ShawneeFWIW (Tony Lauer)


Comment history

Shawnee retail developer asking for $12 million in tax incentives

I believe the following line in your article is misleading - "The project developer, SMPW Fund I LLC, is proposing a $49.35 million shopping center on 26 acres near the intersection, according to the staff report."

That would imply that the value of the proposed shopping center will be $49.35 million, which is over $20 million off the mark. Your info from the staff report noted the project budget, and not the project value.

According to page 5 of the developer's application, "The total estimated market value of the project upon completion is $27,865,000."

November 18, 2014 at 5:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence Journal-World to move printing to Kansas City Star in January

How will this move affect the quality, or lack thereof, of distribution to Shawnee residents? Delivery to many Shawnee residents is inconsistent or incomplete.

With Shawnee city and local school district coverage nearly absent, and resources continuing to dwindle or divert else where, will you begin keeping us informed of important issues? Will you start keeping track of what's going on in city council and school board meetings? Will you show up?

Sometime last year, I suggested inclusion of state legislative stories that also affect us here in Shawnee. Unfortunately, all the new 'copy and paste' content has extended well beyond relevant information. It's gone too far.

I'm told we should be thankful for what we have. With local family owned newspapers going the way of corporate ownership, that is beholden to shareholders, we do appreciate having The Shawnee Dispatch as a local paper. I just want you to start showing up.

October 19, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

How many Shawnee City Council meetings have you attended in the past year?

Where's the option for season ticket holder? :)

August 7, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Wide salary gap found among area cities

Thanks for including additional details as well as some supporting data.

Rough population:
Baldwin City - 4,515
Basehor - 4,613
Bonner Springs - 7,346
Tonganoxie - 5,065
Shawnee - 63,219

It's an interesting contrast for the chosen cities, if we're talking about law enforcement, but the article pushes too far outside of that. I feel like Shawnee was wedged in here.

With no disrespect to other municipalities, I agree with Ms. Gonzales. It's simply "silly" to compare Shawnee to Baldwin City, Basehor, Bonner, & Tonganoxie overall. You're comparing a watermelon to apples.

I believe I see the newspaper issue here, in that you're leveraging your resources to share across multiple publications. But to Shawnee Dispatch readers, I'd think that there are far more relevant and appropriate cities to read about.

September 16, 2012 at 9:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Council votes to restore detailed meeting minutes

I want the detailed minutes back, and it's worth twice the amount estimated, but this is way too expensive. Before getting to that point of my presentation, I was cut off. I assumed that I'd get a couple extra minutes since Gonzales interupted me so she could defend the staff confusion of various minutes formats.

According to our old detailed minutes, and most historic and recent staff reports of the last few weeks, the Governing Body approved "summary minutes". Unfortunately, we're getting FAR less than that. Not only did we get a downgrade to "action only" minutes, what we're getting is LESS than action minutes. It's impossible to read the minutes and know what action took place. Honestly though, I can see why Gonzales was defensive here.

But here's the point I wanted to conclude with:

For the past few years, we've had about 75 total hours of meetings annually, excluding Parks & Rec meetings. Some quick division and that's not very many hours per month.

These minutes are important, so we've been researching the issue and collecting data ourselves. In fact it's so important, that we've already begun having the undetailed minutes transcribed from the existing system.

The highest rate entertained was a professional small business transcriber in JoCo who would come sit at the meetings to type for $90 per audio hour. The price we've paid to a Shawnee stay-at-home mom was $30 per audio hour. Why is the City of Shawnee estimate so expensive?

Curiously, those Parks & Rec meetings still have detailed minutes. While the meetings are less frequent and often brief, the price paid is only $150 per meeting. They use the same transcriber (Terrell Transcription) that used to provide our other detailed minutes. (See the most recent full copy of the City of Shawnee check register posted at

Based on the prices estimated by staff, we have some very high expectations for meeting conduct and transparency, for more than just the detailed meeting minutes.


September 12, 2012 at 9:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Open government has become contentious city issue

Wow. I'm okay with the City calling out me out. And I'd bet Ray is used to it, and might even enjoy it. But for Mayor Meyers to reference Mrs. Hargis in the tone that I perceive, is truly shameful. I hope I'm wrong on how I read that. Not cool dude.

August 8, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

DA’s office investigating alleged open meetings violation

I just noticed an error in my text above. According to the AG, "Majority is one more than one-half of the membership. When counting the number of members, vacant positions must be counted as well." The magic number appears to be 5 for us to satisfy the meeting definition for KOMA. My apologies for the error.

August 1, 2012 at 10:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

DA’s office investigating alleged open meetings violation

I have reached out to the Shawnee Dispatch to see if there is a way to remove the "(anonymous)" next to my username. It does not appear that there is any user level ability to add my real name, Tony Lauer. As the subject of the discussion is open-ness, I'd like to be OPEN about who I am.

Additionally, my logs show additional text added to the story, likely to clarify or provide additional information regarding the ammendment to KOMA in 2008. Yes, HOUSE BILL No. 2947 did amend KOMA, KSA 75-4317a to state "a majority of the membership of the body" is a meeting for purposes of triggering KOMA.

While Mayor Meyers has reportedly said that he talked to "two, maybe three" members. The critical math is the sum of all members involved in the serial communication. That number, in my opinion, needs to be greater than 5. So the question becomes, how many people did the "two, maybe three" speak to?

I'd also like to present my uneducated position that conflicts with what Mr. Howe has reportedly stated. According to my understanding of the following text from the Attorney General, "Action to void must be filed within 21 days of the alleged violation/meeting". Some may find this math curious. The number of days between the OPEN public meeting, and the date that I submitted the letter of violation, was 21. My opinion is that any potential illegal meeting cannot be "voidable by the courts", as the math is likely greater than 21. I will obviously yield to Mr. Howe on this particular point, for what it's worth.

Tony Lauer (ShawneeFWIW)
Shawnee, Kansas

August 1, 2012 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

DA’s office investigating alleged open meetings violation

For what it's worth, I've posted a portion of my letter to Mr. Howe, referenced above, at:

July 31, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )