February 6, 2016

Residents address council about meeting dysfunction

Danedri Thompson
A subdued city council listened as three citizens, including the former mayor, asked that council members learn to work together with civility.
“You have a chance from this moment on to change the tenor of these council meetings,” former Mayor Carol Lehman told members. “The code of conduct is a good step, but it’s going to be up to each one of you to change the public perception. If need be, remind each other to stay on track and speak to each other and speak to staff with respect.”
Lehman urged council to wipe the slate clean after meeting debate spilled from council chambers to the front of council member Larry Fotovich’s house. Dennis Pugh resigned and has been charged with battery and criminal deprivation of property.
Steve Shute, Gardner, called the behavior of the council at the last meeting an embarrassment.
“I feel extremely embarrassed for this city,” Shute told the council. “I feel embarrassed for this council. Our city is being portrayed across the metro as a joke.”
Shute commended Pugh for stepping aside, but said it is distressing he waited a week and a half to do so and that Mayor Drovetta did not issue a statement saying that Pugh’s behavior is not to be tolerated.
“I don’t mind seeing council men and women engaged in healthy debate,” Shute said. “We went way over the line this time around.”
He noted that with the loss of Pugh, a majority of the council will again be appointed rather than elected. Pugh’s replacement will be the Mayor’s fifth appointment to the council. When Drovetta became Mayor in 2009, he appointed Steve Hale to fill the remainder of his own term on the council.
Drovetta appointed two more council members after council members Mary Peters and John Shepherd were recalled in 2010, and appointed a fourth council member after another council member resigned.
“Is this something that we want as a city? To continue to have these rifts that are going to continue to see people resign or be removed?” Shute asked. “…Put aside the differences, have lively debate, have a vote and get over it. Move forward.”
Resident Andy Copeland said he thought the recall election would take care of the problems of the council.
“I’d just encourage all to keep it in perspective,” he told council members.  “If people have ulterior motives, I just ask them to step aside.”
Lehman said part of that process should involve supporting the Mayor.
“When the Mayor has attempted to limit negative conversation, he’s been called a dictator,” Lehman said.
When he’s done less, people have said he lacks leadership, Lehman explained.
“Support your mayor. He has great vision for this community,” she said.
Council members briefly  discussed a propose communication policy that would establish a protocol for future meetings.
Interim city administrator Mike Press told council members one of the first things he noticed when he took over as interim director several weeks ago was that council members throw out questions without first being recognized by the chair.
“I’ve really never worked any place where that’s the protocol,” Press said.
Portions of the drafted proposal include provisions that: “Members should refrain from discussing others (sic) motives regarding matters that are under consideration;… Any council member who wishes to ask a question will be first be recognized by the Mayor or designee;…Direction to staff to research, evaluate or follow-up on any substantive matter that comes before the city council is provided by the Mayor with the concurrence of the majority of the council.”
Council member Chris Morrow said there were several things in the draft that he’d like to discuss. Morrow also said he’d like to see council compare Press’s draft with a standard communication policy suggested by the Kansas League of Municipalities (KLM).
“I think it would save us some time this evening and give us more red meat to talk about next week,” Morrow said.
Currently the council uses Roberts Rules of Order, which council member Brian Broxterman called “archaic.” He expressed interest in reviewing the KLM’s recommended policy as well.
The proposal for discussion on Monday night sparked a few concerns for Fotovich.
“Any time I see the words ‘appropriate’ or ‘substantive,’ and there’s no person that decides what that is, I get a little nervous about free speech issues,” Fotovich said. “We’ve had lively discussions in the past – most of them never going beyond any extremes. We’ve been able to conduct ourselves for seven months with only two incidents.”
Council will discuss a communication policy at a work session on Dec. 12.
In other business, council members:
• approved the re-zoning of 642 E. Main Street, 1.7 acres that once housed CMI, from commercial industrial to commercial.
• rezoned land between Center Street and 183rd Street so that a new middle school and elementary school can be built should voters approve the USD 231 $73 million bond proposal in January.
• passed an ordinance requiring that trash containers used for refuse collection be no larger than 95 gallons. A revision to the ordinance also allows Johnson County Fire District No. 1 to issue burn permits rather than the city.
• tabled discussion and action on the city’s 2012 legislative agenda.


