Five Cueball thoughts: Election filings, utility agreement, college football playoffs, a translation, and Stallbaumer

first_imgCommentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Jan. 18, 2015 …1. Election coming up…Currently running for a specific seat in many Sumner County races.There are nine days left before the filing deadline closes to run for Wellington City Council, Wellington School Board and all other county races. “Deadline” — which is Jan. 27 — is an appropriate term for this election so far. Because the number of  filings is dead, dead, dead.I don’t care to lecture. You either run or you don’t want to run. But there are a lot of big time races out there this year, and there has been lots of chatter on the comment section of Sumner Newscow and on various social media websites. There’s obviously a lot of discontent out there.We have a Wellington mayor’s race that is wide open, we have three open positions for the city council, and there are four positions open for the Wellington school board. There is an opportunity for you to make a difference.Granted public office isn’t easy and not very gratifying. You don’t get paid, there’s long hours of volunteer work, some people grow to hate you, you have to deal with media types like me, you have all these Internet chatterers, there’s internal politics, misinformed administrators, lobbyists, controversies that seem to materialize out of nowhere. And that doesn’t account for the actual business at hand. But, you know what? If you can make this world just a little bit better not just for you, your kids, your friends, and the community at large it’s all worth it.Because someday someone is going to be writing your obituary.They aren’t going to list the number of Fantasy Football Championships you won, or your golf average, or if you diligently watched every episode of House of Cards in one weekend. They are going to list your contributions to your family and to the community.You have one life to live. Did you make a difference?Think about it. 2. Heating issues…I retracted a story this week — the first time I did so with a news report with my byline on this website. The story, published Monday, dealt with the Wellington School Board and a proposal to work with Building Control Services, Inc. of Wichita concerning the HVAC units at the seven USD 353 buildings.I pulled the article, not because I had some factual errors with the article — which I did. But those errors can easily be rectified with a correction and rewrite.The main reason I pulled the story is after attending the January 9 meeting for which the issue was discussed, listening to the tape of same meeting twice thereafter and discussing the matter with both a school administrator and a representative at BCS, I determined I was uncomfortable with supplying a story with incomplete information. Mistakes I can handle. Misinformation with my byline on this site, I can’t tolerate.In the article, I stated that BCS is a consulting firm that will oversee the USD 353 utility operations. In reality, BCS will only deal with the HVAC units and the company will assist the school district in improving the operation of the current units and make recommendations for future purchases. If an agreement is brokered, which it has not thus far, it will be a five-year commitment for USD 353.The $180,000 figure in the first year mentioned in the story was the budgeted estimates of the money going toward HVAC expenditures plus $35,000 USD 353 will pay BCS for fees to train staff, set up an automation plan, consulting expenses, etc.However, I’m not sure that is the complete story.My biggest question as a USD 353 taxpayer is: What are the peripheral costs to the school district?My Dad used to tell me to “follow the dollar” because it will lead you to exactly why something is being done.My concern is if USD 353 signs an agreement with this utility firm, will a system be implemented for which it would be impossible for USD 353 to leave the company five years down the line?And while I’m sure school fees are part of BCS’s profit margin, my hunch is the company makes the bulk of its change on the products it sales, and other companies who pay them for referral services. Will USD 353 be obligated to buy only HVACs and other utilities supplies through BCS – thus ultimately removing the competitive bidding process from other independent venders including those with a Sumner County address? 5. Shout out of the week… Roger StallbaumerThis week’s shout out goes to Roger Stallbaumer, who announced he is not running for mayor. Stallbaumer has served as mayor since 2007, and he has been a good one. He has not only ran the meeting in a professional matter,  but has served the city on various committees and community projects.Perhaps, his biggest skill, is being a diplomat. The past three months have been perhaps his greatest work. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes in getting us a new city manager and negotiated the warring factions involved in the Wellington Capital Manor controversy.I can’t emphasize the importance of having a good mayor. Not only is this the person who will be the “face” of Wellington when outsiders look to the community for something or another, but he/she will be a manager of the Wellington people.Again, deadline to run the mayor is Jan. 27.You can make a difference. Have I said that before?Follow us on Twitter. 3. College football playoffs…Last week, the college football world crowned a football championship in the first four-team playoffs. The Monday game was a snore fest with Ohio State beating Oregon convincingly. But, I’ll admit, the college postseason is getting closer to respectability.The game was basically an afterthought. We spent all weekend watching the NFL playoffs — the best sporting weekend of the year — only to ask us to retreat and wrap our minds around a college football game. It was like having to pick up milk before going home after a long day at work. But those games on New Years Day were sure exciting and I loved the debate on who got in (TCU got robbed).Here’s my proposal: make college football like high school football playoffs. Start them right after the regular season.On the first week of December have a 16-team tournament with the five major conference champions and three wildcards hosting the first round games. Then have a second and third round games thereafter.Then have the college football championship game on New Year’s Night. Such a game would be epic and college football wouldn’t have to share the limelight with the NFL.Now someone make me in charge of the world, and I’ll get it done.center_img 4. Casino story…A couple of weeks ago I said I was going to do a series of stories on the Kansas Star Casino, and I would start running them in a week. Translation: I am going to have a series of Kansas Star stories and I hope to start running them in in a month or maybe two. Read between the lines people!Dang, I could really work for the government. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down anonymous · 290 weeks ago There are plenty of qualified, exemplary individuals in wellington who would serve our city so well. It seems to me, one of the biggest blocks to the decision to serve is the aspect that someone, somewhere will always be displeased and get vocal. Then, the “mess” will make the news media and city servants are just grilled. It would maybe be a good idea to find some way of extending the filing deadlines and/or even holding a couple “open to all city service seminars” for those who may be interested but not quite “off the fence” about it. Report Reply 0 replies · active 290 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down guest · 290 weeks ago I believe there is a correction to be made. city councilmen (women) get a smitten of pay for the job, board of education members get $0 dollars for their position. Report Reply 0 replies · active 290 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

