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Archive for December, 2011

http://sustainable.jocogov.org/ChairmanMessage.shtml

Why Johnson County is Committed to Sustainability

Johnson County is committed to maximizing the triple bottom line of economy, environment and social equity in each decision that it makes. This approach recognizes that the actions we take today can have implications for generations to come, and that we must live and work in a way that preserves the ability of our children, grandchildren, and following generations to meet their basic needs.

While our focus is on the future, much of the work that the county is undertaking in the name of sustainability has immediate benefits for current county residents. Sustainability fundamentally is about finding more efficient, less wasteful ways of doing things. As we seek to reduce our carbon footprint by constructing more energy efficient buildings, incorporating more fuel efficient vehicles in our fleet, and reducing the amount of solid waste we generate, we are simultaneously providing higher quality service at lower cost to county residents. This is not pie in the sky. Reducing waste reduces costs, and it’s a goal to which we are firmly committed.

The county established its first staff sustainability committee in 2004. Since then, the county has opened its first LEED ® Gold certified building , expanded its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles, begun working toward ambitious waste reduction goals, and engaged all 4000+ county employees in the effort to make county government leaner, cleaner and greener. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. This website will be updated frequently to allow you to track our progress and to suggest strategies for making county government operations even more sustainable in the long run.

Johnson County Government is also seeking the help of residents, business owners and community leaders in undertaking a community-wide effort to become more sustainable . There are little actions that each of us can take on a daily basis to use energy more efficiently in our homes and vehicles and to reduce the amount of waste that we generate. The tips [above/below] suggest a number of ways you can get started. Little actions by themselves may seem insignificant, but if all 530,000 Johnson County residents work together, those little actions can make a big difference.

Thank you for joining us on this important journey.

James Joerke

Sustainability Program Director

This is ICLEI’s definition of Socialism

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/620790/utopian-socialism

“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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Agenda 21 Team,

Below is an update on the reaction to the CA Supreme Court decision to dissolve over 400 redevelopment agencies in CA. This is great news. The Institute for Justice should be congratulated for the great work they did to protect the property rights of the citizens in CA and for giving us a platform to prove our point when trying to convince our elected officials of what is in store for us if we continue implementing these economy killing growth plans.
 
I am also sending a link to the IJ website. This is a not for profit organization and I think the Tea Party groups should show our appreciation by sending donations. If there is ever a group that deserves our support this group is the one!!! I personally just made my donation. Thanks-  Karen, Tennesee
 
http://www.ij.org/

The cities are scrambling here. It’s really great news.
 

Local officials unsure of future after redevelopment ruling

  • By Gretchen Wenner
  • Ventura County Star
  • Posted December 29, 2011 at 6:11 p.m., updated December 29, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.

They’re unhappy but not altogether surprised.

Mostly, no one is sure of what’s next.

“We know what the Supreme Court has decided,” Ventura City Manager Rick Cole said of Thursday’s ruling on redevelopment agencies by the California Supreme Court. “What we don’t know is how everybody is going to react.”

City officials across Ventura County lamented the decision, which upheld state lawmakers’ right to abolish redevelopment agencies but also in effect killed a compromise that would have allowed the entities to keep operating.

Whenever a big decision comes down, people immediately want to know what’s going to happen, Cole said.

“It is absolutely impossible an hour later to figure that out,” he said.

Now, cities — which created most of the state’s 400 or so redevelopment agencies — are scrambling to unravel the fallout of the ruling. Staffing levels, certain loan repayments, future projects: All now have question marks. The agencies use certain property taxes to reduce blight.

There’s talk among some lawmakers of a new deal to keep the agencies alive, said Curtis Cannon, who leads redevelopment efforts for Oxnard, but that’s not much to go on.

“They can be quoted all they want, but you can’t take that to the bank,” Cannon said.

Scott Mitnick, Thousand Oaks’ city manager, called the decision “extremely Draconian” and said Conejo Valley schools, the fire district and the county will suffer because they’ll lose millions of dollars a year in pass-through funds from the agency there.

Political artifice created a false argument that the underlying issue pitted redevelopment against schools, Mitnick said.

The situation arose in January whenGov. Jerry Brown proposed abolishing redevelopment agencies as a way to help close a projected $25 billion budget gap over two years. While the agencies did some good things, he said at the time, they had grown so large that they were taking in about 12 percent of property taxes statewide. He wanted that money to go to schools and public safety. Eventually, the Legislature adopted a two-pronged compromise that was the basis for the high court’s ruling.

Bruce Feng, Camarillo’s city manager, said while cities see the ruling as negative, some agencies consider it positive.

He hopes — but doubts — the property tax money that funds redevelopment activities makes its way to school districts.

