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.