Archive for Thursday, March 28, 2013

Basehor VFW’s future is up in the air

The Basehor VFW Post 11499 is located at 2805 N. 155th St. in Basehor.

The Basehor VFW Post 11499 is located at 2805 N. 155th St. in Basehor.

March 28, 2013

Strapped for funding, the Basehor VFW Post is struggling to keep its building open for its own needs and community events.

The post raised $600 at a fundraiser last Saturday night, enough to pay its bills for April, but beyond that, the fate of the VFW building at 2806 N. 155th St. is up in the air.

It costs the post about $1,800 a month to stay open, which is funded by the members’ Bingo nights, breakfasts and Chuck Wagon food truck profits, Commander Fred Box said.

The post receives $2,500 a year from the city and small donations from groups that use the facility for meetings or parties, but that hasn’t been enough lately, Box said.

Making only a couple of hundred dollars at the breakfasts and Bingo nights, the post is having trouble making ends meet, Quartermaster Dan Stueckemann said.

“We’re losing ground every month,” he said.

Members are planning to host some larger fundraisers in the upcoming months, such as 5K runs and country music dinners, Box said, but without community support, the post may have to close soon.

“If we don’t have the building, the only way we have to make money is the Chuck Wagon,” Stueckemann said.

The VFW uses a large portion of is funds to support community activities, Box said. The post awards annual scholarships for local students, supports veterans programs, offers a free Thanksgiving dinner to seniors, hosts meetings for community organizations, visits schools to teach students about service and provides many other activities.

Lela Wiley, whose husband Bob Wiley started the post, said she’ll do anything she can to help. Already a large contributor and supporter, she said she’d be heartbroken to see them lose the building.

“That building is not only used for the VFW,” she said. “It’s an asset to the community.”

Many community organizations hold meetings at the building, and it’s also a place for residents to hold parties, family reunions and other celebrations, she added.

“This building is a community center for a lot of organizations,” Box said.

More than that, he said, it’s a headquarters of the post’s service work to honor local veterans. There are about 75 members of the post who see it as a center of support and connection to the community at large.

“I’m going to do everything I can to keep this building open, because our veterans deserve it,” Box said.

There may also be some misconceptions about the VFW hall, Box said. The hall is smoke- and alcohol-free, and the general public and their families are invited and encouraged to attend the post’s breakfasts, Bingo nights and other activities at the hall.

Box said he hopes residents will come out to more VFW events to support the post and the community’s veterans so members can keep the building for the community.

The post will also be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on April 1-3 to accept tax-deductable donations.

Comments

Ronald Grover 1 year ago

So the commander of a VFW hall cannot seem to manage the budget of a non-profit organization. By his own admission it is now at the point that it is losing ground every month and is in danger of losing its building unless the city and public bails them out.

This is the same person that wants to be mayor of the city and to bring those same management skills to Basehor City government.

I think NOT.

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armystrong 1 year ago

Rong: your comment is disgraceful, Desperate, and pathetic. Comparing running a non profit organization (( during a recession )) that helps veterans to being mayor of our city. If David has any honor he would get on here and give his own remarks. Shameful!

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Ronald Grover 1 year ago

Armystrong: The facts are the facts, there is no debate especially when it comes directly from his own mouth. In addition he is a quitter. He resigned mid term during his last elected position. Is this really the type of management and behavior you want to reward with a vote?

Maybe what is going on with the current city government is not to your and others liking but couldn't a better leader and accomplished manager be recruited to run for this position?

I myself feel it is fair to take into consideration what a person has done lately and accomplished before standing behind them for a position this important. I am not ashamed or apologetic for asking that question.

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johninbasehor 1 year ago

Is this the same guy that resigned from the City Council because he couldn't handle the job? Now he wants us to vote him in as Mayor!

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armystrong 1 year ago

John there you go again beating the same drum and leaving out a bunch of information. You with out a doubt spend very little time caring or educating yourself on what's actually going on in the city. It's the same old crap. Ok, then! I prefer my Mayor not to throw temper fits and throw stuff when they're upset at a meeting. I would prefer not having a Mayor who owns half of the city along with miles ( have no problem with any of Miles ) and is a major contractor within the same city. Who's family has a history of hiring themselves and cutting corners. ( See 4 comments down ) By the way this article is about helping the VFW hall! If you have a suggestion that would be incredible.