“If it really did go there, it’s not all negative,” Feng said.

The California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights applauded the ruling as a victory for taxpayers and property rights. Some, like the alliance, have criticized the redevelopment agencies’ use of eminent domain.

“California taxpayers fund redevelopment to the tune of over $5 billion a year without any reliable evidence that they create new jobs,” the group’s president, Marko Mlikotin, said in a release. The group had filed a brief with the court regarding the case.

In Fillmore, City Manager Yvonne Quiring said so much money is involved that something will have to be worked out.

“There aren’t a lot of good choices for either the state or the cities,” she said. “It’s in everybody’s interest to find a solution to this.”

Laura Behjan, the assistant city manager in Simi Valley, said the decision represented a “significant taking by the state of local governments’ authority.”

In Ojai, City Manager Robert Clark said the situation is “all quite murky.” Clark and others expect more lawsuits will be needed to sort out details.

A book co-written by Ventura’s former mayor is quoted in the ruling. The section on state finances mentionsBill Fulton‘s “Guide to California Planning.”

Fulton called the ruling “pretty good background reading” for anyone seeking to understand the “arcane and convoluted” way local governments in California get money via games with the state.

“That’s really what’s at the root of this,” he said, adding that the governor’s statement on the ruling didn’t even mention the word “redevelopment.”

In what are bound to be upcoming negotiations to keep redevelopment alive, Fulton added, time is on the governor’s side.

“I can’t imagine a worse bargaining position than a Supreme Court ruling saying you don’t exist,” Fulton said.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/dec/29/not-happy-campers-local-city-officials-react-to/#ixzz1i31Fi3kL
– vcstar.com

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BOCC Meeting May 13, 2010

 6. RFP No. 2009-045. Consider authorizing a contract with Clarion Associates for visioning services for the Citizens Visioning Committee in an amount not to exceed $194,685.

 Commissioner Eilert moved to Authorize a contract with Clarion Associates for visioning services for the Citizens Visioning Committee in an amount not to exceed $194,685, per RFP No. 2009-045 and monies for said contract to come from existing department funds. Commissioner Wood seconded the motion.

 The roll being called, the result was as follows:
AYES: Peterson, Allen, Lindstrom, Eilert, Wood, Hayden (6)
NOES: (0)
ABSTAIN: (0)
ABSENT: Surbaugh (1)

Therefore, the motion Passed [6-0].          BOCC May 13, 2010 

 

So what is the goal of this Citizens Visioning Committee?    Planning For a Sustainable Future  – What steps should the County take to lead us towards a more sustainable future (economy, environment, and social equity)?”

But wait, this is EXACTLY what I.C.L.E.I. and Agenda 21 want done to accomplish a Socialist Global Government.  Yet this Johnson County document dated July 2011 makes it clear that the goal is to be a Socialist state by 2030.  http://jocovision2030.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/JOCO_Vision_Report_Review_Draft_7.19.11_Exec_Summary.pdf 

Here’s the Contract with Clarion Associates that Eilert promoted for $194, 685.     Clarion Contract 

Certainly someone had to know about Clarion Associates.   http://www.clarionassociates.com/services/land-use/  Oh but they did.  Here Clarion describes the global problems as being the direct result of Capitalism and those evil Americans.  Also more commonly known as the redistribution of wealth.  Well we redistributed some of our wealth, about $194,685 worth. Click here to view below publication  duerksen-sustainable-code

Now it becomes abuntantly clear why our gang of seven refuse to answer so many questions.  Our Johnson County elected government and appointed staff have set sail for the utopia of socialism.  We must regain control of our future and get rid of these idiots, take our losses and start over with the 2012 and 2014 elections.

“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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Lobbying

Kansas law recognizes that the right of organized as well as unorganized interests to influence governmental policy is an integral part of the American and Kansas political process. Such efforts are based in large part on the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association and the right to participate in one’s government. The thrust of existing legislation is not to hinder such activity but rather to ensure that it is carried out in view of the public.

In this context, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission is charged, in part, with administering the state’s lobbying law, which provides for the registration and reporting of expenditures by lobbyists.

Who Must Register as a Lobbyist?
Any person to whom any of the following applies must register as a lobbyist:
Any person employed to a considerable degree to lobby;
Any person formally appointed to a specific position as the primary representative of an organization or other person to lobby in person on state property; or
Any person who spends $100 or more in a year for lobbying exclusive of personal travel and subsistence expenses.

