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