Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

Friday, August 31, 2007

Community Facilities Advisory Board (CFAB) Membership

The Community Facilities Advisory Board was created to develop, plan, coordinate, initiate, oversee and provide advice and recommendations concerning the location, acquisition, construction, completion and operations of the ‘Why Not Dodge’ Projects. The Committee consists of one County Commissioner, one City Commissioner, four at-large members, and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation or his/her designee

Dodge City, KS - Official Website - CFAB

Friday, August 24, 2007

Greg Starks resigns CFAB -- or, not ?

Greg Starks, rather late, resigns from the CFAB Committee -- or not -- says in the Dodge City Daily Globe "Starks steps down as CFAB head" that he is taking a "temporary leave of absence from the board ?"

I don't remember the "temporary not on the committee" part of the city rules ? Seems you are either on a committee or not. Either the committee has the number of voting members required or not, and the agreement between the city and the county on the Why Not Dodge projects certainly has the number of required members on CFAB in it.

Any one know about rules on this ?

Given the previous major impact of Mr. Starks and Boot Hill Gaming on the possible location of the Events Center (and our $30 million dollars in tax money)-- especially without full disclosure on his legal involvement on the Boot Hill Gaming board -- having a full committee should be the rule. Not just "don't look behind the curtain" style of committee membership.

Let your commission members know that a full CFAB is critical as we start to actually make decisions on how to spend a very large amount of tax money.

Jim Sherer
e-mail address: jim.sherer@yahoo.com
E. Kent Smoll
email address: ksmoll70@hotmail.com
Jim Lembright
email address: jlembright@cox.net
Rick Sowers
email address: rsowers@starrtech.net
Terry Lee
e-mail address: commissionerterrylee@yahoo.com

Friday, August 17, 2007

Update: correction re Kent Smoll & conflict

A few boards and blogs (not this one) have suggested that Mr. Smoll's client list includes Joe Bogner and Jim Coffin. This is not true. Mr. Smoll is not involved in business with either. It is only fair that this be pointed out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Updated: Boot Hill Museum -- always a bridemaid, never the bride

Update: Jeff Thorpe states Butler Gaming applicant (nee, Boot Hill Gaming, Inc.) will include Boot Hill Museum Inc. and an unnamed, being organized, non-profit related to tourism for percentage of profit of the casino. Next update: When applications are made.

Boot Hill Museum cutting Boot Hill Gaming Inc. [See above update] Boot Hill Museum Inc., Boot Hill Gaming Inc. subsidiary looking at split

Several people who served on Boot Hill Gaming's board, including Ford County Commission Chairman Kim Goodnight, Dodge City Mayor Kent Smoll and former City Manager Jeff Pederson, have stepped down to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Community Facilities Advisory Board Chairman Greg Starks resigned from the Boot Hill Gaming board last month after the CFAB expressed interest in building the special events center alongside the casino.

[Update: Jeff Thorpe has promised that Boot Hill Gaming Inc./Butler Gaming Inc. will apply for casino management, based on guaranteed money to Boot Hill Museum Inc.

Still an issue: that your $30 million in tax money will be sent to the casino -- mini-Civic Center --

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Greg Starks resigns Boot Hill Gaming Inc. -- wrong board for him to leave

At least Mr. Starks has publically quit Boot Hill Gaming Inc. board (per Dodge City Daily Globe) -- but clearly, he should have been made to leave CFAB Board and Chair position. Now that he is done with pushing the much smaller, for the casino's profit, Events Center, he has cleared his plate for the moment.
Starks said Tuesday he felt uncomfortable with his dual roles on the CFAB and the Boot Hill Gaming board, and he wanted to separate himself from that because sales tax money cannot be used for the casino project. "I didn't want anything to be suspect," he said.

But there were some local laws that were overlooked a long, long time. And it is a little late for concerns about "suspect" decisions made by CFAB/Starks/Boot Hill Gaming Inc. -- ie. location of your tax built mini-events center. [Key points in bold.]

Dodge City Municipal Code

(e) Conflict of Interest - No elected or
appointive city official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper
discharge of his or her duties in the public interest or
would tend to impair his or her independence of judgment
or action in the performance of his or her official
duties. Personal as distinguished from financial interest
includes an interest arising from blood or marriage
relationships or close business or political association.
Specific conflicts of interest are enumerated below
for the guidance of officials and employees:

(1) Incompatible Employment - No elected or
appointive city official or employee shall engage in or
accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his or her official duties or would tend to impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of his or her official duties.

(2) Disclosure of Confidential Information -
No elected or appointive city official or employee, shall,
without proper legal authorization, disclose confidential
information concerning the property, government or affairs
of the city. Nor shall he or she use such information to
advance the financial or other private interest of
, herself or others.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And the lucky winner is -- Budweiser Joe

As we reported earlier, Casino Budweiser Joe Bogner -- as reported in the Dodge City Daily Globe -- is one lucky guy on that land sale -- why not with all those connections. Hey, he didn't even vote for his own sell/purchase -- something Mr. Starks just doesn't get.

Speaking of just not getting things, seems that some Dodge City Commissioners think you got to make money to have a conflict of interest. As we posted earlier -- no, you do not have to make money -- the potential is enough for conflict under the Kansas Attorney General rulings. (See: Kansas: definition of substantial interest

Which one of the tourism venues cut out of CFAB money by Greg Starks should officially ask the City Manager/City Attorney/ etc. to rule on CFAB Chair/Boot Hill Gaming Inc. Board Member Starks -- whether he can legally vote for anything connected with any potential benefits to the casino, ie., the location of the Events Center.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Contest: Is this first time the Daily Globe noted G. Starks being on Boot Hill Gaming board ?

From Aug. 10, 2007, Dodge City Daily Globe:

"During the Community Facilities Advisory Board's July meeting, Chairman Greg Starks (an active member of Boot Hill Gaming) and other members showed interest in developing the special events center alongside a state-run casino, which Ford County voters approved June 26.

"Dodge City Commissioner Rick Sowers said aside from the possibility of cross-marketing the events center with the casino, the city could also save money on infrastructure costs if the two are close to each other.

"Sowers said he was optimistic about the future development of the events center with Global as well as possibly working with a casino developer.

"My hope is we can all move forward as a community," Sowers said. "I hope we can finally put all this bitterness and mistrust behind us."

Future undecided: Hotly debated special events center the final piece of the ‘Why Not Dodge?’ puzzle, By Mark Vierthaler

Contest -- is this the first time that the Daily Globe pointed out Mr. Stark's membership in the casino applicant Boot Hill Gaming Inc. ?

How do the groups that will not use a casino meeting room feel about "moving forward"?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Dodge City manager -- What's going on ... ?

According to the Dodge City Daily Globe today -- Ken Strobel is now both city manager and city attorney. To bad that Dodge City can't get a trained manager -- but then, also wonder what city commissioners, or their clients, Ken has represented ? Any ?

Really weird all around. And no public hearings at all -- Public -- just keep paying those taxes -- city commission doesn't need your thoughts on change in professional operations of the city -- and I bet that the City Manager is never in trouble legally with the City Attorney -- any takers ? And, of course, what this may mean for casino applicants (outside of Boot Hill Gaming Inc.) getting fair treatment by city is open question -- especially with the Dodge City Mayor and the Ford County Commission chair having both recently resigned from that board ?