Local Leaders with Global Agendas – Osawatomie KS

Michael Scanlon, former City Manager and Current Development Consultant

By Jennifer Williams

As we saw the Bloomberg/Harvard influences in the current and future generations of government staff and elected officials in our previous article in this series; our next look, is at another Harvard School of Government graduate, Michael Scanlon.


A recent announcement in the suggested 2040 Osawatomie Comprehensive Plan, of an intended “land grab,” has unincorporated property owners up in arms!

https://indi8ca631e0a994.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/basic/index.html?appid=9b059aa143c64f6692be76bf8ddad0b7&fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR28XKjltjowr9gCFJdmFJen7mdFW82JDKczV2_jafd3egh7TWLWFEFytUE_aem__a8uNrlqDEuwfyrhp0uIfw

As Osawatomie and unincorporated Miami County residents and legislators began reaching out to me for assistance on annexation statutes, it was all eerily-similar to our unincorporated property owners’ fight to protect our homes from the City of Edgerton’s incompatible intermodal sprawl into our rural residential and agricultural community.

Upon further research, Osawatomie is using many of the same tactics.

Illegal Narrow Corridor to access non-contiguous land, in this case using a long, narrow KDOT tract along Highway 169 to get north to annex Victory Chevrolet – where they offered up to $1.5 million in grants to the business as part of the annexation deal.

This narrow corridor along 169 (in yellow on the map below) now gives the city a contiguous border to all parcels touching that path, setting them up for further annexations, forced or consent. This will further enhance their ability to achieve their growth goals, as shown on their comprehensive plan map above.

https://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/agendas/9.28.2023_agenda_packet_final_-_amended.pdf
https://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/agendas/3.28.2024_agenda_packet.pdfhttps://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/agendas/3.28.2024_agenda_packet.pdf

Promises of Tax Revenue (in the long-term future, since every tax abatement allowed is offered to developers; while increased taxes in the present are necessary for existing residents to pay for infrastructure. Remember, warehouses don’t usually bring in sales tax because the goods are taxed at delivery location – where shipped to – not at the local origination point.)

Promises of Jobs (steals jobs from small business owners and local governments, because the corporate welfare and incentives allow the developers to pay higher wages than small business owners who are not receiving tax breaks. This gives an unfair competitive advantage to the government-favored businesses.)

Using the City’s incorporated Status to offer Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) (meaning the city and the state lose millions in sales tax revenue because the developers do not have to pay sales tax on building construction costs, equipment, etc. So that’s no sales tax paid, and no sales tax collected – taking up resources and not giving back.)

http://osawatomieks.civiccms.acsitefactory.com/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/uploads/acfrogayrgs5mpi7lax2l_aq1uieqrvfjuzr5mpriu8p8rqqi_xjsti7mkxw1isizw9pjqslajgi-cdlan3ngkkdhfvj9zoaebktdhvlf5dim8qa6thbojuiek-gbf4.pdf

Offering property tax abatement (usually for 10 years before the developers may tear up their roots and go to a new community for a new tax break, as Walmart just did in Edgerton at their 10-year anniversary, laying off 318 employees.)

Promoting the Foreign Trade Zone (a huge national security risk, allowing foreign owners to receive all inventory sealed, outside of customs, with no inspections. They only answer to the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and their KC Smart Port, run by developers)

https://kcsmartport.thinkkc.com/site-selection/kansas-city-foreign-trade-zone

The difference is, Osawatomie does not yet have a “company town” preferred developer, like NorthPoint Development in Edgerton.

But, Osawatomie is inviting the EPA to have a hand in the community with their climate change grants through the Environmental Justice designation (Justice40) that Osawatomie has received from the EPA, bringing environmental socialism and federal overreach into local government.

Ironically, they claim to be about the environment, but in Kansas, third class cities do not have to follow the same environmental requirements as larger cities do for runoff from the massive impervious surfaces (roofs and parking lots) of these mega facilities – causing major downstream flooding for farmers south of Kubota.

In Edgerton, they actually bragged about having the exemption because that meant more warehouses could be packed into tighter spaces, saving them on land costs. When farmers complain, Edgerton brings out “experts” to “prove” why there are no problems, leaving farmers to assume the remedy costs themselves.

If they really cared about the environment (instead of the green dollar bills they collect to say they do,) KDHE would release the report KU did in Edgerton on the effects of the Intermodal on Hillsdale Lake.