  1. vous dépliez au-dessus de says:

    Release the Kraken………..

  2. 2nd portion of the article repeated says:

    I’m pretty sure the article was supposed to end after the first time this bullet appears…

    • tabled discussion and action on the city’s 2012 legislative agenda. discussed a propose communication policy that would establish a protocol for future meetings.

  3. "That's bull_____" says:

    While I agree with Lehman’s overall message I disagree with her call to support the mayor. He is guilty of a lot of the negative conversation himself. So how has he tried to limit it? Correct me if I’m wrong but he’s said things like, “that’s bull____”. And he told Fotovich that he was picked on as a child. The mayor needs to regain our support by demonstrating the kind of character a mayor should have…. and this is going to take time.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Lehman’s statement to the Council was a joke big time and she sure continues to be an enabler for the big boys to get the sweet deals that would entice them to come to Gardner – she has proven time and time again she doesn’t care how much tax revenue the citizens lose on these sweet deals – her and Drovetta will always be there to take care of the special interests and the big money boys on the backs of the citizens. I have never seen the day when the citizens are only paying 1/2 or 1/4 or some small amount of their taxes – citizens have to pay their FULL taxes to take care of all of the takers. And don’t even start in on the trickle down economics – those money jerks just line their pockets with the help of worthless politicians such as Lehman and Drovetta and again I will be glad to see the back side of both of them.

    Lehman lists her address as 509 N. Mulberry, Gardner, Ks. I checked on ownership of that property today and it is owned by someone at that same address by a whole different name. Is Carol living with a relative or is she claiming that address as her Gardner address and living somewhere outside of Gardner, Ks. Why don’t you clear that up for me, Carol.

    I would like to take Mike Press to the wood shed too but I don’t believe in violence or breaking the law. Here is my e-mail to him today on those farm appraisals that he doesn’t think it is necessary to put into the legislative agenda just like Appraiser Paul Welcome doesn’t want to either and a whole bunch of other worthless politicians.


    Mr. Press: I read with interest your memo regarding your conversations with Mr. Welcome regarding farm appraisals. I have discussed this issue, a sample is included in the following e-mails which I am forwarding, over several months with Mr. Welcome, the County Commissioners, Steve Howe, Rep. O’Hara, Sen Olson and others. Nothing is being done about these fraudulent appraisals in my opinion and elected officials and bureaurcrats, including yourself, have pretty much circled your wagons and not allowed a thorough investigation of robbery of tax revenue from the people – that is my opinion.

    You will note in the e-mails I begged Appraiser Welcome for his cooperation in getting this fraud stopped and he ignores it. He says he tried in the 90’s and he gives me no indication he wants to go any further to protect the best interests of the people. Sen. Olson, Rep. O’Hara, the County Commissioners, especially Calvin Hayden, who I spoke to on different occasions on this issue, have done nothing to my knowledge to address this possible fraud. They give the citizen lip service and then nothing happens just like what is going on across the U.S. You cover for Mr. Welcome in your memo in my opinion. I will not cover for all of these parties who know of a huge financial raping happening to the people – I will hold them accountable and responsible.

    I have communicated personally with Sen. Olson and Commissioner Hayden who totally agreed with me that all of the examples I gave them spoke of fraud and even said they would contact the Attorney General to ask for an investigation of the matter. When I ask for copies of the ag leases, Appraiser Welcome and Legal Don Jarrett say I cannot have this information. Some one needs to look at those leases (are they being submitted fraudulently by commercial appraisers?) and contact all parties to see if the property is actually being farmed and farm income is being secured. I cannot see where that is the case whatsoever – someone is not doing their job and corruption and fraud is being committed in my opinion. I refer to that property on the SE corner of 183rd & Center, Gardner, Ks. that I have lived across for 8 years and there has never been a crop or a farm animal grazing on that property but dear ole Developer Paul Licausi and First Federal Savings and Loan, Independence, Ks. have got their farm appraisals on that land with $150 or less appaised amounts and the people only getting around $10 in taxes per year – they sure as hell aren’t contributing to the needs of the community as they should be. Appraiser says he has an ag lease on that property. Well, to me that ag lease is not worth the paper it is written on. Supposed to be an ag lease on that property – I sure would love to see it and investigate the legality of it. I have given elected officials and bureaucrats more and more examples, the most recent one with Gardner Bank owning the land and getting a farm appraisal with no farm activity that I can see whatsoever but they sure get those scandulous low tax bills and the people don’t get the tax revenue they deserve.

