Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category
Former lawmaker, Brownback appointee square off in tax dispute
Changes to language on Olathe sales tax ballot issue may result in KOMA complaint
Former legislator Benjamin Hodge says he is contemplating a Kansas Open Meetings Act complaint against the Olathe City Council and Mayor Michael Copeland, who also works for the Department of Commerce and Department of Labor.
Hodge says the Olathe council changed the language of a recent sales tax ballot measure without properly informing the public.
“They only just oh-so-barely actually voted on the final language,” Hodge said. “They made those changes the night before.”
Hodge, whose Kansans for State & Local Reform PAC opposed the ballot measure, said council members added three words that broaden the possible uses for the new sales tax revenue during a work session that Hodge called “a quasi-legal public meeting nobody attended.”
Tim Dannenberg, a spokesman for Copeland, says the changes were minimal and everything was done on the up-and-up. He also released a statement from Copeland emphasizing that citizens will be able to track the new tax revenues and ensure that they are all going to their stated purpose of road improvements.
“I regret that anyone would believe the revenue generated by the street maintenance tax will go to anything other than street maintenance projects,” Copeland said. “That is absolutely not the case, and this has been made abundantly clear by the Olathe City Council. This process will be transparent. All sales tax revenue and projects where it is used will be easy for our residents to track, and an outside committee (is) being formed for additional review and reporting. We strongly encourage anyone interested in this issue to closely track where street maintenance tax revenue is being spent throughout the life of the tax.”
Gov. Sam Brownback last year appointed Copeland, who is a part-time mayor, to be deputy secretary of the Department of Labor after ousting secretary Karin Brownlee.
Cassie Sparks, a spokeswoman for the department, said via email that Copeland is now a full-time deputy secretary of work force services with the Department of Commerce but the labor department “is continuing to share some of Mr. Copeland’s services.”
Hodge is a conservative firebrand who served in the House in 2007 and 2008. He also spent four years as a trustee for Johnson County Community College from 2005 to 2009, during which time he asked the district attorney to investigate the board of trustees for possible KOMA violations when discussing budget issues behind closed doors.
Hodge’s latest KOMA beef involves the Olathe council changing one of the last lines of the road work ballot measure from “and such other work as necessary to maintain, repair and renew city streets” to “and such other work as necessary to maintain, repair, renew, upgrade and improve city streets.”
“The council just wanted it to be clearer, and it was a minor change,” Dannenberg said. “Certainly, in talking to legal, the interpretations had the same meaning.”
Dannenberg said some of the predictions that the money will be used for purposes other than road maintenance stem from fears of United Nations’ Agenda 21.
Ken Dunwoody, a blogger in Olathe, posted council member emails obtained through an open records request that he says showed the words “upgrade and improve” were added in order to appease the bicycling lobby by allowing tax revenue to be used to add bike paths to the road.
Dunwoody linked that effort to Agenda 21, a 20-year-old nonbinding sustainability resolution that, in some conservative circles, has sparked fears of private property usurpation.
“Agenda 21 (United Nations) is alive and well in your back yard,” Dunwoody posted online.
Hodge said his complaint has nothing to do with Agenda 21, but rather with the way the council changed the ballot language and its subsequent failure to inform the public of the change. He noted that the city’s website wasn’t updated with the new language until shortly before the election.
“In reality, almost nobody knew the correct language until they got a ballot in the mail,” Hodge said. “I honestly don’t think it was intentional immediately, but it’s hard to believe the city never knew the website was incorrect.”
Dannenberg said city officials “deeply regret the original language error.”
“Fortunately, only 88 unique viewers actually visited the page,” Dannenberg said via email. “There is not a way to tell if those viewers were Olathe voters, but I’m aware of at least one who is not. There were some 23,000 ballots cast, and the issue passed with 57 percent of the vote.”
Hodge said he doesn’t believe Dannenberg’s assertion that the city’s legal department deemed the ballot language changes insignificant. He said the passage of the ballot measure barely passes legal muster, given the changes, and the process in which the changes were made doesn’t follow the law.
“There still may be a KOMA case coming down the pike,” Hodge said.
