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Posts Tagged ‘Taxes’

If this substantial sales tax increase is truly for the people, why lie?  “If you like your streets, you can keep your streets.  Period!

http://www.jocoelection.org/  Actual wording on ballot.

Ballot Wording

.

http://www.olatheks.org/PublicWorks/Streets/StreetPreservation/VoterInformation  What City of Olathe says on their web site.

.Olathe Wording

Missing words

.

This is more than an innocent mistake and more than maintaining existing streets.

This is about bike paths and sustainable streets.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                                                             GOD
Henpecked Acres                                        
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com
http://NOlathe.net

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Lets look at facts: http://online.wsj.com/news/interactive/IVCostsprint?ref=SB10001424127887323884304578328173966380066

State by Stae

Sorted looks like this: State HC per capita  Enough said?

Rank State  Cost per person
1 D.C.  $  10,349.00
2 Mass  $    9,278.00
3 Conn  $    8,654.00
4 Maine  $    8,521.00
5 Del  $    8,480.00
6 N.Y.  $    8,341.00
7 R.I.  $    8,309.00
8 N.H.  $    7,839.00
9 N.D.  $    7,749.00
10 Pa  $    7,730.00
11 W.Va.  $    7,667.00
12 Vt  $    7,635.00
13 N.J.  $    7,583.00
14 Md  $    7,492.00
15 Minn  $    7,433.00
16 Wis  $    7,233.00
17 Fla  $    7,156.00
18 Ohio  $    7,076.00
19 S.D.  $    7,056.00
20 Neb  $    7,048.00
21 Wyom  $    7,040.00
22 Mo  $    6,967.00
23 Iowa  $    6,921.00
24 Hawaii  $    6,856.00
25 Alaska  $    6,856.00
26 Miss  $    6,795.00
27 Wash  $    6,782.00
28 Kan  $    6,782.00
29 Ind  $    6,756.00
30 Ill  $    6,756.00
31 N.M.  $    6,651.00
32 Mont  $    6,640.00
33 Mich  $    6,618.00
34 Ky  $    6,596.00
35 Ore  $    6,580.00
36 La  $    6,571.00
37 Okla  $    6,532.00
38 N.C.  $    6,444.00
39 Tenn  $    6,411.00
40 S.C.  $    6,323.00
41 Va  $    6,286.00
42 Ala  $    6,272.00
43 Calif  $    6,238.00
44 Ark  $    6,167.00
45 Colo  $    5,994.00
46 Texas  $    5,924.00
47 Nev  $    5,735.00
48 Utah  $    5,658.00
49 Idaho  $    5,658.00
50 Ga  $    5,467.00
51 Ariz  $    5,434.00

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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.

2/17/2013

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 questions whether this City of Lenexa located project should be funded at all and insists if funded only one year at a time.6.17.2009

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.

6.17.2009.1

What about Enterprise Center annual budget?

6.17.2009.2

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?

10 yrs

So with an annual budget of $1,200,000

Cost per Job

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.

37.4 yrs.

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

Ben Craig

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

  1. NOlathe desires to expand beyond current Henpecked Acres facilities.
  2. 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.
  3.  County would provide FREE property insurance and utilities.
  4. 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…….

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

img001

Suburbia Income

Suburbia Verbage

Suburbia Expense

The future of this “Cash Cow” may very well depend on “would you like mustard on that?”

Hotdog

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”

Ken Dunwoody                                 GOD
Henpecked Acres                                    One Nation
14850 W. 159th St. Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_association

http://bocc.jocogov.org/webform/contact-us

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                                  GOD
Henpecked Acres                                                
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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As you read through the details of information shared, you’ll better understand our three immediate conclusions:
  1. Staff (defined as those below the County Manager) did their usual and professional jobs by delivering usable information for decision purposes to the County Commissioners.
  2. The Offices of the County Manager and Clerk did their usual job of blocking transparency.
  3. The purchase of the King Louie Building was an agenda of its own and had no meaningful purpose of replacing the existing museum or in default, a good longterm investment for the County.

