Kansas’ open meetings law must always be heeded
Kansas City Star, The (MO) – Thursday, October 29, 2009
A recent opinion by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six contains advice that all public officials should take to heart. Continue reading
– Kansas Watchdog – http://kansas.watchdog.org –
Letter to JoCo DA from Kansas Press Continue reading
Open meetings laws and JCCC: a review of the last two weeks
Posted by: Benjamin Hodge | 03/12/2009 4:00 AM
To review, after being asked for JCCC budget-related information by Kansas City Star reporter Jim Sullinger, I decided to provide the most recent information I had. It had been handed to me in a closed session dedicated mainly to personnel issues, but Sullinger and I agreed that the budget information was entirely non-sensitive (meaning it contained no employee names, etc). Four to five sheets of paper listed about 50 ways to balance the budget at JCCC. They were ideas — not formal proposals — merely considerations of possible cuts. They were not prioritized in any order of importance. At any rate, most people at the college already knew that most ideas were “on the table.” Shortly after I provided it to Sullinger, he reported a summary of the information on The Star’s Prime Buzz blog. Continue reading
JCCC up to its old tricks: SECRET MEETINGS!
Here is my response to Ben Hodge’s email which is at the end of this post.
I hope the KC Star “budgets up” like the days of yore, and legally challenges the JCCC for a violation of KOMA. Because “awkward” or “let’s dodge some political pressure and keep people in the dark till it’s too late” are NOT any of the 19 reasons a tax-supported governmental body can go into executive session. Continue reading
Johnson County Community College to consider tuition increase, budget reduction
By JIM SULLINGER
The Kansas City Star
The Johnson County Community College board will be asked next month to raise tuition an additional $4 per credit hour and reduce next year’s budget by more than $5.5 million. Continue reading
My statement on Kansas Open Meetings Act and JCCC
Posted by: Benjamin Hodge | 03/09/2009 2:00 PM
Below is my statement released earlier this week, and which was published on the Prime Buzz Web site: Continue reading
Candidates for the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees include everything from a former police officer to a political analyst, and all have special ties to the education community. Continue reading
JCCC’s Benjamin Hodge Believes in Open Government–And Facebook!
Thanks to Facebook status updates, Kansas Watch learned that there are public officials who believe in open and transparent government. People like Johnson County Community College Trustee Benjamin Hodge. Continue reading
Gardner News covers JCCC open meetings issue
A Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 19 raised the ire of Kansas City Star editors after an executive session in which a list of potential budget cuts was presented. Board of trustees chairperson Shirley Brown VanArsdale said the board followed the open meetings statutes, and the list, which was presented as part of college president Terry Calaway’s evaluation, was not discussed during the closed segment of the meeting. Continue reading
Video: Hodge interviewed by ABC affiliate, KMBC channel 9 at 2009 Tea Party rally in Overland Park — Click here to watch video at KMBC’s news site
Thousands Attend Tax Day Protests
Big Crowds Turn Out For ‘Tea Parties’ Across Metro
April 15, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of tax protesters, fed up with what they call runaway spending in Washington, gathered across Kansas City and across the country on Wednesday. Continue reading
10 candidates seek 4 spots on JCCC board
As Johnson County Community College faces reduced funding from the state and lower property values, most candidates for the college’s board of trustees agree: Keep cuts away from the classroom. Continue reading
Hodge pushes for budget, board transparency
Johnson County Community College board member Benjamin Hodge is keeping up the heat on college president Dr. Terry Calaway in a row over college governance transparency. Continue reading
Letter from Star informing JCCC of proper KOMA interpretation
Posted by: Benjamin Hodge | 03/12/2009 5:00 PM Continue reading
Blog brouhaha, budget discussed at JCCC town hall meeting
Written by Kristin Babcock
Friday, 06 March 2009 16:54
More than 150 people attended a town hall meeting Friday following a week of blogosphere-based uproar at Johnson County Community College, College Boulevard and Quivira Road. Continue reading
JCCC Intimidating Whistleblower Trustee
Over the past few weeks here at Kaw & Border, we’ve discussed many of the issues surrounding local elections — from turnout to the control liberals have over most local elections, particularly here in Johnson County. From turnout to simple apathy on the part of the electorate at large, particularly conservatives, Johnson County is operated by what is essentially the “Johnson County Oligarchy” — a small band of elite people from one part of the political spectrum — basically, the Johnson County “moderate” wine and cheese crowd. Continue reading
At February’s Johnson County Community College board meeting, leaders inappropriately justified the distribution and brief verbal discussion of typed budget items during a non-public portion because the budget barely related to the president’s private evaluation (ratings include “fiscal management”). Continue reading
Johnson County Community College trustee Benjamin Hodge deserves support.
