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Archive for July, 2014

Kansas lawmakers call out county commissioners over proposed tax increase

07/29/2014 10:43 AM

07/29/2014 12:36 PM

Kansas legislators came calling at the Johnson County Commission budget hearing Monday night to tell commissioners they did not care much for being painted as the bad guys in the county’s first mill levy increase in eight years.

Four state lawmakers and the chairman of the Kansas State Banking Board came prepared with a press release and documentation asserting that the state’s phase-out of the mortgage registration fee should not be to blame for the proposed 0.683 mill increase.

“I just want to make sure the public knows this is a sham,” said Kurt Knutson of Overland Park, the banking chairman.

Denning, of Overland Park, is also the brother of Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning.

Fourteen people spoke at the hearing. Others came to laud the Sheriff’s Department and Johnson County Enterprise Center and to give their thoughts on how Heritage Trust Fund money should be spent.

Bankers and real estate companies pushed for an end to the mortgage registration fee, but it has been controversial with the commissioners because of its fiscal impact. County Manager Hannes Zacharias has said the loss of fee revenues could cost the county $49 million over the next five years.

But lawmakers at the hearing Monday disputed that. The fee, charged at closing as a percentage of the amount borrowed, is being phased out over a 5-year period. In its place will be higher fees on individual pages of mortgage documents filed. That plus $10 million in increased revenue from higher home values should more than make up for the loss of the fees, they said.

Commissioners have doubted publicly that those fees will make up much of the loss because people will tend to file fewer documents to save money. Sen. Denning, however, disputed that, saying the page filings would not decrease in real estate’s secondary market.

The legislators put the first-year impact to the county budget at $1.7 million.

Kansas Sen. Greg Smith of Overland Park said he was disappointed that the county manager portrayed the mortgage registration fee as the culprit for a tax increase. “At best, his comments are in error,” Smith said.

“Make no mistake that this budget is a tax increase on the citizens of Johnson County,” Smith said. “I caution the commissioners to remember that the money belongs to the citizens. It doesn’t belong to the commission.”

Sen. Denning argued a few other points as well. He said it’s too early to know for sure whether changes in the rules for contesting property values will negatively affect county revenues.

He also took issue with the county’s plan for a 3 percent salary raise pool for its employees. The Kansas State Extension service did not give its employees as large an increase, so during budget discussions the commission decided to include $18,622 for extension employees.

“That just doesn’t smell right,” said Denning. “If we had that damn much money to do things like that then let’s take another look at our property tax. I just don’t think we need to pull the trigger in ’15.”

The budget currently under discussion is changed a bit from the county manager’s proposal of early June. The original proposal was for a tax increase of 0.814 mills, bringing the total county levy to 24.061 mills. The commission lowered that increase after a series of meetings with department heads. Now the increase brings the total mill levy to 23.930 in 2015 over the current 23.247. That translates into $1.64 a month more on the average $249,000 house.

Also included is a 6.25 increase in wastewater charges and a $5 fee for renewing a motor vehicle in person.

The tax increases are for the general part of the budget and not parks or the library system. Those departments have their own levies, which remained unchanged.

The total county budget for 2015 is $873 million, with $697 million in expenditures and $176 million in reserves.

The commission made several changes before approving its final spending figures in early July, most notably in the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Denning ultimately got approval to hire 22 new deputies, as he had requested earlier in the spring. The commission earlier had approved hiring 20 civilians and spending $1.3 million in overtime. Instead, the $1.3 million will be used to hire the deputies.

Sen. Denning mentioned the controversy over the sheriff’s department funding, saying his brother was made a scapegoat to justify property tax increases and to draw a challenger the next time he runs for office.

Sheriff Frank Denning is not up for re-election this year.

Sen. Denning repeatedly told commissioners he didn’t understand why they wouldn’t include a $5 fee to register vehicles. Such a fee would improve the budget and lessen the need for property tax increase, he said.

