Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shawnee City Council hurls addl. $6 million (total of $31 million incentives) to John Petersen of Polsinelli--for the non-luxury apartments at 75 and Quivira. Woohoo--530 more customers for Walgreen's, Starbucks and 2 drive-ins!

With two lone holdouts, (Eric Jenkins and Mike Kemmling), the Shawnee City Council heard the angel voices and fell on their knees the week of Christmas, at the feet of John D. Petersen, the king of kings of real estate giveaways and incentives.

In fact, the council added $6 million in giveaways since the public hearing a month ago!!!--up from $25 million to $31 million!!!
Smug, handsome and very very rich: 
the head pimp of Polsinelli's
Real Estate Division...
John D. Petersen, with an E. 
for EXTRA Helpings of taxpayer subsidy.
Including the addl. $6 million bump since LAST month's
Shawnee Council's public hearing,
from $25 million to $31 million.
When he cashes in, (flips Westbrooke Green to someone else,
even another subsidized apartment complex owner, think Section 8 with a fountain out front next to two drive-in restaurants)
since he customarily takes 10% of each real estate deal,
that's $3.1 million.  Not bad for a night's work
charming Mayor Michelle Distler and six of her elves.

Name that gummint giveway, and Polsinelli's Petersen delivered the bag of goodies
(This list is 3 years old, there have been dozens more since then.)

I told the Council last night, I am embarassed for them.
They've given away 22 years of free police and free fire and free street maintenance--to a man who will do whatever he likes, and if he changes his plans, they don't have the courage to do anything about it.

I cited a previous client, the Oz Project.  According to the late great Finn Bullers at the Star, it was Petersen who instructed his client to STOP PAYMENT ON A $400,000 EARNEST MONEY CHECK.  And the county did nothing about it.

The vote was deliberately scheduled to avoid neighbor attendance, for Dec. 18--the LAST MEETING as 3 of 8 councilmen are leaving the council, presumably fat with their campaign contributions. Westbrooke Green (530 ho-hum apartments at 75th and Quivira, $1100 a month compared to $800 Section 8 all around it) with a fountain, some Stairmasters and two drive-in restaurants)  to "drive more folks to shop at the existing Walgreens" (to quote defeated/departing/but too beholden and chicken to let the next council decide this, Councilman Brandon Koenig).
Mayor Michelle Distler--the Sly James of Shawnee
Not the sharpest tool in the drawer.
Married to a man who sharpens scissors for a living.

At the very last minute, Mayor Michelle Distler got all curious and giddy!  She asked her crack staff, "Does anyone even KNOW what it costs to have the city [and its taxpayers, presumably], respond to a police report, a break-in, a robbery, a fire?"


Then she reprimanded the audience for not bringing these objections or concerns up earlier!

I was gobsmacked, as was Ray Ehrlichman, the perpetual citizen who attends every meeting, and blogs as Shawnee Ray.

How can the mayor not be concerned about what she gavelled into existence--a 22 year giveaway of free services--for some apartments that are absolutely 100% NOT 'luxury' apartments???  (The real luxury ones are downtown OP for $1800.  Even the 80th & Metcalf new ones at $1500 a month describe themselves as vanilla, bare bones.)

This Shawnee Council sold out for cheap.
Of the six voting yes, most accepted campaign contributions from Petersen, his son, Curt and co-horts, of around $500 this year.  One or more took $1000.  However, the public will not know till after Jan. 10 when the reports are due at Jocoelection.org.  The election board then reports to Ks. Ethics Commission.
Used car dealer, departing but voting Councilman defeated in August,
"The Arrogant One", Jeff Vaught.
Not too smart.  $250 contribution offset by $240 fine for delayed report.

We do know that Jeff Vaught (aka The Arrogant One, per Shawnee Ray's blog) held up HIS required report from Aug. 2017 to Dec. 12, just to keep prying eyes from seeing that Curt Petersen, John's son, donated $250.  The delay resulted in a penalty of $240!!!

And if there were ANY last minute contributions, after the August primary which Vaught lost, then he will be subject to up to a $5000 fine.
Because--when you're late reporting, you can't take any last minute payoffs!

It's a pain in the ass to read campaign contribution reports here
Hint:  click on Media tab (don't ask why) then two more clicks, then takes forever to lookey loo at some eyeball graphic.

What does it cost to buy a City Councilman's vote?
And what can a real estate developer expect in return?
John D. Petersen might easily net $3.1 million, (his 10% of a deal where he didn't even invest one dollar.)
Plus of course his hourly rate, of at least $500 an hour.  That is, if he actually builds what he proposed last night, which I seriously doubt.  More on that in a future post, here or on my sister blog, www.kcmopost.com.

By comparison, when John Petersen raised the money to elect Annabeth Surbaugh as the first chairman of the BOCC (Johnson County Commission) he raised $40,000 for her war chest.

The KCMO Council charges a bit more for their votes.  Just ask Burns&Mac, AECOM, and Edgemoor.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shawnee Mission School Board race--afraid to discuss the two elephants in the room--(bussing and overpaid admin)--which is how Blue Valley is costing SM middle class homeowners $30 grand in resale value

The northern half of Johnson County (SMSD) is on the verge of making the same disastrous community-destroying mistake KCMO did 50 years ago--sacrificing the middle class to rescue and prop up latchkey apartment kids.
Heather Ousley is willing to bus this boy to force him to teach English
to apartment kids whose parents won't speak it.