I filed a KORA to get a copy on June 21st, and I still don’t have it. But they have since scheduled a meeting in Edgerton on July 11th. (Look at the size of the detention ponds used at New Century Airport for those warehouses to see what size is necessary to keep the surrounding land from flooding, since they cannot have the airport flooding.)

Sadly, like KDOT “paving the way” with annexations, infrastructure, etc; KDHE has been another player in the intermodal game.

You would think that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) would do something about property owners’ flooding complaints from these exemptions, but they don’t.

They could require larger detention ponds and protection of the water and environment, but they haven’t. That is because this whole thing is such a political dance for so many people.

To admit a problem would require a lot of money for Edgerton to go back and fix the problems, as Tom Stiles promised retroactive remedies at the Golden Study Sessions on Hillsdale Lake; should problems be found in the study.

So they keep looking the other way and kicking the can down the road, while applying for more grants to remedy runoff and environmental injustices.

The same threat would exist for Osawatomie.

Earlier this year, a MARC “Chief Resilience Officer and Environmental Programs Director” came to ask Miami County Commissioners and Miami County city representatives to submit proposals for EPA grants, including for impervious surface runoff!

From February 9, 2024 MiCo BOCC Study Session slideshow presentation

In Johnson County, the Commission Chairman and global warming activist for MARC and Climate Action KC, currently has a political action committee promoting his projects; which includes warehouses.

Yet his Johnson County Environmental Department just produced a study, proving the heat index is increasing around warehouses in Olathe, Gardner, and Edgerton.

https://johnsoncountypost.com/2024/01/04/johnson-county-heat-mapping-study-221828/

Oh the irony . . . or is that hypocrisy? Or fraud?


https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice

The Osawatomie city staff and economic development team are trying to woo potential developers, and they’re sweetening the deal by offering developers “free land” that the City received from the State.

If Osawatomie received the land from the State of Kansas, how did the State acquire it?


The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. – Adrian Rogers



In the case with Edgerton, the “city-county partnership“ with Johnson County was evident in the way that Johnson County illegally divided a narrow corridor of land in order to give Edgerton access to non-contiguous land, effectively cutting out residents from receiving the required public annexation hearing, had the “island” land (not touching city boundaries) remained in the county jurisdiction.

In the case of Osawatomie and Miami County, it appears the County has also turned a blind eye to Osawatomie partnering with KDOT to circumvent an island annexation (that would require a public hearing and county commissioners’ approval) and is allowing the public to be cutout with this illegal access to non-contiguous land.

Also, the “city-county partnership“ is directly through the Miami County Economic Development Department, branded as thinkMiamiCounty, due to their $10,000 annual membership paid to the Kansas City Area Development Council (Think KC.)

It appears they are taking the regionalism one step further and becoming ThinkOsawatomie, supporting “progressive schools“ and climate change activism.

https://www.miamicountyks.org/DocumentCenter/View/10761/Osawatomie-Think-2023

In my recent Kansas open records request (KORA) regarding the communication and contracts between the Miami County Economic Development Director, Janet McRae and the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC,) I was charged over $60 an hour for Janet McRae’s estimated 5-hours of time.

When I complained about missing documents, the County Administrator told me many documents were withheld from the open records request because they related to prospective development – possibly related to this project because the open records did include an email of someone from KCADC, asking about the free land .

It’s unclear how many hours of $60+/hour wage and benefits that Miami County residents have been paying Janet McRae, a county staff member, to help develop city property, but the minutes from an Osawatomie City Council meeting thanked Janet for “working daily” with Mike (Scanlon.)

County residents should not be paying a salary for a county employee to work daily for a city. If the city needs help, they need to contract for that help like they do for law enforcement.

County residents paying for staff to work on city projects is not ethical, in my opinion. Especially when they charge county residents over $60 an hour to see some open records that should transparently be available for free upon request.

As for other county involvement in city economic development, the Scanlon – McRae brochure for the project is suggesting that Miami County may potentially contribute $250,000 to the Northland development project.

It would be easy to diverge down a Janet McRae path with her global agenda and regional involvements, but instead this article is going to focus on:

Who is Mike Scanlon, and what is his role with the City of Osawatomie?

A LinkedIn post shows the following resume:

Michael Scanlon is an Overland Park resident.

While City Administrator in Mission, KS, he was connected to the failed Mission Mall / Gateway project. Scanlon was in support of bringing in a WalMart to the mall site, despite Mission business owners’ concerns that it would destroy the local businesses.

18 years later, and the demolished mall site is still undeveloped.



