Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The 9 wording amendments to Shawnee's community center May 21 tax hike ballot--to avoid what TKC dubbed the Shawnee Swindle

All We are Saying is Give FACTS a Chance!!!!

There's still time.  Call your council reps and the Mayor.  (numbers on city web site.)  AND forward this to all, as an email:

Amend the May 21 mail-in ballot wording. Give the facts!

Say what it is, and what it is not.  That's the only way to be honest.  And let voters make a truly INFORMED decision.

This will eliminate the need for any "inserts" or never before allowed memo/speculations or illustrations/and non-binding verbiage-- by Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker, or Mayor Michelle Distler, or anyone else.

1. That the property tax increase has no sunset. 

2. And cannot be repurposed in the future, once the GO bonds are paid off, for any new or different project. For Parks and Rec or any other department.

3. That $38 million does not contain the interest that will be paid to bond holders/investors since that will not be known until the bonds are sold.

4. That IF the mill levy is set, in July at 2.919 mills, to purchase a proposed 20 year bond, that current projections do not forecast this center ever being self sustaining.

5. The council maintains that it alone has the right to approve mill levy increases, not the public. As a currently allowable exception to the 2017 Ks. Tax Lid Bill.

6. If the council determines each year that it will require a higher mill levy than the guesstimate of 2.919 mills per year for building and maintaining operation of this one community center, at 61st and Woodland and nowhere else, Council reserves the right to raise that subsection of the mill levy, without another public vote...earmarked only to this specific project.

7. The Council maintains the option, however, of dipping into the General Fund as needed, possibly affecting funds for police and fire and other necessities.

8. This proposal calls for the City to hire and provide ongoing employee benefits to 17 new FT employees of Parks and Recreation.

9. There are no provisions herein for off duty security police officers or the payment thereof from this or any other known source.

It took two weeks of browbeating the staff and council to get them to at least say on the ballot: This will be funded by a property tax increase. 
Was that so hard???  But how much, and for how long?   
And truly, if it operates in the red, as predicted by their own "Owner's Rep Team", if they set the mill levy too low,  remember--$38 million DOES NOT COVER INTEREST!!!--it will also dip into the General Fund.  Can't you JUST tell the truth?  About this "want" that is not a "need"?

That wording concession was snuck in AFTER the meeting packet was put online. at Friday's deadline.  
Perhaps at their offsite weekend "planning" meeting of the council--off the record, with no minutes??  And no reporters??    
Once a tax is increased, unless you sunset it, it goes on forever.


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Shawnee Council accused of FISCAL FOLLY for Taj Mahal community center, by bus. exec/humanitarian David Williams

The proposed Shawnee Community Center (a $38 million Taj Mahal rival to eternal rival Lenexa's rec center) is in serious trouble.
Shawnee, always trying to be Lenexa, wants to build a Taj Mahal $38 million rec center in far western Shawnee.  Which will end up being the new urban teen hangout for unmentioned northern neighbor, Wyandotte County).  Funded by a $15 a month property tax that never sunsets.  (also not mentioned in ballot.)
Public opposition is suddenly speaking up, angry and motivated to stop a hearing and ballot order, 7pm  Mon. Feb. 11 at Shawnee City Hall, Johnson Drive and Nieman.  The Shawnee Community Center (a proposed $38 million to $52 million Taj Mahal rival to eternal rival Lenexa's more convenient new rec center) is in serious trouble.
This morning the entire Shawnee Council received this letter from David Williams, a respected business exec and humanitarian from Ward 4.  (The same ward where Mickey Sandifer, who supports SCC to the point of breaking the law in saying "Vote Yes",  is running for re-election.)

If the public cannot attend Mon. Feb 11 at Shawnee City Hall, when this will be put on a proposed May 21 mail-in ballot, after a short public hearing,they are encouraged to email their opinions to:

From: David Williams <>
Date: Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 8:14 AM
Subject: Proposed Community Center
To: <>

Shameful - Shameful - Just Per Shameful!

