Posts Tagged ‘Lydia McEvoy’

I figure it’s only appropriate that Pitch’s 2014 Blogger of the Year share his thoughts on next Tuesday’s election.

Here is a copy of the ballot for all of Clay County. I will be sharing how I will vote on the races and issues I can vote on. As usual, I’m sure this post will further annoy some local politicos and confuse others. I don’t like boxes and shall not be placed in one.

State Auditor:

I find this race interesting. There’s no Democrat. I am not a fan of Tom Schweich. I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from him before the 2010 election at a Clay County Pachyderm meeting. He was rude, arrogant, and I think he thought he was just going to push me around. I stood my ground, he didn’t like it, and I didn’t like him. I still can’t forgive him for donating to Claire McCaskill many years ago. His excuse to me, that’s just the way things worked in the lawyers office he worked for… Oh… Huh?  I’m voting for Sean O’Toole, the Libertarian candidate. Is Schweich competent, no doubt, but Schweich is also as establishment as they come. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my reasoning here, but that’s where I am at on this one.

US House 6th District

While I voted against Congressman Graves in the primary, I have no doubt he is a better choice than the other two candidates in the race. I believe it is important to hold the house. While I’m not super excited to do it, I have no problem voting for Congressman Graves in this race.

Clay County Presiding Commissioner

I will be voting for Jerry Nolte. I have known Jerry for sometime, and I find him to be a great person. As you know if you are a regular visitor here, I loudly supported him in the Republican primary. I know he will make a far better Commissioner than who is currently in office.

Jay Swearingen and I have a mutual friend. Everything this friend had told me about him had me optimistic that we would have had a different race. Swearingen’s campaign is best described as the “I’m not Jerry Nolte” campaign which really makes little sense. His website has no information about a vision for the county or anything that he will do as commissioner. One thing Swearingen wants you to know is that he will show up to vote. Ok… great!

My one frustration with this race is that there will be no end to “Economic Development Councils” with either race. I find these things to be a complete waste of money and not the role of government. I don’t look to my government to create jobs., Government’s purpose is to create a positive environment for jobs to be created within.

County Clerk

I won’t be voting for either candidate. This is the quintessential Clay County race and something I have spoken out against since the early days of the blog. Follow the connections here: Megan Thompson is somehow related to Matt Thompson who is the son of T.K. Thompson who is friends with Vic Hurlbert. See how this works? Oh, wait, it gets better, Sherry Duffett is close friends with Pam Mason and worked for her when Mason was county clerk. If I was a betting man, which I’m usually not, but I’d put money on the table that Pam Mason receives a job in the Clerk’s office no matter who wins this race.

County Auditor

I will be voting for Sheila Ernzen. I don’t need to rehash all of the history here as to why. If you are curious, just do a search on the blog for Clay County Auditor or Sheila Ernzen. The McCaslins are friends with Hurlbert/Mason et. al. This is yet another Hurlbert inspired candidacy and rehashing of the vendetta against Ms. Ernzen.

Ms. McCaslin has a bit of the I-don’t-know-what-political-party-I’m-from-syndrome. Maybe her and Jay Lawson drink the same water… Anyway, she’s run as a Democrat for past elections, and now, she’s suddenly a Republican. Her husband, Dale McCaslin ran as Democrat in the primary against Ms. Ernzen.

In addition, Ms. McCaslin has no qualifications to be the Auditor. She is not a CPA, nor does she have any experience as an auditor. Wait…this story sounds familiar. William James Norris, Part Deux!

Furthermore, Ms. McCaslin has failed to show up at any voter forums, has no website, no Facebook presence…nothing.

Hopefully nothing I said above was slanderous…I await notification from Mrs. McCaslin’s lawyer. Because based upon her previous behavior, I have no confidence she’d have the courage to send me a note to explain or correct the record. But, just in case:

(That’s an email list above. The big font is for effect.)

