The Shawnee Mission School District needs to learn from the Kansas City School District--you can't lie to the public and the legislators about your finances. Because when your district starts to slide downward, homeowners will vote with their feet. That's why many families, especially whites, originally fled decades ago to SM. And are now migrating south to Blue Valley. Not just for the "children", but for the resale value of their homes, even retirees.
So this week, SMSD got caught talking out of both sides of their mouths. On Wednesday, they failed their elected duties to protect the finances, by refusing to VETO the goofy "reverse TIF" for Meadowbrook, PV's free Recreational Welfare Rec Center. They walked away from over a million dollars of property taxes the next 20 years. Saying in essence, "We don't really need the money."
The very next day, their lawyers filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Kansas, claiming that the state funding formula has unfairly tied their hands, canceled important classes and increased class size. "We need millions more in money!"
Shawnee Mission honchos: you can't have it both ways. Either you're too rich to need the money, or you are broke. Chocolate or vanilla: choose.
Click to read PVPost and amicus brief
Hats off to Cindy Neighbor and Patty Mach on SMSD who at least TRIED to force a veto vote on the Recreational Welfare. But they must have read the tea leaves, or received a ration of crap calling them out, so when the Wed. 7:30am meeting bell rang, they'd been muzzled. Put in Time Out. Silenced. And I do mean silenced, since the public was not allowed to speak.
My question is, was KOMA violated? By whom and how often? How many secret conversations ensued in the last week? District Attorney Steve Howe would be inundated if he had to review all the emails and texts from elected officials from BOCC, Ed Eilert, Hannes Zaccharias, to the commissioners, Mayor Laura Wassmer (who was reportedly so gobsmacked at any hint of opposition to her free community center that her page boy came uncurled), the lawyers for the VanTrust car dealers who snagged the TIF, and then the SMSD staff and school board members.
My guess? Of course there were violations. Or else how would the district folks have known, walking into the meeting, that they HAD the votes to defeat the proposed veto? Unless they had secretly counted the votes in the back room and over their I-phone 6's??? (of course they have 'em. They gave tablets and laptops to every kid in the district this September. Trust me, these folks have Frequent Flier Miles at the Apple store.)
On second thought: I bet Superintendent Jim Hinson just discerned the vote using ESP! (The Ouija boards are hidden behind the librarian's desk at every Shawnee Mission SD library.)