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  • skcablog 12:55 pm on April 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply

    John Sharp’s Paper — The Martin City Telegraph 

    In the last election, John Sharp’s political action committee, Southland Progress (SP), endorsed Michael Brown for the Junior College District race, but Chris Benjamin won. In the Center School District board of education race, Gayla Smith won, though not endorsed by SP. In the Grandview School District, Joshua Hill, who was also not endorsed by SP, won. In the Hickman Mills School District, Beth Boerger won even though SP didn’t endorse her.

    Rather than admitting that his power is slipping, John Sharp used his “article” in the previous issue of the Martin City Telegraph to editorialize about the failure of one of his candidates, ranting about a supposed email that was sent out bad mouthing his candidates in the Hickman Mills school board race. Yet, the current issue (April 27, 2022) of the Martin City Telegraph fails to address this editorializing.

    The Martin City Telegraph is guilty of a breach of journalistic ethics: John Sharp is a political operative for Southland Progress and other political clubs, yet this is never disclosed by the Telegraph. They are allowing him to pass himself off as a journalist, even as he editorializes about the election. He and the Martin City Telegraph need to decide whether he is going to be a journalist or an editorialist. If he does choose the latter, he should make clear his political affiliations. If the former, the paper needs to make sure he understands the difference between the two.

    John Sharp’s time is drawing to a close. He now lives in the 5th city council district and it seems highly unlikely Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw will appoint him to any more city positions. (He now serves as a 6th district representative on the Public Improvements Advisory Council.) No more city positions to let him roam city hall and backing losing candidates seems a fitting end to his 50-year-long political career.

    • B 6:34 pm on May 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      Do you have the article from John Sharp? Trying to find a copy and can’t find one!


  • skcablog 10:10 pm on April 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Kansas City? Trash a City! 

    I’m a bit behind in reading my emails from the City. Sometimes they’re just too depressing. I did come across one sent out about the Great Kansas City Cleanup in support of Earth Day. Again, just depressing.

    I read this quote from Ward Parkway Socialite Andrea Bough and thought it was just her being, once again, totally out of touch:

    “As Kansas Citians, we take pride in our beautiful City – from our many fountains to our parks and boulevard system to the neighborhoods in which we live”

    6th District Councilwoman Andrea Bough

    Then I read this quote from Councilwoman Parks-Shaw:

    “Kansas City is a beautiful city. This Earth Day let’s all renew our commitment to Keep Kansas City beautiful. Together we can!”

    5th District Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw

    First, I doubt that many Kansas Citians take pride in this city. If they did, they wouldn’t trash it. Then from the 5th District we’re asked to “renew our commitment”. Again, I have to say there isn’t a whole lot of commitment to renew.

    While I certainly wouldn’t want to blame our mayor, who, according to the emails his campaign keeps sending out, “ran for mayor in 2019 to ensure all Kansas Citians have the opportunity to succeed, no matter their zip code.” Perhaps if he actually paid attention to all zip codes more people would feel better about living here. 

  • skcablog 6:04 pm on April 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    A Black Mark on A Local Paper 

    Rumor has it that John Sharp has been called out for using his column in the “Martin City Telegraph” as his own editorial space. In the last issue of the paper, he took the Southern Communities Coalition to task for purportedly sending out an email he claims negatively impacted “his” candidates for Hickman Mills School Board. He seemed to think the last- minute email was nothing but dirty politics when he himself has used the same tactic in the past, though that seemingly was a letter mailed out to voters.

    It’s a shame that the “Telegraph” allowed this blatant editorializing. It’s the only “local” paper the Southland has, and always includes interesting articles. This, however, is certainly a black mark. One has to wonder if Mr. Sharp reverted to politician rather than journalist and used intimidating tactics, as he is want to do, in order to get his way with this particular article.

    One might also point out that “his” Hickman Mills candidates were backed by Southland Progress, a political action committee which Mr. Sharp started and still controls. The fact that only one of his two candidates won has seemed to make him a sore loser. Or maybe he’s afraid he’s losing his touch. That does happen with age.

