October 30, 2014

Congressman Yoder to tour Coleman warehouse with council members

Rep. Kevin Yoder will swing through Gardner today to tour the Coleman warehouse. The touring party will include members of his staff, Gardner city council and city staff and select members of the Gardner Area Chamber of  Commerce.

According to a Yoder staff member, members of the press were not allowed to tour the Coleman facility at the behest of Coleman officials.

Comments

  1. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    I wonder if the exclusion of members of the press to tour the Coleman facility could actually have been at the behest of Representative Yoder.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on a U.S. House committee hearing on the federal courts budget last Thursday, citing a rare visit to the Hill by two sitting justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Freshman Yoder, on the job since January 5, 2011, asked something about the court’s case backlog.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy was just moments into his answer when the 35-year old Kansan blurted out, “If I might interrupt, as a young lawyer it’s always been my dream to interrupt a Supreme Court justice. And so I just wanted to take the opportunity to do so.”

    It was not reported in the WSJ article how the 74-year old justice, appointed to the high Court by President Reagan in 1988, reacted to Yoder’s frivolous interjection.

  2. Bet the warehouse employees got their pre-tour meeting last week telling them to not make eye contact with VIPs nor talk to them. I am sure only Coleman management personnel were telling the Congressman and the rest of the crew what they wanted them to hear or know.

    The worthless politicians, local and beyond, control who will be where and when and they totally control the message given to the people. Makes me more sick by the day especially when the average citizen is called upon to bankroll the thieves via politicians.

    The Coleman project is the ultimate example of privatizing gains and socializing costs and losses. The big boys and their politicians push these projects down your throut every day of the week while you get a huge bill in so many ways and they feed you the propaganda they are doing you a big favor – more like a knife in the back.

    Yoder is on his way to his next photo opportunity. He needed to stop by my house for a cup of tea and some enlightenment – bet he wouldn’t have stayed long…….I could have talked to him about some deals that don’t please me starting with the developer’s dream on the SE corner of South Center St. & 183rd St. and many, many more…..I have a whole library of deals I would love to talk to him about wherein the big boys are smiling and the average citizen is struggling so…..

  3. Here is an editorial from today’s edition of the Star. Citizens need to be fully informed and educated on the deals being made locally and on other deals in the area so you won’t be stuck with debt payments and even more important, the huge loss of taz revenue, especially school tax dollars, these sweet deals bring about. This article touches on just a few of the deals – there are many, many more. As I have said before as a taxpayer, I don’t want to be in the warehouse, Lowe’s, TradeNet, Walmart, etc., etc. business. Development needs to stand on its own and I don’t care to be their banker, risk taker or telling them they don’t need to pay their full taxes for the needs of the community – I cannot afford corporate welfare not should it be a function of government in my opinion. Olathe may have not put their people on the line for bond payments like Gardner has, but they have put their people on the line by giving the thieves sweet tax deals which transfers that tax burden to the middle class faster than lightning.

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    The Star’s editorial | The costly underbelly of city-backed debt

    Keith Myers
    The Bass Pro Shops store anchors an Independence development project that’s costing taxpayers more than expected.
    More News
    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.

    The best-known example of what can go awry for taxpayers is the Power & Light District, which is costing an extra $12 million this year in subsidies.

    Partly because of the Power & Light’s fate, Mayor-elect Sly James and many other elected officials pledged during the recent campaigns that they would be extremely cautious in using city-backed bonds to help pay for a downtown convention center hotel. That’s the right approach, especially because no one knows what the hotel could cost.

    For a closer look at how a decision to use public funds to back private projects can have lingering effects on residents, examine the cautionary tale of Independence.

    Nearly a decade ago, Independence officials embraced a retail development anchored by Bass Pro Shops at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Missouri 291. The city agreed to cover debt service payments if the project didn’t bring in enough tax revenue to cover those costs. Naturally, no one thought that would occur.

    But it has, a result of a weak economy and a lack of other businesses opening there.

    The city recently made a $3.5 million payment on the debt used to build the project. That’s a staggering sum for a city with a general fund budget of just over $70 million.

    That’s $3.5 million the city could have used for any number of expenses, such as providing basic public safety services or repairing its streets, parks and other amenities.

    Indeed, the Independence debt payment equals 5 percent of its general fund. That’s twice as much, on a percentage basis, as Kansas City’s extra cost for the Power & Light District, or 2.5 percent of its general fund.

    The news in Independence could get even worse.

    More debt payments are due this fall and early next year, and the lug could exceed another $3.5 million by 2012. The city’s reserves, which helped pay this year’s bond debt, are pretty much wiped out.

    The biggest concern for Independence residents ought to be whether the project will force the city to dramatically reduce spending on basic services during already tough financial times.

    City Manager Robert Heacock and other city officials hold out hope that the private developer will come forward and assume the bond debt. But that appears unlikely.

    The city and developer also have talked in recent months about the potential for getting more taxpaying businesses to come to the site, which would help pay off the debt. However, that would not produce a quick payoff for the city.

    Across the state line in Olathe, a project also anchored by a Bass Pro isn’t producing the tax revenue once predicted. But the similarities with Independence end there.

    Olathe didn’t put its taxpayers on the hook for the bond payments. Instead, the people who bought the bonds will suffer financially if the struggles continue at the site. The project “has to stand on its own,” said Ben Hart, the city’s director of resource management.

    What a novel concept. It’s one that Kansas City area officials must keep in mind as they put together future economic development deals.

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