February 8, 2016

Superintendent outlines board applicant process

Debbie Hickman
Special to The Gardner News
Due to resignations by USD 231 board members Shelta Collins and Tim Rayburn, the district placed a public notice, as required by Kansas statute, in the Aug. 28 edition of The Gardner News announcing an open call for applicants to fill these positions.  Applicants were instructed to contact Lisa Berg, board clerk, either by phone or email for application information.
Ten days after the notice appeared in the newpaper, patrons expressing an interest in obtaining an application were told none were available until that afternoon. Calls to Lisa Berg, board clerk, and Leann Northway, director community relations, for clarification on application availability, found them both out of the office. A message left for Christy Ziegler has gone unanswered.
Late afternoon, application information was available on the district website and ready for pick up at the district office.  A letter from the superintendent accompanies the application.  It explains that each applicant will be provided five minutes for a presentation during the open session of the Sept. 16 school board meeting.  In the letter, Gilhaus asked that an applicant give a brief description of himself or herself, explain why they desire to serve on the board, describe the strengths of the district and talk about the challenges they believe the district will face over the next five years.
Following each presentation, current board members shall have an opportunity to ask questions. The board will vote on appointments during this meeting unless the number of applicants requires an additional special school board meeting be held to accommodate all presentations.  Possible dates for this special meeting include Sept.18 or 19.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Reminds me so of the horrible wheeling and dealing of the Beasley Bunch/Drovetta and the slimy recall here in Gardner a few years ago. What goes around, comes around………..and citizens are paying buco bucks for this conniving, manipulating, corrupt government and it is just not restricted to this School Board since they have worked hand in hand with the city of Gardner to screw the people for years…………that is my opinion on 9-11-13. Adverse affects from the Red Republicans in the state of Kansas are widespread and the people have themselves to blame for most of those adverse affects.

  2. 1. No response from anyone in the USD to questions asked by the media. Zero transparency as they thumb there noses at the same people that pay their bloated salaries.

    2. Tim Rayburn resigned his position which leaves a vacant seat. I have reason to believe that he is in fact still part of the process and will be at the next board meeting. How can they have a vacant seat and be taking applications for that seat but yet have someone still working in that position. I guarantee the tax payers are not benefiting from this one.

    3. The Board of Education should be more involved in the process than Dr. Gilhaus. Considering the BOE is “supposed” to be evaluating him and considering his contract each year him having any hand in the selection of future members is, in my opinion an absolute direct conflict of interest.

    4.The BOE has not voted nor approved either of the resignations. How can they being taking applications if the resignations are not approved?

    5. Eric Hansen has applied. He would bring transparency, integrity and legitimacy to our school board. For these very reasons he will not be considered by the “powers that be.” The USD will march a handful of Board applicants in front of the tax payers as a show but in reality it will be already decided behind the scenes on who will fill those positions. You can bet it will not be anyone that the tax paying public wants in that seat. Instead you will get someone that has taken nice checks from the likes of Manning Construction and can by controlled by the good doctor.

    6. This entire process lacks transparency and is not good government. Considering this small group of people control around $100 million including the bond issue it is a travesty that there isn’t more transparency and accountability. It will continue to happen as long as We the People let it happen.

    ONLY when we fix OUR Board of Education and cut off the head of the dragon will our teachers and our children have what they need in the classrooms.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Well, I certainly cannot recommend Eric Hanson and I will tell you why. Several years ago I found the error where Kimberly-Clark was getting a 75% tax incentive when only a 50% tax incentive was approved which in itself was financial raping of the citizens by politicians who bring it about on behalf of the “thieves” as I call them. Finding that error saved the citizens over $1 MILLION IN TAX REVENUE and what nasty remark does Eric Hanson with the school district at that time have to say – “I don’t have time to go thru the tax roles” (or some remark close to that). Not thank you for watching our tax dollars, not thanks for those school tax dollars………..no, just another egotistical remark that is so rampant in this city by so many that are a part of the big problems we have in our government entities.

    I don’t believe Eric Hanson has a chance in hell of getting a position on that School Board and I don’t believe he has shown to me that I would want him to be. Same ole story that I have been dealing with for years now and I certainly can’t rubber stamp an endorsement for him but many will.

