Monday, November 26, 2018

Letter to the Editor Regarding Ward III Appointment

I sent a letter to the editor of the Shawnee Dispatch concerning the unresponsiveness of 5 city council members.  Those being Neighbor, Zimmerman, Meyer, Sandifer and Constance.

It appears on their web site at this location.  There are 2 comments posted.

If you are interested in viewing a running commentary on this subject, there are more comments posted on their Facebook page and that is located by clicking here.  You'll have to scroll down a little as some other news items are above it on the page.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

1,058 to 5

Reference is made to my post on Sunday concerning the appointment to the City Council of Lisa Larson-Bunnell.  Actually it was more about how the only applicant for the appointment who ran for the office was not appointed.

Now, let's get specific.  Dave Myres ran against Justin Adrian and Jeff Vaught in the most recent primary for the Ward III council seat.  Myres got 609 votes, Adrian 415 and Vaught brought up the rear with 308 (eliminating him from running in the general election).

Next up was the November general election.  Adrian came out on top with 1128 votes and Myres was 70 votes behind with 1058.

Now that is what begs some questions needing answers.  Why did 5 members of the council ignore the votes of 1,058 Ward III residents and appoint someone who did not even do anything to really show that they wanted to represent that ward?

I am emailing those 5 councilmembers and asking them that question.  Their replies should be interesting, and will be published here.

Here is what I sent this morning:

Good morning,

This email is addressed to the five members of the Shawnee City Council who voted to appoint Lisa Larson-Bunnell to fill the position of Ward III council person until a special election is held in November 2019.

What factually specific objective information concerning Ms. Larson-Bunnell’s history did you feel was superior to the fact that 1,058 Ward III residents had cast votes for Mr. Dave Myres in the most recent city election?

It’s highly probable that there are 1,058 residents of Ward III that would be interested in your replies.

Thank you



Sunday, November 18, 2018

Council Appointment - Games People Play

Last week the Shawnee City Council apponted Lisa Larson-Bunnell to fill the open Ward III seat caused by the resignation of Justin Adrian as he faces criminal charges.

An unusually large number (16) of citizens applied for the position. Previous vacancies usually had about a half dozen or so apply. All of the applicants said in some manner that they wanted to serve the residents of Ward III and the city. Only one of the applicants actually walked the walk and did not just talk the talk. That was Dave Myres. Dave had filed to run last year and survived the Ward III primary. He and Justin Adrian went on to compete in the general election as the voters of Ward III clearly indicated that they did not want Jeff Vaught to be their rep on the council. Adrian won the general election, and has since resigned because of the aforementioned pending criminal charges.

Why were there so many applicants for the position? Did they want a simpler glide path as opposed to actually investing time and money into actually running for office?

Now, let's get historical. Let's look at two currently sitting council members, Jim Neighbor and Mickey Sandifer.

When Cheryl Scott resigned as a member of the council Jim Neighbor was one of those applying for the position. Part of his argument for being considered was that he had actually run for the council being defeated by the other Ward i member at the time, Dan Pflumm. Mickey Sandifer made it a point to back Neighbor based on Neighbor's having run for the office. Hmmmm, apparently they both thought that running for office was a form of walking the walk and not just talking the talk.

Some time later Councilmember Dave Morris resigned his position. Individuals again applied. One of them was Dr. Mike Kemmling who had recently run at that time against Neil Sawyer and lost by 11, yes 11 votes. Sounds like he had a bunch of support in the ward. Well, apparently those two stalwarts who considered running for office prima facie evidence that the person truly wanted to serve the residents didn't agree. This time, Neighbor and Sandifer ignored their previous line of reasong and instead voted to appoint Uncle Alan Willoughby. Ironically that appointment resulted in a KOMA investigation and the JoCo DA was not kind to certain members of the council including former mayor Jeff Meyers. Karma is wonderful. When election time came about Dr. Kemmling defeated Uncle Alan Willoughby. (For those not aware, Willoughby is the uncle by marriage of former Mayor Jeff Meyers who was the mayor at the time of that situation)

Now we have the curent situation. Of all the applicants Dave Myres was the only one to put forth the effort to serve the people of Ward III. Again Neighbor and Sandifer apparently did not consider his previous run for the office as indicative of that. Guess that reasoning only applied to Neighbor and Sandifer's support thereof. It has come to my attention that approximately 100 residents of Ward III sent emails to the council in support of Dave Myres.

Do I smell another KOMA investigation brewing in the wings? Should councilmembers Neighbor, Zimmerman, Sandifer, Constance and Stephanie Meyer be concerned? Time will tell.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Live East of I-435? Get Prepared to be Stepped On

Hmmm, that's an ominous headline.  But, it is a possibility.

Here's the deal.  The city is gathering more information so as to have exact figures and other info in order to proceed with a special election (most likely a mail in ballot) concerning a Community Center on the west side of Shawnee.  More specifically, the center would be located at 61st St and Woodland Rd.

The mail ballot would ask Shawnee voters to approve a mill levy increase to cover the costs of the new center.  The costs are currently estimated at $34-42 million (based on whether or not a lap pool is included, with a possible partnership with the school district).

Does the city need this community center?  Especially with JoCo Parks having the Mill Creek Activity Center (6518 Vista Avenue - around the corner from the proposed new center) and Okun Field House (20200 Johnson Drive- Johnson Dr and Woodland area) all within a stone's throw from the proposed site.  Aha, that seems to be the big question.  Does the city need to have its citizens saddled with a mill levy increase to build our own local Taj Mahal?  Would it really benefit the whole city or primarily those in western Shawnee, predominantly Ward III.

At a recent city council meeting it was stated that members of the council had received 79 emails in favor of the project and only three opposed.  Now that makes sense especially when the numero uno cheerleader for this project is Ward III Rep Stephanie Meyer.  This is what she had posted on FB:

In my five years on council, this has been the single most common topic of constituent correspondence - "When is the Community Center coming?" While you've shared that with me, many of my council colleagues haven't heard from as many supportive residents.
I would love to change that and let them hear from you directly prior to Monday's meeting (and it would be even better in person on Monday!). Will you take a minute to email the Governing Body, at As always, the words of the residents are far more important than mine, particularly at this time when we're down a ward representative.

Now, was that a sponsored post where a payment was made to have it circulated?  Did it go to everybody in the city or just those on the west side? Notice that she basically asked for supportive emails as opposed to letting the council know your thoughts either way.  Now that is cheerleading (more on that later).

It's time for those east of I-435 to start preparing.  If it does come down to an election make sure you protect yourselves.  If you want a mill levy increase, fine, vote for it.  If you feel that this is an unnecessary luxury vote against it.  The time line for an election would be in about another 4-6 months.

My suggestion presented at a meeting was to create a special tax zone, west of I-435.  Council Member Kemmling did ask staff to research if and how that could be done. 

Sidebar:  Council member Lindsey Constance (Ward IV) has twice indicated that if this was approved that possibly something could be done about the fees for those who had reduced income levels.  Ha!!  I don't see her sitting down with a pad, paper and calculator and getting specific.  Over half of her ward is east of 435.  Maybe she doesn't really care about them and wants to cater to the west side.  Same with Mickey Sandifer (Ward IV) and the two Ward I reps Jim Neighbor and Matt Zimmerman.  The only two reps who seem to be concerned about the effects this would have on the folks east of 435 are the Ward II reps Eric Jenkins and Mike Kemmling.