    It has always seemed a step too far that Mr. Sharp is the only writer who gets to have his picture next to his articles, but actually editorializing is just too much.

  • skcablog 11:23 pm on April 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    John Sharp’s Narrative of Victimhood 

    In the recent issue of the “Martin City Telegraph”, our former city councilman, John Sharp, still machinating to maintain the power he once had, provides results from the last election. He simply reports on the results until you get to his reporting on the Hickman Mills school board race where he elaborates on the two candidates he was backing: Terri Barr-Moore and John Carmichael. He complains that they were targeted in a “last-minute email blast sent out … the day before the election.”

    He thinks Barr-Moore, who nonetheless came in first, is “fairly well-known” because she used to work for Claire McCaskill and is now the executive director of government relations for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA). The average voter has no idea who works in the offices of our elected officials, let alone someone who retired almost 3 years ago; and who even knows the name of anyone working for the KCATA? As a long-time political insider, Mr. Sharp seems to have lost touch with the average voter. Instead he projects his own political knowledge onto them.

    Next he rationalizes about the loss of his other candidate, John Carmichael. Supposedly, “the bogus email” said that neither candidate has been involved in the greater community, but Sharp then lists the organizations Carmichael belongs to, saying “he is basically a full-time community volunteer.” Having a suite of job titles does not equate to community involvement, and one would think a “full-time community volunteer” would be better known. Nevertheless, Sharp states that Carmichael “is a relative newcomer to the area and likely not very well known.” Apparently the politico Sharp, who has a journalism degree, sees nothing contradictory there and believes the “bogus email” cost Mr. Carmichael the election saying, “it probably caused more than 18 people to vote against Carmichael…”

    According to friends who live in Royal Oaks, the neighborhood group Carmichael is supposed to head and one of the organizations mentioned by Mr. Sharp, a general meeting of the organization couldn’t be held because Carmichael was too busy trying to start a volunteer band. Then Carmichael couldn’t show up for one of the candidate forums held in the community because he had to go to choir practice. Perhaps those extra voters Sharp was looking for weren’t sure where Carmichael’s priorities would lie should he be elected.

    There are many theories on how people vote, and many of them can plausibly explain the result of this month’s close election. The two candidates who won were both women. Maybe, just maybe, voters opted to elect women to the school board, a possibility not compatible with Mr. Sharp’s narrative of victimhood.

    • Mike 5:37 pm on April 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      Tony calls this article “sour grapes”. No, this is John Sharp whining and looking for excuses why his lousy candidate lost. Carmichael didn’t even campaign, as far as I can tell. He just rested on the work done by Freedom Inc, which is a deeply corrupt association, and Sharp’s own political action committee

      Liked by 1 person

  • skcablog 3:02 pm on April 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Police: Undependable in So Many Ways 

    I’ve heard through the grapevine that there’s a charter school student who is trying, in vain, to complete a senior thesis. In order to do that, the student is looking for information from the KCMO police. The information should be simple to obtain. It’s mostly about demographics and how officers are chosen to work at the different divisions in the city. The first request was sent the first part of March. Since then the buck has been passed to several people who “could possibly” provide the information. To date, over month later, no information has been provided. That sounds about right. I attended two community meetings with the Chief where he was asked point blank how the divisions are staffed and he didn’t answer either time.

    Generally speaking, the police want their reputation changed. They want to be seen as the good guys. Remember when we had community policing? When police would drive through neighborhoods and hand out baseball cards to kids? Now you rarely hear anything positive. This incident, however, is especially distasteful. A high school student is simply asking for some basic information which should be readily available and easily provided, yet it hasn’t been. There hasn’t even been any contact with the student except to say I’ll pass the request on to someone who will be able to help.

    One has to wonder what the police are hiding. What is it they don’t want this student, or the broader community, to know? It’s bad enough when the adults have a low opinion of the police in general, but the police themselves are missing a huge opportunity to turn that around. Instead, they’re showing a younger generation that they really don’t care.

