Sunday, January 27, 2008

Leave it to Funkhouser!

This week on Leave it to Funkhouser….

Mike Burke and Tim Kristl decide to play a trick on their ol’ pal Funk. And why wouldn’t they?

-both were working the phones and Burke was keeping post in the Council’s chambers during Infamous Thursday.
-both are developer attorneys that supported Al Brooks.
-both are on the board of the Citizens Association (there was a draft “position paper” from the Citizens Association floating around City Hall regarding Cauthen.)
-both are self-anointed “Northland Leaders.”
-both just got snubbed by Funkhouser (Kristl didn’t get his $1 million subsidy for Liberty Memorial from the Parks Board and Burke didn’t get the GSA for his client, the Port Authority, which means his firm won’t get $$$ in legal fees).

And if that doesn’t make for good TV, how about the newspaper?

The Thursday (12/27) Falling Star editorial (“Council members must explain decisions”) states, “That’s causing some (Northland) leaders to worry that breakaway votes on important issues will cause the region to appear politically isolated from the rest of the city.” Really? Could these so-called “Northland leaders” be, perhaps, Burke and Kristl up to business-as-usual?

It’s not that the Falling Star needs any outside encouragement to support Cauthen from any pretend leaders, North or South….it is already on the bandwagon:

-Dave Helling put in a Sunshine request for the e-mails with LT’s porn and they were given to him on Tuesday, 12/18, but his story on it is “held” for 10 days until the Falling Star is scooped by Mahoney.
-Last I heard, diverting public funds for personal use is a FELONY in Missouri. So the Pitch writes the article on Travelgate, but nothing from the Falling Star? (Even worse, the Council says, “It’s OK that Wayne did it, we do it too!”)
-And oh, by the way, if anyone from the Falling Star is reading this, everyone at City Hall knows you got the dirt on MWH and CIMO and are censoring that story too.
Which brings us to this episode’s typical conclusion, Just who is pulling Eddie “Haskell” Ford’s strings? Could it be Pat Gray?

Gray has been hungry since Kay Barnes left office. I hear her campaign for Congress isn’t using him because the D.C. Democrats said, “Go ahead and use Gray but you won’t get a dime from us.” Is working out of your home not fun?)

Just who used Gray this last election? Seven of the Nasty Nine…that’s who: Ford, Jolly, Marcason, Riley, Curls, Sharp, & Gottstein.

“Gee Wally, that's swell!”

Thanks for joining us! Tune in next week for another episode of Leave it to Funkhouser!


My apologies, zzzz888, for the delay in posting this. Your email went to my spam folder and I just discovered it.

Did Wayne Cauthen Lie on his Resume?

Great post by Gone Mild

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vote NO on the ATA Tax

I don't know whether the ATA tax is a good idea or not but I am mad at the nine councilmembers who have stuck us with Cauthen. They stuck us with Cauthen because they were mad at Funkhouser and wanted to send him a message. Let's send them a message! City employees and their families and friends represent tens of thousands of votes. We can kill this and anything else the nine want.
Let's start the Blog campaign today! I'm starting my research -- send me your ideas on why this sales tax is something Kansas Citians should vote no on.

Moving On to CIMO

I know that this will a huge surprise to all you loyal Cauthen fans, but Cauthen is stalling on the CIMO audit. He needs a couple of more weeks to respond to the audit. Maybe he has been busy or maybe he learned a little from his experience before the Finance and Audit Committee this week.

I would hope that he needs that time to add up all of the money that went down the Denver toilet on this one and provide an honest report to the Council and public. My guess is that he needs the time to figure out how he can shift the responsibility and throw staff to the wolves again.

The Falling Star already got Cauthen's press release that everything is coming up roses for CIMO but the dirt is in the details. I wish someone would ask for an audit of the CIMO RFP.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Standing Up or Ducking

I can't figure out whether Hermann is showing courage by turning the RFP issue over to the Municipal Ethics Commission or ducking responsibility for handling the messiest part of the audit. I'm not sure that it matters and I do believe it was the right thing to do. I am hopeful that the Commission will decide to review all of the problems in the RFP Audit. My greatest dream is that in their review they will recognize how pervasive the corruption is within the whole system.