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Overland Park, tagged Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, George Soros, Jim Allen, Suburbia Museum on October 13, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
BEST GOVERNMENT GADFLY
Most Americans have dispensed with the lost art of writing to their politicians. More still probably can’t name their representatives on the local City Council. Ken Dunwoody is not one of these folks. It’s possible that the Johnson County commissioners have blocked Dunwoody’s e-mail address, given the frequency of his missives about their latest missteps. What has raised Dunwoody’s ire? The county’s purchase of the old King Louie building. This led the Olathe resident to frequent the Johnson County Administration Building to do research and confront commissioners about their investment in the bowling alley turned shanty in Overland Park. Dunwoody at times veers into the realm of unverified and unlikely conspiracy theories, but it’s nice to see that someone is still paying attention.
Ken Dunwoody GOD
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Kansas League of Municipalities, Overland Park, tagged Agenda 21, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, Ethics, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, Kansas Open Records Act, Michael Ashcraft, Overland Park on September 9, 2013 | 1 Comment »
During a nearly secret and unrecorded meeting held off county property in February 2011, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners and without a recorded vote, abolished a long-standing county service of providing written transcripts of all official Commissioner meetings. On March 3, 2011 NOlathe offered to pay the estimated $500 per week to continue this policy. As seen here the county refused our offer making it clear their object was to prevent transparency and accountability.
During this debate we notified the county that without written transcripts they would be in violation of The Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The county would be forcing the deaf community to listen to an audio recording of county business. All to no avail, transcripts were recorded history.
Approximately three months later, Chairman Eilert through The Johnson County Sun newspaper announced he had just resolved a long time problem by providing Closed Captioning to the Video/Audio recordings and provide access by the deaf community. This was previously posted on NOlathe as http://nolathe.net/2011/06/18/joco-bocc-chairman-eilert-you-are-a-liar/ Yep, one of many times I have referred to Overland Park’s hero as a liar.
With rumors afloat that the Commissioners have funded Transcripts for year 2014 intrigued me so I looked at each video from September 5, 2013 back to March 3, 2011. In full disclosure looking at each video meant verifying there was a video/audio record (surprised to find many meetings lacked such) then randomly selecting some point well in to the meeting and view 30 to 60 seconds to wait for closed captioning. Found several in late 2011 and early 2012 that had a rapid captioning too quick to read and the audio was silenced, those failed. Here are the summaries by year.
2011- From March 3 through year end there were 143 meetings. Of that only 32 (22.4%) included closed captioning. Not counting the 52 meetings that occurred prior to Eilert’s announcement brings the 32 up to 35.2% ADA compliant.
2012- Total meetings were 129 of which 33 (25.6%) were ADA compliant
2013- Year to date there have been 87 meetings of which 14 (16.1%) were ADA compliant.
Conclusions- County Government under the Eilert Administration with concurrence by vote and/or lack of confrontation by the other commissioners combined with a County Manager nearing retirement and willing to do anything, continues our path to non-sovernity as a county, a state and a nation.
Actions- Folks often warn me about being too open. But how do you launch a plan regarding openness and keep it a secret? I believe the courts would consider myself and others that warned the county about these results as folks “with standing”. Or we could get the Kansas School for the Deaf http://www.ksdeaf.org/ just down the street from our Emperor’s Palace to file a law suit for ADA Federal violations. When right and wrong no longer works, maybe humiliation and money will.
Here are the results by year, by meeting.
