any developers about redoing the businesses, both in appearance and mix?  There has even been talk about some infill residential.  Or is this wishful thinking of "build it and they will come"?

We're talking millions of dollars here.  It would be nice to know if there will be commitments for ALL aspects of this project.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Memorial Day - 2016

In a little over two weeks our country will be celebrating Memorial Day.  Many folks will use the three day holiday to travel and visit friends and relatives, attend barbecues and a host of other events.

Unfortunately, there are some who really do not understand why we celebrate Memorial Day.  It is actually very simple.  If it wasn't for those who gave their all for our country we would not be having those barbecues, family gatherings, a day off from work or school, etc.

All I ask is that you take a few minutes to remember the meaning of this holiday.  Explain it to the young folks.  Teach them that "freedom isn't free".  When they complain that they don't have the latest and greatest cell phone, video game player, newest pair of sneakers, please explain to them what they would not have if those that have gone before them did not sacrifice for the future of this country. And teach them also, that if they should happen to see a vet or active member of our military, to just say two little words....."thank you".

Last but not least, please take the less than 8 minutes needed to view the video below from last year's Memorial Day tribute in Washington, DC.

Thank you..................

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Dumb Rears its Head at Council Committee Meeting

Last night at the council committee meeting I do believe we were treated to another example of Jeff Vaught’s arrogance, and I would even go so far as to say stupidity. 

Let’s look at what the item was.  This was tabled from previous meetings and came back up last night and concerned the placement of ten electric vehicle charging stations by KCP&L on city property, including the parking lot at city hall.

Each of these charging stations will charge two vehicles, so it requires two parking spaces.  To place three at city hall would eliminate six parking spaces.  The bone thrown out by KCP&L would be that they would install them at no charge (an approximate value of $10K) and in return the city would pay for the electric services at each unit for two years.  The projected costs would be $400/year for each of the ten stations.  The stations can also be set for the users to pay, but KCP&L wants to do that after the first two years.

Anyone who has studied these things and the vehicles that use them knows that it takes a long time to charge up one of these vehicles.  Most of the council members could not see where that would be beneficial to have them  on city property since there would not be anything for people to do while the vehicles are being charged.  It is a fact that there are commercial properties that have installed them which makes sense.  First, folks can be shopping or related activities and the commercial properties could charge the costs to their advertising budgets.  Some that are doing that are Wal Mart, Hy Vee, Mill Creek Shopping Center.  Even the county owned golf course on Midland has them, but they are a self- supporting unit in that they charge greens fees and other related  fees, and folks that go there are there for quite some time.

A concept that is being used for the placement of these items is referred to as lily padding.  Well, if the Hy Vee at Pflumm  Rd and Mill Creek Shopping Center has them, the Wal Mart at SMP & Maurer and the one at Nieman and 74th, then attempting to place them at 10 Quivira or Shawnee Village Shopping Centers makes more sense, as suggested by yours truly.  Especially with the traffic at those locations.  Much higher traffic than where city hall is located.  Most of the council agreed with yours truly about letting commercial properties take the lead on this.

Now  his royal arrogance starts in with “I just don’t get it”.  That’s his favorite phrase when somebody disagrees with him. (In this case not just me but a majority of the council) A very arrogant statement too, because it is saying that only his idea is the right one and he can’t understand why you don’t agree with him.  He feels that the city should accept the $100K worth of equipment on the chance that down the road we will have a “fleet of electric vehicles”.  Which fleet is he talking about?  He’s in a dream world.  Our police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles?  We only have about a dozen or so or maybe less, of vehicles used by codes and some other city departments and those are hand me down police vehicles

My opinion:  Not only was his arrogance at its nadir last night, but he has, at least to me, confirmed that he has to be one of the dumbest people to ever serve on the council.  In two elections he may have fooled the voters in Ward III, but in the last mayoral primary he didn’t fool the rest of the city when he didn’t even make it to the general election.

I’m really worried about this man.  Maybe he needs to see a doctor to see if he suffers  from Cra-Rec Syndrome**

**Cra-Rec Syndrome aka Cranial Rectal Inversion, when one’s cranium is tightly lodged in one’s rectal area and its functionality is reduced by spasmodic pressure, lack of sun light and toxic fumes