Saturday, January 31, 2015

West Buechel's Personnel Policy and Procedures Handbook

West Buechel has a printed comb-bound Personnel Policy and Procedures Handbook. It exists. I have a scanned copy, missing only pages 103 - 116, inclusive, page 121 and page 164. The freaking awesome copy machine in City Hall is also a scanner with an automatic sheet feeder.

The only glitch, besides the missing pages, was that every other page was scanned upside-down.

User error, no doubt. I've never received training as copy machine operator in the 21st Century.

So, I stayed up until midnight last night flipping the even numbered pages around so that all the pages are now pointed in the same direction. There were 154 pages total scanned, not counting the 16 missing pages. Fun times Friday night in West Buechel. There's an old song about it. "Too Old to Rock-n-Roll. Too Young to Die." 
 
Anyone can have a copy of the PDF file from me. Just ask me.

It's a whopping 160 Mb in size, since it is 154 scanned page-images at 300dpi. I have not yet cranked out the OCR software to convert the scanned images to text, but I will. Someday. It's a huge pain in the ass doing OCR text conversion since you have to proof-read every freaking word and punctuation mark. TWICE. With two people reading it out loud back and forth to each other.

Or, for about $16 in copy charges, you can get a printout, not bound, from the City Clerk's office. I'll give a copy of my PDF file to Sherri so that she can print it on demand. 

This Personnel Policy and Procedures Handbook answers a lot of questions. I'm certain I can find the missing pages if ever I am allowed back into City Hall, which might not happen if I continue to speak my mind.

I lost count of how many times this week, in random conversation with several people about different topics, someone told me "Don't write about this!"


What's the lowest paid job in West Buechel City Hall?

Mayor.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Free advice to West Buechel: Ignore sunk costs

"The most important decision-making rule you learn in business school is still largely misunderstood.
"When making a choice between two options, only consider what's going to happen in the future, not which investments you've made in the past. The past investments are over, lost, gone forever. They are irrelevant to the future." Seth Godin, Ignore Sunk Costs

Right now I'm thinking about police dogs and pickup trucks, but it applies to everything. A "sunk cost" is any type of expenditure of time, effort or money that can never be recovered. A sunk cost is any elaborate chalk drawing on the sidewalk right before a rain storm that will wash it all away.

It doesn't matter now how much money the City spent to buy a police dog or the T.E.M. Building on Hikes Avenue. The question now is what's the cost of keeping and maintaining a police dog or the T.E.M. Building, and what they each are good for? How can the City put these assets to good use in the future?

What are the benefits compared to the future costs?

The same thing applies to that State surplus Ford F-150 that the City got at a bargain price a few years ago. That truck just sits there, never being used while slowly turning to worthless rust. Why? Paying a bargain price for something you do not use is not a "good deal."

I was told. "You gotta have a spare truck!"

Not really. Most people don't have backup pickups.

I'm not suggesting that the police dog, the T.E.M. Building or the F-150 are not worth having.

I'm merely suggesting that their worth to the City in the future has not been clearly established to everyone's satisfaction.




Thursday, January 29, 2015

This City form needs some help

West Buechel's Code Enforcement Officers write a lot of citations for parking violations which brings in significant revenue to the City. The following form is what is written up and handed out to folks who violate the City's parking laws.

This form has a few problems.
  • The City logo is printed sideways.
  • It says it is from the Police Department, but it isn't,
  • This form combines three incompatible functions onto a single piece of paper, and;
  • There is no  "What to do" instruction on the face of it.

I have blanked out all the details to protect the guilty.

See for yourself. I think this thing should be re-designed.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two guys and dos amigos

There are several different versions of West Buechel's City logo floating around, which suggests that none of the designs were ever officially adopted for use by either ordinance or executive order. This means that any logo design is just as official as any other design. Use any one you want. It doesn't matter because nobody cares.