|Date||Time||Type||Location||Video ADA Compliant|
|9/5/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/5/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/29/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/29/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/22/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/22/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/15/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/15/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/8/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/8/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/1/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/1/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/1/2013||10:15 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|8/1/2013||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers|
|7/25/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/25/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/25/2013||9:30 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/18/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/18/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/11/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/11/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/1/2013||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/27/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/27/2013||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/20/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/20/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/20/2013||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/13/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/13/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/13/2013||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/6/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/6/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/6/2013||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/30/2013||10:30 AM||Board of Public Health||Chambers|
|5/30/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/30/2013||10:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/30/2013||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/23/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/23/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/16/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/16/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/9/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/9/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/2/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/2/2013||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/2/2013||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|4/25/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/25/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/25/2013||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/18/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/18/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/18/2013||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/11/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/11/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/4/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|4/4/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|4/4/2013||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/28/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/28/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/21/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/21/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|3/14/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/14/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/7/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/7/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/28/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/28/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/21/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/21/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/14/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/14/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/14/2013||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|2/7/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|2/7/2013||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|2/7/2013||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|1/31/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/31/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/31/2013||9:30 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/24/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/24/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|1/17/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/17/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/17/2013||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|1/14/2013||10:00 AM||Special BOCC||Chambers|
|1/10/2013||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/10/2013||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|Date||Time||Type||Location||Video ADA Compliant|
|12/20/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/13/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/13/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|12/6/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/6/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|11/29/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|11/29/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|11/29/2012||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|11/15/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|11/8/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|11/8/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|11/1/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|11/1/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/25/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|10/25/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/18/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/18/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/11/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|10/11/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/11/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|10/4/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/4/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/4/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/27/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/27/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|9/20/2012||10:30 AM||Board of Public Health||Chambers|
|9/20/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/20/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|9/13/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/13/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/13/2012||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/6/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|9/6/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/30/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/30/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/30/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/23/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/23/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/16/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/16/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/9/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/9/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/2/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/2/2012||10:15 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/2/2012||10:05 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/2/2012||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/26/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/26/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/26/2012||9:30 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/26/2012||2:35 PM||Special PBC||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/23/2012||7:00 PM||Hearing||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/19/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/19/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/19/2012||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/12/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/12/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/12/2012||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/5/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/5/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/2/2012||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/28/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/28/2012||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/28/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/28/2012||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|6/21/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/21/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/21/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/21/2012||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/14/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/14/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/14/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/7/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/7/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/7/2012||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/31/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/31/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|5/31/2012||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/24/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|5/24/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/10/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/10/2012||3:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/3/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/3/2012||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/3/2012||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|4/26/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/26/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|4/26/2012||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/26/2012||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|4/19/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/19/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/12/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/12/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/5/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/5/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/5/2012||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/29/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/29/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/29/2012||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/22/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/22/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/22/2012||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/15/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/15/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/15/2012||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/8/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/8/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/8/2012||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/1/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/1/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/23/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/23/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/16/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/16/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/9/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/9/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/9/2012||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|2/2/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|2/2/2012||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|2/2/2012||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers|
|1/26/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/26/2012||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/26/2012||10:00 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/26/2012||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|1/19/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/19/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/19/2012||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|1/19/2012||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/12/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/12/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|1/5/2012||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|1/5/2012||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|Date||Time||Type||Location||Video ADA Compliant|
