Friday, September 29, 2017

Justin Adrian - Another Teacher Who Can't Read

Wow, what am I talking about?  It's really very easy to explain.

Let's start with  K.S.A. 75-4301a.  That is the state law that requires candidates to file a "Statement of Substantial Interest".  That's the form where a  candidate is required to list their source(s) of income, investments, etc for them and their spouse.

Well, seems like Mr. Adrian in his original filing failed to list the info for his spouse.  This information is important so as to preclude any possible conflicts of interest should a candidate get elected.

Well, apparently, after a complaint was filed, Mr. Adrian submitted an amended report where the required additional information was provided.  You can view both the original and the amended filings by starting here.  It should be noted that a candidate signs a statement at the end of the report acknowledging that intentionally filing a false report is a Class B misdemeanor.

Wait a minute.  Maybe I'm being unfair saying that he can't read.  Maybe that's not why the info was left off originally.  Maybe it was because as a former Hillary Clinton delegate to the DNC he thought he could be like her and selectively choose which laws to comply with.

Monday, September 25, 2017

With Positive Modifications Aztec Project Moves Forward

At the city council meeting tonight the Aztec Theater project moved forward, only after some modifications to the agreement.

Councilmembers Eric Jenkins and Stephanie Meyer were instrumental in getting some changes put into the agreement which would reduce the city's financial participation and protect that participation.

The city's investment is reduced by 50% and the ownership is to work to double their portion through other investors, community funding, and if needed their own resources.  There was a modification on how much the city would pay if the property was put up for sale so that the city would not be buying back its own share on a right of first refusal.  Additionally if that was not exercised, the city would receive its funding back if sold to another party (all within the first five years).  There will also be provisions placed into the agreement that would protect the city in case the ownership filed bankruptcy.

With the modifications that these two councilmembers got included the project is now, IMHO, a viable endeavor.

This now appears to be a project that all in Shawnee can be proud of.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Candidate Constance Gets Knuckles Rapped by Ethics Commission

Looks like Lindsey Constance failed to comply with state law regarding her web site and literature.

One would think that an award winning teacher would have done her research as to what was required.  Maybe she can take a remedial reading course?  Anyway, the ethics commission did just give her a slap on the wrist this time, and it appears she has corrected her web site.  What about her literature?  Is she distributing any without the appropriate notice?

Below is a copy of the Ethics Commission notice.  Click on it to see a larger image.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lindsey Constance Borderline Hypocrisy

Wow, some of her statements on her Facebook page are amazing.  She's upset that her challenger, Tony Noble is bringing up party affiliation.  She's crying unfair because city council positions are supposed to be non-partisan. 

The positions are non-partisan (we have had Rs run against Rs and Ds run against Ds) but a person's party affiliation is usually a strong indicator of their philosophical background and how they would perform as a member of the council.  So, apparently she doesn't like the fact that her D background is being made an issue.  All she can do is come up with generic Kumbayah statements for her position.  You know, the feel good statements that D's are famous for.

Now you ask where is the hypocrisy?  It's on her election financial statements.  Is she going to return the contribution made by the JoCo Democratic Party?  I seriously doubt it.

Voters of Ward 4 in Shawnee would be, IMHO, smart to reject her candidacy.  Hey, that's me!!!!  I'm a Ward 4 voter.  Lindsey Constance..........I reject you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Did Candidate Justin Adrian Violate State Law?

This is an interesting question. 

So, let's start with this.  In the July 5th, 2017 edition of the Shawnee Dispatch (click here) the paper states:  Adrian, a married high school history teacher, sees a lot of untapped potential in western Shawnee.

Candidates for office are required by K.S.A. 75-4301a to file a Statement of Substantial Interests.
This is basically a form so as to preclude any possible financial conflicts of interest.  There is a section on page 3 where a candidate is supposed to indicate the source of any income by a spouse for the preceding year.  There is a box to check if the candidate has nothing to report.  That box was checked.  You can click here to see alist of reports that he has filed  Then click on the "eyeballs" for the Statement of Substantial Interests dated 5/1/17.  I believe his spouse has been employed in the real estate field for the past three years or so.  Would be nice if this could be clarified and if his spouse did have an income in 2016 that he comply with state statutes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Aztec Theater - Part 2

The more I review City Manager Gonzales' memo to the Members of the Governing Body concerning this, the angrier I get.

First, I hope you have read my post immediately preceding this one.

