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.