If liberal labor activist Dems Heather Ousley and Laura Guy are elected to SM school board, will our district become like KCMO's?  Including bussing, namecalling and finger-pointing union fights on nightly newscasts?

"Johnson County niceness" is preventing the Nov. 7 school board candidates from telling voters the truth:  Blue Valley is kicking our ass on test scores.
When you go to sell your home, the price of your home in Shawnee Mission District could easily drop $30,000!  You will have FEWER BUYERS.  You will lose out to Blue Valley.
Ultra-liberal union organizers, including Dems Heather Ousley and Laura Guy are using their "aw shucks" Cheshire cat smiles and Peter Pan collars to infiltrate the SM School Board.  But make no mistake--their political leanings show they would be much happier living in Westport or KC's Hispanic West Side.

From Heather Ousley's Facebook.  She is not in tune with the average Johnson County homeowner and voter.
She's a lovely woman--but wants to play Bernie Sanders' social engineering games with your biggest investment,
your home.  She'd bus your kid to rescue illegal immigrants.
Nobody wants to mention these facts.  Intellectually we are ALL committed to "diversity" and "quality education for all".  To a point.  But if an unwieldy number of kids don't speak English (like 28% in Shawanoe Elementary--whose immigrant parents oppose "assimilation"), then middle class families in MY neighborhood have to fork over thousands for private school tuition, over and above the $14,000 per pupil we spend on every child in Kansas.  Or they vote with their wallet, and move out south.

I know of 17 kids in my HOA--who either are home-schooled or attend Good Shepherd across the street, or Maranatha Academy, or Adventist, or Padre Pio.  Why?  They're tired of their kids being ignored in crowded public school classrooms --and used as free teachers' assistants.  Middle class kids of average intelligence, used as pawns.  And the bright ones?  Completely ignored.

(Whereas Padre Pio, whose tuition is $3595 per year, runs away with ALL the STEM awards!)
So clearly, money is not the only solution.  It's less overpaid administrator bullies.  More teachers in the classroom.  But also teaching values, not just teaching to the test.


1.  If union organizer/ultra-liberal Dem Heather Ousley is elected, take her at her word.  The  eventual result will be bussing of middle class kids to prop up the test scores of disadvantaged kids.

She's already said as much in the debate two weeks ago:  "I refuse to allow any disadvantaged school to have any more disadvantaged kids assigned to it."  So even if the Title 1 (free school lunch) school is surrounded by a growing number of subsidized apartments--what's the outcome?  She's committed to bussing in higher achievers.  Gerrymandered districts.  Using our kids  to artificially serve as teachers' assistants in crowded classrooms.  And prop up test scores.

Did homeowners learn NOTHING from Judge Clark and KCMO's disaster than led to massive flight to Johnson County? 

2.  Meanwhile, 82% of all VOTERS, who are older, do not have kids in K-12.  They moved to Joco for the good schools and--LONG TERM-- to build and preserve the value of their biggest asset: their home.

FACT:  We are losing out to Blue Valley district.  Huge migration of families. It's undisputed.

Up first:   Replacing the disgraced bully, Jim Hinson, the former SMSD superintendent who had the affair (and DUI?) with the married school board President who hired him.  He gave a giant contract to her daughter's boss to manage the district's benefits.  He was a despot who skirted Open Meetings.  He did not allow any "negativity" to be discussed at board meetings.

The current board rubberstamped everything he demanded.  Meeting in diads in secret, in violation of KORA, to achieve a "wink and nod" consent agenda.  Puppets.  Who propped up outrageous admin salaries.  Shame on them.

What we need: People commited to change rather than headline grabbing.  With the quiet resolve to:
1.  Slash administrative costs.
2.  Put more teachers in the classroom.
3.  Without bussing or turning the district into another battleground like KCMO's school board is.

 I am voting for Mandi Serrone Hunter, at large, and against "Hanoi Heather" Ousley.

Hunter is a moderate Republican.  A real estate attorney with high scores in her career--so she "gets" that in Johnson County, we have mastered the teeter totter--an artful balance between social values and property values.  
Mandi Hunter, daughter of beloved Lenexa Councilman Lou Serrone, uses discretion when she speaks in public-- but beneath her smile is a velvet hammer.  

Hunter is resolved to restoring Shawnee Mission to competitive greatness.  An excellent education for all.  Without bussing or discord.  Not whining and lobbying before the cameras about a magic bullet of millions more in taxes--but a much smarter allocation of the money we already give our school board.

Whereas Heather Ousley is a publicity seeker.  She "walked 60 miles to Topeka".  That's clearly a stunt. Half crazy.  Fell into the arms of her hubbie, a state rep, Jarrod Ousley.  In the primary, didn't we just get RID of Cindy Neighbor, another know-it-all convinced we needed her as both a state rep and on the school board??

