Rest In Peace


You’ve been a boon to some a thorn in the side of others but always looking out to Save Mission, sometime from itself. 

Now she’s in good hands and it’s time for us to retire.

And then there are 348 videos on You Tube, some of them actually interesting.   Click Here for videos 

An Independent Community Improvment Organization

Click Here: for link to Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center

Have a question or comment? Click Here

Shawnee Mission $223 million bond issue will be on mail-in ballot in January

______________November 7th 2014 ____________

Gateway (AKA the dirt pile)

Let's see, as I understand it, here is what Tom Valenti of The Cameron Group of New York now wants to do: (As of November 5th at Mission's City hall)

a) Build just a larger Wal-Mart and 8000 sq. ft. of shops....along with a possible boutique hotel and maybe, a restaurant on the main floor.  A boutique hotel overlooking a Wal-Mart?

b) Forget about the much touted apartments, offices, grocery store, etc. We figured Sprouts was dead in the water as soon as the Natural Foods operation was announced on the Keystone site.  Remember the Keystone Chrysler complex on Johnson Drive; the site has been leveled and ready for construction. 

c) Forget about most....or probably all of the 9 restaurants that Tom Valenti said was going to build so that he (allegedly) could pump up the sales tax numbers for the project to convince Mission to agree to guarantee TIF funds. This means that the TIF Bond payments will rely primarily on Wal-Mart’s success.....probably meaning that the City may have to fund another $40,000 Study to see if there will be enough sales and property taxes to make the payments.  I know the $25,000,000 in special obligation bonds Tom wants do not obligate Mission but that’s still a lot of dollars to pay back with this scaled (way) down proposal that Mr. Valenti and his son Matt is now proposing.  I think this comes in at the 5th incarnation of The Gateway project.

d) Postpone repaying any portion of the $12 Million that Mission used to fund infrastructure work to facilitate Valenti's ill conceived mixed use project; a reminder please, the 12 Million was too scaled down to about half last year by Mr. Valenti.  If I remember right from Wednesday evening, Valenti indicated even the six million would not be paid to Mission at the completion of the project. 

e) Mission has already agreed to forego much of the sales tax revenue from the project for many, many years to come except for the 3/8 & 1/4 cent sales tax that was voted and approved for Parks & Recreation and the 1/4 cent for street repairs, along with applying the lion's share of real estate taxes towards paying off the TIF bonds. Since Valenti apparently talked the County into appraising the site at a ridiculously low value Mission has only received a small fraction of the real estate taxes it got when the property was operated as a Mall and that paltry amount of tax revenue will not increase since any increases will go towards the bond. According to Mr. Valenti the Wal-Mart will have an expanded grocery area; this is also likely to hurt Hy-Vee grocery sales and the resulting taxes that now go to Mission.  After the presentation I asked Matt Valenti just exactly how many square feet will be the grocery portion of Wal-Mart, Matt indicated that he didn’t know.  Interesting. 

In summary, Mission residents on all things financial can be sure that Mr. Valenti will look out for Mr.Valenti, but, they do get a shorter drive to visit the local Wal-Mart. 

We truly wish the current City Council and Mayor the best of luck but please take into consideration non-elected persons opinions that have been involved since the beginning and may be to close to that proverbial forest to see the trees.  Our full time Mission staff is in my opinion outstanding; it’s they that will be true to the mission of good government. 

Bill Nichols

(See below for more coverage)

Prairie Village Post - Kansas City Star - KSHB TV

______________October 15th 2014 ____________

This was an auspicious day for the City of Mission Kansas with the appointment of Mrs. Laura Smith as City Administrator.  Mrs. Smith is a 9 ½ year veteran as Assistant City Administrator and Financial Director.


Mayor Steve Schowengerdt appointed Smith with the Council approving
unanimously.  When Mayor Schowengerdt was asked about the appointment he stated “it was a no brainier”. 

The City of Mission is in good hands

______________October 14th 2014 ____________

Community Center Task Force

Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center
6200 Martway Street, Mission, KS

“The Community Center Task Force aims to provide Community Center guests the best
possible service, in the most sustainable manner, in order to enhance our community for all
our residents.”

______________October 13th 2014 ____________

The diary and notebook of Lt. James M. Malbone, Company B, 6th Virginia Infantry, CSA includes entries for 1863 and 1864. This pocket book contains diary entries, accounts, poetry and copies of letters and documents to and from Malbone. The provenance of this diary is uncertain.

James M. Mallone (aka Malbone, Malbon) enlisted on 3/25/1862 at Interior Line as a Private. On 3/25/1862 he mustered into "B" Co. VA 6th Infantry.

He was wounded 5/3/1863 Chancellorsville, VA (Gun-shot wound right arm). He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 5/1/1862.

Click Here for a very interesing piece of history

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.:
- The Virginia Regimental Histories Series
(c) Historical Data Systems, Inc. @

Drowning Eagle Who Bit Off More Than He Could Chew Rescued By Passing Fisherman

______________October 10th 2014 ____________

The Johnson County Public Policy Council hosted the first Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the Leawood City Hall.  Jim Donovan with Mid-America Mediation moderated.

The League of Women Voters and Johnson County Library is hosting the second Candidate Forum on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at Corinth Library located on Mission Road at about 81st Street. There is a 2-3 person panel moderating forum. The event is 30 minutes long. Each candidate will have a brief.


Court of Appeals reversed the David Morrison decision, he's to be reinstated as Prairie Village city councilman

Read More from PVPost:

David Morrison


Federal report says that voter ID probably hurt turnout in Kansas
The Associated Press

KC adopts "open carry" law to conform to state law
The Kansas City Star

Overland Park’s Dickinson movie theater chain changes hands

Two long-standing theater chains based in the Kansas City area have completed a business deal in which B&B Theatres acquired Dickinson Theatres.
The combination creates the ninth largest movie house chain in the United States, with 408 screens at 50 locations. Eleven of the locations are within the Kansas City market.

______________October 9th 2014 ____________

NEW YORK (AP) — Time Warner Cable said Thursday its shareholders approved its acquisition by Comcast Corp., clearing another hurdle for the $45 billion deal.

In February, Comcast said it agreed to buy rival Time Warner in an all-stock deal. The deal will make Comcast, which also owns NBCUniversal, a dominant force in both creating and delivering entertainment to U.S. homes.

The news comes a day after Comcast shareholders approved the deal, which is still awaiting clearance from regulators.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Time Warner Cable has about 11.4 million high-speed data subscribers in 29 states nationwide.
New York-based Time Warner's shares fell $3.50, or 2.4 percent, to $143.78 in midday trading. Comcast shares fell $1.15 to $53.62 amid a broad sell-off in stocks.

Today in Mission was employee appreciation day celebrated with a luncheon at the Public Works department.

Click on immage to enlarge

Employee’s thanks were extended by including elected persons, Commission & Board members.   

______________October 7th 2014 ____________

Electronic Waste Recycling


Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The Johnson County Household Hazardous Materials Collection Program will be collecting Electronic Waste and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).

Saturday, October 11 from 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Residents must make an appointment to drop off their electronic waste and HHW for recycling, and may do so by calling 913-715-6907.

(The facility is located inside a secured county wastewater treatment plant near I-35 and Lamar and is not accessible without an appointment.  Directions will be given to you once you've made an appointment.)

As our advancements in technology progress rapidly, older technology expires and becomes obsolete. Many electronic items contain usable materials such as plastics and metals.  They also contain several chemicals that should be kept out of a landfill.  So before you toss that old cell phone or computer, printer or TV; recycle it.

Accepted electronic items are any electronic devices that have a cord or batteries including cameras, CD players, cell phones, all computer equipment, faxes, printers, video games, small kitchen appliances and more.  All items are recycled for free, except CRT (tube) televisions smaller than 27 inches ($20 fee) and wooden console televisions and CRTs larger than 27 inches ($40 fee). Only cash and checks are accepted.  More information can be found on MRC Recycling website at

Accepted household hazardous waste: old paint, used motor oil, unwanted lawn chemicals, and more. 

The HHW facility is open year round and accepts appointments for household hazardous waste throughout the week.  Electronic waste is only accepted during the special collection event on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

For more information contact the Johnson County Environmental Division:

______________October 6th 2014 ____________

Maybe Now Our Dirt Pile Will Be Next?

Camillus, N.Y. — After seven years of planning and work, the first batch of tenants at Township 5 is getting close to opening.
Construction on four multi-tenant buildings at the mixed-use development is well underway. Costco is set to open Oct. 24 and LongHorn Steakhouse is coming Nov. 17.
Nearly all the tenants in the project's first phase should be open by the end of this year, according to the Cameron Group, Township 5's developer. Cameron first proposed Township 5 in 2007.
The $58 million project will have 500,000 square feet of space when finished, including retail, offices and a 96-unit apartment complex. Work on the apartments should start next month, said Joe Goethe, a Cameron principal. Tom Valenti & Joe Goethe Background

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions.
The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The court's order immediately ends delays on marriage in those states. Couples in six other states should be able to get married in short order.
That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
But the justices have left unresolved for now the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.

______________October 3rd 2014 ____________

(Courts be Dammed)

>snip< This comes on the heels of a recent lower court case wherein a trial judge determined that the District of Columbia did not have the authority to prohibit residents and non-residents from carrying handguns in public places outside the home.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Well, I can not say that I did not see this coming…The provisions included in the Washington D.C.’s latest attempt to curtail the Second Amendment rights of ordinary citizens has been made manifest. The City Council of the District of Columbia voted and will enact a new ordinance that they claim will produce a happy medium between the security needs the Washington D.C.’s elite the security needs of everyone else.

>snip< When reading the long list of prohibited places where a Carry Concealed license becomes irrelevant, some seem reasonable. For example, it is a good thing I think to keep guns away from the White House Complex and the Capital Building.  I can see that being a good thing. However, the ordinance goes far beyond anything that a reasonable person would think could translate into higher tiered security threats for the regular Joe walking down the street. D.C.’s new provisions not only list places (which include all public buildings and properties), but also list circumstances wherein said licenses would be rendered moot as well.

For example, if in the case a state governor decides to show up at your restaurant, you’re going to have to get a to-go box immediately. If the family of a visiting dignitary from Uganda wants to play at the park you’ve taken your kids to, you get to leave.  In the case that a motorcade stops near your location (and motorcades are all over place there in D.C.), it would be best if you relocated. Additionally, the Chief of Police for Washington D.C. may add any new place or circumstance on a whim that would forbid carry of a firearm. There is also a completely separate list of restricted places that the D.C. City Council will be adding it the near future. Read More:

______________October 1st 2014 ____________

Tonight a special city council meeting was held to approve Johnson Drive’s street lighting contract and to appoint an interim City Administrator. 

Mrs. Laura Smith the current Asst. City Administrator and Financial Director was nominated and approved by a unanimous vote. 

Mrs. Smith has been in her present position for over nine years with an additional fifteen in local goverment. Read More:

Later, the Community Development Committee met with several items on the agenda, one of which was a task force appointed by Mayor Steve Schowengerdt. 

The task force comprised of 18 business & property owners along Johnson Drive which has been under construction and should be completed in mid November.

The task force was to investigate and recommend to Council parking limits, signage & other issues the members could identify. Read More:

Presenting the findings were Bob Hartman and Juan Swart business & property owners


Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Julia Pierson has resigned as director of the Secret Service, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a Wednesday statement.

In the statement, Johnson said he would appoint Joseph Clancy as interim Acting Director.

Pierson came under fire after a number of Secret Service security breaches, including an armed man jumping over the White House fence and entering the executive mansion.

______________September 28th 2014 ____________

Meet Lucca, the K-9 Hero Who Risked Her Life to Save 14 Men 

A Marine's Best Friend

(From Parade Magazine 09-28-2014)

Marine Cpl. Juan “Rod” Rodriguez crunched across the dry farm field, his right hand resting on the M4 rifle strapped to his chest. He kept clear of the path that meandered through hard clumps of dirt that looked nothing like the rich soil of his New England roots. The road less traveled—ideally, no road at all—was the safest from homemade bombs sowed by the Taliban.

Rod could see Lucca trotting with a purpose, nose down, tail up. She was an old pro at the business of sniffing IEDs off leash. “Good girl, Mama Lucca,” he said under his breath.

Mlitary dogs are often our troops’ first line of defense, sniffing out hidden bombs in some of the most dangerous places on earth. This excerpt from the new book Top Dog by Maria Goodavage recalls the ­sacrifice and bravery of a smart German Shepherd–­Belgian Malinois mix, who led Special Forces ­soldiers onto a battlefield in Afghanistan’s Helmand River valley in March of 2012. But it also captures the loyalty and trust that develop between a dog and her handler and the deep, loving bond that lasts a lifetime.

Parade’s cover story this weekend, an excerpt from the forthcoming book Top Dog, tells the story of Lucca, a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix who led special forces soldiers onto a battlefield in Afghanistan’s Helmand River Valley in March of 2012 and lost her left front leg in an IED explosion. Here, a few images that capture Lucca’s spirit while she was on duty and today, in retirement, as a member of the Willingham family.

Read more of Lucca's story

Last year it was a Jimi Hendrix stamp, this year Janis Joplin


Sheet of 16 Stamps | Forever $0.49

Groundbreaking singer Janis Joplin (1943-1970), an icon of the 1960s whose bluesy voice propelled her to the pinnacle of rock stardom, appears on this new stamp in the Music Icons series.

>snip< Joplin broke onto the national music scene with an explosive performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Known for her rebellious public persona, Joplin roared and wailed her way through uninhibited, soulful performances. Her time at the top, however, was brief. She recorded three hit albums and performed at Woodstock, but in October 1970, just three years after she became a star, she died at the age of 27 of a drug overdose. The album she was recording at the time of her death, Pearl, went on to cement her reputation as one of the greatest rock singers of all time. “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, became a number one hit.

______________September 25th 2014 ____________

City Manager Position Announcement
Posted Date:
Junction City, Kansas (25,000)
City Manager 
Junction City, located in second fastest-growing U.S. micropolitan region, seeks City Manager to contribute to economic growth, consistent with its values of self-sufficiency and community diversity.   Prospective candidates will find exceptional public schools and quality of life; thriving economy with an unemployment rate below national average; nearby U.S. Army installation of Fort Riley and Kansas State University; and many destination parks, including Milford Lake, the largest man-made lake in Kansas. 

 Council/Manager government since 1946; seven managers in past 30 years. Position has responsibilities for hiring/termination of 190 employees, $48 million budget, management of all services, purchasing, policy research and recommendations.   Base salary of last City Manager was $110,000.  Letter with resume, salary history in single e-file, in confidence to recruitment advisor:  Preference to resumes received before October 13.  Finalists subject to disclosure.  Qualifications in recruitment profile.

Retired Shawnee Mission East teacher Charles Black convicted of pushing wife off a cliff


A retired Shawnee Mission East teacher was convicted Monday of bashing his wife on the head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff because of a dispute over an affair and a $4 million inheritance.

The couple, Charles and Lisa Black, had retired to the Maine coastal community of Camden. But they argued over an affair Charles Black had with an Arizona woman and how he spent money from the inheritance sfrom her father.

Lisa Black taught at Black Bob Elementary in Olathe and received a stack of elite awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship. She was inducted in the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2002 in a grand ceremony, where the Olathe mayor proclaimed the day as “Lisa Crooks Appreciation Day.”

Prosecutors said the dispute culminated when Charles Black, 71, hit his wife on the head with a rock before pushing her off 800-foot Maiden Cliff in April 2011. Read More:

US Army to Deploy Hundreds of Fort Riley Soldiers to Iraq |

by Richard Sisk

About 500 troops from the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division in Fort Riley, Kansas, will head to Iraq and other countries in the Middle East next month to help coordinate the campaign against the Islamic State, the Pentagon said Thursday.More than 200 hundred of the soldiers will be based in Iraq at U.S. Joint Operations Centers (JOCs) in Baghdad and the Kurdish capital of Irbil, and the rest of the contingent will operate out of

U.S. bases in the region under the U.S. Central Command, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said at a Pentagon briefing.

>snip<  Kirby said that the "Big Red One" troops "will have command and control of ongoing advise and assist efforts in support of Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, and continue to help us all degrade and destroy" the Islamic State terror group, which has taken over swaths of Iraq and Syria. Read More:

Outbreak of a Respiratory Illness Escalates Among Children and Mystifies Scientists

By   (NY Times)

An outbreak of respiratory illness first observed in the Midwest has spread to 38 states, sending children to hospitals and baffling scientists trying to understand its virulent resurgence.
As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed 226 cases of infection with enterovirus 68. But it is likely that many times that number have been stricken.

One case involved an adult, and no deaths have been linked to the infection.
“What the C.D.C. is reporting is clearly the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, the division director of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. The hospital was the first to alert the agency last month to an unusual increase in children with trouble breathing. Since then, Dr. Jackson has received calls from colleagues nationwide seeking guidance. Some report that the influx of children to hospitals is “almost outweighing the resources available,” she said. Read More:

______________September 24rd 2014 ____________

Mission City Administrator Tenders Resignation
Mayor Steve Schowengerdt has announced that Mission City Administrator Gerry Vernon tendered his resignation effective September 22, 2014 to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Vernon was appointed as Mission’s City Administrator in June 2013, after serving as City Administrator in both Junction City, Kansas and Smithville, Missouri.
Vernon thanked the Council for the opportunity to have been part of a vibrant community, particularly during the regeneration of Johnson Drive. Vernon commented, “The City of Mission is a great organization, and I am sure it will continue to move forward.”
Mayor Schowengerdt was complimentary of Vernon’s service to Mission. “Although I’ve only had the opportunity to work with him since April, he was clearly a dedicated professional, and I wish him success in his future endeavors,” said Schowengerdt. The Mayor and Council will begin discussions on the process for filling the City Administrator’s position. 

______________September 23rd 2014 ____________

Prosecutors see chilling result from Kansas court ruling

By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star

While being escorted from a Johnson County courtroom in 1996, Patrick Lynn — convicted of rape for the third time in a third state — shouted, “You ain’t seen the last of me.”

A ruling late Friday afternoon by the Kansas Supreme Court could make that return to court a reality, not just for Lynn, but for more than 200 violent career criminals who could see their prison sentences cut dramatically.

Prosecutors across Kansas say it could have a potentially devastating effect on public safety.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe. “In all likelihood, it will benefit some really horribly dangerous inmates.” Read More:

Marijuana Tax Revenue May Top $3 Billion A Year With Legalization
The Huffington Post  | By Matt Ferner

Money may not grow on trees, but it apparently does grow on marijuana plants. If all 50 states legalized cannabis today, they'd be collectively raking in more than $3 billion a year in taxes.
That's according to NerdWallet, a personal finance site, which forecasts a total $3.1 billion annual windfall for state governments that legalize the popular plant.

California would gain the most from legalization. NerdWallet projects the Golden State would generate more than $519 million per year, which the website points out would almost fund the entire 2013 budget for California's Department of Parks and Recreation. New York would be second, with $248 million, NerdWallet said. Seven additional states would bring in $100 million or more from legalization, and 25 others would stand to make at least $20 million per year.

>snip<  Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated more than $8 billion in annual savings in law enforcement costs if marijuana were legalized. Read More:

______________September 19th 2014 ____________

Johnson Drive Construction Update
September 19, 2014

Traffic Control:
The lanes of traffic will soon be rerouted to the center two lanes to allow for the completion of the curb work on the south side. The final section of the curb work left to be completed is pictured here.

Schedule: The overall project is still on track for its November completion date.

Street lights: 
Street lights have now been removed on both sides of the street. The project schedule anticipated a period where the corridor would be without streetlights due to the logistics of the work. The Police Department staff are aware of this, and will be providing focused patrol during this time.

Johnson Drive Parking Task Force:
The parking task force met September 9. The next parking task force meeting will be Tuesday, September 23. The Task Force meeting agendas and minutes are listed on the City’s website.

Mission:Forward Update Breakfast:
Come in person to hear about the latest City activities. 
Friday, October 17 at 7:30 a.m. 
A continental breakfast will be served.
RSVP: or 913-676-8355.

Safety: Please remember that traffic control exists to ensure the safety of the construction workers, pedestrians, and motorists. Please drive safely.

John Belger
City of Mission
Public Works Director

Iran's 'Happy' dancers sentenced to 91 lashes, jail

Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy have been sentenced to up to one year in prison and 91 lashes, their lawyer says.

The sentences were suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison unless they reoffend, he adds.

The video (4:43) shows three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran.

In six months, it has been viewed by over one million people on YouTube. Read More:

______________September 18th 2014 ____________

Kansas Supreme Court removes Democrat from ballot.

The court’s decision now removes an obstacle from self-funding independent Greg Orman’s path, making Roberts's reelection race far more complicated and potentially upending the battle for the Senate. Brusied from a bitter GOP primary, polling has shown Roberts was vulnerable in a matchup, but still competitive. But with Taylor out of the race, polling has shown Orman surging ahead of Roberts. 




Year Service Began

Next Retention Election

Appointing Governor

Law School

Lawton R. Nuss (Chief Justice)

Salina, Kansas



Bill Graves

University of Kansas School of Law

Marla J. Luckert

Goodland, Kansas



Bill Graves

Washburn University School of Law

Carol A. Beier

Kansas City, Kansas



Kathleen Sebelius

University of Kansas School of Law

Eric S. Rosen

Topeka, Kansas



Kathleen Sebelius

Washburn University School of Law

Lee A. Johnson

Caldwell, Kansas



Kathleen Sebelius

Washburn University School of Law

Dan Biles

El Dorado, Kansas



Kathleen Sebelius

Washburn University School of Law

Caleb Stegall

Topeka, Kansas



Sam Brownback

University of Kansas School of Law

______________September 15th 2014 ____________

U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa

President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, according to senior administration officials. Read More:

UN evacuates all troops from Golan as Syria fighting worsens

Peacekeepers cross into Israel to get away from border-area battles between rebel groups and regime forces in what UN calls ‘deteriorating situation’

By Adiv Sterman, Times of Israel staff and AFP September 15, 2014

The Syrian armed groups posed “a direct threat to the safety and security” of the troops from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
“All the UN personnel in these positions have thus been relocated to the Alpha side,” said Dujarric, referring to the Israeli side.

The UN spokesperson said that the situation on the Syrian side of the Golan “has deteriorated severely over the last several days” and that “armed groups have made advances in the area of UNDOF positions.”

A source with the UN said soldiers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force evacuated from Camp Faouar — their main headquarters in Syria — into Israel, out of concern for their safety, CNN reported.

The withdrawal came as rebels reportedly gained control of almost the entire Syrian border with Israel Read More:

______________September 15th 2014 ____________

The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863
(A Transcription)
By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

(But this wasn't the first or even second such attempt)

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

______________September 14th 2014 ____________

By Stanley blow III Contributing Writer Press-Republican

As life in Plattsburgh begins its slow march back to normal, battles elsewhere are taking place. One in particular has also ended in victory and will forever be remembered as the subject of an integral piece of American culture.

Today, American soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore are celebrating their own crucial triumph over invading British forces.

Fort McHenry has been subjected to a 25-hour bombardment from a nearby British ship. The fighting went through the night.

By the dawn’s early light, the American flag flying over the fort was battered but still there. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and poet, is inspired by the sight and immediately begins writing a stirring poem whose words will become lyrics to a significant song in American culture.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” will be adopted as the national anthem in 1931. And Key’s enduring poem celebrates its bicentennial this year, as does the Battle of Plattsburgh.

The Francis Scott Key home still stands on “M” Street (Georgetown) Washington D.C. at the north end of Key Bridge.  Key Bridge connects D.C. to Virginia. 

______________September 13th 2014 ____________

Mission Kansas Police Department conducted an open house today. 

 (Click on image to enlarge)

Police Academy volunteers and Mission police officers conducted tours of the interior and equiptment of the police department at Mission’s city hall

As interesting as the tours, demonstrations of police equipment and the hot dogs, chips and cold drinks were, the Bounce house was the number one attraction for the little ones. 

______________September 12th 2014 ____________


Scottish independence?

“Some 4,285,323 people have now registered to vote in Scotland's independence referendum on Sept. 18, making it the largest ever vote in Scotland, according to Scotland's electoral board. Scotland has a population of around 5.3 million, with approximately 4.4 million people aged over 16, and so able to vote in the referendum. That's not far off a 100% turnout for eligible voters.” Bankers have begun to worry that the potential exit of Scotland could trigger Britain’s departure from the EU. [USA Today]

______________September 11th 2014 ____________

Mission’s Johnson Drive parking task force closing in on recommendations; two-hour limit likely. 

(Posted by Dan Blom

“A Mission task force that has been grappling with the question of how downtown parking will be regulated after the Johnson Drive rebuild is likely to wrap up its initial work this month with eight recommendations for the city council. Among those draft proposals is one that would restrict parking to two hours along the street from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.”

>snip< Johnson Drive has about 210 parking spaces in the Nall to Lamar construction zone. The task force also wants to encourage use of other city lots that lie south of Johnson Drive. A total of 56 spaces are on city-owned property near Outlook, but the lots need some improvements. The city also has a long-term lease (until 2018) at the lot across from Sylvester Powell Community Center and a short-term lease (end of the year) on another lot on Beverly. Read More:

______________September 10th 2014 ____________

(Kind of Interesting) Secret compartments on airliners? 

Governor Sam Brownback orders flags to be flown at half-staff

in recognition of Patriot Day

Topeka – In accordance with Executive Order 10-12, Governor Sam Brownback today ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from sun-up to sundown on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 in observance of Patriot Day.

By a joint resolution approved Dec. 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), Congress designated Sept. 11 of each year as Patriot Day, and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, requested the observance of Sept. 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.

“On Sept. 11, we honor the memories of the men, women and children who perished that day,” said Governor Brownback. “We remember their families and friends. And we remember the courage of our first responders who rushed forward in the face of extreme danger to rescue those who needed help.  I urge all Kansans to take a moment today to pray for those we lost, their families and friends and to remember the bravery of first responders across the nation.”

Patriot Day is an annual observance to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

______________September 9th 2014 ____________

Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission

Mission’s long time Mayor and candidate for the Johnson County Commission’s 1st District Laura McConwell has been appointed by Governor Sam Brownback to the Racing and Gaming Commission.  

“The KRGC’s primary mission is to ensure that gambling at facilities with state owned casino games and pari-mutuel racetrack gambling is conducted with integrity. As a regulatory agency, our chief mission is to seek compliance. As a criminal justice agency, our charge is to enforce the law. We take these responsibilities seriously, and we require our licensees do as well.”

______________September 8th 2014 ____________

On 9/11, F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Was Prepared to Take Down United Flight 93

Parade (Magazine)

In September 2001, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was a 26-year-old rookie with the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. For the daughter of a combat ­pilot who’d served in Vietnam, it was a dream come true. But in one of the lesser-known stories of the 9/11 attacks, Penney found herself called upon that day to do something she had never anticipated: Stop a hijacked commercial airliner with 40 passengers and crew onboard. Now a mother of two and an executive at Lockheed Martin, Maj. Penney, 39, spoke with Parade about her experience.

PARADE: Tell us about the morning of 9/11.

We had a skeleton crew that Tuesday. It was very quiet. We were in the middle of a meeting when Dave “Chunks” Callaghan, who ran the operations desk, stuck his head in and told us, “Somebody just flew into the World Trade Center.” We looked outside; it was a crystal blue day. We wondered how anyone could mess up their instrument approach that badly. It wasn’t until he opened the door again and said a second plane had crashed into the second tower that we knew it was on purpose.

>snip< What was the plan?
Sass said, “I’ll take the cockpit”—meaning he would ram the airliner. I knew I’d take the tail. If you take the tail off an airplane, it can’t fly.
Did you ever get a direct order to bring down the plane?

Our duty was clear—to protect and defend. I don’t remember ­being told, “Go take down that airliner.” All I remember is ­knowing for sure that’s what we had to do. It wasn’t until later that day that we received “free-fire” orders, meaning we could fire upon [anything] that we considered a threat.
Read the rest:

______________September 5th 2014 ____________

Obama Won't Say If Deportation Changes Will Be Pushed Until After Election

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama skirted a question on Friday over whether he will push back changes to deportation policy until after the midterm elections, instead promising he will consider it "fairly soon."

Facing pleas from Senate Democrats, in particular, to hold off on making major changes to immigration policy, Obama and the White House have been increasingly vague about a timeframe for the executive action initially promised by the end of the summer.

Obama told reporters in Wales that he has "been pretty busy" this week dealing with foreign policy issues, but that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder have begun to provide him with recommendations for how to change immigration policy without Congress. The president said he'll likely read through some of those proposals on his flight back to the U.S.

"I'll be making an announcement soon," Obama said.
He did give some hints as to what the executive action could entail, including a way to make undocumented immigrants "legal." Advocates argue the administration could create a program to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary relief from deportation that allowed them to work legally.

"In the absence of congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure that we're putting more resources on the border, that we're upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration and give people some path so that they can start paying taxes and pay a fine and learn English and be able to not look over their shoulder but be legal, since they've been living here for quite some time," Obama said. Read More: Huffington Post

______________September 4th 2014 ____________

Sadie Robertson

Sadie Robertson (born June 17, 1997[1]) is a reality television star on the A&E show Duck Dynasty. She is the granddaughter of Phil Robertson, founder of Duck Commander. Her parents are Korie Howard Robertson and Willie Robertson, the company's current CEO. She is the younger sister of John Luke Robertson.

Talk about a coup for Dancing with the stars; red necks, semi-star struck & just the curious will be tuned in for at least the first show later this month on ABC.  Keep an eye out for Willie in the audience, I’m not sure he’s ever seen ‘Dancing’, some of it is “extraordinary”. 

Sadie Robertson is well known for her dimples and engaging smile, but there is more to the 17-year-old charmer and star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” than that. A high school athlete and motivational speaker, Sadie spends her summers on mission trips and working at a Christian youth camp spreading her message to peers about being confident in who you are and learning to “live original.”

WICHITA, Kan. — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach rained on the parade of those hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Pat Roberts with an announcement Thursday that the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, must remain on the November ballot.

Kobach said that while Taylor filed paperwork on Wednesday to drop out of the race, he did not declare that he is incapable of serving, which is required under Kansas law.

“The law is the law,” Kobach said at Thursday’s press conference, adding that he had “no choice” but to put Taylor back on the ballot.

Ironically, Democrats were excited by Taylor’s announcement which would Roberts up directly against Olathe businessman Greg Orman, an well-financed independent who many in the state think has a better chance than Taylor of unseating Roberts, who is seeking his fourth term.

Read More: (Thanks Roger)

Melissa Rivers:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.
My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.
Read More:

______________September 3rd 2014 ____________

Obama Weighing Delay in Action on Immigration


WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering a delay of his most controversial proposals to revamp immigration laws through executive action until after the midterm elections in November, mindful of the electoral peril for Democratic Senate candidates, according to allies of the administration who have knowledge of White House deliberations.

The president vowed in late June to act unilaterally, declaring a deep frustration with what he termed Republican obstruction in Congress. He pledged to act to reshape the immigration system soon after he received recommendations from senior advisers at the end of the summer.

But now Mr. Obama and his aides appear to be stepping back from a firm commitment to that timing, a move that could draw fire from immigration advocacy groups who are expecting decisive action soon. In remarks to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Obama himself hinted at the possibility of a delay. Read More:

Fourth advanced German submarine en route to Israel

Commander of Israel’s navy says Dolphin-Class INS Tanin ‘can operate at a level we have not seen until today’

By Times of Israel staff September 3, 2014

Israel will add a fourth advanced Dolphin-Class submarine to its naval fleet within the next few days, the commander of the Israel Navy said Tuesday.

The impending arrival of the INS Tanin will bolster a submarine fleet has seen dramatic increases in the number and duration of its operational at-sea deployments over the past several years

>snip< The submarines also conducted 54 special operations in 2013, a similarly sharp increase from previous years. The operations included deployments to the Lebanese coast and unspecified deployments lasting several weeks that took the submarines thousands of kilometers from Israel.
Israel is also scheduled to receive a fifth Dolphin-Class submarine from Germany,
the INS Rahav, later in 2014. Read More:

:Dolphin-Class submarine

______________September 2nd 2014 ____________

IDF bolsters forces near Syria crossing to counter fighting

Rebels and regime forces locked in bloody struggle for strategic Quneitra area that has seen some spillover into Israel

By Times of Israel staff September 2, 2014 Click Here:

Fierce fighting between Syrian rebel and government forces over the strategic Quneitra crossing on the Golan Heights has compelled Israel to up its readiness in the area

Forces loyal to the Assad regime have been fighting over the past day to retake the border area from rebels who captured it Wednesday, while rebel forces, including from the al-Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, have been streaming to the area in a bid to hold the spot.

The IDF’s top brass was meeting Tuesday morning to assess the escalating situation, while the army’s Northern Command has deployed infantry forces in armored personnel carriers to the border area.

On Monday morning, in the wake of the latest in a series of mortar shell explosions inside Israeli territory, the IDF declared the area near the Quneitra crossing a closed military zone Read More:

____________September 1st 2014 ____________

Alarm raised on long-term care insurance fees

By STEVE ROSE - Special to The Star

My friend from Prairie Village just received a harrowing letter from the insurance company that covers his long-term care policy.
The key paragraph reads: “I am sending you this letter to inform you that we are implementing a 53.6 percent increase on your long-term care insurance policy, which was issued in Kansas.”

This letter explains this increase applies to everyone in Kansas who has long-term care coverage with this company. It had nothing to do with my friend’s age, health status or claims history.

It went on to say this, which is laughable: “Please note that a larger increase was justified and could have been requested.”

So my friend’s premium will jump from about $3,200 annually to almost $5,000 annually

Read the Rest

______________August 31st 2014 ____________

New challenge for Tax forms

The federal agency that had trouble launching a health insurance website last fall has a massive new project. Any glitches on this one could delay tax refunds for many Americans.
Because of complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes, the Department of Health and Human Services must send out millions of new tax forms next year. They're like W-2s for people getting health insurance tax credits under President Barack Obama's law.
The forms are called 1095-As, and list who in each household has health coverage, and how much the government paid each month to subsidize those insurance premiums. Nearly 5 million people have gotten subsidies through
If the forms are delayed past their Jan. 31 deadline, some people may have to wait to file tax returns — and collect their refunds.

______________Jack Cashill (FYI) ____________

How the Left Will Repay the Catholic Church on Immigration

Jack CashillAmerican

>snip< “Bishop,” I blurted out, “what do you say to those Catholics troubled by your alliance with these left leaning groups given their historic affection for abortion rights?”

The Bishop looked at me as if I had just peed on his shoe. “What are you talking about?” he scoffed. As respectful as I try to be to my Catholic clergy, I did not appreciate the public dissing. “Let me tell you what I mean,” I answered and elaborated in more detail what I had already saidRead More

______________August 28th 2014 ____________

Should cities like Mission consider abandoning the non-partisan spring elections?  Are they better for the incumbents?  Yes!  Unless there is an issue or series of issues such as the Driveway Tax or what one might see as uncontrolled spending.

Our last two city elections (2012 & 14) demonstrated that percieved slights by elected persons could cause a change in their status, such as being “former” council members! 

Would more voters be electing city council & mayors in cities like Mission if the vote were in November where county, state & national issues were on the ballot?  Of course!  Will it ever happen?  No.  The spring elections in fact favor the incumbents. 

Primary drew about 20 percent of Kansas voters

The Associated Press


Kansas officials say about 20 percent of the state's 1.74 million registered voters participated in primary elections this month.
The State Board of Canvassers said Wednesday that nearly 351,000 votes were cast in the Aug. 5 primaries.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach had predicted 22 percent turnout.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports ( ) it was the lowest turnout for a Kansas primary election since only 18 percent of voters went to the polls in 2006.

Logan County in western Kansas had a 40 percent turnout, the highest in the state. The lowest turnout, less than 12 percent, was in Labette County in southeast Kansas.

IKEA Operational Plan - Merriam Police Department

IKEA will open Wednesday, September 10th. The store will open its doors at 9:00 AM. The store closes at 9:00 PM. Starting Thursday, September 11th, the store hours will be from 10:00 AM until 9:00 PM seven days a week for shopping, however the store cafeteria will open at 9:30 AM.

The Merriam Police Department plans on providing traffic control starting on September 10th, through September 15th, September 19th, 20th, 21st , and September 26th, 27th, and 28th. This operational period time will start at 8:00 AM on September 9th. The operational period will end on September, 28th, 2014 at 10:00 PM. This operational plan cangrow or shrink as needed.

Read PD's Plan - Street/Parking Map

Bandidos Motorcycle Club members rolling into Grain Valley

Motorcycles are rolling into Grain Valley on Thursday under the watchful eye of law enforcement.

The bikers are part of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, a group called an outlaw motorcycle gang by the FBI.

Jeremiah Britt, president of the local Bandidos chapter, said he was well aware of the law enforcement presence in Grain Valley. “They have a job to do,” he said. But, he added, “I think their perception is off.”

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 is expected for the Labor Day weekend event. It is being held on property adjacent to the Valley Speedway in Grain Valley.

The Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision on Wednesday put out a bulletin advising that Bandidos members were expected to arrive in Grain Valley from at least 18 states.

“Local law enforcement is requesting assistance from Probation and Parole Officers across the US to restrict offender travel during this time period,” the commission said.

Britt, on the other hand, touts the economic impact of the holiday event, saying that if 2,000 members spend about $100, “that’s $200,000 for the businesses around here.”

______________August 25th 2014 ____________


By Thomas on August 25, 2014

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory in California in which the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the Golden State’s 10-day waiting period violates the Second

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory in California in which the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the Golden State’s 10-day waiting period violates the Second Amendment “as applied to those individuals who successfully pass” the state’s background check prior to the ten days, and who are in lawful possession of an additional firearm.

The ruling, by Senior Judge Anthony W. Ishii, a Bill Clinton appointee, also notes that the 10-day waiting period violates the Second Amendment for those individuals who pass the background check and who possess a valid CCW license. Joining SAF in the case was the Calguns Foundation and individual plaintiffs Brandon Combs and Jeff Silvester, for whom the case is named.
“This ruling clearly addressed the issue we put before the court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We are naturally delighted with the outcome.”

“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” Silvester concurred. “I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

College Students Are Making A Nail Polish That Changes Color When Exposed To Date Rape Drugs

A nail polish could soon save your life.

Alison Vingiano BuzzFeed Staff

Students in the Materials Science & Engineering department at North Carolina State University have come together to invent a nail polish that will change color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs, including Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB.

The team — Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankesh Madan, and Tasso Von Windheim — described their product on their Facebook page, saying that a woman will have to stick her finger in her drink and stir:

While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection. Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.

For our first product, we are developing a nail polish that changes color when it comes into contact with date-rape drugs. With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger. If her nail polish changes color, she’ll know that something is wrong.

Read More

Sarah Palin Takes The Ice Bucket Challenge

______________August 24th 2014 ____________


Leavenworth County Republican Party



Special Announcement
August 24, 2014

 Rarely will we send out a job announcement, but this is a special job, serving disabled veterans.  Which is something that always remains high on our priority list.  Many of you heard David Brader at the July Town Hall speak to disabled veterans issues and initiatives that will be presented to our legislature this upcoming term.  David is the Kansas Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Adjutant.  He has asked that we help the DAV find a replacement to fill the Department Service Officer (DSO) at the Leavenworth VA Hospital.  The DSO works daily with veterans to help them with claims and other issues associated with their care within the VA system.  It is not a government job, the DSO works directly for the DAV as a veterans advocate.

The DAV will be interviewing for the job this coming Tuesday, 26 August 2014, at the DAV DSO office on the first floor of the VA hospital in Leavenworth.  Candidates must be a disabled veteran.  You do not have to be a member of the DAV prior to being hired, but must join once you have been hired.  Training will be provided.  A reasonable understanding of the military and the VA system will be necessary, but a passionate desire to help disabled veterans is a must.

______________August 22nd 2014 ____________

Mission agrees to apply for Turkey Creek Trail design grant on split council vote
Posted by Dan Blom

Mission will apply for a grant to fund design work on the city’s section of Turkey Creek Trail that would run across the northwest corner of the city. It appears likely that the Mission section of the trail will be a gap in the 10-mile corridor that will run from south Merriam through Overland Park and then through Kansas City, Kan., into Kansas City, Mo. for some years to come.

>snip< The city council this week approved applying for a much smaller design grant of $130,000 with a city match of 30 percent or $39,000. If the application is successful, that would bring $91,000 in federal money to the project. Mission Community Development Director Martin Rivarola told the council that the design work, including geotechnical and survey work, would result in a more accurate construction estimate and a route for the trail. Right now, Rivarola said, “we pretty much have a line on a map.” In 2017 dollars, the trail could cost up to $2 million, he said, but those “are rough numbers because it hasn’t been designed yet.” 

The council approved the application with two councilors, Amy Miller and Arcie Rothrock, in opposition. The vote followed a lengthy discussion over the trail as an amenity. Miller said she had received an email from a resident saying the trail was a lifestyle amenity. Not everybody in the city has that lifestyle to ride their bike along a trail, she said. “I can’t justify spending money on a lifestyle amenity that every resident and business owner can’t benefit from.” Miller said she preferred to spend the money on upgrading the city’s current parks. Read the Rest: 

______________August 21st 2014 ____________

Mission Gateway developer wins injunction against Syracuse University in disputed project

Posted by Dan Blom 

Cameron Group, the developer of the Mission Gateway project has won an injunction against Syracuse University preventing the university from terminating an agreement that called for Cameron to build a $20 million commercial building that included a bookstore and fitness center.
Tom Valenti of Cameron said the court’s decision was 100 percent in Cameron’s favor. “I believe this vindicates our position,” he said in an email. “We perform and we will perform in Mission.”
The university announced in June that it had terminated its agreement with Cameron, based in East Syracuse, NY, citing construction delays and failure to secure construction financing on the developer’s part. The judge’s order stops the university from terminating the lease with Cameron or taking any actions that would end bond and tax agreements the developer had through the city.

ScriptPro Achieves HITRUST Certification

MISSION, Kan., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- ScriptPro has been certified by the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) under its Common Security Framework (CSF). According to Russ Hailey, ScriptPro's Enterprise Security and Privacy Manager, "We appreciate this rigorous, top-to-bottom audit. Security-minded customers depend on the level of commitment that this certification signifies. Our business partners need to know we are compliant."

Visa makes it harder for crooks to buy gas with your plastic

The Washington Post

Gas stations are among the easiest places for crooks to use stolen credit cards. Pumps are usually unattended, so all the thieves have to do is swipe your plastic to fill up their tanks.

Now Visa is rolling out software to detect whether it’s you or someone pretending to be you filling up on fuel. Roughly 25,000 gas stations have already signed on, with Chevron, an early test case, reporting a 23 percent drop in fraud at the pump.

So how does it work?

NHTSA launches online search tool on auto recalls

By JERRY HIRSCH Los Angeles Times

Car owners and buyers will be able to look up whether a vehicle has been recalled and fixed under a new federal program launched Wednesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed an online search tool where drivers can find out if a specific car has been recalled and why. The car companies will have to provide at least 15 years of data for the tool, at, and update their information every seven days.

______________August 20th 2014 ____________

Searching for answers in former Mission Police Chief John Simmons’ departure

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014

Last December, the city of Mission and its police chief, John Simmons, “mutually agreed” that he would quit his $102,444-a-year job.

City officials also decided to give Simmons a little something extra: $34,000 to help “ease his financial difficulties while he obtains replacement employment,” according to an employment separation agreement obtained by The Pitch through an open-records request.

That agreement sheds new light on the departure of Simmons, who appeared to be having a rocky second year as chief of what some area residents have described as one of the metropolitan region’s most aggressive police forces.

Three weeks before Simmons left the department, the city was slapped with a $3.5 million excessive-force lawsuit that named the chief and two police officers. In November 2013, Christina Engle filed the lawsuit after Mission officers restrained her and performed a cavity search on her in the parking lot of the U.S. Post Office at 6029 Broadmoor, a busy street near a Target store. From a van just a few feet away, Engle’s two children watched as their mother was detained and searched.

Police accused Engle of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. A jury later found her not guilty.

Also last year, in June, Simmons was criticized after a local media outlet reported that Mission police were writing more tickets per capita than any other city in the metro. On average, the department issued 16,000 tickets each year for three years. That’s more tickets annually than the city’s population of 9,500 people.

Several months before the Mission ticket story, Simmons also advocated for an ordinance that would prohibit drivers from talking on cellphones. The proposed ordinance stirred public discontent and was quietly dropped.

Simmons did not respond to a phone call last week asking for an interview.

Mission City Manager Gerry Vernon told The Pitch that he couldn’t discuss the separation agreement in detail, but he was adamant that Simmons wasn’t fired.

In the separation agreement, the $34,000 payment to Simmons is classified as not “an implication or indication of any wrongdoing or liability on the part of the city.” The Pitch asked Vernon if the money was a reward for a job well done.

Vernon replied that the agreement “doesn’t say that, so not necessarily.” He added: “It is part of the separation and a variety of things. Everyone wishes well for the chief.”

When asked if there was parting cake and punch for the chief, Vernon acknowledged, “No, I wouldn’t say that.”

Besides the $34,000 bonus, Simmons received $12,500 for accrued and unused vacation and sick leave.

In order to receive the bonus, Simmons promised to waive his right to file a grievance, and he agreed never to seek re-employment with the city. He also promised to pay the city $20,000 if he disclosed the terms or the existence of the agreement to anyone other than his attorney, his spouse and his income-tax preparer. That obligation is voided if the city releases the agreement.

The city agreed to furnish to future employers only Simmons’ “length of service, number of employees supervised and size of department budget managed.”

In March, the city and Simmons amended their agreement with an addendum that reclassifies the chief’s departure from resignation to voluntary retirement. The addendum explains that the “lack of specificity in the agreement” had resulted in confusion or misunderstandings regarding the circumstances of Simmons’ departure.

Vernon said allowing Simmons, 54, to retire four months after he resigned gave Simmons more options. Vernon wouldn’t elaborate on those options.

“It provided him with some other options by being retired,” Vernon said. “Again, the intent of the city is not to harm him. It made sense to let him retire from the city. I think there are some other opportunities for him to participate in law-enforcement functions as a retiree.”