|12/15/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/15/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|12/8/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/8/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|12/8/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|12/1/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|12/1/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|12/1/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|11/17/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|11/17/2011||2:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|11/17/2011||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|11/17/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|11/10/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|11/10/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|11/10/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|11/3/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|11/3/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/27/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|10/27/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/20/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/20/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|10/13/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|10/13/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/13/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|10/13/2011||1:35 PM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|10/6/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|10/6/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|10/6/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/29/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/29/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/29/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/29/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/22/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/22/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/22/2011||11:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/22/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|9/15/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/15/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/15/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/15/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/8/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/8/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|9/8/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/8/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|9/1/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|9/1/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/25/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/25/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/25/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|8/18/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/18/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/11/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/11/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/11/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/11/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|8/4/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|8/4/2011||10:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|8/4/2011||10:05 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|8/4/2011||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers|
|8/4/2011||10:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|7/28/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/28/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/28/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|7/28/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/28/2011||9:30 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/25/2011||7:30 PM||Hearing||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/21/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|7/21/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/14/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/14/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/7/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/7/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/7/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|7/7/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/30/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/30/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/30/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/30/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|6/29/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/23/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/23/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/23/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/23/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/16/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/16/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/16/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/15/2011||9:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|6/9/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/9/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/9/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||Closed Captioned|
|6/2/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|6/2/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|6/1/2011||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/26/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/26/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/19/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/19/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/19/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/19/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/12/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/12/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|5/12/2011||9:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|5/5/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|5/5/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/28/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/28/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/28/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/28/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|4/21/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/21/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/21/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/21/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/14/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/14/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/14/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/14/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/14/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|4/7/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|4/7/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|4/7/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/7/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|4/7/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/31/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/31/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/31/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/31/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/24/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/24/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/24/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/24/2011||1:05 PM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|3/17/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/17/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/17/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/17/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/17/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/10/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/10/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/10/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers|
|3/3/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers|
|3/3/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers|
|3/3/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers|
|2/24/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|2/24/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||
|2/24/2011||1:00 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|2/24/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|2/24/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC||Chambers||N/A|
|2/24/2011||10:00 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|2/17/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|2/17/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|2/17/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|2/17/2011||9:30 AM||Special PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|2/10/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|2/10/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|2/3/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|2/3/2011||10:00 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|2/3/2011||10:30 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|2/3/2011||10:00 AM||Public Building Commission||Chambers||N/A|
|1/27/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|1/27/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|1/27/2011||10:00 AM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|1/27/2011||1:30 PM||Committee of the Whole||Chambers||N/A|
|1/27/2011||9:30 AM||PBC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|1/20/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|1/20/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|1/13/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|1/13/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
|1/10/2011||10:00 AM||Special BOCC||Chambers||N/A|
|1/6/2011||9:30 AM||Board of County Commissioners||Chambers||N/A|
|1/6/2011||9:30 AM||BOCC Agenda Review||Chambers||N/A|
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Kansas League of Municipalities, Property Rights, tagged Agenda 21, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, Ethics, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, Michael Ashcraft on September 4, 2013 | 2 Comments »
During a Johnson County Board of County Commissioners’ Agenda Review Meeting held August 22, 2013 regarding the proposed 5 year extension of the county’s Waste Management Program presentation August 29, 2013 Agenda, the vote would be delayed because of this 47 second video-
During a Johnson County Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting held August 29, 2013 regarding the proposed 5 year extension of the county’s Waste Management Program, now the vote was delayed because of this 47 second video-
In typical chrony-capitalistic style Chairman Eilert and Commissioners Allen and Peterson have masterfully constructed a million dollar reward to a significant county campaign contributor under their guise of saving the planet. And they can do so by not raising taxes, only raising fees for service.
Three other Commissioners were present at both meetings and witnessed this firey DEPENDS and we should have had a mud fight to extinguish the Chairman’s smoke. All sat quietly and the county was burned again.
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Kansas League of Municipalities, tagged Agenda 21, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, JoCo BOCC, Johnson County, property rights on June 23, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Johnson County got a deal on King Louie. Turning it into a national suburbia museum won’t be a bargain
Turning King Louie into a national museum won’t be a bargain.
Mindi Love has an encyclopedic memory of Johnson County’s history. Off the top of her head, she can say what year Country Club Plaza developer J.C. Nichols completed his studies at the old Olathe High School.
As she leads a tour through the narrow corridors of the Johnson County Museum of History’s cramped Shawnee house, she summons facts about Johnson County and offers context for its suburban past, from the time it was settled through the post–World War II development boom that would eventually make it one of the country’s most affluent counties.
Some exhibits in the museum are generic — the faux raspberries and potatoes that demonstrate the once-agrarian nature of Johnson County. Some are sobering — the exhibit that covers deed restrictions, which sought to keep out blacks and Jews and Syrians in some of Johnson County’s developing neighborhoods unless they were there as servants.
Love has been the director of the Johnson County Museum since 2000, and for all of that time she has worked in its 19,000-square-foot building at 6305 Lackman Road. It’s not as easy to spot from the road as the nearby Target-anchored shopping development, off Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 435, but it attracts about 30,000 visitors a year.
Many of those museumgoers are children, whose smaller size is an advantage here. Exhibits line hallways not much wider than those found in an average residence.
“You can’t give a tour to a large group of people,” Love says. “Can you imagine a group of 90 third-graders in here?”
On the day she leads The Pitch through the museum, her voice competes with the din of children clattering through various interactive exhibits designed to give young people a simulation of 20th-century suburban life.
But the museum has more problems than a high decibel level. For one, it’s largely static. Its main feature is an exhibit called “Seeking the Good Life,” which was erected in the late 1990s after a fundraising campaign. It remains mostly unchanged.
The gallery devoted to rotating exhibitions is a space the size of an average home’s dining room. At the moment, it’s taken up by a show of editorial cartoons by Bob Bliss, of the defunct Johnson County Sun newspaper. (One of them takes a jab at Johnson County’s bus system, depicting a Jo bus with two people in it and the caption “The Jo’s ridership doubles!”)
It also has flooding problems. The building’s foundation kept rainwater out during a modest May 30 storm, but a 2009 downpour damaged exhibits and records in the basement. That event accelerated the county’s search for a new Johnson County Museum space.
Love may be on her way to getting that wish, if the county remakes the museum in the old King Louie West building, in Overland Park.
Johnson County bought the dormant bowling alley in 2011, and the proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year contemplates spending more than $5 million to ready the dilapidated building for use. The museum is calling for another $5 million in the following year’s budget to remake King Louie in the museum’s image.