Mandi Hunter is smart.  Her style is to work behind the scenes for concensus and improvement.  But she does not buy into that liberal babble-speak that simply handing millions more over to the contentious NEA will make OUR district work any better than KCMO, which is the world's longest Model Cities rumpus room in America.

The SMSD is rotten at the TOP, not the middle.  We can't afford to let the NEA union organizers (Ousley and Laura Guy) turn the northern half of Johnson County into a real estate war zone.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Hanoi Heather" Ousley is Dangerous Union Organizer Who Will Ruin SM School Board, Gerrymander Boundaries and Deputize Our Kids as Junior Social Justice Warriors! Vote instead for Mandi Hunter.

Homeowners beware--a civil rights Snowflake Attorney, "Hanoi Heather" Ousley is running at large for SM School District Nov. 7.  She promised at last weekend's ShawneeMissionPost debate NEVER to allow disadvantaged school's boundaries to permit higher income/achieving kids to leave that school.  (debate is linked at bottom.)
"Hanoi Heather" Ousley is as tone deaf as Jane Fonda was, when she was a traitor to the US in VietNam.

"Hanoi Heather" Ousley wants to play politics with Joco's biggest investments--our homes--through gerrymandering school boundaries.  She promised Sat. at the debate-- to handcuff smart affluent kids into artificially inflating school test scores.  That includes MY neighborhood school, Shawanoe at 75th & Nieman in Shawnee.  It's smack dab in the growing heart of subsidized apartments, (formerly called Section 8) for citizens and illegal immigrants alike.  At Shawanoe, 28% of the kids speak 17 OTHER LANGUAGES THAN ENGLISH!  And school board candidate Heather Ousley is willing to handcuff and dragoon our little kids into being teacher's assistant--to teach English to kids at Shawanoe.  Meanwhile, many other children are not getting much attention, because we all know, class sizes in Shawnee Mission schools are too large.

This social engineering experiment failed miserably in KCMO.  Did we learn nothing??
Despite statements and inferences from Hanoi Heather and another socialist/union candidate, Laura Guy, students do not "learn better" in a school that is excessively diverse.  They made that up.

Using kids as unwilling pawns for social engineering is WRONG.
Using GERRYMANDERING of district boundaries for cavalier social experiments and manipulation of test scores is UNETHICAL AND HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE TO MAINTAINING PROPERTY VALUES!

None of this would be an issue in the more prosperous Blue Valley School District in southern Johnson County--because they don't have Title 1 low income schools.  All those kids walk to their neighborhood school.  That's why parents bought where they did!

In Johnson County, we all believe in diversity to a point.  In my own HOA, my immediate neighbors are a great mix of folks who maintain their property and support kids through higher learning to good careers.  They include Hindu, Muslim immigrants who escaped the Shah of Iran and speak Farsi, gays, Catholics, African Americans, Armenians, Mexican American citizens, atheists, mixed families with foster kids, rednecks, retirees...and me.

To the Bernie Sanders liberals in Northeast Johnson County, I'd say this:  Of course you support diversity.  But it is mostly INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY, because Fairway, PV and Mission do not have low income subsidized housing totally surrounding YOUR neighborhood grade schools!  (Like we have at Shawanoe.)  You do not have any ESL schools at 28%.

"Hanoi Heather" is a Merriam Democrat whose misguided extreme Liberal policies are not in line with homeowners' goals.  She will ruin Johnson County property values for the 82% of residents who do NOT have kids in SMSD.  While quite pleasant one on one, if you hand her a microphone, Hanoi Heather turns into a belligerent harpie for the NEA Teachers Union (Never EnoughApples!): Listen to her badgering Hillary style speech in Topeka on her web site.

Hanoi Heather Ousley: Joco's Hillary Clinton harpie for "Full funding" for public schools, because $14000 a year isn't enough per student

Full funding is really teacher union code for endlessly more money.  But that's not the solution.

"Hanoi Heather" Ousley's day job is a civil rights attorney for HUD.  So her paycheck comes from HUD;  while her husband Jerrod's paycheck comes from being a Democrat state rep in Topeka.   And now this family is so narcissistic they think they also need to boss around our School Board? 

Union organizers from Mo marching for Jerrod Ousley.  Wife "Hanoi Heather" Ousley is ALSO endorsed and funded by Tri-County Labor Council.  This "Bill & Hillary" wannabe power couple is on a rant--willing to disrupt the rights of homeowners to preserve and protect their property values in Joco.  They are on the record, willing to use gerrymandering of district boundaries, and using little children to be dragooned into serving as Junior Social Justice Warriors.

Ironically, Hanoi Heather doesn't walk her talk--she moved her three kids out of her husband's district's Nieman Elementary--a Title 1 low income school, to a non-titled school.  Allegedly, one child had a hearing problem.  But not all three!  One must "state a reason" to move a child out of their assigned school boundary.

Thus, the Ousleys used their political influence to move all three of their kids out of the elementary district represented by their Dad.   Ousley's opponent, Republican Mandi (Serrone) Hunter has a child with a hearing deficit--but KEPT her child in the assigned school.  Hunter's father is famously likeable Lenexa Councilman Lou Serrone.