When to Register
A lobbyist must register in any calendar year before engaging in lobbying. Such registration expires annually on December 31 of the year for which the lobbyist is registered. Any person who registers to lobby must pay a registration fee for each employer, client, or organization such lobbyist represents. Registration fees are as follows:
1. $35 if the lobbyist anticipates spending $1,000 or less for lobbying in a calendar year;
2. $300 if the lobbyist anticipates spending more than $1,000 for lobbying in a calendar year; and
3. $360 if registering as an employee of a lobbying group or firm.

All lobbyists under the purview of the Commission must file either an Affidavit of Exemption From Filing Lobbyist Employment and Expenditures Reports or the periodic Lobbyist Employment and Expenditures Reports.

The Commission’s staff enters expenditure data from the Lobbyist Employment and Expenditures Reports. Statistics and the recipient’s name are available to be viewed from this Internet site link to Expenditure Data.

http://www.kansas.gov/ethics/Lobbying/

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Johnson County employees accept early retirement option

More than 170 eligible Johnson County employees, including five top managers, have accepted an early retirement package in a program to further reduce the size of the County Government workforce to a more balanced and sustainable size reflective of the current economic conditions.

The Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP) was authorized on October 13 by the Board of County Commissioners. The program was developed to offset future anticipated budget challenges by reducing overall staff and cutting positions without having to make layoffs. The county has not offered a voluntary retirement program in the past.

The deadline for approximately 550 eligible County employees to participate in the program was November 29 followed by a seven-day revocation period. In the weekly business session of the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, December 8, County Manager Hannes Zacharias advised the Board that the early retirement offer was accepted by 175 employees, representing approximately a third of the eligible employees. They include:

  • Deputy County Manager Bernice Duletski, who became a member of the county’s management team in 2005, will retire December 23;
  • David Wiebe, executive director of Johnson County Mental Health Center for 26 years, also retires December 23. Maureen Womack, executive director of the Norfolk Community Services Board in Norfolk, Virginia, has been named to succeed him, assuming her Johnson County duties on January 3;
  • Donna Lauffer, Johnson County Library’s fifth County Librarian since 2007 in a library career that began in 1979, retires on December 24. Deputy County Librarian Tricia Suellentrop will serve as Interim County Librarian;
  • Cindy Kemper, director of the Environmental Department for a decade, is retiring January 6; and,
  • Jack Clegg, director of Information Technology Services since 1998, will retire January 20.

Other retiring employees will leave by the end of December or in January.

If all 175 positions are left vacant, the projected savings (net of the incentive) would be approximately $8.4 million in FY 2012. That, though, is unlikely.

If approximately 67 percent of the positions are not filled, the County is projected to save (net of the incentive) $5.7 million in FY 2012.

“Every position, including departments heads, will be evaluated to ensure that it is mission critical before considering replacing the employee departing under the VRIP,” Zacharias said of the retiring employees. “We will continue to address anticipated budget shortfalls by reorganizing, restructuring, and downsizing our organization in the future, while maintaining our core services.”

Zacharias will meet with department directors to review reorganization plans as the county heads into the FY 2013 Budget process.

The County Manager acknowledges that the retiring long-time staffers will take with them “an accumulated wisdom and talent.”

“We have so much institutional knowledge, all at one time, preparing to walk out the door,” Zacharias said. “There’s a lot of hard work ahead, but this is an exciting time filled with both challenges and opportunities.”

The VRIP provided eligible employees – those entitled to full or reduced retirement benefits under KPERS or KP&F – the opportunity to receive economic incentives to resign or retire from the Johnson County Government in order to generate budget reductions in salary and benefit expenses. The program was an entirely voluntary, one-time opportunity available to eligible employees wishing to relinquish their employment with County Government.

Since 2009, the County has implemented hiring restrictions that resulted in the elimination of 335.50 full time positions through attrition. The hiring restrictions will continue in 2012. The County anticipates approximately 265 additional FTE reductions are needed to meet the budget target by FY 2014 and ensure that ongoing revenue, with no tax increase, will fund operations. 

The County Manager remains optimistic about maintaining essential county services to the Johnson County community and its citizens despite the loss of manpower. He notes that county employees have always been efficient, and if there’s any workload spillover brought on by the early retirements, it will be fielded by those still in office. 

“Our employees are exceptional that way,” he said, but warned that eliminating positions can only continue for so long before it begins to erode the County’s ability to provide services to the community.

“We’re approaching that point,” Zacharias said. “We’ll look at each position very carefully to ensure our operations are not affected by future organizational changes and financial challenges.”

More information is available by contacting County Manager Hannes Zacharias at (913) 715-0731 or by e-mail; or Rebecca Salter, Director of the Johnson County Department of Human Resources, at (913) 715-1402 or by e-mail.

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Obama-like mushrooms, making sure you have my name and address correctly. 