    So when I read your memo on farm appraisals and seeing no need to include the matter on the legislative agenda, then I know YOU, along with others, create a huge problem for citizens such as myself. I want you and others like you out of my City Hall and my governments because you are not serving me – you are serving the special interests and the big money, power guys who are putting the average citizen out of the middle class and into poverty. The Denver Post had several articles on this same issue in the past and they showed how millions and millions and millions of dollars of tax revenue is being lost to this type of fraud and I have brought this out too but a hell of a lot good it does when we have people like you and others who cover up the crap and do nothing to protect the people.

    Judith Rogers
    Gardner, Ks.

  5. Really? Judith disses Lehman? says:

    Who would’ve guessed?

    Judith, give it a rest. Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage with your rabble-rousing about Drovetta? Maybe you ought to actually READ or LISTEN to what Lehman said instead of looking at the name behind the quotes. She had good suggestions for how the Council can put all this nonsense behind it. How to avoid the all the childish name-calling and angry words. Your response? Childish name-calling and angry words.

    Even setting everything else aside, Lehman is right about this: the Council has the chance to wipe the slate clean and start new, looking AND moving forward. Using the bad that came from Pugh’s meltdown to make something good happen.

    Why are you so against having a functional Council, Judith?

  6. State of Affairs says:

    Lehman said the Gardner City Council can crack the future (haven’t they already by bringing the intermodal to this community).

    Last time I saw Lehman, she was literally hugging the big boys from BNSF at the Johnson County Board of Commissioners meeting when Kirkindall sold out his property.

  7. @State of "Big Boys" says:

    Hi Judith. Don’t change the subject.

  8. Don’t forget !

  9. Judith Rogers says:

    I want a City Council and all my governments to be acting with HONESTY, INTEGRITY, ETHICS and if they are doing that, then they can argue all night long if they so choose, however, I know I won’t be slowing my voice while the wrongdoers are served and the citizens have to bankroll them and endure other adverse affects.

  10. Judith Rogers says:

    I also want to state that this so-called meeting dysfunction that everyone is so hot about right now is merely one more “symptom” to much, much bigger unlying problems, corrupttion and rot.

  11. “Any time I see the words ‘appropriate’ or ‘substantive,’ and there’s no person that decides what that is, I get a little nervous about free speech issues,” Fotovich said. “We’ve had lively discussions in the past – most of them never going beyond any extremes. We’ve been able to conduct ourselves for seven months with ONLY TWO INCIDENT.”

    Fotovich never ceases to amaze me. The Mayor of Gardner has got in his face because he’s difficult to deal with, council meetings have been cut short because of him, he’s been openly threatened, he got rolled on his front lawn, he has a restraining order on a former council member, and he’s in the middle of pressing criminal charges on him.

    It is like dealing with my kids when I ask them “who made this mess?” and they all say “I don’t know, not me.” These rules and stipulations have been put in place because of you Fotovich.

  12. @Corruption and rot says:

    Still changing the subject, Judith. Remember a couple posts ago when you were ranting about Carol Lehman, choosing to renew your old hatred of her instead of listening to the very good suggestions she made for moving forward from the latest debacle to inflict Gardner government? Try to stay on topic, if that’s possible.