In the meantime, Riley appears close to a nervous breakdown. He has been ranting and raving through City Hall for nearly a month. Staff that has been threatened by him should report him to Security. Everyone who was thrown to the wolves by Cauthen during the Finance and Audit Committee meeting should seek "Whistle Blower" protection. Cauthen will attempt to make an example of those he sees as disloyal. He is furious that some staff members actually put things in writing. Cauthen doesn't believe in ever putting anything in writing, don't leave a trail.

Sad, that many employees are now worried about their jobs. Not because they did anything wrong but because they documented their activities. Activities directed by Cauthen.

Come on Municipal Ethics Commission! Riley, if your actions were innocent, I don't believe you have anything to worry about. Doth protest too much.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who is Mary Redmond?

Independent Lease Review, Inc. (ILR) is a company owned by Mary Redmond. This is from documents distributed at yesterday's Finance and Audit Committee meeting.

ILR was awarded sole source “no bid” $100,000.00 contract by City.
ILR asserts it was awarded this contract based on a 30 second presentation to the City Manager.
ILR executed a contract with the City that paid ILR 30% of the “Savings” it found for the City in reviewing leases that were proposed to the City.
ILR’s contract authorized one $25,000 advance.
ILR received a second $25,000 cash advance without a contract amendment.
City Manager directed Departments to utilize ILR.
ILR was given a City Lotus Notes e-mail address which showed Mary Redmond was in the City Manager’s Office as opposed to an independent contractor.
ILR’s contract was never properly executed by the City.
Finance Department rejected the ILR contract in August 2005 because it wasn’t executed by an authorized City person, deficient insurance waiver and needed original copy of the contract.
Finance Department’s rejection was 10 months after contract execution.
ILR was not authorized to do business in the State of Missouri at the time it executed the contract with the City.
ILR originally rejected the proposed contract amendments because Law Department recommended against increasing the hourly rate from $150 to $175 (16% increase) and ILR wanted to increase contingency fee compensation by 33%.
On 3/01/06 ILR claimed it was owed an additional $54,456.20.
On 3/21/06 ILR lowered its claim to $33,882.81.
The Law Department reviewed the “Savings” achieved by ILR.

Lot's of questionable stuff, problem is, I still don't know who Mary Redmond is? Cauthen sure didn't want to talk about it yesterday.

Here is ILR's webpage . Don't Let the Gotcha's Get You! appears to be their corporate motto. Ironic, don't you think?

Calling all TTKC fans!

Rumor is that LT landed at Trozzolo. Trozzolo is the communications outfit that Cauthen gave a HUGE no bid contract. Glorioso is at Trozzolo too.

My helpers have also told me that Cauthen managed to get her a very nice severence package. Anybody able to confirm this?

Some red wine with my crow, please.

Haleluhah! Check out this mornings Opinion page. For the first time, Cauthen gets slapped -- not hard but he ought to be stinging a little. I never thought that I would see the Falling Star mention Cauthen's name in anything but glowing terms.
White’s detailed audit exposed a problem and laid the responsibility where it belongs: on Cauthen’s doorstep. The city manager is responsible for making sure his staff establishes and follows clear guidelines to select contractors. The council ought to make sure he does just that.

I watched some of yesterday's Finance & Audit Committee meeting, couldn't get through it all. The committee meeting is 3 hours long! Johnson had some great comments on the budget process. That guy is starting to grow on me. I am going to try to get my hands on some of the documents today and will return.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Can't wait!

Everyone in City Hall was watching the Finance & Audit Committee meeting. I only got to catch pieces of it, I had a lot of work to catch up on. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get anyone to answer a phone or an e-mail. Later, many told me they were busy -- watching the Finance and Audit Committee meeting. So far, the reviews are good. Cauthen was sweating, not enough, but he was sweating. You will hear more from me after I have a chance to watch it. In the meantime enjoy this interesting post from someone who did watch it. Wonder if we have any microwave popcorn?

I was watching the Finance and Audit committee meeting today. I am wondering why Jan Marcason is so very weak. According to the latest "RFP Audit" city staff and one unnamed sitting council member MAY have interfered with the bidding process. Our poorly performing elected official wanted to get past the audit and "move forward" Huh?? Perfect Output was also on the hot seat. Their attorney Janet Blauvelt (SP?) was nearly in tears trying to distance her clients from this money mess. This very same attorney once ran for 4th district. Man we dodged that bullet.... only to be shot at by Marcason. Sure I can throw Gottstein in the mix, but she looks so mentally fragile I can't do it. At the Infrastructure committee Marcason again showed how ridiculous she is by saying that she would feel uneasy to sit on a proposal selection committee. She would not want her name ending up in an audit. What??? Dealing with contracts is the bulk of a council member's work. If you are uneasy doing your job then resign today. I do not think that the auditors report will be forwarded to the Missouri Ethic's Commission. I do not see a majority of the council having the sense to do so. This is not a hard decision to make. The auditors office is standing by it's work. It will take an average citizen to do the work of these weak kneed blathers. Meanwhile, we continue to try to build alliances with our surrounding cities. Why should they join us in anything regional when we refuse to clean up our messes?from PrimeBuzz

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again?