Clay County Collector

I will be voting for the Democrat Tom Brandom. While I appreciate Mrs. McEvoy’s willingness to update the County’s software system, and thought that helping other municipalities tax collection was a good idea, I just don’t believe she has always acted with the interests of the tax payers in mind.

I have never really understood Mrs. McEvoy. Back in 2010, I wrote a short piece reporting that, McEvoy may have been unbondable after she was elected. Apparently, it was not okay to report facts because shortly after that I received an email expressing her frustration with me through Facebook. I offered to allow her to respond to the piece, but I never heard anything back. Since then, Meanderings tipsters say she buddied up with Hurlbert and Mason.

I’m of the mind if you are a person that runs for office, the truth matters. Guess what? We’re all human and fallible. We all make mistakes in life. Had she simply acknowledged the truth and explained, there’s a pretty good chance I would have moved on and never worried about it. One thing I’ve learned about life, own a mistake and people tend to respect you more.

Anyway, there have been some questionable things happen while Mrs. McEvoy has been collector. There is the trip to Alaska to look at new software. All the county municipalities in America and somehow Alaska was the one that was most promising.

Then there is the issue of diverting funds to an account that circumvented the auditing process. Those funds were then utilized to oppose the County Home Rule Charter that was on the ballot in 2010. On top of that, she attempted to use a private email account to circumvent the Sunshine Law.

A couple of articles from the KC MSM that are worth your time:

Clay County collector: McEvoy disputes criticism from Brandom about how she’s spent money

Clay County collector in hot water after e-mail sent from personal account

I have spoken with Mr. Brandom a couple of times. We disagree on politics, but I find him a decent and trustworthy person. In politics, especially Clay County politics, that’s saying a lot. He deserves your vote for Collector.

Constitutional Amendment No. 2

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age? If more resources are needed to defend increased prosecutions additional costs to governmental entities could be at least $1.4 million annually, otherwise the fiscal impact is expected to be limited.

On the surface this seems like a pretty simple amendment, but the more I have thought about it the more I am concerned about its implications. If a person is accused of a sexual crime, this would allow the past criminal behavior of the accused to be included as evidence. Normally, Missouri only allows prior sexual criminal acts to be admitted during the sentencing phase of a trial.

Here is my concern with this. Say a person commits a crime 15 years ago, and he/she has truly reformed their lives. They are accused of a sexual crime in the present. Let us pretend in our hypothetical that the current accusation is wrong for whatever reason. Say the evidence is circumstantial, or it is based upon personal testimony only. The prosecutor could introduce the old conviction as “evidence” in this new case. To make it even more convoluted, it appears a mere accusation, not a conviction, could be admissible as evidence.

That’s not the way I conceptualize our justice system nor our civil liberties. Admittedly sexual crimes against minors are of the worst offenses imaginable. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. While I’m a true believer that past behavior can lead us to be concerned about present or future behavior, I’m also a big believer that people can change. A person should be judged in a criminal proceeding upon the evidence for that crime and that crime only.

Unless someone can convince me otherwise, and I’m honestly willing to listen, I’m voting no on this amendment. (And I fully acknowledge that if I ever decide to run for office, this post will be turned into some mailer. Whatever…)

Constitutional Amendment No. 3

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  • require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts;
  • and prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

Decisions by school districts regarding provisions allowed or required by this proposal and their implementation will influence the potential costs or savings impacting each district. Significant potential costs may be incurred by the state and/or the districts if new/additional evaluation instruments must be developed to satisfy the proposal’s performance evaluation requirements.

I’m going to be up front. I signed the petition to put this on the ballot. I thought it important to allow this discussion about teacher tenure and merit pay to happen. Having said that, I’m voting no on amendment 3.

The language is horrible, and I have a significant concern about this line: “promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data.”

Public education is currently a mess. It’s only going to get worse in the coming years. One of the biggest problems is the current push for standardized assessments. To promote and pay primarily upon one data point borders on insanity. It won’t improve teaching or public schools. There’s a chance it could even do the opposite of the intention of the amendment. Good teachers may consider leaving the profession for risk of being unfairly judged.