In the addendum, Simmons agrees that the city would not be responsible for any impact that the new retirement designation might have on his eligibility to collect unemployment compensation. And the city has promised not to oppose any claim for unemployment.

The addendum also spells out that the city “will not comment on the reasons for Simmons’ separation of employment other than to state … that it is City of Mission practice not to release such information.”

Vernon said the Mission City Council had been advised of the separation agreement and addendum in closed meetings and did not raise any concerns. There was no vote.

Simmons, who had previously served as police chief in Fairway and Lansing, spent 22 years in the U.S. Army and retired in 2000 as provost marshal at Fort Leavenworth.

In February, Prairie Village Post reported that Simmons had taken a job as law—enforcement and military-sales director at CZ-USA, a firearms manufacturer in Kansas City, Kansas.

In July, the city settled Engle’s lawsuit. The city has refused to disclose the terms of the settlement.

Vernon told The Pitch that the city has moved on.

“You can read what you want into what you want,” he said. “We are doing well. He is doing well.”

The Pitch

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If you were alive and of an age where you understood what was going on and lived in the Kansas City area you might remember the Overland Park bank robbery on January 18th 1968 where one police officer was killed and another wounded. I was there hunkered down about 50 yards from the apartment building with officers trying to find targets in the building. 

If you watched WDAF channel 4 that evening you likely saw some of my footage from Overland Park.  I was a news photographer for WDAF TV News then. 

My memories after all these years are sketchy at best, one thing I recall is another TV news photographer Ted Rice opening the trunk of his car and handing his AR-15 to an officer. 

Things were different then, the media was not the enemy to law enforcement and fire departments, if not welcomed then tolerated.  

Back then the TV cameras (silent) were wind up hand held with 3 minutes of film.  If we were using color film it had to be processed at Calvin’s on Truman Road, at night we shot black & white that was processed in the basement into a negative which the engineers converted to positive images for broadcast.

It was a different time.

Bill Nichols

(Thanks Roger for the heads up on Ed's story)

Below are the remembrances of a Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Detective who was there.

From the Johnson County Gazette


By Ed Hayes,
Retired JCSD Detective

This  is  the  story  of  the  Overland Park Bank robbery of 1968 by Ed Hayes a fourth generation Law Enforcement Officer, retired Captain of the Johnson County  Kansas  Sheriff's  Office  who was there:

Several  articles  in  the  local  news have  mentioned  the  Overland  Park Bank  Robbery  which  happened  in January,  1968,  causing  me  to  set  the record straight.
Some  facts  in  recent  articles were  in  error  and  sparse  on  accurate information so I now tell it like it was from personal experience. At the time I was a young detective with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.

Oscar  Smith,  is  a  veteran  reporter with  the Kansas City  Star working the crime scene beat. "Smitty" was the most trusted area reporter by us LEO’s (law enforcement officers) who knew him.  He  is  sitting  near  and  above  the Overland  Park  State  Bank  on  a  side street  monitoring  his  police  scanner covering the Kansas City area. He sees a car he will later know is occupied by Henry Floyd Brown and Andrew  Evan  Gipson  sitting  on  the street  near  the  bank.  Concentrating on his work at hand, he is unaware of the  supposed  members  of  the  radical Weatherman  Underground  group who  rob  banks  to  finance  their  antiAmerican  activities  are  in  the  car.
Brown and Gipson are casing the bank that will be robbed the next day.
Chet  Sundbye,  an  Overland  Park motorcycle  patrolman,  has  been alerted as we all are that a bomb has
exploded  behind  the  Overland  Park Police  Department  under  the  radio tower.  On  alert  when  another  call  comes out,  the  Metcalf  State  Bank  has  just been  robbed,  a  car  description  also goes out. Shortly after that broadcast Sundbye  sees  the  car  and  follows  it,  gunshots ring out and Sundbye is hit and his motorcycle goes down. He radios "officer down." Everyone is now on high alert and looking for that car,  different  than  the  one  witnessed by Smitty the previous day.

After  shooting  Sundbye,  the  two robbers carjack a vehicle a few blocks away  and  we  are  now  looking  for  a stolen convertible owned by a Sheriff's reserve  Deputy  taken  from  his  wife and child. The  vehicle  is  found  parked  at  an apartment complex in the 7700 block of West 85th Street in Overland Park.

Officers  from  nearly  every  Johnson Countypolice department as well as the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and one Highway Patrolman converge on the apartments.  After a search of the apartments, an all clear is announced. Uniform Patrolman Bill Loveless and I get in his marked patrol car to take me to my car blocks away from the scene. As Loveless puts the car in gear to back away, we get an alert that one of the suspects may still  be  in  the  apartment  building  so we  get  out  and  with  others  present, we surround the building. Chief John
Kenyan  estimated  150  officers  were involved.  We don't  know,  if  he  was even there, but we didn't see that many officers,  nor  did  others  I  have  talked to since.

At  this  point  shooting  from  the apartment breaks out. Officers who are trying  to  enter  the  suspect  apartment are shot at through the door. Six officers are on the west side of the apartment, including myself, when gunfire breaks out. The window above us shatters as multiple shots ring out; no one is hit.

We are now in a gun battle and some of us are positioned in the open yard. Someone’s  yells  "bring  us  a  car  for cover”. I run to the marked Sheriff’s car that Loveless and I just got out of.  As I get to the drivers door of the car I see  that  Highway  Patrol  Sergeant Eldon Miller, a friend has beat me to it.

Miller  has  been  shot  in  forehead through  the  windshield  and  is  lying back in the seat. I move around to the passenger  side  of  the  car  and  report "officer  shot"  over  that  car’s  radio. A  Leawood  Patrol  Officer  and  I  roll the car back out of the line of fire, so Miller can be moved although there’s no  question  of  his  condition,  he  will be transported to the hospital but sadly he’s gone.

Reports  will  say  Sgt.  Miller was  knocked  into  the  back  seat  of that  car,  although  he  was  not.

The firefight  continues  as  Harley  Sparks an  investigator  for  the  Johnson County  District  Attorney’s  Office and  Patrolman  David  Slade  evacuate a  lady  and  her  two-month-old  child from the apartment across the hallway through a window on the east side of the  building.  Bullets  penetrate  that apartment, luckily no one is hit.

The  gunfight  continues  as  I  and others  pound  the  apartment  with gunfire,  the  occupant  continues
shooting back. Slade is now standing behind me at the corner of an adjacent building  as  I  empty  my  shotgun  into the sliding glass door of the apartment, Slade hands me ammunition as I empty the weapon several more times. At that point the sliding glass door opens and a can rolls out. Someone yells "bomb" and  everyone  takes  cover,  the  "nine sticks of dynamite" do not explode.

The shooting continues for a short time and then stops as the apartment is  entered  by  Sparks  and  Det.  Jack Laptad of the Sheriff's Office. Henry Floyd  Brown  is  found  lying  on  the floor  with  several  wounds.  He  is  the only  occupant  of  the  apartment  and the  shooting  is  over  with  one  officer killed.  No  one  other  than  Brown  is injured,  he  survives.  Guns, dynamite and  money  stolen  in  the  robbery  are recovered.

Henry  Floyd  Brown  is  the  only suspect arrested at the apartment, three others  including  accomplice  Andrew Evan  Gipson  are  arrested  within days.  All  are  convicted  of  crimes and  do  their  time.  At  the  time,  the death penalty was still the law. Then District  Court  Judge  Herbert  Walton does  not  give that sentence, much to the disappointment to many officers in Johnson County.

______________August 19th 2014 ____________


IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

The deaths are “alarming. It’s hard to say whether that’s the location or the technology,” said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. “There needs to be some caution.”Read More:

______________August 17th 2014 ____________

Fast Food Companies Just Lost A Really Big Fight In California

Dave Jamieson Huffington Post

Delivering a blow to McDonald's and other fast-food chain owners, the California State Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would expand the rights of franchisees in their dealings with the brands under whose names they operate.

The measure, known as SB 610, would make it more difficult for major food and retail corporations to terminate the contracts of their franchisees. Backed by a group of vocal franchisees as well as a prominent labor union, the bill drew strong opposition from trade groups like the International Franchise Association and the California Chamber of Commerce.

The legislation passed the Democratic-controlled assembly by a vote of 41 to 27. It now heads to the state Senate, where an earlier version passed last year.

Under the bill, a brand like 7-Eleven or McDonald's could not revoke a franchise agreement without a "substantial and material breach" of that agreement. The bill would also clarify a franchisee's right to join an independent franchise association without fear of retaliation by the brand, and it would give franchisees more leeway in how they can sell their businesses.

Supporters of the proposal, including the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, contend that it would protect franchisees from being put out of business without good reason.

"When it really comes down to it, we're talking about small business owners who've had arbitrary interpretation used to pick at their operation and, in some instances, drive them out of business," Assembly Member Chris R. Holden, a

Democrat, said on the floor ahead of the vote. "It's not fair."
Other lawmakers argued that the measure would undermine brand quality by allowing sub-par franchisees to continue to operate.

"Underperforming operators will be able to get by with potentially substandard practices," said Assembly Member Travis Allen, a Republican. "It's all about quality control. ... This bill would potentially erode that."
In the runup to the vote, the bill drew support from an unusual alliance between franchisees and representatives of low-wage workers -- in particular, the Service Employees International Union, which has helped orchestrate the recent fast-food strikes in cities throughout the country. As the argument goes, better treatment of franchisees will lead to better treatment of the workers they employ.

Christopher Calhoun, spokesman for SEIU California, told HuffPost via email that the bill would "bring stability" to franchisees so they could "share these gains with their workers."

"Increasingly we are seeing franchisees and workers facing a similar challenge," Calhoun said. "[A] fundamental power imbalance enables multinational corporations to haul down billions at the expense of both workers and franchise owners."

The bill has been closely watched by major franchisers because of the way it could tilt the balance of power in their industries, especially if states beyond California move to adopt similar laws.

In a separate setback for the big fast-food companies, a top official with the National Labor Relations Board made a determination earlier this month that McDonald's could be considered a "joint employer" alongside a franchisee when it comes to labor law violations. Companies like McDonald's typically enjoy a legal insulation from the liabilities of their franchisees, even though they obviously exercise a good deal of control over how those businesses are run.

The decision by the NLRB's general counsel could make large franchisers partly accountable for the working conditions in all their stores, as well as help unions negotiate terms with fast-food companies that would make it easier for workers to unionize. (More than 80 percent of McDonald's stores are run by franchisees rather than the company.)

Robert Cresanti, head of government affairs for the International Franchise Association, told HuffPost that the NLRB determination and the California bill are part of an ongoing attack on companies that use the franchise model.
"The industry has got multiple fronts opened up against it," Cresanti said. "To us, it is a clear, concerted and orchestrated effort that goes right at the throat of our industry."

As for SEIU, he said, "They've taken the franchise model into their crosshairs."
But Jaspreet Dhillon, a 7-Eleven owner in California, said that the proposed legislation would give franchisees much-needed protections, while its practical impact wouldn't be onerous for the brands.

"In California now, if a company wants to get rid of a franchisee, they can do that. It's very easy, even if the franchisee hasn't done anything wrong," said Dhillon, who has been running his 7-Eleven for 16 years. "So this is very important. Right now, the franchisees don't have that protection."

Dhillon noted the story of a California McDonald's franchisee, Kathryn Slater-Carter, who told The Washington Post that her family ran into financial turmoil when the company declined to renew one of her franchises. She also said that when she complained to the company that discounted meals were eating into her profit margins, she was told, "Just pay your employees less."

Given such an experience, Dhillon said he was relieved to see labor groups like SEIU standing alongside the very franchisees who are often castigated over industry labor practices.

"I'm glad they finally woke up," Dhillon said of labor groups. "We want to take care of our workers. We want to be able to pay them more money. ... But for them to get the living wage they want, they have to make sure we're healthy, too."

______________August 15th 2014 ____________

Mission's City Administrator Report PDF Click Here

______________August 15th 2014 ____________

First National Guard Troops at Texas-Mexico Border HIDALGO, Texas


The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.

Several dozen soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry last month, Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force said Thursday.

Several guardsmen were seen Thursday afternoon manning an observation tower along the busy road leading to the Hidalgo International Bridge.

This first batch of soldiers was specifically trained to man such observation towers in the area belonging to local law enforcement agencies and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Walker said. They will serve as extra eyes on the border and report suspicious activity to authorities.

State officials have estimated the deployment, which they've called a "deter and refer" mission will cost $12 million per month. Read More:


Town muzzles resident in response to mounting complaints

By   /   August 15, 2014 

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Lenexa resident Tim Mahony says he feels like he has a target on his back, and public officials are taking aim.

Mahony didn’t expose a hive of public corruption or unearth an embarrassing foible by municipal leaders. No, he made the apparent mistake of contacting his local government too much. In response, Lenexa leaders told him to sit down, shut up and stop bothering them.

While matters came to a head earlier this month, Mahony’s adversarial relationship with the Lenexa city officials has been brewing for the past seven years. The issue is rooted in something fairly innocuous: Municipal code violation complaints.

Starting around 2007, Mahony began alerting the city’s code enforcement department to various issues he spotted at a nearby property in the Country Hill neighborhood. From unkempt grass to junked vehicles and noise violations, Mahony meticulously documented his complaints — including photos — when contacting Lenexa’s Community Standards Division.

>snip< “I think that no matter what the code complaint, he (Mahony) was never satisfied with the result,” Mayor Michael Boehm told Kansas Watchdog. “Staff is doing their job, the neighbors were complying with the code but (Mahony) was never happy with that.”

 Undeterred, Mahony decided to take matters directly to municipal leaders. That’s when it hit the fan.

In May 2013, officials called Mahony in for a meeting with Lenexa staff and law enforcement to discuss his numerous “frivolous, invalid or duplicate” complaints, according to a letter sent following the meeting.
Beccy Yocham, Lenexa director of community development, declined to discuss the matter with Kansas Watchdog.  Read Entire Story:


No Thanks: 8 Products Women Have Stopped Buying

With the financial collapse of 2008 behind us, and an economic recovery underway, buying trends for women have had their own kind of renaissance. Over the past five years, key fads have gone by the wayside (so long, diet foods) while other purchasing trends have taken center stage (hello, student loans!) “All put together, it looks like there’s a bit more empowerment and independence for women,” says Anita Gandhi, Vice President of Strategic Services at Experian Marketing Services, which provided the data.

1) Pantyhose of any kind
>snip< Sorry, Kate Middleton, not everyone is on board with your nude pantyhose trend. In the last five years, control-top pantyhose purchases have plummeted by 47%, regular pantyhose purchases have dropped 40%, and knee-high buying is down 59%. Women seem to be ditching hose in favor of tights– those are up 18% since 2009. Because newsflash: black tights look great with anything. Read More:

______________August 14th 2014 ____________

Johnson Drive Bridge will reopen to traffic at noon on Friday

After several months of construction and closures, motorists who traverse Johnson Drive in Merriam can finally breathe a sigh of relief, the detour is done. The City of Merriam is pleased to announce that the Johnson Drive Bridge over Turkey Creek will reopen to traffic by noon on Friday, August 15th Read More:


______________August 13th 2014 ____________

Gun stores in St. Louis area see a spike in sales
St. Louis Post/Dispatch

Gun sales have spiked at several metro area gun stores in the wake of rioting and looting in Ferguson and disturbances at a few stores in other locations.

Mid America Arms in South County reported that firearm sales were up by about 50 percent on Tuesday.

Customers are loading up on semi-automatic handguns and shotguns, said Al Rothweiler, one of the owners.

More women than usual were shopping for guns on Tuesday, the first day the store was open this week, he said.
“The things that have gone on (locally) have made people act,” Rothweiler said. He said he was glad that business was good, “but I don't like selling on fear."

At Bull's Eye on Manchester Road in St. Louis, sales were up “a little bit,” an employee said.

At Metro Shooting Supplies in Bridgeton sales are “through the roof,” said John Stephenson, a general manager.

He said the sales spike began on Sunday, the day after Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson.

“Sales have been absolutely amazing for three days,” he added.

______________August 12th 2014 ____________

The Sustainability Commission will meet in a worksession outside of their regular meeting time to work on the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan for 2015. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Randel at the City of Mission - 913-676-8368

Event Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

6200 Martway (Powell Community Center)
Mission KS 66202

______________August 11th 2014 ____________

Posted by Dan Blom  · August 11, 2014 1:57 pm (

"If you are trying to get to the main Shawnee Mission Post Office on Broadmoor in the next couple of weeks, don’t come at it from Martway.
A short distance of Broadmoor is closed on the north side of the post office to allow for water and sanitary sewer lines to be run under the street. The lines will serve the Welstone at Mission Crossing project which is now under construction to the west of Broadmoor and south of Martway." Read More

______________August 9th 2014 ____________

US Post Office
6029 Broadmoor St,
Mission, KS 66202

Broadmoor Closure

Broadmoor between Martway and 61st Street will be closed beginning Monday August 11th. Lund Ross will be connecting to water and sewer mains for the Welstone project. A detour route will be posted. This work is anticipated to take 2-3 weeks. Surrounding businesses have been notified of the closure. We will also be sending out a Notify JoCo alert.

Mission's City Administrator Weekly Report:

The City Administrator’s report is a news briefing provided on Fridays of each week to the City Council. It covers a range of topics from project updates to upcoming community events. A copy can be obtained at City Hall or by visiting: Mission Kansas.Org

Places to be... Items of Interest...  Local Business/Economic Development Corner…  Johnson Drive Project Construction Update… Shop:Mission Dollars Drawing… Johnson Drive Parking Task Force… Chip Seal Program… Employee Happenings… & Law Enforcement

______________August 8th 2014 ____________

Mission Gateway developer Tom Valenti wants to change his plans again

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014

It was almost a year ago that Tom Valenti traveled to Mission from New York to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking at the old Mission Mall site. 

Since then, flipping over a shovel of mud is about as much physical work as the Cameron Group developer has accomplished at the land he bought back in 2005.

Valenti was back in Mission this week. He didn't bring with him a construction team to start work a year after he said he would. Instead, be brought his usual travel companions: Excuses, promises and yet a different development plan for the nine-year-old dirt field he has left where Shawnee Mission Parkway passes over Roe Avenue. Read More from the Pitch

______________August 7th 201 ____________

Mission administrator warns that developer could be ‘basically starting over’ with Gateway incentives package

by: Dan Blom

>snip< A new Gateway plan, which could come back to the city as early as late September, will trigger a new development agreement and consequently a new financial plan that the developer will ask the city to support more than 18 months after the city voted for a package of financial incentives. New York developer Tom Valenti was in Mission Wednesday but did not stay to answer questions from the city council assembled for committee meetings in the evening. Some of the councilors were strongly critical when told that it is likely the Gateway development plan will need to start over.

>snip< “He better come up with a good plan,” Shepard said. “This is not the same council that was sitting around the table in January 2013.” Councilor Debbie Kring said, “My threshold for pain with him is completely out the window. He needs to show up here. I don’t want to wait seven more weeks.”
Agreeing with Shepard, Councilor Amy Miller said, “I think we have been completely upfront and fair with the conditions that we have stated.” She expressed concern that the developer can deliver on the project. “I think this is a project he can get done,” Kimmel said. “You will have to decide if it (the new plan) merits the city’s financial participation.” Read More:

______________August 5th 2014 ____________

Ed Eilert, Patricia Lightner advance in fight for Johnson County Commission chairman

By BRAD COOPER -The Kansas City Star

>snip<  In the race to replace Peterson in the County Commission’s 1st District, former Mission mayor Laura McConwell and Prairie Village mayor Ron Shaffer will square off in the general election.
Shaffer ran first in the five-person field, winning with 33 percent of the vote. McConwell finished second with 29 percent. Coming in third was Republican activist Rachel Sciolaro, who finished with 17 percent. Read More Here:

______________August 2nd 2014 ____________

Army Cutting 500 Majors Starting Next Week

About 500 Army majors, some of them now serving in Afghanistan, will begin receiving notices next week that they must leave the service as the Army cuts troop strength to meet budget cuts, the outgoing Army vice chief of staff said Friday.

"We don't want to do this," but the Army has no choice under the constraints of the Budget Control Act and the Congressional sequester process, said Gen. John F. Campbell.

Many of the 1,100 captains who were cut earlier this month were serving in Afghanistan and "the same thing probably will happen with some of these majors," said Campbell, who has been confirmed by the Senate to take command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Reductions in force are always difficult, Campbell said, but informing "the ones that are deployed is certainly the hardest." Read More Here:

______________August 1st 2014 ____________

Mission Kansas City Administrator’s Report

______________July 29th 2014 ____________

Obama mulls large-scale move on immigration
By ERICA WERNER Associated Press

Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn and Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report.
Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November's mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration.

>snip< For Obama, the political repercussions of broad executive action on immigration could be unpredictable, and extreme.

Republicans are warning he could provoke a constitutional crisis.
"It would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forgive, it would be a permanent stain on your presidency," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said on the Senate floor Monday, while urging language to block such executive action be made part of any legislation to address the border crisis
. Read More Here:

______________July 28th 2014 ____________

New Mission Family Aquatic Center swamping last year’s pool attendance numbers  

(Posted by Dan Blom  · July 28, 2014)

The new Mission Aquatic Center is off to a banner inaugural season. The pool complex was rebuilt after the season ended last year for the Mission Municipal Pool with construction being completed in time for the start of the 2014 season. (Read More)

______________July 27th 2014 ____________

Federal judge rules DC ban on gun carry rights unconstitutional
By  Published July 27, 2014

A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowing to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.

Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”

Click here to read the decision.

“We won,” Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News in a phone interview.  “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right."
Gura said he expects the District to appeal this decision but added, “We’ll be happy to keep the fight going.”

The decision leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights.
Judge Sculin extensively referenced the Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) to concluding “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”

The court ordered the city to now allow residents from the District and other states to carry weapon within its boundaries.

Judge Scullin wrote that the court “enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of [D.C. firearms laws] unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
The defendants are the city government and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.
This case has dragged in the courts for five years. Gura has twice asked the federal appeals court to force Judge Scullin to issue a decision. The five plaintiffs filed in 2009, and the case was argued twice, most recently in Oct. 2012.
George Lyon, a D.C. resident and registered gun owner is one of the plaintiffs in Palmer.

“I am gratified that after a long wait our right to protect ourselves and our families has been vindicated,” Lyon, a lawyer, said Saturday.  He urged Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled City Council to “swiftly enact a concealed carry law that protects the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.”
Gray and D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson did not respond immediately for a request for comment.

Emily Miller is the chief investigative reporter for Fox 5 DC. She is the author of Emily Gets Her Gun (Regnery/2013).

______________July 25th 2014 ____________

ScriptPro and TCGRx Integrate Pharmacy Automation Technologies

MISSION, KS, July 2014—ScriptPro, of Mission, Kansas, and TCGRx, of Powers Lake, Wisconsin, announce that they will be exclusive partners in a distribution and co-marketing agreement allowing ScriptPro to bring TCGRx adherence packaging technologies to retail pharmacies throughout the United States. ScriptPro is a leading provider of robotics-based pharmacy management and workflow systems to retail and ambulatory pharmacies. TCGRx distributes and supports tablet/capsule pouch packaging systems and inventory management automation for long-term care pharmacies. Read More

______________July 24th 2014 ____________

Last night the City of Mission Kansas presented the “2015 Community Budget Dialog” at the Sylvester Powell Community Center.

Gerry Vernon City Administrator began with an overview of the 2015 budget handing off the details to Laura Smith Assistant City Administrator/Finance Director.

When Mrs. Smith began her presentation there were a total of 22 people in the audience, all but 2 are connected to the city in one way or another:  Elected, employees, committee members etc.  The other 2, I’m not sure off. 

Where does the lack of citizen interest lie? 

In 2012 it’s said that there were 9,467 citizens of Mission, my guess is 9,300 didn’t know about the event.  Have you any suggestions on how to improve communication between the city and its citizens?  At the top of this page is a list of officials you might want to contact with you recommendations? 

(From the

Mission’s budget for 2015 proposes no increases in property tax rates or any of the other charges to homeowners, such as storm water, trash or transportation utility fees.

The property tax rate is maintained at 11.413 mills and the reserve fund stays above $1.5 million.

______________July 23rd 2014 ____________

2015 Community Budget Dialogue

Annual Budget - Purpose and Goals

At: Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center - Tonight 6:30PM

“A city’s budget is not just an accounting document - it is a management and planning tool. When resources are limited, the budget helps determine which objectives have the highest priority, will meet the greatest needs, and produce the greatest positive impact in the community. The City’s annual budget becomes a dollars and cents expression of the most immediate priorities. In adopting an annual budget, a City Council quite literally, “puts its money where its mouth is.”

●  a statement of priorities that reflects a vision of the City’s collective future
●  a spending guide which reflects the City’s priorities
●  a policy document indicating policy decisions and priorities by allocating funds to specific services and programs
●  a communication device sharing these choices with residents and businesses
●  an outline of anticipated revenues to support City services, including tax rates
●  a plan of objectives for the upcoming fiscal year. Click here for budget

______________July 23rd 2014 ____________

Governor Brownback joins officials in announcing U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Kansas City
Complex expected to have economic impact exceeding $1 billion

Topeka – Governor Sam Brownback joined Sporting Club, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and representatives from Schlitterbahn Water Park and EPR Properties tonight to announce the development of a U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex in Kansas City, Kan. The facility will house the National Training and Coaching Development Center, an elite athlete training and performance analytics campus and national youth soccer development programs.

“Kansas’ strong economy and Kansas City’s reputation as a tremendous soccer city helped attract this state-of-the-art facility,” Brownback said. “As a result, our state will benefit from new jobs, investment and an economic impact that is projected to exceed $1 billion.”

>snip< The $75-plus million soccer village, which will be located at the southeast corner of Parallel Parkway and 98th Street, will provide a world-class environment to develop players, coaches and referees of all ages. The state-of-the-art facility will include approximately 100,000 square feet for a state of the art indoor facility with a practice field, eight lighted professional smart fields and eight youth fields. Additional amenities will include a climate-controlled indoor pavilion and specialized facilities tailored toward strength and nutrition, hydration, sports science, health and wellness, video and analytics. The complex will also feature a 125-room full-service hotel.

>snip<  “This is a great opportunity for us to continue to grow soccer in Kansas City and further establish being the soccer capital of America,” Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said. “To us, this is equivalent to bringing another sports franchise here, with the ultimate goal of helping the United States win the World Cup through youth soccer development, coaching training, advanced sports science and world-class facilities. We would like to thank Governor Brownback, Secretary of Commerce George, Mayor Holland and the rest of the Unified Government. This has been a long and complex process thus far, but we’re excited for the vision of the project and to help bring substantial economic development to the area.”

During the next 30 years, the National Training and Coaching Development Center is anticipated to have a total economic impact of more than $1 billion for Kansas and Wyandotte County. The facility will house a variety of U.S. National Team training camps and bring opportunities for Sporting Park to host matches for the men’s and women’s National Teams at the youth and senior levels. The complex will also feature referee and coach education sessions and many additional U.S. Soccer events.

______________July 23rd 2014 ____________

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer issues statement regarding Kansas military bases

Topeka – Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer today issued the following statement regarding his recent trip to Washington, D.C. to advocate for Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. These key military installations have been threatened by plans to reduce staffing at both bases. 

“Yesterday, with John Armbrust, Governor's Military Council, I held meetings at the Pentagon with the Army and Department of Defense to continue to advocate for the strategic importance of Ft. Riley and Ft. Leavenworth. The discussions were productive and I am confident the Department of Defense has a better understanding of the negative impact that any reduction in staffing at Ft. Riley or Ft. Leavenworth would have on national security. Governor Brownback and I will always fight to protect these important facilities and minimize the effects these decisions have on Kansas communities and national security.”

Governor Sam Brownback announces Credit Union Administrator appointee

 Topeka – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced today the appointment of Jerel Wright as administrator of the Kansas Credit Union. 

The administrator is responsible for overseeing the daily functions of the Department of Credit Unions and the Credit Union Council. “Jerel brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to this position,” said Governor Brownback. “I appreciate his willingness to serve the people of Kansas in this capacity.”

Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washburn University in 1979 and his law degree, also from Washburn, in 1983.  He received his Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE) Certification in 2008, and currently works for the Kansas Credit Union Association.

Wright’s appointment must be confirmed by the Kansas Senate. He will serve a term of four years.

______________July 17th 2014 ____________

  • has been quiet for time, kind of waiting to see what happens. Our City Council has delt with keeping things on an even keel and making some subtle and not so subtle changes.
  • .
  • At last nights city council meeting a large but not the largest hurdle was all but overcome when the council approved the Cornerstone project (formerly Keystone Automotive).
  • A controversial 1% addition to the regular sales tax will be collected when built and returned to the developer in the form of a Community Improvement District (CID) to assist in the costs relative to the new project on Johnson Drive.  Destruction of the current buildings etc. should begin very soon. 
  • In another proposed project called Herald Corner (Brinshore Development) the former Neff Printing building which the city owns didn’t get the overwhelming support from council that Cornerstone Commons did.  Although the application to extend the development agreement was passed, 2 Councilors Amy Miller & Arcie Rothrock found fault in the concept of 31 low income apartments that apparently can not be built with out State & City support. 
Thank You Bruce

Mr. Bruce Kimmel, (CIPFA) Senior Financial Advisor for the City of Mission apparently found a way to save us one $1,400,000 by refinancing some of our existing G.O. bonds at 2.25%.  The Council approved.  Thank you Bruce, this savings will pay for the cost overruns of the Community Center for almost two years, we hope. 

A charter ordinance modifying appointment of the City Administrator was passed.  A 2/3rds vote was necessary, all Councilors present voted aye. 

A resolution accepting the Rotary Clubs offer to install a clock at the southeast corner of Johnson Drive and Woodson.  Cost of clock and installation will be paid by the Rotary Club. 

Additional Crossing signals (3, pedestrian) was approved at a cost of $18,179.00 by the City Council.

______________May 29th 2014 ____________

According to the Prairie Village Post this morning; “Reduction in Mission traffic tickets has city planning for $100,000 less in revenue”  $100,000 estimated lost revenue for the city, maybe but a million dollars in good will can get banked by businesses and eventually back into Mission’s coffers in the form of sales tax. 

In my opinion a truly professional police officer seldom knows it he/she is going to write a traffic summons after a car stop.  If the officer can educate the driver as to the violation all well and good but if not then the officer has an obligation to allow the drivers further education done by a judge. 

Unless you are a habitual violator, you remember every time you are stopped for the rest of your life.  At least that’s what I’ve heard.  

In another proposed project called Herald Corner (Brinshore Development) the former Neff Printing building which the city owns didn’t get the overwhelming support from council that Cornerstone Commons did.  Although the application to extend the development agreement was passed, 2 Councilors Amy Miller & Arcie Rothrock found fault in the concept of 31 low income apartments that apparently can not be built with out State & City support. 

Thank You Bruce

Mr. Bruce Kimmel, (CIPFA) Senior Financial Advisor for the City of Mission apparently found a way to save us one million four hundred thousand dollars by refinancing some of our existing G.O. bonds at 2.25%.  The Council approved.  Thank you Bruce, this savings will pay for the cost overruns of the Community Center for almost three years, we hope. 

A charter ordinance modifying appointment of the City Administrator was passed.  A 2/3rds vote was necessary, all Councilors present voted aye. 

A resolution accepting the Rotary Clubs offer to install a clock at the southeast corner of Johnson Drive and Woodson.  Cost of clock and installation will be paid by the Rotary Club. 

Additional Crossing signals (3, pedestrian) was approved at a cost of $18,179.00 was approved by the City Council.


______________May 24th 2014 ____________

The new pool is open!

In an overcast, drizzly morning, Mayor Steve Schowengerdt kicked off the brief ceremony dedicating Mission's Aquatic Center.

______________May 23rd 2014 ____________

Photos from the soft opening of the new Mission Aquatic Center

Ribbon Cutting on Saturday May 24th 2014 at 11:45AM

"Citizen watchdogs go the extra mile to keep an eye on Johnson County governments"
By ROXIE HAMMILL The Star January 28, 2014 - Click here to read story with photos

______________March 31st 2014 ____________

April fool’s day 2014: Will Mission get what she deserves?

Spring elections notoriously are pro-incumbent, why; the already elected has done favors and well did more favors for their constitutions.  In some cases they are just plain good at the job to which elected.  How does one become good at his/her elected job?  First thing is state your platform when running for office and stick to it when elected.  Mean what you say and say what you mean; semi old cliché but in the end you can’t go wrong with loyalty to your word.

Mission’s choices are not simple; out with the old, in with the new?  Maybe, but has the old administration really been that bad?  Let’s take a look. Currently we are $42,300,000 in debt and could be another $37,500,000 more if the gentleman from New York Tom Valenti gets his act together and signs the number of business required by his bank to build Gateway. It is unlikely to happen in our lifetime but if Valenti does, then Mission gets $6,000,000 back for half of the infrastructure buried at Gateway seven years ago.  Except it wasn’t $12,000,000 buried there but more like $17,000,000.  Mr. Valenti disallowed $5,000,000 for reasons that escape me at this point.  Now let’s talk about the other half of the $12,000,000 that Mr. Valenti has agreed to pay for our infrastructure under his 17 acres.  I for one, assuming Gateway is built by 2015 will be 96 years old when the second half of the $12,000.000 is due, yep, 22 years.  Please do not ask about the sales tax we will get out of Gateway when built, you’ll just get mad and it might be at me, I didn’t have anything to do with it.

The transformation of the city government began just two years ago when three new Council members were sworn in; only one incumbent won his seat, which was David Shepard who currently is running for Mayor.  If Shepard loses he will remain as Ward 4 representative for another two years, his winning will produce a vacancy that will be filled by then Mayor Shepard.  In fact, Shepard is running for two seats and that will be interesting, if elected he then selects his replacement on council; if I remember right, the new council will have to affirm his selection and that is almost a given or at least it used to be. 

It wasn’t always a contested election; 2010 was business as usual with four of the council seats up for election along with the Mayor, all went unopposed and then the Transportation Utility Fee (Driveway Tax) came about and Mission began a four year journey to the present that started twelve years ago when Mayor Laura McConwell won the seat by a coin toss, no, really a toss of a coin between she and now retired Councilman John Weber.  Mayor McConwell did not file for reelection this time and may be seeking a higher paid county elected office.

I for one was warned to expect more then the sharing of information on planks and platforms and the differences between candidates spoken out loud and in public; honorable debate between folks that in the end wanted the best for our City of Mission Kansas, it wasn’t to be. 

If you’re going to come at me, come on but don’t send someone else that apparently can’t tell a bell from a door knob.  I was warned but would not believe.  It gets worse, not for me but our Mayoral candidate.  

Two years ago we had Miss Mona sniping at our candidates and from the safety of the internet’s anonymity; I miss ole Charlie One Note, he/she is credited with helping gain us votes with her/his nonsense.  Miss Mona didn’t really seem to get personal at least not too much; it’s different now; now that we can actually move the city toward a healthier future where others are not laughing at us or even fearful of visiting our merchants. 

An incident far worse then Miss Mona’s writings appeared in print recently which could very well be libelous.  Not being an attorney may have me seeing ghosts of court rooms and heavy dollar$ being paid by the same woman that tried to intimidate me except this time she put it in writing.  Remember I am not talking about myself; I apparently got off easy by a rumor being spread about me on something that didn’t happen, what great fun running for an office in Mission.  The offended party has replied in writing but it’s one of those things about the inability to un-ring a bell.  We’ll see.

The outcome of tomorrow's election is far from a walk over for any candidate, the results will be felt for years. Two years from now when the other four Council members are up for election it will start all over again.  We the citizens should take the process seriously by looking real hard at what has happened, particularly in the past four years.   If you are happy with the negative publicity, the debt, the sudden departure of our Police Chief and above all, the never ending saga of the East Gateway project, then you know which candidates are responsible.  Will your vote for a change in fact change the direction Mission is now heading; we new candidates whose names you may not recognize say yes.  Tomorrow April 1st 2014 is your time to judge in which direction Mission will take. 


Bill Nichols
Ward 4 candidate

______________March 26th 2014 ____________

Kansas City Star 913 Section - Joco Opinion

Editorial — Mission Gateway faces yet another delay

Even though it’s backed by tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, the Mission Gateway project hit yet another roadblock in recent weeks.

Developer Tom Valenti said he would be unable to begin construction, this time because he still needs to attract another large tenant. The site of the old Mission Mall, at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue, faces becoming a decade-long blight on the small city. The public has done its part to push Mission Gateway along: City officials long ago endorsed aggressive incentives that include a higher sales tax to be levied at the project — if it’s ever built.

The lack of progress understandably has disappointed many Mission residents. Meanwhile, Mayor Laura McConwell — who is not seeking another term this year — has been a longtime supporter of adding new retail and housing with the redevelopment. Her name has surfaced as a candidate for the Johnson County Commission this year in a race that would measure, to a degree, how the delayed Mission Gateway might affect her political future.

Valenti points out that Wal-Mart is still committed to be a part of the project. The company plans to close another publicly subsidized store about a mile away in Roeland Park and open the new subsidized store in Mission. And in some additional news of concern, the developer recently said 300 apartment units pledged in the latest plan might not get built, at least right away

Even if new tenants are quickly found, Mission Gateway likely would not be finished until late 2015. Given the project’s history, just don’t bet on that happening. On another subject:


Reception planned for outgoing Mission mayor Laura McConwell. A reception for outgoing Mission Mayor Laura McConwell will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 3 at the Sylvester Powell Community Center. Whatever happens in next Tuesday’s city election, McConwell will end her run of 12 years leading the city. She did not file for re-election this year. She became mayor in March 2002 following the death of Sylvester Powell, Jr. and then was elected to the position three times. She had also served on the city council and the parks and recreation commission. In 2008, she was named Kansas Mayor of the Year by the Kansas Mayors Association.
______________March 23rd 2014 ____________

We wish to thank the City of Mission Kansas for giving us the opportunity to correct what you claim to be a non-conforming temporary political banner.   
About 50 yards south of Shawnee Mission Parkway on the south side just west of Roe was and still is attached the offending banner to the home owners fence. 

It would appear the ordinance does state that signs such as this can be no bigger the 16 square feet; according to the City’s letter which was found attached to the front door Friday of the home, our banner was 19.5 sq’. 
Ever wishing to be in compliance our home owner took her sheers and trimmed the offending banner to its proper dimensions.

An added bonus was a Mission Police officer stopping I assume to assist in whatever way he could.  In this case we didn’t need any help but two young foreign gentlemen had arrived asking for direction to Shawnee.  The officer was able to direct them on the right path. 
Again we thank the city for its due diligence and if this or any other transgression rears up, just pin another letter to our door. 

______________March 21st 2014 - Part 1/2 ________

This letter was apparently written by Mr. Steve Nicely a resident of Milhaven Estates one of Mission’s neighborhoods south of Shawnee Mission parkway.  Nicely (in his words) retired from the Kansas City Star “at the turn of the century” He is described as a “Longtime KC reporter, editor and promotions director”

Steve Nicely
6527 Maple Drive
March 20, 2014

Dear Milhaven neighbor:

I am not writing in my role as homes association board member because the board stays out of politics.  I am writing as a private resident concerned about the April 1 city election and the impact it is sure to have on our neighborhood.

Three issues come to mind -- ash trees, the Rock Creek drainage ditch and street mainteance.  The vitality of Milhaven will [rise or fall with the fate of three issues at play in the election. How? Two oT1fie candidates seek a confinuation of current pro-active improvement policies . Their opponents say enough is enough and it's time to stop spending your money and mine.

In the mayor's race, our Nall Drive neighbor, David Shepard, stands for investing in the future by repairing and remodeling this old house of a city we live in. His opponent from Ward 2, Steve Schowengerdt, wants to arrest that process.

In the other race affecting us, Suzie Gibbs represents the pro-active mode in our Ward 4 council race while Bill Nichols seeks to ratchet that process down.  Suzie is a former Milhaven Homes Assn. president and 22-year member of the city council. Bill,.
who lives north of Shawnee Mission Parkway , is a retired photographer recently featured in a K.C. Star article for his role as Mission's primary watchdog who video records city council meetings.                                                                                  ·

The Emerald Ash Borer is coming.  Nobody has been able to stop it and Milhaven has a lot of Ash trees in the city's right-of-way close to the street. Prairie Village, Overland Park, Fairway and other cities have programs for removing or treating those trees.  Mission's policy says removal is the home owners' responsibility at more than
$1,000 per tree.  And the concrete drainage ditch running behind Nall Avenue, Nall Drive, Maple Drive and Reeds Drive is in disrepair.  And our streets require periodic
maintenance.  What do you suppose our chances would be of having these and other such issues addressed if Steve Schowengerdt and Bill Nichols are elected?

These are my general impressions, but you can form your own.  The candidates spoke for themselves March 13 at a packed public forum at the Powell Center.  This wonderful public service was conducted and video recorded by the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce.  You can still see what they had to say (and fast forward to your candidates) on the website, 89437304.

I do agree with Bill Nichols and Steve Schowengerdt on one issue: Our police force should not be handing out traffic citations for the purpose of raising revenue for the city.  "If you want to ruin the reputation of a city, that's a good way to do it," Bill Nichols said at the forum. Traffic enforcement should be conducted for safety purposes only.
One positive note: Mission police handed out 35 percent fewer traffic tickets last year than the year before.

We bought our 56-year-old home in 2011. It has had major foundation problems expertly repaired and many updates over the years.  We've had new windows installed
and other improvements.  Those investments are like money in the bank because we'll get it back when we sell. We bought more than a house. We also bought an aging neighborhood and city. We would not have moved here if the community's age-related problems were being neglected . David Shepard and Suzie Gibbs are right. Now is not  the time to choke the progress.

The best we can do for business, the best we can do for home values, the best we can do for our quality of life is to finish the job.  I feel certain we'll get our money back and then some. I hope you agree.

Sincerely ,

Steve Nicely

P.S.       I just learned some amazing information about Milhaven:  Only 28 of our 374 households do not have at least one registered voter.  So 92% of our households have registered voters. That's an astonishingly high rate. How many households voted in the last city election?  120 did. 32% did. That's almost respectable but not nearly enough for an election that will chart the future of Milhaven and Mission.  This is not the time to vote by not voting. Please vote.

______________March 21st 2014 - Part 2________

This open letter is from the owner of Mission Bowl Beverly O’Donnell.  O’Donnell has a different take on Mission’s past and future. 

Mission Bowl
   Mission                                                                                         Olathe
5399 Martway                                                              1020 S. Weaver
Mission, Kansas 66205                                                Olathe, Ks. 66061

To whom it may concern:

It was said that the City of Mission has not hurt Mission Bowl and our livelihood.  I would like to answer that.

We’ve been in business in the City of Mission for 56 years this June.  We’ve always tried to be an active part of the City, community, Chamber and Youth.  But in the last few years it’s been hard to do.  My reasons for saying this are listed below.

  1. We have paid over $12,000.00 for the TUF Tax for bringing business into the city of Mission.  These people pay taxes to the City of Mission.  Those funds are supposed to be for our streets.  Has anyone driven down Johnson drive? 
  2. The City of Mission has redone Martway and Nall at least 3 times so they could be ready for the Mall which still isn’t even close to starting.
  3. The City of Mission paid over $5,000,000.00 on the intersection of Nall and Shawnee Mission Parkway.   Have you ever tried to go thru there @ 5pm?  At the same time the City of O.P. paved Metcalf from 75th street to SM Parkway for not even close to that amount. Again, couldn’t some of that money been used for our residential streets or Johnson Drive.
  4.  I went to the City Council meting because I was upset over them closing Martway on a Saturday and using our Parking lot with no one informing us.  Employees and Customers for our Saturday business couldn’t get into our Center.  After I stated my complaint, which I wanted on record, a few days later the Mission Park and Rec. called and cancelled their 3 events they had scheduled for the summer.  Not only was that a blow to us, it had to cost them more because they always walk to Mission Bowl and if they went anywhere else they would have had to take a bus. 
  5. Has anyone, who is voting for the council members, driven down Johnson Drive?  It’s like a ghost town.  Empty buildings, businesses leaving and still no shopping Center.  We can’t even put signs in the grass in front of our property.  They say it’s the City’s walk way and they will pull them up.  I wonder if the sign was for one of them if they would pull them up.  So, we pulled our Truck up to the street and put the signs in the front window.  They can’t move our Truck!

And you ask me, what has the City of Mission done for Mission Bowl? I wish I could answer that question.  We are not like so many other businesses in Mission, we can’t move our Center.

I told my husband, “If anyone new is ever going to run for Mayor of Mission, he/she would really have to care about the people and businesses of Mission”.   I believe that person is:  Steve Schowengerdt 

We, at Mission Bowl, have seen so many changes in the last 56 years.  And now we need one more change – Steve 4 Mayor - And a new council.

Let’s try something new!
                                   “Get out and Vote”

_____________March 19th 2014 _______________

The Kansas City Star’s 913 section which is an insert on Wednesdays is so named for the Kansas telephone area code.  This issue includes biographies of candidates and description of races within the north east portion of Johnson County Kansas. 

Northeast Joco
McConwell’s legacy figures into Mission’s mayoral race
Special to The Star

Mission Mayor Laura McConwell is not be running for re-election this spring, but her shadow looms large over the contest between the two men who want to succeed her.
On one side is David Shepard, city councilman since 2005 and its current president. Shepard said he’s running because he wants to build on the positive momentum that McConwell has started. During her term, the city has taken on projects to repair streets, build a new swimming pool and redevelop the former Mission Mall. Read more here:
On the other is Steven Schowengerdt, who served on the council from 2003-2010. “We differ on things,” he said of McConwell. Most notably, Schowengerdt objects to the amount of debt the city has taken on. “It’s not rocket science. Don’t spend more than you have,” he said.

Mission’s council candidates focus on Gateway, driveway tax

Special to The Sta

Mission has made some big decisions the past few years. A user-based fee is being collected to pay for street repairs. A new swimming pool is in the works. And ground has been broken for the redevelopment of the former Mission Mall.

Now voters have a choice to make. Do they continue in the direction set by the current city council and outgoing Mayor Laura McConwell? Or do they pull back from the large-scale spending that critics say is driving the city too far into debt?

