This investigation began after viewing this NBC informational 11/10/11 broadcast. Only 2 minutes and worth watching and hearing about how good this deal was.
The existing Johnson County Museum was damaged during the June 2009 “Once in a Century” rainstorm. Approximately 1,500 square foot of the 20,000 square foot was deemed unrepairable. Artifacts from the damaged area were placed in rented storage and a search to find a new location began. County officials stated publically the search was hindered due to less tax revenues.
In September 2011 The Johnson County Museum made public their plan of creating a National Museum in lieu of the existing County Museum philosophy and historical interest. The 82 page 2011InterpretiveMasterPlan. Page 62 is a real HOOT. It predicts everything you are about to read!
Those close to this new plan have confirmed that in October 2011 County Commissioner David Lindstrom (Overland Park) approached fellow County employee and Museum Director Mindi Love regarding the purchase of the 70,000 square foot building known as King Louie’s in Overland Park and strategically located in the struggling Metcalf Corridor.
At this point, any forward momentum could only occur with the consent of Commission Chairman Eilert, former Mayor of Overland Park.
Records show that the King Louie building was owned by Western Development Co. Inc. Kansas Secretary of State Office shows the two principals are John and Marilyn Mitchell. The Registered Company Agent is Donald Pratt of Overland Park.
The first recorded Commission discussion regarding the King Louie building occured on November 10, 2011 Agenda Review Meeting. You can watch six of the seven Commissioners tripping over each other in support of this project even at the risks of not knowing how to pay for it or how it might jeopardize Bond Ratings. Click on item 10, video will appear. http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1153&doctype=AGENDA There is no evidence that any of the Commissioners through testimony visited and inspected the actual property.
With near reckless disregard of fudiciary responsiblities the purchase of this building for the new National Museum in Overland Park was completed in weeks because: (purchase finalized and closed on December 30, 2011)
Rumors abound in Overland Park that the Mitchells are personal friends with both Eilert and Lindstrom and that was the driving force behind this boondoggle. The only fact we could secure takes us back to the beginning of this post.
Note the name of the listed Commercial Real Estate Broker for this property, Kessinger-Hunter. Although several sources to make this connection are available, we choose to use Commissioner Lindstrom’s own Johnson County page to demonstrate that he is a past employee of Kessinger-Hunter. We also found that as a politician, Kessinger-Hunter has continually contributed to his campaign efforts. http://bocc.jocogov.org/commissioner/district-3/about
We emphasize again on deaf ears (Home Rule Charter Commission) five of the seven Commissioner votes are influenced by Overland Park (with 29% of the population). So Commissioner Lindstrom is not alone in this but certainly led the herd over the cliff. Since when do “leaders” get sucked in to a herd mentality? If you take the time to view the videos available, Commissioner Lindstrom was in the lead, Chairman Eilert whipping the mules in line and now……. the County owns a building that is uninsurable, on land worth about $500,000 with committments upwards of another $30,000,000.
The Mitchells and Kessinger-Hunter have cashed their checks and wished Lindstrom well retiring to Florida. Eilert is moving business and County funds to Overland Park as he said he would. The good news for me and bad news for tax payers, there will be something else to write about tomorrow.