However you look at it, either as two guys dancing or as dos amigos holding hands, there are clearly four different guys pictured here. Two different diesigns on the same cop car.




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

West Buechel's totally bizarre budget

Budgeting is a guessing game. First you guess how much income you will be receiving in the coming year and then you guess how much it will cost to do what you want. Budget control is an ongoing process every month to make adjustments to spending and revenue generation so as to avoid an imbalance between the two.

Government should not spend money it does not have and it should not tax more than what is useful and justified.

West Buechel's last City budget ended on June 30, 2013 and there has not been a new budget considered or officially adopted by the City Council since then. From July 1, 2013 until the present day, West Buechel has been operating on a City budget voted on in May, 2012 . . .  nearly three years ago. The old budget continues in effect, by operation of KRS, until a new budget is adopted later this year sometime.

That's not the bizarre part.

According to the City's audited financial reports from years past, West Buechel received $1.38 million in revenue for FY 2011-2012.   

Former Mayor Fowler's FY 2012-2013 City budget estimated City revenue to be $1.2 million.

In actual fact, the City collected $1.58 million in revenue in FY 2012-2013.

Mayor Fowler's 2012-2013 City budget undestimated the City's revenue by $374, 328. This seems so bizarre because the revenue estimate for FY 2012-2013 was $180,000 lower than was actually collected in FY 2011-2012, for no apparent reason. The numbers don't make any sense.

But, if you look at Mayor Fowler's FY 2012-2013 estimate of revenue and compare it to the audited financial statement, you can notice something interesting.

Not only does Mayor Fowler's budget underestimate property tax receipts, occupational tax receipts, insurance tax receipts and net profit tax receipts, it also wholly leaves out any mention of receipts from code enforcement parking citations and from grants.

In FY 2012-2013 parking citations and grants brought in $133,000, up from $89,000 the year before. Just forgetting about those revenue sources in the FY 2012-2013 budget was a strange thing to do.








Monday, January 26, 2015

What does Chris Johnson know about West Buechel's ethics board?

"What does Chris Johnson know about West Buechel's ethics board?" is the second question.

The first question is, "Who is Chris Johnson?"

This is easy to answer. Chris Johnson is a staff lawyer for the Kentucky League of Cities in Lexington. Mr. Johnson is listed as an attorney with Martindale.com and he is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association in good standing. Mr. Johnson has been a Kentucky lawyer since 2001, he specializes in municipal law and he is bald.

Look. See for yourself. He's bald.


 He's a bald lawyer. That's who Chris Johnson is. Now to the second question.

What does Chris Johnson know about West Buechel's ethics board?

This is what Chris knows, all contained within his March 14, 2014 email to Marti Sitz, in full.

If I read this email correctly, it means that Zuly Delgardo and Tom Howard are duly appointed members of West Buechel's Ethics Board and neither the City Council nor the Mayor have anything to say about who the two of them, Zuly and Tom, select to be the third member.


Mayor Fowler did not date

My KRS Open Records Request to view West Buechel's City Ethics Commission file confirmed my suspicion that former Mayor Fowler didn't like to write things down on paper. She also did not have the habit of putting a date on most of the papers she did generate.

A few important dates are missing from the City's records. For example, former Mayor Fowler's 2012 City Budget Message has no date on it. It's not any big deal, unless knowing when something happened is important.

I encourage Mayor Richards to put a date on everything.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

BWWB - Budget Woes West Buechel

When I see a budget line item named "Bank Charges," I think bad check fees, overdraft fees or monthly account service fees. But, when I see ten thousand dollars estimated for yearly "Bank Charges" in the West Buechel City budget from the Fowler administration, I scratch my head in wonder.

Bad check fees, overdraft fees or monthly account service fees do not explain ten thousand bucks of budgeted expense.

So . . . this $10k budget item might represent VISA merchant discount payments to a bank for processing credit card transactions, but at a discount rate of 2.5%, the City would have to take in $400,000 in credit card payments to generate that amount of fees.