Documents and witnesses have created this chronology of events:

  • August 2011- County notified of reduced price and arranges Staff inspection.
  • August 2011- Commissioner Lindstrom witnessed notifying Museum Director.
  • September 2011- Museum Director releases plans for National Museum.
  • October 2011- Licensed Engineering firms inspect building.
  • November 2011- Staff and Museum Director present National Museum to Commissioners.
  • December 2011- County purchases King Louie Building.
  • February 2012- County refinances King Louie Building through September 2015.
  • March 2012- Commissioners defend decision as good investment.
  1. 43,560 square feet per acre.
  2. Purchase involved 5.66 acres or 246,549 square feet.
  3. “We paid $7.90 per square foot.” 
  4. “It was estimated to be worth $12.57 per square foot.”
  5. “Comparable sites in the area are worth $13-$16 per square foot.”  (Median  is $14.50)

Commission Meeting of November 10 to discuss the Agenda Review for November 17 can be viewed here:  http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1153&doctype=AGENDA  Items #10 an #11 are identified below.  Clicking will provide all documents submitted to the Commissioners in support of discussion.

Commission Meeting of November 17 can be viewed here:  http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1124&doctype=SUMMARY   Items #10 an #11 are identified below. Clicking will provide all documents submitted to the Commissioners in support of discussion.

The $2,000,000 purchase of a Capital Asset and the $1,600,000 for Capital Asset Repairs are two distinctively different accounting entries and had to be voted on and funded separately by law and commonly accepted accounting practices.  Throughout the video discussions, presentations and documents they were totally dependent on both being approved and considered as one in the same.  To take possession of the property would require funding of $3,600,000  just to place it in a condition to consider what to do with it later.

I concede that I am the “crazy guy” and certainly not a financial advisor like the Commission Chairman and former Mayor of Overland Park Eilert, but my old school math skills calculate that at $3,600,000 we paid $14.60 per square foot well above the estimated value of $12.57 and median value of $14.50 area properties.  Sadly this is not this first time we have documented Chairman Eilert altering and creating facts to fit his vision.

Below are the questions asked and documents received from a lawful Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) request.

 
1) During the acquisition process, Staff testified that the King Louie Building structurally had “good bones”. Please provide a copy of an independent and licensed Structural Engineer evaluation of the King Louie Building dated prior to December 30, 2011.
2) During the acquisition process, Staff testified that the King Louie Building “buttoning up” process would cost an estimated $1,600,000. State law requires that prior to any renovation of a public building an inspection by a Kansas Licensed Asbestos Contractor must occur. Considering the age and prior purposes of the King Louie Building (including an ice skating rink) the anticipated amounts of asbestos would be measurably high. Please provide a copy of the Kansas Licensed Asbestos Contractor’s estimate to remove and dispose the asbestos from the King Louie Building dated prior to December 30, 2011. http://www.kdheks.gov/radiation/asbestos.html
  • Apex Environmental Consultants, Inc inspected the King Louie Building for 3 days issuing a 72 page report on December 8, 2011. 208-APEXFormerKingLouieWestEnvironmentalInspectionReport  Recommendations for the asbestos, lead paint and other hazardous materials found inside the building are made on pages 12-14.
 
3) Considering the age of the King Louie Building the possibility of ‘lead paint’ certainly exists. Please provide a copy from a Kansas Contractor licensed to dispose of lead paint surfaces estimating these costs dated prior to December 30, 2011. http://www.kshealthyhomes.org/download/RRP_Handbook.pdf
  • Contained in same Apex report above.
 