    Citizens bring on their problems themselves by their own moral corruption which is so widespread today. Lots of houses need to be cleaned up before you get these government halls of shame spic and span.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    I also want to remind citizens that I fought that tax incentive given to Kimberly-Clark since I did not believe they deserved that tax incentive since they are a very rich corporation and could well afford to pay their FULL taxes just like average citizens do and the jobs being produced were low-paying like so many of them are when the thieves are involved and on top of that we had provided financing of their project thru industrial revenue bonds. The School Dist. had assured me that they were advising the County they were objecting to this tax incentive and yet when I contacted Lee Metcalfe, Chairman of the New Century Industrial Complex to verify this, he said he had talked to Gilhaus who advised the School Board was NOT objecting to the incentive. The day the incentive was voted on by the County Commission, Ms. Surbaugh who was Chairman of the County Commissioners, stated that day that since the school district was not there to object to the incentive , then she saw no reason to object to it and, of course, the Commissioners rubber stamped that handout with no delay.

    When a tax incentive like that is approved with industrial revenue bonds involved, it has to be approved by the state Board of Tax Appeals and paperwork has to be submitted. Normally the thieves and the bonding company get that paperwork submitted to the County who approved the incentive and they have to sign off on it and if my memory serves me correctly, dear ole Mike Press, County Mgr. at the time, rubber stamped that INCORRECT submission and sent the INCORRECT submission on to Paul Welcome who also rubber stamped it and sent the INCORRECT submission on to the state Board of Tax Appeals who followed suit. Another reason I hate like hell helping to pay those astronomical salaries these bureaucrats get via back stabbing politicians. I have begged the County Commissioners and the County Auditor on more than one occasion to provide more oversight of the tax bills given to the thieves on these handout properties since I have seen so many errors on them where the citizens were not getting the tax revenue that they should be getting. Those jaybirds never pick up the phone to say their tax bills are in error – it has to be watchdogs for the citizens to try to get done what should have already been done by responsible, decent government entities.

    I continue to try to stop the flow of incorrect appraisals going to the thieves on properties they are getting “farm” appraisals when you never see a crop growing nor a farm animal grazing on the properties. Another loss of millions/billions of tax revenue for the average citizens. And I have asked the School Board just recently to speak out about this issue with not one reply from them, just like I never hear from the Gardner City Council nor Mayor nor from the County Commissioners. Just this week I have started to look at all of those so-called “farm” properties here in Gardner and SOME of the owners are SEJ, LLC, Prairiebrook Development, L.P., Fidelity Bank, KBA Developmenty, LLC, K & A Development,LLC, Jo. Co. Land Holdings, LLC, United Methodist Church, Inc. Comm. Growth & Development Ks. East Conference, Jo. Co. Land Holdings, LLC, Olathe Medical Center, Inc., CML-KS Blue Valley, LLC, Stewart Properties, LLC, Amni Group, LLC, Gardner Property Partners, Russell Family LLC ETAl which includes JPR Land Investments, LLC, RMR Land Investments, LLC, Meier Land Investments, LLC, Paw Land Investments, LLC, CLR Land Investments, LLC, Golden Properties, LLC and I have only gone over around 30 ot hundreds of those types of properties here in Gardner that are paying almost nilch in taxes but sure are getting those benefit districts bankrolled by the citizens so they can make their killings on those properties when they are sold and yet even then some of them are not paying their assessments for those benefit districts and I hope like hell citizens realize who has to pay for those bonds if these jaybirds don’t pay their assessments NOR their almost non-existant taxes.

    Just this week Laura Gourley advised me that 39.48 acres were sold to the city of Gardner by Johnson County Land Holdings, LLC for the lovely cost of $592,200 and 43.4 acres were sold to the city of Gardner for the lovely cost of $651,000 and all of this acreage was for Celebration Park. I will bet you these entities were getting their “farm” appraisals and paying almost nothing in taxes. The citizens pay dearly day after day after month after month after year after year to take care of these jaybirds and they have themselves to blame because they aren’t doing their jobs but also using that rubber stamp.