Listen to the one hour debate, or just start at minute 17--
where Hanoi Heather feared Shawanoe would "lose half the PTA" if my HOA, Seven Hills, was allowed to be rightfully reassigned to Mill Creek, where ESL is just 3%.
Oh the horror! Ousley feared half the PTA would be lost!

Finally, I had to laugh at this PTA nonsense.  We don't play games with property values because a few PTA Moms lobbied to keep their "identities" and power and social cachet at the school where nobody else wanted to serve.  Wahhhhhh!  There's no crying in PTA!

Editor's note:  10/27/17
I just received a second comment after Ned Scott was allowed to leave his comment.
It appears HERE, because like the second commenter, I can't get Blogger to post it.  I happen to agree, that it was OUSLEY who acts like Hillary Clinton who used her privilege as the wife of a state rep to pry THREE of her kids out of a Title 1 underperforming school! In fact using the disabled child as her wedge to sneak the other two reassigned.  That's disgusting.  For her own "convenience".  Ousley's actions demonstrate clearly she thinks the rules don't apply to her.


"Tiger Mom"??  Mr. Ned Scott, it seems Ousley meets your notion of "Tiger Mom," not Mandi Hunter.  OUSLEY is the one sending all of her kids to a school outside their attendance zone.  The facts are: Hunter's kids attend their assigned school, like most people do within the district.  Mandi Hunter is committed to the serious change our district desperately needs.  Hunter is already posing questions and proposing policies to enhance accountability, digging deeply into district policies and methods to make decisions in the best interests of the students and everyone else who supports this school district, from teachers to taxpayers.   We all want a great education for ALL our kids.  And Hunter has the courage to check the administration's supersized salaries--so we can lower class sizes.  We need to stop the steady exodus of middle class families to Blue Valley.  The actions of our privileged scheming school board are costing ALL SMSD homeowners tens of thousands of dollars in lost resale value.  Ousley is all about herself in her galloping ambitions and publicity stunts."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why I deleted FB Messenger from my phone. It's like Pre-Crime and a spy camera!

The most important film of the decade was Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise--explaining pre-crime...and Big Brother getting all up into our business. 
Even tho Tom Cruise is personally a creep, his movie Minority Report warned us of how Big Brother has its eyeballs on our every move, everything we shop for, every message we send, every call we make...even every thought we entertain about what we'd LIKE to buy in the future.  And now Facebook Messenger's permissions app does all that.  And I bet you never read it, just clicked YES.

The man on the attached video, EXOabigdeal, who explains the dangers, uses more than the normal number of curse words, but look way beyond his outrage: he is absolutely right!
How dangerous FB Messenger is.
Their applications are preposterous.
Secret use of your camera, access to all your contacts, ability to make phone calls without your permission, permission to downlaod files and share them with others, without notifying me!

It's all in the Permission Page for FB Messenger.

I took Messenger off my phone, completely. People can text me.  That's enuf.

But if you listen to the end, EXOabigdeal on YouTube explains three apps you can use on your phone so you can still receive Messenger messages, but keep it from launching, and keep it from sharing.
Those are Greenify, Smart BoosterPro and Boot Manager.
I have better things to do at my age.  But if you are hip and your kids are messenging you, try those.

Facebook Messenger: Most dangerous app I've ever had explained to me.

Shame on you, Mark Zuckerberg. 
YouTube video explains huge dangers of FB Messenger--it's a combo of Pre-Crime and a spy camera

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

While Tony's trogs push for $15 an hour and tally the latest murders, Joco shops Amazon Prime Day, debating which living room robot/speaker to buy: Amazon Echo or Google Home.

What a difference a school district and a state line make.  It's a whole nuther world west of State Line in Johnson County, Kansas.

The big debate: White v. Black, Amazon Echo or the junior version, Dot.
A so-called speaker that is not even stereo!
But it's a robot!  Just say, Alexa--and boss it around!

Poor KCMO citizens, especially the ones in Hyde Park --too close to Troost.  Rampant crime. Not just black on black crime, now it's agressive confrontation and stealing of cars and beating up husbands walking their dogs.   By young hoodlums who cannot get a job at $7.75, let alone the $15 minimum wage that Tonyskansascity.com is lobbying for.

Meanwhile, folks in Johnson County are living an idyllic life.  Especially today.  Shopping shopping shopping the 10,000 discounted items today on Amazon Prime.  Including their elite home robot device, the Echo.  (Or the junior edition, the Dot.  Which comes with pastel themed skins to add a je ne sais quo to one's decor.)

Personally, I'm not buying Jeff Bezos' Amazon Echo. For today's Prime Day price of $89, vs. $149 regular.   It's a speaker that is not even stereo.  I'm also not buying the rival product you can't find on Amazon (isn't that restraint of trade?  Oh well, it's hot and I'm too tired to protest that)  the Google Home.

I'm not saying "Alexa, do this".  I'm also not saying "OK Google, do that."  I am too busy to have a robot.  Especially to tell it to turn on a light.   Or change the music.  Or look up a recipe, and even reread the last step. I'm from Iowa.  I'll just walk over and do those things myself.  I especially refuse to spend $40 per lamp or other robot-controlled device to get the interface.
Wonder and Clue.  Petite miniature goldendoodles.  They
do not turn on lamps, change the Pandora or love Alexa.
If an Amazon Echo entered the home, they would pee on it.
I am too busy telling my goldendoodles, "Clue, stop eating your brother's poop.  Leave it!  Leave it!  You are a disgrace to your Perfect Puppy training."