In fact, the $5 fee has always been part of the 2015 budget proposal.

Other speakers came to support the sheriff’s department. “Sheriff Denning’s staff cannot run operations on a shoestring,” said Sherry Cross, an Olathe resident who volunteers at the department.

And three board members of the Heritage Trust fund urged the commission to allow them to distribute reserves to various groups that apply for grants. The commission decided during budget talks to put the reserves, estimated to be $700,000 to $800,000 by 2016, toward the Johnson County Museum.

The commissioners did not discuss the budget or take any action. They will vote on a final budget on Aug. 14.

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During a recent County Chair Person election debate, when asked about the failed attempt to approve $10,000,000 in bonds to further finance The King Louie debacle, Chairman Eilert corrected the reporter that it was only $5,000,000 as seen in this 20 second video.

But Mr. Chairman, here is what was voted on-

$10,265.000

And here is the video of the vote.

Would Chairman Eilert wish to “revise and extend” his comments?

“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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What is it about every election season that career politicians deny what they have already made public comments about?   Some say the “water”?  Some say Party alignment?  I tend to think it’s about getting re-elected because most voters have become or more dangerously choose to be  ignorant beyond YARD SIGNS.

A recent 28 minute video was released by KCPT recorded during a discussion with the 3 Johnson County Chair Person Candidates.  In subsequent postings between now and the end of the month, NOlathe will share smaller snippents of what they said while actively pursuing an agenda versus what they are saying during the Primary as candidates.

 

“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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NOlathe's Blog

UPDATE: As of July 21, 2014 and THANKS to Sheriff Denning and Commissioner Allen this document and discussion is now posted at 

http://www.jocosheriff.org/index.aspx?page=267

This document was paid for by us folks, belongs as property to us folks and now shared with us folks.

I acknowledge warnings from both BKD and Johnson County NOT to share this information obtained from a lawful Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) request.

BKD Intro

The accompanying report is quite revealing and makes clear why “Independent Audits” are necessarily and by definition INDEPENDENT.   JCSOJuly2nd-ResponsetoDiscussionPaper

Possibly the most valuable document we have mined, our Constitutionally Elected Sheriff was correct while Standing At The Gate.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                                               GOD
Henpecked Acres      …

View original post 23 more words

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http://kansasmeadowlark.com/blog/2014/07/20/olathe-rally-for-america/#more-4918

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JCSOJuly2nd-ResponsetoDiscussionPaper

Ask why the secrecy to nullify HOME RULE CHARTER here……………

County Chairman

Chairman

Ed Eilert
913-715-0500 | Bio | ed.eilert@jocogov.org

First District Commissioner

First District Commissioner

C. Edward Peterson
913-715-0431 | Bio | ed.peterson@jocogov.org

Second District Commissioner

Second District Commissioner

James (Jim) P. Allen
913-715-0432 | Bio | jim.allen@jocogov.org

Third District Commissioner

Third District Commissioner

Steven C. Klika
913-715-0433 | Bio | steve.klika@jocogov.or

Fourth District Commissioner

Fourth District Commissioner

Jason Osterhaus
913-715-0434 | Bio | jason.osterhaus@jocogov.org

Fifth District Commissioner

Fifth District Commissioner

Michael Ashcraft
913-715-0435 | Bio | michael.ashcraft@jocogov.org

Sixth District Commissioner

Sixth District Commissioner

John Toplikar
913-715-0436 | Bio | john.toplikar@jocogov.org

 

From: Cynthia.Dunham@jocogov.org
To: Kdunwoody2@aol.com
Sent: 7/15/2014 3:34:22 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: RE: Commissioner Ashcraft

Mr. Dunwoody:

As a follow-up to my prior email, attached JCSOJuly2nd-ResponsetoDiscussionPaper please find the Response to the Johnson County Auditor’s Discussion Paper, which was prepared by the Sheriff’s auditor, BKD. This Response was received subsequent to my prior email. Additionally, please note the restrictions on publication and reproduction set forth in BKD’s cover letter, which is part of the Response.

