JOBS Inc. ~ Who and what are they?


 As the Parsons City commission is poised to give away $30,000 of tax payer’s money, does anybody really know who they are giving it to? Or WHY?

 JOBS calls themselves an “private economic developement corporation”. Really? What economy are they actually developing? Their own? The very name and description seem to be quite a misnomer to me. How will they create jobs? And if they do, are the jobs going to be created to further the economic interests of those who make-up JOBS, Inc.? After all, do we even know who they are? At the very least we should know who makes up this group. Full disclosure and transparency is the right thing to do isn’t it?

From the Parsons Sun’s recent articles, the only person I can connect with JOBS is Bob Wood, Realtor extraordinaire. Being a Realtor, isn’t he going to profit from our expenditure? Now please, talk about a conflict of interest at the commission meeting,  before you vote to give away PUBLIC money to a PRIVATE firm!

It seems to me that this group is nothing more than wealthy land speculators, who no doubt stand to make quite a bundle of cash if they can pull off this public funding of their private speculations. Sound familiar? Kind of like Wall Street socialism?

I have no problem with the city doing developement, if and when it is needed. IS IT NEEDED? As one city employee noted, JOBS is doing more developing than the city ever has! I do not see any need for $200,000 homes at this time. I know the city has its own dreams of collecting taxes on these homes, but let’s do a reality check first.

School enrollment is at an all-time low, and continues to drop every year. Surely this is as much of an economic indicator as the massive layoffs that Grandview Cabinets has just been forced to implement. Drive around in the real city, not the dreamy imaginary plat near the booming Wal-Mart intersection. What do you see? Empty businesses everywhere, homes in disrepair. Several homes for sale on practically every block in town. The Help Wanted section in the Parsons Sun hardly makes me think”Build, build, build!” And all the while, many towns in Kansas offer FREE LAND.

Could it possibly be that these speculators bought up the land during a boom-time in real estate, seeing escalating values and a chance to cash in big time. And now, now that the boom has gone bust, what are they to do? I know! Two words…..BAIL-OUT.

Unless this group, and the city commission that is ready to dump our money on them, knows something about a real developement in the near future that just might support jobs that would fill this pipe-dream they call Redtail Ridge,….well if they know something, DO TELL.

I say we have no business funding even the drawings for this developement, at least until real economic growth proves the need. And then, why wouldn’t the city do it’s job, and initiate the move instead of being prodded into this tax money give-away.

Let private corporations fund private ventures, and the markets will create demand. Or do we not believe in capitalism anymore?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION;      (THANK YOU, Dr. Miller)

I was asked to contribute to the formation of Jobs inc. This was civic minded citizens concerned about the deteriorating economy after the Katy sold to the UP. It was formed by private citizens donating money to a special fund to allow money to be available to land businesses to increase the economic viability of Parsons. We donated the money so that those trying to bring businesses here could bypass long and involved red tape. Many of the doctors who like myself were self employed and had our own private practices not hospital employees contributed 5 or 10 thousand each. This was a gift to help the economic development of the community with funds outside of the legal and statutory requirements of the city. Its sole purpose was to create an environment to increase the number of jobs available. The officers are volunteers who look for ways to help create jobs in Parsons. -Dr. Steve Miller

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14 Comments

Filed under Kansas, Labette County, Opinion, Politics, Southeast Kansas

14 responses to “JOBS Inc. ~ Who and what are they?

  1. Don Franklin

    Tracy,

    The term Realtor is copyrighted by the National Association of Realtors and should ALWAYS be capitalized. Otherwise I like your piece. Having just returned from a visit to Parsons I didn’t see anything there that looked like prosperity. I was shocked to visit the High School and see the spending there for fewer students than when I was there 60 years ago.

    Don Franklin

    • Thank you Don, I have corrected that.

      I have also added some additional information that I recieved from one of the JOBS founders.
      I believe that JOBS was started as a good civic-minded group.