And "Wonder, stop peeking off the deck.  Stop barking at those dogs who get walked by our neighbors who had to take a Valium and get out of the house because they were on hold for three hours with Tech Support at Amazon Echo.  Enjoy your deck and our wonderful yard.  I've told you a million times, we are not walking people."

Robots will be alot of trouble to train.  Almost as hard as puppies.  But mark my words, if the citizens of Missouri approve a $15 an hour minimum wage, that will be the greatest boon to economic development in the history of Kansas.  Businesses will swarm to Johnson County.

Heck, it's well known that most CEO's no longer live in KCMO.  They moved away from the crime.  Ray Kowalik --the Burns and McDonnell CEO who falsely brands himself as a "hometown boy" and who wants to build "the new smaller billion dollar 35 gate KCI" and pocket the additional $140 million in private bond funds for himself, Michael Merriman of Americo Life, and their Burns and Mac buddies--Ray lives in Lee's Summit.  The late Neil Patterson of Cerner, who died this week, didn't even live in Jackson County--he held court at Loch Lloyd in Cass County.

And you know what?  I bet Ray and Neil both had an Amazon Echo in their cigar-smoke filled living rooms.

Not me.  If I get bored, and need to order someone around, I will just put on my French maid's apron and pay myself $15 an hour out of my piggy bank, to turn on my own lamps.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Southwest Airlines' Plan B: leave KCI, and build new terminal in Gardner Ks! Financed with local Airport Revenue Bonds

Behind the scenes, Southwest Airlines may pull a Love Field strategy in metro KC.  Land their planes in Johnson County, and forget all about MCI in KCMO.  (Southwest does not fly out of Dallas/Ft Worth's "main" airport, they have Love Field.  Nor do they fly out of O'Hare in Chicago.  They use Midway.)
Gardner Municipal Airport in Joco.  Closer. Cheaper.
Faster than 75% of Southwest's passengers wasting 45 minutes each way to go to KCI.
Future home of Southwest Airlines.
And building their own terminal in Joco
would cost "peanuts" compared to KCI!!!
Every prudent business has backup plans.  Southwest, being an innovator and cost-conscious, and serving THEIR key market, which is the 75% of all passengers who live and or work in Johnson County, is no different.

What will the CEO of Southwest airlines, Gary C. Kelly, do?  Sure, he writes a few nice letters to KC Aviation Department to keep them happy.  But they are not legal commitments!  Meanwhile....since Sly James and the KCMO Council are dithering--and teasing with Burns & Mac....

Gary C. Kelly is the chief executive officer and chairman of Southwest Airlines.
He first joined the company in 1986 as Controller. In 1989,
Kelly was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance.

Has anyone checked the visitor logs in the Topeka capitol?

Has Governor Sam Brownback secretly offered tax breaks and incentives to Southwest?

What about the leaders of the Kansas Senate and the Kansas House?  Nick Jordan,
the Ks. Director of Revenue?  Jordan is DESPERATE to bring in some new revenues.

What about Acting Director Antonio Soave, Director of the Kansas Department of Commerce?  Landing Southwest Airlines in Kansas would be the plum of his career.

And finally, gubernatorial hopeful with the biggest ego in the state, Kris Kobach?  Rather than a white horse, he would so love to ride into office on a white jet.

 The KC Star is obsessed with financing Kansas schools this fall, definitely a great distraction.  Especially for a newspaper that has NO local reporters, no full time STATE reporters, and one pock-faced has-been who-cares-what-he-thinks columnist (named after a thorny flower).

The STAR is so Missouri-centric, they don't even consider what a superlative option this is.  To them, it's all about KCI.  They still actually hold to the old wives tale that it is an "international" airport!  

And has our Johnson County Teleprompter in Chief, BOCC Chairman Ed Eilert,  made Southwest an insider deal like he made for his investment buddies at King Louie???  Don't count our wooden Indian, Ed, out.   He can read his marching orders from a cue card with the best of 'em. Mister Ed can play the same game as Sly James--give the bond sales to private investors, paying 2% more per year to borrow money, rather than issue Airport Revenue Bonds.  

If Google Maps went offline, the STAR could not dispatch a courier to even FIND the Johnson County Board of Commissioners in Olathe unless someone left a trail of bread crumbs for them to follow.   Or they hailed an Uber.
(With the exception of Steve Vockrodt, their utility outfielder who lives halfway to Lawrence, so he knows the proper exit.  But he can't cover EVERY beat!)

As Tony says, "Stay tuned."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thanks to Shawnee Mission Post/Jay Senter's reporting, ACLU spanks SM School Board's Three Monkeys policy as violation of 1st Amendment.