Now, let's look at this part of her statement:

The Aztec Theater will be owned and operated by the Aztec Group, LLC. The owners of this
company are Jeffrey Calkins, Christopher Calkins and Bruce Young. The owners are longtime
Shawnee business owners and residents with expertise in the areas of business, construction,
project management, administration, arts, marketing, and public relations. All three owners were
patrons of the original Aztec Theater.
Jeffrey and Christopher have both operated successful business ventures, including Calkins
Electric Supply Company, are members of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, and their family
has been part of the downtown Shawnee business area for over 60 years. Both are active members
of the Shawnee Downtown Business Association.
Bruce Young has operated a successful flooring business for 41 years and has experience in sales,
marketing, accounting, and construction projects. Bruce also has experience in music performance
and is very active in the local blues and jazz scene.

Now keep in mind that these three are investing a total of $100,000 are getting a loan for $150,000 and then want the city to kick in $500,000 (taxpayer money)

This is absurd.  What it breaks down to is $33,000 for each of them.  It would appear, that based on their bios as submitted by Gonzales, that that amount of money is chump change for these gentlemen.

This is what they need to do.  Invest $150,000 each, get their loan for $150,000 and then either find another investor for the remaining $150,000 or sell stock to additional investors.  There apparently isn't enough time so set up a 501(c)(3) for a "Friends of.............."

These long time, successful businessmen should be able to pull this off without hitting the taxpayers for any part of it.

When the economic development fund was created I heard some folks wonder if this was going to become a "slush fund" for the city manager.  Has that happened?  Is she attempting to ingratiate herself with the business community at the expense of the taxpayers.

Read my other post below, and then combine the thoughts.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Aztec Theater Plan - Not a Good Deal for Shawnee

At the 9/5/17 Council Committee a plan was presented to revitalize the Aztec Theater.  Complete information can be found by clicking here to read the agenda with the supporting documentation.

The memorandum for this was authored by the city manager, Carol Gonzales, and, IMHO is disingenuous, to say the least.

The basics of the plan are that three individuals would invest a total Of $100, 000 and then obtain a loan for $150,000 to purchase the property.  They are asking the city to kick in $500,000 from the Economic Development Fund to handle all rehab and renovation.  As pointed out by Councilmember Dan Pflumm, in theory, the investors could sell the property, make a profit and the city is out the $500K.  Councilmember Meyer was also not happy with the percentages, plus additional rehab expenses appeared not to have been included in their estimates  folks who attempted to compare this with the B&B project were reminded that the owners there kicked in $4.9 million.

I personally find this part of Ms. Gonzales' memorandum to be a bunch of bureaucratic double talk:

Much time and energy has been invested in analyzing the performance of other similar theaters currently in operations to determine the financial viability of the Aztec Theater. It is believed that the Aztec Theater can be 100% self-supporting with careful planning, programming and management, but not with the nearly $500,000 cost of building rehabilitation and renovation cost estimates.

That is almost like saying the adult child and their spouse after moving back in with their parents could be self supporting if they didn't have to pay rent, utilities etc.

Additionally, I find this part of her memorandum to be close to "bait and switch".  Something you'd expect from a used care salesman, not city staff:

This type of structure would be similar to other programs funded in the Economic Development Fund. Because of the debt load that the EDF is taking on related to Nieman Now! fund balances in the future forecast show as diminishing. As was discussed in the 2018 Budget process, staff recommends moving Nieman Now! debt payments over into the Debt Fund as it becomes feasible. That frees up more fund capacity in the Economic Development Fund to continue to take on new projects.

Yours truly spoke at the session and IMHO that the only acceptable solution(s) would be:
a.  The investors substantially increase their investment.
b.  They invite other investors to kick in so as to substantially increase the investment amount
c.  They create a "Friends of _________" just like other artsy projects have done all across the country.
d. Any combination of the above

It would be nice if that eyesore was repurposed, but not at the expense of the taxpayers. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Westbrooke Village Needs Private Security

At Monday's council meeting the continuing vandalism at the virtually empty Westbrooke Village came up many times.

Apparently vandals make a habit of busting out windows, painting graffiti on the walls and other acts of destruction.

It appears that the city does notify the new ownership of these items and then they send folks out to fix or mitigate the situation.

Yesterday I sent an email to the governing body and suggested that the shopping center ownership obtain private security to conduct patrols.  They would not necessarily be needed 24/7 but maybe from about 8/9 PM until about 5/6 AM.

Bet the neighbors in the surrounding homes would appreciate that.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

City of Shawnee Absolved of Wrongdoing

The City of Shawnee was sued by Qrivit LLC because the city council rejected the Vantage Apartments complex in early 2016.

The action of the court vindicates the council members who voted against the project.

For more information on this action click here