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JerryLHarper (Jerry Harper)

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Rock Chalk Park audit recommends city make final $1M payment, but finds accounting of project was incomplete

What is lost in all of this is the fact that the city could have built the exact same structure on its own land (including infrastructure) in the Free State area for less than $15-million - possibly less because it would have then followed normal bidding, accounting and auditing procedures. A good lesson going forward even if it was an expensive one ($7.5-million+)

February 26, 2015 at 4:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Paying the price

Municipal Court 'crimes' for the most part aren't exactly capital offenses. Mostly the real crime is either 'drunk and stupid' or 'traffic regulations don't apply to me.' A substantial number of those sent to jail are people who didn't pay their citations in a timely manner - sort of a debtors' prison. And it isn't a very effective collection tool, as noted in the editorial, Wouldn't make more sense to assess community service work in lieu of payment or put them under house arrest (with release to, during and from work) until fines are paid.

It would be a lot cheaper, it would free up a lot of jail cells, and we might not need a $30 million addition to the jail.

I believe the Municipal Court is actually a profit center for the city. If I read the city budget correctly, it appears to take in a lot more than it spends. It has experienced about a 300% growth in staff over the last 35 years while the city has only grown about 70%. Not certain what all those folks do or that it really needs doing.

February 17, 2015 at 4:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Mental health issue

Here is basic information on the KCUR program about what is being done in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties.

Kansas Program Offers Police Alternative To Jail For Mentally Ill
BY STEVE KRASKE ET AL – KCUR PODCAST 24 MINUTES – ORIGINALLY RAN 12-08-2014 -
Area police departments are looking for was to reduce the numbers of mentally ill and substance abusers ending up in jail. A new program in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties is helping to address this very issue.Rainbow Services, Inc. provides a way for law enforcement officers to bring people they encounter to resources that can help them. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with Randy Callstrom of Wyandot Inc and Captain Doug Parisi of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.
Guests:
• Captain Doug Parisi is the Crisis Intervention Team Liaison of the Kansas City, Ks Police Department.
• Randy Callstrom is the President/CEO of Wyandot, Inc., the parent company of Rainbow Services, Inc.
Learn More: You can reach RSI at 913-956-5620 or through its 24-hour crisis line 913-788-4200. There is also a Walk-in Crisis Clinic located at 1301 North 47th Street Kansas City, KS 66102 or 913-328-4600.

December 16, 2014 at 12:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Mental health issue

Here is information on the Wyandotte & Johnson County program.

Kansas Program Offers Police Alternative To Jail For Mentally Ill
BY STEVE KRASKE & ELIZA SPERTUS – KCUR PODCAST 24 MINUTES – ORIGINALLY RAN 12-08-2014 -
Area police departments are looking for was to reduce the numbers of mentally ill and substance abusers ending up in jail. A new program in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties is helping to address this very issue. Rainbow Services, Inc provides a way for law enforcement officers to bring people they encounter to resources that can help them. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Randy Callstrom of Wyandot Inc and Captain Doug Parisi of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.
Guests:
• Captain Doug Parisi is the Crisis Intervention Team Liaison of the Kansas City, Ks Police Department.
• Randy Callstrom is the President/CEO of Wyandot, Inc., the parent company of Rainbow Services, Inc.
Learn More: You can reach RSI at 913-956-5620 or through its 24-hour crisis line 913-788-4200. There is also a Walk-in Crisis Clinic located at 1301 North 47th Street Kansas City, KS 66102 or 913-328-4600.

December 16, 2014 at 12:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Mental health issue

The County should also look at the program in Wyandotte County. Somehow it has managed to get a substantial amount of money from the state in order to provide non-jail alternatives. KCUR did a lengthy discussion of the program on one of its morning programs recently.

December 15, 2014 at 11:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City manager offers apology on Rock Chalk matter; commissioners suggest audit

I'm not nearly so charitable as you. Both Farmer and Rirodan came on the commission before this thing was set in concrete (nice pun), but raised not one objection. They both drank the Kool Aid. Neither one of them has demonstrated a willingness to do the homework required to make important decisions.

December 11, 2014 at 11:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

County receives briefing on mechanism to fund jail expansion

The primary reason to create a Public Building Commission is to keep the public from voting on capital projects such as a $30-million addition to the jail and the substantial tax increase that will be needed to pay for it. It is just that simple.

Although the statute provides for a protest petition in order to force a vote, petitioners only have 30 days from the creation of the public building commission in which to gather signatures equal to 5% of the voters in the last election. That is an almost impossible task.

This is yet another reason for a comprehensive study of law enforcement before spending $30 million for a police headquarters, $30 million for a jail to house the mentally ill, and another several million for increased personnel. Before long you are talking about real money.

There are lots of ways to reduce these costs, but that requires a little thought and a lot of cooperation among governmental units that seem to enjoy petty feuding with each other more than working together.

December 10, 2014 at 10:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

UNC academic fraud can't happen at KU, some regents say

Of course it can't happen here. Didn't Charlie Weiss' first football team at KU have a 'B' average?

November 23, 2014 at 9:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawhorn's Lawrence: Liberty Memorial Central Middle School

When my son and daughter attended "Central Junior High," as it was known then, there were several Birger Sandzen paintings prominently displayed. In addition to being wonderful paintings by the Lindsborg artist, and having adding to the uniqueness of the school, they have appreciated a great deal in value over time. A few years ago the School District proposed to sell 2 Sandzen paintings and, if memory serves me correctly, indicated that to be the extent of their holdings. I've always wondered what happened to the rest of the paintings?

November 16, 2014 at 4:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Final bill for Rock Chalk Park infrastructure comes due; city to pay more than 90 percent of total

Had the Sports Pavillion been built on the land already owned by the city near Free State (with infrastructure costs included), the bill would have been about $14 million - a savings of $8.5 million. Better location, better price. That's what happens when neither the city staff nor the commission do the jobs for which they are hired and elected. Making gut-level decisions and then searching frantically for facts to support them is not due diligence.

November 15, 2014 at 7:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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