There are lots of better ideas for education reform in Missouri although few people are talking about or proposing them. A couple things I would love to see would be educational savings accounts and allowing charter schools to exist in all counties of Missouri. Don’t get your hopes up because the education “blob” will work its butt off not to allow any positive change in Missouri.

Constitutional Amendment No. 6

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the Election Day in all general elections?
State governmental entities estimated startup costs of about $2 million and costs to reimburse local election authorities of at least $100,000 per election. Local election authorities estimated higher reimbursable costs per election. Those costs will depend on the compensation, staffing, and, planning decisions of election authorities with the total costs being unknown.

Early voting is coming whether you like it or not. I’m not a fan. Some on the left like to use early voting to cheat and win elections. If they had their way, they’d vote as long and as often as possible. They are convinced of a false narrative about ballot access and voting, but then again, many of them are convinced of endless false narratives about our society. This version of early voting may be the most favorable to protecting against fraud and corruption. I will be voting yes on Amendment 6.

My good friend Mike Ferguson puts together a public policy show called Missouri Viewpoints. I’d encourage you to go watch the episode that looks at this issue:

Constitutional Amendment No. 10

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the governor to pay the public debt, to prohibit the governor from relying on revenue from legislation not yet passed when proposing a budget, and to provide a legislative check on the governor’s decisions to restrict funding for education and other state services?
State governmental entities expect no direct costs or savings. Local governmental entities expect an unknown fiscal impact.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the requirements placed on the governor for proposing a state budget and for withholding money appropriated in the budget passed by the legislature. This amendment prohibits the governor from reducing funding passed by the general assembly without receiving legislative consent, and provides certain other restrictions on the governor’s ability to increase or decrease line items in the budget. This amendment further prohibits the governor from proposing a budget that relies on revenue from legislation that has not yet passed in the general assembly.
A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the requirements placed on the governor for proposing a state budget and for withholding money appropriated in the budget passed by the legislature.
If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

This is one of those things that could go either way. It may not be the best fix, but I like the idea. I will be voting for Amendment 10. This puts the power of the purse in the hands of the people through the legislature. Governor Nixon has used with-holdings for political ends. One should not vote on this with Nixon in mind, I would fear the same thing with a Republican governor. Because if it’s one consistent thing about Missouri politics, we elect really crappy governors.

Once again, check out the Missouri Viewpoints episode on this topic:

Kansas City Question 1 Capital Improvements Tax


Kansas City Question 2 Public Transportation Sales Tax

NO! Both Question 1 and 2 are the result of crazy-man Clay Chastain.

I received this from Jim Murray a little bit ago. Please make sure you get out and vote tomorrow.

Many people in Clay County have come to know me through politics, I am not a politician nor do I have any intentions of becoming one.

I am a business operator in Clay County, I am a private investigator and therefore naturally curious when things do not make sense,

Constitution Government is a hot topic and tomorrow we can all have our voices heard.

I have a number of concerns regarding our current County Commissioners and the form of government hat we have now, I believe that we have to take the steps necessary to reshape the government in Clay County,

As an investigator I have learned quite a lot about how we are currently governed.

We have a Commission made up of three people, Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason, Luanne Ridgeway and Gene Owen.

Any two votes are enough to pass resolutions.

I have learned that these three Commissioners take full advantage of this by rewarding their supporters with jobs and contracts, here are a few cases in point that I have documentation in my possession to back up what I say:

Luanne Ridgeway brought a young lady named Nicole Brown from Cole County to Clay County and installed her as the Community Relations Coordinator for Clay County and put her on the payroll at $45,000.00 per year. Did we have one of these before?

Miss Brown just happens to be the daughter of a State Representative friend of Luanne’s and she was also the campaign manager for former Missouri Speaker Rod Jetton. He is no longer in office after pleading guilty to assaulting a lady (the charges were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.)

