Skip to comments.Validity of new Pauls home in question
Posted on 06/16/2012 8:23:56 PM PDT by kathsua
Complaints have arisen over Rep. Jan Pauls residential switch to this former church at 101 E. 11th Ave. in order to stay in the 102nd congressional district.
Validity of new Pauls home in question Walk-through planned to see if church meets requirements to be home.
State Rep. Jan Pauls' candidacy is coming under fire because of her sudden switch in official residency from a home to a former church in order to run for re-election in the 102nd District.
A formal objection has been lodged with the Secretary of State. Also, Hutchinson City Hall has received complaints, too, regarding the former church building's compliance with city residential codes. City Building Official Trent Maxwell has contacted Jan and Ron Pauls and said he will be meeting them next week to walk through the building.
Challenge in Topeka
A state board consisting of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is slated to convene Tuesday to consider the objection regarding Pauls' candidacy filed by Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition.
The board will consider other objections submitted pertaining to other legislative candidates. Thursday was the deadline for filing objections.
"The property in question is a commercial building located in central Hutchinson, and is not considered a dwelling under Hutchinson ordinance," Witt wrote.
"Pursuant to the City of Hutchinson Ordinances, anyone seeking to change the occupancy class of a building must comply with current building codes and must submit an application for an occupancy permit," he also wrote.
Since the purchase of the property in 2003, Witt noted, she "has secured no permits to renovate, change the legal use of, or request occupancy of the premises," he wrote.
"As of the most recent County inspection on Sept. 21, 2011, the structure has no residential bathrooms, no bedrooms, and no off-street parking as required by law. There are likely other deficiencies that will prevent the City of Hutchinson from approving the building for use as a dwelling," Witt contends.
Pauls and the move
Democratic Rep. Pauls has served in the House since 1991. The redistricting maps issued late last week shifted Pauls' home on North Baker into the 104th District. She and her husband owned the former First Congregational Church building in the 102nd district - her old House territory - so they changed their voter registration and she filed new candidacy papers Monday. The new documents show they live at the former church, 101 E. 11th.
Pauls said Thursday they are in the process of moving. They spent the full night at the former church June 12 and stayed there "late" on June 13.
Witt's challenge states that according to the Reno County appraiser's office, the church is still legally listed as a commercial building.
Pauls noted that the appraiser's office lists it as residential. The News asked the appraiser's office last week and again Thursday about the former church's classification, and was told both times it is listed as residential.
The voter registration card that Pauls signed said "I swear or affirm ... that I have abandoned my former residence..."
"Intent" is key, said Pauls, an attorney.
Witt emphasized that he is not objecting to Pauls to benefit another candidate.
Democrat Erich Bishop and Republican Dakota Bass are running in the 102nd and both previously served on the board of directors of the Kansas Equality Coalition's Hutchinson Area Chapter.
Witt and the Kansas Equality Coalition have criticized Pauls' votes in the Legislature, and they want her out of office, Witt said. In his letter to Kobach, though, Witt focused entirely on the legitimacy of her residency.
Witt requested an official public investigation and asked that, if the allegations that she violates law regarding residency prove true, her candidacy be declared invalid.
City Building Official Trent Maxwell was puzzled, initially, by the calls and hypothetical inquiries regarding codes. He then learned the various questions and complaints were inspired by news of Pauls' new home.
"I did contact the Pauls', and I will be going through the property," Maxwell said.
"The church could have met the residential requirement, but we don't know," he said.
"I do want to make sure that building codes are followed," Maxwell said.
Ideally, the Pauls should not be staying there in the meantime, according to Maxwell.
"In my eyes, technically, they should not be (living there)," he said.
"No one should be living there until we know it's not a church," he said.
A subsequent article indicates the county records lists the church as residential.
I wasn't aware that such a creature existed. Where is she on Obama/Romneycare?
Not to forget the Second Amendment.
Yes, that too and a whole bunch of other things.
A "D" behind her name would be enough to keep me from voting for her. She isn't worried about not getting my vote anyway, I don't live in Kansas.
Same. Here in Georgia we had Jim Marshall until 2010. He was a real conservative Democrat, but he was a Democrat and that puts Pelosi in the leadership so out he went in 2010.
“I wasn’t aware that such a creature existed. Where is she on Obama/Romneycare?”
Yea, but she’s on her own beyond the state level. No future, at all, for her in DC with that bunch running the show.