Fast forward, and it seems Scanlon really does understand how WalMart destroys local business owners, or at least he has no problem blaming them for Osawatomie’s business failures in their report begging for more government money and developer handouts by applying for the Rural Housing Incentive District (RHID) designation.

https://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/uploads/city_of_osawatomie_housing_market_study_final.pdf
https://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/pages/res_1004._rhid_canyon_research.pdf

It’s not clear why Osawatomie contracted with a New York company to do a local housing study, but they did. It appears Olsson Studios could have a hand in it. (Olsson is the company hired by Miami County to do the county comprehensive plan and who works closely with MARC.). However, Citizens can file a KORA open records request to find out who recommended them.

http://www.canyonresearchsw.com/testimonials.html

We know that Olsson has called, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) a valuable client.

MARC is also involved with the Oz Commons project, a MARC “Sustainable Places” project that former Osawatomie City Manager and current Miami County Administrator, Shane Krull, asked the County Commissioners to support.

https://www.miamicountyks.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_07082020-794

https://marc2.org/assets/psp/PSP_Projects_2023_OZ_Commons_Phase_II.pdf
Mike Scanlon also works for Shockey Consulting

Although the Miami County commissioners told me they do not support Miami County being involved with the Mid-America Regional Council and Climate Action KC “climate crazies,” they authorized the county economic development Director, Janet McRae, to serve on their “sustainable places“ committee… Which is another climate activist, DEI, “equitable” infiltration of regional planning into our local communities.

So although they say one thing, their actions, tell a different story. Allowing an unelected regional planning organization to infiltrate and “guide” development against the wishes of the residents is in opposition to the very core of a constitutional Republic.

As you can see from the $42,500 grant MARC gave Oz to participate in the sustainable places program, Oz is agreeing to allow MARC’s Connected KC 2050 road and land plan to guide their future land use policy direction… Quid pro quo… Paying cities to participate in the larger regional development plan, while preying on their needs for funding and economic development, while pushing climate activism and regional agendas.

https://www.osawatomieks.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif7581/f/agendas/city_council_meeting_agenda_11-12-2020_packet.pdf

Not surprising, but Janet McRae also serves on MARC’s Connected KC 2050 Total Transportation Committee, and MARC’s Goods Movement Committee.

Are you seeing a pattern?

If you want to know why it was so hard for Miami County residents to stop the intermodal truck traffic from skipping the scales and cutting through and tearing up county roads at taxpayers’ expense, you’re starting to see more of the big picture now.

Although the county finally restricted trucks on county roads, with a $400 fine, sadly, nobody is enforcing it. Earlier this year, the County Attorney told me they have been advised to “stand down” to enforcing.

By whom? I think the picture is pretty clear. The regional agenda has more authority than the local citizens’ voices because our representation has been traded for grant money, giving a regional agenda permission to guide the future of our county and cities.


Before leaving the discussion of Oz Commons, note that Shockey Consulting is also listed on the plan. Remember, Michael Scanlon‘s LinkedIn photo at the beginning of this article shows that he also works for Shockey Consulting.

Without going down that path too far, just know that Shockey Consulting is in the middle of the Johnson County District Attorney’s approval of a recall of the Prairie Village Mayor, due to emails with Shockey.

They also have a master class for elected officials that teaches them how to use FBI hostage techniques to talk down citizens, and it teaches elected officials to get out of the way of (unelected) staff.

Reading down the list of who’s who amongst Sheila Shockey‘s clients, including Olsson Studios, you can see the players really running the governments, behind the scenes, through infiltration of staff positions, grants, and contracts.


Speaking of contracts, Michael Scanlon is no longer the City Manager.

The city now has a contract with him through his LLC, Our City Planning LLC, that was formed in May 2023, right before the city transitioned him from the city manager to a contract consultant for economic development.

The original contract is for approximately $100,000 a year, but it was just revamped last fall when some development projects were modified and the contract remaining price was reduced by 25% per month.

Why is he an independent contractor instead of an employee?

If you call Osawatomie, he still has a phone number through the system like an employee, but the 2023 minutes claimed he was wanting to retire soon from the KPERS system, so that’s why he transitioned. His contract expires in 2025 with the city, so unless he’s filing on KPERS now, that doesn’t really make sense.

Typically, LLC‘s are used to circumvent open records requirements, since third-party contractors are not open to a Kansas Open Records Request (KORA) like a government employee would be.

Looking at Scanlon‘s history when he left Mission and went to Colorado, he seems to favor staying out of the public eye for any discussion about his performance and actions.