I doubt that happens, so what's up with a $10,000 City budget item for "Bank Charges"?

These "Bank Charges" might be interest payments on some loan . . . possibly. But what loan?

If that were the case, normal honesty would not call a loan interest expense "Bank Charges." It would be called "Interest Expense."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

City logo du jour


Mayor Fowler had three offices

Former Mayor Sharon Fowler conducted West Buechel city business out of an office in City Hall, an office at the old T. E. M. building on Hikes Ave. and her home office.

Former Mayor Fowler has a bad-ass German Shepherd guard dog at home. His name is Apollo.

No doubt the best stuff is hidden at home with the German Shepherd, but it would take a search warrant to look there.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Loy's dog circus

"Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." 
Shakespeare - Julius Caesar - shmoop


Yesterday at dusk, I was walking to the Shepherdsville Road railroad overpass to get an uncluttered photograph of the sunset when I set off Loy Crawford's home burglar alarm. These are four of the Crawfords' seven rescue dogs that happened to be out in the back yard at the time. Each one is a different type of dust mop. When I stood right next to the chain link fence and leaned over it, I made the dogs go berserk.  Loud, but hard to photograph in low light with them running around in circles. Especially the black one.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bags of cash in City Hall

There was at least ONE bag of cash located in West Buechel City Hall after former Mayor Sharon Fowler's administration ended on December 31. It wasn't a very big bag of cash. It was just $38.60 and it came from  "donations" to, or the sale of vegetables from, the Community Center garden project, depending on which story you believe.

The note in the sealed envelope with the cash was dated August 26, 2014.

The good news is that nobody stole this cash when getting away with it would have been very easy.

The bad new is that a bag of cash sat in the City Clerk-Treasurer's office four months without being deposited in a bank account.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Two folks from Frankfort

Two official folks from Frankfort arrived at West Buechel City Hall yesterday afternoon, and they spent two hours or more asking questions, but not getting many answers. The State Auditors have arrived on a scouting expedition. They will tell our new Mayor, Rick Richards, what documents are needed for them to do a meaningful audit.

Finding  these financial documents is not impossible, but it will take some considerable amount of time. We can go back seven years and recover nearly everything, and see exactly where all the money went.

All the city finances, with a few exceptions, were controlled directly by former Mayor Fowler herself and she's not one to keep accurate records. The financial paper work at ground level in City Hall is a mess. It is incomplete.As the story goes, former Mayor Fowler wanted to save trees by not using paper, so putting it in writing was not encouraged. No doubt erasing her hard drive saved a few trees as well.

Amazingly, it has been difficult for the new administration to learn exactly how many bank accounts in how many different banks still hold City money, or open credit card accounts and bank loans. It seems West Buechel had a PayPal account, but after you ask yourself, "Why?" you can only scratch your head and wonder.

These are mysteries that should not exist.

The real mystery is why the people of West Buechel put up with this crap for so long. I scratch my head and wonder.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

West Buechel's 2013-2014 audit is available

The City's annual audit report from Jonathan Michael Smith, CPA, is now available at the West Buechel City Clerk's office. All City Council Members should probably pick up a copy to study it. There are some problems with it from what little bit I've looked at it today. Anyone can get a copy if they pay the photocopy charge of $3.50 for thirty-five pages.

I'll see if I can digitize this report and post it online.

This audit report is NOT the State audit requested by the City Council earlier this month. Comparing the two reports when the State audit is complete should be interesting, in a very dull and boring way.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The list

There was a guy with a clipboard who walked around asking people he met on the street what their name was. The guy wrote the name on his clipboard and, in all seriousness, advised each person,

"I can kick your ass."

Most people looked shocked to hear this, shook their heads and walked away without further conversation.

One day a young farm boy with a pro football linebacker's build came into town and encountered the guy with a clipboard. When told by the guy with a clipboard that he could kick the his ass, the farm boy laughed out loud.