    Note most of these entities are LLCs or LPs – the very entities that dear ole Brownback took such care of by eliminating their state income tax responsibilities and the jaybirds get their “farm” appraisals to put the cherry on top of the cake. Think those bureaucrats and politicians are working for the average citizen? If you do, I say you don’t have a brain in your head or you are just as corrupt as they are.

    Once again, I stand by myself trying to get so many of these fraudulent “farm” appraisals stopped that are sucking the citizens dry………..I have been standing by myself for years on one issue after another as my government entities go to hell in a hand basket and as the thieves/bureaucrats/policians get by with their wrongdoing. Citizens have no one to blame but themselves for their costly, slimy government entities – that is my opinion.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Here is one of those “farm” properties I just finished reviewing. Parcel CF221423-2001, owned by Waverly 175, LLC which is a parcel with 4.27 vacant acres, can see no farming activities from photos provided, property is zoned for Planned Garden Apt. Dist., appraised value for 2012 is $200 with a 2012 tax bill of $8.81 and with the citizens of Gardner getting $1.87 of that tax revenue and your School Dist. getting about $5. This property is on 175 St. just down from Meadowbrook Rehab.

    Do you think there is big time farming going on that 4.27 acres here within the city limits of Gardner?

    This is one of THOUSANDS such properties here in Johnson County and across the state of Kansas. Who is your Sugar Daddy now?????

  6. Patty Fabing says:

    In a discussion thread on a local Facebook forum last week, I was the victim of an unfounded, personal attack on my character. (I am not a member of this particular Facebook group, nor do I care to become one.)

    I reflected on my past interactions with the person who made the post. I am confused as to why he was inclined to publically and intentionally trash my name. It is especially confusing because the last messages this person sent me were quite respectful. Below are two unaltered messages that he sent to me in April, following the school board election.
    “I just wanted to say you ran a good campaign and represented yourself and your family well. I believe you did a good job on stage during the forums. I know my opinion probably doesn’t mean much to you but I wanted to say I do appreciate you taking time away from your job and your family to at least run for school board. If more people would take that chance and make that commitment our city would be a better place. I have no doubt you will work to keep our district great and moving forward.”

    “I would not tell you that if I didn’t mean it. Your race was very close overall. The other two weren’t. That says a lot for you.”
    The above comments are in stark contrast to this same person’s recent public commentary about me. Based on information I have received from friends, it seems clear that his primary mission was to sabotage me. I wonder why. My only interaction with this individual has been via Facebook messages he sent me during the school board campaign. I answered all his questions promptly, honestly and respectfully. I have not been contacted by this individual since April. He obviously knows how to contact me, so there was no need to speculate on my intentions regarding the current openings on the school board. Had he simply reached out to me, I would have gladly advised him of my intentions. Instead, he decided to libel me. I am a private citizen, living a quiet life and minding my own business. I have done nothing to invite his intentional, personal attack.

    What kind of person does this? A bully? A hypocrite? A person of poor character? I find this behavior to be completely despicable. This is a person who regularly criticizes and places judgment on others’ character, yet his actions are deplorable.

  7. Judith Rogers says:

    Again, if you were paying attention you could have easily seen the lies and hate mongering that was involved in that recall several years ago. That should have been a good training session for any decent citizen and you would also know how and why the Citizens for the Future of Gardner Facebook page came about. Look at the Gardner/Edgerton Republican Facebook page, look at the Gardner Whiners Facebook page and others – these citizens show themselves for what they are. You then have to make a decision of whether you will become a part of that kind of activity and become one of their cult followers.

    Lots of factions wanting the power and control so they may get what they and others want or need – citizens need to think long and hard as to whether they will be a part of them.

    I am very verbal most of the time and I will nearly always tell anyone why I have that opinion/viewpoint and it is always based on experience/facts. I am not running for office, I am not looking for a handout, I am not applying for a job – I just have to speak out when hardworking, loyal, average citizens are getting screwed time and time again, especially when it is by people who have been elected into office by the citizens or by bureaucrats who we pay so well and who are SUPPOSED TO PROTECT THOSE CITIZENS and aren’t doing so.

    Don’t take anything or anyone by just a glimpse or what someone tells you – do you homework every day and week and keep your score sheet up to date as to the words, actions, inaction and voting records of these jaybirds and be very, very informed in detail on issues – it will make your decisions in the voting booth much easier, however, there will be times when there is no one worth your vote which I see happening more and more often.

