For the next 3 days through February 20, 2013 this posting will be updated daily to build some suspense and speculation as to the outcome and conclusions. For NOlathe subscribers, visit frequently as after this initial Part I of the King
Louie Eddie Building culminates into our presentation to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners on February 21, 2013.
On June 17, 2009 the Johnson County Board of Commissioners had this budgetary discussion Econ Center developing the 2010 County Budget. Item #5 records the discussion and this http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=510&doctype=AGENDA accesses the video regarding the Enterprise Center funding of $150,000. Thankfully this meeting occurred before written documentation of meetings was eliminated so in this case we are able to display both the document and the video of the Commissioners’ discussion. Briefly……
Then District Commissioner and retired Overland Park Mayor Eilert asks that this City of Lenexa located project request be marked for identification to be rejected if necessary.
What about Enterprise Center annual budget?
Video (summation 2 min) of this June 17, 2009 Committee of the Whole discussion.
Updated and continued February 18, 2013
So Mr. Wiggins, how many jobs has Enterprise Center created in the last 10 years?
So with an annual budget of $1,200,000
Admittedly we do not know if that is a good, bad or indifferent number to create 743 jobs. Unfortunately neither did the County Commissioners because no one asked. Nor did they ask what kind of jobs? What were the median annual salaries and contribution (if any) to The County? What was the life expectancy of these jobs? Were they still functioning 1 year, 2 years or 5 years later? Was this ONE job created 743 times?
Now we fast forward to 2013. Since November 17, 2011 The County Commissioners have unmercifully been beaten up by their constituents following closure of libraries for lack of funds and simultaneously purchasing a dilapidated, asbestos filled building on the verge of repossession and/or condemnation. Justification……relocate the County Museum.
As a result of the November 2012 Elections, the two most outspoken proponents of this purchase no longer sit on The Commission. Was this an election issue? You betcha!
On February 14, 2013 the stars aligned and both the Enterprise Center and the King
Louie Eddie Building entered the same conversation. That day we learned just how much sculptors have in common with politicians, taking a ball of clay and creating something completely different while arguing it’s still that ball of clay.
In between chastising the two new Commissioners for questioning the logic behind the King
Louie Eddie Building purchase, Artiste Eilert (now County Commission Chair and retired Overland Park Mayor) puts on display his newest ball of clay.
Unfortunately I can not refer to and copy transcripts because that was the first administrative policy Chairman Eilert enacted. But paraphrasing he stated that 60% to 70% of this City of Lenexa project funds provided by The County are spent on rent. Moving it to Overland Park would pay for the building’s initial purchase in just 8 years. Commission Chair and retired Overland Park Mayor did not mention that the $3,650,000 transaction in February 2012 was only to make the building weather proof, but let’s go with his number. Keep in mind that beyond Eilert’s part-time career as a politician, he also has been a part-time stock broker for a National firm and a part-time Director for a large area Bank.
In total it’s obvious why Mr. Eilert has been unsuccessful in securing full-time employment. Let’s get back to Enterprise Center for a few more moments.
Information on Enterprise Center is somewhat limited to http://www.ecjc.com/s/656/start.aspx . The intended purpose is to incubate new business developement and entrepeneurism. Notable cause but not one for government. On a National level we witness the failure of governments picking winners and losers. This is the currently listed Board
Although we can not attest to the accuracy of this list as being current, it is the one posted. Paying attention to the two highlights we can begin to understand why Commission Chair and retired Overland Park Mayor Eilert now promotes moving the current City of Lenexa project to Overland Park. Ben Craig (now retired) was also the Chairman of an Overland Park bank that Mr. Eilert worked part-time as a Director. Mary Birch is the former Executive Director of Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, currently Legislative contact at an Overland Park law firm, a political wanna-be and the person Mr. Eilert uses most to introduce him at major events. One might question why there are some insurance and real estate brokerage companies directing job creation but that’s for another day.
From the November 2011 through December 2012 discussions held in public view and recorded, Enterprise Center is not mentioned once. In 2009 District Commissioner and retired Overland Park Mayor Eilert insisted the City of Lenexa located project if funded at all, would be year by year. In 2013 Commission Chair and retired Overland Park Mayor Eilert wants to give this project a “permanent home” in Overland Park. Can only speculate as to who contacted whom and when, this appears to be yet another and more desperate attempt to camouflage and deflect what was from the onset an unethical and possibly criminal act.
Updated and continued February 19, 2013
NOlathe desires to expand beyond current Henpecked Acres facilities.