"No you can't," he chuckled.

Without blinking, the guy with the clipboard said, "OK. No problem."

"I'll take your name off the list."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Loy Crawford's legislative proposal - what it means

At West Buechel's regular City Council meeting on January 13, 2015, Council Member Loy Crawford introduced a proposed amendment to City Ordinance 215, Series 2007, regarding per diem travel reimbursements.

As originally written and enacted, Ordinance 215 allows a flat $50 or $75 daily payment for travel "out of town on city business" for more than six hours. The most obvious reasonable interpretation for "out of town" means travel anywhere outside the city limits of West Buechel.

A trip to downtown Louisville, is "out of town," right? Downtown Louisville is outside West Buechel's city limits.

A trip to Sam's Club is "out of town" too, even if it is still wholly within Jefferson County.

Almost any travel is "out of town." West Buechel is small.

Not only does this proposed amendment seek to increase the per diem to $100 or $150 per day, as discussed in the Council meeting, and to totally exclude city employees from receiving the payment, the proposed amendment also eliminates the six hour minimum travel duration.

As proposed, this amendment would entitle City Council Members to receive $100 to $150 for ANY travel outside West Buechel's city limits.

This does not make a lot of sense to me. Maybe it's just a language problem. English.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A West Buechel cookbook

After six months of careful investigation, I have established to my own satisfaction that some of the best cooks in all of Kentucky live right here in West Buechel. I think a West Buechel cookbook should be assembled and published before some of the best cooks in Kentucky turn toes-up and pass along to the great kitchen in the sky.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How many times has West Buechel been sued?

I was told that the City of West Buechel has been sued so many times, it is difficult for the City to buy liability insurance coverage, but the paperwork details for these lawsuits is difficult to find easily, even in the 21st Century.

The Kentucky Courts online database of court cases is extremely limited and incomplete.  An online search produces zero results.

I found a Kentucky Court of Appeals opinion, Sedley v. City of West Buechel from 1970, by searching on Goggle.

I know about that screwy real estate deal of former Mayor Sharon Fowler's when a friend of mine handed me a copy of the Complaint filed in Trinity United Church of Christ vs. the City of West Buechel. I wrote about this in some detail back last October in another blog, in a post titled Ghosts in West Buechel. You can read about it there.

It is possible that former West Buechel Police Officer John Kelly's claim to be reinstated may ultimately result in litigation, but it hasn't happened yet.

I know there is a lot more going on here than what can be found out about online.

An analysis of how and why the City has been sued in the past might show how City management might be improved in the future, but squeezing the details out of thin air is simply not possible.

I may have to make a trip downtown to the Courthouse to find what I want to know.

Maybe I'll do it this coming Spring, when the weather warms up again and after I plant my rose garden.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fowler's bad management hits West Buechel's credit

Not for lack of money, but because of former Mayor Sharon Fowler's bad management, the City of West Buechel has received a letter, dated January 2, 2015, from Synchrony Bank lowering Buechel's Sam's Club Business Credit account limit.

This adverse credit determination resulted from Buechel's delinquencies for more than two billing cycles, excessive balances, past due amounts and other bad credit reports through Equifax.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

City travel expense per diems - Opinion poll

West Buechel City Ordinance 2007:215 currently provides that if a City employee must travel out of town on City business, they will receive a $50 per day per diem as reimbursement for food and incidental expenses resulting from being away from home.

Council Member Loy Crawford introduced an Ordinance at Tuesday's regular Council meeting to amend City Ordinance 2007:215 to double the amount of the per diem to $100 per day and to make it available to City Council Members only. Regular City employees would not receive the per diam when they travel on City business if Council Member Loy Crawford's proposed amendment is passed into law.

What's your opinion on this proposed change?

Should City employees be excluded from being paid a travel per diem?

Are you for or against this proposed change?

Click this link to the Grapevine's home page and vote in the online poll on the upper right side.