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johninbasehor 1 year ago

Wasn't the temper tantrum you are referring to the result of Fred Box voting to cost the city $200,000 in litigation losses as a result of his vote to reject the advice of our own city attorney on an employment contract? Talk about insane judgement. Running the VFW into bankruptcy, costing the city countless thousands of dollars with poor judgement on various votes while acting as a city councilman, such as violating signed contracts causing losses due to litigation, acquiring land that required costly asbestos removal by the city, and then resigning his elected city council job because his impeached faction of council members were unable to install him as the new Mayor hours before his council friends were thrown out of office. I would say that this is the information that you should be presenting regarding a mayoral candidate's judgement instead of a candidate having a third cousin of an aunt that owns some business in town! If you can't handle the job of City Councilman, how can you handle the job of being a Mayor?

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masterstream 1 year ago

This will be the 2nd post that the VFW has lost or about to lose in recent years. Granted, the first one was in very bad condition. While it may not be the same, it cant look good for Box going into the election. In the end, its still running a business, non-profit or a city. Fair or not, you have to ask the question. Rong isnt off base with asking the question that everyone is thinking.

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armystrong 1 year ago

If you honestly think running a business is equal to being able to keep, I say again keep a nonprofit organization going as long as Fred and others have is a weakness. Then reasoning with you is out the question.

If you think standing up and saying that you are not going to the party to corruption anymore is weak, and not confronting any of the obvious problems is strong. I'm SO Glad I changed my vote for Mayor!! Because that's exactly what I see going on currently.

There are a 1000 of these stories, but maybe this will help you understand why people have a problem with 2 major city leaders owning most of the large businesses in town. ( Nepotism laws )

( 1 ) Rita A. Rhoads had been mayor since 2008. On Monday, Prosecutor Eric Zahnd filed a civil action to remove Rhoads from office for violating the Missouri Constitution’s ban on nepotism. Rhoads agreed to pay $100 to her son-in-law to fix a city sign despite knowing that the law prohibited her from hiring him to do work for the city, Zahnd said. Circuit Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. found that Rhoads violated the state constitution and removed her from office. A city employee had warned Rhoads that she could not hire her son-in-law, but she persisted anyway, authorities said “I don’t care,” Rhoads purportedly responded. “They need the money.” ( July 14 BY GLENN E. RICE The Kansas City Star )

( 2 ) Allegations of nepotism are nothing new in Kansas government. In fact, the 1991 anti-nepotism law itself was inspired by Gov. Joan Finney's hiring of her daughter, Mary Holladay, as chief of staff. In a state with a relatively small population and an even smaller group of elites, the same business leaders, lobbyists and politicians bump into each other on a regular basis....... Sometimes, Kansas politics seems like a clannish affair. Close relationships sometimes get politicians in trouble. ( Posted: By John Hanna The Associated Press )

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Ronald Grover 1 year ago

If you believe that nepotism laws have been violated you should go see the county attorney. Maybe that hasn't been done because nepotism laws have not been violated and this is simply a red herring when there is nothing else to hang your hat on in this election.

The facts are Fred Box has been the VFW organization leader and this organization has persistently in financial trouble under his leadership. Fred Box was a council member that resigned in the middle of his term, how was he representing his constituents by resigning in the middle of his term? Now you want those issues ignored or not brought up

If you have credible accusations of malfeasance by the current council or mayor then bring them forth to the county attorney and stop throwing up smoke screens that are irrelevant to the real issues.

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armystrong 1 year ago

First and foremost how about doing what my family has done in the past and done also this year! Donate to the VFW hall. You know people that good for the community!

By the way, it's called information. I didn't accuse anybody. ( I see what people mean. It's the same tired old rhetoric ) You talk to me about smoke screens. I mean look at you both. You have to use an article talking about a non for profit organization in need of the communities help to try and get your little point across, Sad!

Those men have kept the Hall running for years and years with very little donations and help from the public! Thanks to those that do actually care and or donate. I'll repeat my first statement. It is "pathetic" you have to use an article about helping veterans as your pulpit! If this is the best you got good luck. David Breuer May very well win, but you guys are certainly showing your true colors. This is only 1 of several things I could throw out. If you want to support people like this go for it......

((Suburban Water Company agrees to lower rates, stop purchases of personal items)) By Matt Erickson August 3, 2012

Allowing for extra perks for employees and family members might not be unusual for a small family business, Christopher said. But a utility has higher standards when it comes to accounting, she said, because higher costs translate to higher rates for customers.

“It’s a family, and it’s a business,” Christopher said. “And the problem is they weren’t separating the business expenses and the family as well as they should.”

