Happy fall, everybody.
October, the month that brings my favorite weather of the year, begins next week.
Let’s get this.
Another week, another lack of Sunshine situation at the City of Parkville.
Now it has come to light that the city did not follow the usual public notice posting for a meeting of aldermen ‘workshop’ held on Aug. 16. Notice was not placed on the city’s web site as is the normal practice but instead notice was only placed on a window at City Hall and at the site of the meeting, Platte Valley Bank.
I can’t even write about this without laughing. What is going on inside the minds of these folks? Certainly not open and transparent government.
Keep in mind the city is–and was at the time of the Aug. 16 shenanigans described above–already under investigation by the Missouri Attorney General for alleged Sunshine Law violations concerning public records.
Joe Parente, city administrator for Parkville who has a checkered past at a previous employer concerning the handling of public records (Google his name), confirmed the notice of meeting was not listed on the city’s website and instead was only posted at City Hall and at the bank because “it’s what the city has chosen to do.”
As the kids say these days, LOL. The chuckles are keeping me from mustering the concentration to even analyze this in a serious light. I guess all we need to know is “it’s what the city has chosen to do.”
Anyway, the group whose complaints to the attorney general prompted the state investigation has contacted the attorney general again with new information about the city’s attempt to hide the August workshop meeting from the public. So the plot thickens.
You can read the story on our front page for reaction from the citizens group and from the attorney for that group.
Oh Nan, Nan, wherefore art thou, Nan?
Meanwhile, Nan Johnston, the normally very outspoken, occasionally sarcastic and often quick-tempered mayor of Parkville who had staff tell The Landmark to end our decades-long practice of dropping complimentary copies of the newspaper at City Hall each week, continues to be hard to find. As we detailed here last week, she skipped out of three recent public appearances that she would normally be expected to attend–including the most recent meeting of the board of aldermen. Still getting reports that some Kansas City television media folks are looking for her.
In addition to the attorney general’s investigation of the city for alleged Sunshine Law violations, Johnston’s campaign committee is under investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission for allegedly accepting illegal corporate contributions and for suspicious reporting activity.
Johnston’s whereabouts are becoming fodder for some residents at Parkville. So much so that a Top 10 List of “Reasons Nan Johnston Hasn’t Been Seen” is circulating. I won’t list them all here but will give you a few.
A few of the Top 10 Reasons Nan Johnston Hasn’t Been Seen:
- Last seen driving heading out of the area with a truckload of Landmark newspapers.
- In hiding after hiring a hit man on Ivan Foley.
- Attending an economic summit with Kathy Dusenbery, sponsored by The Squad, on how to tax everyone to death.
- Maxed out city’s credit card at economic summit, thumbing her way home.
- Taking an anger management course with Alderman Marc Sportsman.
- Hired by NBC to write the next sarcastic episode of Saturday Night Live.
- Locked herself in her office at City Hall, shredding documents.
Interesting letter to the editor at right from Kirby Holden. Holden reveals that he had meetings with the state auditor’s office concerning some activity with finances at Platte County R-3. Holden points out he was told by the state auditor’s office that other patrons within the district had called the state auditor with concerns, as well. “I was told (by the state auditor’s office) during that meeting that several things probably needed to be looked at within the R-3 district.” He says he was told that by two key people within the state auditor’s office on two separate occasions.
No audit of R-3 has been performed. The auditor’s office prefers that a petition process be used to force an audit, even though the state auditor’s office does have the power to audit a school district without a petition.
Speaking of Platte County R-3, you may be wondering about our request for a copy of the “separation agreement” reached between the district and the mad tweeter Dr. Chad Searcey. You’ll recall our story announcing that $275,000 of your tax dollars are being paid to Searcey mentioned we had put in a Sunshine request for a copy of the separation agreement. R-3 is declining to provide a copy, which seems strange because we’ve acquired separation agreements from other school districts in the past without the least bit of pushback.
“The separation agreement with Dr. Searcey is considered a closed personnel record pursuant to Missouri Statute 610.021(3),” the school district says in a letter sent to me dated Sept. 5.
There are attorneys who disagree with R-3’s legal interpretation on this matter. So that’s where we are.
(Stay up to date on all this and more by following Foley on Twitter @ivanfoley and hit like on Platte County Landmark on Facebook. Email email@example.com)