Hearne: Lords of KC Chamber Prefer Their Paychecks Phat

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Jim Heeter


Try this one on for size, courtesy of frequent comments section flyer Chuck Lowe. Lowe was admiring Dwight Sutherland’s piece taking former Greater Kansas City Chamber head dude Pete Levi to task for referring recently to the red ink stained glory days of using sales taxes to rescue Union Station.

Reminded me of the time I outed Levi in January 2008 for making in excess of half a million bucks a year as the head of the nonprofit chamber – $588,955, to be exact.

Plenty of eyeballs rolled on that one, and when Levi departed the chamber in its 2009 tax filing he was down to a paltry $439,092 or a 25 percent plus earnings reduction.

Another local lawyer, Jim Heeter of Mission Hills took Levi’s place at the more modest salary of $314,829.  And while that ain’t chump change, it was still $124,263 (or 28 percent) less than Levi’s final paycheck and a whopping 53 percent below what Levi was making when I outed him.

But don’t feel too sorry for Heeter because time has its way of healing the wounded. 

In the KC chamber’s most recent filing, ending October of last year, Heeter crested the half million dollar a year salary mark with a total take $511,377.

That’s really good work if you can get it, especially given that as a non profit the chamber doesn’t pay taxes like private enterprise does.

Kevin Collison

Kevin Collison

For the fun of it, let’s follow in my pal Kevin Collison‘s footsteps and compare Levi and Heeter’s largesse at our chamber with similarly sized city Tucson, Arizona. Remember, the Star business reporter pegged Tucson’s population as “slightly larger than Kansas City” at approximately 525,000 people versus 475,000.

In the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce most recent tax filing, former president John Camper took down $192,149 all in.

Chicken feed compared to the masters of KC’s corporate universe.

Put another way, that’s $319,228 or 62 percent less a year than Heeter made.

Go figure…


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9 Responses to Hearne: Lords of KC Chamber Prefer Their Paychecks Phat

  1. harley says:

    don’t have to figure hearne…the Kansas city pot of gold has been
    sucked dry…now they wanta toy car…a worthless hotel and they’re
    going to get it.
    I can’t say anytying …i’m in joco…but if kc dies so will
    the suburbs….
    every one is feeding at the trough of kc money…glass/hunt/
    sly/ the toy train people….Cordish….every tif recipient…
    but there’s not enough cops on the streets…crime is
    exploding (in certain areas)…schools are in shambles…
    so its the typical crap we the liberals have been telling
    you about for the last 20 years.
    the rich are going to take over this nation…actually they
    already have.
    they have their henchmen in place to squeeze americans
    for every last nickel they have.
    and I say this as a liberal…who’s seen what’s going on…
    the repubs don’t want the health care to go thru…because they
    know it was their idea and its going to save billions (in fact they
    used the savings of obamacare in their most recent budget…
    haha…they try to defund it but use the savings to make
    their buedgets balance…sneaky mfers!)…
    so hearne you and chuck can complain till the cows come home..
    nothings going to change…we’re at the mercy of some very
    smart crooks.
    oh…just read where if we stopped all the bullsh*t offshore
    crap these people put in…we’d have no deficits….isn’t that
    great…. these guys figured it out…give americans a few scraps…let them be happy….slide in laws so they only
    benefit…..keep moving money….using the 401K’s and
    retirement funds as casino bet money..
    oh yeah…hearne…keep writing…you could fill up the
    internet with the stuff these crooks are doing.

    • admin says:

      It’s definitely a game that mostly only the one percent get to play.

      It’s funny, people like my father – a commodities and securities broker – Crosby Kemper and many others of that World War II generation seemed satisfied to make it the “old fashioned way.”

      And while man of them pulled some behind-the-scenes strings, no doubt, it was nothing like the way the game is played today.

      Pensions are one way people mostly in the government these days get set for life.

      Joe Serviss – remember him? – served as a city councilman and an advisor to KC mayor Kay Barnes. The council business was part time. Yet I recall him telling me his time with Barnes was basically a way for him to get enough time in service for a hefty pension that taxpayers cannot afford to pay. Most private businesses have done away with that in favor of 401Ks etc.

      Jim Glover has been a part time councilman in KC almost as long as I can remember and while his career as an actual lawyer seems to have been almost nonexistent, my bet is he’ll do quite well pension wise.

      Ever check out what some of our police chiefs – ones who only held that lofty position for a handful of years get?

      Yeah, there are a ton of people who have gotten (or are getting) fat by gaming the system.

      French Revolution, anyone?

      • chuck says:

        I am too busy eating cake.

      • the dude says:

        Yeah, these fat cats locally and nationally are killing the golden goose, instead of letting it lay golden eggs. What will they do when that goose is dead and they killed the entire global economy after the next sonn to come bust?

        No lessons have been learned, they just got greedier and knew the gubment would bail them out if they bust. You can only print off so much imaginary money before it becomes worthless.

  2. chuck says:

    I think Big Jim Heeter was pulling down more than 500K at Polsinelli in all fairness.

    He is a pretty nice guy, very personable and interesting in my opinion.

    Did I kill it in Football today or what?!!?

  3. Hearne says:


    Why don’t you come in out of the shadows and email me your picks?

    • chuck says:

      I posted them yesterday.


      Ya want ’em next week?

      • chuck says:

        chuck says:

        September 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        I got 20 on Miami and 3 points.

        I got 20 on Indy and 9.5 points.

        My college games are golden (So are everybody elses)

        Here are the remaining win to win (you gotta pick 10 winners, 5 college and 5 pro, but the monday nightgame is mandatory, then pick the points.).

        New Orleans
        San Fran

        To win, ya gotta pick the points on the Monday night game.


        Hey Glaze, whaddya think?

        So, I got 20 on Indy to cover and 20 on Miami to cover and the pro bets above with the over under on Denver Oakland at 56.

        If I lose, I am out 60.00

        If I win (there are 10 bets) I win 200 plus the 40.00.

        Big time fun and big time humiliation (The girls won last week and tortured us all.).

        This is why the NFL is so much fun.

        Betting that cash and having some laughs

        —————————————————————————THERE THEY ARE HEARNE, I WON 240.00– I POSTED THIS A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO.

  4. John Altevogt says:

    Hmmm, if you and Dwight teamed up to do an investigatory piece on the metro area establishment it could be very interesting.

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