Breuer said the company agreed that some of the procedures identified in the agreement sprang from the fact that it was a private, family business, and that the company recognized the need to follow the same procedures a public utility would.

Another concern, Christopher said, was that the company did not have a formal bidding process for choosing repair and maintenance contractors and purchasing equipment and materials. Some Suburban customers had raised concerns about the company’s awarding of contracts, she said, because several of its vendors are also owned by members of the Breuer family. But Christopher said that was not a problem in itself.Friday,

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masterstream 1 year ago

Here is the info that I am looking at and you tell me if and where I am wrong.

Fred Box is/was the commander of the VFW. Twice in recent history, the VFW is about to lose its home. Fred Box is a former city council member. Fred Box resigned as city council member.

This is just how Im looking at it. Mr Box was elected in a position by his community to try and help the city. Things changed and Mr Box left/quit/resigned from his elected position as a council member. Why should I vote for someone that has all ready quit once on the City and its citizens? While I have been unable to attend any of the debates, almost everything that I have read so far here in the paper, the only argument Mr Box offers on why he should be elected is because the other guy has a business within the city. Mr Breuer isn't the first mayor or council member to be a business owner within the city. I have read very little on why he should be elected. Sell me on you Mr Box, not on why the other guy is a bad choice.

Ill give you that running a non-for-profit may be different than running a business. While VFW's do great things for the community, why is ours in such bad shape? It doesnt seem like Tongi's VFW is doing that bad. Why does it seem to be that they are doing so much better than Basehor's? Is it the leadership? Are the people of Tongi more willing to donate compared to the people of Basehor?

All this being said, I think Box is going to pull it out and win this election. Basehor voters usually dont turn out very well on non-presidential election votes. The people I have mostly seen voting when I am standing in line seems to be the older demographic, which I think will lean towards Box. It will be interesting to see what happens come election day. Hope to see all of you at the voting booth.

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armystrong 1 year ago

Glad you're going to have a discussion let me start out with sharing my God awful sense of humor. If I haven't made the sale with the FACTS and information presented, truth be told I probably won't. So,, NO SOUP FOR YOU!! ( Seinfeld )

Now on a serious note I've done work in the recent years with different VFW Halls and numerous veterans charities in the area and some outside of Kansas. A lot plays into whether or not a non-profit is successful especially a VFW. The City's Support and the number of citizens and quite frankly businesses that help support that institution. Why are some VFW successful ask the Business Owners. Who owns the main business in Basehor? Are they supportive of the VFW? ** It only takes 1 or 2 businesses contributing $100 or $300 a month to determine whether hey VFW or any other non-profit is successful. ( Tax Deductible, if they cannot afford that I don't want to hear how successful they are! ) Do we have as many businesses as Tonganoxie? We both know we don't..... Just think about it.

Yes, it takes courage to stand up and say I will not be a party to this corruption any more! ( Common Sense ) If he was a quitter he would not be trying to obtain the position of Mayor! Bottom line, I change my vote because I want to see if what he said is true and if he is going to put a stop to it and be completely upfront with all of Us!

Now whether you agree or disagree, I guess you can still have some soup. lol *** No matter who people vote for, I just hope people actually get out and vote this time!!

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listentoreason 1 year ago

What sense does it make that the VFW needs to raise $22000 every year to operate? That's $22000 in mostly donations, and ongoing fundraisers (that wear out the people who do them and the people who come). Who thought that could work? Is it that expensive because they don't own the building? And their hope is too that area businesses give them thousands? This a bad business plan, this is money wasted.

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armystrong 1 year ago

Please if you have a suggestion for a building that is cheaper and has the same space or more by all means enlighten us. Honestly and regrettably this is the only town I've lived in that seems to have a lack of local business support for its nonprofit organizations. I donate have you? Wait, according to your post that would "wear"out everyone and is just a waste of money and apparently unnecessary to you? You listen to reason. Shameful!

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Ronald Grover 1 year ago

I donate regularly to various charities. The VFW is not one of them. If the VFW is such a valuable organization then the members of this club should be the ones supporting it financially. They should stop counting on everyone else to fill their budget and pay for their building.

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armystrong 1 year ago

Thanks for making my point! Do you even think before you type? I just feel bad for you guys or ladies! As were on the subject of unappreciated sacrifices, Happy Easter! "Members of this club should be the ones supporting it." Sad, just sad!

