Sunday, January 29, 2017

Three Legislators Ignored Query, Two Replied

Recently I sent an email to the five individuals who represent parts of Shawnee in the state legislature concerning campus carry. I published that letter on my blog and it can be viewed by clicking here.

Three of the five individuals failed to respond. These were State Reps Tom Cox, Cindy Neighbor and Linda Gallagher (who happens to be my rep). I guess they feel that inquiries from the public should be ignored.

Two of the individuals did respond, State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook and State Rep. Shelee Brim. My promise was to post any replies I received and they are below. For the record, I concur with Pilcher-Cook's comments. On the other hand Brim said absolutely nothing. She wants to hear from her constituents? That's a bunch of nonsense. She has an obligation to inform her constituents what her stand is on any given issue and then let them come back and either voice agreement or disagreement. A wimpy answer from her.  Learn to take a stand.

Here they are

Dear Ray,

Thank you for taking the time to write regarding your opposition to weakening our 2nd Amendment protections as it pertains to college campuses.  I agree with your stance and appreciate your diligence in standing up for this important constitutional right.

The public has the right to protect themselves, and that includes on the grounds of public universities.  Many of our citizens spend a good part of their day working and attending classes and activities on college campuses.  Threats to personal safety don’t disappear once you step on campus; nor should rights to protect oneself diminish as a result.

Denying anyone their constitutional right to self-protection empowers criminals and leaves individuals vulnerable to criminal attack.

It's also important to remember that criminals are not, by definition, law abiding citizens and a gun-free zone is not going to deter them - in fact, quite the opposite.  This is why we must prevent any erosion in public safety, and that includes the right of law abiding citizens to protect themselves on college campuses.

Thank you again for your note, and I trust you will be following this debate throughout the session.

Mary Pilcher-Cook
Dear Ray,

Thank you for your input. I appreciate hearing from constituents regarding issues of concern. I will read all correspondence from District 39 constituents and take the information provided into consideration when making decisions.


Shelee Brim

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How The Votes Went Down

In my post of 1/24/17 I stated that the election for council president showed just how contentious things can be at city council meetings.

Let's look at exactly how the votes went down.

For Council President:

Neighbor was nominated, there was no second, no vote
Kemmling was nominated and seconded, not enough yes votes
Meyer was nominated and seconded, not enough yes votes
Kenig, was nominated and seconded and elected

For Vice-Chairman of the Council Committee:

Sandifer was nominated, there was no second, no vote
Jenkins was nominated and seconded, not enough yes votes
Vaught was nominated and seconded and elected

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Council President Elected

Last night the city council elected Brandon Kenig (Ward IV) as the council president.

The election went through various nominations and votes as the personality clashes, evident at many council and committee meetings were obvious.

The council president has two functions:  first to chair council committee meetings and second to assume the mayor's role in the mayor's absence (presiding over a council meeting, standing in at a civic event, etc.).  That also includes becoming mayor should something unfortunate happen to the mayor.

I have some concerns about this choice.  Mr. Kenig appears to be an intelligent young man, but IMHO may lack the experience, at this time, for this position.  He has not even been on the council two years, having been appointed to fill the unexpired council term of Mayor Distler.  As such, he has not even been elected to the council.  An additional concern would be his demeanor.  He is likable but appears to be soft spoken.  Will he be able to wield the gavel when certain council members step out of line?  Will he be able to control certain council members when they attack their peers or members of the public?  Basically, will he be able to keep council committee discussions on track?  Time will tell.

Jeff Vaught (Ward III) was elected council committee vice-chair.  This position requires him to fill in at council committee meetings in the absence of the council president.  The vice-chair is not in the line of succession should something unfortunate happen to the mayor and the council president.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Beautiful Sounds

Ah yes, these were beautiful sounds to hear:

1.  Donald J Trump taking the oath of office as President of the United States

2.  Ruffles and Flourishes followed by Hail to the Chief

3.  A 21-gun salute by the 3rd Infantry "Old Guard"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Email to Legislators, Re: Campus Carry

The following email was sent this morning to State Sen Mary Pilcher-Cook and State Reps Linda Gallagher, Tom Cox, Shelee Brim and Cindy Neighbor.