Obesity in West Buechel

My friend Drew saw what he thought was a deformed dwarf walking down the sidewalk at night on Marvin Avenue. It turned out to be the biggest raccoon he had ever seen.

I saw a pig-monster at my back door a few nights ago, but it was only the most obese possum I'd ever seen, and I've seen a lot of possums in my life. It was the size and shape of a really big watermelon, with legs and a tail. It waddled more than it walked.

I understand that quite a few people like to feed the neighborhood cat population outside, especially in this bitter cold weather, but it seems that every other form of wildlife around town also gets fed in the process.

I've seen the swine barn from the Kentucky State Fair, pictured here. I want to know is there is any money or fame in growing prize possums?


Monday, January 12, 2015

Two guys dancing

It is another reason to dislike West Buechel's City logo. It has the image of two guys holding hands and dancing with each other.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mayor Sharon's hard drive is wiped?

I heard that former Mayor Fowler told new Mayor Rick Richards that she erased the hard drive on her office computer at City Hall.

This hearsay needs to be verified, one way or another.

If it is the truth, the hard dive should be removed from the computer and sent off to a data recovery specialist to see, if possible, what was "erased."

Then, a new hard drive could be mounted in the computer case and the software reinstalled, assuming the original software CDs can be located. The computer in the Mayor's office could then be used. Now it cannot be used. Any actual use of the computer now would run the risk of rendering the erased data files unrecoverable.

I volunteer to do this for the City. I was co-owner of Complete Computer Works in Clarksville, Indiana from 1987 to 1991 with my ex-wife, before she X'd me. I built and sold more than a thousand personal computers during that time.

If you know the meaning of the personal computer terms "XT" or "AT," it has great meaning.

It means that you are OLD!
 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Force multiplier

For a police officer to watch more than one place at the same time is definitely a 21st Century event.

The technology now exists and it is very affordable to do what was expensive just a few years ago. The technology exists for an all-weather video camera to view and record the Community Center basketball court, for example. A WBPD cop could be watching that live Community Center video feed  while sitting in a  patrol car in the Walmart parking lot.

This would not require the purchase of any expensive hardware that will quickly become obsolete. WBPD patrol cars are already equipped with tablet computers connected to the Internet. The video cameras are cheap and all the rest is a monthly charge from a service provider like ADT.

There is no need for the City to buy video recording equipment. The monitoring service, like that provided by ADT, comes with video recording and thirty day retention in off-site secure digital storage servers. If something happens at the basketball court that might expose the City to liability, or if a crime were committed there, a video recording of the event would be useful to have.

If it doesn't work out, the service can be terminated without much out-of-pocket loss, but it may be the only way to prove the existence of the elusive meowing policeman.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The word according to Teddy

I asked Teddy how Mayor Rick was doing after a week of being West Buechel's new Mayor.

Teddy said that Rick is an idiot because Rick can make more money in a month of doing his Century Lighting business than he does in a year of being Mayor of West Buechel.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It takes a cop to know a cop

If you have ever developed any talent in life you can easily spot someone who either does or does not know what he is doing in that area of your expertise. The basic rule is if you want to know the value of a gem, ask a jeweler.

The same goes for evaluating a cop's job performance. You never ask a criminal if the cop who busted him is a good or a bad cop, you ask another cop or several other cops. 

As I have previously mentioned, there are some factions that want Chief Sharp to be replaced. In my mind, the primary question is if Chief Sharp is currently performing his job responsibilities,  whatever they are, acceptably well.

That's my big problem. I can't tell the difference between a good Chief and a bad Chief just by looking at him and talking to him a little bit. I'm not a cop. I've never been a cop. I don't know what a Chief of Police actually does from day to day.

If the trick is to find the people who know the answers about Chief Sharp's job performance, the first place I'd look is to the ten cops that currently work for Chief Sharp.

