Letter to Tim Vandall, city administrator

Preserving the history of Delaware Township,
the City of Lansing,
Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing and
United States Peniteniary at Leavenworth, KS

October 28, 2021

Tim Vandall
City Administrator
800 First Terrace
Lansing, KS 66043
Dear Mr. Vandall,
It has recently come to our attention that money raised during a ten year period by the Lansing Historical Society, a non-profit entity, was given to the City of Lansing by way of the Kansas Regional Prison Museum and
donations to the Lansing Historical Museum while it was owned and managed by the City of Lansing. This money is now a line item in the city’s budget and is earmarked for the Kansas Regional Prison Museum, which was a non-profit entity that dissolved two years ago.
Leonard Lockwood, acting as an officer of Kansas Regional Prison Museum, who by the way, was the treasurer for both non-profit entities, had no right to relinquish all funds to the City of Lansing once the Kansas Regional Prison Museum was dissolved. By all rights the money should have been returned to the Lansing Historical Society that spent a decade raising money for these two entities, one a non-profit and the other a city government
in the state of Kansas.
We have documentation to support our claims. Our greatest fear is the general public will find out that the memorials they gave for their deceased loved ones was used to benefit the coffers of the city of Lansing. Everything our membership did to raise money now sits as a line item in the City of Lansing’s budget.
Recently we had to replace the Lansing Historical Society laptop that was once used by Mary Lou Allen, secretary for the Lansing Historical Society. The laptop was supposedly wiped clean of all information with the
exception of the membership list for the Historical Society. When PC Cave transferred the information onto the new laptop, there was a lot more there than we had expected to see.
The flyers for 5K races and the letters asking for donations gave the impression the money being raised was for the Lansing Historical Society. Corporations such as Hallmark Cards, Holiday Inn, Good Cents, Cushing Memorial Hospital, St. John Hospital, and Providence Hospital all donated money to a non-profit organization by the name of Lansing Historical Society using their 501 (c) (3) non-profit status for a write-off as a charitable
contribution to an organization that provides community service.
Between 2006 and 2016, Lansing Historical Museum was owned and staffed by City of Lansing. There were yearly donations made to the Lansing Historical Museum and the Kansas Regional Prison Museum from money raised by the non-profit Lansing Historical Society.
In 2006 the Lansing Historical Society donated $2,488.90 to the Kansas Regional Prison Museum. The Lansing Historical Society also donated to the Lansing Historical Museum, owned and operated by the City of Lansing, the amount of $891.62. These donations to both museums and payment of non-profit status for the Regional Prison Museum, Business Entity ID #4108056, continued until August of 2016. As of December 2019, the
annual report was filed by the Kansas Regional Prison Museum with a registered office of 115 East Kansas Ave, Lansing, Ks., 66043. It does not appear that an annual report was filed for 2020. After a Business Entity search through the Kansas Secretary of State’s office shows that the Kansas Regional Prison Museum was dissolved in 2019.
The Lansing Historical Society and Museum promotes the history of Delaware Township, the City of Lansing, Kansas State Prison, and the United States Prison at Leavenworth. The Lansing Historical Society and Museum has tripled its’ acquisitions from both of these prisons since 2019 making it the museum that others had strived for in the Kansas Regional Prison Museum.
We believe the money the City of Lansing holds for the Kansas Regional Prison Museum rightfully belongs to the Lansing Historical Society and Museum.
Please advise how the City of Lansing wishes to resolve this issue.
Thank you,
Debra Bates-Lamborn
President of the Lansing Historical Society and Museum
Jeff Conklin, Vice President
Lisa Perry Snodgrass, Treasurer
Catherine Trowbridge, Secretary
Karen Miller, Board Member
John Craig, Board Member
Paul Lamborn, Board Member

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