A little friction continues between mayor, commissioners

A little friction between the mayor and some commissioners stemming from the Hollywood Casino charitable grant funding process continued this week.

It started last week with several community representatives stepping forward to oppose an effort to change the way casino grant funding was distributed. That effort to change the funding process to a more direct one allowing commissioners to control a portion of the fund, which would spread out the funding throughout the county and make it available to smaller groups, was led by Commissioner Ann Murguia and other commissioners. The change was opposed by the mayor.

Commissioner Murguia is running for re-election, and has no opposition. The mayor’s term is up in two years.

Commissioner Murguia said at the Jan. 22 meeting that she had been told that a representative of the mayor’s office made certain remarks concerning the funding process at a neighborhood leaders’ meeting earlier in the day. She said it was reported to her that dirty or corrupt politics had been insinuated. Commissioner Mike Kane also made a statement about it at that Jan. 22 UG Commission meeting.

At the Jan. 29 meeting, Mayor Holland brought the issue back to the public meeting, saying he had investigated it. “I would like to offer assurance that I have confidence that my staff member acted appropriately and that her statements were misconstrued at the meeting,” Mayor Holland said on Jan. 29.

“It looked to me like, commissioner, that you were looking to bully a member of my staff, and I found that unprofessional and inappropriate,” Mayor Holland said at the meeting.

Today, Commissioner Murguia was asked to respond to those allegations.

She stated: “I am very disappointed in Mayor Holland’s comments and characterizations last night at the conclusion of our commission meeting. He, and I, were not present at the neighborhood group meeting. It was reported to me, and other Commissioners, by more than one person who was at the meeting, what the Mayor’s staff person said. I as well as several other commissioners mentioned it at our Commission meeting last week.

“I believe Mayor Holland’s name calling and characterizations reflect poorly on his leadership ability and our efforts to have a Commission that works well together and is not divided by inaccurate and irresponsible comments by Mayor Holland.

“I am going to continue to work to improve and maintain services and programs to benefit the 3rd District and Wyandotte County. I believe we have a hard working and dedicated Commission that is doing their best to represent our county,” Commissioner Murguia stated.

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Man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

Joshua J. Brazeal
Joshua J. Brazeal

Joshua J. Brazeal, 28, pleaded guilty today to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Geraldine Strader, 79.

Strader was killed in an injury-accident in the 3800 block of Haskell Avenue on Aug. 19.

A police officer tried to stop a Cadillac Eldorado in the 1800 block of Central Avenue, and the vehicle did not stop, according to police at the time. Police said they did not pursue the vehicle. Then a few minutes later, the Eldorado had a collision with a Toyota Camry near 38th and Haskell, police said at the time.

The driver of the Camry, Strader, a resident of Kansas City, Kan., died from her injuries in the accident.

Three injured in wreck on I-635 near State Avenue

1 K635SBC-08 accident 635
Three were injured in an accident on I-635 northbound before State Avenue about 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. (KC Scout photo)

Three persons were injured in an accident at 5:01 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, on I-635 northbound just north of State Avenue, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

According to the trooper’s report, a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer and a 2001 Honda Civic were northbound on I-635 when the Trailblazer’s driver lost control of the vehicle and struck the Civic. The Trailblazer then struck the median barrier wall, the trooper’s report stated.

The driver of the Trailblazer, a 21-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man, was injured and taken to a hospital, according to the trooper’s report. A 24-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman in the Trailblazer was also injured and taken to the hospital, the report stated.

A 35-year-old Olathe man driving the Honda Civic was not injured, according to the report. A 5-year-old Olathe boy in the Civic was injured and taken to a hospital, the report stated.