Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya….
Posted: 16 January 2014 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

Well, a couple hundred Manhattanites will head out for Overland Park tomorrow.  The puppets and robots migrate there, each January, so their strings and controls can be recharged by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.  Thousands of dollars of tax money will be spent in travel, meals, and lodging.  Thousands of dollars earned in Manhattan will be spent in Johnson County stores… all blessed by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.  They go there to pay homage to those who control Manhattan’s social and economic structure.  It’s amazing how people elected by the voters and taxpayers of Manhattan are lead by the nose, with no consideration for that constituency.  It seems far more important to have one’s ego stroked, as they are wined and dined in Kansas City, than to insist the Chamber show allegience to our own community.  Neither School Board, County Commission, or City Commission have the spine to demand the use of tax dollars for this event be cut off.  Not one of those elected bodies will insist the staff that report to them refrain from spending tax dollars attending this event.  And, the very entitey that receives well over $1 million in tax dollars to promote Manhattan sponsors this event that promotes taking Manhattan dollars to Johnson County.

To you couple hundred headed east, travel safely.  Sleep well in Kansas City, knowing your trek is a slap in the face to those paying your salaries and providing the expense accounts you utilize this weekend.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2014 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

Larry:  I agree.  Every member of the Commission should refuse to attend simply because the meeting is in Overland Park.  How can the Chamber look in the mirror and still claim they are pushing for tourism and conventions in Manhattan when they book their own event, year after year in Kansas City?  The event should be local.  That would eliminate hotel cost and go a long way in elimination of the comments about Shadow Government.  The 2014 Leaders Regional Retreat this weekend is billed as a Joint Chamber event for Junction City, Manhattan and Wamego; the goal is promoting regionalism for the Flint Hills.  The two day event is hosted in Overland Park Kansas.  It is a nice social event, that will focus on figuring out ways to funnel tax dollars to special interest group projects.  This year the city will send four City Commissioners, Matta, McCulloh, Reddi and Jankovich plus seven city Staff members.  Total cost in city tax dollars will be approximately $2900.  I bet the city has a long list of projects that could better use that 2900 bucks.  The City Manager and four of the Commissioners all believe that the networking and social interaction of this event is more important than saving the travel dollars.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2014 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

Have a good friend who retired, about 3 years ago, after a 30+ year career in public administration.  He told me, “No City Manager should remain at a single municipality more than 5 years.  Longer than that, they become too ‘comfortable’ and can no longer make unbiased decisions.  The Administrator must make the decision to leave, from his/her own conscience.  Local political heavyweights won’t usher him/her out.  It takes too much effort to train the next to do their bidding.”  I still regard him as a wise man.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2014 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

I guess the advice is term limits for the City Manager. Interesting concept, maybe eight years, like the President is in order.  Though the question is would it make things better or worse?  The Manager works for the Commission and they have the ability to hire or not re-hire.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2014 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  797
Joined  2012-10-10

“The Manager works for the Commission…”  Not in Manhattan.  Maybe by ordinance or resolution.  Not in reality.  The Commission does the bidding of the Chamber.  Hence, this Commission… as with past commissions… will do nothing without the blessing of and at the direction of the Chamber.  If the Chamber told the commissioners that the City Manager needs to go down the road… justification would be found and he would be history.  If a majority of the commission felt it was time for a change, and the Chamber was happy with the staus quo at City Hall, you could bet there would be some puppet strings pulled to make things happen to favor the Chamber.

Past commissioners and members of the public have not referred to the Chamber as the “shadow government” for any reason other than how things happen in Manhattan.  As you have pointed out, Wynn, if the Chamber did not have such power over the City Commission you would not see 4 of the 5 spending… and allowing to be spent by City staff… thousands of tax dollars to attend the brown-nosing session in Kansas City.  The entire concept of spending tax dollars for all these folks to go to Kansas City reeks of dragging elected officials and government employees to a back-room meeting in a far away location so apron strings can be tightened.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2014 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

The Manager does work for the Commission – legally and procedurally.  So it is possible for the Commission to take action if they desire.  More a matter of will as opposed to lack of power. 

I still tend to be a bit more optimistic on the Conference and the Chamber.  I have some criticism, but do not believe the Chamber is some evil entity or that we actually have a full blown behind the scenes puppet master government.  The inference and appearance of the “Shadow Government” is clearly evident.  How much actual influence is wielded is another issue.  I know some is present.  When folks file to run for office the Leaders Conference is billed as a “coming out party” and candidates are advised that if they do not attend they will have a tough time getting elected.  That inference on electability has not however been true in all cases.  The four Commissioners in attendance today believe; as many leadership gurus state; that networking is important, relationship building is vital and that functions like the conference in Overland Park are beneficial.  I believe the staff and Commissioners in attendance are well intentioned.  I also believe that the gains of the conference can be obtained by having it in the local area.  I also think it is time to get real on the specifics of debt reduction.  All of the Commissioners voted for a zero mil levy last year.  Everyone seems to be on board with the general idea of reduction of the debt.  But the rub is that some members of the Commission will fence certain expenditures – those are hands off, including travel funds.  I believe everything must be evaluated.  Some stuff is easy, like travel.  This conference should not be attended – it saves $2900 bucks for better priority items.  The CVB is concerned about metrics on how to measure success. The conference in Overland Park is a metric that measures failure of their primary mission.  Simply have the conference in town, save the money, get the networking gains and achieve the CVB mission.

Profile
 
 
   
 

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502

Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without written consent.