Perhaps like me, you haven’t followed JCCC’s Board of Trustee elections closely, and maybe you haven’t previously cast your vote with much care. This time you should. It’s more important now than ever in the 40-year history of the college for it to manage our tax dollar investment wisely. Take a look at your property tax bill to see the tax amount paid to JCCC. Now look at its financials in the latest board minutes. Like the rest of us, the college’s realized year-to- date investment and other income sources fell way short of what was budgeted, yet the expenditures year to date remain consistent. Continue reading
Tri-County News offers endorsements in JCCC Board of Trustees race
It’s hard to find the right group of candidates to serve on the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees. Continue reading
Who Watches the Watchmen?
Christopher D. Berger
Wednesday’s tax day tea parties had a cause mirroring those of the original Boston tea party, to whit, a government so invasive and unwieldy that it can perpetrate generational theft on the order of tens of trillions of dollars, with no one to stop them. They were there to demonstrate against the ability of government to tax our grandchildren into oblivion, and more importantly, the fact that government is effectively doing it with mind-numbingly large spending packages. They were there to protest taxation with representation that doesn’t listen to them, representation that doesn’t represent their interests, taxation that they don’t want, don’t need, and will be forced to pay anyway. Continue reading
Legal opinion sought on alleged JCCC meeting violations
Benjamin Hodge, a member of the Johnson County Community College board of trustees, has wondered for weeks whether the board violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act on two separate occasions. Continue reading
Two articles from yesterday highlight problems with open records and open meetings in Kansas: Continue reading
Latest misleading comment from JCCC
By Benjamin Hodge | 04/24/09
Tracy Thomas wrote this recently about JCCC: “You know, it’s the cover-up that kills you. Just ask Bill Clinton.”
On that note: Continue reading
Taxpayer-Funded Intimidation by JCCC on TEA Day
By Benjamin Hodge | 04/15/09
Is there a government in Kansas more out of touch with its citizens than Johnson County Community College? Continue reading
Calaway offers four different reasons for budget release; sticking now to two
By Benjamin Hodge | 03/28/09
Terry Calaway knows better. Continue reading
Kansas Liberty: 28 October 2009
Six says “open meetings” should be just that. JoCo DA says there are exceptions.
Despite AG’s findings, Howe pledges to keep doors closed to some public meetings
Attorney General Steve Six, responding to an inquiry from state lawmakers about the scope of the Kansas Open Meeting Act, determined that taxes and budget issues cannot be discussed during meetings that are closed to the public, except in cases in which it is “burdensome and impractical, if not impossible” to do so. Continue reading
FEBRUARY 23, 2009…10:17 PM
Overland Park, KS City Council candidates on taxes, lobbyists Continue reading
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2009
What Goes Around Comes Around: Hodge Wins KOMA Argument
Hats off to Ben Hodge. In a clear case of principle winning over politics, Ben’s months-long battle regarding violations of the Kansas Open Meetings Act at Johnson County Community College has now been proven correct. Continue reading
Nov. 2, 2009 — JCCC, Open Meetings Act
Wayne Godsey, KMBC President And General Manager
POSTED: 8:53 am CST November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 8:57 am CST November 2, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas media organizations are asking Johnson County, Kan., District Attorney Steve Howe to revisit a complaint that the county’s community college trustees violated the state Open Meetings Act.
Former trustee Benjamin Hodge asked for the review after trustees went into closed session for the stated purpose of evaluating the performance of community college president Terry Calaway, something that is permitted under the law. During the closed session, Calaway produced a list of 64 possible budget cuts, then asked trustees not to share the list.
Incredibly, Howe ruled that this did not violate Kansas law. Like other tax-supported institutions, the Johnson County Community College has an obligation to provide as much information as possible to the taxpayers who pay its bills. It is the law, and the way it earns public trust and support.
Calaway and the trustees should be ashamed of their blatant and clumsy attempt to circumvent state law.