Good morning,

This email is being sent to those members of the Kansas legislature that represent the City of Shawnee.  So that there is no misunderstanding a copy of this email will be posted at  Any replies (which are both welcome and encouraged) will also be posted there.

It is my understanding that some members of the legislature are trying to change Kansas statutes so as to eliminate the upcoming deadline of 7/1/17 that would allow for campus carry.  They want a permanent ban on campus carry.

It is my opinion that any action to change the current deadline would be wrong.  Continuing a ban on campus carry would not create safe areas.  Just look at the number of high volume shootings and where they occurred.  They take place in gun free zones, including that movie theater in Colorado. Why?  It is really very simple.  Gun free zones leave the innocent with no protection.  Let’s use some common sense and logic here and NOT emotions.  An individual who is desirous of committing a heinous crime is not going to let a sign on a door to a building stop them.  Knowing that some of their potential victims might be armed could be a deterrent.

The current statute calls for those institutions that want to continue with bans on bringing firearms into building must provide armed security along with detection devices.  An 8-1/2 x 11 sign would mean something to law abiding citizens but NOT to criminals.

Feel good laws do not stop criminals.  A reminder:  after the horrendous situation at Sandy Hook the State of Connecticut passed a bunch of gun control legislation.  When asked which of the new laws would have stopped the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, the answer was none of them.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you


Monday, January 16, 2017

Policy Change Allows for Better Input by Citizens at Council Meetings

At last week's city council meeting the council approved a policy change to PS-7 submitted by Councilmember Eric Jenkins.

Briefly stated this change will allow for citizens interested in commenting on a project or any item to form a group and have one spokesperson (which could be an outside expert) speak on behalf of the group.  The individual would have 30 minutes with the possibility of two 15 minute extensions.

In the past when there was an item which resulted in many citizens wanting to speak there was a lack of a fluidity to their comments.  This was because each person was allocated five minutes.  As a result, many people repeated each other's comments.

With this change, well thought out commentary can be presented.  This procedure will apply to any Witem where a group wants to be represented.  Whether they be for or against a project, or any item.

This is a definite additional step in assuring citizen involvement and open government in Shawnee.

The changes are listed in the agenda with supporting documentation for the 1/9/17 meeting which can be viewed by clicking here

The city's web site of policy statements will be updated in the near future and then it can be viewed by going here

Kudos to Councilmember Jenkins for submitting this and to the council for approving it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

She's A Pistol Will be Missed

I was in Sault Ste-Marie, Michigan for the recent holidays when word was received that Becky Bieker was closing down her store.

It was in Gardner, Kansas at the Tumbleweed CafĂ© when I first met Becky & Jon.  Was having lunch with a friend and as we were leaving I noticed this SUV in the parking lot all painted up with "She's A Pistol" and a logo, etc.  Seeing that it was after the normal lunch and they were the only other folks in the place I figured the vehicle was theirs.  So, went up and asked them, and they said yes.  Found out that they were looking to open a store front operation in either Lenexa or Shawnee.  Gave them some names of folks that might be able to help them.  None of those worked out but the good news was that they were able to make other contacts that could help.

What has happened to them has been written and covered by many folks so I will not go into the story itself.

What I'd like to do is comment about the four individuals who attempted to rob the store, killed her husband and ultimately caused her to suffer severe financial losses to the extent that she has had to close her business.

These four malcontents represent the worst of our society.  Instead of getting jobs and attempting to be productive members of the human race these animals chose to destroy and bring grief to five families.  First, to Becky and her family.  They took away her husband and best friend and caused a hard working business person to suffer the loss of her business.  A business that she and Jon spent years to develop.  A business that became an integral part of our community and which was respected by that community.

The other four families that they destroyed were theirs.  Their families will have to live with the knowledge of what they did.  Also, especially since these are young people, their families will never be able to see them bring joy and love into the world by having children of their own, and also by being productive members of society.

If justice prevails they will spend the rest of their natural lives incarcerated and unable to bring grief to anybody else.  And when they get there, these punk ass SOBs who thought they were tough will find out that they are not the toughest folks on the block.  They will meet individuals much tougher than they are.  And when they get there many of those that they meet will look at them as...... "fresh meat".

Monday, January 09, 2017

Qrivit vs City of Shawnee as of 12/31/16

OK, here is the latest.  As of today the total amount spent by city to defend this lawsuit is $32,534.35.

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