  • skcablog 4:59 pm on April 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    The Swamp Continues 

    The voters have spoken, but those in the Hickman Mills School District didn’t seem to make informed decisions. It appears they simply voted for the first two names on the ballot. That gave Terri Barr-Moore the needed impetus to win the election.

    Hickman Mills now has a new school board member who has not been involved in the community, let alone the schools, and who no one had even heard of before this election. She didn’t campaign, except for putting out some signs at the last minute and then there were the mailings sent out by Freedom, Inc. and Southland Progress, which many in the Southland consider to be a political PAC and whose treasurer is the current school board president. (Ethically, sitting school board members are not supposed to endorse/support school board candidates. Speaks to the state of the current board.)

    She didn’t show up for any candidate forum or screening. Most people had to wonder what her interest was in filing in the first place and what her interest will be now that she’s actually on the board. Her only qualifications seemed to be in the political arena – which is curious since school boards are supposed to be apolitical.

    We will watch to see if Ms. Barr-Moore aligns herself with the current disruptive faction which is strongly affiliated with those who got her elected or if she will do what’s best for the students and district as a whole.

    One of the candidates, Beth Boerger, will be a fresh face and voice on the board. She has a 20-year background in Grandview and Kansas City school finances which will bring a new perspective to the board. Sadly, Cecil Wattree, the lone incumbent, did not win. He was a past board president and brought a lot of knowledge to the board and the district. He will be sadly missed.

    The last candidate on the ballot was John Carmichael. This was his third time to run but he came in fourth. He had John Sharp’s backing and the two John’s even spent the day at one of the busiest polling places. Still he lost. Hopefully he has learned that voters don’t want him.

    • John Carmichael 11:11 pm on April 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      My name is John Carmichael, a state representative from Wichita. I’m not the same guy as this three time loser.


  • skcablog 10:39 pm on April 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Drain This Swamp! 

    A quote from a recent Kansas City Star article:
    “School boards are an essential part of making sure public schools reflect the communities they serve. School boards are often responsible for hiring and reviewing the superintendent, hearing out community members and responding to their needs and reviewing school policies.
    As the topics and issues students face in school continue to be a focal point of our cultural dialogue, who we choose as school board members becomes even more important.”
    I do take issue with the second sentence in the first paragraph, with their use of the word “often”. These are the responsibilities of a school board.

    1. The superintendent is their only employee. All others answer to the superintendent.
    2. School boards do not only review school policies, they review, change, and propose new polices since they are school board polices.
    3. As elected representatives of the community, school board members allow time at meetings to hear from their constituents. This is no different from other elected officials who are elected to represent certain groups, i.e. city council, state and federal legislators, etc.
      • I whole heartedly agree with the final statement that “who we choose as school board members becomes even more important.” Sadly, the editors didn’t see the need to interview candidates and thus provide endorsements as a guide for the public. This seems to be a bit of a CYA article by the paper, but I digress.
        This election is critical for those living in Hickman Mills. The current board is a bit of a “swamp” to quote others in the know. As long as this continues to be the case, Hickman Mills will never be fully accredited. There are certain issues the state looks at when reviewing school districts for accreditation and a few of these are what the general public hears over and over again, i.e. test scores, attendance. What is never mentioned is that one of the standards to be met is the overall governance provided by the Board. True governance can’t occur in a metaphorical swamp since that “swamp” is made up of board members who don’t have the best interests of the school district/community in mind but rather their own interests and their own over blown sense of power.
        This election, Hickman Mills voters are being asked to choose two candidates out of four. Two of those candidates have been endorsed by Freedom, Inc. and Southland Progress, the same two groups that endorsed/backed the current “swamp”—a fact curiously missing from The Star’s recent report on the state Attorney General’s investigation into Hickman Mills school board governance. Those candidates have done no campaigning of their own. In fact Terri Barr-Moore didn’t even show for any of the forums/ screenings that were held to introduce candidates to the community to. No one even knew what she looked like until her mailers arrived. The other candidate, John Carmichael, admittedly shows up when John Sharp tells him it’s necessary. Neither has really been involved with the schools or the greater community; and aside from their mailers, there’s no way to tell what they stand for. Basically they have received free advertising (through mailers paid for by PACs) and have done no work.
        On the other hand:
      • Beth Boerger is running for school board for the first time, having recently retired. She has an extensive background in school finance, having worked in both the Grandview School District and KCPS. She is currently a community activist and wants to see both the school district and the greater community succeed.
      • Cecil Wattree is currently serving on the board and is hoping to be returned for a second term. Cecil is one of the good guys fighting against the swamp majority. He is a social worker and educator, currently teaching at UMKC.
        For those wishing to see the Hickman Mills School District again gain full accreditation and become the great school district it once was, Beth Boerger and Cecil Wattree are the candidates to elect. Let’s drain our swamp!
  • skcablog 12:14 pm on March 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    What happened to non-partisanship? 