The Johnson County Museum Foundation also wants to raise $2 million for new exhibits in time for a Johnson County Museum opening at King Louie in 2017.
That’s a big goal for a small foundation.
The nonprofit fundraising arm of the Johnson County Museum has raised $23,000–$38,000 a year since 2007, according to the most recent tax records available.
Love says those records don’t include grants that flow through the county books. One such grant: a $120,000 stipend to study a 2011 interpretive plan for what a future museum would look like. Another study was done to explore the feasibility of raising $2 million in time to get the museum moved into King Louie by 2017.
That study purports to describe how the foundation might grow from a five-figure fundraiser to a seven-figure one. Larry Meeker, president of the foundation, declined to share that study with The Pitch. He says: “The bottom line is, we’ve settled on a very doable plan for moving in, building a base for further fundraising starting with a base of $2 million to freshen things up, get us moved in [to King Louie] and, if all goes well there, begin the fundraising for expanding the fundraising.”
The expanded fundraising that Meeker is talking about would move the foundation toward a much bigger goal: Putting together another concept museum that backers want at King Louie, the National Museum of Suburbia and Suburban Policy Forum.
The museum would pay homage to the phenomenon of suburban sprawl, cul-de-sacs, The Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan, and other testaments to the out-migration from urban centers.
To do that — and to develop a museum that may have to sustain itself — the museum would have to raise almost $10 million on its own.
The Johnson County Museum today receives more than $600,000 a year from the county to support its operations.
“I’m firmly convinced, no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that this is a good idea,” Meeker tells The Pitch. “That it is something that will be acted upon at some point in the future, here or somewhere else.”
Others don’t envision a Johnson County–based national suburbia museum as a slam dunk.
“If activities can be fully funded by the private sector, that’s good,” says Johnson County Chairman Ed Eilert. “I think it’s a concept that, if it were to happen, needs a lot more work. I hate to discourage somebody who is thinking outside of the box. There are realities to making those kinds of concepts come to pass. It’s going to be very, very difficult.”
Eilert insists that Johnson County didn’t buy King Louie to house a national museum of suburbia. (NOlathe note: 2011 documents and video transcripts previously posted show “suburbia museum” was the major factor in purchasing a property that must be sold prior to 2012. Interviews with The Wallstreet Journal confirmed and documented in 2012.)
But the county’s decision to buy the property at 8788 Metcalf raised eyebrows among those who pay attention to Johnson County politics.
Built in 1959, the 70,000-square-foot King Louie is the sort of structure that local officials call, perhaps euphemistically, “iconic.”
Its architecture, then and now, seems more like a ski chalet in Loveland, Colorado, than a bowling alley. But, with its dozens of lanes and its ice-skating rink, the place was a popular suburban destination for decades, until it fell on hard times in the late 2000s.
The building was owned by Western Development Co., a Shawnee real-estate entity controlled by John Mitchell, who lives near the Country Club Plaza. By the end of its life as a teen hangout, the building was riddled with codes violations, ranging from an assortment of electrical hazards to frozen sprinkler pipes to chicken wire covering exterior windows. It closed for business in 2009 and went up for sale.
Not long after, Johnson County staffers started looking around for a new museum site.
King Louie was on the county’s shortlist, but Mitchell’s $3.5 million asking price seemed exorbitant. The bargain shoppers at the county crossed the bowling alley off the list and moved on, exploring dozens of possibilities for the new museum site, mostly in the 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot range (with an eye to an eventual expansion).
Among the six locations toured by county officials was the developing Lenexa City Center at 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. Former Johnson County Commissioner Doug Wood wanted to combine the museum with the Oak Park Branch of the Johnson County Library. None of the ideas gained consensus.
Then King Louie’s sellers, who were represented by real-estate firm Kessinger/Hunter, lowered the asking price to $2.5 million and indicated a willingness to perhaps go down even further. Joe Waters, director of facilities for Johnson County, brought the idea of buying the discounted King Louie to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners in November 2011. He said the sellers wanted to close the deal by the end of 2011 for tax purposes.
So the Johnson County Commission did Western Development Co. a solid and voted to have the building purchased by the end of 2011 — just one week after the deal was first presented.