“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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December 15, 2011

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thanks to our fight against outdated state annexation laws, today you’ve got more rights about what happens to your home and property.  We’re also optimistic that we will ultimately prevail in our judicial fight against Overland Park’s land grab, but in order to continue, we’re writing now to ask for your help. 

Revision of state annexation statutes- SUCCESS

After a 4-year battle covering a span of 3 different governors and a senate committee chairman that never did let annexation bills out of his committee, we, and our lobbyists, were able to overcome all the legislative and political obstacles to provide all Kansans with the first meaningful annexation reform in Kansas.  Senate Bill 150 was signed into law in June 2011.

Key Provisions:

  • You now have a right to vote on future annexations which total 40 acres or more.  If the BOCC approves the city’s petition, the annexation must also get a green light from landowners in the affected area.  If landowners vote to reject the annexation, the city cannot annex this land for at least 4 years.
  • For all non-consensual annexations, the BOCC approval must now be by a 2/3 vote instead of a simple majority.  There cannot be more than 3 of these annexations in a 5-year period.
  • Annexed landowners with over 1 acre of land will be able to maintain creditor and probate property protection for up to 160 acres of land instead of protection dropping to only 1 acre after going into the city.

Legal fight update- AWAITING APPELLATE COURT HEARING

  • The written briefs are complete and all that is left is oral arguments in front of 3 appellate court judges.  It will probably be 6 to 9 months before they hear our case.
  • We feel extremely optimistic about our case.  Nothing in the City or County briefs has changed the facts. 
  1. We were denied due process rights of notice and opportunity to comment on hundreds of pages of changes to the service plan (the statute doesn’t even allow changes) including over 400 pages of changes submitted the last day the record was open. 
  2. There was no service plan or cost data provided for the partial annexation that was approved. 
  3. The BOCC did not continue the public hearing or rule within 7 days as required by law. 
  4. The BOCC led ex parte communications withOverland Parkon fire agreements, and the final agreement was not even signed until after the record closed.
  • We are encouraged by an appellate court ruling last month that overturned an annexation stating the BOCC could not “approve the annexation by a mere conclusory finding without a more careful and deliberative consideration.”   In our case, the BOCC’s capricious decision to approve the partial annexation without any cost or revenue information whatsoever certainly seems to fly in the face of this ruling. 

What winning our lawsuit will mean to YOU:

Here are some of the rules that annexed city residents are subject to that will be eliminated if we win our lawsuit and go back to the county.

  • The nearly $10,000/ac. excise tax will be eliminated for dividing or developing your land.  That includes any pond, stream, or waste land on the property.
  • Your taxes will be reduced including the 40% property tax increase imposed byOverland Park in 2011.  You will also eliminate the additional taxes and fees (sales, use, franchise, license, etc.).  
  • You will go back to the higher level of services from County crews as noted by the BOCC chair when issuing the ruling.
  • You will not be subject to the requirement to pave your gravel driveway. 
  • You will not be subject to 22 ordinances, including a ban on ATVs, set to take affect after our grandfathered exemptions expire.

Moving Forward- YOUR HELP NEEDED

Two members of our coalition stepped up to fund $100,000 of our $110,000 bills in 2010 and 2011 for our successful lobbyists and attorney.  Now it is time for YOU to start or continue support of the cause so we can finish the success story.  We are fighting a city with 8 full time attorneys that spent an additional $800,000 on outside attorney fees (prior to writing appellate court briefs).  They also have a full time lobbyist and fund a major portion of the Kansas League of Municipalities. 

There are no guarantees in the legal system, but in 2010, the state appellate court ruled that if an annexation is overturned (like we are working to get), property owners are eligible to get a property tax refund back from the city for the years they had annexed the property illegally.  For a $250,000 house that is about $250 each year.

So, we are asking you to send us a $250 dollar donation by January 15, 2012.  It can be by check or credit card, and can be done in 2 installments (second one by June 15, 2012).

Send your check in the enclosed envelope to: For credit card contributions:
No To Annexation Call Rob Hutchison for details
PO Box 31 913-220-8773
Stilwell, KS  66085  

Donate and Celebrate!

For those that contribute $250 or more (or a first installment toward a $250 contribution) before January 15, 2012, there will be a celebration party after the appellate court ruling in 2012.  Those that have already contributed at least $250 in 2010 or 2011 will also be invited to the celebration.  Don’t miss out.  Send your contribution in now!  If you have any questions or want to be included in email annexation updates, please contact Norman Pishny at pishny@hughes.net .  

Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Sincerely,

The Annexation Reform Coalition 

Lynne Matile, President   Tom Watson, Vice President   Norman Pishny, Secretary-Treasurer

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