4) During the acquisition process, Staff testified the need to replace the roof. Please provide copy of the estimate submitted by a Kansas Contractor dated prior to December 30, 2011.
  • Document titled “87th Metcalf – Temporary Repairs / Weather Tightening”  Item_04-2011-0913-Roofreplacementcost  includes two cumulative costs for roof repairs at $610,748 and $75,616.
  • This document also provides the known totals going forward of $20,104,068
5) Copy of infestation document completed by a Licensed Exterminator dated prior to December 30, 2011.
  • No infestation inspection was completed.
6) Copy of email or other dated document of County Realtor notification alerting Staff of reduced price.
7) Copy presented by Staff during the acquisition process stating that this purchase was a long-term investment with no activities planned for 2013 or 2014.
  • Staff at no time indicated this purchase was justified as an investment.  All documents and discussions involved additional Capital Expenditures Budgeted starting with 2013.  It is deceitful and ridiculous to now justify this tax money as a good investment.  If our Commissioners want to play the real estate market or play financial advisor, oh wait, that argument won’t work because we have two of those playing commissioner, both from Overland Park.
8) One page document listing King Louie Building and associated property with name of Insurance Carrier and coverage of insurance in force February 1, 2012.
  • Property Damage policy for $3,943,213 with Factory Mutual Insurance Company dated February 2, 2012 can be viewed   Item_8PropInsCert-8788Metcalf
9) Copy of document authorizing Johnson County to contract a $3,600,000 loan agreement.
10) Copy of executed and dated document identifying Bank and terms of loan agreement.
  • LEASE/PURCHASE AGREEMENT with UMB Bank February 9, 2012  Item_108788Metcalfleaseagreement
  • Exhibit D (page 29 of 29) first scheduled payment September 1, 2012 of $274,576.67 ending with final payment September 1, 2015 of $2,917,400.  Total interest at term $137,976

The only criticism we have of Staff would be accepting this document Item_02&3-2011-1213-ATAbatementEstimate as an estimate to remove asbestos and other hazardous material from the King Louie Building.  As previously defined, Staff did their commendable job as they were instructed to do.  For Overland Park, King Louie was a problem looking for a solution.  Members of the Commission conspired (some unknowingly) to provide the solution at the County’s expense.  One can only hope that the museum’s future includes photos of the closed libraries and longer lines waiting for assistance (Mental Health as an example) to justify a new energy on Metcalf Corridor.

This form of political game disgusts me.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                    GOD
Henpecked Acres                                   
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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Conservation Easements are a Sustainable Development Land Grab

By Clarice Ryan

One of the prime targets of the Sustainability movement is the acquisition and control of private property of this country and the natural resources contained. The Conservation Easement provides the tools, techniques and motivations to legally wrest the land from its owners and transfer it to the federal government supposedly preserving it for future generations. Psychological and economic tactics being used are subtle with long-term objectives seldom identified by property owners. They are led to believe they are helping popular environmental efforts, while at the same time being provided personal financial benefits and security. Some are even awarded public recognition through the media for their noble, unselfish “contribution”. Unknowingly they have essentially become victims of legalized fraud. They have enabling NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy to become wealthy in the billions while the land they have committed in perpetuity is doomed to Federal ownership.

Are you about to sign a conservation easement contract? Please hold off until you read this. Your signature will, in essence, split the estate on your property. You are releasing to a land trust, the controlled “use” of the land and development rights, while you retain title to the “land” and remain responsible for all costs of ownership . . FOREVER. It will be virtually impossible for you, your heirs or a purchaser, regardless of circumstance, to over-ride this contract agreement

Differences of opinion with the land trust concerning interpretation of contract terms may eventually lead you to seek court settlement. Unfortunately you, the owner of the land, are committed to bearing all court costs if you lose, which in all likelihood you will. Furthermore, they you can take you to court if they decide you are not adequately meeting contract obligations. You will bear all legal costs including their high priced attorneys. And if your current friendly land trust shows too much leniency, another more demanding third party agency can step in, take over and rule with a firmer hand possibly in the interests of “the environment”.

For various reasons including financial difficulty or family disagreements, you or your heirs may attempt to sell all or part of the property. The contract prevents dividing or selling off portions. Prospective buyers are limited for easement encumbered land; the larger the acreage the more limited. Basically it is hard to get rid of.

By law the conservation easement can only be extinguished when the entity holding the easement (the land trust) becomes the full owner of the property, both the land and its controlled use. The friendly land trust will probably be happy to purchase your land at the greatly reduced value. However, once purchased and with the easement restriction removed this non-profit, non-taxpaying land trust it is legally free to resell at high market value of adjoining property. Or they can develop subdivisions; perform timber harvest, lumber mills, mining, oil drilling, and whatever. . . at a profit.

All of this, of course is in direct conflict with your original noble intent when you donated the conservation easement. Sadly the idealistic, worthy causes you had envisioned through the land trust, such as environmental protection, habitat for wildlife, open space, rural living, protection against urban sprawl, will no longer exist except as they may be initiated and enforced by environmental agencies at your expense.