It was there, as Town Manager, that he was not getting along with the newly-elected City Council and claimed discrimination. He demanded $500,000 in severance to terminate his contract early.

https://www.aspentimes.com/news/former-basalt-manager-scanlon-files-notice-that-he-will-seek-at-least-500000-from-town/
https://www.postindependent.com/news/former-basalt-town-manager-mike-scanlon-alleges-defamation-in-pending-lawsuit/

A deal by the Basalt City Council was approved for $250,000, but not after the city claimed it damaged their budget for having to hire a new city administrator.

The city suffered further financial loss when a citizen sued them for improper executive sessions related to discussing Scanlon’s employment.

It appears Scanlon had it in his contract that his performance could not be discussed publicly.

The Appellate Court judge ruled that Scanlon’s contract cannot override state law regarding open meetings. The city had to pay the attorney fees for the citizen filing the case.

https://www.aspentimes.com/news/local/appeals-court-finds-basalts-2016-executive-sessions-violated-open-meetings-law/

But that’s the problem with the players forcing these agendas on the cities. Often times they either believe they are above the law, they believe they are the law, or they skirt the law as close as they can in order to use it against the people they are supposed to be serving.

What results are required public hearings and workshops with no true due process because the decision-makers have already received their marching orders; or heavily tainted feasibility studies, staff reports, and recommendations from “people with degrees“ that paint a picture favoring the agenda without discussing the complete story.

Using the Edgerton example, since it is the most similar and has 10 years of history, council member Ron Conus actually resigned once due to misleading staff reports on “decreasing residential taxes” that were actually increasing.

https://sentinelksmo.org/edgerton-councilman-resigned-in-protest-over-property-tax-fib/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR3RGEvxd0y_0Qg7MADAh_fXKsH3Jli-ZNyy8jWPBzO_jugcLWyr6JV9Qog_aem_ZZ7gWJRLOlrdETWYh1H63g

Councilman Conus’s Chart shared on Facebook of his own historical property tax, proving resident taxes were increasing, despite promises of intermodal lowering taxes for the residents.

I understand it’s necessary sometimes to use certain incentives appropriately (with no strings attached) in order to benefit the communities, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here.

What we really have is a group of outside interest, taking advantage of the needs of a community struggling from poverty and lack of growth.

Instead of dealing with the real problem of theft, drugs, poor management, and other concerns that have a stronghold on the community, they are abusing their power, using their city status to further oppress the citizens by giving away their land, stealing the employees they have, and potentially increasing future tax burdens with infrastructure needs to support the developers receiving handouts.

They do this all while using the town’s poverty as a marketing tool, oppressing the people further.

The main people who benefit are the developers getting freebies, the preferred construction companies and consultants (like BG Consultants) who get all of the contracts as KCADC affiliates, the grant administrators who receive a percentage of the grants, and the city who then qualifies for higher general obligation bonds.

Please note that even though the city is giving away property tax abatements, they still have the property values on their books, making them eligible for higher bonds, taking the citizens further into debt (using their homes as the “collateral” which is another desirable reason for them to annex more properties.)

It’s quite a racket when you realize how the people are actually being abused in the name of “economic development.”

Especially in a situation like this where unincorporated residents are being affected, against their wishes, and they’re told – just like they do in Edgerton – that the city only represents the city residents and not the unincorporated property owners.

Again the question arises… “How do we have a Voice if we don’t have representation?”

How is that American?

As we celebrated Independence Day yesterday, we must ask ourselves, “Are we really free?”

Yes, we have it better than most, but our founding fathers fought against a system that in many ways was less burdensome than the one we live under.

We daily have to fight against man-made laws that threaten our God-given rights – like property tax that causes us to be like a renter instead of a true property owner because the “crown” can steal it from us if we refuse (or can’t afford) to pay their ransom.

Drawing attention to the system and the players that are abusing the system in ways that only further strip us of freedom is not an attack on the players but an eye-opener for We the People to recognize the true role of government and the true rights of the People.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence


Government is instituted to protect your rights, not enslave you further!

Government derives its power from the consent of the governed!

That’s you, the people!

But like any muscle, you must use it or it becomes weak and you eventually lose the ability to use it.

If the people of a community want positive change, they must come together and guide that change in a meaningful way (and not with a bunch of workshops that go nowhere because the powers-that-be still get the final say.)

Tell your staff and elected officials what you want, and work together as a community to achieve it.

If they don’t listen, replace them.

Do not be deceived by charlatans, like Satan in the desert promising Jesus riches, who want you to bow down to their plan of total “regionalism” and control.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Cor. 16:13)

United We Stand! Divided we fall.

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