I propose the following:

  1. A chief of police job performance review questionnaire be quickly developed.
  2. The questionnaire should cover seven to ten chief of police job evaluation areas, in multiple parts.
  3. Each part should be scored on a five-grade scale from sub-standard on the low end and excellent on the high end.
  4. The score from each part should be combined to produce an overall cumulative score.
  5. One copy of the questionnaire should be delivered to each current City cop employee below the level of Chief.
  6. The anonymity of the questionnaire survey should be guaranteed and foolproof. The cops filling out this survey should feel confident that their honest responses will never come back to bite them.
  7. Each cop should be paid $50 when his or her completed questionnaire is returned. Why? Because life is short and filling out a long questionnaire is a big pain in the ass. 

Then, we should have a much better idea if Chief Sharp is doing a good job, or not. 
    

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So soon? The pigeons are roosting already?

According to a WAVE 3 TV Open Records Request,  Former Mayor Sharon Fowler, "made more than $400 in purchases on the Home Shopping Network and QVC using the city's credit card. More than $150 in charges at Louisville-area restaurants showed up, as did spending in Las Vegas."

LINK to WAVE 3 January 5, 2015 story, Former West Buechel mayor gave city loans to herself, others

I blame it on the dog

I know for a fact that former Mayor Sharon Fowler has a thing for police dogs. Fowler's dog Apollo is a big German Shepherd guard dog who routinely annoys the neighbors with his barking. I've seen him in her fenced yard.

I heard that when former Mayor Fowler went to the Kroger parking lot in the past, all she saw was drug deals happening there. Maybe she did. These days all I see in in the Kroger parking lot are grifters running "I really need gas money" scams.

So, former Mayor Fowler imagined that a police drug dog was needed to solve the Kroger parking lot drug trade. She pushed her Police Chief in the direction of getting a police drug dog, but he thought it was a goofy idea.

It's not smart to stand between Fowler and something she wants..

According to WDRB (LINK to WDRB April 28, 2014 news story), former Police Chief Jeff Manning resigned because of the police dog thing and Fowler appointed Gary Sharp as interim police chief. The City Council rejected Sharp's appointment by a three-to-two vote with one abstention. Lint to WDRB May 1, 2014 news story, West Buechel council rejects mayor's choice for new police chief.

Chief Sharp was willing to go along with Fowler's desire to get a police dog probably because Sharp wanted the Chief's job and he would not have gotten the appointment otherwise. 

So they got a police dog. The dog's name is Maxx. I doubt that a police drug dog is really all that useful around West Buechel, but I don't know for sure.

As far as I can tell from this internet thing, the West Buechel City Council never did vote to approve Gary Sharps' appointment as Chief.

NOTE: MAJOR REVISION: According to a WDRB-TV News story from July 14, 2014, the West Buechel City Council did ultimately approve Gary Sharp's appointment as Chief of Police. LINK to story - Gary Sharp named permanent chief of West Buechel Police Department.  Unfortunately, the Minutes from the July, 2014 City Council meeting are not posted on the City's website. The June, 2014 Minutes are posted and the August, 2014 Minutes are posted, but the July Minutes are not posted. Good grief!  

Former Mayor Fowler has left yet another mess for new Mayor Rick Richards to clean up.

The only question I have is if Gary Sharp has done a good job as Police Chief these last seven months. If the answer is "yes," then I say keep him and get on with more important problems.

Don't shoot the Sheriff!

If wasting taxpayer money is a shooting offense, the City Council should host a circular firing squad tonight.

 




The dark innuendo is flimsy

I had to dig a little bit to get a hold of this gossip, but fortunately bribes, threats and water-boarding were not required. Basically, all I have to do is to walk around east West Buechel and listen to the talk. There are a lot of talkers here, but most do not want to appear on camera. My "digging" consisted of asking "What do you hear about Chief Sharp?"