American Underwrite Insurance Company’s US$3.5M Bond Under-Fire

first_img-As Judge Dixon reverses predecessor’s judgmentJudge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ on August 14, 2019 set aside a US$3.5 million bond secured by the American Underwriter Group, Insurance Company (AUG) for the release of two Lebanese nationals, Salah and his son Tamer Farhat, citing legal insufficiency (not enough).The Farhats were indicted in 2018 of the crimes of money laundering, theft of property, misapplication of entrusted and criminal conspiracy in connection to the alleged disappearance of over US$1.3 million from the coffers of the Tayo Motors where Salah served as managing partner and Tamer as the assistant managing director .The case against the family was filed by Ezzat Eid, another Lebanese national, believed to be majority shareholder in the company.AUG got involved with the case when the defendants paid an unspecified amount of money to have the company serve as their surety. However, in the ruling of Judge Dixon, he decreed that the court will not accept anymore bonds from the AUG in the case.Dixon’s ruling further said that the defendants should use a different company to raise the US$3.5 million bond or they should submit a comprehensive listing of their assets  equivalent to the US$3.5 million.He also warned that the defendants should make available that US$3.5 million bond by Wednesday, August 21.“The defendants are hereby given up to Wednesday, August 21 to provide said bond for its approval otherwise, they shall be detained at the common jail until they can file a valid bond or remain in prison throughout the course of the trial,” the criminal court judge said.The judge said that it was Judge Boima Kontoe, who imposed the US$3.5 million bond in 2018.Judge Dixon recently replaced Judge Peter Gbeneweleh, who had accepted the AUG’s bond.Judge Gbeweneleh then said that AUG had never subpoenaed the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to testify during the justification of the bond.Besides, Gbeneweleh said during the trial that AUG’s business registration certificate had less than 10 days to expire. He signed the bond but advised that the company upgraded it registration process.A legal expert, who spoke with the Daily Observer, said presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a basic principle of the Liberian justice system, noting that defendants should not be unnecessarily punished or detained before being found guilty.In general, the lawyer said that after a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they appear in court and face a judge, who decides whether to release the accused, set bail or hold the person in custody.In many cases, he said, judges sometimes release defendant(s) on a simple promise to appear for their next court date.However, when a judge decides to impose “money” bail conditions, the defendant is likely to spend at least some time in jail – often for the sole reason that they do not have the money needed to post bail immediately and must raise it from friends and family, or must navigate the slow, inefficient commercial bail system.“At a time when the country is focused on reducing the jail population in order to ending a system that results in the unnecessary, unproductive, and expensive detention of people prior to a conviction must be prioritized,” the expert said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more