City Services, civic/community center, Fundraising, Informational, Infrastructure

Council Meeting Recap

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

*This is the Prairie Village City Council meeting recap for Monday, November 18th, 2019. You can see the full agenda and board packet HERE.

Council members present at roll call: Herring, J. Nelson, Schermoly, R. Nelson, Poling, Myers, Morehead, Runion, McFadden, Odell, and Gallagher.

Here are the highlights of this meeting:

Public Participation

Raymore resident, Daniel Mapes, who teaches Skateboarding 101 to young skaters every other Saturday in the Harmon Park Skate Park from March to November, spoke to Council about what a great facility and asset the skate park is to the skating community.

Committee Reports

Civic (Community) Center Ad Hoc Committee

Councilwoman Myers shared that Wiese Group piloted the phone survey last week, and their field work is officially in progress. So they are doing phone calls now, and they’re testing online scripts. They will supply City staff with the online survey link soon.

Tree Board

Councilwoman Myers also talked about the November 8th tree planting event in Indian Fields with Heartland Tree Alliance.

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Heartland Tree Alliance and the volunteers who planted trees in Prairie Village last week.

Arts Council

From the Council Packet: The Prairie Village Arts Council is pleased to feature the artwork of Elaine (Laney) Haake, Lisa YaDullah, Sylvia Augustus and Vicki Scanlon during the month of December. The artist reception will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13.

Parks & Recreation Committee

Councilman Herring shared that the committee is reviewing an option to include the new Merriam Aquatic Center in the Super Pass once the pool is officially open and also reviewing 2020 pool admission and membership rates.


Councilwoman Schermoly announced that JazzFest attendance increased from 1,495 paid tickets in 2018 to 2,107 paid tickets in 2019!

Mayor’s Report

  • The Mayor and City staff met with U.S. Representative Sharice Davids to discuss legislative issues that are important to Prairie Village.
  • Also met with our state legislators about regulation issues.
  • Attended JCCC annual fundraiser for student scholarships
  • Spoke at Countryside East Homes Association
  • Met with 50+ seniors at Meadowbrook Park about upcoming events along with JCPRD.
  • Spoke at Claridge Court about upcoming events
  • Attended the NEJC Mayors’ Lunch – heard from a lawyer who has a proposal to represent the NEJC municipalities in Topeka as a lobbyist.
  • Attended the NEJC Chamber Gala with Councilmembers Runion, McFadden, and R. Nelson where, among other things, David Waters, PV City Attorney, was recognized for his past year of service as the Chamber president.
  • Mayor recognized and congratulated the new councilmembers-elect.
  • Commended Chief Schwartzkopf and his officers and detectives for catching the recent package thief making the rounds in Prairie Village and surrounding cities. They were able to do this with the assistance of the community through the Village Video Cooperative and a joint investigation with area agencies.
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  • Threw the ceremonial switch for Colonial Church’s new solar panel array with Pastor Aaron Roberts.
  • City Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28-29 for the holiday break.
  • The City is facilitating a Legislative Forum on January 9th at 6:00 p.m. at Meadowbrook Park. More info to come.
  • The Prairie Village Foundation‘s Mayor’s Tree Lighting event is this Thursday. Money raised for the Mayor’s Holiday Tree Fund helps deserving and qualified Prairie Village residents with utility assistance, home maintenance, food assistance, and other vital needs of the community. 

Staff Reports

Public Works

Keith Bredehoeft, Public Works Director, updated Council that the solar panels at Wassmer Park are now fully functional. The panels will power all of the fixtures at Wassmer Park, and PW will provide Council with a report in about 6 months on the performance of the panels and how much power they’re able to send back to the grid.


Wes Jordan, City Administrator, gave a preview of the December 2nd meeting agenda which will include the PVPD Citizens’ Police Academy Graduation, our annual presentation from First Washington Realty (owners of our PV Shopping Centers), and a presentation by United Community Services on the Human Services Fund, and the Alcohol Tax Fund.

New Business

Harmon Park Skate Park

Keith Bredehoeft, Public Works Director, and Kanten Russell*, retired professional skateboarder and skate park designer for New Line SkateParks, presented for discussion the Harmon Park skate park options for the performance pad and project budget.