Gene Owen  has a friend who owns a company named Garry and Associates, This friend was awarded a county contract that pays them $95,000.00 per year to do the same exact job that was previously being done for $ 38,500.00 per year.

Pam Mason has a friend and campaign donor named Julie Welch, when the Commissioners decided to accept bids for an outside auditor they accepted five bids. The lowest bid was submitted by Cochran, Head, Vick and Company for $ 59,750.00 however the contract was awarded to Meara, Welch, Browne to the tune of $95,000.00

I don’t want to put it all on the Commissioners. I also learned that County Collector Lydia McEvoy took three people to Alaska to look at some software and spent over ten thousand taxpayer dollars to do it. When I am looking at software the vendor comes to me.

I also came into possession of an email when Mrs. McEvoy requested that a ten thousand dollar check be prepared to the firm of Husch Blackwell with regards to challenging the proposed Clay County Constitution (her words). She went so far as to request that the recipient of the email Barbara O’reilly correspond with her through her gmail account to prevent this information from being subject to the Sunshine Law.

The Commissioners and their supporters have spent tens of thousands of our dollars trying to stop this Constitution. They say your vote won’t count. No Marriage License Can Be Issued. County Employees won’t be paid. Schools will close. Jails will close. The sky will fall. They are afraid of losing their jobs, salaries, and most importantly, power.

They seek revenge against those of us who stand up to them, They wanted our former Sheriff re-elected and when that didn’t happen they retaliated by cutting the Sheriff’s Department budget to the tune of $450,000.00, placing the safety and well being of all of us at risk.

I could go on forever but you get the idea, the very corruption that they say will take place if the Constitution passes has been going on for at least the last eleven months. I didn’t make any of this up. I have it in black and white.

Tomorrow, November 5th, please join me in starting a new beginning in Clay County  government by voting Yes for the constitutional government.


Jim Murray

Private Investigator

Star Investigations LLC

License Number 2010017202

KS License D-5256




Lydia McEvoy contacted me through email recently stating this was coming. Clay County announced it on their website yesterday. Sounds like a good deal for Clay County citizens. Below is a copy of their release.

At Monday’s commission meeting, Clay County officials approved resolutions allowing the County to accept tax payments for municipalities within Clay County.

County Collector Lydia McEvoy announced that North Kansas City, Kearney, Birmingham and Avondale have entered into agreements with the County to have their city tax bills collected by the County Collector’s Office.

“This new process will streamline tax payments for citizens,” said McEvoy. “A single office will collect payments and provide customer service. This ‘one-stop shopping’ approach will allow our partner municipalities to redeploy staff and resources and will allow the citizens of those municipalities to utilize one central location for all local tax payments.”

Currently citizens must make separate payments to the city and county in which property is owned.

The arrangement calls for participating cities to pay a small percentage of collections as a fee to the County for collecting their taxes. However, McEvoy believes those fees will be more than recouped by participating municipalities in the form of cost savings and improved collections.

“We’ve struck the right balance with the fee structure, “said McEvoy. “Clay County will have to front significant costs to implement city collections, but those costs should lessen as the program develops. I believe it is important for Clay County to provide this service to its municipalities.”

The fees generated will be split among the County’s general fund, the Assessor’s Office and the Tax Maintenance Fund, a statutory fund that independently finances additional costs and expenses incurred in the Collector’s Office.

The County plans to add further municipalities in the coming months and years.

“We have delivered a uniform collections offer to all the municipalities in Clay County except Kansas City,” said McEvoy.

“We hope to bring on Smithville shortly and work our way towards collecting for every municipality in Clay County by next year.

Kansas City was exempted from this year’s offer because it presents unique collections issues. In April, McEvoy met with officials from Kansas City and plans to collect for them next year.

McEvoy believes the Collector’s Office can handle the increased workload without additional staff, although there will be significant demands on the software used by the office.