July 28, 2014

County commission accused of favoring OP

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
Johnson County Commissioners were accused of lopsided representation in favor of Overland Park on Oct. 4.
“There are seven chairs there,” Ken Dunwoody, resident of rural Johnson County, told the commission. “Five of you represent Overland Park.”
Dunwoody said he was told by county legal staff that the proportionate clause of state law is based on population, not cities.
But he disagreed.
“The limit should be three, including the county chair,” he said.  “…I am tired of the power that is inflicted on this county by Overland Park.”
Dunwoody also chastised commissioners for purchasing the former King Louie building on Metcalf Avenue.
He said the city of Overland Park told the former owners of the building they were required to maintain it to commercial standards or raze it.
If they could not do that the bank could call the note, he said.
The condition of the building became a battle between the city of Overland Park, the owners and the bank that held the note until the commissioners stepped in, Dunwoody said.
Commissioners approved the purchase of the 70,000 square foot building last year to house a county museum.
Staff recommended issuing debt for the $2 million purchase of the property and an additional $1.3 million to stabilize the building’s condition until the museum is able to move in.
The building was built in the late 1950s and formerly housed a bowling alley and ice skating rink.
Commissioners were told at the time that that purchasing the building rather than building a new facility would save the county between $3.9 million and $9.3 million.
“At the same time you are doing this, you are asking county employees to take early retirement, and you are shutting down libraries because we don’t have the money,” he said.  “But you have money for Overland Park because five of you represent Overland Park.”
Dunwoody said he has witness statements from Overland Park city and Johnson County employees and has hired an attorney.
He threatened legal action against the county for lack of disclosure.
“You can make the information known publicly or I can do it for you,” Dunwoody said. “This is my county and my country, and you work for me.”

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    To me the worse thing about the Board of County Commissioners is the fact that I can only VOTE for two of the members which does not give me the say I feel I deserve. Asked the committee that meets every ten years I believe it is and that provides input on County government, to make it possible for citizens to be able to vote on each and every seat on the Board of Commissioners but, of course, they never listened to that one – as usual. Looks like Dunwoody is spending his money for a good cause but it will be a miracle, which we so need, if the slimeballs ever truly work for the citizens rather than the thieves. I continue to ask for the ability to vote on each and every board member, however, in reality, what is there to vote for any more – the gene pool is pretty polluted. Gardner’s new city manager has shown she is ready and willing to subsidize the thieves once again with that electrical incentive – another disappointment but no big surprise, however, it is truly disgusting for me to see and have to suffer through more of the unfair and immoral government that is so engrained in all of our government entities. Paul Licausi said several years ago that he had a wonderful working relationship with the city of Gardner and that is shown by one sweet deal after another he has obtained from Gardner City Hall and beyond – he is as smooth as any Italian wine that I have ever heard of and City Hall must really love to drink his wine but it leaves a pretty sour taste in my mouth and more hits to my wallet.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Family evicted, work on National Museum of Suburbia to begin.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443493304578038920747409686.html

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