      I still have questions.
      Is it a non-profit group?
      How will this housing addition create jobs?

  2. John Troy

    Many of we merchants also contributed to this fund. John Troy

    • Would that be a ‘nod’ in favor of the developement?

      I’m not an unreasonable guy, I just wonder why the taxpayer needs to subsidize any of this.

      Where’s that Nice Mike Howerter when you need him to speak up for the taxpayer?

  3. More from Dr. Miller:
    Yes this is a not for profit group. None of us who donated money to jobs Inc ever expected to get any direct money back on our contribution but we had hoped for it to “grease” the way to help businesses in the community to create jobs. And thus have patients for docs and customers for businesses.

    Mr. Mahoney from the hospital continually complains there are no houses in the price range that helps attract the doctors that he is trying to recruit and he has been pushing to get houses like ones on maple crest and the red tail ridge built. He has really been the one I’ve heard encourage this at meetings.

  4. Possibly Mr, Mahoney and Labette Health should be “greasing the way”, instead of the taxpayers?
    I know they are not bankrupt.

    I’m just saying…….

  5. jammer5

    For some reason, while taking care of my mother, whenever we went for a ride Kansas way, she would always want to stop in Parsons for lunch. It didn’t matter what restaurant; she just seemed to like the town. I was amazed the last time I was there at how the meltdown affected it.

    I wonder if Jobs, Inc., isn’t a last ditch effort by civic minded folk to try and kick-start employment in the area. Using taxpayer funds to do so, while questionable considering the times, could have a long term beneficial effect. It’s certainly worth debating, at the very least, and possibly voting on by both the city council, and meeting attendees. But it does need a hard look.

  6. Jammer, you are correct in your observations and assumption.
    From everything I’m being told, the group has wonderful intentions.
    Like Grandma used to say, the road to hell may be paved with good intentions.

    I think what we are seeing here is wishfull thinking, some very dubious practices by the city commision, and a whole lot of the old BS of “trickle down” economics. That is to say, if the members of JOBS do well, us poor folk will too.

    I have to go for now, but be assured I will have much more to say about this.

  7. FAIR

    The city has appropriated 30,000 dollars to the project and it is not in the city.
    Could this be to escape taxes and regulations or etc.
    No this group would not abuse the taxpayers money and voice?

    • These are the very things I am questioning.

      It is my feeling that when this group needs city money, it should be brought up in a bond issue vote.

      Retail and industrial incentives are quite a different thing.
      Apples/oranges, if you will.

  8. FAIR

    Tell Mr. Mahoney that a doctor wants this price of house and can afford it.

    Then he should put the money up front and get ur done.

    • Thank you for commenting here.
      I too am always looking out for the poor folk.
      Maybe that’s because I’m one.
      If I were born with a silver spoon, I’d be singing a different song wouldn’t I?

      About the supposed need for these doctors.
      That story just doesn’t hold up.
      Many, many doctors have come and gone in the last 20 years, as well as CEO’s.
      Not one of them left due to the lack of housing.
      There are expensive houses (and lots) for sale right now.

  9. Kelly

    I can think of two things that Parsons should spend money on before spending money to attract “the rich”. Roads and Spay/Neuter (not euthanize).

    The city should spend money on the ROADS in Parsons for all the people traveling to and from work, school and spending money within Parsons to pay bills and shop for household needs.

    Our vehicles are enduring a lot of wear and tear on roads that are not being taken care of. That would benefit ALL citizens/taxpayers of Parsons. Not raise our taxes to entice the rich to come to town while our vehicles are being torn up… the less fortunate people of Parsons cannot afford to repair their vehicles.

    JOBS and the City Commissioners need to look at the Real Needs of Parsons FIRST.

    The city plan to improve 21st Street has been a real burden for me. The crew tore up my drive way three years ago and LEFT IT. Phase one ended at my driveway. They packed up and left rebar exposed that I had to deal with to keep tires from being punctured. Half my of my unpaved approach to my driveway is a “hole”.