For those who want to scale back, this election is part two of an effort that began in 2012, in the aftermath of the 2010 inception of the Transportation Utility Fee. That fee, dubbed the “driveway tax” by critics, is collected from property owners based on how much traffic they create, with homeowners paying about $72 a year and businesses paying much more.The fee generates about $800,000 a year for road repairs, city officials say. But it also generated the anger of some who thought it was an excise tax the city shouldn’t be allowed to levy. The fee became the centerpiece of a campaign by opponents to remove its supporters from office. In the 2012 election, two incumbents lost re-election bids.
This year, the blog still urges readers to “rise up AGAIN and vote them out!” The blog’s creator, Bill Nichols, is himself running for a council seat.
Read More Here:

______________March 17th 2014 _______________

Friday apparently an appeal to the 10th Judicial District of Johnson County Kansas, Civil Division was filed by Heartland Apartment Association, Inc. ET.AL. Plaintiffs vs. the City of Mission Kansas. 

Several years ago the City of Mission enacted a fee/tax calling it the Transportation Utility Fee better known as the Driveway Tax. 

The city rather then put it to a vote of Mission’s citizens enacted this as a fee which the Attorney General said was an illegal excise tax.  

by Dan Blom November 13, 2013

>snip< Judge James Vano granted the city’s request for a summary judgment. In his finding the judge ruled that the TUF, commonly called the “driveway tax” by its critics, is, in fact, a tax rather than a fee. The city had argued that it was a special fee. However, Vano also said the TUF does not constitute an excise tax, and therefore it is not illegal.
Vano’s ruling contradicts a non-binding opinion issued last year by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt that the TUF was an excise tax barred by Kansas law. An excise tax, according to the ruling, is based on the actual performance of any act, engaging in an occupation,or the enjoyment of a particular privilege.” Mission determines the charges based on the number of trips a property is expected to generate.
The TUF is collected on tax bills and ranges from $72 per year for a homeowner to several thousand dollars per year for some retail businesses. The city’s 2014 budget anticipates collecting $790,000 from the TUF, according to Finance Director Laura Smith. It would require an additional six to seven mills on the property tax assessment to replace those funds. TUF money is used for street repair and maintenance and associated costs, such as curbs and gutters, trails, and bike lanes.
The tax was earlier challenged by churches and that was resolved by granting an exemption. The court ruled also ruled that due process and equal protections claims of the plaintiffs were not valid.

In a letter dated March 10th 2014 in response to a question regarding TUF and it’s repercussions on renters and apartment owners, Sam Alpert, Heartland Apartment Association (representing 90,000 apartment units in the greater metro region), Exec. V.P. Wrote

Bill:  Occupancy throughout the market is at historic highs (approx. 95%). You are correct that the TUF expenses, as well as other impositions are passed through to renters to the extent that competitive conditions allow. As is the case in any business, there is always a balancing act between actual cost recovery and minimizing lost patronage. In this instance, the greatest impact is felt in diminished capitalized asset market value. For example, if the TUF averages $50 per apartment unit per year, an 8% market cap rate (common today in valuing apartment complexes) would result in a diminished value of $625 per unit. So if a complex contains 100 units, that property is now worth $62,500 less in market value. Obviously, this also has some negative impact on property tax assessments, which creates a public revenue shortfall elsewhere.
Let me know if you have further questions.

______________March 15th 2014 _______________

(In case you hadn't noticed this site is pretty much in neutral until after the April 1st election)

Mission candidates split on path forward; unite on wanting action at Gateway

By Dan Blom  · March 14, 2014 - Part 1of 2

The one issue that seemed to unite candidates at a Mission forum Thursday night is that something needs to happen at the East Gateway development. Taking criticism from a number of directions was developer Tom Valenti who won council approval in January 2013 for a financing package but has not started substantial development.
Both mayoral candidates, Steve Schowengerdt and Dave Shepard put the Gateway on their list of critical initiatives. Schowengerdt called it the “black hole.” He believes Valenti to be an honest man, he said, but out for himself. “There is a lot of talk, but never any action.” Shepard also said Gateway needs to get going but he believes the development agreement and liens protect the city’s investment
-- -

Part 2

Council candidates Will Vandenberg and Bill Nichols also were critical of the development process. Vandenberg said the Gateway is a “black eye” for Mission and he just wants to hear it is done or sold to another developer.In Ward 4 incumbent Suzie Gibbs and challenger Bill Nichols diverged on some points. Gibbs said senior citizens who can’t stay in or take care of their homes was among the challenges facing the ward along with getting younger people to become involved and come to meetings. Nichols said the ward doesn’t have many challenges except to get people to serve on boards, and that it is always the same people.In Ward 2 Will Vandenberg named streets, stormwater, debt and housing stock as priorities. Some issues, like the pool replacement, can’t be foreseen, he said, and need to be tackled as they arise. Rothrock listed communication and awareness and promoting the ease of travel on Johnson Drive.
Rothrock said the city should focus on paying down debt and making investments that are sound. Vandenberg said although the city has a good credit rating, smart spending is required. He added that a lot of infrastructure improvements need to be done, such as storm water.

Mission Gateway coming in ... 2016?

Posted by Steve Vockrodt on Fri, Mar 14, 2014

The Pitch

Since acquiring and tearing down the old Mission Center Mall in 2005, Cameron Group LLC's Tom Valenti has talked a lot about the great things in store for the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive. But so far, all he has done is push some dirt around.

But even the dirt is at a standstill today, as it has been since Valenti's December announcement that the project had encountered another delay.

Subsequent press reports pegged various opening dates in 2015. The Kansas City Business Journal quoted Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt, saying he understood that his town's Wal-Mart would become Mission Gateway's Wal-Mart in the spring of 2015.

The Kansas City Star reported that the tony apartments meant to accompany that Wal-Mart would open in the summer of 2015.

But a visit to the Cameron Group's website shows a new projected opening date for the stalled project: sometime in 2016.

And the apartments might not make it.

Tipped this week that the latest Mission Gateway plans omitted the apartments, we called Valenti for confirmation. He said he didn't have any comment - and said that if he did, he would make it to the Mission City Council first.

Administrators at Mission City Hall haven't seen his latest plans.

Valenti added that he was unhappy with our January report on Mission Gateway (linked above), which traced a litany of statements he had made since 2005 about what would happen at the barren property and contrasted those pledges with what had actually happened. He said we called him a liar. Nowhere in the story does the word liar appear, but we did say that a big portion of Valenti's development promises had gone unfulfilled. It's difficult to argue otherwise.

If it's true that the apartments are no longer part of the Mission Gateway equation, they would join a storied list of elements proposed for the project and then abandoned: a grandiose aquarium, a hotel, an office space.

Should anyone feel sorry for Valenti? Mission committed to a financing plan that would send $37 million in public money to his project, and so far the city's residents have gotten nothing in return. And if when if whenever the project gets built, it's likely to shape up as pretty ordinary, even after all the city's help.

Aside from adding another Wal-Mart to the nearly 20 in the Kansas City area, Valenti plans a Sprouts Farmer's Market (already in Overland Park), a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill (which used to be at Harrah's Casino) and an Aspen Fitness Center (already in several places in the metro). Mission Gateway's marketing materials also indicate plans for a bowling alley. Mission already has a bowling alley just blocks away, the beloved Mission Bowl. Maybe Valenti should drop by there and try to roll a spare.


Total Sales Tax authorized at Gateway site
State of Kansas                                             6.300%
Johnson County                                            1.225%
Local Sales Tax .50%
Stormwater Sales Tax .10%
Public Safety Sales Tax .25%
Public Safety Sales Tax 2, .25%
Research Triangle Sales Tax .125%.

City of Mission                                                         1.250%
General 1.0%
Special Streets .25%
Mission Gateway CID 1.000%   (Except at Wal-Mart, they refused)
Total Sales Tax authorized at Gateway site (4/1/12) 9.775%
Parks & Recreation's 3/8% = sales tax at Gateway will be 10.115%

______________March 6th 2014 _______________

Below are yard signs from three of the Mission candidates that you may choose to have planted on your property.

We offered all that are running a place here except the one incumbent that is running unopposed.

One candadate from Ward 1 is out of town the other responded by saying he doesn't have any; the others have not responded.


Ward 2---------------------------- Mayor------------------------------- Ward 4

Click to order

______________March 2nd 2014 _______________

I Just Got Bored!

Bill Nichols

Received a tip yesterday from a supporter that Tom Valenti was at it again, (I’m a candidate for Mission’s 4th Ward).  Tom Valenti for all intents and purposes is the ‘owner’ of what we call “The East Gateway Project” AKA ‘the big ditch, the 26 acre dirt pile’ etc. 

The City of Mission Kansas does not own the land where Gateway might be built it just happens to sit within its boundaries.  As a matter of fact it’s mostly within ward 4, getting bored yet?

Wal-Mart’s lease in Roeland Park is up in 2016, I’m fairly certain the building’s owner will allow Wal-Mart to stay if there is a glitch at Gateway but then again, maybe not? 

My intent was to give you a list of promises made and then broken, time lines that were not met even business’s listed on Cameron Group’s web site that had not been signed into Gateway but I got bored. 

The timeline for construction is 18 to 24 months; if Valenti starts construction in May it could be May 2016 a month after the next city election before it's completed.  Don’t forget we have an election this April 1st 2014. 

We have a construction agreement with Valenti that has consequences; I believe the first of these little problems for him comes up this June. 

His web site now says 2016 for completion of "The Gateway Project".  Below is a list of URLs if you are interested and by the way; the ground breaking in August, in my opinion, just for show, moving dirt around, just for show, the triple wide trailer sitting on Gateway, just for show, it does not appear to have power attached or plumbing either, now there's a building I would not want to spend any time in.

Key Facts (According to the Cameron Groups web site)
·                     OPENING 2016
·                      Mixed-use development that is located in the heart of Kansas City
·                      Site is easily accessible from the north and south via interstate 35 with excellent visibility
·                      Walmart Supercenter anchored
·                      410,000 SF Of retail
·                      330 High-end residential units

Mission Gateway project held up while developer adds retail space, gets bids

Gateway project breaks ground; impact on jobs noted by Chamber president

______________February 16th 2014 _______________

Bill Nichols

Mission Kansas February 12th 2014 – At the Finance & Administration Committee meeting things didn’t quite go as planned.  The agenda was as follows:  1. Aspen Village IRB issuance (IRB stands for industrial revenue bonds) in this case, not to exceed $6,000,000.  Aspen Village is the proposed 101 senior apartments at market rate across form the post office.

  1. Resolution Designating Surplus Property
  2. Resolution Designating City-Sponsored Festival events

All three apparently passed 

The entire Council was there plus the Mayor, City Administrator, Asst. City Administrator, City Clerk, City Attorney, several department heads,  2 candidates for Council seats and others. 

Very early in the meeting it got loud for a short time when Mayor McConwell accused Councilman Lawrence Andrea of trying to railroad an issue through.  Andrea took exception to that and in a voice I’ve never heard from him shouted at McConwell saying in part; he had gone to her two weeks prior and asked to put his issue on the agenda and did not say or intend to railroad anything.  Councilwoman Amy Miller came to his defense saying in the two years she has known him; Andrea had never tried to force anything on the Mayor or Council. 

Andrea wanted to put forth the changing of Mission’s form of government from a City Administrator to a City Manager explaining that cities would get better candidates for a manager rather then an administrator.  This went on for some minutes.  According to Andrea a professional manager with a part time governing body would benefit Mission and Andrea apparently wanted it done before the election April 1st.   The council seemed to be in agreement, no vote was taken but they did appear to be nodding rather then shaking their collective heads.  

A City Administrator (as Mission has now) works directly for the Mayor a City Manager is responsible to the City Council not ujust one person.


______________February 6th 2014 _______________

Mission mayor won’t seek re-election
By KEVIN COLLISON The Kansas City Star

Mission Mayor Laura McConwell, who’s progressive leadership elected her three times and earned her statewide recognition, has decided to step down this April when her term expires after serving since 2002.

>snip< Over the next 12 years, she helped lead her inner-ring suburb to a more proactive vision for its future; introduced an innovative revenue-raising measure dubbed by its opponents the “driveway tax,’ and began an ambitious revitalization effort, yet to be fulfilled, for the former Mission Center mall site.

>snip< The most high-profile project has been the 26-acre Mission Gateway development planned for the site of the former shopping center at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue. The plan calls for the retail, residential and office development to be anchored by a 150,000 square-foot Wal-Mart.

The Cameron Group of Syracuse, N.Y., has been pursuing the $165 million development after purchasing and demolishing the former Mission Center property in 2005. Site work finally began last summer, but was suspended in December. Click Here for more

______________February 2nd 2014 _______________

Former Chief of Police John Simmons who resigned abruptly on December 12th 2013 as the Mission Kansas chief law enforcement officer has acepted another appointment, this time with CZ-USA.  "It was by mutual consent” said City Administrator Gerry Vernon on the Chiefs departure.

Since Simmons’ absence the traffic ticket totals appear to be increasing.  That part (and others) of the information highway was shut down by Vernon so exact figures will not be available until a Kansas Open Records Act (KORA is submitted to the City Clerk later this week for December & January.  In a conversation with Simmons Saturday we’ve never seen him so at ease. 

Below is the news release issued by CZ-USA. January 2014 ----_-__


- - - - - - - - - - - -John Simmons welcomed as new Director of Law Enforcement and Military Sales at CZ-USA

Kansas City, KS, 30 January, 2014John Simmons will head up CZ-USA's law enforcement and military sales efforts.  John's skills and experience are ideal for bringing CZ products such as the new P-09, P-07, BREN 805 and CZ Scorpion EVO 3 to US law enforcement.   John joins CZ-USA after a distinguished career in law enforcement, most recently serving as Chief of Police  for the city of Mission, Kansas.
The US Army provided John's introduction to law enforcement.  After 22 years of service, he retired as Provost Marshal, Fort Leavenworth. 
In addition, John is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University,  Florida State University, US Army Command and General Staff College, and the FBI National Academy.John may be contacted for congratulations as well as government sales inquiries:John Simmons
Director, Law Enforcement and Military Sales 
P.O. Box 171073
Kansas City, KS
Direct Line: (913) 238 4774CZ-USA – PO Box 171073, Kansas City, KS 66117 – -  (800) 955 4486

______________January 29th 2014 _______________

Mission Kansas announced last week that the information highway was closed.  Maybe not to everyone and maybe not always; for the past couple of years the road to open government was clear of obstructions even when the often controversial City Administrator Mike Scanlon was in charge.

Scanlon resigned and went to a small town in Colorado to be their Town Manager and a search for a replacement to take the helm here in Mission ensued.  Gerry Vernon of Junction City Kansas was hired by the now outgoing Mayor Laura McConwell with consent of the Council.  The City Administrator works directly for the Mayor.

Vernon last week in an email advised those of us that received weekly updates and other city information that the emails would be suspended.  Vernon Stated The City Council has requested better ways for the City Administrator to communicate operational news and happenings to them so they can stay better informed.  This type of information is different and distinct from the current Weekend Update that has become over time a “community” update.  That is shown by the vast distribution list that it is sent to.  I have heard from that distribution, the update gets forwarded on down the chain to others”.

“The City Council has requested” Maybe, but they certainly did not put it in writing.  On January 24th I requested by a Kansas Open Record Act (KORA) for the past three months on any writings regarding the elimination of our customary weekend report.  I received a reply from the City Clerk Tuesday; there was not one single word that I could find regarding Vernon’s statement, “The City Council has requested”  What was there, in a back and forth between the Mayor and Vernon in what I’ll call the “Tylenol” comments. 

From Mayor Laura McConwellSat, Jan 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM
“Laura  McConwell  <laura@mcconwell .com>
The fewer words with Bill, the better. You don't want help him get around what you're t rying to accomplish...and arguing with him will give you a headache

Gerry Vernon <>
To: Laura McConwell <>
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM Thanks for the advice and that will be it till next week for sure.  (As I head for the Tylenol already) Gerry
Sent from my iPhone

[Quoted text hidden) Laura McConwell  <>
To:  Gerry  Vernon  <>Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 1:11PM
Yep. He's really going to live when we tell him he needs to back it up, he's being too disruptive. Sent from my iPhone
(Quoted text hidden)

These people never cease to amaze me. The full KORA is available upon request.

Bill Nichols

______________January 22nd 2014 _______________

Posted by Dan Blom PV Post · January 22, 2014

The election to replace Mission Mayor Laura McConwell has two veterans of the city council with different approaches to how the city needs to move forward.

Dave Shepard is a sitting council member from Ward 4 and current council president. He has been on the council since 2005 and spent four years as chairman of the finance and administration committee during a period when a number of projects were under way or getting started.

Steve Schowengerdt spent seven years on the council representing Ward 2 until four years ago. Schowengerdt says the city has been overspending and there are retired people in Mission who cannot afford anymore taxes or fees. He organized opposition to the Transportation Utility Fee (TUF), often known as the ‘driveway tax’ and he is opposed to the storm water utility fee. Read More Here

______________January 21st 2014 _______________

Mission Kansas will have a new Mayor come April.  Mayor Laura McConwell has decided to step down.  McConnell’s dearest friend on the Council, David Shepard has filed for Mayor along with Steve Schowngert a Mission business owner and former Councilman.

Another incumbent Lawrence Andrea also decided that his time in office had come to an end deciding not to run for Ward 1 Councilman. 

Three incumbents have filed for their seats, Will Vandenberg Ward 2 Suzie Gibbs Ward 4, & Debbie Kring Ward 3.  Kring as it turns out is running unopposed.  Councilman David Shepard, even if he loses the Mayoral race will retain his Ward 4 seat until 2016. 

Mission's LineUp for April 1st

Mayor     (4 year term)

  • Steven Schowengerdt
    5703 West 53rd Street, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 362-3736 (h)
    (913) 481-3235 (w)
  • .
  • David Shepard
    6614 Nall Drive, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 671-8521 (h)
    (913) 384-2474 (w)

Council Member - Ward 1     (4 year term)

  • Steven Lucas
    5216 Outlook Street, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 558-2290 (c)
    (913) 681-5880 (w)
  • .
  • Jay A. Meyer
    6348 West 49th Street, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 262-3027 (h)

Council Member - Ward 2     (4 year term)

  • Arcie Rothrock
    5708 Outlook Street #101, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 568-2872 (h)
  • .
  • William J. Vandenberg, III (Incumbent)
    5738 Reeds Road, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 424-4357 (h)

Council Member - Ward 3     (4 year term)

  • Debbie Kring (Incumbent)
    5819 Riggs, Mission, KS 66202
    (913)722-6901 (h)
    (913) 551-7725 (w)

Council Member - Ward 4     (4 year term)

  • Suzanne Gibbs (Incumbent)
    6432 Reeds Drive, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 671-8564 (h)
  • .
  • Bill Nichols
    6019 West 61st Street, Mission, KS 66202
    (913) 432-0996 (h)

______________January 16th 2014 _______________

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — In terms of online accessibility and openness, the Kansas Legislature and state Supreme Court are practically polar opposites.
>snip< Under the Capitol dome, we have a Legislature that counts itself among only a handful of states that have failed to offer some form of live video to the general public, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas only streams live audio from the House and Senate chambers.
Yet just across the street, the Kansas Judicial Center is entering its second year of live-streaming video coverage of Supreme Court oral arguments over the Internet, opening up an important facet of state government to anyone with a broadband Internet connection, rather than the select few who can make the trip to Topeka.
Read More

______________January 15th 2014 _______________

A four year resident has filed for Mission’s 2nd Ward City Council seat. There are 4 other elected positions to be decided April 1st 2014.

Arcie Rothrock a Business Analyst II for Ericsson Corp has experience in data analysis, software documentation, business process improvement and a host of other technical skills. Mrs. Rothrock filed her paper work with the help of Mission's City Clerk Martha Sumrall

Last night at a meeting of like minded Mission residents and business owners when Mrs. Rothrock decided to lend her skills to the City of Mission Kansas she wrote her friends:
 Great opportunity presented to me that I gladly accepted tonight. Nervous and excited for what the future holds. Can't say much about it now, but it won't be a secret for long.... Here goes nothing”

______________January 14th 2014 _______________

Hobby Lobby plans new store in Merriam; expected to leave Mission location
Posted by Dan Blom  · January 14, 2014 PV Post

Mission will be gaining one big sales tax generator when Walmart moves from Roeland Park to the Gateway project, but it appears it could belosing another one as Hobby Lobby makes plans for a new store in Merriam.

HobbyLobby is now the dominant store in the Mission West center that lies between Martway and Johnson Drive. A spokesman for Block Properties, which manages Mission West, said they have not been notified yet by Hobby Lobby of its intention to leave the center, but did say Hobby Lobby would be able to terminate its lease in Mission without difficulty.  Read More

______________January 7th 2014 _______________

What’s ahead (or not) in 2014 development

By KEVIN COLLISON - The Kansas City Star January 6th 2014 \
Suburban developments

Overland Park is considering one of its largest infill developments in recent history, a $350 million plan that would develop what is now mostly 138 acres of farmland at U.S. 69 and College Boulevard. The City Place proposal calls for more than 1,500 apartments and four office buildings totaling 587,000 square feet and at least 32,000 square feet of retail.
A key planning commission meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14.
In the Northland, the proposed $200 million redevelopment of the mid-1970s Metro North Shopping Center is being readied for takeoff. The proposal by MD Management, in the works for three years, calls for the two-story shopping center, now home to just Macy's and a handful of retailers, to be demolished and replaced with a one-story indoor mall.
In northeast Johnson County, the good development news is that the massive Ikea store in Merriam is well on its way to an expected opening this fall.
The not-so-good news is that progress on the Mission Gateway development has continued to stall. Work finally started on preparing the 26-acre site off Shawnee Mission Parkway last fall and then halted at the end of the year.

Developer Tom Valenti says he’s reconfiguring some of the retail layout and waiting for acceptable construction bids, and plans to begin utility work in March. But Mission residents are understandably uneasy about a Wal-Mart-anchored development that has taken more than eight years to get this far. Read more here:

_______________January 4th 2014 _______________

Tom Valenti VP of Gateway Developers LLC apparently has a new tenant for his eternal project in Mission Kansas at Johnson Drive and Roe. 

According to his web site he is advertising Revolutions Eat. Drink. Rock & Roll Bowl. 

Mayor McConwell, really?  Do you approve of this for Gateway?  Council members that consistently vote for what ever Tom Valenti wants, has this gone too far? 

Missioin Bowl has been pumping tax dollars into this community for years and this is their reward?

Add On January 5th 2014

Looking at the Revolutions web site you see they have 3 locations open and a 4th on the way. All are on the East coast and range from 35000 to 55000 sq. ft. While they will certainly fill up some space in the Gateway project it’s not likely they are a large enough company to be the kind of credit worthy tenant that the lenders want to see in this project. Thus, they may not be particularly important in securing the necessary financing.

It will be interesting to see how the developer plans to revamp the site plan before he asks the city for a larger TIF guarantee.

Guaranteeing financing for a developer that is leasing large spaces to what appears to be a "start up" company seems risky. 

And then there’s our own Mission Bowl.

>snips< From emails
“Here's the deal, or the Catch 22, if you will -- they are supposedly building a project that will augment the sense of community in Mission, yet they are attempting to destroy the community that makes up Mission.  My goodness......”

“Talk about a stab in the back......Mission Bowl just got hit by an IED of known terrorists to our city - the Viper, along with his allegiant soldiers.”

______________December 27th 2013 _______________

Gateway delays keep Walmart move in limbo
Rob Roberts
Reporter- Kansas City Business Journal

The Walmart store expected to anchor the long-stalled Mission Gateway project can’t go forward until developers are ready to go ahead with the rest of the mixed-use development.

Laura Smith, Mission assistant city administrator, said plans for a four-floor parking garage to serve the entire $165 million development make it impossible to proceed with the 150,000-square-foot Walmart store as a stand-alone phase of the project.

“The whole project, including the Walmart, is moving forward,” Smith assured

However, the city’s planned first-quarter 2014 issuance of $37.35 million in bonds for the project could be pushed back if financing is not secured soon. And that could threaten Walmart’s planned spring 2015 opening of its Mission Gateway store, which will coincide with the closure of an existing Walmart at 5150 Roe Blvd. in Roeland Park.

>snip< The development financing package also calls for $30 million in developer equity and $30 million in city-backed bonds.
The bonds are to be repaid via tax-increment financing and community improvement districts that will divert sales and property taxes generated by the completed project for eligible development costs.
Read More.

_______________December 27th 2013 _______________

How much longer?  Gateway?  Keystone? 

Community Development Committee (CDC) meeting on 01-02-2013 - Christie Development Predevelopment Agreement.  Former Keystone Automotive Properties Click Here

Pete Heaven Mission’s Land Use Attorney on Gateway January 9th 2013 Click Here for video  (4:44)

MINUTES OF THE MISSION CITY COUNCIL MEETING, JANUARY 16, 2013    Community Improvement District, Petition B, Gateway Project Mayor McConwell opened the Public Hearing on the Community Improvement District, and invited public comment. The following comments were made:  Click Here


Mission Capital Projects Update October 2013 Click Here 

         Below are explanations of certain terms.


Form Based Code

_______________December 19th 2013 _______________

December 18
The Kansas City Star

Progress on building the Mission Gateway project has slowed while the developer expands the retail portion, awaits suitable construction bids and considers seeking additional financial help from the city.

Developer Tom Valenti now plans an additional 75,000 square feet of retail space in the project. He will combine two sites reserved for smaller buildings on the southwest corner of the 26-acre site at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roeland Drive and put up a single 115,000-square-foot structure for multiple tenants.

>snip< Foundation work had been expected to begin by now, but Valenti said it has been delayed by the decision to build a larger retail building and the continuing process of achieving an acceptable guaranteed maximum on construction costs. Utility work is expected to begin in March.
Valenti also said increasing costs may prompt him to seek additional tax incentives from the city, but no decision has been made.

The $37 million incentive package approved by the Mission City Council includes $6 million for previous storm sewer work, $1.5 million for administrative costs and $30 million for development costs. The revenue would be generated by a special half cent surcharge on sales and tax increment financing.

Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission said she was disappointed that building work had not begun yet but added the developer is current on his obligations to the city.
As to how the city would respond to any request for additional financial help, McConwell said Mission would be willing to listen.
“If and when they make the ask, we’ll consider it,” she said. “It would depend on what it is they’ll do and the added value it would bring to the project. There will be questions that will be asked.”
Read More

_______________December 19th 2013 _______________

(Why should what's happening in New York interest us in Mission? Think "Gateway")

SU Bookstore project to begin construction, meets deadline to maintain tax deal
By Lydia WilsonAsst. Copy Editor
Published December 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Developers broke ground on the Syracuse University bookstore project this week – just in time to allow them to keep property tax breaks.

>snip<  Tom Valenti, a partner with Cameron Group, said the delays in construction were due to poor coordination among all parties involved.
“Nothing is in a straight line, and these problems are typical in development,” Valenti said. “But the good news is we’ve crossed the starting line.”
Valenti also maintains that construction had already begun when Cameron Group paid National Grid to remove power lines on University Avenue for the construction.
“As far as I’m concerned, when you spend a lot of money as we did, you’ve started construction,” Valenti added. Click Here for more.

_______________December 18th 2013 _______________

One person could have said no, that's not going to be done over the holidays, one person! They didn't.

Click above to enlarge the photos of Johnson Drive in Mission Kansas

_______________December 17th 2013 _______________

WDAF TV Channel 4 has weighed in on the closing Johnson Drive at Christmas. Click Here

MISSION, Kan. – A cone zone is causing some headaches along Johnson Drive in Mission. Not only for drivers, but for business owners.

Johnson Drive is closed at Outlook and will be for upwards of two-to-three weeks. Business owners knew the work was coming and understand the work is important in the grand scheme of things. But they think the timing stinks.

“I’m very frustrated I believe it could have been rescheduled until after the holiday,” said Robert Hartman

_______________December 15th 2013 _______________

Who’s In Charge?

WaterOne says the city is in charge and sets the date & time for construction.  The City says it’s Water One that determines when & where they work.  Who’s in charge; certainly not the merchants that will be hurt over the Christmas & New Year shopping days.  Below is part of the weekly bulletin from the City of Mission, Kansas.

 WaterOne is currently working on the transmission main at Outlook. They are planning to install a new valve on this main early next week. During this work, there will be a disruption in water service. WaterOne will be notifying those affected by the shutoff. During a portion of this work, the entire Johnson Drive & Outlook intersection will be closed and traffic will be detoured around. Due to the size of the main, the closure is anticipated to last 2-3 weeks. There will be a similar relocation at Dearborn following the completion of this work.

We were able to contact the owner of Mission Wine & Sprits, Kate Lavender who stated the closing of Johnson Drive over the two biggest days for her (Christmas & New Year eves) could be “devastating”, Ms Lavender further stated that WaterOne had put street closed signs at Martway for north bound Outlook along with the closed signs at Johnson Drive during Thanksgiving for repairs to their system.  According to Ms Lavender that cost her in sales about $2,500.00; closing over Christmas & New Year could easily double that.

Apparently Ms Lavender has contacted both the City of Mission and WaterOne with each saying it’s the other guys’ decision on when and where to dig.  WHO’S IN CHARGE?

_______________December 13th 2013 _______________

The City of Mission Kansas has accepted the resignation of Police Chief John Simmons effective yesterday December 12th 2013. Mission’s City Administrator said was "it was by mutual consent” and per city ordinance, Capt David Moloy has been installed as Interim.  The succession plan calls for an internal recruitment.  If that is not successful, we will conduct an external process.

_______________December 11th 2013 _______________

Roeland Park rejects increase in sales tax

Special to The Star
Roeland Park city officials will begin looking for expense cuts and partnerships with neighboring cities now after a sales tax increase failed at the ballot box for the second timeRoeland Park residents narrowly rejected a .35 percent sales tax increase. The tax failed Tuesday by 41 votes, 791 to 750. That tally may change as election officials collect provisional ballots and review totals.
A larger ¾-cent sales tax increase failed a year ago by a similar margin. Both attempts were meant to make up for a deficit expected when Wal-Mart moves to Mission in two years.
Read more here:

_______________December 4th 2013 _______________

November 28th – December 4th, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
Target: Two Thefts and One Arrest ● Mission Officers issued 107 traffic citations.- Parking Citations, 2 - DUI / DWI Arrests, 1 - Total Arrests, 7
● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms. - Residential, 2 - Commercial, 4

DUI arrests for the week: - 1
November 28th 5900 block of Lamar Pos. Drugs / Arrest - November 29th 5400 block Lamar Battery / Arrest - November 30th I-35 & Lamar Pos. Drugs / Arrest - December 1st 5500 block Metcalf Pos. Drugs Arrest - December 1st 4800 block Glenwood Battery (DV)/ Arrest - December 1st 6100 Broadmoor Theft / Arrest - December 1st 6200 Lamar DUI Arrest

During the week of 11/28/2013 to 12/04/2013 The Investigations Division assigned eight new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.

______________November 25th 2013 ______________

SU bookstore project risks losing its controversial tax break

The construction of a new college bookstore on the Syracuse University Hill is in danger of losing its tax break if construction doesn’t start in the next month.
The university and the developer it selected, Cameron Group, won over Syracuse’s city council and industrial development agency (SIDA) for approval of the deal in August 2012

>snip< But since shovels still haven’t broken ground on the project a year later, the city’s economic development agency this week voted the project in default of its contract. The developer has another 30 days to begin work.

A message left with the developer was not returned. Click Here for link to story


______________November 22nf 2013 ______________


November 14-20, 2013
Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
1. 2. Hy-Vee: Theft & Arrest
3. 4. Falls Apartments: Battery-CINC & Juvenile Arrest /Battery (D.V.) & Arrest

● Mission Officers issued 182 traffic citations.  Parking Citations – 2  DUI / DWI Arrests – 5 Total Arrests – 15
● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms. Residential – 0 Commercial – 6


During the week of 11/14/2013 to 11/20/2013 The Investigations Division assigned twelve new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.

______________November 21st 2013 ______________

Click Here for video of Council meeting on redistricting & Here for

Mission's Countryside to remain in Ward 4

At last night’s Mission Kansas city council meeting the Mayor’s second effort to remove the former third class city of Countryside from her ward 4 was soundly defeated.  In fact, the matter was tabled to be brought up again in future (maybe). Countryside voted to join Mission a 2nd class city in 2003.

Mayor Laura McConwell for reasons unknown to us has failed again to convince most of the council

that her quest to ‘redistrict’ moving 133 Countryside homes from ward 4 to ward 2 and counting the population of 2 apartment complexes that do not exist. 

Later today there will be a video of the this part of the council meeting. 

______________November 20th 2013 ______________

5:30 PM

Information from the court house in Olathe Kansas is Catrina Engle has been found not guilty by a six person jury.

______________November 19th 2013 ______________

Lawsuit filed by Catrina Engle of Overland Park Kansas for a reported $3,000,000 against the City of Mission Kansas, 2 police officers & the Chief of Police stemming from the arrest and subsequent conviction in Mission's Munici

pal Court of Engle for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in the parking lot of the United States Post Office, Mission Kansas.

For the past two days a jury in Olathe Kansas at the Johnson County District Court has been hearing the appeal of Catrina Engle.  Presiding judge is Sara Welch Division 19 No outcome as yet. Click here for KSHB video - And here for in depth story by the PV Post.

8:05PM - 11-19-2013

Information from a source that apparently was at the court house this afternoon has indicated that Judge Sara Welch has dismissed the resisting arrest portion of Catrina Engle’s appeal.  That leaves only the disorderly conduct charge; court should reconvene tomorrow, (11-20-2013) morning at 8:45AM, no further witness’ are expected to testify. 

Engle v. Pierce et al



Catrina Engle


Michelle M. Pierce, Mission, Kansas, City of, Timothy D. Gift and John Simmons


Case Number:



November 12, 2013



Kansas District Court


Kansas City Office



Presiding Judge:

Sam A. Crow

Referring Judge:

David J. Waxse


Nature of Suit:

Civil Rights: Other

Cause of Action:

28:1331 Federal Question: Other Civil Rights

Jury Demanded By:


______________November 15th 2013 _______________

Uplift again is helping to cloth and feed the homeless, November 21st  

Collection boxes are set out at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway (north parking lot and in Mission City Hall at 6090 Woodson. The donated socks will help the Uplift organization clothe the homeless in the Kansas City area and the canned goods will help the MCVB provide holiday food baskets to families in the Mission community.


_______________November 13th 2013 _______________

On October 18th after a short delay this site came back and then my computer crashed again. Since then we have been attempting to get it back in operation with limited success; as of this morning using another computer (old & slow) at least we can post some information.
Below is a digital version of the Kansas City Star’s “913” section posted yesterday

Mission ‘driveway tax’ upheld

November 12
Special to The Star

A three-year-old tax for street maintenance that is based on how much traffic business and households in Mission generate passed a key test this week when a district court judge declared it to be legal. Click Here for the rest of this story.

_______________October 18th 2013 ______________

Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of October 10-16, 2013

Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
Falls Apartments: One death investigation and one warrant arrest.
Target: Reported one theft.
Retreat Apartments: Reported one child in need of care.
Quik Trip: One warrant arrest.
HyVee: Reported one battery and one theft.
Officers issued 128 traffic citations and made 26 arrests. Included were 6 DUI arrests and 3 drug arrests.
Officers responded to 1 commercial alarm and 1 residential alarm.
The Investigations Division assigned six new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
Lt. Madden presented at a symposium on aging at St. Michaels Church on SaturdayOctober 12th, 2013.
The Mission Police Citizens Academy met on October 16th, and received instruction in the department’s investigations unit, domestic violence, death investigations, internal affairs, and forgeries.

_______________October 17th 2013 ______________

We're Back and still welcome articles, photos & most anything else

you wish to submit to

_______________October 17th 2013 ______________

Three weeks and two days ago I had a total knee replacement done; with a very good orthopedic surgeon, home health care RN & a physical therapist from Shawnee Mission Medical Center keeping me motivated, my recovery is nothing less than spectacular (to me at least).  One other person that did most of the grunt work is my wife, she actually put up with me.  I thank them all. Bill Nichols

Redistricting (Mission Style)

Last night at Mission’s City Council meeting marked the beginning (again) of Mayor Laura McConwell’s quest to rid herself of the former 3rd class city of Countryside (now in Ward 4).

Using the redistricting gambit last year about this time the Mayor tried to remove Countryside from her ward 4 by claiming the not yet built apartments at Mission Crossing (across from post office) & the Gateway project in her population figures for the proposed new ward 4.  It didn’t fly with the council then and it shouldn’t have now but something happened during this past year.

A little history:  2010 the census was taken and found Mission had lost some population. 

City of Mission -Ward Statistics
Ward 1 - Ward 2 - Ward 3 - Ward 4 - Total
2,928     1,875      2,355       2,165       9,323

Reason should dictate that since Ward 1 is heavy with people, Ward 2 is light; ward 3 is perfect as is ward 4, maybe, if redistricting is your goals then move a few residents from 1 to 2 but that is not what she wants.

At November’s council meeting will be the final public hearing and then a vote by the council on approving Countryside’s dismissal from the Mayor’s ward 4.  Last night’s City Council meeting produced a tie vote 4 to 4 on even having a public hearing; the Mayor broke the tie with her eye vote guaranteeing another vote by council to affirm or deny her demand that Countryside be removed.  Her relentlessness doesn’t make sense!

As Judge Judy says: “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true”

Also see the article by the Prarie Village Post

_______________October 15th 2013 ______________

Odd restrictions limit Johnson Drive redevelopment options as Gateway changes the area

Posted by Dan Blom PV Post

When the Mission Gateway project is completed at Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue, it is expected to radically change the complexion of that area. But what is likely to happen to the properties that border the development site is a question swirling around the project.

_______________September 20th 2013 ______________

Mission Police Department

Report for the Week of September 12th/18th, 2013

Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
Falls Apartments: One drug arrest and one arrest for damage to property.
Target: Reported two thefts with one arrest.
Retreat Apartments: Reported a child in need of care, a disturbance, a hit and run
accident, a domestic battery, and a warrant arrest.
Quik Trip: Reported one damage to property.
Officers issued 158 traffic citations and made 30 arrests. Included were five DUI arrests.
Officers responded to two commercial alarms and one residential alarm.
The Investigations Division assigned six new cases to Detectives for investigation and zero new cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
Officer is currently investigating three Domestic Battery cases and a Stalking case.
Officer is currently investigating a Theft, Flee and Elude and an Identity Theft case.
Officer is investigating two Mistreatment of a Dependent Adult case, a criminal
use of a financial card and submitted two Forgeries for charging.
Sgt. Self and Ofc. Castle represented the Mission Police Department at this years
Johnson County Community College Criminal Justice Day. This event is held each year to inform criminal justice students about a career in law enforcement and provide them recruiting information.
The Mission Police Department will conduct a DUI check lane on Friday, September 20th,from 2300-0300 hours.
The Mission Police Citizens Academy met on September 18th, and received instruction inpatrol operations, search and seizure, field training for new officers, and DUI enforcement. Several members of our academy will be at the DUI check lane this Friday night to observehow check lanes are done.

_______________September 13th 2013 ______________

Justin Pregont, Mission Capital Projects Manager, has resigned his position to take the Public Works Director’s position with the City of Atchison, Kansas. Justin has done a tremendous job for the City of Mission especially with all the ongoing street and stormwater projects. He will be missed here but it is good to know that Justin is both advancing in his career and returning to his home town. Plans are coming together to fill in the gap with all the projects and responsibilities that Justin was handling.

Planning Commission/City Council Work session September 25th

We will be hosting a joint Planning Commission/City Council worksession on September 25th (7pm), to discuss revisions to proposed plans for the Cornerstone Commons project, and how these could be allowed by potential revisions to the West Gateway Form Based Code. We hope this will provide direction on how to move forward with review of any revised plans the developer may submit for the proposed Cornerstone Commons project at Johnson Drive and Barkley.

• Our next Redevelopment & Capital Projects Update will be on Friday, October 18th at 7:30 a.m. at the Community Center.

• We will have a joint City Council/Planning Commission Work session on Wednesday, September 25th at 7:00 p.m. Please see the Community Development Department’s update for specific information on the items to be discussed during this work session.

Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of September 5th/11th, 2013

Mission Police Officers responded to the following location: RetreatApartments reported one damage to property and one battery with an arrest.
Officers issued 80 traffic citations and made 21 arrests. Included were two drug arrests
and five DUI arrests.
Officers responded to one commercial alarm.
During the week of 09/05/2013 to 09/11/2013 the Investigations Division assigned 16 cases
to Detectives for investigation and 3 cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
Lt. Madden is attending MidStates Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC)
training in Chicago.
Officer is currently investigating a theft, domestic battery, and residential burglary.
Officer is currently investigating a theft, fleeing/eluding, and an aggravated indecent liberty with a child.
Officer is investigating a theft, criminal use of a financial card, and mistreatment
of a dependant adult.
Mission officers attended the annual 9/11 heros luncheon with the kids from Rushton
Elementary School.

____________September 13th 2013___________

A neighboring city that actually promotes from within

Roeland Park names John Morris to replace retiring police chief

Posted by Dan Blom on Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Roeland Park’s Deputy Police Chief, John Morris, has been named to head the department when Chief Rex Taylor retires this December. Morris has been with the Roeland Park Police Department since 1999. Click Here for the rest of the story & photos.

_______________September 10th 2013 _______________

Former Kansas budget director rips media for selective reporting

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

Former state budget director Steven Anderson ripped into Kansas mainstream media outlets Friday, accusing them of distorting the truth and harboring a hidden slant in reporting the state’s fiscal decisions.

Speaking to a gathering of conservatives at the Wichita Pachyderm Club’s meeting Friday, Anderson lashed out at the editorial staffs of the Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star newspapers, accusing the publications of selectively reporting facts to cover a thinly-veiled bias.

Click Here for the rest of the story.

_______________September 8th 2013 _______________

Click Here for a FYI on Cameron Group (Gateway)

Township 5's developer, the Cameron Group of DeWitt, will break ground before the end of the year, said Joe Goethe, a Cameron principal. That means Costco would open next summer.

_______________September 6th 2013 _______________

Mission Police Department

Report for the Week of August 29-September 4, 2013

Retired Chief Brown came to the police station last Thursday and took a tour of the facility and met current officers. Chief Brown was the chief prior to Chief Sturm.


Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
-Falls Apartments, reported an attempted auto theft and damage to property.
-HyVee, reported a forgery.
-Retreat Apartments, reported a domestic battery.
Officers issued 81 traffic citations and made 15 arrests. Included were 0 parking
citations and 3 DUI arrests.
Officers responded to 2 commercial alarms and 0 residential alarms.


The Investigations Division assigned six new cases to Detectives for investigation and
one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
● Officer is currently investigating two domestic violence lethality cases and a
missing person case.
● Officer continues to investigate two child related sexual crimes.
● Officer is investigating a Forgery from Hy-Vee, a Flee and Elude and an international scam case.


Officer Roy Castle is instructing the DARE Program at both elementary schools this fall.
Det. Lt. Madden is working with a community group to teach internet safety to pre-teens.
Det. Lt. Madden is working with St. Michael’s and All Angels church to sponsor a symposium on aging. The symposium will focus on what steps need to be taken as
loved ones get older and can no longer care for themselves as they once did. The
symposium is open to the public and is scheduled for October 12, 2013 at
St. Michael’s and All Angels church. Further information to come soon.


The Mission Police Department will be conducting a DUI check lane on Friday
September 20th from 2300-0300 hours.

_______________September 4th 2013 _______________

Dear Friends,

Many of you know that I have been speaking and alerting people of the changes to our personal property rights throughout the metro. Well it has hit Parkville Missouri, too. We must stop this if we wish to have any freedoms left concerning our towns and our way of life. If you have not heard of these regional plans of Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), please Google it. 

>snip< It is based on the "Livable Communities Study" (Google it) , which on the surface  sounds like they would like to just make room for bicycle paths and save the environment. In reality it puts us in bed with federal government agencies and non-government organizations like the Sierra Club. They will add controls and add massive regulations to limit how you can use your private property. Examples in point; the M-150 corridor in Lee's Summit will not allow homeowners to have more than 50% of their landscape in grass, not allow a lot over one acre to have a single family home--larger lots must be zoned as multi-use, and the Gladstone "vision" calls for the elimination of cul-de-sacs in neighborhoods because it is "too confusing" for pedestrians (I kid you not).  Lenexa's "Vision 2030" includes an additional property tax for those of us lucky enough to have a roof and/or a driveway. It seems that that creates more rainwater run-off and they should pay extra. But you are not allowed to collect rainwater on your own property.

>snip< One of the goals of MARC is to reduce or eliminate the use of automobiles "for the environment's sake".
The paintings of the plan will look pretty. They will ask for your input and concerns and then ignore them. They may break us into groups with one of their "facilitators" running each group in order to minimize the opposition voices. Parkville will take federal funding and later learn of all the strings attached to it, but, by then, it will be too late. We don't learn of the specifics until it is implemented.


(Abby is a Parkville resident; click here to read the entire document

_______________August 30th 2013 _______________

Gerry Vernon, City Administrator

I have started a couple of projects that weren’t specifically budgeted for 2013 but I feel are necessary to improve information flow to our residents and to make City Hall more “transparent”.

For the first project, I am drafting an RFP for a city web site upgrade. As you know, the existing site is difficult and confusing for visitors to navigate and even more difficult for staff to update.

The second project will to be purchasing video cameras for the Council Chambers. Videoing Council meetings greatly enhances community trust and actually allows everyone to be better informed about what we do. At this point there is adequate budget savings in 2013 to complete one or both of these projects. Once I determine costs, I will be seeking Council consideration of one or both of the expenditures depending upon how much they cost and the remaining budget available.

Enjoy the holiday!


(Editorial Comment)
These two projects are long overdue; we hope that they will come to fruition. 


Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of August 22/28, 2013

Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
-Falls Apartments had an arrest for battery, a missing person, a check the welfare, and a recovered property.
-Target had three arrests for theft, another theft report, and a fraud report.
-Retreat Apartments reported a domestic battery and a disturbance.