  8. Gardnerwhos says:

    The thought of Eric Hanson on the school board makes me absolutely giddy.

  9. Gardnerwhos says:

    Hanson = Hansen
    Either way, that is a candidate I could get behind.

  10. Why isn’t the school board leading the search for candidates?

  11. Judith, I’ll hand it to you, you’re consistent. And I’ve missed you!!

  12. When has the school board ever lead anything with our current Superintendent in charge. In my opinion he dictates what he wants and then they do his bidding.

    In most districts the School Board runs the district but not in our district. When the Superintendent can get his contract approved without some of the board members even reading it then there is a problem.

    I believe board members have to go along with what the administration wants because some of them are compromised. They will not bite the hand that feeds them. This is why we need board members that are independent and have no contractual relationships with our district or the member doesn’t have family members working in the district.

    Until we have people that are willing to do what is right both morally and ethically we will continue to have what we have now, overfilled classrooms, less reading and math specialists, and cut after cut at the school level while the fat cats at the USD get fatter.

    If you can find a school board member that will actually talk to you, ask them what is in their Superintendent’s contract. I have personally put the contract in front of a school board member and this person not only did not know what our Superintendent make but it was obvious they had not seen the contract…yet this person voted to approve this.

    $100 Million dollars running through our district with no accountability…..on in Gardner. The wolves hunt while the sheep sleep….

  13. Judith Rogers says:

    I bet Patty Fabing is saying “WHAT?” when Walter H. starts saying “Until we have people that are willing to do what is right both MORALLY and ETHICALLY”…………..the CFG group has always struggled since Day 1 with the integrity, ethics, character, etc. thing………something they yak about but not something they require of themselves………………many show how they will talk out of two sides of their mouths – depends on the circumstances and what they want to MANIPULATE (think Beasley and some of these younger fakes who took lessons from Mertz, Steve Hale, Gillhaus, etc.) for their own reasons………..certainly not genuine people, more like two faced backstabbers and we have oodles of them everywhere you look and why the problems will continue but the thieves continue to be happy because they get what they want from the slimy politicians and bureaucrats, supported by less than stellar individuals, and on the taxpayers’ backs and not theirs. Yeah, lots of need for honesty, ethics, integrity, character, etc. – let it start with each and every one of us so maybe our government halls of shame can get cleaned up – that won’t happen until the people themselves start finding their moral compass to guide them……..it all starts at home and the example you set and all of us have much work to do. I tell all of those jaybird thieves, politicians and bureaucrats what I think of them right up front – they could never say I was talking about them behind their backs or I am talking out of two sides of my mouth. As Beasley himself has said – Judith Rogers is consistent in her message – about one of the only honest, genuine things I have ever heard him say.

  14. What is in the superintendent’s contract?

  15. Judith Rogers says:

    Senior: Request a copy of the superintendent’s contract and see for yourself.

  16. Just like Judith did. She has ALL of the facts.(rolleyes) Yet she will do nothing more than try to rile people by being an harbinger of disdain. Yes, we get it, Judith. You are so much smarter than the rest of us. Yet your assumptions of people trying to make a difference in the community are way off of the mark. Just because somebody doesn’t do the things you want them to, you call them slimy. You call them two faced. You call them backroom dealers and fakes. You pull out crap that has no relevance to the issue at hand, only to feebly try to put yourself in the better light. The people who read your blatherings are making an assumption of you, Judith. You are the slimy one. You are the one who is unfair. You are the one who rushes to judgement before all of the facts are in. While all know how wrong you are, I am happy that you are a voice in the community, if not for anything else…an example to my children of how not to be. You keep beating your drum! Don’t stop either. More people need to be aware that people like you are really the slimy backroom wheeler dealers. The more you use the same tired terms as to cause upheaval, the more of a hypocrite you look. Enjoy your country.

  17. Judith Rogers says:

    And the Nonamers never take ownership of their comments………..another example of slime and they continue to show they have no credibility………………the CFG really showing their colors……we do need people making decent differences in their community and moral values such as honesty, ethics, integrity, character, etc. have to play an important part in that process. Many do not meet the litmus test as shown by their words and actions.

