Welcome to Love Notes From Nan
This series will consist of a collection of emails that were provided by the City of Parkville in response to a Sunshine request. The emails will feature Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston with the topic, in one way or another, related to The Landmark. The anti-Landmark emails, which went on for months, will show Nan using her taxpayer funded email account in an attempt to carry out an anti-Landmark agenda.
Nan, the evidence will show, did not like this newspaper’s factual reporting of the goings on with the city government at Parkville. The newspaper has done multiple stories on topics such as the lack of transparency at City Hall, campaign fundraising and reporting methods of Johnston during her re-election campaign in 2019, etc.
The first entry here sets the stage for things to come. It paints the setting for her anti-Landmark efforts, which eventually reach the level of Nan using her taxpayer funded position and taxpayer funded email account to contact Landmark advertisers, trying to convince them to stop doing business with this newspaper.
So we begin with one of the earliest emails where Nan, in an obvious temper tantrum (those will become a regular thing, you’ll notice as we proceed with this series) flies off the handle after being sent a harmless list of questions by Landmark reporter Debbie Coleman-Topi, who was working on a story about the proposed development known as Creekside.
Nan gets some facts incorrect in her response, and we’ll try to correct those as we go to give readers proper context. The first sign that Nan is upset is that she turns what was a simple fact-seeking email from a reporter to her and city administrator Joe Parente into a full blown event. When responding, Nan copies in the entire board of aldermen, Topi’s editor (that would be me), and–strangely–the three members of the Platte County Commission, who, to the newspaper’s knowledge, have nothing to do with the City of Parkville, other than Nan and first district county commissioner Dagmar Wood seem to be political cuddle buddies.
Here we go….
Monday, March 11, 2019 at 5:27 p.m.
From: Nan Johnston
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 5:27 PM
To: Debbie Topi; Joe Parente; Ivan Foley
Cc: Marc Sportsman – Personal Email; Robert Lock; Dave Rittman; Tina Welch- Personal Email; Philip Wassmer – Personal Email; Brian Whitley; Doug Wylie; Greg Plumb; Dagmar Wood; Ronald Schieber; John Elliott
Subject: RE: questions for article
You have not been interested in running fair and balanced articles in the past, one wonders why you are starting now. Almost none of what I tell you gets reported. For example, see attached just one out of numerous statements I have made to you in which fair and balanced was completely disregarded.
Instead of Mr Maki driving the story, why don’t you do some real investigative journalism instead of reporting only on his allegations?
The city has NOT sent Mr Maki a bill for $19,000 for sunshine requests.
Your reporting last week that I had ethics violations reported against me was blatantly unfair. I could have told you that Mr Maki filed false charges and the ethics commission did not conduct an investigation. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Despite Nan’s emotional claim, the charges weren’t false. The Missouri Ethics Commission–almost one year to the day after this email-found Nan guilty of four ethics violations and she plea bargained away three others). Instead – you went ahead and printed it without any kind of notice to me because it makes headlines and you and your editor have no interest in the truth. False – completely and utterly false (EDITOR’S NOTE: See previous editor’s note) – as in other false charges Mr Maki has made, and your “newspaper has reported. You would think with the expensive political strategist, Jeff Roe’s Axiom Strategies, that they could have pointed this fact out to Mr Maki before the false accusations (EDITOR’S NOTE: See the two previous editor’s notes) were made. Perhaps they did point out to him that he could make those assertions because they don’t have to be true when speaking about a public official. (EDITOR’S NOTE: See the three previous editor’s notes).
The advantages of the City using Property tax CID to pay for the land is that it ensures the taxpayers are reimbursed for the City’s investments made in the both the land and infrastructure improvements. This is what is FAIR to Parkville taxpayers. Only the owners of the property are paying the CID assessments, not the residents of Parkville.
Mr Maki can say all he wants about us stalling until after the election. The TIF commission recently heard an application for the development, and we certainly did not wait until after the election for it to come forward. When it is ready, it will come before the Board of Aldermen, regardless of where we are with the election cycle. As far as any other incentives, we haven’t approved any other than what has already been reported. Which will be misconstrued, I’m sure into we are doing secret deals. (Editor’s Note: Guilty conscience noted).
Several months ago, Mr Maki started his threats, at least one of which was reported by this newspaper, his threat of many sleepless nights ahead for me and the Board of Aldermen, and you have reported his contorted view ever since. WE are sleeping fine, Mr Maki, Ms Topi, and Mr Foley. Because despite your efforts to slander us, we are doing the right thing and refuse to be bullied. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure Nan has a grasp of the definition of slander. And the “sleepless nights” quote Nan refers to as a “threat” and attributes to Jason Maki was in fact not stated by Maki, nor was it stated by anyone associated with The Landmark).
Mr Maki and “Citizens for a Better Parkville” is a farce. Anyone who claims to love their community, does not begin by tearing it down. Get the facts. (EDITOR’S NOTE: You’ll notice as we get further into Love Notes From Nan that anyone asking questions of Parkville City Hall is accused of ‘tearing down’ or ‘not representing’ the community. How dare we question elected officials?)
From: Ivan Foley
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 7:09 PM
To: Mayor Nan Johnston, Debbie Topi, Joe Parente
CC: Alderman Marc Sportsman – Personal Email, Alderman Robert Lock, Alderman Dave Rittman, Alderman Tina Welch – Personal Email, Alderman Philip Wassmer – Personal Email, Alderman Brian Whitley, Alderman Doug Wylie, Alderman Greg Plumb, Dagmar Wood, Ron Schieber, John Elliott
Thank you for calmly and rationally sharing your opinions without a hint of emotion. Feel free to email me or call me with more anytime.
Platte County Landmark
252 Main St.
Platte City, MO 64079