Today, Doug Bonney, Chief Counsel and Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas challenged Sara Goodburn, President of the Shawnee Mission School District for violating the First Amendment in suppressing parents from speaking at a fake Open Forum meeting earlier this month.
Speak no evil.  Ignore public input.  Disallow First Amendment.  And make the public GUESS what you think, so you can get re-elected without ever revealing how you voted in those executive sessions.  The SMSD school board puts 98% of all votes on their consent agenda.  So how would you know for whom to vote???
Last month, the SM School District secretly (like 98% of everything they do) passed new rules requiring patrons to:
a. WRITE the Superintendent, first about any issue BEFORE attending a school board meeting
b.  Not mention names of district employees
c.  The "Onesie Rule": Not speak in support of any issue that anyone else mentioned earlier in the
      in-name-only Open Forum
d.  Wait patiently by their mailbox !!!--for a reply that might or might NOT come,
     weeks after said Open Forum.  Seriously.  Might come when you win the Readers Digest

The All-for-One True Blue Blood Oath
The school board also seemingly took a blood oath and foresook their integrity, revising their Code of Ethics, (LOL) never to disagree in public with any board position.  Especially if they disagreed.

Having watched the Trump administration try this tactic, sending generals out to back up crazy actions, it makes me wonder, how's that working for ya?

Our SMSD Three Monkeys!  New school board president Sara Goodburn--the paper waving scolder of parents making comments--plus former prez Deb Zila, cozied up to departing Superintendent Jim Hinson.   Photo by Shawnee Mission Post.com 

Huge praise goes to Jay Senter, publisher of an unrelated blog, Shawnee Mission Post, which has dogged this story ever since they revealed the conflict of interest story when Deb Zila, the school board member who was prez when she hired her 'school crush', Jim Hinson, as Superintendent.  And then Mommy Deb snuck through on a consent agenda the CBIZ contract for insurance benefits admin.  Her daughter Mallory, former Nordstrom customer service gal, administers the benefits plan for our school district!  And Mom Deb didn't think she needed to pull that off consent agenda--and ABSTAIN!

Well, now Hinson has suddenly resigned--before we figger out how to get the Ks. Legislature to fund us so schools re-open in August.

Cheers to the ACLU of Kansas for writing Sara Goodburn and 'splaining the First Amendment to her.  (She might have missed that chapter in history class.)  Clearly, the SM School Board has spent too much time emulating the KCMO City Council!  Suppressing speech, voter turnout, public information, etc.

Sara Goodburn scolded a parent for asking about Deb Zila's failure to abstain, and her conflict of interest on the CBIZ contract.  A totally valid point.  And, even with the new gag order, Zila is NOT an employee of the district, so the Open Forum rule didn't even apply to her.  (Goodburn admitted that later.)

One clever parent threaded the needle at the last meeting asking pointedly, without naming any names:
1.  "Will the contract for the NEXT SMSD superintendent have a moral turpitude clause?"

2.  "Is anyone on this board currently having an inappropriate relationship with any district employee?"

The board and the audience gasped audibly.  Stunned silence.  Absolutely NO response!  The dead elephant in the middle of the room cinched up his necktie, and stared at his shoes during the awkward silence, till Sara Goodburn asked for another patron to approach the mike.

Question: Do we think the district, or the superintendent, before he leaves this month, will respond in writing????  Or maybe on his way out the door, he will start tweeting...

Here are excerpts from Doug Bonney's great ACLU letter:
“…I write to emphasize that people have a well-established First Amendment right to criticize both elected officials and other public servants,” Bonney wrote. “The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment reflects ‘a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.’ New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 271 (1964). ‘Criticism of their official conduct does not lose its constitutional protection merely because it is effective criticism and hence diminishes their official reputations.’ Id. at 273.”
Bonney went on to suggest that the policy, as currently written, would prohibit both public criticism of the district’s superintendent, who is vested with great authority over decisions about the district’s position on matters of public policy, as well as praise of current teachers or building principals:
“By prohibiting commenters from discussing ‘matters related to a specific student or employee,’ the Board’s current guidelines are overbroad and inconsistent with the First Amendment. Specifically, the guidelines prohibit citizens from making public comments — whether good or bad — about the stewardship of school employees who have key responsibilities for carrying out the public functions of the school district. For example, the guidelines would prohibit a parent from criticizing Superintendent Hinson by name for his public statements about the on-going legislative and public debate over school funding in Kansas. Similarly, the guidelines would prohibit a parent from extolling the selfless dedication of a particular teacher or principal in the district who has made extraordinary efforts to help immigrant students. Because such comments fall squarely within the people’s First Amendment right to comment on stewardship of public officials, the Board’s current guidelines for the Open Forum agenda item are unconstitutional.”

Read Doug Bonney's ACLU letter to SMSD in full, here.
See related post about SMSD in RH column.

also, read www.kcmopost.com for other news that will make you so glad you live in Kansas.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

KCMO suckers!!! Giving KCI away like a bride's dowry to Burns & Mac--Despite most of their employees living in Joco. And one puny KCMO storage barn paying property taxes.

Thanks to Chuck Palah, the best researcher I've ever found, for this undeniable statement of the facts.

Mayor Sly James is giving away KCI terminal in a no-bid contract to the bride,
Burns & Mac--as a form of dowry.
Even tho Burns & Mac owns only a car barn in KCMO.
And 85% of her employees live outside of KCMO,
mostly in Joco.
Conspicuously absent from the tax rolls?  Their headquarters building, with the recent expansion completed, after KCMO granted them blight designation, millions in tax breaks, partial earnings tax exemption, all while the city financed the project for them.