    P.S. I do enjoy my country and one of the freedoms I enjoy most is the freedom of speech which enables me to call out sorry people like don.

  18. Judith Rogers says:

    I also wanted to add that God tells me of my worthiness…………..something you will never get from a Nonamer nor would I want worthiness coming to me via a Nonamer.

    I also want to mention that the CFG Facebook page should have been named Hustle……..they hustle to get those likes on Facebook , they hustle to get those cult members signed up who will help make possible what they want and need, they hustle those cult followers to bring about the political results and power they so want……….hustle is the name of the game and they put aside integrity, ethics, honesty, etc. during that game – the goal of the hustle game is winning and not how you carry yourself during the process. Another reminder why citizens should be very independent thinkers and not get sucked into the wrongdoing that they paint as being “patriots” or some similar propaganda verbiage.

    The problem that Gardner City Hall, the school district and Romney experienced is one of not being connected to the average citizen. You cannot have a connection with citizens if they are not heard, seen or VALUED. Citizens NOT being VALUED is my biggest complaint and why I dig into those politicians, bureaucrats and thieves every day of the week because these jaybirds continue to take advantage of and abuse the relationship and connection they should have with the citizens they are supposed to be serving. As long as citizens are NOT heard, seen or valued there will be dissension.

    So City Hall and the school district/board continue their reigns of silence and secrets – they even have attorneys to come in and tell them to keep their heads down and their mouths shut and most of them do that very thing and citizens go along with this crapola. Certainly no connection with the people if your mode of operation is silence and secrets and make it as hard as hell to get needed information about their OWN GOVERNMENT and most of all when your government entities do not see, hear or value their citizens who they are supposed to be serving and protecting. You have had the Berlin wall of silence and not being forthcoming with your people for years and years and I don’t see much hope of that wall being torn down real soon because strong moral values are in short supply these days – the name of the game is HUSTLE.

  19. Gardner Gadfly says:

    Thank you, Patty, for pulling back some of the curtain on these people and their hidden agenda. So your attacker claims that there is no transparency on the board and that the new members will bring tranparency to us. If this is true why are board documents being ‘leaked’ to the media without a board member claiming them. This is transparency when you give potentially confidential documents to the paper or public? This isn’t transparency, this is looking for undercover dirt directed by individuals who control the new board members. If we are to have this supposed transparency let’s see this board member step forward and the paper step forward with their names. Why you are questioning the resignations when, again, the paper and their mole was very quick to announce it publicly before the board had any chance to act. If you want transparency then why hide behind all the side comments and admit that the only purpose you have in all of this is to get rid of a public servant? You have no concern about improving the school district because you have no idea how to do that. You are only concerned about your personal vendetta. If you think that the salary of one person is the reason for overcrowded classrooms and staff cuts you are very short-sighted. If you are concerned about our tax dollars why don’t you tell us about your income? We are paying your salary, health benefits and schooling and we get nothing in return from you except attacks, lies, half-truths and intimidation. Maybe those tax dollars could be used to ease the overcrowding you are concerned about. You use social media much the way junior high girls do in attacking each other. I’m sure your example will be duplicated by your own children. Bully the oponent where they can’t respond and no one can question the accuracy of the attack. I appreciate the attempt by the Patty’s, Mary’s and anyone else who still has integrity running for public office. They have shown that they will not stoop to your level and fight in the gutter. I am embarrased that our local news paper has reduced itself to a gossip rag and finds it necessary to publish unsubstantiated trash using a person who has absolutely no journalistic talent.

  20. You perpetuate the stereotype of Johnson County Judith.

  21. Thank you for the compliment.

  22. …and as for sorry people, I am sorry that you will do nothing more than be an internet thug. I did not come here from CFG, I just wanted to read your idiotic statements while you sit safely behind a keyboard. If you have a problem, do something about it. Make a difference. Don’t think you garner any respect by anyone by trying to make yourself look better by saying anyone that doesn’t agree with you to be slimy, backroom wheeler dealers. Or your new term that you somehow pulled out of your 7 word thesaurus, HUSTLE.

  23. Judith Rogers says:

    Beasley, it was NOT a compliment as you well know.