  13. Judith Rogers says:

    Beasley as usual doesn’t like people being held accountable or responsible just like he didn’t want to be held accountable for his hate and lie campaign and not filing the required campaign finance report on time and then when he does, he lists “anonymous” donors which doesn’t meet the criteria of the law in my opinion since it calls for names, address and amounts given by parties. Blame it on Fotovich or any other person who is calling people out like you Beasley…….you may want to be part of the wrongdoing but there are others who don’t and, of course, you will go after them.

    I have no hatred toward people such as Lehman, Drovetta, Beasley and others – it is their words, actions, inaction and voting records that I hate. And I hate those things because they are killing the people in so many ways. These people and others are making conscious decisions that are bringing about great suffering just like those Wall Street and banking bandits did to the people and which caused that financial meltdown that I have to wonder when we will ever come out of. 60 Minutes this past Sunday evening had two whistle blowers on the program. These two brave people have the courage to speak out about the wrongdoing and yet the people who are committing crimes against the people are still walking – this has to stop – the wrongdoers have to be held accountable and responsible.

    All citizens need to recognize the moral corruption that is going on in our society – our country is starting to burn because of it.

  14. And we have a revolving door of appointed council members because of you Ryan. I know you hate it when people bring up the fact that you rode the recall through on a technicality of the law, not with the D.A. saying the law was broken. If I had done what you did, I would probably want it to go away too. But it is true. And like it or not, your choices have helped shaped the situation we find ourselves in today. I’ll save you the time of responding to me I should get over it and move on and stop living in the past.. I know that’s your standard response. I’ve always thought this type of response showed a lot of insensitivity to the good people of this town who voted and continued to support John and Mary through the recall process. Maybe that’s not important to you. And truly I am not trying to be snarky in this post, I am merely calling it as I see it. I also realize that you will probably never publicly admit any regret for the recall. Perhaps you have none. I suspect that you do privately have some regret for your actions. Unfortunately, you don’t strike me as the type of man with the kind of strong character that would admit such mistakes. And that’s really too bad.

  15. Accountability says:

    Judith, you hypocrite.

    You have nothing but hatred toward all those people and the only time you deny it is when somebody actually points it out to you. Try reading some of your own posts sometime. OR, we can start keeping a tally of “angry” words and see where you stack up.

    Worse, you talk big about accountability, but evidently it’s something for the “other guys” to do, not people you like (e.g. Fotovich). Why not hold Fotovich accountable for HIS problematic behavior? Or the additional money HE costs the taxpayers of Gardner by being obstructive and intentionally obtuse?

  16. State of Affairs says:

    To @ State of “Big Boys”–
    I am not Judith. I stated my opinion and what I actually saw with 20/20 vision.

  17. Whine and complain all you want about your contempt for me and what happened with the recall. That doesn’t change the FACT that currently Fotovich is a problem for the city of Gardner. I actually agree with some of his points, unfortunately he drowns himself out with antics. Judith you should understand this. You have some good points, but then you start ranting and raving about what nots and no one takes you seriously.

  18. We have a revolving door of Council members because Take Back Gardner wasn’t happy to have gained a majority on the Council and had to, instead, try to steal the office of the Mayor as well.

    You seem to forget that it was the VOTERS who tossed out Sheperd and Peters, not Ryan Beasley. The recall simply would not have worked if Shepherd and Peters and Danedri Thompson’s dad had not tried to organize their coup outside the Council chambers.

    We would not be in this current mess if TBG favorite Fotovich was actually interested in serving Gardner and NOT serving out TBG’s ongoing vendetta against Mayor Drovetta.

    Ironically, the Council has a chance NOW to put all that behind them. The revolving door stops spinning when Fotovich and Drovetta and TBG and Drovetta’s supporters quit using our old grudges as excuses to avoid working together for Gardner’s future.

  19. If you agree with some of Fotovich’s points, why are you waiting until now to respond to my post to admit that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen you post one favorable thing about any of his ideas. It leaves the impression you have a serious grudge against the guy.

  20. I don’t know why you (I’ll call you Danedri) care that much about what I think and my feelings toward Larry Fotovich?

    This goes back to what the poster said a couple posts back.