Interesting post here from Concerned Taxpayer. This info checks out with the Falling Star. In fact, this was so bad that the FBI requested reinforcements for the KC Corruption Squad! You can look it up their archives. I know, it stinks you have to pay for old articles. Apparently their reporters have to pay to access the archives too. Otherwise, I am sure Lynn Horsley would have done the appropriate research and reported on this important and newsworthy connection.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on meIn light of recent comments made about Perfect Output and ties to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City scandal in the mid nineties. I found my self intrigued, especially since I am in the document management biz and a KCMO taxpayer. Perfect output is owned by the infamous John Walker, who at one time was the #2 exec at BCBSKC. During Mr. Walkers stint at BCBSKC he was accused in a grand jury testimony of, well I will let former city councilmen Jeanne Robinson explain that one to you. Robinson comments:On Tuesday, Robinson provided extensive detail about how Anderson periodically handed her thousands of dollars in cash. Anderson, a public relations consultant, had been hired by Blue Cross to help the insurance company win the city's $60 million health insurance contract. Wednesday, defense attorney J.R. Hobbs asked Robinson about her grand jury testimony earlier this year. Hobbs asked: ``Did you say Elbert Anderson indicated to you that Blue Cross and Blue Shield knew he was paying you? '' Robinson answered: ``He let me know that Mr. (John) Walker would see that I would get paid. '' Walker was an executive vice president at Blue Cross who hired Anderson as a marketing consultant. Earlier testimony indicated that Blue Cross paid Anderson more than $290,000 in consulting fees between 1992 and 1994. ``I was in a meeting in Mr. Walker's office,'' Robinson said. ``At that time, Mr. Anderson let him (Walker) know there were some funds that I needed. He (Walker) said, 'Have Ms. (Michelle) Lathan give the invoice to Blue Cross and Blue Shield,' and he would take care of it. The conversation occurred in his office. '' Michelle Lathan was Anderson's top assistant and has pleaded guilty to bribing Robinson. Sited (The Kansas City Star, Page A1, Sept 18, 1997)Not only was he lying to you then but he is lying to you now. Ricoh is the #1 copier manufacture in the World. They have been the industry leader in Japan for years and are now sweeping across the US. I would be interested to know what services Perfect Output would employ that would cost the city 9 million more dollars or over 300% MORE THAN THE LOWEST BID! Copiers are Copiers they all basically do the same thing, take a picture of an image and print it out. My best guess is the extra services are going to be used to pad the pockets of councilmen, city officials, and Mr. Walker himself. Posted by: Concerner Taxpayer January 16, 2007 at 01:14 PM

KC faulted after probe of IRS tapes missing from City Hall
Alright, I just have to interrupt my rant about the latest audit to start a conversation about this gigantic management failure.

We have to hope and pray that these tapes were inadvertantly lost or destroyed. These tapes contain all of the information on your 1040 (ss #, children's names, income, etc.). If the information fell into the hands of criminals, Kansas Citians would be at a huge risk of being victims of identity theft. If you don't care about City Hall, maybe you do care that his ineptness has placed your personal information at risk and possibly into the hands of criminals.

This screw-up was absolutely predictable. Cauthen has blown up every department in City Hall. Finance has not had consistant leadership for four years. He has hired his Denver buddies, gotten rid of capable staff, and allowed the Finance Department to crumble. Remember, they didn't do monthly Financial reports, required by Charter (that's the law, duh!), for two years.

Before Cauthen chased out the last capable Finance Director in 04, Kansas City had a model security program and was recognized by the IRS several times for this achievement. The article states that the IRS is no longer sharing this information with KC. Someone needs to ask Cauthen how much revenue will be lost -- it is millions. KC no longer has the information needed to effectively enforce the e tax. Cauthen's inability to manage even the most basic functions of the organization is the root cause of this failure and ohhhhhhhh so many others.