    I do not care to walk into the stench at our government pig stys and I don’t give my pearls to swine. I’ll leave the hustle to the lowlifes because as I have stated numerous times, I want no part of the connivers, manipulators, backstabbers and liars.

  24. Too late Judith. I’m taking it as a compliment, you said I was honest. I already wrote it in my journal and it is in pen so I can’t erase it.

  25. I do not believe there is a curtain in front of any “hidden agenda.” I believe the agenda is clear and that is to bring at least some transparency and accountability to the USD 231 Office. The three candidates that were elected to serve on the school board all ran on the issue of “transparency and accountability” and won quite handily. This was obviously a message from the voters that they are wanting the same.

    Election Campaign Reports are available online at the JoCo Election website and are public documents. They are not “potentially confidential” and never have been and hopefully never will be. There are people that would like them to be private because there are things in those documents that make them uncomfortable but it is for this very reason that they should be printed.

    When a school board candidate cashes a $500.00 check from Manning Construction and this construction company in charge of millions of dollars in projects for the USD that raises questions. What is the relationship of the candidate and Manning Construction? How was this donation arranged and by whom? Do you think it is a coincidence that all three candidates that were labeled “District Candidates” were offered $500.00 from Manning Construction? Perhaps it was just pure coincidence or….perhaps the label they were given was correct.

    It is not the salary of one person that causes the overcrowded class rooms, the severe cuts in services and special’s for our kids or the lack of programs not available at our school that are available in other JoCo schools but it is a symptom of the behavior, attitude and culture of what is important in our district and what is not important. Misplaced priorities have resulted in less and less resources in the classroom. Before the teachers contracts even began negotiations our highest paid employee ensured that his contract was taken care of and he had everything he wanted and then it was rubber stamped by the board members without some of them even reading it.

    I suppose if there were more transparency at the USD office there would not be a need for “moles.” Even more shameful is that someone that talks about transparency and hiding behind a curtain with a hidden agenda can only post with an anonymous name. I am not hiding behind any curtain….can you say the same?

    For those concerned enough here is the link to the campaign reports.


  26. Judith Rogers says:

    First of all, Walter, I want to know what candidate cashed a $500,000 check from Manning Construction and who were the others who were offered one. What was the check for? Was it an unlawful payoff? Have you reported your concerns and allegations to Dist. Attorney Howe and what were his thoughts?

    I just know you can’t clean up any government entity if you are also utilizing unethical methods – you and some others might want to think about that, Walter. I don’t want to trade in one broken down used car for another worthless piece of you know what.

  27. Judith Rogers says:

    Beasley, the only thing you write with is disappearing ink – just like you delete comments from your CFG Facebook page – no freedom of speech on your Facebook page – just censoring and controlling the message that will be put out there. Tell me again how honest you are, especially on those petitions you carry and the Election Finance Reports you file. One of these days you will find that smirk knocked off your conniving face by someone other than myself – someone who brings himself or herself down to your raunchy level. And we all continue to see you Facebooking on your company’s time – such an outstanding, honest individual that I have in my government……….

  28. Judith, like I’ve said before, I would gladly approve you as a Citizen for the Future of Gardner.

  29. Judith Rogers says:

    Hold your breath waiting on that one, Beasley………….just a few minutes is all it would take……..

  30. You’re going to join in just a few minutes? Let me tell the Hustler!!! They are going to be so excited!!!

  31. I knew Larry Flynt never really died.

  32. Judith Rogers says:

    Flynt has been reincarnated numerous times I would say………….and our local Hustle leader has all of his traits……………

  33. Patty Fabing says:

    I am not exactly sure who Walter H. is referring to as the “District Candidates,” but it is probably safe to assume (based on other generalizations he had made about me) that he puts me in this category. For the record, I was NOT offered money from Manning Construction. I received contributions from friends and co-workers to fund my campaign. Walter was kind enough to provide a link to the election site. Feel free to take a look at my campaign report….you’ll only see individual contributors on the list.

Comments do not necessarily reflect those of The Gardner News, or staff. By posting, commentators assume all liability. Please contact webmaster to report comments that infringe on copyrights, or are of a profane or libelous nature. Webmaster reserves the right to edit or remove content deemed offensive.


Speak Your Mind