It seems that the West Buechel Police Department (WBPD) recently busted a shoplifter who had stuffed a vacuum cleaner down his pants in Walmart and then forgot about it."Honest, officer, I have no idea how that vacuum cleaner got stuffed down my pants."

Anyway, the WBPD took physical custody of both the alleged nitwit thief and the vacuum cleaner, but what to do with the vacuum cleaner? It might be useful as evidence of the crime, so Chief Sharp says, "We'll keep that vacuum cleaner at City Hall."

Did you hear the dark innuendo there?

You have to listen closely.

Chief Sharp said to keep the vacuum cleaner, meaning that he planned to keep that $125 vacuum cleaner for himself and to sell it on the black market. Therefore, Sharp must go!

Seriously. No shit. That is exactly how I heard the story. The Chief of the West Buechel Police Department was putting his long career in law enforcement on the line, in front of witnesses, for nothing more that a damn vacuum cleaner.

Who honestly believes this bullshit?

My aching back.


 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mayor Rick on teevee

This story is not about West Buechel's new Mayor, Rick Richards.

This story is about the damn Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) kicking in somebody's front door because Mom generously shared her prescription pain pills with her son and she was goofy enough to tell the FedEx driver exactly what she was shipping and even showed him the pills.

FedEx drivers are not slouches. They are all well trained. Quite naturally, the FedEx driver notified the proper authorities who then jumped on it.

The rules say that shipping Schedule I narcotic medications without the proper paperwork will put somebody's name at the top of The Blacklist. Thank goodness that sweet, generous, thoughtful and goofy Mom did not get busted and sent off to the living hell of Lawyer Land. Nope. It was Rick who got busted right after FedEx delivered Mom's drug shipment. The DEA kicked in Rick's front door and I slept right through it.

It wasn't cool and exciting like a cop meowing like a cat in the middle of the night.

This is how WHAS TV covered this story. LINK TO VIDEO.

Boring. Very boring.




Whispers

There seems to be a two-pronged attack brewing against Gary Sharp, Chief of the West Buechel Police Department (WBPD). One prong results from Chief Sharp's association with former Mayor Sharon Fowler. The other prong comes from a another cop who wants Chief Sharp's job.

This is not boring to me. The truth of the matter is that I despise gossip.

I want facts. I want the truth.

I usually find what I'm looking for.

Stay tuned.

  

Zoom on 4700 Champion Trace Lane

Clearly, West Buechel is a cat magnet. Like any other feral cat, when I see something new I want to check it out. 4700 Champion Trace Lane is interesting, when you look at it from outer space. There is a 4.6 acre parcel of land that stretches the whole length of Fountain Square Drive between the apartments and Beargrass Creek, which flows next to Champion Trace Lane.


There are two large interconnected lagoons and a 15,000 sq. ft. office building, all owned by a Kentucky company named 4700 Champion Trace LLC,   and this organization is owned and managed by Chris Thieneman. The office building is rented to Seven Counties Services, Inc. which is nice. Seven Counties provides community mental health and social services. Some of Seven Counties' services include help for school children with behavioral problems and  also adult mental health services.



I know for a fact there are at least a few residents of West Buechel who should make an appointment.

I guess the lagoons are there for storm runoff, sewage overflow or for somebody who runs a catfish farm. If I were 13 years old, I'd want to swim there, which is probably a really stupid idea.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

West Buechel from above

As I understand them, the boundaries of West Buechel are Bashford Manor Lane to the north, Bardstown Road to the east, the railroad tracks on the south and Newburg Road to the west, with a small piece hanging off the southwest corner that includes the Penske Truck Rental.

Here is the satellite view:


A song for Paul

I stood out in the windy gray chill of St. Francis Avenue this morning getting schooled on West Buechel by Paul, who didn't really like my musical taste all that much.

To make up for my psychedelic rock guitar preferences and to give country flat pick musical masters their just recognition, this song is for Paul, if he can ignore the Chevy Camero in the video.