    Recently I received a notice that the League of Women Voters (LWV) is co-sponsoring a candidate forum for Hickman Mills School Board candidates with the South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA), the political organization in South Kansas City. In the past the LWV has prided itself on being a totally unbiased and neutral group, but this co-sponsorship brings that into question.

    Currently, two of the candidates are serving on the SKCA board. Ostensibly, the LWV has said that isn’t a problem as long as SKCA doesn’t endorse anyone until after the forum. Really!? Is this just naïveté? Surely they don’t believe there’s a chance that other SKCA board members would not endorse two of their own.

    One has to wonder why the LWV would be willing to cosponsor a forum with a partisan group in the first place, but it’s even more mind boggling when that group’s own board members will be participants.

  • skcablog 1:02 pm on November 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Can a Ward Parkway Socialite Be a Good Councilwoman? 

    The answer appears to be a resounding no. Tony is soooooo right (Low Henergy Council Lady Andrea Bough Disappoints). Ms. Bough seems to have no idea of her responsibilities as a council person. She has simply turned her back on those living east of Blue River more than once and more than likely will again when she votes on a redistricting map. She doesn’t even appear to be savvy enough to vote in favor of something when she knows she will lose, simply to at least give the appearance of supporting those she represents.

    Perhaps in hindsight, it’s the community’s fault. She did attend a council forum dressed as though she were stopping by on her way home from a yacht outing. Maybe that should have been a clue.

  • skcablog 12:59 pm on November 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Redistricting – A Political Sham 

    I think I’ve attended most of the redistricting meetings, if Zoom is considered attending. There’s been a lot of talk talk talk that doesn’t really seem to say anything. Mostly it seems to be from the First and Fifth Districts. Oh, and of course the Fourth since the Plaza became involved.

    Over and over I’ve heard “one man, one vote” and the need to keep areas with the same socioeconomic issues together. Of course that doesn’t seem to apply evenly. I’ve heard the people in the northland say they want the First and Second Districts divided horizontally rather than the usual vertical split; yet, one of their “representatives” seemed to pooh pooh the idea saying it would only make things more difficult. I’ve heard the people in Hickman Mills try to explain that they are a community – a community that has been split between two districts for the last 10 years and deserves to be united. The response to that is simply “we can’t make it work”.

    Many of the issues of these two groups are alike. They have housing issues, socioeconomic issues, infrastructure issues; and yes, they are both not truly represented because their council people are located in the wealthy portion of their district.

    One might ask why those areas don’t elect people who would actually represent their interests. It’s because no one can afford to run against those in the wealthier areas; something else the commission has said is a concern but in the long run won’t matter.

    In the end it’s about politics just like everything else in this city. That is most evident by the number of times commissioners have talked about protecting sitting council people in their current district. It doesn’t matter what we “regular people” have to tolerate in our day to day life as long as council people are “protected”.

    In the end politics will prevail as it always seems to and those who are underrepresented will continue to get the short end of the stick.

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