Posts Tagged ‘Liberty Missouri’

Maybe the only bright spot that came out of the Clay County Caucus was that I got to meet Dan Krueger, candidate for Liberty School Board. As you may remember, I endorsed Charlene Armitage and David Evans for school board in a recent post here. It was nice to see Mr. Krueger at the Caucus because I was happy to find out that he is a conservative.

I want to make a public apology here to Mr. Krueger. I did not do the depth of research that I should have done for my endorsements this time around. This blog and my political pursuits is a hobby, and a way that I try and give to my community. With so many people clueless on topics and issues that matter, and an absolutely laughable excuse of a newspaper here in Liberty (trust me, I just got my first issue since I subscribed, LOL! what a joke), I figure this is my way to do something that matters. You have only so much time in life, and I didn’t invest as much time as I should on candidate research for this election.

So, where am I at with regards to my endorsement? At this point, I would say we have three quality candidates for Liberty School Board and two candidates that you shouldn’t vote for. The three candidates that belong on our board are Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. I am no longer openly stating who I am voting for in this election. It will be two of those top three. I’ll let you decide what you think is best.

Mr. Krueger and I spoke for about an hour last Wednesday night. I found Mr. Krueger intelligent, qualified for the job, and definitely willing to learn. I ask him to outline what he thought were the three largest challenges facing Liberty School District.

1) He believes the district is facing unique challenges as we head into the future. The Liberty School District performs well academically and being able to maintain all of the options the districts offers kids is going to be tough. He feels that the district does not focus enough on the higher academic learners while focusing too much on the bottom.

In the course of his discussion on this issue he mentioned his distaste towards No Child Left Behind (NCLB). I was happy to hear him say that. NCLB has been an epic failure, and it was one of the worst legislative “accomplishments” of the Bush administration. (Legislative accomplishments and George Bush in the same sentence is pretty funny, but that’s another blog post.) He seemed to sympathize with the position that the federal government has absolutely no role in your child’s education. We both agreed that there is little that can be done by the local administration. Until we start sending people to Washington, D.C. that agrees with this position our hands are effectively tied.

2) He still feels that there is a large issue of trust with the district. Some of it is a left-over feeling from the financial disaster that was the former administration. He also felt that the board’s actions in seeking a levy that included $4 million dollars for a football stadium in the current economic environment was harmful. I second that sentiment. Personally, I think it borders on being out of touch with reality. Mr. Krueger made an excellent point. When you run around saying the sky is falling because of students going to classes in trailers and then you ask for a football stadium, you seem to be a little out of touch.

The more I think back on that levy; the more frustrated with it I get. I still don’t regret my support of it, I think the needs outweighed the stupid decision to ask for the stadium. You pay attention to public education long enough, and you learn that poor decisions are not in short supply. Frankly, I don’t want to hear your sob story about the poor football program and the concern that the kids would not have a place to play. I’m almost to the point that we ought to shut-down our high school sports programs until the economy turns around. Maybe at that point you might wake up the zombies (average Americans) that think this time is not any different than in the past. I believe the district would have passed that levy with flying colors without that stadium on it.

Mr. Krueger also believes that there is a lack of trust among teachers toward the administration. Now, his sample size was small, but the fact that that sentiment is out there should alarm the board and administration. Oh, guess what the teachers are frustrated with? They didn’t like the fact that the board asked for the stadium in the levy and seemed to not put the emphasis on more important things.

3) The third challenge that Mr. Krueger felt the district was facing was how to grow intelligently. That’s definitely a concern of mine as well.

Mr. Krueger explained to me what he does in his career. He definitely brings some skills to the table that would benefit the board.

One concern I had was the fact that Mr. Krueger had little knowledge of Common Core State Standards. This is a huge deal right now in education. The shift from the Missouri Grade Level Expectations to the national standards will dominate the next couple years. While I no doubt that Mr. Krueger will do his research if elected, I was a little surprised he didn’t know more about it. To be fair, I can’t speak to Mr. Evans’ knowledge of the standards. I do know Ms. Armitage spoke of them at the school forum.

As stated above, the decision is yours, I’m no longer trying to sway you one way or another with the exception that your vote should go for one of the three following candidates-Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. Make sure you get out and vote on April 3rd. After all, only 10% of us will so your vote definitely matters.

 

Ah, Clay County politics, it is always so entertaining. Thankfully we have an exceptional newspaper like the Liberty Tribune to keep you informed, err….wait…. Anyway, I have some information on the Republican Clay County Assessor’s race.