Officers issued 108 traffic citations and made 25 arrests. Included were two parking citations and five DUI arrests.
Officers responded to one commercial alarm and one residential alarm.
Mission Officers are in block training this week where they receive training that is mandated by the state each year in order to remain certified.
Matt Breshears was hired this week to fill our vacant position recently held by Officer Orr (who returned to Iowa to be closer to family). Matt comes to us from the Olathe (KS) Police Department.

The Investigations Division assigned nine new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
● Officeri is currently investigating an aggravated burglary, Domestic Battery and a missing person.
● Officer is currently investigating two child sex crimes and a residential burglary.
● Officer is investigating an unattended death and a Making False Information case.

The Mission Police Department will be conducting a DUI check lane on Friday night, September 20th, from 2300-0300 hours.

_______________August 23rd 2013 _______________

Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of August 15/21, 2013

Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
Falls Apartments, reported a domestic battery/criminal restraint and a fire in a kitchen.
Target, had an arrest for theft, another theft report, and a check the welfare.
HyVee, had a forgery with an arrest, and a damage to property report.
Retreat Apartments, reported a residential burglary, one DUI arrest, and an outside agency assist.
Officers issued 198 traffic citations and made 25 arrests. Included were four parking citations and eight DUI arrests.
Officers responded to two commercial alarms and one residential alarm.

The Investigations Division assigned nine new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
● All members of the investigations team were called out for a sexual related investigation that is ongoing.
● Officer is currently investigating an auto theft and a possible Human Trafficking case.
● Officer is investigating an Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Child and an aggravated Burglary case.
● Officer is investigating a Forgery/Identity Theft from HyVee, and a theft from Target.

Mission Police Department's 2013 Citizens' Police Academy
The eightweek academy will take place every Wednesday evening starting September 11th and ending on October 30th. The classes will begin at 6:30 pm and end promptly at 9:00 pm, and we expect the sessions to be both educational and enjoyable.
Our goals are to introduce ourselves, to share our enthusiasm for the work we do, and to give everyone an opportunity to better understand how our department works. During the academy you will be exposed to topics such as criminal investigations, interview and interrogation techniques, death investigations, domestic violence, patrol operations, search and seizure, DUI and traffic enforcement, hand to hand defensive tactics, less lethal weapons, firearms and many other topics.
Behind the scenes tours of the Johnson County Adult Detention Center, Johnson County
Emergency Communications and the County's new state of the art Criminalistics Laboratory will also be given to participants.
On October 30th we will celebrate your achievements with a graduation dinner where you'll receive a framed diploma and Department polo shirt so you can participate in future events. The academy is free of cost but you must reside or work in the City of Mission, be at least 18 years of age, and be free of any felony convictions.
If you would like to participate in our Citizens' Police Academy, please contact Lt. Ken Smith at 913.676.8331 or by email at

_______________August 15th 2013 _______________

U.S. 56 (Shawnee Mission Parkway) Storm Sewer Project to begin in Johnson County

On Tuesday, August 20, a storm sewer replacement project will begin on a one-mile stretch of U.S. 56 (Shawnee Mission Parkway) from Roe Avenue to Mission Road in Fairway (Johnson County). Project work includes removal and replacement of existing storm sewer inlets. Work will take place Monday through Friday during daylight hours.

Beginning on Tuesday, August 20, weather permitting, eastbound and westbound U.S. 56 will be reduced to one lane in one direction at a time, with some closures remaining up overnight to protect areas where inlets are removed. Traffic will be directed through the project work zone via signage and cones.

Advance message boards will alert drivers to the lane closures. Drivers should expect minor delays throughout the project duration. Updated daily traffic information for this project can be viewed at:

The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and "Give 'Em a Brake!" when approaching and driving through the project work zone.
Lexeco (Leavenworth, KS) is the primary contractor on this $134,692 storm sewer project. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in late October 2013, weather permitting.

_______________August 12th 2013 _______________

Gateway project breaks ground

Mission Mayor Laura McConwell noted that the long delayed development will have both more retail than the mall that was formerly on the site, but also will bring new residential choices to the city with its 300 apartments. Mission Councilor Dave Shepard paid tribute to the persistence the long journey to groundbreaking took on the part of the developer and the city. Click Here for video Click here for video.

_______________August 11th 2013 _______________

The new Mission Aquatic Center in Victor X. Anderson Park.

“The current outdoor pool facility opened in May 1956, serving our community faithfully for the last 57 years.  The pool saw major renovations & repairs in 1964, 1987 & 1996, but no significant improvements have been made for the last 17 years” so says the City in a handout.

After a ‘dog’ swim today (August 12th 2013) the pool will be drained and demolition will begin in a couple of weeks. Mission’s new aquatic center should open by the latter part of May 2014 which is a little under 2 months after the next city election on April 1st 2014. 

_______________August 9th 2013 _______________

Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of August 1/7, 2013

RETIRED DEPUTY CHIEF LARRY TOLMAN: We received news that Larry passed away on Tuesday, August 6th. Larry was a long serving member of the Mission Police Department and his sense of humor will be missed. Service arrangements are pending.


Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations: Falls Apartments, where we made one arrest for criminal damage to roperty.
Target, where we made one arrest for theft.
Quik Trip, where we made one arrest for an outstanding warrant.
Value Place, where we made one arrest for battery.
Retrea Apartments, where we took a criminal damage to property report.

Officers issued 195 traffic citations and made 26 arrests. Included were one parking citation and
six DUI arrests.  Officers responded to six commercial alarms and one residential alarm.


The Investigations Division assigned seven new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
● Officer is currently investigating a domestic related Stalking case and a theft.
● Detective is currently investigating a Disorderly Conduct, a Theft case and a Criminal Threat case.
● Detective is investigating a Forgery with international connections, auto burglary and auto theft case.


On Saturday, August 3rd, the Mission Police Department had officers assisting with the Law Enforcement Summer Games that benefitted Kansas Special Olympics. Lt. Lane attended the event, Sgt. Coffer worked behind the scenes on logistical support tasks, and Chief Simmons participated in the over50 100yard dash and the “Chief’s Challenge,” a 40yard dash event.
On Tuesday, August 6th, Chief Simmons, representing the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, stood with other prominent members of the Kansas law enforcement community behind Governor Brownback while he signed a resolution calling for a special session of the Kansas Legislature.
The Legislature will work to modify the state’s “Hard 50” statute, a sentence used in the most heinous of cases in lieu of the death penalty. This became a necessity in light of a recent US Supreme Court ruling that juries – not judges – have to make such sentencing decisions. The Legislature will be in session from September 3rd through September 5th.

Mission Police Department's 2013 Citizens' Police Academy The eight week academy will take place every Wednesday evening starting September 11th and ending on October 30th. The classes will begin at 6:30 pm and end promptly at 9:00 pm, and we expect the sessions to be both educational and enjoyable.  Our goals are to introduce ourselves, to share our enthusiasm for the work we do, and to give everyone an opportunity to better understand how our department works. During the academy you will be exposed to topics such as criminal investigations, interview and interrogation techniques, death investigations, domestic violence, patrol operations, search and seizure, DUI and traffic enforcement, hand to hand defensive tactics, less lethal weapons, firearms and many other topics. Behind the scenes tours of the Johnson County Adult Detention Center, Johnson County Emergency Communications, and the County's new state of the art Criminalistics Laboratory will also be given to participants.
On October 30th we will celebrate your achievements with a graduation dinner where you'll receive a framed diploma and Department polo shirt so you can participate in future events.

The academy is free of cost but you must reside or work in the City of Mission, be at least 18 years of age, and be free of any felony convictions.
If you would like to participate in our Citizens' Police Academy, please contact Lt. Ken Smith at
913.676.8331 or by email at

Tip a Cop Event at Jose Peppers On Wednesday, August 14th, from 5:00 PM 9:00 pm, Mission Officers will be partnering with Jose Peppers for “Tip a Cop.” All collected tips will benefit Kansas Special Olympics.

_______________August 9th 2013 _______________

Don’t forget to say goodbye to Mission’s swimming pool by Sunday August 11th.   After you say your goodbyes there will be a ground breaking at 3:45PM for the new pool scheduled to open in May of next year.


After the ceremony there will be a two hour party to celebrate our new $4,000,000 pool that so far is costing $4,600,000.

And the next day, if you have a dog, bring your critter to the pool, with a five dollar bill and let the pooch have a swim.

_______________August 9th 2013 _______________

Mission judge finds Catrina Engle guilty in case captured on controversial YouTube video

Posted by PVPost

Mission judge Keith Drill on Thursday found a local mother of two guilty of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer in a municipal case that gained widespread attention after a video of the woman’s arrest was posted on YouTube

---- >snip< But Judge Keith Drill said he ultimately found the testimony of the postal employees — who “have no dog in this fight” — to be more credible than that of the Engles, leading him to uphold the disorderly conduct charge

.>snip< Drill fined Engle $500 on the disorderly conduct charge and $1,000 on the interfering with an officer charge, granting probation and suspending the $1,000 fine provided that Engle — who has not prior criminal record — not break the law for a year. He also ordered a mental health evaluation “in lieu of a more serious penalty.”“I’m worried about what you’ve got going on in your world that would make you respond to a situation the way you did,” he said.

_______________August 8th 2013 _______________

Last week, on KCPT TV’s   Ruckus, as Managing Editor, Mike Shanin calls it; “Our weekly food for thought fight“ Mission’s Gateway Project was discussed.  Interesting and at times humorous for the misinformation.

Click here for the short video.  Use the slider at the bottom of the frame to 6:20, that’s when the Gateway discussion begins. 

_______________August 7th 2013 _______________

Hi folks:

 Here are the questions that you conveyed at our Ward 3 (Mission Kansas) meeting on July 25th and the subsequent responses (submitted by the city).  Thanks again for continuing to participate in our Ward 3 informal meetings and sharing your concerns and ideas.
 Debbie (Kring, Ward 3 Councilwoman) & Mission's Ward 3 Councilwomen


Debbie Kring -----------------Jennifer Cowdry

Concerns shared:

 1)      People are not stopping their cars at crosswalks;

 Are there specific locations we need to review, or is it time for a "refresher" on pedestrian traffic laws? (L)
The concern may be over the cross walks on Johnson Drive.  I have observed that drivers do not pay attention to the crossing locations due to inadequate signage and the traffic speeds that are prevalent there.  It is hoped that the new Johnson Drive design and crosswalks signalization will improve the situation.  (G)

2)      Too many tickets being given;

We all know the history and reasoning with the three major thoroughfares that bisect Mission.  Our police officers need to stay vigilante in ensuring that traffic regulations are adhered to maintain safety on our roadways.  The difficulty for our police officers lies in finding the balance between maintaining safety and being viewed as "nit-picky". (G)

3)      Is the stoplight being removed from Johnson Drive and Woodson?

 Yes, the signal at this intersection will be removed as a part of the Johnson Drive project.  The traffic data did not support a signal here, and because of the federal regulations, the City is not able to maintain a signal here without jeopardizing the federal grant dollars allocated to the project ($2.8 million). (L)

4)      How much are we anticipating the interceptor costs will be, as part of the stormwater utility fee?

 Interceptor costs have been estimated at approximately $2.3 million.  The City Council increased the stormwater utility fee by $4/month per ERU beginning in the 2013 budget (estimated for 5 years) to fund the interceptor.  Note:  in order to fully fund the interceptor over this time period, the fee should have been increased an additional $5/mo per ERU. (L)

5)      Would like better advertising of city meetings, i.e., e-mails & other notices

Meetings are always posted on calendar at, and special meetings are generally posted to Facebook as well.  Would encourage residents to get on the mailing list for the Mayor's e-mail newsletter for additional information. (L)
Staff plans to conduct a request for proposals to update our website to be much more user friendly that will allow for better noticing.  In addition, the communications officer that is currently programmed in the 2014 budget will also greatly improve the communication flow to our residents. (G)

6)      Why are mature trees being taken down from Johnson Drive?

 The desire of the businesses/residents to maintain a 4-lane configuration on Johnson Drive (Nall to Lamar) as well as the desire to maintain on-street parking through this corridor means that the existing trees must be removed.  New trees will be planted as a part of the project. (L)

7)      Will the city allow individual businesses to put their own items out after reconfiguration is complete, i.e., Mack Hardware places mulch, etc. next to their building?

 During the easement acquisition process, the City negotiated with individual property owners regarding their needs/issues for use of the sidewalks. (L)

The only thing that I would add, is that the outdoor displays must adhere to Mission codes. 

_______________August 7th 2013 _______________

50 percent of sidewalk projects canceled since adoption of Prairie Village ordinance

Coming up on a year since the Prairie Village City Council approved an ordinance that gives neighbors the power to kill planned sidewalk installation projects, it’s clear that the ordinance is working — and perhaps much better than the Council had intended.
In fact, since the ordinance went into effect, residents have halted fully half of the sidewalk projects that have gone up for a neighborhood vote, raising questions about whether the ordinance flies in the face of the city’s stated position in favor of sidewalks on every residential street.

The residents of 64th Street in Prairie Village are the latest to vote to kill a planned sidewalk on their street. PV Post

>snip< But the way things have played out, the ordinance appears to be impeding the city’s overarching goal to improve access and walkability. During the creation of the city’s Village Vision comprehensive plan in 2009, the council adopted a policy that every residential street should have a sidewalk. That policy came in response to overwhelming public sentiment through surveys and meetings that connectivity and walkability were among the most important traits for neighborhoods in the city.

For the rest of the story: Click Here

_______________August 5th 2013 _______________

By Joel Poindexter -

Nearly five and a half years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, Johnson County, Kansas just finished one of its “shovel-ready” jobs. In order to relieve massive unemployment, the ARRA channeled almost one trillion dollars into make-work projects that were supposed to be ready, but only lacked funding. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in capital being diverted into this mess, the impact on unemployment was negligible, and why wouldn’t it? there was no profit incentive.

File Photos

This bus terminal in Mission, Kansas is the centerpiece of an $11 million project to update the county’s bus line, which used ARRA funds. So much for “shovel-ready,” since the location wasn’t available for two years after the ARRA was signed into law. Here’s a typical scene at the terminal during evening rush hour; note all of the ones of people waiting to board the bus:: Read More

_______________August 2nd 2013 _______________

I will be out of the office on Monday with Mayor McConwell and Martin Rivarola as we tour several Brinshore senior housing developments in Chicago. Brinshore has proposed a senior housing development at 7080 Martway and we want to ensure the development would be a good fit in the area if we are so inclined to consider their proposal.

Gerry Vernon -  Mission City Administrator

(Editorial Comment)  At least this trip isn’t to Guam

_______________August 2nd 2013 _______________

Mission Police Department
Report for the Week of July 25/31, 2013


Mission Police Officers responded to the following locations:
-HyVee, where they took a suspicious activity report.
-Target, where they made two arrests for theft.
Officers issued 243 traffic citations and made 35 arrests. Included were two parking citations and nine DUI arrests.
Officers responded to six commercial alarms and one residential alarm.


The Investigations Dvision assigned twelve new cases to Detectives for investigation and two new cases for the Crime
Analyst to monitor.
● Officers is currently investigating the death of a 42yr old male on W. 52st St, and a fleeing and eluding case.
● Officers is currently investigating the death of a 30 yr old male on W. 62nd Terr.
● Officer is investigating a Forgery from Mission Bank, and a criminal use of a financial card at Commerce


Lieutenant Madden held two presentations for the community on identity theft, scams and home security.
On July 30th Chief Simmons, Capt. Hadley, Lt. K. Smith, and Det. Davis participated in the 2nd Annual NAACP Golf
Tournament at Deer Creek Golf Course. The team did not win the trophy, but could be due to the rain.
Saturday August 3rd the Mission Police Department will have officers assisting with the Law Enforcement Summer Games that benefit the Kansas Special Olympics.


Mission Police Department's 2013 Citizens' Police Academy
The eight-week academy will take place every Wednesday evening starting September 11th and ending on October 30th. The classes will begin at 6:30 pm and end promptly at 9:00 pm, and we expect the sessions to be both educational and enjoyable.
Our goals are to introduce ourselves, to share our enthusiasm for the work we do, and to give everyone an opportunity to better understand how our department works. During the academy you will be exposed to topics such as criminal investigations, interview and interrogation techniques, death investigations, domestic violence, patrol operations, search and seizure, DUI and traffic enforcement, hand-to-hand defensive tactics, less-lethal weapons, firearms and many other topics. Behind the scenes tours of the Johnson County Adult Detention Center, Johnson County Emergency Communications, and the County's new state of the art Criminalistics Laboratory will also be given to participants.
On October 30th we will celebrate your achievements with a graduation dinner where you'll receive a framed diploma and Department polo shirt so you can participate in future events. The academy is free of cost but you must reside or work in the City of Mission, be at least 18 years of age, and be free of any felony convictions.
If you would like to participate in our Citizens' Police Academy, please contact Lt. Ken Smith at 913.676.8331 or by email at
Tip a Cop Event at Jose Peppers Wednesday August 14th from 5:00 PM-9:00 PM Mission Officers will be partnering with Jose Peppers for “Tip a Cop” that benefits the Kansas Special Olympics.

_______________July 28th 2013 _______________

Countryside's Homes Association pool party for neighbors & friends was held Sunday July 28th at Mission's Community Pool. Swim, chat and eat with the emphasis on eat & chat.  

_______________July 26th 2013 _______________

There are two groundbreaking events in early August

● Sunday, August 11th 3:45 p.m. Mission Aquatic Facility, pool party following from 4:00/ 6:00 p.m.
● Monday, August 12th 4:00 p.m. Gateway site, reception following at the Community Center

MISSION POLICE - July 11/17, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 Lamar Place Apartments: One disturbing the peace arrest.
 Falls Apartments: One disturbance and one outside agency assist.
 Target: Two thefts with three arrests.
 Quik Trip: One suspicious person report.

Mission Officers issued 191 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 6
DUI Arrests – 4
Total Arrests – 33
● Mission Officers responded to 4 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 3

DUI arrests for the week: 4
July 12 - 6100 blk 51st Street Disturb Peace/Obstruction
July 14 - 5400 blk Foxridge Damage to Property x 2
July 15 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft x 2
July 16 - 6700 Thompson Theft x 2
July 17 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft

During the week of 07/03/2013 to 07/10/2013 the Investigations Division assigned four new cases
to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
● Officer has completed six bank robbery presentations to employees of a local bank.
● Officer continues to follow up on a child sexual abuse investigation.
● Officer is investigating child sexual abuse case and Child in Need of Care case, as well
as a Disorderly Conduct and Battery cases.
● Officer is investigating a forgery case, auto burglary and a theft case.

_______________July 24th 2013 _______________

Out-to-Lunch Concert:
The Good Sam Band at Andersen Park 6000 W. 61st Street

Friday, July 26th - 11:30am - 1:00pm 

Take a break from WORK, GRAB the KIDS, or bring your work to the park for a Friday Afternoon Concert!
The first 30 people to the park will get a FREE lunch!
(HotDog, Bag of Chips & Bottle of Water)


Police Chief John Simmons is excited to announce the Mission Police Department's first annual Citizens' Police Academy.
The eight week academy will take place every Wednesday evening starting September 11th and end on October 30th. The classes will begin at 6:30 pm and end promptly at 9:00 pm, and we expect the sessions to be both educational and enjoyable. 

Our goals are to introduce ourselves, to share our enthusiasm for the work we do, and to give everyone an opportunity to better understand how our department works.  During the academy you will be exposed to topics such as criminal investigations, interview and interrogation techniques, death investigations, domestic violence, patrol operations, search and seizure, DUI and traffic enforcement, hand-to-hand defensive tactics, less-lethal weapons, firearms and many other topics. Behind the scenes tours of the Johnson County Adult Detention Center, Johnson County Emergency Communications, and the County's new state of the art Criminalistics Laboratory will also be given to participants.

 On October 30th we will celebrate your achievements with a graduation dinner where you'll receive a framed diploma and Department polo shirt so you can participate in future events. The academy is free of cost but you must reside or work in the City of Mission, be at least 18 years of age, and be free of any felony convictions. 
If you would like to participate in our inaugural Citizens' Police Academy, please contact Lt. Ken Smith at 913.676.8331 or by email at

_______________July 19th 2013 _______________

July 11/17, 2013

Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 Lamar Place Apartments: One disturbing the peace arrest.
 Falls Apartments: One disturbance and one outside agency assist.
 Target: Two thefts with three arrests.
 Quik Trip: One suspicious person report

Mission Officers issued 191 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 6
DUI Arrests – 4
Total Arrests – 33
Mission Officers responded to 4 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 3

DUI arrests for the week: 4
July 12 - 6100 blk 51st Street Disturb Peace/Obstruction
July 14 - 5400 blk Foxridge Damage to Property x 2
July 15 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft x 2
July 16 - 6700 blk Johnson Theft x 2
July 17 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft


During the week of 07/03/2013 to 07/10/2013 the Investigations Division assigned four new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
Officer has completed six bank robbery presentations to employees of a local bank.
 Officer continues to follow up on a child sexual abuse investigation.
 Officer is investigating child sexual abuse case and Child in Need of Care case, as well as a Disorderly Conduct and Battery cases.
Officer is investigating a forgery case, auto burglary and a theft case.

_______________July 19th 2013 _______________

Mission wins MOKAN swim title for fourth year in a row


The City of Mission Swim Club made it four years in a row atop the MOKAN Swim League yesterday by wrapping up its most recent “A” Division championship.

Woodside Health and Tennis Club finished second, with the Leawood City Swim Team and Homestead Country Club finishing third and fourth, respectively. The Turner Swim Academy and Meadowbrook Country club finished fifth and sixth.
Mission won the league’s “Level II” division as well. Woodside took the “Novice” division.
Swimmers who secured the highest point totals for their teams: Click Here

_______________July 17th 2013 _______________

At Mission's June 26, 2002 City Council Meeting

Mayor Laura McConwell announced that Chief of Police Robert Sturm is retiring effective June 30th after 36 years of service to the City of Mission.

Moved by Gibbs, seconded by Grosdidier to name the police department facility the Robert A. Sturm Safety Center. Voting AYE: Gibbs, Grosdidier, Johnson, Weber, Footlick, Appletoft, Vandenberg. Motion carried.

The Chief was given a round of appreciative applause. Chief Sturm expressed humility and surprise, stating that his has been a wonderful and meaningful career, which he hopes has made a difference. He will miss law enforcement and working for the City of Mission.

This evening at the July 17th 2013 Counci Meeting Police Chief John Simmons announced that retired Chier Robert Sturm had passed away.

_______________July 17th 2013 _______________

City of Mission
Regular Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Mission City Hall, 6090 Woodson

_______________July 11th 2013 _______________


July 3/10, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 HyVee: One hit and run accident.
 Lamar Place Apartments: One damage to property.
Falls Apartments: Two drug possession arrests, one attempted auto theft, one criminal trespass, and one damage to property.
Target: Two theft arrests.

Mission Officers issued 252 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 2
DUI Arrests – 7
Total Arrests – 33
● Mission Officers responded to 4 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 3

DUI arrests for the week: 7

July 3 - 6500 blk Foxridge Poss Drugs
July 3 - 6500 blk Foxridge Poss Drugs
July 3 - 5900 blk Nall Arson
July 3 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft x 2
July 5 - 5400 blk Martway Disorderly Conduct
July 6 - 6500 blk Johnson Battery

. During the week of 07/03/2013 to 07/10/2013 the Investigations Division assigned eight new cases to Detectives for investigation. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
● Officer is investigating a possible child sexual abuse case and preparing for upcoming
crime prevention presentations.
● Officer is following up on an Agg. Criminal Sodomy/Kidnapping case, 2 Arson cases
and a Child Pornography case.
● Officer is following up on two thefts and two forgery cases.

_______________July 11th 2013 _______________

Mission re-development proposal hinges on CID approval

Posted by Dan Blom Prairie Village Post

And what is a CID?  It’s a “Community Improvement District” tax.  A CID is approved by in this case, Mission to increase the sales tax by 1% which goes back to the developer.  Once again Councilman David Shepard of the 4th Ward who most likely will be a Mayoral candidate next April is more than willing to spend your money to advance a private developer.

The vacant Keystone property along Johnson Drive is the site for the proposed new development.  But,,, the last we heard, this (proposed) development was not the only business that would benefit from this CID.

Developer David Christie said his company is ready to close on the property in mid August and would “break ground the next day” to start the re-development of the three-acre project that will include a new grocery store and three restaurants. But without a Community Improvement District, the project is not feasible, he said.

>snip< Councilor David Shepard supported the project and the CID. “Without this money none of the other public improvements happen. We are building momentum,” Shepard said.

A Mission City Council vote next week is likely to determine the near-term prospects for a vacant car dealership property along Johnson Drive at Barkley Street. The outcome of that vote is uncertain. Click Here to read more

_______________July 9th 2013 _______________

Mission Family Picnic 
Saturday, July 13th
5701 Broadmoor Park 
Mission, KS 66202

Join us for an event to celebrate Mission!  The Mission Family Picnic is a great event for families, friends and anyone else who wants to have a great time.  The event features @ 6:00pm a free hot dog dinner (hot dogs, chips, soda/water and an ice cream dessert), live music from two different Kansas City-based bands, a special visit from the Consolidated Fire District #2, Mission Police Department, Multiple Inflatables, Games Areas, a DJ and capping the night off with our very own spectacular Fireworks Finale. 

   This event is sponsored by Mission HyVee.

_______________July 5th 2013 _______________

June 27 to July 2, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 Lamar Place Apartments: One suspicious activity.
 Falls Apartments: One disturbance.
 Target: Three thefts with two arrests and one warrant arrest.
 Quik Trip: One warrant arrest.

● Mission Officers issued 114 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 3
DUI Arrests – 5
Total Arrests – 19

● Mission Officers responded to 4 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 3


DUI arrests for the week: 5
June 27 - 5200 blk Johnson Forgery
June 28 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft
June 29 - 5600 blk Woodson Battery
July 1 - 5900 blk Johnson Theft
July 1 - 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft

The department completed its second block training for the year where officers from the evening shift and detectives trained together (last week) for forty hours. Topics included legal updates, firearms, impact weapons, first aid, defensive tactics, and the department’s fitness test.
The department also instructed its annual patrol rifle course that is held at the Kansas Highway Patrol range near Gardner, Ks. Officers hired in the area attend this course to become familiar with the patrol rifles carried in police units across the metro. This course is two days in length and was attended by several agencies in Johnson County (Merriam, Roeland Park, Westwood, and Gardner are a few of those agencies).

During the week of 06/27/2013 to 07/02/2013 the Investigations Division assigned 3 cases to Detectives for investigation and 1 case for the Crime Analyst to monitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
● Officer is working on crime prevention presentations.
● Officer is investigating a robbery, theft and flee and elude.
● Officer is investigating a flee and elude and an identity theft
● Officer is investigating two forgeries.

_______________July 1st 2013 _______________

This morning the Mission Transit Center was dedicated.

“The Park & Ride lot near the Mission Transit Center is now open for use by The JO passengers. The Park & Ride lot is located to the east of the transit center on the south side of Martway, next to Wendy’s.”  (About 100 yards.)

“Please note that The JO passengers cannot park in any of the parking lots adjacent to the Mission Transit Center. Johnson County Transit does not have agreements with these property owners and anybody parking in these lots does so at their own risk.”

Federal Transit Administration Celebrates Opening of Mission Transit Center, Improving Transit Service for Kansas Riders
Contact: Angela Gates

>snip< The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) provided $10.7 million for the project through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The funding was part of a $50 million TIGER grant to revitalize key neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban area and improve access to jobs throughout the region.

“Over the last four years, DOT’s TIGER program has committed $3.1 billion to help communities plan and build more than 200 projects that strengthen our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Here in Mission, Kansas, and all across America, those investments are improving opportunities for hard-working families, while helping us reduce our carbon footprint and build more sustainable communities.”Click Here for More

Bus stop land previously occupied by: 01/28/2011 Good Bye Old Friend - 03-21-2011, And Then:It's Gone

Click Here for the: PV Post

_______________June 28th 2013 _______________

June 20/26, 2013

Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
1. Value Place: One telephone harassment and possession of stolen vehicle, 1 arrest.
2. Lamar Place Apartments: One aggravated robbery.
3. Falls Apartments: One suicidal person.
4. Target: Two hit and run accidents and one warrant arrest.

Mission Officers issued 222 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 8
DUI Arrests – 11
Total Arrests – 35
● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms.
Residential – 0
Commercial – 6


During the week of 06/20/2013 to 06/26/2013 the Investigations Division assigned four cases to
Detectives for investigation and zero cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
● Officer is following up on a contractor fraud case.
● Officer is investigating an administrative case.
● Officer is investigating an Aggravated Robbery.
● Officer is investigating a flee and elude.
● Officer is investigating harassment by telephone, and two thefts.


TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t releasing the names of applicants for a new position on the Kansas Court of Appeals, even though the names of all candidates for the court and the Kansas Supreme Court have been disclosed for more than 30 years.

>snip< The Legislature added a seat to the state’s second-highest court as of July 1 and changed the process for selecting its judges. Court of Appeals members will now be appointed by the governor, subject to Kansas Senate confirmation, with no role for the nine-member judicial nominating commission.

>snip< Commission chairwoman Anne Burke, an Overland Park attorney, said Brownback’s office should let Kansas residents know who is under consideration for judicial appointments. She called his decision not to release names “appalling and terrible.”

“Now there is absolutely zero public input,” she said. Read More Here


State Issues Lowest Certificate of Indebtedness Since 2007

The State Finance Council unanimously approved a certificate of indebtedness for Fiscal Year 2014 on Tuesday morning this week. “We’ve made great progress in reducing the amount of certificate of indebtedness needed to manage the state’s cash flow since I took office – and since July 1, 2010 when the state had just $876.05 in the bank,” Gov. Brownback said. Click here to read more.

_______________June 27th 2013 _______________

Mission’s swimming pool to close early this year for construction of the new “aquatic center” The pool’s last day is

August 11th 2013

Mission is the newest Google Fiber city in Johnson County

Posted by Dan Blom PV Post

Mission is the next stop for Google Fiber’s spread into Johnson County. The Mission City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a cooperative agreement with Google for deployment of the company’s gigabit internet service in the city.

>snip< Mission’s agreement with Google calls for free services for 10 years for some public facilities, currently unnamed, but which could include city buildings, the county building, two elementary schools and SM North High School among others. Mission also gets a franchise fee of five percent of gross revenues generated in the city. It gets other fees waived and access to city easements and poles.

_______________June 26th 2013 _______________

Google coming to Mission? Apparently so!

A special city council meeting has been called for 7PM tonight The agenda includes committee reports, appointments and the resolution for Google Fiber to include Mission on their network.

City of Mission
Regular Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Mission City Hall, 6090 Woodson
Resolution Approving Network Cooperation and Services Agreement with
Google Fiber Kansas

_______________June 21st 2013 _______________-

Gerry Vernon, City Administrator

This week Laura Smith and I finished up meeting with the department heads concerning their 2014 budget proposals. There remains much work to get the budget in a form to present to the Council for discussion. We plan to be ready for the upcoming work session next Wednesday.
I have selected some new office furniture for my office. I stayed very conservative and tried to look at used but there was nothing that matched very well. In the end, I spent about $2,000.00 for an Lshaped desk, hutch with shelves, a book case, and new chair. There was not much for furniture in the city administrator’s office so this will help me a great deal to get settled and better organized.

Enjoy the weekend! Gv

June 13/19, 2013
● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 HyVee: One theft report with arrest.
 Lamar Place Apartments: One battery, one damage to property, one battery, and one
informational report.
 Falls Apartments: One domestic battery, one damage to property, one theft, and one
suicidal person.
Target: Four thefts with five arrests.

 Mission Officers issued 244 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 2
DUI Arrests – 9
Total Arrests – 28
● Mission Officers responded to 3 Commercial Alarms

DUI arrests for the week: 9 June 13th

6655 Martway Theft
June 15th 6565 W. Foxridge Dr. DV Battery
June 15th 6500 blk. Johnson Dr. Poss. Drugs
June 15th I-35 & Lamar Poss. Drugs
June 15th 4840 W. 62nd St. Damage Property
June 17th 6100 Broadmoor Theft

During the week of 06/13/2013 to 06/19/2013 the Investigations Division assigned four new cases to Detectives for investigation and zero new cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the following items:
● Officer is investigating a theft and a Domestic Battery.
● Officer is investigating a Stalking case and a theft.
● Officer is investigating a theft and multiple prescription fraud cases.

_______________June 14th 2013 _______________-

Governor signs tax bill that drew no support from local delegation

Posted by Dan Blom on Friday, June 14, 2013. 2 Comments

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback came to Overland Park Thursday to sign a tax bill that continues the march toward lowering income taxes in the state, but which also keeps sales taxes higher. It also starts to remove some itemized deductions and lowers certain standard deductions. That tax bill had no support from northeast Johnson County legislators Sen. Kay Wolf and State Reps. Barbara Bollier, Melissa Rooker, Stephanie Clayton and Emily Perry.

Northeast Johnson County legislators Melissa Rooker (L-R), Stephanie Clayton, Barbara Bollier, Kay Wolf and Emily Perry appeared together at a forum during the session.

Photo courtesy

_______________June 14th 2013 _______________-

Mission Police

June 6/12, 2013
Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 HyVee: One forgery reported.
 Lamar Place Apartments: One disturbance.
4. Falls Apartments: Two disturbances and one assault reported.
 Target: One battery and one hit and run accident.
Mission Officers issued 251 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 5
DUI Arrests – 4
Total Arrests – 24
Mission Officers responded to 2 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 1
DUI arrests for the week: 4
June 7 Hodge 4800 blk W. 62nd Terr Stalking
June 11,  I-35 and Metcalf Obstruction
June 11, 6100 blk Johnson Theft
June 12,  5500 blk Beverly DV Battery
During the week of 06/06/2013 to 06/12/2013 the Investigations Division assigned 19 cases to
Detectives for investigation and 1 cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
Officer arrested a Male in regard to a commercial Burglary
Officer is investigating damage to property and a domestic battery.
Officer is investigating a sexual abuse in conjunction with the KS AG’s Office
and a theft.
Officer is investigating two separate forgery reports and a residential burglary.

_______________June 14th 2013 _______________-

Construction price set for new Mission pool

Posted by Dan Blom (PV Post)

The Mission pool replacement project is well on its way to approval and a bond sale. The city council’s finance and administration committee agreed to a maximum build cost of slightly more than $4.6 million this week and a bond sale is scheduled to provide the funding.

The design/build team has held several public input and stakeholder meetings this spring to hear ideas for the final pool design, which also was presented to the committee.

The new facility will include a 25-meter competition pool with a diving well, a renovated bath house, new filtration systems, slide, and a zero-entry pool. A redesigned parking area and a spray pad are configured for use outside the 3-month pool season. The recommendation includes not building a second slide now, but leaving that as a future option.

_______________June 11th 2013 _______________--

Data show Mission is the KC area’s traffic ticket capital

By KAREN DILLON - The Kansas City Star

Last month, Mission Police Chief John Simmons noticed a guy driving next to him wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was texting.
Simmons quickly pulled over the driver and ticketed him.

Welcome to Mission, the Kansas City area’s king of traffic enforcement, where every cop on the force writes tickets, adding up to more citations in a year than many suburbs three times its size, according to a review conducted by The Star.

>snip< “Somebody once asked me if our officers have a quota they have to meet regarding tickets,” Simmons said. “And I told them no, they can write as many as they like.

Editorial comment – My guess is Chief Simmons had a tongue-in-cheek moment,,, right?

For photos & the entire article: Click Here

-----_______________June 9th 2013 _______________---


May 30 - June 5, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
HyVee: One theft report. - One domestic battery, one damage to property, one battery, and one informational report.
One domestic battery with an arrest, one damage to property, and one disturbance. Target: One theft with an arrest and one vehicle accident. Quik Trip: One warrant arrest.

● Mission Officers issued 235 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 6
DUI Arrests – 4
Total Arrests – 31
DUI arrests for the week: 4
May 31, 6700 blk Johnson Theft
June 1, 5000 blk Glenwood DV Battery
June 2, I35 and 18th Street Poss Drugs
June 3, 6100 blk Broadmoor Theft
June 3, 6500 blk Foxridge DV Battery
June 4, 6700 blk W. 52nd Place Disturb Peace

During the week of 05/30/2013 to 06/05/2013 the Investigations Division assigned twelvenew cases to Detectives for investigation and zero new cases for the Crime Analyst tomonitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on thefollowing items:

● (Officer) is investigating a contractor fraud case and a potential child sexual abuse case.
● (Officer) is investigating an unattended death and a Criminal Damage to
Property case.
● (Officer) is investigating a Criminal Damage to Property and Harassment by
Telephone case.
● (Officer)r is investigating three aggravated burglaries and one lewd and lascivious case.

-----------______________June 1st 2013 _______________


May 23/29, 2013

● Mission Officers issued 255 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 1
DUI Arrests – 1
Total Arrests – 17
During the week of 05/23/2013 to 05/29/2013 the Investigations Division assigned ninenew cases to Detectives for investigation and two new cases for the Crime Analyst tomonitor. In addition to these activities the investigations division also worked on the
following items:
● Investigating a contractor fraud case, aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and a suicide.
● Investigating a series of busines burglaries.

_______________May 30th 2013 _______________

A long time Mission Kansas resident apparently looked and listened to the video of May’s City Council meeting where an attempt to curtail (for the present) the eminent domain ordinance.  View video

David Shepard constantly contradicts himself, ultimately showing his true colors, and allegiance.  And his allegiance is NOT to the residents and business owners of Mission, but to the "vision", aka UN Agenda 21.  "Articulating the greater good" is straight out of the UN Agenda 21 playbook.  "I will not allow" follows the 'greater good' philosophy as well.  Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Community, Mixed-Use Development, Smart Growth, Eminent Domain, Collective, Social Equity, Community Planning, Climate Action Plan, Viability, Public-Private Partnership, Carbon Footprint.....all UN Agenda 21 buzzwords.  The mayor and (most of the) city council have been programmed by the ICLEI reps who coach them into following this destructive directive.  For the rest of the letter: Click Here

_______________May 24th 2013 _______________


Mission Municipal Pool Opens Saturday, May 25th

Summer Pool Hours
May 25 - August 11, 2013
Monday-Saturday 12:00 - 8:00pm
Sunday 12:00 - 6:00pm

Daily Pass
Mission Resident $4
Non-Mission Resident $6

Season Pass - Sold only at Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center 
Mission Family $90
Non-Mission Family $140
Mission Single $55
Non-Mission Single $85
**10% Discount for SPJCC Members
Super Pool Pass -
Fairway, Leawood, Merriam, Mission, Prairie Village & Roeland Park - Purchase a Mission Municipal Pool membership and add a Super Pool Pass for only $25 (individual) or $50 (family) to our neighboring pools! To be eligible for the Super Pass, you must be a Mission resident or a Non-Resident who has purchased a pool pass for the previous two consecutive seasons.

_______________May 23rd 2013 _______________

A five decade tradition comes to an end: Synchronized Swimming season canceled in Prairie Village

Posted by PVPoster on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 8:00 am

It’s looking all but certain that Prairie Village won’t have a Water Show this July for the first time in more than 50 years.
Prairie Village Assistant Danielle Dulin, who oversees the city’s pool operations, announced this week that the city had failed to find a coach for the synchronized swimming team this year — meaning the annual July Water Show is off

_______________May 22nd 2013 _______________

Joco Opinion
Letters — Taking on MIssion’s plan to revitalize Johnson Drive

Mission ‘vision’

With vacant buildings covering entire blocks of the business district in the city of Mission its so called “governing body” is planning to take property from the remaining businesses through “eminent domain.” It’s to further their “vision” of revitalizing Johnson Drive.
Who is left to revitalize when they steal parking from the current businesses forcing them out of business and already taxing residents to death? The City Council admits there is not enough money in the budget to pay a reasonable price for this space.

Basic rule No. 1: If you can't afford it don't buy it and certainly don't steal it. That seems pretty simple, but Mission Mayor Laura McConwell is determined to increase our debt for the “vision” that she and she alone is cramming down any opposition.

If it doesn't pass the vote, shelve it and try again tomorrow. It is common sense not to spend what you don't have.

Mission was once the richest city in the country. Where is Mission today? When Mayor McConwell she leaves office next April, she will leave us buried in debt in a ghost town.

Pray for us now.

Margaret Lea

_______________May 21st 2013 _______________

Fairway Pool Opens Saturday!

Neale Peterson Park and Fairway Pool at 6136 Mission Road

Fairway will continue its long standing tradition of FREE admission to the pool on Memorial Day Weekend.  Regular admission rates and memberships will apply beginning Tuesday, May 28th.
 Join friends and neighbors on Monday (Memorial Day) for $1.00 Day at Fairway!  Many snack bar items will be reduced to $1.00, including hot dogs, popcorn, chips and a few ice cream treats!


MISSION POLICE May 9/15, 2013

● Mission Officers issued 280 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 1, DUI Arrests – 6, Total Arrests – 39

● Mission Officers responded to 5 alarms.
Residential – 1, Commercial – 4

DUI arrests for the week: 6

During the week of 05/09/2013 to 05/15/2013 the Investigations Division assigned
eight new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime
Analyst to monitor.

May 15th 2013 Mission City Council on: Mission West CID fails 3:20 video & New city employees 4:26 video

_______________May 17, 2013 _______________

Downtown Mission awaits a street makeover with hope, apprehension

By MIKE HENDRICKS - The Kansas City Star

Mission’s main drag looks as if it’s been chewed up by tanks. Between the crumbling curbs, the four lanes of cracked asphalt have patches on top of patches.

>snip< While pleased that the city is finally getting around to fixing the street and making the corridor more pedestrian friendly, some merchants worry about losing control of the on-street parking spaces that many of them own and that the city is now acquiring through easements.

(Click Here) Prairie Village Post on Johnson Drive

(Click Here) Prairie Village Post on Mission West CID Failure

Weekend Update from the City of Mission Kansas
April 26, 2013

The 2012 Year End Report is now complete and has been posted to the website. It is still a work in progress and we look forward to continued comments from Council or the public. Our goal is to create a stronger historical context for our upcoming budget process. We incorporated this information into our Budget 101 session that was scheduled on Wednesday, April 24th. There was no one from the public who showed up for the meeting, but we will continue to work to engage our residents at a number of points throughout the budget discussions. A special thanks to all the Departments for their efforts over the last several weeks to collect and evaluate the information that was used in the year end report.

_______________April 14th 2013_______________

Governor Brownback signs 31 bills into law Tuesday

Topeka - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed 31 bills into law Tuesday, bringing the total number of bills signed by the governor during the 2013 Legislative Session to 107.  He also has vetoed one bill.

  • ·         SB 16 creates the Kansas Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (Kansas RICO Act) and amends the criminal street gangs definitions statute.
  • ·         SB 23 makes a number of changes related to school finance and reporting, continuing the statewide 20 mill levy for K-12 school finance and modifing reporting requirements in the Kansas Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Act.
  • ·         Sub. for SB 57 creates new law regarding penalties and testing for chronic wasting disease and amends laws regarding the National Poultry Improvement Plan and possessing domesticated deer.
  • ·         House Sub. for SB 83 amends state tax policy, including clarifying state tax policies enacted 2012 and reduces property tax assessment on watercraft from 30% to 11.5% beginning in tax year 2014.  
  • ·         SB 88 increases the Children’s Advocacy Center Fund fee paid by defendants convicted of certain crimes involving child victims from $100 to $400.
  • ·         SB 96 allows a county with multiple vehicle registration facilities to charge a fee for each vehicle registration or renewal in an amount not to exceed $5.
  • ·         SB 102 establishes the Second Amendment Protection Act. 
  • ·         SB 111 designates the first Wednesday of February as “Native American Legislative Day at the Capitol” and changes the title of “American Indian Day” to “Native American Day,” which continues to be recognized on the fourth Saturday of September.
  • ·         SB 122 makes it illegal to disclose the name of a voter who has cast a provisional or regular ballot, except as ordered by a court in an election contest.  
  • ·         SB 124 amends the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act.
  • ·         SB 129 removes the residential mortgage interest rate floating cap and provides a rate that could not exceed 15.0 percent per annum, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law. 
  • ·         SB 149 authorizes drug screening of applicants or recipients of cash assistance programs or employment security benefits whenever there is a reasonable suspicion the person is using a controlled substance and provides persons who test positive access to substance abuse treatment program and a job skills program.
  • ·         SB 164 allows the Kansas Department of Revenue to contract out motor vehicle services such as issuing certificates of title, driver’s licenses and division-issued identification cards as well as collecting personal property taxes.
  • ·         SB 168 amends law relating to the protection of farmland and agricultural activities from certain nuisance actions.
  • ·         SB 187 amends workers compensation laws including replaces the Workers Compensation Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Nominating and Review Committee and the Workers Compensation Board Nominating Committee with a new entity named the Workers Compensation and Employment Security Boards Nominating Committee.
  • ·         S Sub for HB 2011 authorizes higher educational institution license plates for motorcycles that are available for passenger vehicles and small trucks.
  • ·         Sub HB 2017 amends provisions of the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure concerning appeals of municipal court and district magistrate judgments, search warrants, and reporting of pornographic materials seized or documented as evidence.
  • ·         HB 2025 renames the Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services as the Robert G. (Bob) Bethell Joint Committee, increases committee membership and expands the committee’s scope, including oversight of KanCare.
  • ·         HB 2033 uniforms state law for knives, including prohibiting local governments from regulating them and allowing carrying specific types of pocket knives and switchblade knives.
  • ·         Senate Sub. for HB 2043 clarifies that the Attorney General represents the State in “any and all” actions in the Kansas Supreme Court, Kansas Court of Appeals, and in all federal courts in which the state is interested or a party.  
  • ·         HB 2069 prohibits cities, counties, and local government units from using ordinances, resolutions, or law to require private employers to provide leave, benefits and higher compensation.
  • ·         HB 2078 enacts new law and amends existing requirements for licensing bodies and licensure for military service members, and amends prior law regarding military experience for the licensing of practical nurses and emergency medical technicians.
  • ·         HB 2093 amends the law concerning crimes and criminal procedure, on topics including DNA testing, felony murder, computer crimes, and identity theft and identity fraud.
  • ·         Sub. for HB 2105 revises provisions of employment security laws pertaining to contributions paid by employers, eligibility for unemployment benefits, and the administration of the unemployment system by the Kansas Department of Labor.
  • ·         HB 2107 creates the Electronic Notice and Document Act; amends a provision in the Insurance Code requiring notification to policyholders of adverse underwriting decisions and refunds, increases the maximum lifetime benefit for individuals in the State High Risk Pool, amends existing law regarding dividends for mutual insurance companies organized to provide health care provider liability insurance, and enacts the Mandate Lite Health Benefit Plan Act.
  • ·         HB 2109 creates the Children’s Internet Protection Act, requiring technology protection measures be implemented and enforced at both the school district and public library levels.
  • ·         HB 2128 provides that a public agency is not required to disclose records of a utility concerning information about cyber security threats, attacks, or general attempts to attack utility operations.
  • ·         HB 2139 abolishes the Canceled Warrants Payment Fund and transfers all balances accrued from unpaid canceled warrants to the State General Fund and deletes the five-year limitation for taxpayers to claim funds from a canceled State check.
  • ·         Senate Sub. for HB 2150 revises the size and responsibilities for the Kansas Employment First Oversight Commission.
  • ·         HB 2164 reforms state grand jury law.·         HB 2349 requires the Legislative Division of Post Audit to conduct three school district efficiency audits each fiscal year.

_______________April 14th 2013_______________

Mission Kansas City Counci Meeting April 17th @ 7:00PM


8a. Johnson Drive Easement Acquisition - Resolution of Intent and Ordinance Authorizing Use of Eminent Domain

_______________April 12th 2013_______________

Rain Tax? Maryland Taxing Residents For Patios And Driveways; Find Out What Else You Will Be Charged For

(The Latin times)
Maryland will now impose a "rain tax." And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Formally dubbed as the "storm management fee" residents will now be subjected to fees calculated on the surface area of a property and interference with water runoff.  
The law was passed by the state legislature in 2012, and will go into effect following a decree from Democrat Governor Martin O'Malley.
However, outraged Maryland residents are wondering why?

It all began when in 2010, the EPA under the Obama administration ordered Maryland to reduce storm water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen and phosphorus level were reduced from current amounts. The issue with reducing storm water runoff is its hefty price tag, staring at a whooping $14.8 billion. Read More

_______________April 11th 2013_______________

 Governor signs eight bills into law Thursday, vetoes one

Topeka – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed eight bills into law Thursday, bringing the total number of bills signed by the governor during the 2013 Legislative Session to 76. He also vetoed one bill, Senate Bill 37.
SB 37 would have repealed the sunset of the Kansas Home Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act that is set to expire on July 1, 2013.
In his veto message to the Kansas Legislature, Governor Brownback shared his concerns about whether the potential harm inflicted upon the citizens of Kansas by unscrupulous home inspectors warrants the expansion of government and increased regulation that was applied in 2008 to this segment of the private sector.
“Upon review of the materials provided by the proponents of this legislation, both in 2008 and 2013, I see little evidence of large numbers of Kansas citizens being economically harmed by home inspectors. In fact, even the proponents believe the vast majority of Kansans who provide this service are honest people. Therefore, it appears the legislation passed in 2008 may simply add unnecessary fees and regulations to law abiding citizens,” Gov. Brownback wrote.
The Governor also noted that it appears the board lacks the resources and expertise to effectively regulate home inspectors in Kansas and that the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is better equipped with its professional staff experienced in conducting investigations and assisting Kansans seeking reimbursement.
In his veto message, Governor Brownback acknowledged the Legislature’s support of the board and told lawmakers he would sign a similar bill that extended the sunset for two years so there would be time for further consideration and discussion whether to continue the board.
The bills signed into law today by the Governor are:
SB 1 reduces the frequency of financial management practice audits of the State Treasurer’s Office and the Pooled Money Investment Board (PMIB) from every year to every two years. In addition, the new law requires a transition audit within two weeks of a new State Treasurer taking office.
SB 27 makes more U.S. military veterans eligible for the state’s Military Service Scholarship Program by expanding the definition of “qualified student”.
SB 56 transfers the responsibility of recognizing official county fair associations from the Kansas Department of Agriculture to the board of county commissioners of the county where the association is located.
SB 81 makes several changes to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), including exempting home addresses or home ownership records from searchable websites of officers, judges, and prosecuting attorneys, at their request. The new law prohibits a public agency from disclosing the name, home address, e-mail address, phone numbers, or other contact information for any person licensed to carry concealed handguns, any person who has enrolled in or completed weapons training for concealed carry licensure, or any person who has applied for a concealed carry license.
SB 120 establishes a central registration of farmers’ markets through the Kansas Farmers’ Market Promotion Act. The voluntary registration will be used to encourage and promote farmers’ markets across Kansas and assist the Kansas Department of Agriculture in promoting Kansas agriculture by more efficiently connecting producers with consumers.
SB 128 extends the sunset of the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority by three years, to June 30, 2017 and clarifies students taking part in the Career Technical Education (CTE) Incentive Program must complete their certificates prior to high school graduation or by Dec. 31 immediately following graduation for a school district or community/technical college to receive an incentive award.
SB 136 allows a veteran to have “VETERAN” printed on the front of a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver identification card.
HB 2170 makes numerous changes to sentencing, post-release supervision, and probation statutes, including allowing low-risk defendants who’ve paid all restitution and met all terms of probation to be eligible for discharge from court supervision.

_______________April 3rd 2013_______________

Despite concerns, Johnson County Commission gives final approval to JO fare increase

Roxie Hammill Special to The Star

Although some members of the Johnson County Commission voiced concerns last week, they all gave final approval to bus fare increases that will go into effect April 15.

The biggest increase will come to the popular K-10 Connector to Lawrence. Those prices will go from $3 to $3.50 per ride. Monthly passes, which were not offered in the past, will be $117.60. Meanwhile, express routes would go from $2 to $2.25 per ride and from $67 to $75.60 for a monthly pass.

The fare increase, close on the heels of a cutback in routes, comes at a time when bus ridership has been increasing. Deputy Transportation Director Chuck Ferguson said ridership on the JO has increased 22 percent in the past two years, with a third of it coming from the K-10 Connector. Read More Here

_______________April 3rd 2013_______________

Area court case highlights legal thicket surrounding GPS data

The Kansas City Star

Admit it: You fear that the smartphone in your purse or pocket is just a glorified tracking device for the New World Order.
Well, you’re right; it can be. And courts around the country just now are setting the hoops that police and federal agents must jump through to get permission to track you in real time

A recent appeals court ruling on a Kansas City, Kan., drug case could help define what law enforcement must do to get cellphone providers to give up the GPS data. Read the rest of the story by: Clicking Here

_______________April 1st 2013_______________

Mission Municipal Pool Public Presentation / Design and Feedback Meeting

Thursday, April 4th at 6:30PM at Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center

6200 Martway, Mission Kansas

_______________March 29th 2013 _______________

Kansas Legislative Update - Week Eleven

Click Here

Drug Testing for Government Assistance

>snip< The bill, SB 149, would prohibit an individual who fails a drug test from receiving assistance until they have completed drug treatment and job training programs. A second failed drug test would result in the individual having their assistance suspended for a year. Long term suspension would be for recipients who fail a third, or subsequent, drug test. In instances where a parent fails a drug test, the portion of cash assistance allocated for their children could go to a third party to administer on the child's behalf.

University of Kansas Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center 
Legal Liability of Doctors
Keystone Pipeline
Oil and Gas Valuation Depletion Trust Fund
February Labor Report
Conference Committees

John Bradford
Representative, District 40

_______________March 29th 2013 _______________

Bunny Eggstravaganza

If you are planning to take in the Bunny Eggstravaganza in Mission this Saturday, make sure you head to Sylvester Powell Community Center and not Broadmoor Park as originally scheduled.

Because of the snow melt and predicted rain the end of the week, Broadmoor is expected to be muddy so the event is being moved indoors with all of the times remaining unchanged.

The egg hunt times start at 10:15 a.m. for 10 years and older; 10:30 a.m. for eight months to 18 months; 10:50 a.m. for 18 months to three years; 11:10 a.m. for four to six years; and 11:30 a.m. for seven to nine years.

Besides the egg hunts, lots of other family activities will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, including egg races, inflatable’s, face painting and fire and police department participation. The event is free.

_______________March 28th 2013 _______________

Debate on guns’ role in society divides even law enforcement

March27, 2013 - The Kansas City Star

by: Steve Rose

-Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning and Overland Park Chief of Police John Douglass do not see eye to eye-

---- First, Denning.Several weeks ago, the sheriff posted on his website his position on weapon bans of any kind — pistols, semi-automatic -or automatic weapons, as well as magazines that carry large numbers of bullets.

- As reported, the sheriff came down hard on the idea of any bans. To ban weapons of law-abiding citizens, he said, was - - like “unilateral disarmament.”

- >snip< Denning goes beyond that.  “Teachers should have the option, if they are willing and able, to be armed,”---------------Denning said.

Overland Park Chief of Police John Douglass could not disagree more.

---- The Overland Park police chief, who also has 40 years of law enforcement experience and has been chief for 17 years, is adamantly - - -- --opposed to weapons in public buildings.

--“A weapons-free environment makes more sense,” said Douglass. “The more weapons there are, the more potential ---- --there is for something bad happening.”

The chief is particularly opposed to weapons being carried into City Council meetings or legislative hearings

Read the entire article by Steve Rose: Click Here

_______________March 27th 2013 _______________

Texas Open Meetings Act survives after Supreme Court declines review

By TAL KOPAN 3/27/13 4:16 PM EDT

In a win for transparency advocates, a challenge to the Texas Open Meetings Act failed Monday as the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to the case Asgeirsson v. Abbott, effectively closing the matter.

The denial of certiorari leaves intact a ruling from a federal appeals court, which upheld the law against a challenge from local government officials, who claimed it restricted their First Amendment rights. Read All

_______________March 27th 2013 _______________

Costco to anchor Township 5 development in Camillus (Cameron Group LLC)

By Rick Moriarty |

Camillus, N.Y. -- A major retail, office and apartment project sidetracked for six years could get off the ground soon with the construction of a Costco Wholesale store, the first in Upstate New York.

Representatives of Cameron Group LLC, of East Syracuse, are scheduled to appear before the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency today to seek a tax deal for the proposed Township 5 project.

The approximately $50 million development would be a mixed-€use "lifestyle" center with more than 500,000-square-feet of office, retail, entertainment and housing on what is now an undeveloped 67-acre parcel at the Hinsdale Road exit off Route 5 in Camillus.
A 96-unit apartment complex would be built in the rear of the property. Bike and walking trails would serve as a buffer between the project and a residential neighborhood off Bennett Road to the north.

Cameron Group partner Joseph Goethe said Costco has agreed to become the project's first retail tenant. It wants to open a 150,000 warehouse club store in November, though that date could get pushed back to the spring of 2014, he said. For 2 minute video: Click Here Another video on Cameron Group's web site, this time titled:Gateway Revised A couple other things just came in that you might be interested in regarding the above: & Centralny.ynn

_______________March 27th 2013 _______________

 Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signs judicial reform legislation into law Topeka

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2019 into law Wednesday during a signing ceremony at the Kansas Capitol. The new law reforms how judges for the Kansas Court of Appeals are appointed.

“The guiding principle of our American democracy must be that every citizen stands equal before the law, with an equal voice in this long running American experiment in self-government,” Gov. Brownback said. “Kansans expect and are entitled to a government that is not beholden to any special interest group. Unfortunately in Kansas, our current system of selecting our appellate judges fails the democracy test.”
Brownback continued, “Rather than providing an equal voice to all Kansans in the selection of our Appeals and Supreme Court judges, Kansas is the only state in the union that allows a special interest group – to control the process of choosing who will be judges for the rest of us.”

_______________March 26th 2013 _______________

It took us a little over 230 years of history to come up with the so called ‘Driveway Tax’, England on the other hand has actually gotten a tax into your bedroom.

A forthcoming change in housing benefit rules has been dubbed the "bedroom tax" by Labour and, for many, the name has stuck.

>snip< But from April 2013 families deemed to have too much living space by their local authorities will receive a reduced payment. Under the government's so-called "size criteria", families will be assessed for the number of bedrooms they actually need.
The new rules allow one bedroom for each adult or couple. Children under the age of 16 are expected to share, if they are the same gender. Those under 10 are expected to share whatever their gender.

Brick up spare rooms, urges Labour MP Frank Field
Nine Years War

>snip< Mr Field added: "I feel so strongly about what the government is doing to constituents and similarly placed constituents around the country that I make a call to landlords - both social housing landlords and to housing association landlords - to defy this act by not only not operating it but to do as landlords did after the Nine Years War [in the late 17th Century], when the government similarly stretched for money imposed a window tax.

"They bricked up those windows. I hope landlords will brick up the doors to spare bedrooms and, where appropriate, they will knock the walls down of spare bedrooms, so that the properties fit the tenants - safely, one hopes - of the tenants thereby.

_______________March 23rd 2013 _______________

Kansas Legislative Update - Week Ten

John Bradford KS-40, March 22, 2013

The tenth week proved to be very busy, yet productive for the House with passage of a budget and tax plan, setting the stage for the end of session. The only requirement for the Legislature is to pass a budget each session; and with the time table the House leadership has set, we are still on pace to finish in 80 days.

For the entire update: Click Here


Last year, the state passed the largest tax cut in history by significantly reducing state income tax rates and eliminating income taxes on small and corporate business owners for non-wage revenue.


On Wednesday of this week, the House took up the tax plan that was passed out of committee last week and debated it on the floor. The plan would continue the Governor's drive to get personal income tax to zero.

Pro-Life Legislation

This week, the House passed HB 2253, which would serve to further protect the lives of the unborn in Kansas by ensuring that no taxpayer dollars are used to subsidize abortions and by revising other abortion statutes

Historic and Religious Public Displays

On Tuesday, the House debated HB 2037 dealing with the display of religious and historic artifacts on public property

Final Action Votes

Many bills were passed through for final action. For a complete review of these bills, go to

_______________March 22nd 2013 _______________

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism voted 5 to 0 last night to pass KAR 115-4-4 which will improve the state’s hunting regulations in a number of ways. Under this rule change, all hunters will be allowed the option of using crossbows during archery season starting in September. Useful technologies such as rangefinders, cameras, and new sighting devices will also be allowed.

>snip< Other important changes under KAR 115-4-4 will allow hunting with all centerfire rifles and handguns, regardless of caliber, and all shotgun slugs, regardless of gauge. Modern bullet construction eliminates the lack of lethality associated with the solid, non-expanding bullets of old. Allowing smaller centerfire rifles will encourage youngsters and newer hunters to use firearms more appropriate for their circumstances. The goal of all hunters is to recover the game they shoot and they will choose what they consider to be the most effective caliber to achieve that end within their physical limitations – such as their ability to handle the firearm’s recoil.

_______________March 20th 2013 _______________

Kansas House endorses tax bill while protecting highway funds

March 20, 2013 - The Associated Press

TOPEKA — Proposed cuts in Kansas’ sales and income taxes advanced Wednesday in the House, but members stripped out a key provision that would have diverted millions of dollars from the state highway system.

The House gave initial approval to the bill on an 82-37 vote. The tally suggested that Republican leaders will have enough votes to pass the measure on final action, scheduled for today.

The bill then would go to the Senate, which passed its own tax plan last week.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wants to further reduce income tax rates and position the state to phase out personal income taxes altogether.
Read More Here

(Also See) Kansas Senate expects final vote on $14 billion budget bill

_______________March 19th 2013 _______________

The City of Mission invites you to participate intwo upcoming forums on the NEW MISSION MUNICIPAL POOL.

Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center.
Tuesday, March 19 - 6:30p.m.
Thursday, April 4 - 6:30p.m.

_______________March 19th 2013 _______________

Commerce Bank slated for one of last undeveloped parcels in Roeland Park

Posted by Dan Blom, Prairie Village Post on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

>snip< The properties are the green spaces on the north side of Johnson Drive on both the east and west sides of Roe Avenue. Often home to art works, sidewalks are now being built along both stretches with federal stimulus money. The City of Roeland Park sold approximately three acres on the northwest corner to Commerce for its appraised value with a March 2014 deadline for construction, according to city administrator Aaron Otto. A new bus stop also will be located on that side of Johnson Drive. Read All:

_______________March 16th 2013 _______________

John Bradford KS-40
March 15, 2013
Kansas Legislative Update - Week Nine

Committees were busy this week kicking out bills to be considered by the House. The House Appropriations Committee passed a budget and the House Taxation Committee passed an income tax reform plan. The Appropriations Committee has spent months going line-by-line through the budget and finding necessary savings to offset the tax bill from last session. At the same time, the Taxation Committee has been busy looking for a way to continue to buy down income tax rates while not having to take large hits to the ending balance in the next few years. These bills will be worked on the House floor in the weeks to come as we finalize our work before first adjournment.

To read the rest: Click Here

Kansas Exports Increase
Personal and Family Protection Act
Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm
Second Amendment Protection Act
Grand Jury

_______________March 15th 2013 _______________

March 7th – 13th, 2013

● Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
 HyVee: Forgery & Arrest - Falls Apartments: Warrant Arrest - Target: Theft & Arrest, Open Door - Quik Trip: Battery (Dom. Violence)

● Mission Officers issued 210 traffic citations

Parking Citations – 5, DUI Arrests, 9 - Total Arrests – 36
● Mission Officers responded to 5 alarms.
Residential – 1 & Commercial – 4

_______________March 14th 2013 _______________

It never ceases to amaze me how one can continue to march down a road with no end.  Sustainability, pedestrian friendly, green and a never ending imposition of spending other people’s money.   
Below is a request by the City of Mission Kansas to sell the improperly obtained property last year.  It appears the city really does not want to sell the property by imposing restriction after restriction on a potential buyer. You judge. 

Section 1: Background Information

The City of Mission has made a significant investment of resources planning for its future and creating a vision for a vibrant, mixed use "West Gateway" district. Through an inclusive visioning process, participants identified a number of positive traits unique to Mission, including its excellent location within the metropolitan area, shopping district with charming buildings, and a variety of community destinations. Conversely, a number of negative attributes have been identified, such as overwhelming presence of surface parking lots that contribute little to the promotion of an aesthetically pleasing, pedestrianfriendly environment that the community strives to achieve. Also, a number of underutilized buildings exist, which due to market conditions, are no longer attractive to the development, industrial, or commercial/office community.

Request for Proposals:

Private Developer for the City of Mission Kansas, Former Neff Printing Property 7080 Martway, Mission, KS 66202.

City of Mission, Kansas
March 8, 2013
Mission Crossing Project (Description):
>snip< The Mission Crossing project includes construction of four standalone buildings, in total about 20,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as up to at least 80,000 square foot building for residential use. Read all:

_______________March 12th 2013 _______________

City Administrator - Mission, Kansas (10,000 Pop.) Community

$11,000 Plus Expenses is the cost to Mission. Read All: Click Here

(snip) As a first-tier suburb in the Greater Kansas City area, Mission has been a leader in seeking citizen input into formulating a vision and long-term strategies for redeveloping and investing in the community.
This includes investing in neighborhoods and commercial areas, and identifying new funding mechanisms that will sustain the continued provision of high quality services. Public transportation is available at the 6000 Lamar Johnson County Transit Center, and Rock Creek Trail is located in the center of town, close to the City’s Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center (, recognized as one of the finest recreation centers in the Midwest.

_______________March 9th 2013 _______________

News From the Kansas State House - Week Eight

John Bradford KS-40
March 8, 2013

Both houses are now considering the bills sent over by the other chamber. In the House, hearings are beginning on the sixty or so bills passed by the Senate, giving the public the opportunity to provide their thoughts in testimony. The second half of the session will go quickly as our next hard deadline is April 5th. That will be the end of Regular Session and will only leave Veto Session to complete this year's legislative business. You can expect, over the next few weeks, a great amount of our time will be spent on addressing the budget and considering legislation passed by the Senate.

You can stay up-to-date with committee schedules and bills and find other helpful information regarding the happenings in the statehouse through the legislature's website,

Innovative School Districts
Supreme Court Stays School Funding Lawsuit
Knife Regulation
KanCare Educational Meetings

_______________March 8th 2013 _______________


February 28/March 6, 2013.
● Mission Officers issued 203 traffic citations. Parking Citations – 2, DUI Arrests –4, Total Arrests – 24
● Mission Officers responded to 10 alarms. Residential – 2 & Commercial – 8

_______________March 6th 2013 _______________

Don’t Forget
Set you clocks for 2:00AM Sunday so you can move them up an hour.  Yep it’s that time of year again! 

I’ll not editorialize on this outdated, stupid, inconvenient, dim-witted, foolish, ill-advised hold over from the early 20th century. 

Nope, I won’t do it. BN  

_______________March 6th 2013 _______________

From the Kansas City Star's 913 section

Higher taxes are subsidies for developers

Ronnie Metsker, Johnson County’s GOP chairman, is a hard man to hate

Prairie Village Council dampens hopes for aquatics center

While cities await rulings, residents organize against gun violence

$51 million hotel plan for Olathe

Higher taxes are subsidies for developers

_______________March 3rd 2013 _______________

Not exactly a local matter, right?

Germany's National Firearms Register, which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, recently published its first statistics. A total of 5.4 million legal weapons are registered with private owners in the country. The most are registered in the state of Bavaria (1.1 million), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (1 million) and Baden-Württemberg (700,000). Approximately 550 German authorities submitted data. The introduction of the register is broadly seen as a political reaction to killing sprees in Erfurt in 2002 and Winnenden in 2009. Moreover, the European Union has stipulated that all member states must launch central firearms registers by the end of 2014. Germany has the fourth highest per capita number of legal firearms, lower than the United States, Switzerland and Finland -- but higher than Mexico, South Africa and Russia. Germany's largest police union, the GdP, estimates there are up to 20 million illegal firearms in Germany

_______________March 2nd 2013 _______________

February 21/27, 2013

Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:

 Target: two thefts, one arrest, Quik Trip: One DUI

Mission Officers issued 129 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 5
DUI Arrests – 8
Total Arrests – 20

Mission Officers responded to 2 alarms.
Residential – 0, Commercial – 2

DUI Arrests 6

During the week of 02/21/2013 to 02/27/2013 the Investigations Division assigned two new cases to Detectives for investigation and zero new cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor.

_______________March 2nd 2013 _______________

News From the State House - Week Seven

John Bradford KS-40
March 1, 2013

Turn-Around Has Arrived

On Friday of this week, the Legislature finished up its work, ending "turnaround" on schedule. We worked through more than 70 bills this week with several important pieces of legislation passed. Our next deadline will be March 22, when all non-exempt bills must again be passed out of committee.
We take off on Monday and Tuesday as support staff work through and process the bills passed this week. There are several staff agencies outside of the House working and voting on the bills. The Revisors must process the amendments that we made to the bills, the clerks have to document the records, and research staff updates the explainers of bills that were amended. Starting March 6, the House will work Senate bills in committee, and the Senate will work House bills in committee. I have summarized a few of the many topics we have worked on this week.

Regulatory Certainty for IP-Enabled Devices
Equal Access for Professional Employees' Organizations
KanCare Oversight Committee
Judicial Selection
Licensing for Military Personnel

_____Update__________March 1st 2013 ______Update_________

Moe's Southwest Grill coming to North Utica


Posted Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:14 PM
Last update Feb 28, 2013 @ 08:07 PM

Moe’s is moving in. The southwestern style restaurant will be the anchor tenant in a new building where the former Friendly’s restaurant stood in North Utica

>snip<No other tenants for the site have been announced but several other chains, including Bruegger’s Bagels have recently expressed interest in expanding to Utica.

>snip< The store itself will be approximately 5,000 to 6,000 square feet, Adler said."It will look like the Moe's in New Hartford, that's their signature look," he said. "Then there will be one or two other tenants." Read More

_______________February 28th 2013 _______________

Another Massive Project of Cameron Group LLC (Gateway Developers LLC)

Moe's Southwest Grill coming to North Utica

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff
Story Created: Feb 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM EST

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - North Utica residents will soon be hearing "Welcome to Moe's!"
The restaurant chain will be moving to the site of the former Friendly's after the building on site is demolished, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said.

The City of Utica's Department of Codes Enforcement has issued a Demolition Permit to the Cameron Group allowing for the vacant Friendly's to be torn down and a new multi-tenant building anchored by Moe's Southwest Grill to be built in its place.

"It is rare that a building gets demolished in Utica and is immediately replace by a viable national brand like Moe's Southwest Grill," Mayor Palmieri said. "Moe's will provide new jobs, expand our tax base and diversify restaurant options just minutes off the Thruway. This is another indication that Utica is coming back."


_______________February 27th 2013 _______________

Roeland Park mayor Foster fails to emerge from primary.  Apparently the potential loss of Wal-Mart to Mission’s Gateway Project & the failed ¾¢ sales tax initiative was Foster’s undoing. 

“Roeland Park’s Adrienne Foster failed to garner enough votes in Tuesday’s primary to make it onto April’s general election ballot, marking the beginning of the end of her sometimes controversial tenure as mayor after just one term”.

“Challenger Joel Marquardt emerged Tuesday as the clear frontrunner for the office, picking up 57 percent of the vote. Linda Mau finished second with 26 percent of the vote. Foster finished the night with 17 percent.” PV Post

_______________February 26th 2013 _______________

Enough Said


_______________February 25th 2013 _______________

Spring Primary Election Alert
The Johnson County Election Office has announced several changes in the Spring Primary election. Please read carefully.
February 25 -
Due to the incoming storm, Advance Voting in Person has been extended to 7 PM at the Election Office tonight, on 2/25.
Tuesday, February 26 -
ANYONE in the election tomorrow may vote at the Johnson County Election Office, 2101 E Kansas City Road, Olathe.

Fairway Ward 4 will vote at Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.
Lenexa Ward 3 will vote at Central Church of the Nazarene, 12600 W 87th St Parkway, Lenexa.
Merriam Ward 2 will vote at Merriam Christian Church, 9401 Johnson Drive, Merriam.
Overland Park Ward 5 will have at least 2 polling locations.
Overland Park voters may choose:
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7851 W. 119th Street, Overland Park
Village Shalom, 5500 W. 123rd St, Overland Park

Roeland Park will vote at Roeland Park Community Center 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.

Shawnee Ward 2 will vote at Merriam Christian Church, 9401 Johnson Drive, Merriam

_______________February 20th 2013 _______________

Governor: All Executive Branch State Offices
will be closed Thursday, Feb. 21st

Governor declares an emergency for all 105 counties

TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that all state offices in the Executive Branch will be closed Thursday, February 21st in anticipation of inclement weather conditions. If a state office is already closed, it will remain closed.
“Every indication is that our state is going to receive a tremendous amount of snow in the next 24 hours. I want to urge Kansans to heed the winter weather warnings and avoid traveling tomorrow,” Gov. Brownback said. “Our state agencies are ready to respond as needed to assist Kansans and counties who may need additional assistance.”

This closure will affect non-essential Executive Branch employees scheduled to work between 6:00 am on Thursday, February 21, 2013 until 6:00am on Friday, February 22, 2013.

This declaration does not include employees in the Board of Regents, Regents Institutions, the Judicial Branch, nor the Legislative Branch of Government. Their designated representative will make a separate declaration for those employees if appropriate.
State employees can find further information at
The Governor also signed an emergency declaration for all 105 Kansans counties. This will allow state agencies to assist local governments as needed.
Motorists who find themselves in need of assistance can call 911 or *47 to reach the Kansas Highway Patrol. Those traveling on the Kansas Turnpike can call *KTA.
You can learn about road conditions at

_______________February 19th 2013 _______________

Governor Makes Appointment to the 10th Judicial District

Topeka – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today announced the appointment of Leawood attorney Paul Gurney to the 10th Judicial District of the State of Kansas. Gurney will take the seat of retiring Judge Thomas H. Bornholdt.
“Paul is a very experienced civil litigation attorney,” Governor Brownback said. “He will bring a unique skill set to the 10th Judicial District.”

Gurney is currently an attorney at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Hansen, where he has worked since 1999. He serves as the Senior Trial Counsel at the firm.

Paul Gurney was one of three names submitted to the Governor by the 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission.
The state’s 105 counties are organized into 31 Judicial Districts. The district courts serve as the trial courts for the state, overseeing all civil and criminal cases. The 10th District covers the entirety of Johnson County.

_______________February 17th 2013 _______________

A penny here and a penny there, however, and sales tax rates in some areas are closing in on 10 percent (so says JoCo913 section of the Kansas City Star last week)

>snip< What was the sales tax, last time you checked? 8.7 percent? Nine? Or was it closer to 10 percent? The answer depends on where you did your shopping, as more and more Johnson County cities take advantage of a relatively new funding option — the Community Improvement District. With this option, cities can carve out small areas and add up to 2 percent in sales taxes to finance improvements as an incentive for development

The quick proliferation of these special taxing districts has some critics worried — about sales tax “fatigue,” about their misuse for projects that could have been done with private funds and about the fact that shoppers often have no idea how much in sales tax they’re paying at any given time. Read More:

_______________February 15th 2013 _______________

February 7/13,2013

Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week: Value Place: One burglary to hotel room. HyVee: One forgery report and one telephone harassment. Falls Apartments: One domestic battery with an arrest and one weapons violation with an arrest.
Target: One arrest for theft/possession of drugs, one arrest for possession of drugs, and one theft report.. Quik Trip: One missing person report.

● Mission Officers issued 196 traffic citations. - Parking Citations 2, DUI Arrests 5, Total Arrests 31

● Mission Officers responded to 9 alarms. Residential 3, Commercial 6

PATROL AND TRAFFIC ARRESTS - DUI arrests for the week:5

INVESTIGATIONS - During the week of 02/07/2013 to 02/13/2013 the Investigations Division assigned 11 cases to detectives for investigation and 2 cases for the Crime Analyst to monitor.

_______________February 11th 2013 _______________

City of Mission, KS - Government

Proposed fare increases are on the horizon for the Johnson County Transit bus service. Public feedback forums will be held at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center as detailed below:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

If you are unable to attend, you may send comments to: Click Here

_______________February 8th 2013 _______________


January 31 February 6, 2013
Mission Officers issued 270 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 0
DUI Arrests – 9
Total Arrests – 33
Mission Officers responded to 1 alarm.
Residential – 0
Commercial – 1

DUI arrests for the week: 9
Feb 1, I-35 and Lamar Poss Drugs
Feb 5, 6200 blk Pflumm (Shawnee) Elec. Solicitation

During the week of 01/31/2013 to 02/06/2013 the Investigations Division assigned nine new cases
to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analyst to monitor.
Officers responded to a child who was shot at a local apartment complex. Officers’ investigating of child sex crimes. The suspect was taken into custody and search warrant served.
Officer is investigating three burglaries.

_______________February 6th 2013 _______________

Prairie Village puts aquatics center on back burner

Luke Ranker - Special to The Star

The idea of a city-funded community and aquatic center in Prairie Village may have died.
At a work session Saturday, city council members discussed a number of important issues facing the city, including park maintenance, rental properties and the feasibility a proposed $44 million community and aquatic center. The council agreed that the city currently can not handle the financial burden of the center.

The project came from a feasibility study that looked into a community center and replacement options for the city’s 50-meter outdoor pool. No official vote was taken on the matter. City Administrator Quinn Bennion said the council would probably put the matter to an official vote some time in the next month.

Councilman David Belz said now that the study has shown how much the project would cost, he can’t recommend spending that much money.f money wasn’t an object, it would be a beautiful thing, but money is an object,” Belz said. Read More Here

Reversing course, Roeland Park rejects plan to raze center

Teri Schaefer - Special to The Star

Opponents of a plan to build senior housing and a new community center on the site of Roeland Park’s existing community center can rest easy — for now.

After the city council reversed itself Monday by rejecting the project, developer David Dean told The Kansas City Star he would abandon his efforts and start the process over in hopes of building it next year. Read More Here:

_______________February 5th 2013 _______________

Laura McConwell, Attorney and Mayor of Mission, Kansas, selected to receive the 2013 Influential Women Award from Kansas City Business Magazine (Mayor McConwell was nominated by Mission Councilwoman Debbie Kring)

Kansas City, MO (Feb. 1, 2013) Attorney and Mayor of Mission, Kansas, Laura L. McConwell, has been selected to receive a 2013 Kansas City Influential Women Award’ by Kansas City Business Magazine, according to a notification from Fred Bauters, Senior Editor of the publication. Mayor McConwell earned the recognition based on her leadership accomplishments, career achievements, and a dedication to bettering the Kansas City community.
Read More

>snip< The Influential Women award program annually recognizes Kansas City's women leaders in the creative, corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial communities. McConwell will receive her award March 13, 2013, during the Seventh Annual Influential Women Recognition Reception held at The National World War I Museum. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling Jessica Earnshaw, Anthem Publishing, 913-894-6923 ext.678.

_______________ January 17th 2013 _______________

Mission approves Gateway redevelopment plan which includes a Wal-Mart

By ROXIE HAMMILL - Special to The Star

After years of false starts and delays, the Gateway redevelopment plan for the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue has won approval from the Mission City Council.

The $165 million plan, which includes a Wal-Mart and upscale apartments, was approved in a 5-3 vote Wednesday night.
Approval came after assurances from developer Tom Valenti and real estate lawyer Pete Heaven that the city’s risk had been minimized.
Some dissenting council members, however, said they didn’t like the tax rate that will result from the surcharges on purchases made in the development.

(Click images to enlarge)

The tax rate on purchases at the Wal-Mart will be 9.65 percent. Others worried that the adddition of Wal-Mart and the other retailers would hurt the city’s businesses on Johnson Drive.:

The community improvement district (CID) is .005% for Wal-Mart, for all others it is .01%. 

What the above story from the Kansas City Star doesn’t tell you are all other business will be require their customers to pay 10.15% in sales tax.  Read More Here:

_______________ January 16th 2013 _______________

Kansas senator pushes medical marijuana bill

Staff Kansas City Business Journal

A Kansas state senator introduced a bill to the Senate on Tuesday that would allow Kansans with medical conditions to possess and grow marijuana, KCTV5 reports.

The bill by Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, would allow Kansans to possess 6 ounces of marijuana and 12 plants, and calls for the Kansas Department of Public Health to regulate medical marijuana "compassion" centers and distribute the medicine to qualified patients, the report says. Read More Here

(Sen. David Haley)

_______________ January 13th 2013 _______________

This particular City Council meeting at Powell Center Wednesday at seven is extremely important for you and the city.  $42,000,000 in TIF & CID bonds (partially guaranteed by Mission) for The East Gateway Project for Gateway Developers, LLC. Gateway Developers will be represented by Tom Valenti VP of Gateway Developers. 

This may be the very last time you have any say in this development.  At the very least please come and just listen. Click Here for agenda

City of Mission
Regular Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center
6200 Martway

(snip) 6a. Gateway TIF Ordinance
6b. Gateway CID Ordinance (Petition B)
6c. Gateway CID Ordinance (Petition A)
6d. Gateway Redevelopment Agreement
6e. Gateway Project Oversight & Management Services - Konrath Group
6f. Gateway Project Off-site Roadway Construction Observation Services - GBA
6g. Gateway Project Building Plan Review / Permitting / Inspection - Johnson

_______________ January 13th 2013 _______________

"It's time to tell cities what you think of new streetlights"

By TED HART - The Kansas City Star

More than 5,000 new streetlights have been installed on streets around the area to save money, and many more may be on the way.
The lights are part of a pilot project to see which type of lights work best.
The Mid-America Regional Council, partnering with utility companies, spearheaded the effort to install LED (light-emitting diode) and induction streetlights. Both LED and induction lights have longer life spans than ordinary street lamps and are more energy efficient.
“The reasons communities are looking at LED are because they look like an opportunity to save costs,” said Roger Kroh, MARC’s energy program manager. “The biggest single electrical cost that most cities have is street lighting.

Johnson County, Kansas New Light Locations City of Fairway - City of Gardner - City of Merriam - City of Mission - City of Prairie Village - City of Roeland Park - City of Spring Hill - City of Westwood

Current Lights---------”Read more here: And Here:-----------------New Lights

Streetlight meetings

• Prairie Village, Westwood, Roeland Park, Mission, Fairway, Merriam, Gardner and Spring Hill: 7 p.m. Jan. 23, Prairie Village City Hall, 7700 Mission Road
• Lansing, Tonganoxie, Basehor and Edwardsville: 7 p.m. Jan. 29, Lansing City Hall, 800 First Terrace
• Gladstone, North Kansas City, Kearney, Lawson, Liberty, Platte City and Smithville: 7 p.m. Feb. 5, Gladstone City Hall, 7010 N. Holmes St.
• Raymore, Harrisonville, Peculiar, Raytown, Oak Grove and Pleasant Hill: 7 p.m. Feb. 13, Raymore City Hall, 100 Municipal Circle

_______________ January 12th 2013 _______________

December 27-January 2, 2013

● Mission Officers issued 183 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 2
DUI Arrests – 7
Total Arrests – 25
● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms.
Residential – 2
Commercial – 4
Dec 27 I-35 and Lamar Obstruction
Jan 1- I-35 and Antioch Obstruction
During the week of 12/27/2012 to 01/02/2013 the Investigations Division assigned 11new cases to Detectives for investigation and one new case for the Crime Analystto monitor.
# submitted a Lewd and Lascivious case to the DA’s Office - # investigated a DV Battery Lethality - # arrested a male on Aggravated Battery charges - Detective # is investigating 18 Forgery/Theft cases from Target

_______________ January 11th 2013 _______________


(snip) COUNT I (Takings-Inverse Condemnation)LER is the owner of a building located at 5912 Maple Street, Mission, Kansas 66202 (hereinafter "the property" or "property")

LER uses the 5912 Maple Street property as a rental property. On information and belief, the Defendant permanently removed LER's property's access point to Maple Street from Johnson Drive during a construction project without prior notice to Plaintiff. Click Here for entire petition

_______________ January 9th 2013 _______________

Mission Council to Consider Gateway Project

“The proposed Gateway Project on the former Mission Mall site is reaching the final stages. On December 17, 2012, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the final site plan. On January 16th, the City Council will consider financing options for the project.  If approved the project will be ready to break ground after seven long years. The project’s Developer, Tom Valenti of Gateway Developers, LLC, has held firm to his vision of bringing a first-class, mixed use development to our community.” Click Here for Mission's entire article."

_______________ January 9th 2013 _______________

Last night Mission’s City Council held a special Council meeting at City Hall.  The purpose was to go into executive session to discuss the Gateway project. Click Here for 3:31 video

_______________ January 5th 2013 _______________

Unique retail and apartment project Prairiefire is a go

By KEVIN COLLISON - The Kansas City Star

Prairiefire, an ambitious retail and apartment project anchored by a unique collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, is starting construction in Overland Park after six years on the drawing boards.
The first phase, valued at $160 million, will have 207,000 square feet for retailers, including the area’s first REI outdoor equipment store. It will include 300 luxury apartments and a 41,000-square-foot hall housing exhibits prepared by the Museum of Natural History, the first cooperative venture of its kind in the country for the prestigious New York institution
The project is being built in the heart of one of the most affluent areas in the metro — 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues — and was proposed in 2006 by developer Fred Merrill Jr. Its distinct concept, coupled with a recession that hit retail projects particularly hard, stalled progress until now.

>snip< Merrill said he’s had 80 percent of the retail leased since 2011, but getting financing in the post-recession world was a major struggle. The project had been approved for STAR Bond assistance from Kansas, because of its museum and other attractions, and Overland Park approved the community improvement district, which will collect an additional 1.5 percent sales tax to help pay for improvements.
But it wasn’t until last summer that lenders became interested in buying the bonds and providing construction loans.
Stifel Nicolaus was the underwriter for Overland Park. PNC Bank of Pittsburgh and the Private Bank of Chicago are lending $41.7 million for construction. The STAR Bond and improvement district will supply $61 million. Private financing for the retail and museum elements totals $27.3 million
. Read More Here:

_______________ January 3rd 2013 _______________

The former Keystone Automotive building on Johnson Drive may get developed with more tax dollars.  Maybe?


“A property at Johnson Drive and Barkley Street will potentially be redeveloped for two tenants; one of those is likely to be a 15,000 square foot specialty grocery store. The second tenant is undetermined, but the developer, David Christie of Christie Development Associates in Overland Park, said there are multiple companies interested in the site. He described the grocer as a a specialty along the lines of Wild Oats, which closed at the other end of Johnson Drive across from the east Gateway property.” For the rest of the story: Click Here

_______________ December 20th 2012 _______________

Mission redistricting proposal could face bumpy road
Posted by Dan Blom on Thursday, December 20, 2012

Redistricting Mission's City Council Wards will go back to committee after the majority of council members voted to table the recommended new ward map rather than set it for public hearings.

The new map, designed to balance the population more evenly in each ward based on the last census, came under fire for using projected new housing associated with both the east and west Gateway projects, rather than using actual population numbers.

>snip< “I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big issue,” McConwell said. The council overwhelmingly decided to table the recommendation and spend more time discussing it in committee. The proposal originally came out of committee on a tie vote. Read more from last night: Click Here

_______________ December 18th 2012 _______________

(From the City of Mission Kansas)

The Mission Planning Commission approved the final site plan and final plat for the Gateway Project by a vote of 8-0 at their December 17, 2012 meeting. The plan consists of the entire development area formerly occupied by the Mission Mall and includes three multi-tenant retail buildings (“A,” “B,” “C”), three mixed-use buildings of retail and residential uses (“D,” “E,” and “F”), a four floor parking structure for the entire development, and the public/private open space and amenities. Read more: Click Here

_______________ December 14th 2012 _______________


December 6-12, 2012
●Mission Officers issued 226 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 1 - DUI Arrests – 3 - Total Arrests – 17
●Mission Officers responded to 8 alarms.
Residential – 0 - Commercial – 8
DUI arrests for the week: 3 - Dec 6, I-35 and Antioch Poss Drugs x 2 -Dec 9, I-35 and Metcalf Poss Drugs -Dec 9, I-35 and Lamar Weapon Violation

_______________ December 19th 2012 _______________

Investigation of police chief costs town of Basalt $9,348

Scott Condon - The Aspen Times - Aspen CO Colorado

>snip< As part of that legal battle, current Town Manager Mike Scanlon stated in an affidavit that it was necessary to hire Mountain States to conduct the investigation and issue a report in case he needed to determine if disciplinary action or termination was required with O'Connor. However, O'Connor resigned Nov. 23 under conditions that both sides said were voluntary. His suspension was lifted, and he faced no disciplinary action. Read More

_______________ December 14th 2012 _______________

Basalt gives explanation for concealing report on police chief
Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

BASALT — The town of Basalt is asking a judge to declare that an investigative report of its former police chief is not part of the public record or, even if it is, that it is privileged and exempt from release.
>snip< The Aspen Times filed a lawsuit Dec. 8 arguing that the investigation report was a public document that should be released by Town Manager Mike Scanlon as custodian of the public record. The attorneys for the newspaper cited Colorado court cases where governments were ordered to provide documents to the public because they weren't protected as personnel issues. The lawsuit contended that the investigation of O'Connor's running of the department shouldn't be protected.

_______________ December 13th 2012 _______________

Basalt town government wants to intervene in lawsuit
Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT — The Basalt Town Council on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit The Aspen Times filed to gain access to an investigation report on the management practices of the former police chief.

The newspaper filed its lawsuit Dec. 8 against Town Manager Mike Scanlon as custodian of the investigation report. The Town Council wants to intervene because it may have different interests to protect than Scanlon, according to its motion, prepared by Town Attorney Tom Smith.
>snip< Scanlon isn't necessarily bound by such a confidentiality agreement, the motion said, so the Town Council wants to make sure its interests are represented in the case.
To read more: Click Here: Click Here

_______________ December 27th 2012 _______________

Basalt assembles committee to search for new police chief

Scott Condon - The Aspen Times Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT — Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon said Wednesday that he hopes to name an interim police chief this week after interviewing five candidates Dec. 17.

Scanlon said he interviewed Greg Morrison, Greg Knott, Flint Chamber, Tom Dalessandri and Keith Ikeda for the job.

Ikeda is a former Basalt police chief. Dalessandri is a former Garfield County sheriff. Morrison is the former police chief of Silverthorne and assistant chief of police in Breckenridge. Morrison is also a Summit County-based head hunter who consulted with Basalt to recruit Scanlon to his position this fall
.Read More

_______________ December 10th 2012 _______________

Newspaper files suit over Basalt police-chief investigation

Scott Condon The Aspen Times, Aspen Colorado

EAGLE, Colo. — The Aspen Times filed a lawsuit Saturday to try to force the town of Basalt to release an investigation report on the professional conduct of former Police Chief Roderick O'Connor.

Attorneys for Colorado Mountain News Media, which does business as The Aspen Times, and the newspaper's managing editor, Rick Carroll, filed the lawsuit in Eagle County District Court against Basalt Town Manager Michael Scanlon.

>snip< “Scanlon officially takes the reins as Basalt town manager Monday. He is scheduled to brief the Town Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night about his search for a new police chief.” For the rest of the story: Click Here

More Articles from the Aspen Times

December 7th 2012

November 30th 2012
November 16th 2012
November 17th 2012
November 16th 2012
November 15th 2012
November 1st 2012
October 30th 2012
September 12th 2012


_______________ December 7th 2012 _______________

November 21-28, 2012

● Mission Officers issued 300 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 3
DUI Arrests – 1
Total Arrests – 39
● Mission Officers responded to 9 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 8


71st Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan
Survivors’ Remembrance Ceremony
Friday, December 7th, 1115 to 1315 hours


Join us for a ceremony in remembrance of the attach on Pearl Harbor on Friday, December 7th, from 11:15 a.m to 1:15 p.m. in the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center Conference Center. Pearl Harbor survivors Dorwin Lamkin, Edmund Russell, Jack Carson and Jessee Dunnagan will be on hand to share stories of their experiences and to display their memorabilia. Other special guests will include Mayor Laura McConwell, Quinn Appletoft and the Shawnee Mission North NJROTC Color Guard. (Photo from the city of Mission Kansas)


________________November 29th 2012 _______________

Christmas in Mission Kansas. Along Johnson Drive children, adults & in betweens enjoyed mid 50s weather. 4 Minute video: Click Here

Santa and his helpers were able to talk to a 100 or more kids & parents. The end came with fireworks supplied by the city of Mission.