Just imagine a Ford Mustang instead.
.
The Man In Black can sing.

I vote for Kim

First, I'd like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to former West Buechel Mayor Sharon Fowler for having the foresight to terminate the employment of the City's former Clerk-Treasurer just in time for newly-elected Mayor Rick Richards to appoint a successor, subject to Council approval of course.

Fowler made things easy. Gracias.

Note to self: Encourage new City Council to get its shit together quickly.

Kim is the perfect person for the job of City Clerk-Treasurer. Kim has the experience, talent and personal predilections of a top-flight clerk and bookkeeper, and this is exactly what is needed now.

Nepotism considerations are not a problem. This anti-family principle cannot possibly apply to former spouses from prior centuries.

The job of City Clerk-Treasurer will not be an easy one for the next year or so. Many outward appearances suggest that the Fowler administration has left a load of mess to clean up in City Hall. Also, the person with with the City Clerk-Treasurer job will be very busy sifting through paperwork looking for dirt in preparation for the day when the State Auditor shows up.This may even be more boring than rose gardening.

Since I don't really have a vote in the matter, I should revise myself to say that I hope Kim takes this job.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Predicting the past

"No victory is final and no defeat is complete." 

The past is the best predictor of the future for the simple and universally recognized reason that human beings are creatures of habit and they are a lot like cows.

Former Mayor Sharon Fowler clearly has a long past habit of running for elected office in the City of West Buechel.  If this is an indicator, I expect that she will run again at the next opportunity. The next opportunity will be the 2016 City Council election.

This all depends upon Fowler remaining a resident in West Buechel. Being a resident of the City is a requirement for every elected office. As we all already know, being a convicted felon would not stop her from running and winning an election.

Former Mayor Fowler is currently renting a house in the thirty-seven hundred block of Ethel Avenue.

I say if Fowler is still a resident in West Buechel this time next year, she will definitely run for City Council in 2016. But, if she moves out of the City, that will end that dream for sure.


Friday, January 2, 2015

I saw the news today, oh boy

The new City administration changed the locks today. WHAS 11 News.

There will be a forensic audit of the City finances.

There is a lot of suspicion of the prior administration, but not too many facts yet. It may be some months before the shit actually hits the fan, if ever. There's still a good chance that West Buechel will end up boring the living crap out of me after all, but that's just what I want.

Boring is good. Drama is bad.

Melodrama is worse than bad.

I think I'll plant a rose garden this Spring. It doesn't get any more boring than rose gardening.


  

All along the watchtower

I never had a job that required me to be ready to rock-n-roll on the cold, wet, dark streets at 6 AM the morning after New Years Day, and to be a damn hero if that was needed. The minor electrical fire in the 37 hundred block of Marvin Avenue could have been a lot worse. The guy who still lives there unharmed is an invalid.

 Photo credit: Rick Richards

But it could have been a lot worse than that.

The emergency 911 operator could have said, "Sorry, but you're on your own."

Somebody always shows up when the need is great.

This one is for all the men and women who put their asses on the line any time of day or night, every day, and who show up when the need is great.  This song is for those who keep the watch in the dark of night.


Eric Clapton & Lenny Kravitz do Hendrix doing Dylan

All Along The Watchtower

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Best wishes to West Buechel's new Mayor

Rick Richards' four year term as Mayor of West Buechel begins today.

Rick took the Oath of Office and he was sworn in on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Kentucky State Representative Tom Burch.


Rick's success as Mayor will be West Buechel's success, and we wish him well.

Chief Sharp speaks

I got a quick response from Chief Sharp, and he assures me the Ford F-150 that irked me is legitimately owned by the City of West Buechel.

It's a long story, it's New Year's Day for pity sake and nobody likes to type out long stories, so the details will have to wait until later.

When in doubt, call the cops

An open letter to Chief Gary Sharp, West Buechel Police Department.


A new Grapevine appearance


A possible City logo