The City of Shawnee has over $144 Million dollars of Capital Improvement projects on the books currently. Many of these projects have been delayed multiply times due to complications with funding. The council is taking on a folly that is the worst use of taxpayers funds ever heard of.
 If I was planning on continuing my career as a council member or seek higher office I would think long and hard about taking an average of $200 a year forever out of every taxpayer’s pocket on a folly like this. You could be the next Kevin Yoder!  Just to be like the JONES. One of the main Capital Improvement Project that I have seen delayed and delayed because of financial reasons has been the Monticello Road Project. A project that I have given up on of even being completed. A project that would not only improve traffic flow, improve safety, and gain access for the residents to access the trails system.  It would also bring development of homes and in turn bring more tax dollars to Shawnee. I would have thought our council would be interested in the big picture on how to improve revenue by increasing residents not just fleecing the ones they have.  
One of the reasons given by the council was the recession on 2008, which I agree was bad for the community. Well I think you might want to consider the following information before promoting a new $38 Million dollar loser. Yes, I have heard that the council can not promote but there are some of you that are promoting this folly. 
National Economy Outlook:
Chief executives are concerned for another recession in 2019!

On Monday, January 21, 2019 the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth predictions for this year and next, saying “the balance of risks remains skewed to the downside” and momentum is “past its peak.”
Chief executives ranked a global recession as their number one concern for 2019, according to a survey of nearly 800 top business leaders around the world released Thursday by The Conference Board. Global trade threats came in second. Even consumers, who power the U.S. economy, are on edge. Consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest level of Trump’s presidency, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey out Friday.

As for the Community Center Project. Shame on anyone on the council that votes to move this forward to the voters with a mail in ballot process.  I was able to attend both “Open Houses” in January and shame on the council members that were there if you vote to bring this to the voters. With less than 50 individuals at each presentation it should give you the message. Please don’t say it was because of the weather, it was not that bad either day. It tells me that the majority of Shawnee taxpayers are NOT interested in this tax drain.  OR - OR - The Project has not been communicated well enough and taxpayers are unaware of what the council is proposing. 
It was shameful that a taxpayer had to search out individuals to ask what was the estimated cost to the taxpayer. No one had name and position tags to identify them. Maybe this was the plan. Shame on the presentation with all the FLUFF & SIZZLE and NO facts or figures posted anywhere. Being in sales for over 40 years I can see FLUFF & SIZZLE when I see it. Shame on the council as the message of this proposal really hasn’t gotten  out to the majority of taxpayers. Depending on digital media isn’t cutting it. The taxpayers don’t really know what is going to hit them with a tax increase and for how long (forever). 
A property tax of this magnitude will make Shawnee one of the heaviest taxed cities in Johnson County and maybe the state. 
It is shameful that you our trusted officials would invest in a project that will run in the RED forever ($200,000) never paying for it’s own operation. 
More staff, not police or fire?
By adding 17 more full time employees with benefits this negative spending will grow year over year. And the real shame of it all they don’t have to be residents of Shawnee. They can go spend their salaries in other cities. I have never seen a legal business operate in the red and survive long. 
* Shame on  the council member voting on doing a project that will compete with tax paying 
   private industry. 
* Cut the losses and sell the property. 
* Sell the property and speed up completion of some of the other Capital Improvement Projects.

David Williams
Resident Ward 4

David Williams is currently in Puerto Rico rebuilding homes for hurricane victims.
He may be reached via email,
The council email to Mayor Michelle Distler and all 8 Councilmen and women,  is
If the public cannot attend Mon. Feb 11 at Shawnee City Hall, 7pm, Johnson Drive and Nieman, when this will be put on a proposed May 21 mail-in ballot, they may mail their opinions to:

Here are other concerns:
(not expressed by David Williams.  By others on No More Taxes Shawnee.)
*  a want rather than a need
*  too far west location
*  the next youth hangout for idle Wyandotte County teens, @ 72 cents/day. cheaper 
   than a babysitter
*  funding shenanigans
*  a non-disclosed property tax hike THAT NEVER SUNSETS 
*  violation and thumbing their nose at the 2017 Ks. Tax Lid Law
*  secret plans by council to raise the tax even higher in July to $15 a month from $7.36 
    stated on vague ballot
*  illegal electioneering by Council and staff, including Park Board director Neil Holman,
   and Ward 4 Councilman Mickey Sandifer.  Staff and council are only allowed to 
   "educate and inform", not advocate, eg say "Vote Yes".
*  And now even an election controversy involving a non-binding legalese "faux 
   endorsement" by Joco's beleaguered election commissioner, Ronnie Metsker, 
   are being exposed.

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