________________November 29th 2012 _______________

Wal-Mart joins improvement district, boosting Mission Gateway project

In a rare move for big retailer, it agrees to extra sales tax that will help finance project in Mission.

By KEVIN COLLISON -  The Kansas City Star

The proposed Mission Gateway project is on stronger financial footing now that Wal-Mart has agreed to participate in a community improvement district that’s expected to generate $12.5 million to help defray development costs.

Wal-Mart has dropped its objection to having a half-percent surcharge levied on sales at its proposed anchor store to go toward the improvement district proposed for the development. The money will help repay a bond issued by Mission to build a storm sewer project on the 26-acre site at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue.

The retailer’s decision, coupled with the Mission City Council’s unanimous approval this week of a preliminary development plan, puts the $165 million mixed-use project on track for a final vote in January. For the rest of the story Click Here

________________November 27th 2012 _______________

11-27-2012 Mission Kansas City Council Meeting on Gateway Project. Interview with Tom Valenti VP of Gateway Developers. (1:44)

Click Here for video

________________November 21st 2012 _______________

November 15-20, 2012

Mission Officers issued 390 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 7
DUI Arrests – 5
Total Arrests – 32

Mission Officers responded to 2 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial –1

________________November 21st 2012 _______________

Today is David Perryman day in Mission Kansas. Salvation Army bell ringer extraordinaire. About 7 minute video

Click Here for video

________________November 20th 2012 _______________

Tomorrow, November 21st, Mayor McConwell will be honoring Salvation Army volunteer David Perryman at Hy-Vee at 11:00 a.m. We will also be trying to set the record on Wednesday for the most donations to Salvation Army in one day at the Hy-Vee store in Mission. Attached is information on this event and below is a link to our Mission Magazine which featured David. We hope you can join us and please consider making a donation as you do your last minute Thanksgiving shopping on Wednesday!

Mission Magazine

________________November 19th 2012 _______________

TO: Mike Scanlon, City Administrator
City of Mission, Kansas
FROM: David Darsey, Senior Principal
Todd DeLong, AICP, Senior Associate
Real Estate Research Consultants, Inc.
DATE: October 5, 2012

RE: Estimates of Future Sales and Property Tax Revenues – Mission Gateway
As outlined in our proposal dated August 1, 2012, Real Estate Research Consultants, Inc. (RERC) has completed its financial analysis of certain planned development activities associated with the Gateway project in Mission, Kansas.
Specifically, the City of Mission, Kansas (the City) retained RERC to prepare estimates of sales taxes and property taxes generated by the Gateway mixed use project if constructed in accordance with the developer’s representations about the concept, the users, and general time frame for construction. Toward that end, the developer has disclosed to us specific tenants targeted for the project and we have made use of this information in our estimates. This memorandum describes those disclosures, explains our analysis, and summarizes our findings. Read the rest of the 29 page report

________________November 16th 2012 _______________

Walmart asked to charge Gateway CID tax

Posted by

“The request is on the table,” developer Tom Valenti told Mission council members Wednesday. “I think I’ve done the best I can do to convince them (Walmart) to participate in a half-cent CID.” But, Valenti asked the council, “if they don’t say ‘yes,’ don’t kill the project.”

" Councilor David Shepard, who chairs the Finance and Administration Committee, told Valenti, “I think this is an issue that two or three around the table are willing to die for,” meaning that some councilors might consider voting against the project if Walmart is not included. Articulating his own position, Shepard said, “It doesn’t bother me (if Walmart is not in) if the deal still works,” to fund the public assistance bonds." Click Here for Prairie Village Post article

________________November 13th 2012 _______________

Tom Valenti Vice President of Gateway Development LLC, Tuesday at Powell Community Center explained the financing of Gateway Project. Included in the interview Mr. Valenti was asked about the CID tax that he (apparently) is in negations with Wal-Mart who originally declined to participate in Video is 3:00 minutes in length. 


Veterans Day

Veterans Day Celebration on Sprint’s campus

On Thursday, November 8, Sprint will be holding a Veterans Day Celebration at 117th & Nall. Public is welcome.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Choppers will land at approx. 11 a.m., Paige Field on the Overland Park Campus - Military and civilian public service displays:

· US Army helicopters: AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-57 Chinook,  Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon flyover during the National Anthem,  US Army Reserve and National Guard ground equipment, Signal Corps, Military Police, Transportation Co.,  Historical military vehicles - Military Vehicle Preservation Association,  312thArmy Band,  Overland Park Police and Fire Departments – SWAT team, bomb squad and K9 demonstrations,  Johnson County Sheriff’s Office – Crime Lab, weapons display, SWAT armored vehicle,  Fraternal Military organizations, including the Marine Corps League and Disabled American Veterans (DAV),  Department of Veterans Affairs,  Vietnam Veterans of America Huey display helicopter,  Military life while deployed will be highlighted with military field gear on display,  On-site military recruiters to answer questions and provide small mementos,  Slugger, KC Wolf and KC Comets players,  Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Riley and National WW1 Museum hands-onindoor display forvisitors to use current and historical military gear in Building 6180 Employee Activity Center,  Toys-for-Tots collection,  Employee Resource Group information from Sprint and JPMorgan Chase &  Lunch is available for purchase while supplies last: Roasterie Coffee, BBQ and chili stations

And Then: At 1600 hrs. the City of Shawnee – Click Here

_______________ November 9th 2012 _______________

MISSION POLICE - October 25-31, 2012

Mission Officers issued 157 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 1
DUI Arrests – 4
Total Arrests – 29
Mission Officers responded to 10 alarms.
Residential – 0
Commercial – 10

Good article after (local) election by Dan Blom

Mission votes to fund pool; Roeland Park tax too close to call

Johnson County Kansas Wastewater is changing their billing procedure

_______________ November 8th 2012 _______________

November 15
Please join the City of Mission for a special Thanksgiving tribute to the seniors of Northeast Johnson County and their contributions to our community. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, dressing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy and delectable pies at the Sylvester Powell Community Center. Thanks for Seniors will also feature entertainment by the Shawnee Mission North Strolling Strings and, guest speaker, Dorwin Lampkin.


For more information or to register for these great programs, please contact Sarah Sooter, Recreation Coordinator at 913.722.8223 or by emailing

_______________ November 4th 2012 _______________

FYI - Newest Syracuse area retail development hints at Costco coming aboard
At meetings with the town’s planning board
, representatives of Cameron Group have been unveiling redesigned plans for the Great
Recession-delayed project

By Bob Niedt, The Post-Standard

Syracuse, NY -- The Syracuse-based team behind the development of the Township 5 retail, entertainment and housing project in Camillus is dropping hints they may have one tenant that will be unique to Upstate and a destination for area shoppers.
The fishhook: It may be Costco

>snip< In addition to the hints of a Costco, Cameron officials are saying they are “working behind the scenes” to get the place rolling with a Frank’s movie complex with a bowling alley, plus five national chain restaurants, other retailers and office buildings.

Dave Callahan, sixth ward councilor, told residents in his recent newsletter apartments Cameron planned for the project are being shifted on the new site plans — other town officials said the apartments may be operated by another developer — and Cameron said it still may land a hotel. Over the last few years, Cameron had said that was already buttoned up; recently, the hotel chain and other named retailers and restaurants were removed from the Township 5 website.

_______________ November 2nd 2012 _______________

MISSION POLICE - October 25-31, 2012

 Mission Officers issued 157 traffic citations.  Parking Citations – 1, DUI Arrests – 4 Total Arrests – 29

Meeting Planner

■ November 7 - Community Development Committee - 6:30 p.m. City Hall
■ November 12 - Gateway Public Forum - 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center (Rooms A&B)
■ November 12 - Gateway Public Forum - 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center (Rooms A&B)
■ November 13 - Gateway Public Forum - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center (Conference Center)
■ November 14 - Finance & Administration Committee Meeting 6:30 p.m. City Hall
■ November 27 - City Council Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center
■ December 12 - Finance & Administration Committee - 6:30 p.m. City Hall
■ December 12 - Community Development Committee - 7:30 p.m. or immediately following the 6:30 p.m. Finance & Administration Committee Meeting - City Hall
■ December 19 - City Council Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall

_______________ October 30th 2012 _______________

Mission city administrator Scanlon accepts job in Colorado, will leave in December

Posted by Dan Blom on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm. (Prairie Village Post)

Mission City Administrator Mike Scanlon is leaving his job to become town manager in Basalt, Colo. Scanlon has guided Mission through some difficult issues in the last few years and is leaving just as the long-stalled Gateway project at Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue is about to be resolved

Scanlon today said he will stay in Mission through November — his contract requires 30 day notice for leaving — and head for Colorado in early December. The vote on the Gateway development agreement is scheduled for Nov. 27. More arro9w The Aspen Times, Aspen CO Colorado

_______________ October 30th 2012 _______________

‘Amazing’ projects on tap in northeast Johnson County

By KEVIN COLLISON - The Kansas City Star

It’s been a long time since northeast Johnson County’s development heyday in the 1950s and 1960s during the post-World War II housing boom.

But if a couple of big projects move forward as expected next year, those tree-lined neighborhoods with their ranch homes and split-levels may steal some of the spotlight from where the action’s been the past 30 years south of Interstate 435.

After more than seven years of trying, the $130 million Mission Gateway mixed-use development — anchored by a two-level Walmart at Roe Avenue and Johnson Drive — is teed up for final consideration Nov. 27 by the Mission City Council. Click Here for more


_______________ October 27th 2012 _______________

Earlier this month we stumbled on a part of Cameron Group’s web site owner of East Gateway formerly Mission Mall that we hadn't seen before. We are surprised at the number of stores that Cameron Group has named at Gateway already. It’s unknown if these stores are signed yet. 

Mission's City Administrator Mike Scanlon was asked about the list, his reply was, that list was about 2 1/2 to 3 years old.  The follow up question was; if that old how would they (Cameron Group) know about Wal-Mart?  Scanlon answered, "They wouldn't".

We were unable to download the PDF from the Cameron site so each store was copied by hand in order of placement on the site map.  Since then that part of the site has been removed. The PDF containing this information appeared to be dated August (?) 2012.

Sprint - Great Clips - Spa Nails - European Wax Center - BJ’s Restaurant/Brew House - Organ Mania - Pepper Jacks - Noodles & Company The Tan Company - GNC- Buffalo Wild Wings Bar & Grill - Prime Bar & Grill - Blue Sushi Saki Grill - Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill - Wal-Mart - Aspen Athletic Club - Sprouts Farmers Market - Old Navy - Ross Dress for Less - Bed Bath & Beyond - Casual Male - Dress Barn - Justice Five Guys Burgers & Fries - Women’s Ready to Wear - Pier 1 Imports

The following 3 PDFs were received after 3:30PM Sunday

Gateway-Stores - RERC 10-5-12 Estimates of Sales & Property Tax Revenues - RERC memo from Bruce Kimmel

_______________ October 27th 2012 _______________

Mission Gateway deal expected to close next month

From the Prairie Village Post
Mission’s final action on the Gateway project at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive is expected to come at a meeting now scheduled for November 27. That is a move from the regular November council meeting that was scheduled for the night before Thanksgiving.
>snip< On another question, the city was asked the total cost of the anticipated bond issue. City administrator Mike Scanlon said the $36 million under consideration represented the proceeds from a bond sale and that the total cost with underwriting and
other fees could approach $42 million. Click Here for the rest and do read the comments too.

_______________ October 26th 2012 _______________

October 18-24 , 2012

● Mission Officers issued 285 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 3
DUI Arrests – 3
Total Arrests – 42
● Mission Officers responded to - alarms.
Residential –
Commercial –

_______________ October 24th 2012 _______________

From the joco913 section of the Kansas City Star

Roeland Park, Mission should reject tax increases

The Kansas City Star
Two of Johnson County’s smallest cities are asking for big sales tax increases on Nov. 6th. The requests in Mission and Roeland Park are for worthwhile public purposes. However, they are ill-timed and not worth supporting at this time.
The Star’s recommendations
Click Here

Steve Rose
Star columnist opinion

Moderate Kay Wolf stands firm despite pressure Kay Wolf is an endangered species, who – if she wins in the November general election – would be one of only five moderate Republicans in the Kansas Senate. Click Here


Mission asks voters to help replace its leaky old pool

Ian Cummings - The Kansas City Star

The city pool in Mission can’t last much longer, so the city is seeking money to build a new one through a proposed sales tax on the Nov. 6 election ballot.
The 3/8-cent citywide retailers’ sales tax would generate $744,000 annually, city estimates say, enough to begin construction next year on a pool that would open in 2014
Click Here

Roeland Park voters face a choice about sales tax

Ian Cummings - The Kansas City Star

Voters in Roeland Park will decide whether to approve a three-quarter cent sales tax increase when they go to the polls Nov. 6.

The bump in sales tax would help offset a major revenue loss expected when Walmart closes its Roeland Park store in 2014 and opens another, larger one in Mission. The move could cost the city $700,000, or 20 percent of the city’s revenue. That loss would be equal to the city police department’s annual budget.
City Councilwoman Betsy Mellor said she voted to put the issue in front of the voters to choose between the sales tax and reduced city services
Click Here

_______________ October 19th 2012 _______________

October 11th – 17th, 2012
● Mission Officers issued 204 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 0
DUI Arrests – 7
Total Arrests – 41
● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms.
Residential – 2
Commercial – 4

_______________ October 16th 2012 _______________

Prairiefire project seeks approval for Overland Park incentives

The Overland Park City Council will hold a public hearing Monday regarding several financing mechanisms to assist with the development of the Prairiefire at Lionsgate project.
The 60-acre, $580 million mixed-use development at 135th Street and Nall Avenue seeks approval for public financing, including a community improvement district sales tax and taxable revenue bonds
Click Here for more

The council will also vote Monday on the developers’ requests to scrap and rewrite plans for public bonds and sales tax collection to reflect the latest timeline for completion of the project. Click Here for more


Prairiefire developer seeks a one-week delay

Jennifer Bhargava - Special to The Star

The final steps for a highly anticipated entertainment, shopping and residential district at 135th Street and Nall Avenue have been temporarily halted.

The Overland Park City Council was expected to take several actions regarding the $427 million project, Prairiefire at Lionsgate, at its meeting Monday night, but the developer, Fred Merrill, requested a weeklong postponement

Read More - (Fred Merrill)


_______________ October 13th 2012 _______________

KS: Streetlights eyed as a source of revenue for city

By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter

This small Kansas City suburb are exploring how the city might buy all the street lights in this community of 5,420 households and make a few bucks charging user fees to residents and businesses who burn the best and the brightest. >snip> Details aren’t worked out yet, reports Mission Community Development Officer Martin Rivarola. Click Here

_______________ October 12th 2012 _______________

October 4-10, 2012
Mission Officers issued 325 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 3 DUI Arrests – 2
Total Arrests – 31
 Mission Officers responded to 4 alarms.
Residential – 1 Commercial – 3

_______________ October 5th 2012 _______________

It's showdown time for Mission's redistricting; more later.

_______________ October 3rd 2012 _______________

Officials to be schooled in open meetings law
Karen Dillon - The Kansas City Star

The invitation did not discriminate: It was sent to every elected official, appointed official and city manager and administrator in Johnson County.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe wants as many officials as possible to attend a training session he is hosting Oct. 18, so they can better understand when meetings and records should be open and available to the public.
The details

The training session is from 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 18 in Room 200 of the Johnson County Administration Building, near Kansas Avenue and Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe.

_______________ October 2nd 2012 _______________

Governor Makes Appointment to the 3rd Judicial District

Topeka – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today announced the appointment of Topeka attorney Mary Mattivi to the 3rd Judicial District of the State of Kansas. Mattivi will take the seat of retiring Judge Daniel L. Mitchell.

“Mary has a wealth of experience in criminal defense and criminal prosecution. Her many years as a public servant in many cities and counties gives her the breadth and depth of experience needed to perform her duties,” Gov.Brownback said.
Mattivi currently presides as the 3rd judicial district judge pro tem, serves as the city of Topeka municipal judge pro tem and as the city of Maple Hill’s prosecutor. She received her undergraduate degree from Southeast Missouri State University and her law degree from Washburn University.

Mattivi was one of three names submitted to the Governor by the 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission.
The state’s 105 counties are organized into 31 Judicial Districts. The district courts serve as the trial courts for the state, overseeing all civil and criminal cases. The 3rd Judicial District manages Shawnee County.

_______________September 29th 2012 _______________

Remember the good old days when Tom Valenti of the Cameron Group out of New York owner of the old Mission Mall location had spent $40,000 just to show us (in models) what the Gateway project would look like when completed?

At Sylvester Powell Community Center Valenti had set up his spectacular models and invited everyone to take a look that was in January 2008.  Since, there has been something like four or five different configurations of buildings, size, shape etc and now, the City is being asked to front Mr. Valenti some say as much as $30,000,000, (that’s thirty million dollars) without knowing much about the end product. (Click on image to enlarge)

It might be time for you to visit your representatives this Tuesday evening and let him or her know your concerns on this issue.  The Mayor appears to be up against some kind of dead line, she apparently wants this to be concluded at the next Council meeting in about three weeks. 

City of Mission - CITY COUNCIL WORKSESSION - OCTOBER 2, 2012 - 7:00 p.m.
(or immediately following 6:30 p.m. CDC Meeting)
AGENDA - The Gateway Project 

_______________September 24th 2012 _______________

Overland Park approves open carry of guns

Jennifer Bhargava - Special to The Star

The Overland Park City Council on Monday approved an ordinance allowing legal gun owners to openly carry their weapons in public — provided the gun is in a holster with the safety engaged and in their immediate control at all times.
The new law follows a Kansas attorney general opinion that cities may not completely prohibit open carry of a loaded firearm while on public property. Wichita changed its ordinance this summer. Police Chief John Douglass said he was concerned Overland Park could end up in court if it did not follow.
The new law allows open carry in places such as sidewalks, parks and buildings that don’t have signs prohibiting firearms. Read More


Unintended Consequences?

There is no doubt in my mind that some Overland Park business owners will slap up the Kansas approved, ‘no firearms’ sign in order to keep the guns out of their shop.  What that sign does is keep the law abiding concealed carry license holders that happen to be armed, out of that particular establishment with his or her money.

Concealed carry licenses issued in - Johnson County 7893 - Miami County 1033 - Wyandotte County 1957

_______________September 19th 2012 _______________

Buses suffer in car-centric Johnson County

The Kansas City Star

At a cost of hundreds of millions of a dollars, new roads are being built and older ones are being repaved in Johnson County.

>snip<  Welcome to car-happy Johnson County, where no expense is spared to move heaven and earth (literally) for motorists.
Meanwhile, county officials are spending hours discussing how to nickle and dime the already feeble bus service provided to residents.
Some County Commission members are droning on about how sad it is to see empty buses and how that’s so costly to taxpayers. Yes, an empty bus is bad PR for The Jo, as the service is called.

Then again, making it even more difficult to use buses by eliminating several routes won’t woo additional riders. Read More

_______________September 17th 2012 _______________

The goal of the Mission Business Improvement Grant (B. I. G.) is to support local businesses through funding for exterior building repairs or improvements and qualified energy efficiency improvements.
Since its start in 2004, the Mission BIG has awarded over $270,000 to benefit more than 70 local businesses. These grants have leveraged over $715,000 in total investment in the community.

>snip< Qualifying Exterior Improvements
Building repairs
Building improvements
Sidewalk improvements
Signs ($2,000 Maximum)
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations ($3,000 Maximum)

>snip< Upon completion of the project, submit all receipts, proof of payment and “after” photos” for review. If all program requirements have been met, the City will reimburse the applicant up to 50% of approved costs not to exceed $10,000 per project, $2,000 per sign and $35,000 per property. Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations will be reimbursed at 75% or up to $3,000 of the cost of installation and will not count towards the lifetime maximum of the program.

GM suspended production of the Volt due to a retooling. 

GM says that it has planned for the production shutdown by building Volts ahead of anticipated demand while the car’s production is offline — a different reason than earlier production suspensions this year tied to poor sales:

_______________September 16th 2012 _______________

Mission mulls ban on hand-held cellphones while driving

Council faces backlash over its plan to be first in the area to outlaw using the device while driving.
By KAREN DILLON- The Kansas City Star

You’re driving down Shawnee Mission Parkway chatting on your cellphone. Suddenly, red lights are flashing in your rearview mirror.
You’ve just crossed the border into Mission.
That’s what the future could look like in Mission, a small Johnson County suburb that is talking seriously about doing what few cities have tried so far: banning use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

>snip< City officials know that the ordinance is controversial — they were besieged by calls when it first came up last month.

 “A couple of my friends told me I was walking into a hornet’s nest,” said Police Chief John Simmons, who introduced the measure to the council.

Mission law

>snip< The city of Mission, already known for its aggressive traffic enforcement, may become the first in the Kansas City area with a cellphone ordinance.It would be “proactive,” Simmons said. Police already can cite a driver who is distracted and causes an accident. But the new ordinance means police would no longer have to wait for an accident to ticket you if they see you talking on the phone. Police also could use the ordinance to conduct checkpoints — they could station an officer near a busy intersection to spot violators and then radio ahead to a waiting officer, as Manhattan does, Simmons said.
Please Read the Rest of the Story CLICK HERE

_______________September 15th 2012_______________

11 to interview for Johnson County judge position

The Kansas City Star

A judicial nominating committee has selected 11 attorneys for interviews to fill an opening on the bench for the Johnson County District Court

The attorneys will interview for an opening due to the retirement of Judge Lawrence Sheppard.

The Johnson County judicial nominating commission has selected Christi Bright of Overland Park; Judge Michael Farley of Olathe; Stephanie Goodenow of Lenexa; Michael P. Joyce of Leawood; Timothy McCarthy of Overland Park; Laura McConwell of Mission; Clayton Norkey of Overland Park; Jacquelyn Rokusek of Olathe; Robert Scott of Lenexa; Judge Daniel Vokins of Olathe, and Lisa Wetzler of Prairie Village.

The nominating commission will meet to interview the applications at 8 a.m. Sept. 25 in Room 319 of the Johnson County Courthouse, 100 N. Kansas Ave., Olathe.

The meeting is open to the public and public comments will be accepted at 8:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
Comments can also be submitted in writing to Kansas Appeal Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, who is the commission’s secretary, at 301 S.W. 10th Ave., Topeka, Kan.; faxed to 1-785-296-7079; or emailed to
Comments will be forwarded to members of the commission.

The judicial nominating commission is made up of 14 members — seven attorneys elected by the Kansas licensed attorneys residing in the district and seven non-attorneys appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.

 Robert A. Cronkleton,

_______________September 12th 2012 _______________

September 6-12 , 2012

Mission Officers issued 296 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 1
DUI Arrests – 2
Total Arrests – 27

_______________September 11th 2012 _______________

Editorial - The Kansas City Star

Get tougher on violators of open meetings law

The Kansas City Star
Johnson County’s public officials need more than just extra education about the state’s open meetings law.
It’s time for more prosecution, too.
That means imposing hefty fines when appropriate, to send the message that local government needs to make fully transparent decisions and make public documents available to citizens at a reasonable price.
District Attorney Steve Howe didn’t go far enough recently when he suggested that officials in the county ought to be better informed about how the open meetings law works. Howe’s right about that much, as a disappointing string of examples shows.
Read More

_______________September 8th 2012 _______________

Johnson County district attorney says public business is too often private

By KAREN DILLON (Kansas City Star, front page)                                                                                                                

It’s about time, Johnson County’s district attorney says, to send local public officials back to school.

District Attorney Steve Howe says some Johnson County governments are having trouble following the law when it comes to allowing the public access to meetings and documents.

Just last week, Howe found that the city of Mission had violated the state open meetings law after its mayor purchased a building without council approval. He found Gardner in violation earlier this year.

For the rest of the story: Click Here

_______________September 7th 2012 _______________

MISSION Kansas Police
August 30-September 5 , 2012

Mission Officers issued 237 traffic citations.
Parking Citations – 0
DUI Arrests – 2
Total Arrests – 36

_______________August 31th 2012 _______________

Mission Kansas Mayor and or City Council found to be in violation of the Kansas Open Meeting Act

(The original KOMA complaint filed in May of 2012 was by the Shawnee Mission Times publisher, Currie Myers)

Tenth Judicial District

August 31, 2012 - Re: Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA); K.S.A. 75-4320b Dear Mayor McConwell and Mission City Council Members:

>snip<  Please remember that any Mayor and/or City Council member who knowingly violates any provision of the Kansas Open Meetings Act shall be liable for the payment of a civil penalty in an action brought by the District Attorney in a sum not to exceed $500 for each violation. K.S.A. 75­4320(a), The contract for the Neff Building is not subject to voidance, based on the timing of the complaint. See K.S.A. 75-4320(b).
The purchase of the Neff Building was a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act and you should refrain from this type of conduct.
I am not filing an action alleging these violations of the Kansas Open Meetings Act at this time. In lieu of bringing an action, I am asking the Mayor and City Council attend KOMA training within the next six months to insure you, as a governing body, understand your statutory obligations. However, should future violations occur, I will reconsider this decision.

Stephen M. Howe
District Attorney
Johnson County District Attorney's Office
P.O. Box 728
Olathe, KS 66051

Click Here for Entire Letter - Click Here for KSHB TV 41 - Click Here for Kansas City Star - For video: Click Here

_______________August 29th 2012 _______________

Sprouts Farmers Market is to join Walmart in the project former site of Mission Center mall

By: Kevin Collison The Kansas City Star

Sprouts Family Market plans to occupy space in the Mission Gateway project, and the developer said Tuesday he expected to break ground on the project by early next year.

Sprouts is the second named tenant for the mixed-use development planned for a 26-acre site next to Shawnee Mission Parkway at Roe Avenue. The other is a 150,000-square-foot Walmart that would be on the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe.

Mission officials welcomed the announcement of Sprouts, a specialty and fresh food chain with 150 stores, mostly in the Southwest.
Sprouts also recently announced it would be a tenant at the Corbin Park retail project at 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.
“We welcome this new, exciting addition to the project and to our community,” Mission Mayor Laura McConwell said in a statement.
Mission officials said Gateway Developers LLC planned to introduce its latest financing and development plan to the city soon. The Mission Planning Commission is expected to review the proposal Sept. 24, and the full City Council is expected to review the preliminary plan, development agreement and financing plan on Oct. 17.

Tom Valenti of Gateway Developers said Tuesday he expected work to start on the $160 million project, which includes 300 apartments and 300,000 square feet of retail space, shortly after the beginning of next year.
“We’ve looked at the schedule, and the best we could hope for is final approval of the site plan in the first or second week of November,” he said. “I think we’ll be starting shortly after the first of the year, depending on the weather.”
Cameron Development Group, Valenti’s company, has owned the Gateway property since 2005, when it demolished the former Mission Center mall.
Earlier this year, the developer announced he had dropped a planned 2.5 million-gallon saltwater aquarium and a hotel proposed for the project.

One of four Comment after story: “Jocotimes84 1 comment collapsed “ “Sprouts v. Walmart. The inevitable clash of cultures that will cause Joco to spontaneously explode”.

Read More Here:

_______________August 22nd 2012 _______________

At Mission's special City Council Meeting on the Johnson Drive project, 2013 budget & the first video of almost 18 minutes is on Councilwoman Amy Miller's request to participate electronically (SKYPE). Click Here for Video

Videos - Click Here for part 1 - Click Here for part 2 - Click Here for part 3

_______________August 17th 2012 _______________

In the August 15th Mission City Council meeting a resolution was discussed by Council members and members of the audience. 
Four of the eight Council members were against the proposed Johnson Drive so called Interceptor Project which includes installing huge pipes underground for storm water to be collected and sent to the City of Fairway and cities east.  The project will have Johnson Drive under major construction for 12-18 months.

Videos - Part 1 Click Here (47:44) Part 2 Click Here (39:44)

The disregard for the business owners  who will without a doubt suffer terribly because of the lengthy construction didn’t seem to register with 4 Council members who voted to spend at least $5.3 million dollars on the project.

Andrea Ward 1 Gibbs Ward 4 Kring Ward 3 Shepard Ward 4

The above four voted AYE on spending millions just to help water run downhill

When the vote is a tie, the Mayor must vote and break the tie with her vote.  The Mayor was not at the Council meeting so the City Administrator; Mike Scanlon said he would call the Mayor and tell her what happened.  The current Mission City Municipal Code allows for council meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  There will be a   City Council meeting next Wednesday the 22nd of August.  Unless one of the 4 changes his or her vote, it looks like the Mayor will break the tie by her yes vote which is expected.  The yearlong (or more) disruption of Johnson Drive will begin.


_______________August 10th 2012 _______________

The Main Event - Celebrate our summer - Celebrate Mission - The Art Walk finale of the
2012 Season
5-9PM today August 10th!

_______________August 8th 2012 _______________

The Kansas City Star
Fed up in Mission

Who are these people guiding the city of Mission? Once a small thriving community, it’s fast becoming a ghost town.
Vacant, once revenue bearing business buildings are vacant along Johnson Drive. More are sure to come.
Who will want a Mission address with all the baggage attached to the business community? This group guiding this march to destruction is asking for more and more from already strapped residents doing things that could wait for a better economy.
A large percentage of residents live on a low, fixed income. Five dollars here and $50 there takes food off their tables.
Don’t ask them to pay for a new swimming pool when we can repair the old one. Oh! That upkeep money was spent on unnecessary projects from the mayor’s wish list.
Businesses calling Mission home for years have moved out. Gone is the revenue they produced for this city.
So tax the residents again! Residents are rising up since the unknown driveway tax got their attention.
The last election was a wakeup call. Three new council members were elected.
They are level-headed and dollar-minded. Mission residents are rising up!
Margaret Lea

_______________August 7th 2012 _______________

By:  Zack Tecklenburg KSHB TV News

Mission Kansas – Texting and driving is already illegal in Kansas but one city want to take it a step further.  Most phones could soon be off limits to people driving through Mission

Wednesday night at 6:30, the city’s finance and administration committee will hear the proposed ordinance from police Chief John Simmons.  If approved ty the committee twice, the city council will vote September. Read More Click Here

_______________August 7th 2012 _______________

Kansas Local Sales Tax Rate Changes October 2012 (link)

The City of Mission has created a Community Improvement District (CID). The name of the district is Mission Crossing CID with a 1% tax rate. The jurisdiction code is MISC1 and the combined state and local tax rate in the district is 9.775%. The address ranges are:

Culver’s - Chick-fil-A – Freebirds World Burrito & Subway so far

6001 – 6099 Metcalf Avenue (odd addresses) 6000 – 6098 Broadmoor Street (even addresses) 6000 – 6099 Travis Street (odd and even addresses)

What is a Community Improvement District? (Link) (Link)

A Community Improvement District (CID) may be either a political subdivision or a not-for-profit corporation. CID’s are organized for the purpose of financing a wide range of public-use facilities and establishing and managing policies and public services relative to the needs of the district.

_______________August 5th 2012 _______________

What is the Truth about the Johnson Drive Interceptor?

Many questions about this stormwater project remain unanswered. On August 1st, there was a public meeting held, part of that meeting was ‘interceptor 101’. Nice informative piece about the project except for the fact the public in attendance was not allowed to comment or ask questions at this so called public meeting.

The interceptor was first touted by the City as being a cheaper alternative to fixing the Rock creek flooding problem. There is a problem with this rhetoric, initially the project had outside funding from the Johnson County Stormwater Management Advisory Council (SMAC). The SMAC money cannot be utilized without your downstream neighbor approving the project, in this case Fairway.  Our neighbors do not approve of this project and will not sign off on it, thus no money which normally would mean no project. Not so in the City of Mission, simply raise the stormwater utility fees on your property owners to make up for the shortfall. The result, the project is no longer a cheaper alternative to sticking to the original Rock creek flood plan.

I could be wrong but have no way of knowing since we were told to just sit and listen.

Robert  Hartman

_______________July 29th 2012 _______________

Former Best Foods site to be redeveloped

BAYONNE -- In hopes of restoring what was once an icon of industry in Bayonne, the City Council moved to declare the former Best Foods site on Avenue A as a redevelopment zone at its July 18 meeting

Best Food, owned by Unilever, shut its doors finally in 2003 after years of downsizing and layoffs, leaving the Avenue A facility largely unoccupied since.

Slated for redevelopment to possibly include a warehouse, light industrial, and retail, the project is being developed by branch of Cameron Group, which most recently constructed the Bayonne Crossing Mall on Route 440 in Bayonne.

The project was also given a $2.5 million loan in June,, although the resolution will have to be voted on again at the August meeting because the original resolution listed the wrong lot numbers, an issue raised by Louis Ripps at the July 18 meeting, whose family currently owns the lots mentioned in the loan resolution. Read More Read More

_______________July 14th 2012 _______________

High drama behind Syracuse council's vote on bookstore tax break - By Tim Knauss, The Post-Standard

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Two veteran Syracuse councilors corralled freshman Councilor Jake Barrett and tried one last time to change his mind.
The council had been summoned Monday to vote on an extraordinary 30-year tax exemption for a new Syracuse University bookstore, a controversial deal that could set a precedent for other projects.

>snip< Majority Leader Lance Denno and Majority Whip Pat Hogan — both of whom hated the deal — met Barrett and “talked to him at length” in an effort to sway him, Hogan said.
They asked Barrett how he would explain to working class constituents that he supported a tax break benefiting a well-heeled developer and a richly endowed university. They questioned why the project needed a tax break to succeed in one of the city’s most vibrant commercial districts.
Read More

_______________July 13th 2012 _______________

Freebirds has landed at its first area location in Mission
By JOYCE SMITH - The Kansas City Star

Fans of Freebirds World Burrito began camping out Tuesday night for the Thursday morning opening of the first area location and the first in Kansas. The first 25 people in line got 52 entree credits loaded on a “fanatic card,” a Freebirds loyalty card.

(Photos courtesy of the Kansas City Star)

>snip< Two ex-hippies founded the first Freebirds in 1987 in Santa Barbara, Calif., making burritos with freshly chopped veggies, house-made rice and beans, grass-fed beef and all-natural chicken

>snip< FB Midwest Development, which is based in Overland Park, plans to open 27 locations. Its first operation is in the new Mission Crossing, 6029 Metcalf Ave. in Mission, and another is set to open in October at 554 Westport Road in Westport in a spot formerly occupied by Chili’s Grill & Bar. A Lawrence location will open after Thanksgiving. Read More

_______________July 12th 2012 _______________

From the Kansas City Star's (Letters)

Recycled bad projects
Grandiose but failed public projects have a familiar sound to them, and some of the names of the players keep popping up.
 Years ago, Eric Wade, now Lenexa’s (Kansas) city administrator, held the same job with the city of Merriam (Kansas) when the city condemned the land at Interstate 35 and Shawnee Mission Parkway so that Baron BMW could build a dealership there.
The taxpayers of Merriam were forced to contribute a lot of money to help Baron buy the land, which the city forced the then-owners to sell, against their will, at a fire-sale price.
The taxpayers of Merriam were most unhappy and in the next city election voted out all four councilmen who were running.
Eric’s good friend and supporter, Merriam Councilman Mike Scanlon, took a job as city administrator for Mission (Kansas). His handiwork is the former Mission Mall.
If these projects were lucrative deals, then wealthy investors would build them. Instead, the taxpayers foot the bills and assume the risk.
Olathe has its Great Mall of the Great Plains, Independence has the Bass Pro Shop project and Branson has the Factory Merchants Mall.
Sure, some people made money, but it came from the citizen-taxpayers.
 Vernon C. Hales

_______________July 9th 2012 _______________

Syracuse councilors pass 30-year tax deal for proposed Syracuse University bookstore

Published: Monday, July 09, 2012, 2:20 PM Updated: Monday, July 09, 2012, 2:51 PM
By Tim Knauss, The Post-Standard The Post-Standard

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Common Council today narrowly passed a 30-year tax exemption for the developer of a new Syracuse University bookstore and fitness center.

Council voted 5 to 4 to pass the deal. (Camron Group is the owner of Mission's Gateway Project)

The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency approved the PILOT in February for Cameron Group LLC, the developer of the project at 601 University Ave. Under the deal approved by SIDA, Cameron would pay the city $64,400 a year for 30 years — about 17 percent of what the property would owe if it were fully taxed.

Local TV station has indepth report

Another take on this by Chris Shepherd, he produces the 5:00 p.m. news on NBC3 and the 10:00 p.m. news on CW6.

_______________July 6th 2012 _______________

FREEBIRDS World Burrito Opens First Location in Kansas

First 25 in Line Will Win Free Burritos for a Year

MISSION, Kan., Jul 5, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- (6029 Metcalf Ave Mission, KS 66202) - FREEBIRDS World Burrito, the fast casual burrito joint with a rock 'n' roll attitude, announced today it will open in Mission, KS on Thursday, July 12. The Mission location is the first site for FB Midwest Development, LLC, the first franchisee of FREEBIRDS World Burrito. To celebrate the Grand Opening, FREEBIRDS will give the first 25 guests in line FREE burritos for a year! Click here for more

_______________July 5th 2012 _______________

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- City councilors have been summoned to a special meeting Monday to vote on a controversial 30-year tax exemption that would pave the way for construction of a new Syracuse University bookstore and fitness center on University Avenue.
 The meeting will be at 2 p.m., an hour after the start of the council’s regular 1 p.m. meeting.
 The proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal is resurfacing for the first time since March, when the item was withdrawn from the council agenda because it faced certain defeat.
 The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency approved the PILOT in February for Cameron Group LLC, the developer of the project at 601 University Ave. Under the deal approved by SIDA, Cameron would pay the city $64,400 a year — about 83 percent of what would be due if the property were fully taxed.
 The site is currently tax-exempt because it is owned by Syracuse University, which plans to lease it to Cameron Group for $1 a year.

FYI_______________July 2nd 2012 _______________ FYI

Except for novice drivers, there is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in Kansas. However, under a 2011 law, all Kansas drivers are prohibited from texting.
Cell Phone Use
There is no handheld cell phone prohibition for drivers except that novice drivers in Kansas - drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license holders – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving.
All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Texting refers to the use of a wireless communication device -- any "wireless electronic communication device that provides for voice or data communication between two or more parties, including, but not limited to, a mobile or cellular telephone, a text messaging device, a personal digital assistant that sends or receives messages, an audio-video player that sends or receives messages or a laptop computer." A"wireless communication device" does not include a device which is voice-operated and which allows the user to send or receive a text based communication without the use of either hand, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.  
Drivers may not "write, send or read a written communication" which means they may not use a wireless communication device to manually type, send or read a written communication, including, but not limited to, a text message, instant message or electronic mail. Click here for exceptions.  More information specifically about Mission’s proposed ordinance when it becomes available. 

________________June 29th 2012 _______________

Mission's Weekend Update
June 29, 2012
Important Note 1: Here’s City Administrator Mike Scanlon's Weekend Update Video:
Mike's Video: - Josh’s video: - Justin’s video:

_______________ June 21st 2012 ___(See June 9th Below) __

Interviewees for Judicial Opening Announced

Future Meeting Dates

All meetings are open to the public, with an opportunity provided for public comment

June 28, 2012 Meeting to Interview Applicants 8:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse, Room 310, 100 N. Kansas Ave., Olathe, KS Public comment will be accepted at 8:05 a.m. and at 3:00 p.m.

_______________ June 18th 2012 _______________

Did We Have A Need To Know?

In less than a month the City of Mission Kansas has been heavily criticized for the less than transparent activities. Last Tuesday June 12th at 3:00 PM a confrontation occurred at Mission’s City Hall between City Administrator Mike Scanlon and myself over what I perceived as secret meetings between our City Council members and Tom Valenti a principal for the Cameron Group LLC out of New York the owners of Gateway project formerly Mission Mall. (Read the rest of the open letter by:) Clicking Here

By David Condradt

I find it odd for the City to say they got the highest rating possible on their audit. I guess it is technically true, the implication is not. It implies there is a quality ranking of some sort in audits. There is no quality ranking. There are only two types of audit opinions, unqualified (pass), and qualified (fail) with exceptions noted. A very high percentage of opinions are unqualified. The unqualified opinion means the reports are presented fairly and you did not report something in an odd manner. They do not say anything about the quality of the decision making, i.e. was it a good idea to give the Cap Fed site away for $10.00? That is not addressed.

For the Year Ended December 31, 2011


>snip< The City has $33.8 million in long-term debt, consisting of general obligation bonds, capital improvement bonds, and special assessment bonds payable, of which $2.6 million is due within the next fiscal year. Click Here for entire 116 pages.


(From Mike Scanlon) Important Note 1: Here’s my Weekend Update Video:

This week I improved on my “eye contact” and my head wasn’t taking up the whole screen.....even though I know Bill Nichols thinks I have a big head. I will tell you that trying to fit everything into two minutes is really hard. I wasn’t staring into the sun this week, but it’s still pretty bright outside and it makes you squint. So, I apologize for all the squinting. The City Manager I reference is from Davenport, Iowa and his name is Craig Malin.

The Josh video ( is on grass height and code enforcement, answering the all-important question... “When is my grass too high?”

The Justin video ( is on
our 222 LED Streetlights that we’ve installed.

_______________June 13th 2012 ________ (3:20 PM)

Our First Editorial
(Submissions are welcome)

Let's STAR bonds, no aquarium and no hotel (wonder what will replace them?) no office building until tenants are signed, no financing lined up and no final plan approval from the city until they have a better idea of what Cameron Group is planning to build. All these little items to take care of and still predicting a fall ground breaking?

Assuming Wal-Mart will go along with it, Tom Valenti may decide to ask to build the project in stages. To avoid the risk of Wal-Mart losing interest, Valenti may ask if they can build their store first, which raises the question of whether or not Cameron Group can also finance the construction of a multi-level parking deck at the same time (these things cost a lot of money)...... and whether or not Wal-Mart will allow them to build additional retail on their roof at some future date.

We all would love to see something happen on the East side Wasteland but, a fall construction start??......rather doubtful

And then there’s Keystone Automotive Group formerly on Johnson Drive, yep,,, their gone, somewhere on I-35 I’m told.  Maybe the city will buy that too before a used car (we’ll finance here) lot goes in. 

KCTV 5 Link - - - KC StarKCBIZJO -

It all comes back to Walmart at Mission Gateway (1:22Pm Thursday)

_______________June 13th 2012 ________________

Something stinks in Mission, Mayor McConwell
By: Yael T. Abouhalkah (KC Star)

Mission Mayor Laura McConwell has worked hard to redevelop the big hole in the ground at the Gateway Center location off Shawnee Mission Parkway.
On Tuesday she found out the long-planned aquarium and a hotel would not be coming.
Her comment?
“We didn’t count on the aquarium to begin with…I think the council is excited about the mixed use and the residential component.”
I’m sure they are.
But McConwell and other Mission officials were plenty excited about the aquarium a few years ago, especially when they thought it might get them state STAR bonds to get the project off the ground. Read More: Of Yael Abouhalkah's story

_______________June 12th 2012 ________________

Good evening, Bill:

As a follow up to your conversation with Tom earlier today, below please find a copy of the statement regarding the Mission Gateway development update
Statement by Tom Valenti, Managing Partner, The Gateway Developers, LLC:“After thorough research on how best to enhance the Mission Gateway project, the decision was made for the project to not utilize STAR Bonds from the State of Kansas. Without the inclusion of STAR Bonds funding, the Mission Gateway project will no longer include a hotel or aquarium. The Mission Gateway project without the aquarium or hotel returns to the developer’s original proposal that the people of the City of Mission supported eight years ago. The focus of the Mission Gateway project will specialize on serving as an ideal space for retail – including Walmart – restaurants, residential, and entertainment uses and focus less on potential tourism opportunities.

It’s important to note that as the developers, we originally promoted the inclusion of the Aquarium in the project and the utilization of Star Bonds, an effort that was also embraced by the City of Mission. We know that exclusion of the Aquarium and Star Bonds is disappointing, but the state of the bond market and the commercial financing challenges for tourist attractions and hotels compels us to move ahead with the project as quickly as possible without those components.

Since acquiring the Mission Gateway property in 2005, we have been focused on working with the City of Mission to ensure the development meets the needs of residents, bringing revenue and value to the area. Though the scope has changed, our goal has not. We’re eager to break ground on this development and serve residents, retail visitors, and office tenants, and look forward to infusing new energy into the crossroads of this vibrant community.”

Click Here for article from the Kansas City Star - Click Here for article from the Kansas City Business Journal

_______________June 9th 2012 _______________

10th Judicial District -  Judicial Nominating Commission 

Interviewees for Judicial Opening Announced
Solicitation of Public Comment

Eleven attorneys have been selected for interviews for the current judicial openings in Johnson County. The openings are due to the retirements of Judge Allen Slater and Judge Peter Ruddick. The interviewees are:
Laura McConwell, Mission; Keven O’Grady, Prairie Village; Hon. James Phelan, Overland Park; Jacquelyn Rokusek, Olathe; and Hon. Daniel Vokins, Olathe.
The 10th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of 14 members. Seven are attorneys elected by the Kansas licensed attorneys residing in the district, and 7 are non-lawyers appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.
The Nominating Commission welcomes and encourages public input into this important process. Comments can be submitted in writing to the Commission Secretary, Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger, 301 S.W. 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66612-1507, faxed to (785) 296-7079 or emailed to All comments will be forwarded to all members of the Commission.
Read More

_______________June 7th 2012 _______________

The Prairie Village City Council on Monday narrowly voted down a motion that would have put a referendum for a 3/8 percent sales tax increase to fund parks improvements and maintenance before city voters in November.

Parks projects, like the recently completed improvements at Weltner Park, will continue to be difficult to move forward without a dedicated parks funding source, said proponents of the sales tax.