So where is it?  Lost in the fog at KCI???

In the wake of Burns and McDonnell's recent surprise announcement, requesting to be given a no-bid billion(+) dollar airport terminal construction contract,  the public is being told by Mayor James, City Manager Troy Schulte, CEO Ray Kowalik, and most of our local media, that Burns and McDonnell is an outstanding  exemplary member of the Kansas City Missouri community.  But is that really true?  Let's take a look, because everyone else seems to quickly accept whatever they're told without question. 

First, just a quick refresher on Burns and McDonnell.  They are a privately-held, employee-owned, wealthy Kansas City-based engineering, architecture and construction firm, headquartered at 9400 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64114.  For 2015, Burns and McDonnell reported $2.6 billion in total revenue.  Average compensation for the most common salaried job (electrical engineer) is $136,955.  Their workforce is comprised of 84-percent White Caucasian, 6-percent Asian, 5-percent Latino, and 4-percent Black.  Women hold 24-percent of positions. 

The board of directors is composed entirely of White males.

Now, let's go to the  website for JACKSON COUNTY MISSOURI and see if Burns and McDonnell pays taxes on real estate/personal property. 

Below, you'll see all the listings on the site for Burns and McDonnell, and remember that their headquarters is 9400 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64114:

404 W 90TH ST, KANSAS CITY, MO 64114
12/16/2016 00:00
This is the only real estate listing found for Burns and McDonnell.  This is a parking lot/storage facility, several blocks from their headquarters, where they keep vehicles/trailers.
Inactive account
Burns and McDonnell occupied 3 floors of this building.
404 W 90TH ST, KANSAS CITY, MO 64114
No activity on this listing since 2015.
Inactive account
Listed as an active account, but no values found.
11/30/2016 00:00
Listed as a MACR 7-year personal property for tax depreciation purposes.
404 W 90TH ST, KANSAS CITY, MO 64114
11/30/2016 00:00
Personal property
11/30/2016 00:00
Personal property for the 3 floors of the building which they occupied.
11/30/2016 00:00
Personal property
11/30/2016 00:00
For the personal property listed below.
34 Chevrolet Impalas, 2 boats with motors, 3 flatbed trailers, 12 other trailers, 13 Chevrolet truck/SUV, 1 Ford Transit, 142 GMC truck/SUV, 1 Lincoln MKT SUV
Listed as an active account, but no values found.
So, you can see that Burns and McDonnell pay a modest amount of taxes on personal property (vehicle fleet, trailers, boats, furniture, office equipment, etc.) held in all the buildings they occupy, yet only have one real estate holding at 404 W. 90th KCMO 64114.  You can Google this address to view their modest non-descript vehicle storage facility.
Conspicuously absent is their headquarters building, with the recent expansion completed, after KCMO granted them blight designation, millions in tax breaks, partial earnings tax exemption, all while the city financed the project for them.

Next, let's see where the Burns and McDonnell leadership team reside.  Do you think they live within KCMO?  Based on a sampling of several hundred Burns and McDonnell employees who contributed to Mayor James reelection campaign during a single quarterly reporting period, we know that approximately 85-percent or more of their  employees do not reside within KCMO.  And if you don't reside in KCMO, then you don't pay property taxes/buy groceries/merchandise in KCMO, and don't send your children to school in KCMO.

Ray Kowalik, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, lives in Lee's Summit, MO.
David Yeamans, Director and President of Aviation & Facilities Division, lives in Leawood, KS.
John Nobles, Director and President of Process & Industrial Division, lives in Leawood, KS.
Paul Fischer, Vice President and Director, lives in Overland Park, KS.
John Olander, Vice President and Director, lives in Leawood, KS.
Dave Ruf Jr., Chairman Emeritus, lives in Overland Park, KS.
Greg Graves, recently retired CEO, lives in Stilwell, KS.

After doing this cursory review on Burns and McDonnell, it seems rather apparent that they leverage their position as a large employer to extract maximum benefits from the city, while simultaneously choosing to grow and contribute to the economic vitality of the non-KC Missouri suburbs and state of Kansas.

Do you think KCMO should grant an exclusive no-bid billion(+) dollar construction project to a company whose management team are non-residents?  Have you ever wondered why Mayor James, Troy Schulte, and many on the KCMO Council seek to impress and enrich non-residents?  Follow the money-trail and your questions will be answered.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sly James' 123GO Bond game--rather than his 23Skidoo out of KCMO/"Little Detroit" by copying Senator Pat Roberts LaZBoy strategy

Sly, I am so sorry I couldn't airlift you immediately out of KCMO to WDC for your 23Skidoo exit strategy.  Good luck peddling your craycray 123GOBond issue!  If you can con the public into believing that NON-MANDATED EASTER BUNNY WISH LIST, you'd be such an asset to the nation.  Now whatever you do, delete this Instagram!

KCMO Mayor Sly James RENTS, and resides in tony Union Hill at 108 E 30th St., a few houses east of Walnut--a block and a half east of Main. Where the yard sign and his bodyguard are on the street. That's open record.

