Thursday, January 30, 2020

Who Is The "Mystery" Councilwoman?

In a recent article in the Shawnee Mission Post it has been mentioned that Austin Homes and its owner Greg Prieb have filed a lawsuit against Shawnee.  The suit alleges that the city wrongfully turned down their application for their Woodsonia project.

The action is filed in JoCo District Court under case number 20CV00246 and that is public information.

In support of their allegations they mention many items.  Naturally it will be up to the court to decide if the allegations have merit.  Among these allegations are the following:

"(b)  The prejudgment of the matter by another councilmember, who wrongfully and inappropriately (i)offered to assist the owners of neighboring properties in preparing the protest petition before the Application had been heard by the Planning Commission; (ii) attend the Planning Commission to publicly show her support of those in opposition; (iii) made statements in social media about her position on the development before it reached the City Council for hearing, and (iv) read from a script at the December 9, 2019 City Council meeting, prepared before the evidence and testimony had been received."

At the time all this was happening there were three female members of the council:  Stephanie Meyer, Lisa Larson-Bunnell and Lindsey Constance.  So, which one of these three ladies is the "her" mentioned in the lawsuit?  Prior to the 1/27/20 council meeting a member of the public asked Larson-Bunnell if it was her.  Apparently she said no, because that member of the public so stated it from the podium.  That leaves just Meyer and Constance.  Here is my take.  Constance is a rep from Ward IV and I seriously doubt that she would get that involved in a Ward III project.  Meyer was a Ward III rep but if one looks at her list of campaign contributors in her failed mayoral election there is some major representation by folks/companies in the construction/development arena.  And, she has by virtue of her employment over the years been closely associated with folks in that industry.  Would she really take that public of a stand against one of them?  And the election was already over.   Larson-Bunnell is a lawyer  and capable of preparing a protest petition.  But she has denied that it was her.  Anybody want to read the 12/9/19 minutes of the council to see which member said they were going to read comments that they had prepared before the meeting?

Anyway, two things will come to the surface:  1) pre-trial depositions will reveal the "mystery" councilwoman and 2) the court will decide if there was any wrongdoing, not me.

Wonder what it will cost the city to defend this one?

Sidebar:  The attorney representing the petitioner, Austin Homes, is the same attorney who handed the city a big loss in its recent eminent domain action on Johnson Drive