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Ronald Grover 1 year ago

Sorry but I don't get your point. I don't support clubs and social groups in which I do not belong. I am sure there are organizations and charities in which I support you may not financially contribute.

I make no moral judgements on your choice of charities, right or wrong. I am sorry you do not have the same respect for others.

You write as if everyone has an obligation to additionally financially support this club. I hope you don't mean to sound that way. However, in fact everyone does support this club, they receive a donation of Basehor citizens tax dollars each year. So in fact everyone already does involuntarily contribute.

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armystrong 1 year ago

People like you never will. Yeah, you're right, you don't have to donate. I don't hold it against anybody for not donating. They're just not getting on here and showing a lack of concern for veterans. Self absorbed much. I went overseas to protect the rights of people like you. So that you can speak freely, regardless if I agree, disagree, or think it's completely absurd. I will never regret that choice! God Bless America, God bless our veterans, and the men and women who trying to keep this VFW afloat. Have Happy Easter and try to remember It not about you! Lol

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listentoreason 1 year ago

Please don't correlate: Concern for Vets = Giving money to a VFW (especially one with no sustainable business plan)

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LR 1 year ago

Please don't correlate: that Concern for Vets/VFW = Accusing a mayor candidate that he can't count money, can't sustain a business plan, or can't stay on the job (especially one with the moral fortitude to take a stand against corruption, publicly called it what it is, and is going back in to represent us residents to fight it!)

The Breuer temper tantrum and throwing things, referred to above, was never perceived by the rest of us as being about the litigation and/or expenses, it was more like the bully-network didn't get their own way by sneaking through a changed contract, and what does a bully-network do when they don't get their own way? They throw more temper tantrums, and they use this article about a VFW asking for donation support as their diversionary campaign smearing.

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Meghan 1 year ago

if candidate Box has been smeared, I think his past actions and judgement on the City Council are the reasons, and it was self inflicted. Did candidate Box really try to become Mayor just hours before his supporters on the council were tossed out of office?

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MzR 1 year ago

Look what can be found when you google how many VFW Posts have been, and still are, asking for help, and this is only ONE example from the google page:

March 2012-VFW 2480, Port Clinton, Ohio – “As we all know the US economy is in the tank! We in Port Clinton are hurting from this down turn more than most. Your VFW is in desperate shape! What was once quoted as the “richest” post in Ohio is broke…Your Post has been engaged in many things to try to improve our situation. We have made many changes in the way of hours of operation, inventory carried, thermostats set back, lights turned down or off, Insurance Policies reviewed or changed, not paying for every service available. We recently entered into a contract with Performance Group of America to get our heating gas cheaper. Because of this contract you are also able to change your gas company and save with us at 2480…For most of 2480 this is the first newsletter of this kind you have ever received. Asking for you to think and consider the possibility of your post to close is serious. Many have never been asked to help before. Now is the time for your consideration. The VFW is a NOT for Profit organization so use your imagination and think of ways to help…”

OMG! Does this mean that all these VFW Posts are being run with an “unsustainable business plan” where the directors have "no management skills" to run for city council or mayor??

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MzR 1 year ago

"Meghan" - During the time you're referring to, Breuer was also hoping his supporters would put him in as mayor when Loughry got tossed out, which makes your comment a moot point, but since it keeps getting repeated by the same 4 to 5 posters, it would make it appear to be an obvious agenda to hide and/or protect our current administration's doings when things don't go their way. Let's hope today's election gets the people out to vote this time!

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Meghan 1 year ago

Mzr: Were any of Mr. Breuer's supporters on the council the two that were being recalled from office at midnight, the night that Box and the two recalled council members tried repeatedly to make Box the new Mayor?

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MzR 1 year ago

Nope. His supporters were the ones who put him in right after they got rid of the competition.

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listentoreason 1 year ago

An "unsustainable buisness plan" is not a judgment against anyone or their leadership but simply pointing out it is not working, you can't expect it to miracleously start working or donations to pour in. They need a plan to fix it or close it but don't have people put money towards something that doesn't/can't work. If you ask people to give money, knowing there is very little chance of success -that borders on being unethical. Sorry.

Can you find 10 people that think asking for $22,000/year in donations and support from a community this size is a wise plan? No.

So what do you do? Rent space parttime at the old school at 155/Leavenworth Rd. is one possibility. Rent space on Saturdays at the Library or other school building. Partner with an eating establishment, like the 24/40 that has a room that could put VFW in a corner, etc. Sowhat if they don't have their own space. They need a viable solution.

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