Commissioners, concerned that the upcoming holidays would prevent a December quorum, quickly voted November 17 to buy the building for $1.95 million; they also voted to allocate another $1.6 million to protect the building from the elements. Then–Johnson County Commissioner David Lindstrom, whom Kessinger/Hunter employed in the 1970s and ’80s, was among those who voted to approve the purchase. (NOlathe note: Commissioners voted when to purchase this property without concensus of how to pay for it.)
Western Development’s $193,000 mortgage on the property, dating back to 2003, was paid off shortly after Johnson County Commissioners voted to approve the deal. (NOlathe note: NOlathe contends the purchase contract was used as a ‘bankable note’ to acquire funds to release the mortgage providing a clear document prior to JoCo’s purchase). The $1.95 million initially came from the county’s reserve fund, basically a savings account for the county government to pay for unexpected costs such as, say, a damaging ice storm.
A loan was later taken from UMB Bank to replenish the reserve fund, as rating agencies were warning governments about keeping up adequate reserve levels.
Michael Ashcraft, a Johnson County commissioner whose district largely covers Olathe and Lenexa, had reservations about the way the building was bought and the county’s plans for it.
Johnson County was still in belt-tightening mode from a deep recession. Officials had begun publicly contemplating closing libraries and cutting staff across various departments — only to throw seven figures at a building for a possible county museum.
“I really have become much more ardent and much more concerned about the acquisition,” Ashcraft tells The Pitch. “Before, I was willing to talk about it and learn and see what the deal was. I had hesitancy at first. I’m just not in the game in terms of being a supporter of it. I think there are lots of other things we can do to support the museum and the history of Johnson County. The acquisition of a facility like that — because we had no plan and we’re trying to make a plan, we’re trying to rationalize the acquisition now to put a bus stop there or a bus park there and move other agencies in there. It’s like, no wonder people question how we do government when we make acquisitions like this and we don’t have a clear direction and clear utility for precious resources.”
Ashcraft would rather send resources to Johnson County Developmental Supports, which assists people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). The cost to serve someone needing that type of assistance is $35,000–$40,000 a year, with 60 percent covered by the feds. The waiting list for services is a lengthy six to eight years.
“I like museums,” Ashcraft tells The Pitch. “We’ve got limited resources. That [IDD] population is the gold standard.”
Eilert says the county bought the right building at the right price.
“I had a chance encounter with a local real-estate developer on an airplane flight to D.C.,” he says. “This individual was going to look at some property on the East Coast, and the story was in the newspaper a day or two earlier. He said, ‘I’ve been watching that property,’ and he said, ‘You got a heck of a deal.’ “
The old King Louie building won’t house just the Johnson County Museum. It’s expected to become the new advance voting center, replacing the location at Metcalf South Mall, which is due to be razed for redevelopment.
It’s also expected to have space for the Enterprise Center of Johnson County, a business incubator hosted by the county that pays $200,000 in rent to Lenexa. Other county agencies might move in, too.
It’s not certain whether the proposed National Museum of Suburbia, coupled with a scholarly Suburban Policy Institute, would take space in King Louie.
Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, is home to the National Center for Suburban Studies. It’s seen as the pre-eminent location for academic research into suburbia and related issues, such as problems associated with planning and redeveloping aging suburban towns. Few other academic programs for suburban studies exist outside Hofstra other than an on-again, off-again center at the University of California–Riverside.
Christopher Niedt, academic director for Hofstra’s center, says the concept of a suburban museum has to extend beyond sentimentality.
“It also needs to be about more than suburban nostalgia,” he says. “It has to ask hard questions about what was good and what was bad about suburban living.”
There hasn’t been a market study or a feasibility study to determine the demand for a national museum of suburbia in Johnson County. A 2011 master plan for the idea envisions theatrical exhibitions; re-creations of old suburban model homes, such as Sears & Roebuck houses; and maybe an “interpretive car wash experience.” Installing all of this would cost, the plan says, about $7.7 million.
The plan predicts 60,000 visitors a year and goes on to describe that figure as a conservative estimate. But no source is cited for that guess. Ticket prices would range from $2 to $6 a person (the Johnson County Museum doesn’t charge for admission), with projected revenue of $193,000. Food sales, museum-store income and fundraising events — and $1 million in county operational support — raise the plan’s total projected revenue to $1.5 million a year.
Steve Klika, a Johnson County commissioner whose district covers the southeastern corner of the county, doesn’t see the concept as viable. Klika, who was elected to the commission after the purchase of King Louie, says, “I know when I ran for election … there was zero support for trying to promote this.”
