Mark Taylor
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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.”