He does not own any home in KCMO --he sold Mannheim, and relocated from a rental north of the river.  Therefore, ipso facto, SLY JAMES DOES NOT PAY PROPERTY TAX!
You may recall he left his wife--and his kids' cars--listed on Mannheim Rd personal property--when he sold that house and encamped to rent in the Northland.  But sloppy Joe--I mean Sly--then failed to pay his personal property taxes on time.  That should have been grounds for the Election Board to refuse to allow him to run for re-election.  But he was running against The Colonel--a homeless man.  (never reported by Micheal Mahoney or the STAR.) And annoying Clay Chastain, who rents a room here from his sister in Westport--but lives and drives and votes in West Virginia.  So the Election Board let that SLYde.
Currently in Jackson County, one in ten homes are already abandoned!!!!  No property taxes paid there!
Sly's exit strategy out of Little Detroit--aka KCMO--got busted when Hillary ran a dreadful campaign, barking like a pit bull, and lost the Presidency. (I used to like her, and once wrote her 7 checks, so back off.) Sly's plan was: Hillary appoints Cleaver to a post, then Sly takes Cleaver's unexpired seat--requires just the votes of the local Democratic Central Committee--those nameless loyal precinct committeemen and women. Sly tells his landlord, do like Senator Pat Roberts does in western Kansas--rent me a back bedroom or just this Union Hill basement-- with a LaZBoy recliner for when I circle back to gladhand.

But instead of 23 Skidoo, now he's peddling 123GO.
Like Sen. Pat Roberts (R)KS, who rents a back bedroom from a landlord in his home district, Mayor Sly James hopes to one day replace Congressman Cleaver and move to Washington DC.  James would have the taxpayers buy him a LaZBoy recliner in the townhome he currently rents on Union Hill, 108 E 30th St.  Mayor Sly James does not pay property taxes.  Yet his boondoggle 123GO Bond issue would raise property taxes in KCMO for 40 years.  $100 a month compounding annually.  (per the CITY MANAGER, WHO TOLD DAVE HELLING THAT GLORIOSO'S NINE BROCHURES ARE FULL OF FALSE INFORMATION AND PROMISES.)    For a wishlist where not one puppy kennel, not one sidewalk or bridge is mandated.  Just a Hallmark card of "wouldn't this be nice..."

For more information and news, log onto www.kcmopost.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Shawnee Mission School District allows nepotism hires--and overcharges $1054 upfront if you dare to request Open Records search

Here's to my esteemed and finally emboldened leader friends at the news reporting website, www.ShawneeMissionPost.com!  Generally they just kiss the asses in power.  But FINALLY, THEY TOOK A STAND.  And got punished for daring to report the news.

They outed the Shawnee Mission School District for allowing the hire of the daughter of one of their school board members, Deb Zila.

Photo from SMPost.com: Deb Zila, the smug silent Mom who approved the contract with CBIZ to be
benefits MANAGER for the school district where she was elected to serve on the board!!
Hey, Deb.  Save us all the trouble of  a KORA records search--divulge the answers for FREE! 
Meet Mallory Zila.  Fresh from KState, until last April, when this former Nordstrom employee became a highly paid Employee Benefits Manager for CBIZ.  She manages insurance and benefits for SM School District,
where Mommy Deb Zila serves as SM South area's elected school board member!
Note: this ruffled grey sweatshirt is NOT from Ivanka Trump.

And then, when the website made a KORA request (Kansas Open Records Act) Shawnee Mission Post was gobsmacked to be told they were slugged with a preposterous $1000 downpayment demand!!!

Here's that link:

Note that the rate for searching and copying is $56 per hour, when the district publishes a rate of $30 to respond to KORA requests.  But working at the copier at SMSD comes with a benefit: all the Koolaid you can drink.

Today Shawnee Mission Post ran a survey on their web site.  Asking inoccuously:  "Are you satisfied with the level of transparency of the Shawnee Mission School District?"  

Knowing the facts, what fool would answer "yes"??  None.  But that doesn't count the district's horde of employment slaves...and Facebook and LinkedIn friends of Mallory and Deb Zila.!!
Well, so far the tally is 65 yes, 458 no. I thus conclude that the staff of the Shawnee Mission School District logged on after drinking their morning Koolaid, to vote yes. Couple that with the new policy of charging a deposit of a preposterous $1000 for Open Meetings requests for documents, which will likely be overturned as burdensome and thus illegal. Shame on overpaid Jim Hinson and the school board that condones this crap. 
The SM Schools should be merged with Blue Valley School District, and Olathe and Desoto. Fire some administrators, consolidate and save the taxpayers money. Then the Mom on the board, Mrs.Deb Zila, should submit the answers now, for free--and then resign based on conflict of interest.  Did she abstain from a line item on a SMSD board consent agenda that authorized her daughter's company's employment contract?  That's how these things sneak through. 
And folks wonder why the Ks. Legislature wants to cut down on wasteful taxpayer subsidies of public schools. We all have the governance we are willing to put up with. And yes, I know that's a dangling participle...I'm from Iowa, a "state of minds"... 
Note: if you like being informed about government transgressions and consumer issues, check regularly with www.jocopost.com and www.kcmopost.com