Posts Tagged ‘board of trustees’

Kaw and Border: Dewey, Cheatem, and (Steve) Howe?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Kaw and Border:

In fact, according to today’s article in the Star by Jim Sullinger, the board’s attorney, Mark Ferguson, told the board in March that no violation occurred because the budget reduction list was presented to the board during an evaluation of Calaway.

Is this seriously their new defense?…

Steve Howe by all accounts is doing a good job. But, he is a politician like the rest of them and he was elected on a coalition that included some of these country club types that permeate the board. One can only guess that these folks would simply like this issue to go away, and for Howe to, in his opinion, rule that no violation occurred, vindicating their secret meetings and as such, their post-offense ridiculous exchanges with Hodge. To put it simply, they are assuredly all hoping D.A. Howe squashes that annoying wasp once and for all.

Of course, not all feel that way and that includes this blog. Even if the original violation was minor, there is no doubt, if the Kansas Open Meetings Act is to have any validity, that the JCCC Board of Trustees, by presenting budget information in an executive session, and by coordinating efforts in private in a letter to the Star, violated that law — both in word and in spirit.

As noted earlier, what’s the entire point of having such a law if BUDGET discussions are going to be held in private?

For Lynn Mitchelson and Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, the cover-up is worse than the crime

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Johnson County Community College elected leaders Lynn Mitchelson (Mission Woods) and Shirley Brown-VanArsdale (Gardner) broke the law.  That’s not merely the opinion of the taxpayers who have followed recent events at JCCC — that’s according to JCCC attorney Mark Ferguson.  In an Email sent late December 2008 to the entire board and JCCC President Terry Calaway, Ferguson confirmed that four board members — Lynn Mitchelson, Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, Jon Stewart, and Don Weiss — had violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA, for short) by agreeing in private to the contents of a letter to the editor that was published in The Kansas City Star on December 10, 2008.  The letter’s topic was whether JCCC would be increasing the property tax mill levy.  The letter was political in nature, and it discussed college business, and it therefore fell under the guidelines of KOMA.

In an effort of good will, Hodge in December chose not to make public the embarrassing fact of the ignorance of Mitchelson and Brown-VanArsdale toward Kansas laws.

Lynn Mitchelson

Shirley Brown-VanArsdale

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Letter from Star to JCCC on open meetings law

Friday, March 13th, 2009

At RedCounty.com, Benjamin Hodge provides an update on the open meetings issue at JCCC.  President Terry Calaway is keeping the story in the news by unapologetically and repeatedly reminding the county’s voters that he doesn’t support a strict interpretation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

Attached is a picture of the letter faxed to JCCC from The Kansas City Star, in which The Star made it clear that it thought the college had broken the law.

Go to the Red County site to read the text of the letter.