    “We would not be in this current mess if TBG favorite Fotovich was actually interested in serving Gardner and NOT serving out TBG’s ongoing vendetta against Mayor Drovetta.

    Ironically, the Council has a chance NOW to put all that behind them. The revolving door stops spinning when Fotovich and Drovetta and TBG and Drovetta’s supporters quit using our old grudges as excuses to avoid working together for Gardner’s future.”

  21. I do find it amusing that you choose the word “antics” to describe another councilman, when it was the “antics” of the guy you voted for, Dennis Pugh, that has made this community a joke to the outside word and ultimately cost him his position.

  22. Judith Rogers says:

    Hypocrites like Beasley, Drovetta and others are pros at saying something halfway decent about a person, however, they always then insert the word “but” and proceed to discredit the person with words appearing after that “but”. All the connivers and manipulators utilize this method to make themselves look good but in reality their purpose is not to do the right thing but to discredit someone to make them look good or as the saint. Doesn’t work,Beasley, when you pull this crud and any intelligent person knows what you are doing. You giveth and then you taketh away and all of this is done to get you what you and/or others want and to make you look like Mr. Wonderful. You have lost your moral compass, Beasley, and you have plenty of company.

  23. Don’t forget to remember what was nearly forgotten by re vesting to recall that which what was written 5 months prior to that which was foretold to a resent yesterday.

  24. Council decorum questioned
    June 27, 2011 By Rhumble & her crystal ball

  25. Hello Judith– The Beasley bunch I think was also a comic book cartoon series back in the day when people thought the hydrogen filled Hindenburg was a great Idea.

  26. Connivers and manipulators says:

    But Judith, you always seem so pleasant…right before you spew more hatred on people and change the subject to avoid owning up to your complete lack of logic. Very conniving of you. And nice of Danedri to post so many times in support of you. You two should go on the road together. Great comedy, really.

  27. Judith Rogers says:

    The jigs are up, you Connivers and Manipulators…………………

  28. Happy Day tablets.

    Get a refill on that prescription.

  29. What about the beasley bunch?

  30. State of Affairs says:

    Something to think about–
    We have been telling God to get out of our lives for years, including our schools and government.
    Started with atheist Madeline Murray O’Hare who objected to prayer in our schools. She was found murdered. And, so on, and so on, it has trickled down. But, I am saying “Merry Christmas” and honoring the birth of Our Savior Jesus.

    And, the story of the student that recently asked “Who is pearl harbor?” So sad. Wonder if our kids know the true meaning of Christmas?

    Our country was founded under God. Now, it is a country of atheists?

  31. Connivers and manipulators says:

    It’s the Conniver and Manipulator show, starring Judith and Ben Dover!!!

  32. Ben Dover says:

    With special guest: The Beasley Bunch

  33. Judith Rogers says:

    I would say the real problem is that people have not included God in their lives and God not being in our schools, governments, etc. is just a by-product of that fact. Also some people will say they believe in God, go to church, etc. but don’t seem to get or practice the teachings of God…….go figure…………..

  34. Ben Dover says:

    Do you mean Xenu? Of course there isn’t enough Scientology in the classroom!

  35. "Judge not, lest you be judged" says:

    Or did you miss that part of the Bible, Judith?

  36. Charlie K says:

    @ Judith
    Hmmm, I hope you don’t pretend to be a Christian Judith. If so then your comments on people saying they believe in God but not practicing his teachings is the very definition of irony. I certainly don’t remember Jesus ever talking to people the way you do.

    @ State of Affairs
    So what exactly is the point of telling us that Madeline Murray O’Hare was murdered? Do you agree with that or something? “I’ll kill you if you don’t believe in God” huh? Yup, again that is very Christ-like isn’t it?

  37. Judith Rogers says:

    You better be judgmental when you are in that voting booth and when you review those city meeting agendas or you are going to continue to suffer the adverse affects. Get truly informed and educated on how your governments operate.

  38. Ben Dover says:

    Xenu for Mayor

  39. Quick! Duck! says:

    Judith just spun around so quickly, it’s amazing she didn’t take out half of downtown!