In Montana a recently passed state statute eliminated the nullifying of the perpetual easement contract through land purchase by the land trust, which had virtually eliminated the appeal for them to acquire CE encumbered property… The resale potential for Montana land trusts, especially on large tracts of land, became virtually nil. However, a sales strategy evolved which is now easily utilized by land trusts throughout the country. One prospective purchaser of large scale easement lands remains, the Federal Government. This coincides well with the ever increasing pressures of the environmental movement to increase wilderness regions and great expanses of open space by converting private property to federal. The existence of a conservation easement only enhances the Federal Government efforts to permanently lock up more and more land and natural resources. Thus the new scheme and strategy which evolved has united large land owners, the Nature Conservancy and the Federal government in land acquisition programs which can be applied by states in addition to Montana.

Large property owners such as ranchers and timber land owners are being enticed to place property under conservation easement often receiving in return thousands of dollars in tax benefits in return for the reduced land value. Then the property under easement is purchased by the (non-profit, non-taxpaying) land trust at the reduced value; and can immediately resell to the federal government at considerable profit. The land trust acting as the real estate agent puts together the financial package. The American taxpayer unknowingly picks up the tab for the entire operation at both ends by financing both the tax write-off and the governmental land purchase. Meanwhile the tax base of the county is reduced. In essence our citizens are financing the buy-out of what is left of our nation’s private property all in the name of “sustainability” and proclaimed protection of our “open space” and “wilderness” dedicated to wildlife. If this practice continues with ongoing loss of our country’s private property throughout the West and Middle-west we are destined to evolve into a totalitarian form of government.

Our country is now experiencing a third major historical shift of land ownership, its uses, resources and wealth. Only two other events in history were of equal significance: the railroad land acquisition of the nation’s early days and the Homestead Act. The current episode could constitute a complete change in our form of government which, through the Constitution, is founded upon private property rights of citizens and is designed to protect our freedoms and way of life. The current appeal is innocuous, the tactics subtle verging on fraudulent, and the results inevitable, unless property owners awaken and resist the poison bait. Hopefully our government and legal system, in the interests of our citizens can, in sufficient time, develop protective measures to control and overcome this threatening land grab scheme. Meanwhile we must depend upon caution, restraint and common sense of informed property owners.

An Open Space program was proudly initiated by the US. Forest Service in 2006 for immediate implementation without having to go through Congress. Their promotional publication “Cooperating across Boundaries, Partnerships to Conserve Open Space in Rural America., FS-861, published August 2006 is available through: Phone: 202-401-7784 www.fs.fed.us/projects/four-threats http://directives. sc.egov.usda.gov

Clarice Ryan is a member of the Board of Directors for Montanans For Multiple Use – www.mtmultpleuse.org .

Read Part One of The Series on Sustainable Development: TEA Parties and “End the Fed” Protests Cannot Win Back the Republic Without This Information

Read Part Two of The Series on Sustainable Development: Remove ICLEI – Restore the Republic

Read Part Three of The Series on Sustainable Development: The Four Part Process Leading to Sustainable Development


Tom DeWeese is the President of the American Policy Center and the Editor of The DeWeese Report. TThe DeWeese Report is now available online, for more information click here.

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Video courtesy of http://www.c-corn.com/agenda21.html which has a great deal of information!

The Hegelian Principle Helps Explain How the Powerful Got That Way
 
Step One: Create a problem or conflict- Perceive (without facts) a problem exists and build it up out of proportion to its perceived importance, or create a problem or conflict where none existed before.
 
Step Two: Publicize the problem and create opposition to it- Relentlessly place stories about this problem in the major media outlets. Report on it daily until it becomes a steady drumbeat and a truism for the public who then begin clamoring for a solution to this problem.