A Meandering’s tipster tells me that Phil Wilson may be friends with Vic Hurlbert and Pam Mason. As usual Pam and Vic need to have some pawn in the game, so this is probably the case and the reason he is in the race. (Word is Vic thinks he is a Clay County political kingmaker.) Supposedly, Wilson once tried to be appointed to county office as a Democrat. He also has some ties to current Assessor and sexual harassment lawsuit extraordinaire Cathy Rinehart.

Don Jobe is actually Cathy Rinehart’s ex-husband. There is an odd history here, supposedly Rinehart in the recent past hired him as her Chief Appraiser so that he could keep contribute to their son’s college education. At some point the son either left college or graduated, the dad stopped paying child support, and then Ms. Rinehart fired him. In an attempt to prevent a lawsuit he was given a job with the county in the facilities management department. Now as bad as this all sounds, I have been told that Mr. Jobe is a good candidate and is a competent appraiser. My point here is more directed at Ms. Rinehart, not Mr. Jobe. Ms. Rinehart sure is an attorney’s dream!

Finally, the third candidate is Jesse Leimkuehler. I spoke with Mr. Leimkuehler a couple of weeks ago. I was very much impressed with him, and relieved that he appears to be sane and in the race for the right reasons. Here is an email that he sent to me.

My name is Jesse Leimkuehler.  I’m 37 years old and I’m a lifetime resident of the KC metro area.  As you correctly cited, I have filed as a candidate for Clay County Assessor on the Republican side of the ticket.  I would note that I have been a regular follower of your blog and noticed some ‘issues’ with our county office holders.  I see the same names and same issues coming up time and time again in our local media reports and always thought to myself, “There has to be some better options than that.”

I carry two bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Accounting from William Jewell College along with a Masters Degree in Accounting Information Systems.  I worked for Sprint and the US Dept. of Agriculture for 12 years in various IT roles.  Over the past two years, I have turned my attention locally.  I quit my job as a IT professional to turn my attention to assisting my family in what I believe is the most important project that is and will be undertaken in Liberty over the next 10 years.  We have transformed what most Clay County residents know as ‘The Odd Fellows Home’ into Belvoir Winery, a winery and event location that our Liberty and Clay County residents can be proud of as a regional treasure.  We have seen local and regional visitors flock to our site with a sense of pride about their city/county.

We have created two full time positions and several seasonal/part-time positions to boost the local economy when most business are cutting employees and reducing payroll.  I have worked with local and county leaders extensively to not only boost our own business, but also boost local and regional business through networking and references.  We have increased the demand for local industries such as caterers, florist, photographers, and wedding planners along with some secondary retail effects.  We allow not-for-profit groups to use our facilities at no charge on weekdays, allowing them to hold their event at a local facility and maximize their fundraising dollars to boost the local community.  I believe it’s the responsibility of all citizens and businesses to find ways to help others within their community in some way.

I now turn my attention to what I believe is a severely neglected asset in our community: our county government.  There are far too many candidates/incumbents that do not serve the best interests of our county.  They collect the full-time paychecks from the taxpayers while only working part-time hours.  They neglect their leadership responsibilities within their office, which has cost the taxpayers literally millions of dollars in certain cases.  They ride the coat tails of name recognition rather than proving their worth as an officer of the general public.

I’m part of a growing movement within the county to enact real improvement within our local government.  I’m not promising the world, but I am promising that I will provide stable leadership within our county office that our residents can be proud to see.  People ask me why I’d want to involve myself in the cesspool of local politics.  To that, I respond that I’m not involving myself in the cesspool at all.  Rather, I’m looking to clean up that cesspool and bring our local government back to the high level that should be expected.  This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue.  This is about putting someone in the office who can effectively provide leadership in a situation that currently lacks that leadership.

From the Clay County Republican website:

On March 17th, the Clay County Republican Central Committee will hold the 2012 Clay County Missouri Republican Caucus.  The purpose of the Caucus is to elect Republican Delegates and Alternates to the Republican Fifth and Sixth Congressional District Conventions, and the Republican Missouri State Convention.  These delegates will represent Clay County’s choice for Presidential Nominee and Republican Party platform submissions at both conventions.  All Republicans are invited to attend.

The Caucus will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 17th, 2012, at the John Gano Memorial Chapel at William Jewell College.  William Jewell is located at 500 College Hill, Liberty, Missouri.  Signs will direct you to Gano Chapel.  Registration will begin at 8:30 AM.  Doors will close at 10:00 AM, and no registration is allowed after voting begins.  Active participants must be current registered voters in Clay County and must certify that they are Republicans.  Please bring your voter identification card and photo I.D. to expedite registration.