True to form, Cauthen will throw someone to the wolves on this one. Who will be sacrificed?

Welcome to Wayne's World! You can't trust Cauthen with City Hall. You can't trust him with your personal information.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

City Manager Needs to Strengthen RFP Contracting Practices

Even the Falling Star isn't applauding this one. These are some very interesting excerpts (italics) and my questions and comments (bold).

The integrity of the Document Output Management and Mail Services RFP process can be questioned because of the actions of some members of the selection committee, some city staff, and an elected official. Who are they? Especially the elected official?

The current draft contract does not adequately protect the city’s interest, providing little leverage to control costs or ensure performance. Doesn't this describe CIMO perfectly?

The city should reject the current proposals for the Document Output Management and Mail Services RFP and begin again, with a new RFP and a new selection committee. Are we sure that this Manager and this Council are capable of a clean process? After watching the Finance Committee this morning, I doubt it.

We shared a draft of this report with the city manager and his staff on December 5, 2007. Why did it take Cauthen six weeks to respond?

We were unable to interview two members of the selection committees. An outside consultant on the committee would not participate in an oral interview and we declined to submit written questions for her response with the assistance of her attorney. The former director of the Information Technology Department agreed to be interviewed after-hours, but did not provide a time for the interview despite our request. Why did individuals avoid talking to the Auditor? Why did people find the need to retain attorneys?

The city manager asked that Perfect Output’s CEO develop an RFP to address document output management. Let me repeat this.

The city manager asked that Perfect Output’s CEO develop an RFP to address document output management. This is unbelievable. Cauthen asked one of the contractors bidding on the contract to write the RFP? Are any of us surprised that this same contractor was awarded the contract?

Half of the committee failed to attend all vendor presentations. Certainly understandable, the decision was already made by Cauthen.


The city’s best interests are not protected by the language in the draft contract.

The draft contract would commit the city to a five-year contract while Perfect Output of Kansas City, LLC, was set to dissolve December 31, 2007.

The draft document management contract does not provide the city with leverage or any other means to control costs.

The cost of mail operations contained in the draft contract for staff and a delivery van are higher than the city’s corresponding costs for fiscal year 2007.

The contract was modified from the city’s standard contract language to permit Perfect Output to obtain financing for equipment. Cauthen employing his buddies wouldn't be so hard to swallow if the citizens of Kansas City weren't getting screwed too. Perfect Output was already scheduled to dissolve on December 31st, 2007! BTW Perfect Output Kansas City LLC did dissolve, as scheduled.
Who is Michael Marcotte?

The City would've have been obligated to pay Perfect Output millions of dollars over five years and Perfect Output was not obligated to provide anything in return!

Staff, at the time, had proof that costs were currently less than being offered by Perfect Output. AND we were ignoring our contracting guidelines to assist them to get their financing.

I was not able to see all of the Finance Committee meeting but am real disappointed in the whole committee, especially Herman. She seemed to be trying to shut down Johnson who was asking some great questions.

Stay tuned for
Who is Mary Redmond?
Why is Jan Marcason offended?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Falling Star/Cauthen Conspiracy?

Has anyone else noticed that the moment there is any critical attention of Wayne Cauthen or the Manager's Office that all of sudden the Falling Star reveals or creates some bombshell that totally detracts attention away from Cauthen? It has been disgusting enough that they have absolutely refused to be critical of Cauthen for over four years while he has systematically dismantled the organization but it is really starting to look fishy.

A $20 million shortfall isn't a story? Cauthen's frequent temper tantrums aren't a story? The fact that most basic services are worse than they have ever been, isn't a story? Cauthen raising several thousand dollars for Al Brooks campaign isn't a story? Over $17 million to consultants (mostly Denver) with no accountability isn't a story? Cauthen's prior relationships with those same Denver consultants isn't a story? No bid contracts aren't a story? The collapse of the Purchasing Department isn't a story? How about Public Works? Cauthen's favorites receiving exorbitant raises (30%) isn't a story? LT absolutely escaping any discipline isn't a story? LT assigned by Cauthen as Acting isn't a story? The fact that audits have been held up for months by Cauthen isn't a story?

The next time there is any negative attention toward Cauthen, watch carefully for the Falling Star to come to his defense.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Whoa! What a week!

Sorry that I have been absent so long.

I had to remove a post about LT reigning as Acting. Someone sent in a comment that was inappropriate in my eyes. It named the "high level staff person" under investigation for child molestation. I thought I could just edit the comment but ended up deleting the whole thing. I am learning.

By now, all of City Hall knows who the person is. I still don't feel comfortable outing the person. Why? I think that is something that Wayne Cauthen would do and enjoy, if it suited his purposes or got him attention. The time will come if the person is charged for all of us, me included, to damn the lowlife but everyone has a right to due process, even those guilty of the worst crimes imaginable.

I have had comments come into this blog that this same person (the alledged child molester) who heads a very important division and is a direct report to Cauthen has numerous people working under them who have been found to frequent porn sites on City computers. Once again, nothing is happening. Of course since nothing happened to LT, I am not sure that anything can be done. City Hall can just be a free-for-all of pornography, sexist and racist jokes, political messages, and slandering of public officials. It is okay for Wayne's World.

Although I am not surprised, I am totally depressed that Cauthen didn't get the job in Austin. It truly will be Wayne's World now. Where are the audits? Someone sent in a comment that Buckler did get interim in Water. I guess the announcement was only sent to Water employees. Why? Look for Water to be CIMOized.

Get a load of Cauthen's resume for the job in Austin. It is such total bs. I can't stop laughing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

So Sad

Can it get any worse?

While Kansas City is in a titter over Funkhouser's prostate exam and Cauthen's career shenanigans, City Hall continues to rot.

Why is no one talking about the $4 billion combined sewer problem?

Why is no one asking what happened to the Perfect Output audit?

Why is no one asking what happened with the CIMO audit?

Why is there no follow up to the computer pornography mess? Does any one believe that it only involves one person?

Why is no one talking about the budget shortfalls? Kansas City is sliding toward bankruptcy very quickly.

What happened to the number two guy in Purchasing? What is going on with the Director?

Has there been an interim named for Water yet? Why not?

Don't we need a Finance Director?

Does no one notice that morale at City Hall has never been lower? Why did Cauthen ditch the Employee Satisfaction Survey?

I am not buying

“They did approach me,” said Cauthen, who has been city manager of Kansas City since April 2003. “I did not pursue them.”

He said the application deadline for the Austin job expired on Nov. 30 and he had not applied. But he said Austin officials then read press accounts about the contract uproar in Kansas City, and he was contacted about interviewing for the position.

Come on! Cauthen has been looking for a job for at least two years. Do you really think Austin is watching his every move with baited breath?

Ed Ford and his minions have been shown to be the fools they really are.

Are you buying it?

Worth Repeating #2

From Anonymous on January 3, 2008 at 10:56 p.m.

Good stuff at the NRFPB today. (GPS, if you're reading this, your site won't allow additional anonymous posts tonight.) ZZZZ8888's post was especially informative as well as GPS's Glorioso insights. I want to thank all the contributors at NRFPB and TTTKC for the enlightening content in your posts. With KC's public relying on 4 TV outlets and the Falling Star for local "news", we're typically only getting the low-hanging fruit of a story. And with Cauthen, we're mostly fed his carefully crafted "press releases" that are repackaged, verbatim, under a catchy headline with one of the Star's crack reporters taking credit. I think most of us in the public sector know intuitively that there are powerful players controlling the strings of many political figures as we watch from the sidelines. We can only guess at who their mostly anonymous allies are. I appreciate it when contributors share such information, giving us novices a glimpse into the real power behind the politicians. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Drop Dead Ed!

Ed Ford has now determined that he and his minions will limit Bill Skaggs' access to council meetings where the court action concerning Cauthen's contract is discussed. Skaggs is not suing his fellow councilmembers. He has challenged an ordinance that he believes is in violation of the charter. There shouldn't be any nitty gritty details. Wasn't Skaggs elected? How about the other three that voted against the ordinance to hire Cauthen, is Ed Ford keeping them out too? Ed and his brainless minions think they have taken over the City.

Who gets to know the nitty gritty details of the cost of the attorneys hired by Ed Ford? I understand that they want approval for over $100,000! Jack Campbell's firm (Shughart, Thompson) also has a conflict of interest that has to be waived by the council or he can't represent Ed Ford and his minions. It sure seems strange that Ed Ford and Cathy Jolly, attorneys, couldn't find any one to represent them pro bono. Maybe it is because they have no case. Skaggs didn't seem to have any trouble finding a highly reputable attorney, without a conflict of interest.