Sidebar: For us non-skateboarders out here, it’s worth noting that the park will be designed for all human-powered wheeled devices: skateboards, scooters, in-line skates/roller skates, and the like. 👍

The two decisions before the Council and their results were:

  1. Should the performance pad remain designed integrally to the skate park or as a separate space? – Council voted unanimously to design the pad integrally.
  2. Should Council increase the budget to account for material and inflation costs over the last 5 years since the project was first budgeted? – Council voted unanimously to add $200k to the budget from the Park Reserves fund for a “not-to-exceed” budget, including the performance pad, of $650k

Some of the features discussed for the new skate park:

  • Most, if not all, of final options presented to the skateboarding community for feedback will have base bid scopes and add alternate options.
  • The goal will be to maintain the 10,000 square foot footprint of the existing skate park.
  • Added trees for more shade
  • Lights will be considered as budget allows (there are currently NO lights now)
  • Use of materials, means, and methods to get an expected lifespan of 20-30 years taking maintenance into consideration.

*Kanten Russell grew up skating illegally around Southern-California, running from cops, and using the natural surroundings because he didn’t have access to a skate park like this for legal and safe riding. The Harmon Park Skate Park really IS a great amenity and asset for our community as Mr. Mapes indicated during the public participation portion above!

Council Committee of the Whole

Curbside Compost & Glass Recycling Pilot Program

Jamie Robichaud, Deputy City Administrator, presented for consideration a proposed pilot program for curbside food compost and glass pickup.

Council voted 10-2 to approve the pilot program using funds from the Solid Waste Contingency Fund with councilmembers Wang (not present at roll call) and Morehead voting nay.

If you’d like to learn more about the pilot program, you can see the slides presented during last night’s meeting on pages 13-25 HERE .

New Traffic Calming Location

Keith Bredehoeft presented for consideration new traffic calming on 87th Street from Somerset Drive to Nall Avenue.

Council approved unanimously.

2020 Legislative Platform

Jamie Robichaud presented the draft 2020 Prairie Village legislative platform for Council consideration.

Changes/Adds from 2019 Legislative Platform:

  • Dark Store Theory
    • Added: “We also strongly support legislation that would require commercial properties to be appraised and valued based on their highest and best use and oppose any legislation that would allow commercial properties to utilize the “dark story theory” to appeal their assessed valuations. Municipalities rely on property tax revenue from large commercial retailers to pay for their share of essential city services. Any change in the way these properties are valued will have a detrimental impact to municipal operations and will result in the property tax burden shifting to residential property owners to make up for lost revenue.”
    • Added: “We urge state government to recognize the consensus reached by the scientific community, including the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that climate change poses a global economic, social, and public safety crisis. At all levels of government, policy makers should elevate sustainability, carbon emission reduction, and carbon capture to be included among the top line of policy priorities.
  • Statewide Energy Policy
    • Modified: We support a statewide energy policy standard to financially incentivize energy sources that protect air quality, and reduce the dependency on oil and other nonrenewable resources, reduce carbon emission, and increase carbon capture. We support the development of a coordinated and comprehensive energy policy, including the use of renewables including wind and solar power, developed with strong input from municipalities.
  • State Funding of Public Education
    • We also urge the state government to fund special education at the level required by K.S.A. 72-3422.

Council approved this platform with Mayor Mikkelson breaking a 6-6 tie. Those in favor were: Herring, J. Nelson, R. Nelson, Poling, McFadden, and Gallagher. Those opposed where: Schermoly, Wang, Myers, Morehead, Runion, and Odell.


City Council took the following actions:

  • Approved the regular City Council meeting minutes – November 4, 2019
  • Approved design direction of a skate park-integrated performance pad.
  • Approved a budget increase for the Harmon Park Skate Park

Upcoming Events

  • November 21st – Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting – Corinth Square, 6:00 p.m.
  • November 22nd – Chamber in the Chamber Music Series, 5:30 p.m
  • December 2nd – City Council Meeting & Citizens’ Police Academy Graduation Ceremony & Reception
  • December 13th – Monthly Arts Council reception
  • January 6th – City Council Meeting, New Member Swearing-In, and Reception to Commemorate and Honor the outgoing councilmembers
  • January 9th – Legislative Forum at Meadowbrook Park, 6:00 p.m.


Take care and reach out if you have any questions or concerns,

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