    First she’s lecturing everyone on their non-Christian behavior, then she’s justifying her overt rudeness by implying that people need to be rude like her to be informed.

    Sheesh! What gall!

  40. State of Affairs says:

    To Charlie K.–
    What goes around comes around. The story of the mother who tried to keep her teenage daughter from leaving in a car of wild, drinking teenagers. The daughter verbally condemned God. There was an accident. The car was completely crushed and all killed. Except the trunk of the car was intact with a dozen of eggs intact.

  41. State of Affairs says:

    “A nation that forgets it is under God is a nation gone under”–Ronald Reagan

  42. Ben Dover says:

    And the teenagers got out of the wreckage noticed the unbroken eggs and while suffering from drunken the 3am munchies they said Omelets anyone!

    They were on their way to DENNYS coincidence? I think Not.

    Xenu for Mayor

  43. Good Old Cold War Regan.
    Yep. I think it is very anti climatic to quote Regan.

    It’s like saying “Meh…….”

    It contains nothing.

  44. Ben Dover says:

    What were drunken teenagers doing groceries in the trunk?
    Did they forget about an earlier supply run?

  45. Ben Dover says:

    Don’t forget to remember what was scribed and nearly forgotten by re vesting to recall what was recanted 5 months prior to therein foretold and a recent yesterdays consequences of the contemporary impact to today’s setting and with great haste forth to promote onto the distant tomorrows costly state of being!.

    Council decorum questioned
    June 27, 2011 By Rhumble

  46. Can you imagine? says:

    How tacky it would be to find that Gardner News employees were actually posting anonymously on their own paper, defending the political slants to their “news” stories?

  47. Be kind to unkind people – they need it the most.

  48. Captain Caveman says:

    Caveman no like talk, Caveman want vote.
    Mayor Dave, you tell caveman how to vote.

    Who’s the next puppet Mayor Dave will nominate? Adam Drovetta for city council. Putz.

  49. Gardner Neighbor says:

    @State of the Union – really? So I guess you are implying that all of these problems in Gardner stem from a lack of God’s presence in people’s lives? Really? And our soldiers in Afghanistan are dying because of the rampant homosexuality in the US I suppose?

    First – lets start with the first amendment. Maybe you remember it? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    The Supreme Court has clearly ruled that under the establishment clause – there is to be a separation of church and state. Ruling after ruling has indicated that our government does not have the right to choose a religion for us…or to force a religion upon us. Yes – that is RELIGION. It is not DENOMINATION. Christians get that wrong all the time…and they would like to deny atheists, hindus, pagans and other polytheistic worshippers THEIR rights because they use this “one nation under God” crap. That clause of the pledge of allegiance was ADDED during the McCarthy era! If you want to live in a country where religion is forced upon you, try moving to IRAN. I hear it’s really nice over there this time of year.

    And as much as you Christian nut jobs like to poke fun at Scientologists, Muslims and Mormons, in my eyes your beliefs are just as wacky as any of theirs. You participate in freaking symbolic cannabalism every Sunday – Geesh! That’s sick!!! How dare you joke around that only your “brand” of christianity be embraced in our city halls, schools, capitols, etc… If we’re going to start including religion in our state houses- then I expect an alter erected honoring belzebub right up there next to your crucifix, along with a bronzed statue of Darwin.

    You people are the reason why bullying exists, why gay marriage isn’t allowed in our state, why people hate themselves and feel guilty about every carnal thought they have….Fred Phelps gets to have a voice BECAUSE of people like State of the Union who spout the same kind of crazy but get away with it because they are just a little sneakier than old Fred.

    I am very afraid for this country. We are moving away from intelligent, rational thought and into a cultist, shrouded, ignorant, fearful nation. Hey – kinda sounds like IRAN. And we have nuclear weaponry – crap!

  50. @Captain Caveman says:

    Oooh, this could be fun. Let’s start making a list of all the people King Dave will likely nominate for the council seat. I hope they remember to curtsy or bow before they come before him. As it is now proposed, they will have to wait to be acknowledged by him before they can speak. Gardner really is like its own little country.

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