By providing us with a permanent home would improve the time efficiencies of processing KORA (Kansas Open Record Act) requests. Delivering requests by hand, just down the hall would reduce response time from 9 days down to the statutory 3 days.
County would provide FREE property insurance and utilities.
- Would need a key to the front door though cuz may need access at unusual hours.
How many non-government employees currently work in a County owned facility? Have the ‘legal eagles’ scrutinized this and what are the consequences of this precedent? Can I pick which office space desired?
During Chair Eilert’s St. Valentines Day beat down of questioning Commissioners, he stated this subject has been fully vetted and debated in full public view. He stated the problem is not what The Commission has done but how various media has reported it. I assume he was including The Wall Street Journal http://nolathe.net/2012/10/10/faux-board-of-johnson-county-commissioners-kansas/. So let’s look at what we know…….
- Following the closure of the King Louie Building in 2009 The City of Overland Park failed to vigorously enforce building codes even though rapid and continued deterioration was obvious from the street. http://nolathe.net/2012/11/11/king-louie-overland-park-and-dysfunctional-enforcement/
- During 2010 and 2011 asbestos was allowed to escape the building and critters to habitate in the building.
- In 2010 both an engineering and environmental analysis was contracted by the owners. These reports clearly identified the need of approximately $1,500,000 in immediate restoration just to make the building sound and sellable. http://nolathe.net/2012/10/17/who-did-what-and-when-why/
- During late Summer 2011 then District Commissioner Lindstrom personally contacts the Museum Committee to inform them that friends of his are reducing the price on the King Louie Building currently brokered by his former employer. http://nolathe.net/2012/02/15/joco-museum-of-40000000-pigs-in-a-poke/
- September 2011 Museum Committee produces a substantial proposal specifically planning for Suburbia Museum beginning in 2013. http://nolathe.net/2012/02/15/joco-museum-of-40000000-pigs-in-a-poke/
- November 10, 2011 Staff make presentation to The Commission requesting funds to purchase the King Louie Building, funds to “button up” the building, relocating the current County Museum and details of expanding in to the Suburbia Museum. Two issues identified urgency: 1) Building owners required this sale be completed before year-end. 2) Building conditions required immediate attention. http://nolathe.net/2012/03/11/ya-right-like-steve-howe-would-do-anything-about-this/
- November 17, 2011 without knowing how they would pay for it, Commissioners voted 6-1 approving the $2,000,000 property purchase Real Estate Purchase Contract and $1,600,000 for immediate repairs. http://nolathe.net/2012/10/17/who-did-what-and-when-why/ http://nolathe.net/2012/03/11/ya-right-like-steve-howe-would-do-anything-about-this/
- December 15, 2011 owners pay off existing mortgage on property. http://nolathe.net/2012/12/07/museums-record-timing-which-is-everything-in-suburbia-johnson-county
- Late December 2011 Johnson County pays $2,000,000 cash from Reserves to complete purchase.
- February 9, 2012 Johnson County leases property to bank for $3,650,000. Item_108788Metcalfleaseagreement
- February 9, 2012 Johnson County leases back the property from the same bank on a lease/purchase agreement with quarterly payments.
- February 9, 2012 Johnson County repays $2,000,000 to Reserves.
- February 9, 2012 Johnson County creates bank specified accounts as required. 8788MetcalfDebtServiceAug2012 8788MetcalfProjectSpending 8788MetcalfProjectSpending
- March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November 2012 the only activity is The County making payments to the bank.
- December 13, 2012 Commission approves $915,000 for the immediate repairs identified in November 2011 (13 months earlier). NOlathe assumes that the CIP (Capital Improvement Project) requirements delayed activities. http://nolathe.net/2012/12/19/damn-the-facts-expensive-king-louie-ahead/ There are other possible reasons The Commission conscientiously waited nearly a year to spend this borrowed money, or was it just plain incompetence?
- February 14, 2013 Commission includes agenda item for February 21, 2013 to approve $415,836 for partial roof replacement.
As previously stated, two of the more vocal Commissioners supporting this boon-doggle no longer sit as Commissioners. So listen to one of the new guys questioning the purchase and Chair Eilert’s response:
So just how could the media have got this whole thing so wrong? http://joco913.com/news/critics-question-johnson-countys-king-louie-purchase/
Final update February 20, 2013
The future of this “Cash Cow” may very well depend on “would you like mustard on that?”
Jack is a young lad living with his widowed mother. Their only means of income is a Cash Cow. But when this Cash Cow had been milked dry, Jack is sent to the market to sell it. On the way to the market he meets a crazy old guy who offers to give him “magic” beans in exchange for the cow.
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”