The issue came before the council after the city’s finance committee and parks committee worked on options to find a permanent funding source to move the city’s Parks Master Plan forward. Approved unanimously by the City Council in 2008, the Parks Master Plan calls for roughly $14 million to be spent improving city parks, trails and bike accessibility.
But finding the money to move the master plan forward has been a struggle over the course of the past few years as city revenues have stagnated and major infrastructure issues — like deteriorating roads — have demanded significant investment from the city’s Capital Improvement Projects budget.
Read More

_______________May 29th 2012_______________

KCP&L Has Applied to the KCC for Another Rate Increase

KCP&L Files Rate Increase Request with Kansas Corporation Commission
KCP&L seeks to recover costs to maintain reliable service and meet state and federal renewable and environmental mandates
Press Release: Kansas City Power & Light Company – Fri, Apr 20, 2012 5:11 PM EDT
Kansas City Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP - News), today filed a rate increase request with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to increase base rates for electric service in its Kansas service area. The company is seeking to raise rates 12.9%. If approved, the daily increase for a typical residential customer is expected to be $0.41. The rate increase request process takes approximately eight months in Kansas. New rates will not be effective until January 2013.
“While KCP&L continues to manage costs and minimize the amount and impact of any rate increase on our customers, the costs associated with generating and delivering electricity continue to increase,” said Terry Bassham, KCP&L President and Chief Operating Officer. “Specifically, our investments in additional renewable energy and environmental upgrades at our existing facilities are important steps to building a balanced generation portfolio and ensuring that we are doing our part to improve regional air quality.”
Among the drivers for the increase are the significant investments the company has made at its generating facilities that will allow KCP&L to meet future state and federal renewable energy and emissions control mandates. These investments include additional wind generation in Spearville, Kansas and environmental upgrades at its La Cygne Generating Station, one of the company’s largest coal-fired generating facilities.

Memorial Day - May 27th 2012

Click Here: For Youtube video of event

Join with us on Sunday May 27th 2012 Be a part of something bigger: Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity & Country

Over 40,000 members of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies estimate that more than 300,000 will suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Wounded Warrior Project started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members and has now grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life. Click Here for more information

______________May 23rd 2012______________

At the Mission Kansas City Council workshop the topic was the swimming pool.  This time last year Mayor Laura McConwell appointed a “Swimming Pool Task Force” to study and make recommendations as to the future of the pool.

After about an hour of conversation what appeared to be a consensus to funding repairs to the existing pool or building a new swim center.

A new sales tax will most likely be put forward for a vote of Mission residents in November.  Several figures were discussed 1/8¢; 1/4¢ etc. depending on a 2 + million dollar fix or more than double that for a new pool.  Also to be determined by I assume the city council is the length of the new sales tax, 10 years, 15, 20 years? 

______________May 22nd 2012______________

Governor Brownback signs pro-growth tax legislation

Topeka – Joined by small business owners, state legislators, Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, Governor’s Cabinet members and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed one of the largest tax relief measures in Kansas history into law today at the Capitol in Topeka. The new law cuts state income tax rates for all hard-working Kansans by 14 to 24 percent and eliminates state income taxes on more than 191,000 small business owners.
Governor Brownback likened Senate Sub. for House Bill 2117 to a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.
“My faith is in the people of Kansas, not the government’s ability to tax and redistribute. Click Here: To read more.

______________May 15th 2012______________

Mike Hendricks - The Kansas City Star

Deep cuts could mean drastic changes for The Jo bus system
Johnson County’s bus system has averted a crisis for now but must plan for major cutbacks
As Missouri-side officials seek to expand transit with plans for commuter rail and downtown streetcars, Johnson County is headed in the opposite direction.
After years of expansion, The Jo bus system faces such severe cutbacks that some say it’s in danger of being dismantled.
“It would be a tragic step backward,” said Ed Peterson, county commissioner.
Deep cuts that seemed imminent a few weeks ago have been put off for now. But because of cash constraints and cautious support for public transit from a majority of the seven commissioners, Johnson County transit officials began last month drawing up plans for dramatic service reductions.
Click Here for the rest of the story

_______________May 2nd 2012________________

Mission Kansas (CDC) Community Development Committee met and was entertained by a half hour lecture by City Administrator Michael Scanlon.  Scanlon spoke and fielded questions on funding for stormwater & transportation projects. 

Mr. Scanlon has a diverse background as a business man apparently in the computer software business, an employee for the city of Merriam Kansas and a Councilman for Merriam before coming to Mission as City Administrator. 

The CDC meeting at Mission’s City Hall was an unusually long one with 13 different topics.  Numbers 3, 4 & 5 had to do with spending more money on streets.  All eight Councilmember’s were present with only 4 being allowed to vote to table the topics or send them to the City Council for a vote to spend or decline another $406,000 which they did agree to send.  Councilman Lawrence Andre  stated that he could not support the expenditure at this time, Andre did not appear to get much support from the other three voting Councilpersons; Will
Vandenberg, Jennifer Cowdry & Suzie Gibbs.  The contracts will go before the entire council later this month. 

__________April 17th 2012 ______________

City of Mission
Regular Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
7:00 p.m.

And it aught to be a doozy!  A lesson in spending thousands upon thousands of dollars just to buy a buildng so it can be torn down which will cost more thousands paid for by you and all before the new council is sworn in.    

Remember the old Capital Federal building?  Torn down for a bus stop.    Click Here for the agenda

________________April 16th 2012 _____________

March 22, 2012

The Mission Sustainability Commission met at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway, Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. with Committee Chair Rafael Durán presiding. The following commissioners were present: Steve Helvey, Doug Blessing, Largo Callenbach and Leslie Herring. Also in attendance was Neighborhood Services Coordinator Josh Rauch. Mr. Durán called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.

>snip< Presentation by Frank Scicchitano re: Gateway Project
Mr. Scicchitano stated that the developer was still in the preliminary process, and that his presentation would cover current steps toward sustainability in the project. He stated the owners were committed to implementing sustainable elements, but that it was still early.
To read the entire presentation

________________April 13th 2012 _____________

Johnson County Government Press Release

Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices Will Be Closed
The Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices located at 782 N. Ridgeview Road in Olathe and 6000 Lamar in Mission will be closed beginning Tuesday, May 1, 2012 for approximately 5-7 business days while the State of Kansas implements a new motor vehicle computer system statewide. Click Here for the entire release

The Kansas Department of Revenue's Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Modernization Project is a state initiative to overhaul the current vehicle registration system which has been in place since 1987. The new system will go live after the conversion of approximately 6.8 million vehicle registration records. This phase will take several days and during this time there will be no transactions processed.

________________April 12th 2012 _____________

Administration Begins Implementation of Reorganization Order

Topeka - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced today his administration has begun its preparations to implement the largest reorganization of state agencies in state history. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., Aging Secretary Shawn Sullivan, SRS Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, and KDHE Secretary Bob Moser, M.D. joined the Governor to lay out how the state will implement Executive Re-Organization Order Number 41. To read the entire story: Click Here
"This ERO is a needed first step towards achieving key strategic objectives for reforming our state's Medicaid system. It is a crucial component of KanCare, the administration's plan to improve the quality of care and the health of Kansans who depend upon Medicaid," Governor Brownback said. "I appreciate the work that has gone into the planning and implementation of this reorganization."

________________April 11th 2012 _______________

Financial concerns help push incumbents out

Roxie Hammill
Special to The Star

Prairie Village and Mission each will swear in three new council members next week, after voters there ousted all but one incumbent.
Fiscal concerns appear to have motivated many of the losses April 3, when voters replaced some longtime city council incumbents with newcomers — by startling margins in a few cases. It’s a safe bet that any plans to increase taxes or fees in those cities will have a tough go, say several incoming and outgoing council members, although there won’t be newcomers to drastically change the balance of the councils.
In Mission, two of three incumbents were voted out, including Sue Grosdidier, a 24-year veteran of the council, and Connie Footlick, who has held a seat since 1994. Patrick Quinn, with no prior public experience, defeated Grosdidier with 67 percent of the vote; Jennifer Cowdry beat Footlick with 56 percent

>snip< Mission’s Ward 4 councilman, David Shepard, was the only incumbent who won in those cities. He defeated Allen Anderson with 64 percent of the vote. In Ward 2, where no incumbent was running, Amy Miller nosed past James A. Brown by just 19 votes. In Mission, the losses appeared to be a rebuke of Mayor Laura McConwell’s vision. Challengers were concerned about the city’s transportation utility fee, passed in 2010, and city debt. Read the entire story by: Clicking Here


________________April 5th 2012 _______________

Can Kansas City support two large aquariums?

By MATT CAMPBELL - The Kansas City Star

Kansas City has been talking about an aquarium for about as long as light rail.

The train hasn’t yet arrived, but we could find ourselves up to our gills in fish.
Sea Life opens this weekend with 260,000 gallons of exhibits at Crown Center.

That does not scare off a developer who plans a bigger and, he says, better aquarium just a fewminutes away in Mission. It was first suggested in 2007, but the site remains vacant today and financing is uncertain. Read More


Mission's City Council will get a new look April 18th 2012

For Election Night Video: Click Here

- --

------------Councilwoman Ward 2 Amy Miller - Councilman Ward 1 Pat Quinn - Councilwoman Ward 3 Jennifer Cowdry

Ward 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Ward 2 --------------------Ward 3 ----------------------Ward 4
Pat Quinn            ----   -  65   66.53% - AMY MILLER -------185 52.71% -JENNIFER J COWDRY 143    56.30% - DAVID SHEPARD         254      63.66%
  --  83   33.47% -JAMES A BROWN 166 47.29% - CONNIE FOOTLICK      111    43.70% -
-ALLEN L ANDERSON -145      36.34%

________________April 5th 2012 _______________

Tax Group Accuses JoCo Senator Huntington of Mail Tampering

The tax reform group, ‘Kansans for No Income Tax’, is accusing St. Senator Terri Huntington of tampering with their mail.

By: Michael Mahoney KMBC 9TV

The group says Huntington tried to gain access to their Overland Park Post Office box without permission. Huntington is the target of a direct mail effort by the group.

A mailer sent to voters in the moderate Republican’s 7th Senate district urged them to tell Huntington to

support eliminating the state income tax. That measure will be part of the Legislature’s wrap-up session later this month. See the KMBC Report - From the Topeka Capital Journal today

________________April 4th 2012 _______________

Dear Friends and Family,

(Mike Slattery) Today I announce that I will not seek re-election to the Kansas House of Representatives from the 24th District.

This fall I will be attending graduate school to study business management and law. It is my family’s plan to come back to Kansas after I finish graduate school.
Representing the people of the 24th District in the House of Representatives has been an honor and privilege. I will always be grateful for the opportunity the people of the 24th District gave me to represent them in the Kansas Legislature. I have worked hard with the Johnson County delegation to promote quality public education, job creation and tax fairness for the people of Kansas. Read More

_____________ __April 2nd 2012 _______________

New Driveway Tax Proposed

(I knew we were getting hits from Europe, but this?)

The EU have proposed a 0.5% levy on the value of a property which has the use of a driveway. The benefits include:-
- A EU wide environmental strategy to assist urban wildlife habitats to reclaim from urbanisation
- Socio-economic benefits designed to assist equality with home owners and tenants
EU Corporate Finance Director (EU North West Zones 1a-7c) Uve Vorlenvoritt stated “The initiative is necessary is assist environmental management and to promote a deficit reduction programme.” Anticipating a strong press reaction, Paul Den Uddervun (Media Relations) commentted “We expect to introduce the taxation with an option to charge the costs against the property. The Finance (F) rate will be officially set at APR (F) 001% which will enable the home owning motorist to determine what it actually is.”

Read More: New Driveway Tax

_______________April 1st 2012 ________________

Coalition for Better Cities Files Campaign Ethics Charges Against Opponents
Local elections in the cities of Shawnee and Mission in Johnson County, Kansas, are upon us. But now the heat of these elections may have produced violations in
Kansas election law.

For the entire news release Click Here


Never, ever could I have imagined in little Mission Kansas could there be such sustained viciousness in order to keep the status quo. I do not presume to know where everything comes from but some attacks we do and I pray the current elected officials have nothing to do with any of this. This is Mission Kansas and we all are neighbors. BN And the next day the Great Sign Heist, by the city no less. Click Here for a under 2 minute video.

________________March 30th 2012 _______________

Regarding the 2012 budget, Moody's rating & the budget forcast for 2012-2016

My problem is the Moody's rating is built on a house of cards. They are assuming certain things about the City will continue somewhat as they are now. Bruce Kimmel, Senior Financial Advisor, Ehlers Corp did tell the City they would not like to see them draw down the General Fund any further. Guess Mike Scanlon did not send Kimmel his Budget Forecast for 2012-2016, which shows the General Fund, will be more than wiped out. Also, what if the City loses the lawsuit on the Driveway tax and has to refund it. They couldn't balance the 2012 budget, why should we believe they can handle things if they get more complex.

Dave C.

_______________March 30th 2012 ________________

Township 5 now five years in the making, but the shopping center project near Syracuse is still developing

By Bob Niedt / The Post-Standard - March 30th 2012

>snip< It was 2007 when associates with East Syracuse-based Cameron Group LLC first filed a business certificate for the nameof what was to be a bold new project for New York state, a project moving at the speed of Destiny USA. >snip< Township 5 was “bold” and “new” because it was a planned as a “lifestyle center,” then a hot concept in open-air shopping center development, with none of its kind anywhere in New York.

As proposed, Township 5 includes housing — apartments — retail, entertainment, restaurants and more in a pedestrian-friendly environment.

It was to be a step further than anything similar, such as predecessor Towne Center at Fayetteville, the higher-end COR Development project that isn’t entirely pedestrian friendly — and doesn’t have living spaces.
Joe Goethe, a partner with Cameron Group, said some leases have been signed — we’ve told you about a hotel and cineplex — but the snail’s pace movement of the project can be pinned on the Great Recession, as we’ve mentioned yearly since 2009.
Read More

________________March 26th 2012_______________

>snip< Tom Valenti, one of the principals for the developer, Cameron Group, said when the council asked him Friday if he would be willing to talk more, he agreed, even though the project was first proposed in 2006.

A tax-break deal for a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University has gotten a reprieve. The deal was slated for a vote in the Syracuse Common Council today, which, based on a whip count of the councilors, would have voted the deal down. Instead, the council withdrew the legislation from the agenda, giving the project a shot to revise and resubmit. Read More

_______________March 25th 2012 _______________

1940 census is the first that will be free online

At 8 a.m. Central time on April 2, it will become available without charge on any computer in the world.

By: Matt Campbell - The Kansas City Star

People who answered the U.S. census questions in 1940 knew about hi-fi, not Wi-Fi. But their descendants will be able to pull up their answers from the Internet on April 2 when the entire census from that year becomes available, completely free ...

Read the entire story: Click Here

Other information:

Official site:

To volunteer to help create a name index for the 1940 census, go to


________________March 25th 2012_______________

How Peak Oil Will Shatter Cities Like Merriam, Kansas

By: Gus Lubin - Business Insider (.com)

(snip) [L]iving in Merriam means owning a car. The whole town is designed around the idea that cheap gasoline will always be available. The main shopping center is a strip mall off the Interstate. Sidewalks—and easily walkable grid street plans—come and go throughout the neighborhoods, following the whims of past developers. Merriam has two bike routes, but one is mostly aimed at recreation. It doesn't follow any path that people travel daily for business, school, or shopping. The other bike route begins and ends suddenly, covering only a small portion of busy Shawnee Mission Parkway. Read More: Read from the beginning

_______________March 22nd 2012_______________

Mission's Gateway Project Developer Tom Valenti of the Cameron Group can't seem to get a break.

The make-up of the Syracuse Common Council was different when Thomas Valenti and his firm, Cameron Group, first approached it six years ago, but the opposition to the proposed project is still the same.
Valenti wants to develop a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.
In order to do that, he's requesting a 30-year property tax break from the city.
Read More - And therein lies the sticking point

Read More:Syracuse bookstore is flash point in debate over development

Read More: Common Council to vote on PILOT tax plan for Syracuse University bookstore project

Read More: Businessman who votes on Syracuse tax deals owes city $96,000 in taxes

Read More: New Syracuse agency member resigns amid controversy over delinquent city tax bill


_______________March 22nd 2012_______________

Motor Vehicle Office in Mission to Open after Renovation
Press Release
Johnson County Government

JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS (March 22, 2012) - The Johnson County Motor Vehicle Office located at 6000 Lamar Avenue in Mission has reopened to the public for business.

Johnson County Motor Vehicle serves Johnson County residents in the titling, renewing, and registering of their vehicles. The Mission Motor Vehicle Office was temporary closed for renovation beginning, Thursday, December 1, 2011. The office renovation is part of a major remodeling project, with an estimated cost of $5 million, at the Johnson County Northeast Office building, which was built in 1972 to provide services to the citizens in the northeast part of the county.
Read More Read More

__________March 20th 2012___________

Bible studies face new challenge: Driveway tax City's new way to raise revenue sparks outrage. Read More

__________March 19th 2012__________


After months & months of pleading with the City of Mission to repeal the “Transportation Utility Fee” AKA ‘Driveway tax’ without success a suit was filed today in the Johnson County District Court asking for the termination of TUF and a refund of all monies paid. 

Link to: Petition filed today

Johnson County Kansas District Court

Div/Judge 2/JAMES F VANO
Chapter 60

__________March 19th 2012__________

Wheels are turning to build bike lanes from Kansas to downtown

Johnson and Wyandotte counties are helping shape a better way to get bikes and people downtown.

By MIKE HENDRICKS - The Kansas City Star

(snip) That $1.46-million project ought to be done in 2013, about the time that the city of Mission would hope to have the money raised and design work done for its phase: an off-road link continuing under the Metcalf/Interstate 635 bridge to Lamar Avenue, also known as 24th Street on the Kansas City, Kan., side of the county line. Read More

__________March 17th 2012__________

Mission’s Gateway plan raises concerns from legislators

Joel Petterson - The Kansas City Star

The conflict between Mission and Roeland Park over a $200 million development project reached Topeka on Wednesday as the Kansas Commerce Secretary testified before legislators about the state’s STAR bonds program.

After encouraging members of the House Commerce Committee to renew the bonds program, which is set to expire on July 1, 2012, Secretary Pat George fielded questions from representatives, some of which addressed the Gateway project in Mission.

The project has been challenged by neighboring Roeland Park for using STAR bonds in a project that would include a Walmart store, replacing the existing store at 5150 Roe Blvd. Some legislators shared the city’s concerns that the tax incentives were being used to create competition for existing businesses instead of building unique destinations like Kansas Speedway. Read More Also see: Click Here

_______________March 16th 2012_______________

Freebirds restaurant chain starts to fly high locally

By JOYCE SMITH The Kansas City Star

Freebirds World Burrito has signed a new, local company as its first franchisee, and several of the restaurants are planned for the area, including one in Mission.

(Photos depict existing stores)

(snip) Along with Freebirds, tenants for the 9,000-square-foot main building include Subway and Sport Clips. Lane4 Property Group is in negotiations with another retail tenant.

Culver’s and Chick-fil-A will open freestanding restaurants with drive-throughs — Culver’s on the north end and Chick-fil-A on the south. Their buildings and Freebirds’ will total 19,800 square feet and face Metcalf. A senior housing structure is planned for the Broadmoor Street side. The plan also includes 182 parking spaces for the retail section and 109 spaces for the residential building, and a small park at Broadmoor and Martway streets. Read More Here

__________November 2007__________



Click Here for Proposal

_______________March 9th 2012_______________

Kansas eyes end of popular development program
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2012

By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter

TOPEKA — A decade-old initiative that helped bring NASCAR to the state could go behind the wall for good June 30.

The initiative, STAR bonds — shorthand for Sales Tax and Revenue — is a Kansas economic program that uses state and local sales tax money to help private developers build things such as posh shopping districts, speedways, riverfront entertainment districts and salt mine museums. Kansas uses STAR bonds money to help pay for streets, parking lots, sidewalks and other infrastructure

>snip< Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George urged House Commerce and Economic Development Committee members Wednesday to recommend renewing the state’s STAR bonds program for another five years. The bonds already have brought $2 billion in investments and more than 30,000 jobs to Kansas, George said.

But committee chairman Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, said he is worried the program is becoming devalued and used to promote lesser projects that do far less to help the Kansas economy.

“I am not a big fan,” Brown said

>snip< “We’ve already watered it down from NASCAR to Heartland Park,” he said, referring to a financially distressed Topeka racetrack that received STAR bonds funding in 2006. The track failed to produce enough sales tax revenue to pay off the bonds and, in 2010, Topeka sought help in refinancing the deal to cover interest costs, which were coming out of the city budget instead. Read Much More: Click Here

Updated at 1730 hrs Steve Rose Column; Kansas City Star "With the opening next month of Sea Life aquarium at Crown Center, and with a large aquarium proposed for the Mission Gateway project at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive scheduled to open in 2014, it raises the question: Can Kansas City support two aquariums?"

(Thanks Bert)

_______________March 5th 2012_______________

Election Summary Report
2012 Spring Primary
Summary For Precinct, All Counters, All Races
Johnson County Kansas
Official Final Results

  Number of Precincts  4 
Precincts Reporting  4 100.0 %
Total Votes  240 
Times Blank Voted  2 
Times Over Voted  0 

 AMY MILLER  121 50.42%
JAMES A BROWN  108 45.00%

  Number of Precincts  3 
Precincts Reporting  3 100.0 % 
Total Votes  201 
Times Blank Voted  1 
Times Over Voted  0 


_______________March 5th 2012 _______________

spjcc header

From Parks & Recreation

Indoor Playground Ends This Friday March 9th For The Season

Just a reminder that the Indoor Playground will close for the season on Friday, March 9th.

Indoor Playground will resume in late October.

Skyward SummitWe have a number of other great programs for families and youth including Free Family Fun Nights, Family Gym Time, First Kicks (Soccer), Tippi Toes Dance and Tot Time Swim. For more information on these great family opportunities, click here.

February 28th 2012 - Primary Day

Unofficial results as of 9:12PM.

Both Amy Miller Ward 2 & Jennifer Cowdry Ward 3 were first in their respective wards.

The results of Tuesday's primary is a direct indicator of how Mission's residents are feeling about the way the current administration has taken the future of our young families and put them in financial jeopardy. Us "older folks" are hurt by the over $45 million in debt we currently enjoy, but the young families have to live with this insanity for a very long time.
The residents in Wards 2 & 3 spoke loud and clear in Tuesday's primary, the majority in overwhelming support for Amy Miller and Jennifer Cowdry, who both will bring sound fiscal discipline back to our city.

April 3 is the date for the general election for city council. The 4 candidates that endorses: Pat Quinn - Ward 1, Amy Miller - Ward 2, Jennifer Cowdry - Ward 3, Allen Anderson - Ward 4, when elected, will provide the residents of Mission, with responsible leadership, to lead our city out of debt, and ridicule, and back to a place that is conducive for businesses and residents alike.

An aside: There were more residents voting in Tuesday's primary than voted overall in the last general election. Remember, Tuesday's primary was contested in only half of Mission's 4 Wards.

________________February 26th 2012________________

Mission Gateway’s STAR bond plans face opposition from nearby cities
Kansas City Business Journal by Steve Vockrodt, Reporter
Date: Friday, February 24, 2012, 5:00am CST

A bid by the developer of the proposed Mission Gateway project for state incentives faces questions and outright opposition from neighboring cities.
New York developer Cameron Group LLC seeks sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds through the state to help it construct a mixed-use project at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive, where the old Mission Mall once stood. The Mission Gateway project became eligible for as much as $63 million in STAR bonds in 2007, but the project has gone through different iterations since then and has yet to begin construction.
(End of Kansas City Business Journal copy)

Earlier this month the City of Roeland Park Kansas filed a petition with the City of Mission objecting to the East Gateway project which at Mission’s next council meeting on February 15th was not sustained by the council for lack of the required 20% of the adjacent property owners signing the document.  Subsequently Roeland Park petitioned Secretary of Commerce Pat George in effect saying the Gateway Project has apparently been exaggerated in revenue & benefits to the community.  The petition appears to be specifically aimed at the STAR bonds for the proposed aquarium.
-----------------------------------------------------------Follow this link to read the entire 23 page PDF petition. 
Click Here

(Thanks Amy)

________________February 19th 2012 _______________

The Daily Orange

Developers work to solve tax-related problems with bookstore complex

By Nick Smith

Contributing Writer  Published: Monday, February 6, 2012 Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 02:02

Tom Valenti Cameron Group

Developers for a new bookstore and gym complex on University Avenue, which will also include retail stores, have drawn up a plan they hope can solve tax-related issues that delayed construction, said Cameron Group LLC partner Thomas Valenti.


Since talks about a new complex started in 2006, Syracuse University, the Cameron Group and the Syracuse city administration have been at odds over how the complex would be taxed.

The property for the complex is owned by SU and has tax-exempt status, but the university plans to lease it to the Cameron Group for construction. Upon completion, the Cameron Group will re-lease the fitness center and bookstore to the university. Once the property is leased, it loses its tax exempt status, according to a March 7, 2011, article in The Daily Orange. Read More

________________February 17th 2012 _______________

Community Recycling Event Roz has been hard at work helping to coordinate our community recycling event,
scheduled for March 24th at the Public Works Facility (4775 Lamar Mission Kansas) from 8am - Noon.
The event will feature paper and electronics recycling, along with an opportunity for residents to donate used goods to Salvation Army and recycle old tires. Some of these services require a modest fee. More details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

________________February 15th 2012 _______________

"Mayor Laura McConwell has a vision for the city of Mission"

(Mayor Laura McConwell)

The Kansas City Star

(snip) In her time as Mission’s mayor, a post she initially inherited after the death of a long-time, entrenched leader 10 years ago next month, McConwell has become known as someone unafraid to do what hasn’t been done. Who will try a new way, even when it isn’t popular. (The “driveway tax” comes to mind.) 
And she’ll push for change, as long as she says she feels it’s what’s right for her city, an aging suburb that has been losing population in recent years.
Although she has her detractors, her approach has gained her fans and a nod four years ago as Kansas’ Mayor of the Year. People say McConwell’s leadership has helped propel the city of Mission to a higher profile, even described by some as a progressive small town intent on remaining vital. Read more here:

_______________February 15th 2012_______________

My thoughts on (TUF):  By C. D. Rinck Sr.
Mission Kansas

This "Fee" is supposedly based on 8 trips per day, an arbitrary figure, for residential usage ($72.00 per year).  I contend that my household (2 retired persons) makes approximately 10 trips per week.

Some of my neighbors who own 3 or more cars, have 2 or more working residents, and possibly 2 or more teen-ages/young adults who make that many trips per day. Therefore, since businesses don't pay the same amount as their next door business does, I am subsidizing my neighbors running habits by paying the same amount for 1/10th the number of times I leave my driveway in my auto.

If this is allowed to stand, when do we see an increase in the "Fee" for increased costs to maintain our streets, signage, park maintenance, and whatever else it is slated to be used for?

Our constitutional right to vote yea or nay on such an issue has been trashed, one of the checks and balances used to harness the runaway imposition of slave tactics by those who contend:  "You don't know what's for your own good so we'll tell you!"  

_______________February 10th 2012 _______________


City Administrator
City of Gardner - Gardner, KS
to serve as chief administrative officer. Growing and... financial acumen; can bring new ideas and solutions to the forefront to address the budget and financial... $110,000 a year

Overland Park, KS following profiles: CEO, COO, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, senior manager, executive... Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer...
CareerBuilder - 13 hours ago - save job - 

____________February 6th 2012 ____________

By Mike Galvin - Mission Kansas Resident

  In reference to the current squabble of adjacent cities who are less than amiable about the proposed "East Gateway" project in Mission , Roeland Park 's position is understandable -- if there's a Chinamart in Mission , there won't be one in Roeland Park . Roeland Park isn't too keen about losing 30% of their sales tax base.

The reality is that if Chinamart is moved to Mission , the demographic of the clientele that frequents that big box retailer seems to be antagonistic to the type of upscale patronage the project is being advertised to attract. How many Chinamart shoppers will be attending esoteric cultural activities such as the proposed aquarium? Or stay in an upscale high-rise hotel? Or frequent an upscale fitness center? Or live in upscale residential space within the project? Pertinent questions for sure. What successful precedent of this proposed cultural clash is there? If this were to be such a grand vision, is the Country Club Plaza underutilized without the inclusion of a Chinamart? Those who promote the Gateway project advertise energetically the glamour of their upscale plan, but isn't the inclusion of a Chinamart an obvious red flag contradiction?
Read More

_______________January 23rd 2012 _______________

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says Mission's "Transportation Utility Fund" (Driveway Tax) in his opinion is in fact a tax.

Link to: Attorney General Link to: KSHB 41 Link to: KC Star's 913

Synopsis: Under the Executive Aircraft test, the “transportation utility fee” (TUF) is a tax because it is a forced contribution on the owners of developed real property in the City of Mission levied for the purpose of raising revenue for the maintenance of governmental services offered to the general public,

i.e., maintenance of streets. The TUF is not an ad valorem tax because it is imposed by calculating the estimated number of vehicle trips originating from a property using a trip generation model rather than the value of real property. As such, TUF is an excise tax that the City of Mission is specifically, clearly, and uniformly prohibited from levying or imposing under K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 12-194. Cited herein: Kan. Const., Art. 12, Section 5; K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 12-187 et seq.; K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 12-194.

The City of Mission Kansas' City Administrator Michael Scanlon was contacted by phone today; Mr. Scanlon stated they are still reading the opinion but do disagree with portions.  Scanlon further stated they should have an answer in a couple of days.

Click here for full opinion - ('Definition of 'Ad Valorem Tax' - A tax based on the assessed value of real estate or personal property. Ad valorem taxes can be a property tax or even duty on imported items. Property ad valorem taxes are the major source of revenue for state and municipal governments.)

_________________January 10th 2012 _________________

Notice of Public Hearing - City of Mission, Kansas

Dear Property Owner:

The City of Mission has received an application filed by Korb Maxwell of Polsinelli Shughart representing the Gateway Developers and the Cameron Group for the Gateway Site. The Gateway site is generally located on land bounded by Johnson Drive, Roe Avenue, Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roeland Drive in the city of Mission, Kansas. The submitted application requests consideration of a revised preliminary site plan for the subject property. In accordance with the City of Mission Municipal Code you are being notified of the upcoming public hearing because you own property within 200 feet of the above-described property.

The Mission Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 23, 2012 to review this application. The public hearing will be held in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 6090 Woodson St, Mission, Kansas, and will begin at 7:00 p.m. You are invited to attend and will have an opportunity to be heard during the meeting. Click here for complete letter

__________________December 31st 2011 _______________

Click here for Mission's Week End Report etc.

______________________December 22nd 2011____________________

Star Bond & TIF (Tax Incriment Financing) Primer - Click Here

_________________December 6th 2011________________

Election Summary Report
2011 City of Mission Mail Ballot
- ¼¢ Sales Tax for roads etc.  (AKA Driveway Tax 2
Summary For Precinct, All Counters, All Races
Johnson County Kansas
Unofficial Final Results

Registered Voters 5721 - Cards Cast 2204 - 38.52%


Number of Precincts            1         
Precincts Reporting             1          100.0 %
Total Votes                2203   
Times Blank Voted              1         
Times Over Voted               0         
YES                 1185    53.79%
NO                  1018    46.21%

_________________ December 2nd 2011 _______________

Click here for Betsy's report

__________________November 29th 2011 ______________

Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices

6000 Lamar will be closed beginning Thursday, December 1 through the first quarter of 2012 while the State of Kansas renovates the building and updates their vehicle registration system. For further information click here.

______________________________November 27th 2011__________________________

Johnson Drive / Martway Appraisal and Easement Acquisition

Mission’s staff recently prepared and sent out a request for qualifications for appraisal and easement acquisition services. Once the qualifications have been evaluated we will be looking to negotiate contract terms.

Both the Martway (Broadmoor to Woodson) and Johnson Drive (Lamar to Nall) projects will require some appraisal and easement acquisition that will be components of the anticipated contract. Estimated cost for Johnson Drive $6,000,000 for Mission's 'Flyer' Click Here Remember it's all tax dollars!

___________________________November 25th 2011 _______________________

Shawnee Mission Times

Times Releases Results of Resident/Business Satisfaction Survey

The Shawnee Mission Times released this week the results of their first “Resident/Business Satisfaction Survey,” which was focused on the city of Mission’s Fiscal Discipline. The survey question was sent out to 100 Mission citizens and businesses and asked the following question:

#1 – Which three (3) financial plans represents the best the direction you think the city of Mission should take regarding fiscal discipline? The three choices should be ranked on your level of importance.

Operate within current budget considerations - Increase of the Mill Levy - Increase Transportation Utility Fees (TUF) *Also known as Driveway Tax - Increase Storm Water Assessments - Cut spending back to 2008 levels - Initiate New Fees such as Streetlight Fee, Sustainability Fee, etc - Increase sales taxes - Decrease sales taxes - Cut Spending 10% across the board on all city agencies - Consideration elimination and/or privatization of some of the city’s services.

According to the survey, an overwhelming number of respondents picked the following path the city of Mission should take regarding fiscal policy:

#1 - Consolidation, elimination and/or privatization of services.

#2 - Cut spending back to 2008 levels.

#3 - Cut spending 10% across the board for all agencies.

*Source: Shawnee Mission Times Resident Satisfaction Survey, November 14, 2011

The Times conducted the survey in order to publish what the residents and businesses believe are issues regarding the needs of the city and what is the best way to govern on those issues.

____________________________November 16th 2011_________________________

Click Here for Video of Tom Valenti announcing the Walmart inclusion. Click here for video

$200 million Mission Gateway project ready to lift off with Wal-Mart store

By KEVIN COLLISON and JOYCE SMITH - The Kansas City Star

Wal-Mart plans to build a store in the $200 million Mission Gateway development, a decision that’s expected to give the long-delayed project and its saltwater aquarium attraction the boost to begin construction this spring.

Developer Tom Valenti of the Cameron Group of Syracuse, N.Y., said Tuesday that Wal-Mart had signed a letter of intent to put a 150,000-square-foot store in the project, which was first proposed in 2005. That’s when the former Mission Center was demolished at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue.
“We now have the rocket fuel to get the project off the ground,” Valenti said, referring to Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart officials could not be reached for comment.
(For the rest of the Star's article click here) Click here

Photos are from Tom Valenti's presentation to the city on January 16th 2008 (Clickon photos to enlarge)

I wonder what it will finally look like if it gets built?

________________________Novemer 15th 2011______________________

Last year we got a tripling of Stormwater Fees by Mission’s City Council.
The Nationally known Driveway Tax
Another Mission sales tax, “Shall the following be adopted?
Shall the City of Mission, Kansas be authorized to impose a one-quarter percent (0.25%) citywide retailers’ special purpose sales tax, the collection of which to commence on April 1, 2012 or as soon thereafter as permitted by law and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, the proceeds of which shall be used to finance the costs of transportation improvements, including the construction and reconstruction of streets, bridges, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, trails, transit facilities, bicycle lanes, street lighting, traffic signalization, signage and landscape along rights-of-way and related improvements (the “Project”)?”

Wasn’t that what the Driveway tax was for?
If our streets are in such bad shape, why did the City Council need to spend $4,383,196 shrinking Nall Avenue?
 Have you heard there could be yet another sales tax for the swimming pool in the spring? How about a fee for using the streetlights?  City Administrator Mike Scanlon is talking about it.
The proposed budget for 2012 is not in balance, the current Mission City Council is spending more than we are taking in.
Vote NO on another Mission Sales Tax.
Coming to your mail box this week.

________________________________November 10th 2011_____________________________

Info for Veterans

With Veteran's Day coming up I'd like to post about a change in the law concerning rendering honors to the flag and during the playing of the National Anthem.

The Defense Authorization Acts of 2008 and 2009 had some interesting changes.

Veterans, and active duty military in civilian clothing now have the option of rendering the military style hand salute instead of the civilian hand over the chest salute.  This applies to the raising, lowering or passing of the colors as well as during the playing of the National Anthem.

Those individuals who are wearing cover (hats/caps for the uninformed civilians) may keep the cover on while rendering the hand salute.  If they choose to perform the civilian hand over the chest then they should remove their cover, and hold it over their chest.

From Shawnee Ray's Blog

__________________________November 8th 2011_________________________

Administration Announces Medicaid Reforms

Topeka - Following a months-long public input process, Governor Sam Brownback and Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., today announced the Administration’s plan for reform the state’s Medicaid system. KDHE Secretary Robert Moser, M.D., Aging Secretary Shawn Sullivan and SRS Secretary Rob Siedlecki joined them for the announcement.

KanCare: Frequently Asked Questions- Executive Summary KanCare: Reinventing Medicaid for Kansas

_________________________November 7th 2011 _________________________

Mission's City Administrator's Weekend Update November 4, 2011

Important Note 1: The City’s information piece on our ¼ cent Sales Tax for Streets has been dropped at the Post Office. Martha has included a PDF in emails to City Councilmembers.

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Important Note 2: As a reminder to all -- We (the City) can only provide objective information on the ¼ cent Sales Tax question.

What do you think? Is the city presenting only objective information or very, very subjective and incomplete information?

Ask them if bonds will be sought which we must pay interest on. Ask them why this is (almost) exactly what TUF (AKA DriveWay Tax) is for.

______________________November 6th 2011______________________

==== Mission has a new flower blooming, It's mostly white with some black and a splash of red. If you want one in your yard there's no need to plant a seed just call and one will be delivered and planted in full bloom at no charge.

For delivery or just information,

(Click Image to Enlarge)

_________________________November 3rd 2011_________________________

7 figures later, taxpayers frustrated with ‘trail to nowhere’ in Johnson County
By: Ryan Kath (KSHB TV News) To watch video click here

MISSION, Kan. - A walking trail in a Johnson County community does not sound too controversial on its surface. However, when NBC Action News discovered the seven-figure price tag—and then saw the visible results—taxpayers raised their eyebrows in surprise.

Trail causes frustration ------------------------

--For decades along Johnson Drive, Werner’s has been a go-to location for sausage and other German --specialties.

--Dave Miller has operated the Mission, Kan., staple for the past 16 years and it’s safe to say he knows a --thing or two about food. But when the long-time business owner looks across the street, what he sees --makes him lose his appetite.

(Click photo to enlarge) >>>“Waste of money! Waste of money! Waste of money!” says Miller, never shy to express his opinion. Read Much More

____________________October 25th 2011____________________

Unified Government money worries raise red flags

The Kansas City Star

“Kansas Speedway waves green flag for economic success,” Wyandotte County’s Unified Government crowed in a news release on the eve of this month’s NASCAR race weekend.

And why not boast?
No government in the area has been more aggressive in promoting business development the last decade or so.
Yet while some see the speedway and all the development it’s attracted in Village West as a civic salvation, others are worried. Those investments in the future, along with a growing public debt unrelated to Village West, could soon eat the Unified Government alive, they say.
“We are in a real problem,” Unified Government Commissioner Butch Ellison said. “I don’t think that the payoff from the Village West is going to happen soon enough to bail us out.”


2006: $31.6 million
2007: $18.9 million
2008: $7.2 million
2009: $4.5 million
2010: $1.9 million

“We are in a real problem,” Unified Government Commissioner Butch Ellison said. “I don’t think that the payoff from the Village West is going to happen soon enough to bail us out.” Click here for the entire article

___________________________October 29th 2011_________________________

From Michael Scanlon, Mission’s City Administrator October 28th, 2011
Is this the former Neff Printing property?  If so, why the secrecy

>snip< Brownfields Targeted Assessment Program
Staff submitted an application this week to KDHE for participation in their brownfields
assessment program. A brownfield is real property for which the redevelopment or reuse of may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Click here to view goverment's information on the former Neff Printing Properties Read More

______________________October 17th 2011______________________

Is Mission contemplating another purchase?  The former Neff Printing property at Martwary & Metcalf vacant for the last several years is on the market for $695,000 but there may be a problem?  (Clck on images to enlarge)

------------------- --- - -- --

The Neff property is next to and behind Panera Bread and directly across the street from the proposed Culver Restaurant.  If Mission does want the vacant Neff building, why and what has to happen before it can be put to use.

The “fire diamond” indicates that at one time there was some pretty scary stuff inside.


 (Yellow) Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water (e.g., phosphorus, potassium, sodium)

(Blue) Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g., chlorine gas)

( Red) Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily (e.g., propane, hydrogen). Flash point below 23°C (73°F)

(White) Reacts with water in an unusual or dangerous manner (e.g., cesium, sodium, sulfuric acid)

The city of Mission’s Mayor Laura McConwell and City Administrator Michael Scanlon was asked to comment. 

On October 18th 2011 Michael Scanlon City Administrator for the City of Mission Kansas replyed: "We don't comment on potential land acquisitions, law suits or personnel matters."  

_______________________________October 7th 2011________________________________

Wednesday evening at Mission Theatre on Johnson Drive, the City of Mission, Kansas Community Development committee, Planning Commission, downtown Visioning Committee, the City Council, staff, maybe a half dozen Mission citizens and several other interested parties came together for City Administrator Michael Scanlon’s lecture regarding the Downtown Visioning Committee’s final report.

There were 17 members of the above commission, committees and council members seated in a horseshoe configuration.  At least 2 members and the mayor were seated elsewhere, apparently not enough room at the table. 

Redevelopment Plan (according to web site) “Information provided prior to meeting”

For a 5 minute video: Click Here

More discussions, more committees, more public lectures and it would appear no real plans. Someone up front mention their finance background and then comment that they were concerned about using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) because it presented a risk to the city.  REALLY?

Unless the City is stupid enough to guarantee the TIF obligations, they may not be accepting any risk.   And then there is the new and improved Johnson Drive Project which according to one Councilman, if the ¼¢ sales tax that’s going to the voters next month doesn’t pass, Johnson Drive Project can not be accomplished. 

________________________________October 6th 2011_________________________________

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel, Erik Stanley

Thanks for your call about whether we ever amended our complaint to add in residents and businesses of Mission. We did amend our complaint to add in a claim that the driveway tax was an unlawful excise tax and thus was void in its entirety. The outcome of that claim would have been that the entire driveway tax would have been stricken. But we never added in any additional plaintiffs to the case – the plaintiffs remained only the two churches in Mission.

The case is in the process of settlement right now by exempting churches so we are dropping our second claim regarding the excise tax in the settlement.


Erik Stanley

________________________________October 4th 2011_________________________________

MISSION, Kan. As part of a settlement of an Alliance Defense Fund lawsuit, the city of Mission voted Wednesday to exempt from its “driveway tax” churches and other entities who are exempt from property taxes under state law. ADF attorneys filed suit against the city on behalf of two churches in December of last year arguing that the city’s Transportation Utility Fee was, in reality, a tax from which churches should have been exempt. The suit sought a judicial determination that churches are exempt from the tax.

The odd tax, similar to ones struck down by supreme courts in two other states, bills property owners based on the number of trips in and out of their driveways. Because the city of Mission labeled the driveway tax a “fee,” it charged churches and other non-profit organizations ordinarily exempt from property taxes under state law. Read More

BREAKING ~ ADF Amends “Driveway Tax” Lawsuit
By the Shawnee Mission Times
February 11th, 2011

The Shawnee Mission Times has learned that the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the legal firm representing the Catholic and Baptist Church in Mission regarding the “Driveway Tax” lawsuit, has amended their lawsuit to also include all property owners in Mission affected by the Transportation Utility Fee (TUF).

Last year, the “Tax” was passed by the city council, despite protests from city businesses and residents. Fees generated by this TUF on property owners will be used to pay for street and road repair. The TUF was supported by Mayor Laura McConwell and was proposed by Mission City Administrator Mike Scanlon.

On Wednesday the Times interviewed ADF Senior Legal Counsel, Erik Stanley, and learned that ADF will submit their amendment to the court by February 11th. The city of Mission has already been notified of their intent.

Stanley indicated that the reason for the amendment is that it is ADF’s belief that the TUF is actually an excise tax and therefore illegal. The amended action does not affect the current claim regarding the TUF as it is implied to the churches’ in Mission.

This is bad news to the city of Mission as the amended complaint is sure to spurn interests from outside groups to support the lawsuit with an Amicus, or Friend of the Court, brief. An Amicus brief allows other affected parties to become part of the lawsuit, which could include all property owners in Mission.

Question of the day is: Where does the "amended" lawsuit stand?

________________________Worth Repeating: From October 5h, 2010 ____________________

Tuesday, Oct. 5 Kansas City Star, Mission utility fee hurts residents

Mission did not adequately think this “driveway tax” through when trying to cover budget expenditures. Since it is actually a fee and not a tax, residents cannot deduct it from state or federal income taxes. The real cost is much larger than advertised.

While businesses can deduct the fee as a cost of doing business, individuals can’t. Also, using the fee to replace some of the lowered property tax may result in some residents paying income taxes they would not have paid in the past.

Based on Mission’s philosophy for streets, the city should change all of the various funding items to user fees. For instance, that would mean complete support of the new walking trail by the users, or charging for the storm drainage system on the amount of runoff each site generates.

If the street program is a capital improvement program that envisions complete reconstruction of a street, it should be financed by a bond issue. Otherwise, it should be paid for as ongoing maintenance in the general budget. This fee appears to circumvent the voters in a bond issue to avoid raising the budget for maintenance.

Robert C. Wessel


__________________________September 29th 2011_______________________________

KCPL Lights Up Prairie Village with Free LED Lights

Shawnee Mission Times

As part of the next phase of KCP&L’s LED Streetlight Pilot project, around 250 additional LED Streetlights will be installed throughout the city over the next six months. The installations will be done at no cost to the city. Prairie Village is one of the pilot sites for the program, which replaced several traditional high-pressure sodium streetlights with new LED models that are brighter and more energy efficient throughout the Kansas City area.

(Welcome to Mission)

_________________________________September 29th 2011__________________________________

In response to a KORA filed via email requesting a copy of the tape from last night that is usually recorded at council meetings, Mission’s City Clerk Martha Sumrall responded by email:


In response to your request, there really isn't anything on the tape from last night's meeting. The meeting began at 7:00 p.m. with everyone present. Roll was called and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Councilmember Shepard moved " to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss current litigation involving the City of Mission. Attending the meeting will be City Administrator Mike Scanlon, City Attorney David Martin and City Land use Attorney Pete Heaven. Council will reconvene in Council Chambers at 7:18 p.m." Councilmember Kring seconded the motion and all voted AYE.

Council went into Executive Session at 7:03 p.m. and returned at 7:18 p.m. Councimember Andre moved to extend the Executive Session for an additional 10 minutes with the same people attending. This was seconded by Councilmember Shepard. Council again adjourned to Executive Session at 7:18 p.m. and reconvened at 7:28 p.m.