Museum officials say they’re not really analyzing the prospects for a national-scope museum yet. They’re more focused on raising the $2 million necessary to help move the current museum out of Shawnee and into the King Louie building.
“I wouldn’t say we’re on the back burner,” says Love, director of the Johnson County Museum. “It certainly wouldn’t be realistic for us to raise $10 million in three years.”
The last major fundraising campaign for the Johnson County Museum, from 1996 to 1998, to build the current “Seeking the Good Life” exhibit, raised $800,000.
And though the Johnson County Museum’s fundraising drive to move to King Louie hasn’t started in earnest yet, it’s likely to face competition from another museum in Johnson County.
Fred Merrill Jr. is developing the Museum of Prairiefire, at LionsGate, a mixed-use project at 135th Street and Nall Avenue that includes a museum. It would book traveling exhibitions from New York’s American Museum of Natural History.
Merrill has established a foundation to support the museum via donations. Its campaign aims to raise $5 million–$6 million. Merrill says the campaign has reached about 20 percent of that goal. “It just takes a lot of work when you’re raising money for something,” he says.
Whether the work would be worthwhile for a national museum of suburbia, given the absent analysis of demand, is anyone’s guess. But Ashcraft and other county commissioners remain ambivalent.
“Is that a venue that would draw me or my family repeatedly?” Ashcraft says. “I’m not seeing that. I may be surprised.”
After just a few hundred hours of hard work and committment, Johnson County Resident defeats part-time County Commissioners. BIG TIME.
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, Governor Brownback, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Kansas League of Municipalities, Property Rights, tagged Agenda 21, DA Steve Howe, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, Ethics, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, JoCo BOCC, Johnson County, kansas on June 15, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
June 3, 2013
By KAREN DILLON
The Kansas City Star
Thanks to the Kansas Legislature, Johnson County finds itself with a surprising hitch in its plan to extend the life of its major landfill.
And thanks to legislators, it looks as if Wyandotte County residents won’t have to separate their yard waste from their trash after all. At least not for a while.
More than a year ago, the Johnson County Commission planned to require yard waste to be separated from any trash being dumped in Deffenbaugh Industries’ Shawnee landfill. That applied to private haulers and anyone else, including residents living outside of Johnson County whose trash goes to the landfill.
But in late May, the state Legislature put the skids on the county’s law.
The Legislature, in the waning days of its session, quietly passed a bill that prohibits any city or county, such as Johnson County, from passing laws that affect the laws of another local government regarding solid-waste disposal.
“This was a bill developed in response to Johnson County’s waste ban,” said Bill Bider, director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s waste management division. “This bill now says you can’t do what Johnson County did. They can only regulate their own people.”
Reaction was quick — possibly setting up a legal fight.
Johnson County had worked out a delicate agreement with Wyandotte County requiring those residents to separate yard waste. The commission had even given Wyandotte residents a year-and-a-half extension despite heavy criticism.
D-day was July 1, but the date has been canceled, said Mike Taylor, a spokesman for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.
“I can tell you we won’t be implementing a yard-waste ban come July 1st,” Taylor said. “We have five brand new members of the commission, and it’s an issue that none of them have had time to get up to speed or talk about. I told my boss this is going to take a pretty extensive communications campaign because it is a massive change for our residents.”
Johnson County officials were surprised when they learned the agreement had been broken and said Wyandotte officials had not yet contacted them.
“We have not been notified of anything to change that,” said Lougene Marsh, Johnson County health director. “It would be imprudent to comment at this juncture.”
Marsh said she had been advised by county attorneys that there was nothing in the state law that affected current agreements.
“Our understanding was there was nothing in the language of the law that made it retroactive,” she said. “If there are arguments to be made to the contrary, then those will have to be made.”
A Deffenbaugh official said he also was surprised by Wyandotte County’s announcement but said they would be speaking.
“I’m … confident we will arrive at a solution that all parties can embrace,” said Tom Coffman, senior vice president.
Johnson County and Kansas have lagged the nation in recycling and yard-waste bans. For example, Missouri has banned yard waste from all landfills for decades.
Johnson County officials first began talking about banning yard waste from the Deffenbaugh landfill almost seven years ago.
The landfill in Shawnee is regional with trash and yard waste coming to it from not only Johnson and Wyandotte but also Miami, Leavenworth, Osage, Atchison and Jefferson counties.
