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.