    I’ve been forced to go out and “repair” my approach several times each season to keep people from tearing up their vehicles. That is on top of spending an entire weekend doing an absolute total repair of the shoddy job they did on my park-aid (and all others on this stretch)… a back breaking job for me that I should not have been forced to do. I view that as the workers being well-paid to perform a shoddy job, while the tax payers have to clean up after them… for FREE if they don’t want to be left with a MESS and other problems that stem from it.

    The city workers doing that job should be shown how to do the job correctly. I had enough Common Sense how to go out and re-work the entire shoddy job. They simply Didn’t Care… go through the motions and to hell with the effects they left behind for home-owners. The city should NOT use fill dirt that has large pieces of rock and brick in it that tears up our lawn mowers and leaves the park-aids looking like a wash board. It’s an Improvement and Beautification Project isn’t it???

    The city never finished the section of road in between a 3 part job… a well traveled road at that. Not enough funds is what I have been told. All the while this well traveled road is causing major wear and tear on numerous vehicles of people that travel this road to Work and Pay Their Taxes.

    The second thing the city needs to take into consideration is Spay and Neuter… NOT KILLING ANIMALS.

    The city won’t even help implement a HUMANE PLAN to control stray and feral animals… they just cart them off to be euthanized on tax payers money. It’s being left up to the citizens to step in to build a plan (and PAY for) to help with the problem. I’m referring to the Animal Shelter that a CA resident has funded for 18 years to Help Our Community. Citizens have been forced to step up to the plate to help this community.

    I’m betting that Spay and Neuter Control would cost about the same, prevent millions of unwanted births, and be the best plan (and more humane) for the future of Parsons. Tax payers are unknowingly funding this killing. Let’s change it to a more humane approach.

    One cat that lives feral and is never spayed can produce (through the pyramid of litters) up to 420,000 kittens within 7 years. Many of those are just carted off to be killed on tax payers money since their is no alternative planning by the city. I myself PAY to get animals spayed and neutered that are feral and are dumped on me (knowing I have a huge heart) or are born in my neighborhood and come to my home to eat.

    I cannot afford it, but the city certainly won’t pay for it. They would only KILL the animals. In my opinion, that is NOT an Attractive Virtue for a city that has so much “pride” and “dreams of luring the rich” to our community.

    A contract with Pawprints on the Heartland (traveling spay/neuter van out of Pittsburg) would be a better alternative than paying Allen Vet to KILL thousands of animals every year.

    The City of Parsons NEEDS should be met before they cause tax payers to pitch in on a “special interest group” such as enticing the “rich” to move to our community. Performing Needs that improve ALL CURRENT CITIZENS lives – city wide – to make this a more attractive town is the First Step to attract people with money to move to Parsons.

    Parsons has more low-income people than wealthy. The citizens should not be at risk to pay to attract the wealthy. The citizens (in my opinion) would be more comfortable with paying for taxes to improve the roads and see a humane approach to keep the “bothersome” feral/stray animal population in check.

    Teaching the Road Crews to perform a satisfying job on residents driveways and park-aids would leave behind a satisfactory improvement job. Finishing the roads that are tearing up the tax-payers vehicles will benefit the citizens of this community.

    Paying for taxes to build housing for the rich doesn’t seem to benefit long-term citizens. It spends our money to benefit a small select group.

    • One of the city workers commented anonymously here. About the wages. They are underpaid, and all got a pay freeze this year, while their management all got raises. This may explain some of the attitude and carelessness in the workmanship.

      And Allen Vets….
      A few years ago, I picked up a stray. I took it to the Allen Vets. They said they would keep the animal for 3 days before killing it. I said that would be good, as I may be able to find a person to adopt the dog.
      Later the same day, my mother-in-law said she would take the dog. The wife went to pick up the dog and they had already killed it….THE VERY SAME DAY!
      To add insult to injury, then they sent us a bill for $60 to pay for ‘services’.

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