At the time the commission was developing the ban, citizens were told that the landfill was going to have to close in 2027 because it would be full. (Eventually the public learned the landfill would be open until at least 2043, creating more mistrust among Johnson County residents about the genesis of the ban.)
Residents also raised concerns about having to pay an increase in their waste bill.
The county’s ban was delayed a couple years and then finally implemented in January 2012.
Just before the ban was implemented, Wyandotte County officials said they did not plan to follow it. Officials said their contract with Deffenbaugh did not require yard waste to be separated. After haggling, Wyandotte agreed to join the ban when its contract ended this July.
The controversy again erupted over the ban last summer after the program was well underway in Johnson County, when The Star learned that Deffenbaugh was still putting yard waste in the landfill.
Deffenbaugh was turning the yard waste into compost and then using it to layer the trash in the landfill.
“We are aware (Deffenbaugh) is doing it,” Marsh said this week. “There is nothing in our current code to prohibit their use of compost that way.”
Some Johnson County residents questioned why they had to pay Deffenbaugh to pick up the separated yard waste if it was still being put in the landfill.
“That is in conflict with what we were told,” said Dennis Batliner, a resident who has opposed the ban.
With the new state law, it remains to be seen what will happen to the county’s yard-waste ban.
Some but not all the other counties and towns in the Deffenbaugh service area are following the ban.
To reach Karen Dillon, call 816-234-4430 or send email to email@example.com.
Posted in Agenda 21, Commissioner Eilert, Ethics, Governor Brownback, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Kansas, Property Rights, tagged Agenda 21, DA Steve Howe, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, Ethics, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, Obama treason on June 10, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
State Department memo reveals possible cover-ups, halted investigations
Updated at 2:59 p.m. with comment from the State Department.
(CBS News) CBS News has uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks.
The Diplomatic Security Service, or the DSS, is the State Department’s security force, charged with protecting the secretary of state and U.S. ambassadors overseas and with investigating any cases of misconduct on the part of the 70,000 State Department employees worldwide.
CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”
The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.
Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”
In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.
“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.
In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.
The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detai” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”
Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.
Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”
A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.”
John Miller spoke with Mike Pohelitz, a retired Senior Agent at the DSS who was involved in one of the cases listed in the Inspector General’s memo. Pohelitz said he was told to stop investigating one of the cases and that the order likely came from the upper ranks of the DSS.
“I got the information through my DS channel,” he told Miller. “But it had to come from somebody higher than DS, I’m sure.”
According to Fedenisn, when a high-ranking State Department security officials was shown a draft of their findings that investigations were being interfered with by State Department higher-ups, he said, “This is going to kill us.” In the final report however, all references to specific cases had been removed.
“I mean my heart really went out to the agents in that office, because they really want to do the right thing, they want to investigate the cases fully, correctly, accurately … and they can’t,” Fedenisn said.
Fedenisn, a DSS agent for 26 years, was a part of the team that prepared the draft report and is now a whistleblower who has taken her concerns to Congress.
Two hours after CBS News made inquiries to the State Department about these charges, investigators from the State Department’s Inspector General showed up at her door.
Speaking at a press briefing Monday, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said: “We hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly. All cases mentioned in the CBS report were thoroughly investigated or under investigation, and the — the department continues to take action. Finally, the department has responded to the recommendations in the OIG report regarding the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s of Investigations and counter-intelligence. Diplomatic Security has taken the further step of requesting additional review by outside experience law enforcement officers on top of the OIG inspection so that officers with law enforcement experience can make expert assessments about our current procedures.”
Psaki went on to say the “notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in a case, any case, is preposterous … ambassadors would be no exception.” Without speaking about specific cases, Psaki described any misconduct as “hardly endemic.”
A statement provided to CBS News by the Inspector General’s office said:
OIG does not comment on drafts of reports.
On its own initiative, OIG Office of Investigations has been conducting its own independent review of the allegations made. This is our standard procedure.
We staffed it independently and appropriately and they were people hired specific for this review at the end of 2012. They are on staff. We staffed it with the best people we can find at hand to do the job.
DS does not speak for us.
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.
Posted in Agenda 21, Ethics, JoCo Board of Commissioners, Property Rights, tagged Agenda 21, DA Steve Howe, Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson, George Soros, ICLEI, jason osterhaus, Jim Allen, Obama treason, property rights on June 8, 2013 | 1 Comment »