Step Three: Offer a solution – The best solutions are those that appeal to the emotions of the public and make them think something really good is being done for them, when in fact, something really bad is being done to them. This solution is one that the public never knew it needed until the conditioning of Step Two was successfully completed.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/023727_power_government_butter.html#ixzz1k8O6Tvs3 

 
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
 
Ken Dunwoody                                                                            GOD
Henpecked Acres                                                                          
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)953-0387
kdunwoody2@aol.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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Johnson County Museum thinks nationally

SPECIAL TO THE STAR
An exhibit at the Johnson County Museum of History features some nostaglia-inducing items.
Jan.12
 DAVID SCOTT

The Kansas City Star
When thinking about the suburbs of Johnson County, what comes to mind?

The color beige, maybe?

For some, the lyrics of folk singer Malvina Reynolds may come to mind:

Little boxes on the hillside/ Little boxes made of ticky tacky/ Little boxes on the hillside/ Little boxes all the same.

While others might think of Thomas Johnson — a slave owner after whom the county is named — and his life’s mission to assimilate the Shawnee Indians into a more “civilized society.”

Both Reynolds’ song and Johnson’s story play a part in the Johnson County Museum’s current exhibit “Seeking the Good Life,” a chronological look at the suburbs in Johnson County.

But there’s more to the story of Johnson County. So much more that the staff at the Johnson County Museum wants to build a national museum dedicated to the subject.

“People think the suburbs are all the same. For example, when you drive down 135th Street, that’s Anywhere U.S.A. But for some reason millions and millions of Americans have chosen to live this way. Why is that?” said Andy Davis, education assistant at the Johnson County Museum. “If we can get people to stop, think and reassess, we’ve done our job.”

The story of the suburbs is not merely about housing. It’s about communities, which through the past 170 years have dealt with issues of race, culture and economics. Most suburbs, such as Johnson County, were built in the 1940s as the demand for housing increased when soldiers returned home from World War II, but Mindi Love, director of the Johnson County Museum, said the first suburb appeared in New York in 1840.

“It’s not an event that can be bookmarked in time. It’s an evolving story,” Love said. “When you start talking about the issues and the stories, people start opening up and have a better appreciation for what this musum will be about.”

Plans have been in the works since 2006 to move the museum from its current location at 6305 Lackman Road in Shawnee to the vacant 70,000-square-foot building at 8788 Metcalf Ave., which once housed the King Louie West ice rink. The museum is asking people for old photos of the ice rink.

Often, suburbia is thought of as a white phenomenon, a homogenous story of racial exclusivity, the rise of the middle class and escape from dirty urban cities. However, the evolving story of suburbia can be seen in a drive down the Metcalf corridor from Interstate 35 to 135th Street, Love said. Drivers see the rise and fall of commercial and residential real estate and property that is no longer in demand.

Issues such as segregation and blockbusting may no longer exist, but now the county must deal with poverty, redevelopment, diversity and vibrancy — issues Love believes need community discussion and involvement. The new museum will hold a 200-seat auditorium, the Suburban Policy Forum, as a place for that discussion and involvement.

Johnson County’s white population stands at 86 percent, two percentage points higher than the state’s average but 13 percent more than the national average, according to the Census Bureau. From 2000 to 2009, the county saw a 150 percent increase in poverty — which stands at 7.1 percent. This increase was the second largest in the six counties making up the Kansas City area, according to the United Community Services of Johnson County.

“More decision are made that impact residents’ lives on the local level than on the national level. If people are more engaged, we will be a better community,” Love said. “Our goal is to get people really thinking about the place they live and shaping it how they want it to be.”

The museum’s strategic plan calls for two phases. The first phase will be to relocate the museum, as is, into the new building at a cost of $5 million to $8 million, using 30,000 square feet of the new facility.

After the museum raises $10 million, it will seek $15 million from the county to begin the second phase, which will pave the way for the National Museum of Suburbia and Suburban Policy Forum. The goal is to garner designation from the U.S. Congress and become the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to suburbia.

The recession has delayed the project, which Love hoped would be open last year. Now, the goal is for late 2014 or early 2015.

With a price tag of $23 million, Love said, the county will save $15 million by not having to build from the ground up.

“We will still be telling the story of Johnson County. And a big part of that story is the growth of the suburbs,” Davis said. “Johnson County provides a very good story. The new museum will take a step further and tell the national story.”

Read more here: http://joco913.com/news/johnson-county-museum-thinks-nationally/#storylink=cpy

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