Councilmember Andre moved "to adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 145 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Mission, Kansas, by adding a Section 145.071 relating to exemptions from the Transportation Utility Fee." The motion was seconded by Councilmember Vandenberg. All voted AYE.

Councilmember Kring stated that she would have liked to have additional time to consider this ordinance and its ramifications prior to the meeting. There were no other comments or discussion.

Councilmember Vandenberg moved to adjourn at 7:33 p.m. This was seconded by Councilmember Shepard. Council adjourned.

I hope this answers your questions about last night's meeting.



Sumarll's narrative apparently shows the City of Mission's Council was in compliance with Kansas State statutes regarding open meetings. .


September 28th 2011 (8:15 PM)

Has the city of Mission Kansas violated the “Kansas Open Meeting Act”?

Tonight in a special City Council meeting which went into executive session; sources say the Mission City Council amended the “Transportation Utility Fee” (Driveway Tax) ordinance by exempting churches.  According to sources the attorneys for the plaintive have agreed to drop the entire law suit which included all other property owners. 

An hour after the executive session information is still sketchy; when Mayor Laura McConwell was asked how long this had been in the works, she would not respond other then saying she could not talk about it. The Mayor further stated that there will be a statement from the City of Mission Kansas offered in a day or two. 

After being published the new revised ordinance should go into effect after approximately two weeks. 


September 28th 2011

Don’t change county charter, Joco residents urge

By JOE LAMBE, The Kansas City Star

The Johnson County Charter Commission on Tuesday night got an earful from residents blasting proposed changes to the county charter.
Speaker after speaker at the public hearing at the Sylvester Powell Community Center lambasted a list of proposals that include adding county commissioners, returning to partisan elections and allowing voters to repeal sales taxes.

>snip< Yvonne Starks of Olathe supported partisan elections, however.“The people who vote for these people should know what they believe in,” she said. She also said the charter commission members have studied the county’s functioning and that other proposals might be beneficial. The crowd cried, “No, no, no.”
Click here to read more


September 26th 2011

Earlier in the year my office did some research to determine the amount of vacant, for lease or for sale space along Johnson Drive. This study focused on the area between Metcalf and Nall and one block to the north and south of Johnson Drive. It was determined that there was approximately One Hundred Fifty Thousand square feet (150,000 sq. ft.) of space that is vacant and/or for sale or lease in this area. Having lived in the metro area since 1976 it is my belief that this amount of vacant space has never existed in Mission, at any time in the past. While there is new retail development going on and some businesses moving into the area, the broad range of vacant space remains a troubling situation.
I continue to get questions from prospective tenants and buyers about the "Driveway Tax" and how it will impact their businesses. Fortunately, the impact is comparatively minor for many business types but people still remember the Kansas City Star newspaper article that implied that each business would be getting an annual $3500 driveway tax bill. If City Hall would have taken the time to prepare a press release with accurate examples of how the Transportation Utility Fee (a/k/a Driveway Tax) was going to impact various existing business owners the story would have never "taken off" the way it did.
In my opinion if downtown Mission dries up and blows away, it will negatively impact everyone that has anything to do with the city.....whether they are home owners, business owners, and commercial property owners or if they simply enjoy visiting and shopping at small, locally owned stores. It is unbelievable that more people aren't pressing the City for assistance in stimulating activity in the downtown area so that the remaining local merchants don't close their doors. Economic times are "tough" but other metro area communities pull together to stimulate activity for their area merchants through the creation of fun events that attract people to the area. For example, take a look at what Waldo does on the Missouri side and what Overland Park is doing

Some years ago the Arts & Eats Festival was moved from Johnson Drive to the parking lot around the Sylvester Powell Community Center. Now the event does little that I can see which actually benefits downtown business owners. When the event was held on Johnson Drive I had business owners tell me that they experienced some of their "best ever" days in terms of retail more. This year I was told that the event seemed to draw more big businesses renting booth space (I believe it is $175 or $200) and fewer small businesses and artists. Perhaps the City feels that the event is easier to run in the community center parking lot or maybe they view it as a way to boost membership, at what I understand is a community center operating in the RED but, in my opinion the event is being held in the wrong location.

Early next year four (4) City Council Seats come up for election. The last time around these 4 individuals ran unopposed and got elected with as few as: 43; 51; 64; and 116 votes. This level of voter turn should be an embarrassment to the residents of these Wards. I'm not saying that all these council members should be voted out since I haven't personally looked at their individual voting records. However, there should be more public discussion of the issues with area voters. If some opposition candidates would step forward, register to run and start making their voices heard on the important issues, I think they would help the public become better informed and to be elected a candidate would actually have to take a stand on the issues.
My understanding is that two candidates have already registered to run against incumbents. If you know these people and put me in contact with them, I'm thinking that I might like to allow them to voice their opinions on a few local issues in the 4th Quarter Edition of my company's Newsletter. Perhaps I could even figure out how to organize a public debate between the candidates.


Marty Hugo

Real Estate Dynamics, Inc.
6045 Martway, Suite 101
Mission, KS 66202
Phone: 913.432.8800
Cellular: 913.636.0566
Facsimile: 913.432.8801


September 21st 2011

Mission Kansas City Council Meeting

Special Presentations: Proclamation Honoring Zane Fulkerson, Ruston Elementary School Reading Champion - Mission Marlins Swim Team Presentation of Trophies & Eagle Scout Presentation, Chacko Finn & Tom Coffman is Senior Vice President with Deffenbaugh Industries attended for the renewal of the solid waste contract.

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(Click on image to enlarge)


Tonight’s City Council meeting by a 5 to 2 vote (John Weber) was not present, voted to allow “Revisions to Restaurant Hours of Operation Ordinance”, meaning, they can now stay open 24/7 which includes drive through.  Councilwoman Connie Footlick & Debbie Kring both of the 3rd ward voted no.  According to Kring, her ward is north of Johnson Drive and has received many noise complaints from residents behind the late operating restaurants.  Council Persons Sue Grosdidier, Lawrence Andre, Will Vandenberg, Suzanne "Suzie" Gibbs & David Shepard voted to allow unlimited operation of restaurants.  The rational seemed to be, to get in line with surrounding cities. 

September 16th 2011

Gardner Begins Administrator Search Anew - Final Candidates Withdraw

Peter Solie

Mayor David Drovetta issued the following statement regarding the City of Gardner's search for a new City Administrator:

 From the Office of the Mayor.

 I have decided to place the City Administrator search on hold. I will recommend to the Council that we enlist the services of Michael Press, former Johnson County Manager, to serve as our Interim City Administrator, to assist us with our workload and to provide us with much needed guidance.

 I have made this decision since the two top candidates for the position have withdrawn their applications due to the actions of a Councilmember and delays in decisions.

>snip< Based on the process agreed to by the City Council, candidates for the position were told that their interest would be held in confidence and they would be informed well in advance of making their names public. This assurance of confidentiality was broken, forcing the candidates to notify their organizations and governing bodies sooner than necessary and without adequate time to prepare.

This breach came to light when a candidate was contacted by an individual who writes about that community on a website. The individual referred to information that was only discussed in executive session. This violation of confidentiality by the Councilmember not only negatively impacted the reputation of our community but also placed us at risk for civil action. Later a Councilmember began to run their own background check of a candidate without notifying the candidate, city staff, or the Governing Body. This action was unethical, unprofessional and again placed our community at risk.
Read More

September 14th 2011

Changes to Johnson County Charter are debated
The Kansas City Star

The Johnson County Charter Commission on Monday debated proposed changes to the county charter, including adding two county commissioners, returning to partisan elections and letting voters repeal sales taxes and remove city managers.
The commission wants to hear the public’s thoughts on possible changes at a meeting Sept. 27.
(Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center, Mission Kansas at 7:00PM).

The commission, which convenes every 10 years, will make recommendations for the 2012 election. It also could recommend changes in county and state government.

>snip<  He also proposed allowing voter initiatives to recall elected and appointed officials, including managers, in the county as well as any city, commission, board, district or agency

>snip<  also suggested letting voters in the county or any city within it vote every two years on whether to retain any local-option sales taxes. Another of his suggestions would allow voter initiatives to roll back any real estate property tax imposed by the county or any other entity that collects taxes through the county’s tax bill. Click here to read the entire story.

September 8th 2011

(Click image to enlarge)

-------------------------- "MISSION, Kansas - The City of Mission is exploring ways to save on property taxes, but some residents say they are fearful, based on past experiences.  Some contacted NBC Action News worried that Mission might pass on additional consumption fees like the so-called Driveway Tax" Click Here to Read (much) more & watch KSHB TV video.

September 2nd 2011

Upcoming Elections 2011

City of Mission Mail Ballot Election – December 6, 2011

Shall the following be adopted?

Shall the City of Mission, Kansas be authorized to impose a one-quarter percent (0.25%) citywide retailers’ special purpose sales tax, the collection of which to commence on April 1, 2012 or as soon thereafter as permitted by law and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, the proceeds of which shall be used to finance the costs of transportation improvements, including the construction and reconstruction of streets, bridges, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, trails, transit facilities, bicycle lanes, street lighting, traffic signalization, signage and landscape along rights-of-way and related improvements (the “Project”)?

Nov. 14 - Last day to apply for advance ballot, KSA 25-435
Nov. 15 - Last day to register, KSA 25-2311
Dec. 2 - Last day to mail replacement ballots, KSA 25-433(d)
Dec. 6 - Ballots due by 12:00 Noon
Dec. 12 - Final Canvass
Jan. 3, 2012 - Committee report deadline for any committee formed for or against the question, KSA 25-901

Spring Primary - February 28, 2012, Spring General - April 3, 2012

August 31st 2011

Councilman Fotovich frustrated by search progress 


Larry Fotovitch Gardner city councilman

One of my earliest duties as a newly elected council member was to list the qualities I valued in our next

city administrator, so our recruiter could begin his search.

I provided my input, but based on the selection process I’ve observed so far, if the best man wins, it will be by sheer luck.

Even on that first night, as we were advised by our recruiter that we should consider raising our salary range, I knew something was up.   Fortunately, one council member asked our human resource manager to provide a salary comparison of similar-sized cities, and at a later meeting, we all agreed that the salary the city of Gardner was offering was competitive.

In June, however, the question came up again.  This time, Mayor Drovetta sent each council member an e-mail asking us if we would be willing to increase our salary range for a “very experienced” candidate who would consider a lateral move for an “opportunity for growth in Gardner.”

I declined to answer, but I learned that only one other council member did not approve his request. Read the: Rest of the story


August 29th 2011

---- FYI - Pool Task Force will have their next meeting on September 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center. The Task Force will be meeting the third Thursday of each month through March.

The Mayor has reconfigured the committee and JoElla Hoye (Chair of the soon to be concluded DVC) has agreed to serve as chair for this committee

Other Mission Business

With the passage of the ¼ cent Sales Tax Resolution for streets the City will need to provide information to the voters on the use of that money over the next 10 years. It’s important to note that the City can’t campaign for the Sales Tax but we can provide information.

Meeting Planner

August 29 - Budget Seminar Wrap-Up - 7:00 p.m. - Community
August 30 - Budget Seminar Wrap-Up - 7:00 p.m. - Community
August 31 - Council Worksession - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall
September 7 - Community Development Committee Meeting - 6:30
p.m. - City Hall
September 14 - Finance & Administration Committee Meeting -
6:30 p.m. - City Hall
September 21 - City Council Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall
 October 5 - Community Development Committee Meeting - 6:30
p.m. - City Hall
October 12 - Finance & Administration Committee Meeting - 6:30
p.m. - City Hall
October 19 - City Council Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall

August 26th 2011

Wellington New Zealand Council staffer on climate trip to Kansas

Wellington City Council Infrastructure Planning Engineer Nicci Wood has been selected to represent New Zealand on anexchange fellowship to the United States on climate change and community sustainability.

The fellowship involves a four-week exchange, starting in September, to the city of Mission - within the metropolitan area of Kansas City. It is run through the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) - the society's sister organisation in the US.  Read More + Miss Wood's Bio

When asked for a comment, Mike Scanlon Mission’s City Administrator replyed: “What a wonderful opportunity for us. To think we are worthy or warrant such consideration -- right here in little old Mission, KS.” MScanlon

(Thanks Bert)

August 22nd 2011

2011 City of Mission
DirectionFinder® Survey

Cost $15,000.00 - 187 Pages

Some Statistics:

41% of those that responed are renters - 2% don’t know how long they have lived-in Mission - 25% unemployed & the city knows where the respondents live.

My Favorite Question is: Q25C – I prefer to live in a city that has a vibrant down town (Really?)

Click Here for Link to: Survey


Is the Mission City Administrator on the Move?
By Currie Myers, Publisher Shawnee Mission Times
August 18th, 2011

City Administrator, Mike Scanlon, may be looking for greener pastures after nearly 8 years at the helm in Mission. Scanlon, the city administrator of Mission and the former city administrator of Merriam is rumored to be in the running for the city administrator’s job in Gardner, Kansas. Scanlon is known across the U.S. as the visionary behind the so-called “Driveway Tax.”

The Times contacted Scanlon about the rumor that he has applied for the top job in Gardner, but Scanlon would not return the email inquiry.

Prior to last night’s Mission Kansas city council meeting, Mike Scanlon City Administrator was asked if it were true that he was in the top three candidates for the Gardner Kansas City Administrator position. Scanlon said that he didn’t know if he was in the top three but did acknowledge he was in fact applying for the position.


(Click image for larger photo)

By Mike Galvin, Mission Resident

The "Sustainability Commission" is a farce, and a waste of city funds, since the whole "Sustainable Community" mantra is a proclamation under false pretenses. It is bureaucracy created to oversee something that doesn't exist... The fear mongering of this hoax, for profit and loss of property rights, is all predicated on the declaration of anthropogenic global warming....anthropogenic meaning human activity induced. And the global warming alarmists have been proven to be wrong. Falsified data records have been exposed. Even the hypocrite Al Gore has been admitting defeat lately:

Most of all, common sense and experience tells us that we are just guests on this planet.....the only one in control is God. How pompous it is to think that humans have a say in how planet Earth operates? Do people honestly think that money (carbon taxes) can tame the planet? Come on man! Last time I looked, volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and asteroids don't come with an on/off switch or deposit box. We're along for the ride......

Global warming, or, since that doesn't work anymore, Climate Change, is a scam...a deception. And we're part of it, whether we like it or not. Our city's future has been planned around it. It's all over the city's website....and all over the city: All the diet road projects (lane reduction), the landing strip sidewalks, the manufactured swamps, the big ugly unnatural tree signs.....the entire P3 People Planet Prosperity dog and pony show is misguided, and has no scientific basis. It is corruption at its finest. Don't believe me? Do the research. Like any form of corruption, to find the source, follow the money. Where does the Sustainable Community movement come from? The United Nations, specifically it's Agenda 21. We are all content to let a global group from afar govern our lives? There is not one leader in the UN that was elected by the people.....not one. And we are to follow their direction? Come on man! This is the same UN that is murdering scores of innocent civilians in Libya, and around the world, under the pretense of "peacekeeping".

Here's another good one: they don't have enough money for road maintenance, since they spent it on unnecessary "Sustainable Community" stuff, so they install a cockamamie disguised property tax, and then proudly proclaim (big yellow dictator signs) that they're really doing something?

What do you all think? I'd really like to know.

August 10th 2011

Area cities’ austerity measures ‘run the gamut’

  The Kansas City Star

(Please Note; no mention of the City of Mission Kansas)

Roeland Park employees carpool more now.
For conferences, they’ll also split hotel rooms with staff from other cities. Soon, the city could be sharing garbage services and specialized equipment with its neighbors — anything to save a buck in a city that didn’t have money to trim trees in 2011.
“You’re trying to stretch dollars, bottom line,” Roeland Park City Administrator Aaron Otto said.
And Roeland Park is hardly alone. While Johnson County’s cities remain among the most prosperous in the region, a grueling economic slowdown — now entering its fourth year — has introduced a new era of austerity for some local decision-makers, leading to tax hikes, slashed services and some unusual cost-cutting measures.
Read More

August 9th 2011

By Dave Conradt

The City of Mission Kansas will have their public hearing on the 2012 budget this week on Wednesday at 6:30 at City Hall. I don't think they have put out a detailed budget, yet. They have been talking at recent meetings about having to limit General Fund spending to $9.5 million for 2012.  However, it appears that the budget they will send to the County for property taxes will be $10.3 million. That will act as a cap on the budget. They will probably pass a budget resolution perhaps at the same meeting telling staff to find things they can cut. The actual final budget is probably a couple of months away. However, the meeting on Wednesday may be the only time the public can comment.

Additionally, there is work going on to put two quarter cent sales taxes on the ballot for later this year. The first is for transportation funding. City staff has been authorized to draft language for the transportation increase. As part of that Mike Scanlon suggested at a City Council work session on 7/27, that they add rebating $300,000 of TUF if the sales tax passes. He now thinks that the City only needs $1.25 million a year now for roads, instead of the original $1.5 million that was calculated for the TUF. The City Council was agitated by this discussion. They need to have the wording for the ballot done by September 7th. You may remember that citizens told them at meetings last they could have a sales tax or the TUF, but not both. They would appear to ignoring that.

Also, at the budget meeting on Tuesday they indicated that TUF can pay for the Nall project... I don't know how that squares with the rebate above. I don't recall Nall being on the TUF repair schedule, but I haven't looked.

The City Council discussed closing the outdoor pool in an effort to balance the budget. In response last month, the Mayor assembled a task force to study the pool. They are working quickly to come up with a recommendation by the same September 7th deadline. The recommendation will probably ask for a quarter cent sales tax to build a new pool and provide for community center maintenance.

July 20th 2011

More cities feel pressed to adopt property tax hikes

By Loren Stanton

Johnson County Sun Newspapers

Johnson County cities largely have balanced budgets during the recession by cutting costs rather than raising taxes, but that likely will change for three communities next year.

Overland Park, Lenexa and Prairie Village all are considering property tax hikes to support their 2012 budgets.

The moves are being made in part to keep from getting farther behind on street maintenance projects and to avoid personnel losses. The slight boost of six-tenths of a mill in Prairie Village is for hiring two police officers. Most cities around the county have been making cuts in projects, services and staff for the last several years in order survive revenue shortfalls. With retail activity slowed, sales tax revenues are lagging, and with property valuations declining so are property tax collections.

Cities will be holding public hearings and casting final votes on their spending plans over the next several weeks, but only minor adjustments usually are made in these final stages of budget development. Following are 2012 budget highlights from the county’s six largest cities.

OVERLAND PARK The City Council voted unanimously last week to move forward with a budget containing a 4.1-mill increase in the property tax rate. During the recession, the city has avoided tax increases by making significant cutbacks in personnel and by deferring maintenance on streets. But council members are choosing higher taxes over even greater austerity out of concern that further cuts could be detrimental to quality of life and long-term interests of the city.

Click here to read the rest of the story

July18th 2011

Congratulations to the citizens of Wisconsin and welcome to the 21st century.

Beginning in November they too may legally carry concealed weapons, leaving only the state of Illinois that does not allow any kind of private CCW.  Having said that, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to get your license in every other state, it’s not necessarily so.

Link to: Wisconsin CCW

June 22nd 2011

Link to: June 22, budget Hearing Part 1

Link to: June 22, budget Hearing Part 2

June 21st 2011

Link to: June 21st Budget Hearing Part 1

Link to: June 21st Budget Hearing Part 2

June 17th 2011

2012 Budget Seminars
scheduled for June 20th & June 21stat the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center
6200 Martway 7:00 - 8:00 p.m

Our Annual Budget is a process that starts in March with an update to our Five-Year Financial Forecast. The forecast helps create the framework for future budget decisions by trying to estimate our financial condition over the next five years. The forecast is produced for our General Fund only. The General Fund is where we pay for all of our operating costs, including Parks & Recreation, Police, and Public Works. Debt Service and Infrastructure costs come from other funds.

2011 Five-Year Financial Forecast Assumptions

Revenues: There will be no growth in revenues for the next five years, and in the base year (2012) we’ve reduced our starting revenue collections by an additional 5% to account for the continued decline in property values and sales tax collections. There has been no change in base rates or fee charges during the entire forecast period.

Expenditures: We have capped annual growth in all expense categories at 2% with the exception of Capital Outlay, which we expect to grow at a higher rate (7.5%). We did this to account for the liabilities we’ve created by not replacing our fleet and equipment in the last two years, which will in turn force a higher cost in the future. We will need to continue contributions to our debt service and capital improvement funds to meet our debt and capital improvement objectives.

Forecast Results: Without improvement in revenue collections, the City needs to identify at least $650,000 in annual savings starting in 2012 in order to balance our General Fund budget over the next five years. State Law requires a balanced budget, so we cannot kick the can (problem) down the road.

2008 -- 2010 Actuals and Budget 2011

If you look at the City’s actual audited General Fund expenses since 2008, they have remained flat every year with the exception of 2011 where we cut them by about 3%. Understand that in those flat periods we have been internalizing any inflationary costs by either reducing expenses or passing increase health insurance costs on to our employees. We will need to decrease our budget even more in 2012 to meet the forecasted revenue numbers. Given that most of our budget is made up of people costs this is likely going to require a further reduction in the number of employees we have.

For Full Content Including Figures - Click here for 2012 Budget

Proceeding Forward -- Building the 2012 Budget

How should we pick the cuts?


June 10th 2011

The City of Mission Kansas has requested the below information be posted on this website.
Mission will be holding Budget Seminars on June 20th and 21st from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Community Center. Would you please add this information to your website? The Mayor will be sending out a brief E-Mail newsletter about this and if anyone has any questions they may call City Hall.



June 9th 2011

The City of Mission Kansas has on their 2012 Budget Calendar two Community Dialogue meetings. They are set for June 20th and 21st.

The city council talked about getting the word out about the meetings at tonight's (06-08-2011) Finance and Administration meeting, but so far they have not done anything, not even on there web site. I am not quite sure what they will be talking about since they are still in the early stages of developing the budget. They said they would ask Bill Nichols to put the meetings on his web site. Bill was not there tonight so no video. Click here: For the rest of David Conradt's letter

May 17th 2011

Construction of Mission Gateway project is pushed back
The Kansas City Star

A groundbreaking for the long-awaited Mission Gateway project has been pushed back even further, until at least September, the developer said Monday.  
Tom Valenti of Cameron Group, based in Syracuse, N.Y., said that although he was still encouraged by the response he’d received from prospective tenants, the goal he expressed last December of starting construction next month wouldn’t materialize.
Read More::

May 4th 2011

The Spirit of Mission Days 60th Anniversary promises to be a blast! Click here to visit the MCVB's official 60th Anniversary webpage!

Friday, May 6th: Saturday, May 7th: Evans Midland Empire Carnival Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15th HU? What happened to May 6th & 7th? Welcome to Mission!


Click There > Recall Mayor & City Council Survey

(Survey Ended April 30th 2011)

The results of the below survey appear to indicate a close to 50/50 split in opinions by those that chose to participate. Only question #1 can be construed as a positive response, questions #2, 3 & 4 ranges from slightly negative to unacceptable fiscal behavior.   The Mayor:  58.1% - 41.9%  - The Council: 55.6% - 44.4%

- ----------------The mayor is doing a fine job.  58.1% - - - - - - - --These council members are doing a fine job.  55.6%
- - - - - ---------The mayor could have gone slower.  9.7% ------- The council could have gone slower on spending.  -------7.9%  
- - - --------- -- I will not vote for her next time.  - - --9.7% -------- I will not vote for my council representative next time.
- - - --------- -- I will sign a recall petition          - - - 22.5%
--------- I will sign a recall petition for my council person.  -------25.4%

April 26th 2011

Does Mission need yet another fast food restaurant?  
Across the street (south west) of Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ will raise a Culver’s Restaurant in what was approved by the city to be “multi-tenant retail building”. 

"Mission Crossing Project
The Mission Crossing developers have submitted revised site plans for review
showing the conversion of the northern most building along Metcalf from a multi-tenant
retail building to a Culver’s Restaurant. The proposed Culver’s building would be
approximately 4,200 square feet in size. Architectural changes to the remaining retail
building are also included in the proposal."

Things you might remember for later on: Additional traffic in and out?  TIF! Another fast food restaurant being built now on Johnson Drive next to Taco Bell, west of McDonalds.  TIF! As far as the city is concerned; who knew it would not be as planned and when did they find out?

April 18th 2011

The go-go economic development days of the early 2000s should have taught Kansas City-area officials a lesson: Be very wary of backing private projects with public cash, especially if the public liability has no limits. Read more from the KC Star


Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act: Concealed Carry Handgun License Applications – Updated 4/1/2011

Read The Stats

April 15th 2011

Despite the costs, metro sprawl goes ever-outward

The Kansas City Star
Posted on Wed, Apr. 13, 2011 10:15 PM
>snip<  This is the kind of sprawl that (sorry, suburbanites) costs taxpayers a boatload of money as they build new schools, roads, sewers and water lines and provide lots of services such as public safety. And don’t forget the public money it costs to maintain all those streets, schools, sewers, etc., in the future.
>snip<  The 10 cities that added the most people were Olathe (32,910), Overland Park (24,292), Lee’s Summit (20,664), Kansas City, Mo. (18,242), Shawnee (14,213), Gardner (9,727), Raymore (8,060), Lenexa (7,952), Blue Springs (4,495) and Leawood (4,211).
•The eight cities with the biggest losses were Kansas City, Kan., (down 1,080 residents), Gladstone (down 955), Raytown (down 862), Prairie Village (down 625), North Kansas City (down 506), Grandview (down 406), Mission (down 404) and Pleasant Valley (down 360).
Read More

(Thanks Mike)

April 7th 2011

Bunny Eggstravaganza
Saturday, April 23 - 10:00am to Noon

(Formerly Known as Easter Egg Hunt)

Bring the family for the annual Bunny Eggstravaganza! This exciting holiday event features a traditional egg hunt, clowns, balloon artists and a visit from two very special bunnies! Bring your camera and a pail to hold all of your candy and prizes.

EGG HUNT TIMES - 8 Months - 3 Years 10:30am - 4-6 Years 10:50am - 7-9 Years 11:10am - 10 & Older 11:30am

ACTIVITIES & SPECIAL VISITORS - Mission Police Department - Car & Motorcycle - A Fire Engine from Johnson - County Fire District #2 - Up, Up & Away Balloons

(This message brought to in an attempt to be ‘politically correct’; further, but not mentioned, we believe the Easter Egg Hunt will be in Anderson Park just west of Mission's city hall on 61st Street)


April 4th 2011

Welcome to Nall Avenue

67th & Nall Avenue, North Bound--------------------------------------------------- 63rd & Nall Avenue, South Bound

- - -

March 31st 2011

Mission’s Driveway Tax Fodder for Roeland Park Race
Millett said that the primary issues facing the city are keeping taxes in check and protecting residential property values. “We need to look at the budget closely and avoid a tax increase at all cost,” he said. Millett favors monitoring expenses and keeping spending in check to avoid a tax increase. Millett said that the City Council should put more emphasis on attracting new businesses to Roeland Park to increase sales and property tax income. “Mission’s driveway tax could drive a lot of businesses away and Roeland Park should take advantage of that,” he said. (Thanks Currie)

March 29th 2011

March 17-23, 2011
Offenses and arrests at selected locations during the past week:
1. One Disorderly Conduct reported at Quik-Trip.
2. One Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Minor reported at Lamar Place Apartments.
3. One Domestic Battery and one Theft reported at The Falls Apartments.
4. One Hit & Run Accident reported at Target.

● Mission Officers issued 235 traffic citations.
Parking Citations - 10
DUI Arrests - 20
Total Arrests – 45

● Mission Officers responded to 6 alarms.
Residential – 1
Commercial – 5

Police arrested 17 people at a DUI checkpoint in Mission early Saturday morning, March 18th.
Officers checked a total of 275 cars, and the arrests included 17 for DUI, and one for disorderly conduct. Two of those arrested were also charged with possession of drugs. A total of 52 officers participated in the operation.
Officers from Mission, Merriam, Prairie Village, Westwood, Paola, Olathe, Spring Hill and Wellsville Police Departments participated, as well as deputies from Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Highway Patrol assisted in the operation.

March 9th 2011

Mission's Finance & Administration Committe

(Click Photo to Enlarge)


Update on City Council Policy Video (Click here)


Update on Direction Finder Survey Video (Click here)


Five Year financial Forcast Video (Click here)

March 4th 2011

Today it began; the deconstruction of the City of Mission’s elected elite. 

Click here

Filing for the 3rd Ward council seat was Jennifer Cowdry; her objection to the current Council Woman is uncontrolled spending and calling the Driveway tax a fee.

March 4th 2011

Nall Avenue Improvements
      (From Mission’s website)

The City of Mission has awarded a construction contract to Miles Excavating Inc. for completion of the Nall Avenue Rehabilitation Project (67th Street to Martway Street). Construction will be underway soon. All streets will be open to local traffic only during the majority of construction work. 

Click here for information on Preliminary Construction Schedule and history of the deconstruction of Nall Avenue Mission Kansas.

The Nall Avenue Rehabilitation Project was originally a Johnson County CARS project slated for 2011. Because the City of Shawnee has had to suspend CARS projects due to budget constraints, Mission was awarded CARS funds to move forward with the Nall project in 2010.  The project’s main goal includes replacement of curbs and pavement, which are in poor condition. The City’s street condition inventory of 2008 found segments of Nall Avenue to be among the worst road segments in Mission

Planned Improvements

The improvement concept provides a Nall Avenue Trail of one-mile in length. This trail will connect with the Rock Creek Trail in Mission and allow for safer bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Shawnee Mission ParkwayWant to tell me how that’s going to work?  Elevated bike path over Shawnee Mission Parkway?  Tunnel?  Or, the seldom used “improvement” users will be beamed up from one side of the parkway and deposited on the other by the orbiting space ship that apparently beamed most of the city’s conspirators to earth?   Click here to view a short video of Nall Avenue. My God, what a waste of money and resources!


You went and did it. Tore it down to put up a bus stop! So far, it's cost us $88,000.00 that we know of.


February 26th 2011

Independence pays $3.5 million for debt-service payment for Bass Pro retail site

By BRIAN BURNES – The Kansas City Star

Tax revenues generated by a development anchored by a Bass Pro Shops store have lagged expectations so severely that Independence now must make a huge debt-service payment.
City leaders voted Tuesday to cover the $3.5 million payment on bonds sold to finance the development.
The city has asked the development group, Crackerneck Creek LLC, to reimburse it for the amount.
The developers, in a letter delivered this week, said they were unable to do that.

The above story brings to mind the Charles Dickens tale of Scrooge and his ghost of Christmas future; substitute Mission Kansas for Independence Missouri and project it a few years down the road.  Read More


Mixed-use project takes shape at former yearbook plant in Mission

By KEVIN COLLISON - The Kansas City Star


A developer is seeking a permit to demolish the former Herff Jones yearbook plant at 61st Street and Metcalf Avenue, the first step toward redeveloping the property as a mixed-use project.

Mission officials said Monday that Lane4 Property Group applied for the demolition permit late last week. The developer has filed a redevelopment plan with the city that calls for building three retail structures on the site and a four-story senior living residence. Read More: From the KC Star - Also Read: KCRag Forum

February 17th 2011

Regarding the second story below dated yesterday.

Just a couple of points. While the debt is now $31.2 million that is not the same thing as being in the hole by that amount. The money was used to invest in infrastructure. There are additional assets on the City's books that have a value greater than the debt. I have not heard anyone debate that they have repaired and I guess fixed the Stormwater system. If that is so, they do get some credit (no pun intended) for that.
Dave Conradt

February 16th 2011 - From the Kansas City Star

If we build it, will they ride?

There’s no getting around it. The numbers are dismal.

Out of more than a half-million residents in Johnson County, only about 725 take the bus daily — when you subtract the one-fourth of our riders who fill the buses to Lawrence from Overland Park, as well as those who travel on the “special needs” buses. Read More

JOHNSON COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL (Link) - Goals & Objectives - Don't forget the Bus stop video: Link

The City of Mission Kansas paid $85,000 to have this building just vacated by Capital Federal destroyed in order to erect a bus stop which will then be given to Johnson County Kansas. (Incredible)

February 16th 2011

Mayor Laura McConwell has served as the City of Mission's Mayor since March 2002
NEW YORK, Jun 10, 2002 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A2 rating to the City of Mission, Kansas' $3,800,000 General Obligation Sales Tax Bonds, Series 2002-A and $1,935,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2002-B. At this time, Moody's has also assigned an A2 rating to the city's $760,000 in outstanding parity debt

NEW YORK, Feb 15, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Aa3 rating to the City of Mission's (KS) $4.4 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 2011A. Concurrently, Moody's has affirmed the Aa3 rating on the city's $31.2 million of outstanding general obligation debt.

Moody’s (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Aaa: Moody judges obligations rated Aaa to be the highest quality, with the "smallest degree of risk".

Aa (Aa1, Aa2, Aa3): Moody judges obligations rated Aa to be high quality, with "very low credit risk", but "their susceptibility to long-term risks appears somewhat greater".  (AA+, AA and AA- in S&P)

Clck here to see the rest of Moody's Rating System

February 11th 2011

Link to Fox News and their take on our "Driveway" Tax

February 10th 2011 Part II

Dear Friends,  

Many of you may have heard the announcement in the news this week about the Aquarium project planned for Crown Center. The media covered the story on Wednesday, detailing plans for a $15 million project set to open in 2012.

 The immediate question for those of us in Mission is, “what impact does this have on The Gateway project?”

Read the rest of Mayor Laura McConwell's letter

February 10th 2011

Taking Liberties: Taxing Church Attendance?
By Douglas Kennedy

Published February 10, 2011

Erik Stanley walked up Woodson Road in Mission, Kansas, surveying the church parking lot at St. Pius X Catholic Church. He said the government can tax your life and can tax your death, but they’re not supposed to tax your church. Link to: Read More

Aquarium to Locate at Crown Center

February 9, 2011

Kansas City will get an aquarium in 2012.
The much discussed, but never acted upon aquarium will be located in much of the building that now houses the Halls department store.
Crown Center and a British based company, Merlin Entertainments will operate a $15 million dollar aquarium under the SEA LIFE aquarium brand. A news release says,”The deal is signed and unconditional, and will not receive any tax incentives.”
“We are exited to bring this great attraction to our city”, said Bill Lucas of Crown Center.
Crown Center says moving the Hall department store will be relatively easy because most a department store’s space is a big box.
SEA LIFE plans to develop an aquarium exhibit featuring aquatic life from the Missouri River, floating to the Mississippi River, to the Gulf and then the Atlantic.
SEA LIFE claims to be the world’s biggest aquarium brand with 30 facilities attracting 8 .million visitor a year. The Kansas City aquarium will present a 2-3 hour aquatic tour.
There has been talk of developing an aquarium for Kansas City for decades. Past potential locations included the river front, Union Station and lately, the demolished site of the old Mission Mall. SEA LIFE says Kansas City had several elements in its favor.
One was the lack of any regional competition for an aquarium for at least 200 miles.
The company also like the financial power of Crown Center. A third factor they says the attractive demographics for a family- themed attraction.

  February 9th 2011 Part II


Mayor Laura McConwell first says yes and then no to Fox News


The law firm representing the Catholic & Baptist churches against the City of Mission (The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) regarding ‘The Driveway Tax’ has amended the lawsuit to include businesses & residences.


According to reports, Fox News National picked up the story & was ready to fly someone out from New York to interview the Mayor.  Apparently, she agreed and then declined the interview.  As we understand it; Fox News plans on airing Mission ’s story February 10, 2011 .


It would seem; Fox News interest lies with the issue of churches being taxed and not necessarily on the amended information which includes the rest of the so called “Transportation Utility Fee”.  


“The object in structuring a TUF, therefore, is to make it as much like a user fee and as little like a tax as possible. A TUF imposed by Fort Collins , Colorado , was upheld by the supreme court of that state when it was determined to be a valid fee. The Supreme Court of Idaho struck down Pocatello 's TUF when it was held to be a disguised tax” 


There does not appear to be a first amendment issue here but another question begs for an answer?  Why does an extremely well paid City Administrator have to use his valuable time monitoring the social networks and the little town of Mission Kansas’s “official website"?  (See below from working copy) Link to full: Document

3. City Councilmembers wishing to make changes, update information, or enact other modifications to the City’s official website or official web accounts must submit their request in writing to either the City Clerk or the Director of Parks and Recreation Administrator.


For the City Council Meeting February 16th 2011

Ths is what the fuss is about: Link to Nall Ave Video (2:23) Video

01-28-2011 Bid Opening for the DESTRUCTION of Nall Ave (9:19) Video

Nall Ave. Update 02-12-2011 (8:26) Video

February 2011 - Mission's INTERNET POSTING POLICY Link

$15,000.00 for an Opinion Poll That the City does not have to follow Link - February 2011



City in Kansas pushes law believed to violate religious liberties

Kansas Liberty: 28 December 2010

The ordinance under consideration would add sexual identity to the city’s current ordinance as a protected category, and would also make Manhattan the first city in Kansas with a law opposing perceived discrimination against what the proposed ordinance refers to as “gender identity.” Mayor Bruce Snead said: “We’re pushing the envelope.” Read More: Link


Truth Emerging on Unencumbered K-12 Education Funds
By Paul Soutar on December 27, 2010

What could Kansas do with an extra $743 million? That’s a question legislators and the governor-elect want answered.
Kansas K-12 schools had $1.567 billion in unencumbered or carryover cash on July 1 and as much as $743 million of it could be made available for discretionary spending by school districts, according to state government research.

Those numbers, released in November, came as a surprise to legislators who were told in April, during final 2011 budget deliberations, that schools’ carryover balances would be $1.156 billion, $411 million lower than they actually were on July

Republican leaders in Topeka want to put some of the carryover money to use. Link to rest of the story.


2010 Tax Bills and 2011 Budget & Frequently Asked Questions For the City of Mission Kansas


What is 952 MIC TRANUTLY on my Property Tax Bill? - What is 208 MIC STORMDRG - What is 260 MICSOLIDWAST on my Property Tax Bill? - What is the City Mill rate? Click Here: 2011 Budget in Brief


Link to: TUF - Opposition's response to the City: Click Here


_What a Difference a Year Makes; or Does It?



Johnson County District Court Receives Lawsuit Against City of Mission Kansas

When asked for an interview regarding the lawsuit, Mike Scanlon City Adminstrator replyed; "We don't discuss lawsuits"

Author Erik Stanley - ADF Senior Legal Counsel

ADF filed a lawsuit against the City of Mission, Kansas, after the City instituted a “driveway tax” and applied it to churches and other non-profits. The “driveway tax” charges property owners within the City of Mission an amount that is calculated based on the number of trips in and out of their driveways. As bizarre as it sounds, churches are taxed for 5.8 trips per week per seat in their sanctuaries. The people of Mission, Kansas, therefore, are paying a tax every time they go to church.

The City of Mission calls this charge a “Transportation Utility Fee,” and the monies raised are ostensibly earmarked to repair the City’s streets. But this is not a “fee” at all. Rather, the charge is a property tax in disguise. And this new and unique property tax conflicts directly with the Kansas state law that exempts churches, non-profits and charities from property taxes. The City of Mission cannot institute a new property tax on churches and non-profits when the State has already declared these organizations exempt from property taxes. Read More


Where does the shame lie? City of Mission? City of Overland Park? Johnson County? State of Kansas? Maybe but in the end it’s you and me, citizens of Mission for allowing our elected officials the luxury of no oversight by the electorate.

Next month the ‘old Capital Federal Building’ 5251 Johnson Drive is scheduled to be demolished in order to build a ‘bus stop” and then give it to Johnson County. The demolition is costing over 86,000 Mission dollars.

The New CapFed building - -Now Known as The Church


Why? To What Purpose?

Link to Short Video



WASHINGTON — Cities’ revenues will plunge sharply as property taxes, in their first year of recession-impacted reassessments, get set to decline deeply in 2011. Local government fiscal shortfalls may total $83 billion, which the League of Cities estimates may force up to 500,000 staff reductions. Basic city services will shrink. Infrastructure projects will get cancelled or postponed.

These are hard times for America’s local governments. Economists may declare the Great Recession is “over,” but localities see a different picture. The federal stimulus monies that helped so many of them balance their budgets runs out December 31. So does Washington’s two-year old “Build America” bond program, which has made local infrastructure borrowing more affordable.

Plus, as yet another season of compounded budget cuts dawns, cities must also struggle with unrelenting increases in health care costs. Many also face a fearsome debt overhang of heavy pension obligations.

Read More

Change - Change - Change

Finance and Administration Meeting Scheduled For December 1st is now tomorrow November 30th At Powell Community Center Mission Kansas Rooms A & B
This is a date & locations change from City Hall.
The Driveway Tax will be discussed. There
should Be seating for all of us this time.

A Letter to Mission's City Adminstrator Mr. Scanlon

It has come to my attention that you have stated you received 5 or 6 calls from residents with complaints alleging the tactic of bullying by those who were handing out flyers for the cause of repealing your inappropriate driveway tax. I understand you made that statement to my friend Steve Schowengerdt. To qualify, did you say that? If so, I would like you to reveal the details of those said calls. Who are the residents who state that they were bullied? What did they say? Did they state that they were "bullied", or did you subjectively affix that label? Read The Rest

The protest; between two and three hundred yesterday (11-17-2010)


Take 2 minutes and make the trip up Nall Ave. via video.
Nall Avenue a perfectly good four lane mostly divided street that the Mission Kansas City Council wants to shrink to three lanes, add a bike/ped. sidewalk that few, very few will use. 5.7 million dollars of city, county, state & federal funds.

This link is mostly a primer for the media. Click here

Mission’s Wasteful Spending, Too Many To List Here! Link To: Wasteful Spending

Any Idea Why The City of Mission Kansas is Doing This? Yes? Then Tell the Rest of Us!



Written by CW Schuman, Guest Columnist    
Wednesday, 10 November 2010  

The Johnson County Sun

Some of the policies of the Johnson County Commission are antiquated. The county collects the County Assistance Roads System (CARS) money and distributes it to the cities. The commission needs to have a Master Plan showing which roads are considered county thoroughfares, collector streets and residential streets. As it has been explained to me, CARS funds were generally set up to help develop the county road system. Some cities are using this money to make two-lane roads out of four-lane roads. Link to: The Rest of the Column



November 3rd 2010 Mission Kansas City Hall

Community Development Committee


63rd St Resurfacing Roe to Nall Ave. Link to: $41,000 That's our side of 63rd. (10:05)

Snow Removal.  Link to:  $25,000 (No Bid?) ((4:32))

Sustainability Report.  Link to:  Commission Members (9:07)

On-Call Traffic Engineering.  Link to:  An Interesting Conclusion (10:52)


Mission's Debt Restructuring or how to spend money without spending money by spending money later?


Up-Dated 10-26-2010 - A non city employee or contractor's evaluation (interesting).


Link to the above


October 15, 2010

Debbie Kring is a Councilwoman from the City of Mission Kansas.  She apparently is taking a citizen who is cirulating a petition critizing the adminstration for it’s excess spending to task.  The following is from Face Book.

Debbie Kring Dave......please tread lightly when combining church with state activities. Your petition activities should not be conducted on church property. I will be at St. Pius on Saturday and Sunday.........hope to see you there :-) Link to: Dave's Face Book page.

October 15, 2010

By Mike Galvin

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.......simply amazing.  That's like abandoning your car just because it ran out of gas, and getting a new one.

This information is available to the public, but really isn't well known public information.  The more residents, and non-residents, know about this, and the other cockamamie brain challenged ideas of this administration, the better.  We need to get the public media involved.  Channel 5 is right down the street.  It's just like exposing the man behind the curtain as the real Oz.....heck, Toto figured that one out. Read more of Mike Galvin's letter.


Tuesday, Oct. 5 Kansas City Star, Mission utility fee hurts residents

Mission did not adequately think this “driveway tax” through when trying to cover budget expenditures. Since it is actually a fee and not a tax, residents cannot deduct it from state or federal income taxes. The real cost is much larger than advertised.

While businesses can deduct the fee as a cost of doing business, individuals can’t. Also, using the fee to replace some of the lowered property tax may result in some residents paying income taxes they would not have paid in the past.

Based on Mission’s philosophy for streets, the city should change all of the various funding items to user fees. For instance, that would mean complete support of the new walking trail by the users, or charging for the storm drainage system on the amount of runoff each site generates.

If the street program is a capital improvement program that envisions complete reconstruction of a street, it should be financed by a bond issue. Otherwise, it should be paid for as ongoing maintenance in the general budget. This fee appears to circumvent the voters in a bond issue to avoid raising the budget for maintenance.

Robert C. Wessel



On August 25th 2010, Mission's City Administrator Mike Scanlan suggested that a committee whose members were appointed by Mayor Laura McConwell be dissolved when confronted with strenuous objections to the (so called) Driveway Tax

(From Minutes of the Mission Downtown Visioning Committee August 25, 2010)

"Mr. Scanlon asked if maybe it is time to dissolve the Downtown Visioning Committee (DVC). Mr. Scanlon stated if the rest of the Committee feels as Dave does, then spending any money would be counter intuitive to Dave's argument. Mr. Scanlon stated that the time for this Committee may be when there are better economic times.

The Committee disagreed with Mr. Scanlon's assessment, suggested that investing in the Downtown District is important, that the committee needs to continue, and the City needs to look at what they can do to invest in Johnson Drive."

Read the full text:Minutes of the Mission Downtown Visioning Committee

City of Mission Transportation Utility Fee Frequently Asked  

C i t y o f M I SSI O N



(913) 676-8350 - FAX (913) 722-1415

What is a Transportation Utility Fee (TUF)?

Although sometimes referred to as a “driveway tax,” the TUF does not have anything to do with “driveways” (or parking lot size), nor is it a tax. The TUF is a user fee, assessed through property tax bills.

Why do we have a Transportation Utility Fee?

David Harvey, (unsuccessful candidate for the Kansas State Senate District 7) stated that a female mayor in the 7th District told him that residents do not like taxes but will pay fees.  You can find Mr. Harvey’s video Link To:Video; five minutes into the remarks he speaks of the mayor, “her”, you can judge for yourself who “she” might be