If you have any problems with the attachments, please let me know.

Thank you.

Cynthia Dunham

Deputy Director of Legal

Legal Department

111 S. Cherry Street, Suite 3200 Olathe, Kansas 66061

Direct (913) 715-1852 | Fax (913) 715-1873 | Office (913) 715-1900

E-mail: cynthia.dunham@jocogov.org Kansas Relay Operator (800)766-3777

www.jocogov.org| @jocogov | F/jocogov

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, and any attached document accompanying this transmission, contain confidential information belonging to the sender which may be privileged. It is intended only for the use of the above named. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking of action based on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and then delete all contents received. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Dunham, Cynthia, LGL
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2014 3:08 PM
To: Kdunwoody2@aol.com
Cc: Ashcraft, Michael, BOC
Subject: RE: Commissioner Ashcraft

Mr. Dunwoody:

Attached please find records responsive to your request. If you have any problems with the attachments, please let me know.

Thank you.

Cynthia Dunham

Deputy Director of Legal

Legal Department

111 S. Cherry Street, Suite 3200 Olathe, Kansas 66061

Direct (913) 715-1852 | Fax (913) 715-1873 | Office (913) 715-1900

E-mail: cynthia.dunham@jocogov.org Kansas Relay Operator (800)766-3777

www.jocogov.org| @jocogov | F/jocogov

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, and any attached document accompanying this transmission, contain confidential information belonging to the sender which may be privileged. It is intended only for the use of the above named. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking of action based on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and then delete all contents received. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Ashcraft, Michael, BOC
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 5:09 AM
To: Kdunwoody2@aol.com
Cc: Dunham, Cynthia, LGL
Subject: Re: Commissioner Ashcraft

Thank you Ken. I will ask that those results be sent to us.

Michael L. Ashcraft

Sent from my iPad
On Jun 30, 2014, at 8:04 PM, “Kdunwoody2@aol.com” <Kdunwoody2@aol.com> wrote:

Commissioner Ashcraft,

Nothing I like more than a healthy digestion of the budget, any budget. Not to disappoint, JoCo has left me on pins and needles since last Thursday. Actually creating a budget is tedious and boring, troubleshooting the final document is always fun.

Last Thursday 6/26/14 there was considerable discussion and criticism directed towards the Sheriff’s Office for having a non-governmental company do an independent audit as it concerned the Sheriff’s proposed 2015 budget. Chairman Eilert seemed concerned that the independent auditor had not consulted with the County Auditor when there were gross contradictions with the numbers. Someone should have reminded the Chair, that’s why it’s called an “independent audit“.

The independent auditor made it clear several times that she could not replicate the County’s numbers. Yourself and others requested that the two auditors meet Friday 6/27/14 and reconcile the two audits. Today’s second look meeting was shocking to say the least. The Board of County Commissioners took nearly an about turn and unanimously supported the Sheriff’s budget. Absent was any discussion of the auditors’ reconciliation of the two documents.

Having had some experience in replicating budgets, I find the absence of Thursday’s importance somewhat curious today. I may very well be wrong but it’s only June 30th so allow me to venture a guess. The County’s Auditor was wrong and the independent auditor was correct? Since the questions regarding the differences of the two audits were clearly made part(s) of the record, it is necessary that the reconciliation of the two audits also be made part(s) of the record. As my Commissioner, I leave that responsibility to you.

As my Commissioner, please accept this as a KORA request for all documents (electronic or written) that clarifies, reconciles, discusses or make up your own word addressing the auditors’ differences or similarities.

When I could not replicate the Olathe budget involving the annexation of my little Henpecked Acres, they aborted their attempt and someone lost their job. Creating numbers is easy, defending them is more difficult.

Thank you for your service to this GREAT Nation.

“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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