The 2020 PV pool opening has been canceled for the Summer of 2020, details for VillageFest “Lite” (as I’ve coined it) will be coming soon, and Council directed our City Attorney to develop an “ordinance requiring the wearing of face masks in businesses where the public is invited” for Council consideration at its next meeting… Read on for more and a poll question at the end!
This is the Prairie Village City Council meeting recap for Monday, May 4, 2020. You can see the full agenda and board packet HERE.
Council members present at roll call: Herring, J. Nelson, Selders, R. Nelson, Poling, Limbird, Myers, Reimer, Runion, McFadden, Graves, and Gallagher.
Here are the highlights of this meeting:
- PV’s 1st quarter financials were pretty good
- SM East was ranked #1 high school in JoCo and #2 in Kansas
- VanTrust, owner of Verbena and The Market in Meadowbrook Park, has kept kitchen staff employed through this unanticipated delay in opening by cooking and delivery 50 meals a day to St. Luke’s.
- Verbena, by the way, will have a wonderful outside patio to partake in once they are able to open up
- The JoCo COVID-19 Recovery Task Force recommendations were tabled in favor of following the Governor’s statewide orders. Mayor agrees with the BOCC that this was the right thing to do.
- Mayor and staff are still conferencing regularly with all governmental entities all the way up to the White House to stay on top of COVD-19 issues
- Brighton Gardens now has the highest concentration of positive COVID-19 cases: 40 positives and 8 COVID-related deaths.
- The Area Agency on Aging, CDC and more have all visited the facility and are working with Brighton.
- (This data is now out of date. The numbers are: 57 positives and 9 deaths as of 5/5/2020.)
- Mely’s officially closed in Corinth Square, but we are lucky to have Summersalt Ice Cream Co. opening soon (per statewide orders) to fill the ice cream gap in Corinth Square and continue on Mely’s tradition!
Consider approval for a citywide survey for compost and glass recycling pilot programs
This survey is for Prairie Village residents that were NOT part of the pilot program for compost and glass recycling, and who want to weigh in on their interest, or lack of, in the city providing this service and the costs associated with it. This survey will not be statistically relevant, but it will give residents an opportunity to have their voices heard in an official manner.
The City will distribute it via social media and the Village Voice (pending timing requirements). I’ll share the survey here and on my social media, as well, as soon as it drops.
Not really “Old Business”, but this is where it was introduced:
Discussion re: requiring masks inside public spaces.
Introduced by Councilmember J. Nelson, this discussion was brought forth without being on the agenda, and no binding decisions were made, because, as Mayor Mikkelson stated, “no one has had a chance to consider it and do their research, including and especially staff”.
That said, it was an energetic discussion, as you can imagine. If you’d like to listen in yourself, it begins at 34:30 HERE, and it continues for 83 minutes.
I can’t say for sure when this will come up for review and a vote. It was mentioned, only briefly, that we could call a special meeting before the next council meeting on May 14th if warranted, but no plans were officially made.
In the meantime, I highly encourage you to share your personal thoughts, medically-relevant professional expertise, and/or your own concerns as a business owner (if either of the latter two applies) on the issue with me and with the entire council as soon as possible.
You can email me directly at email@example.com and ask me to forward to Council, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask Adam Geffert to forward it to Council. Either way, it will reach me and the rest of your council for consideration. Please make your voices heard.
Consider approval of an alternate concept for the 2020 VillageFest event
Considering the necessary social distancing needed for the current, and continuing, COVID-19 pandemic, the VillageFest committee has brainstormed an alternate plan for VillageFest 2020 to include drive-by and virtual components with some of the following ideas (not confirmed yet):
Drive through component:
- At a TBD location, volunteers would hand out a VillageFest goody bag to include a craft and other festive items.
- The event grounds would be drive-through only. Residents would be encouraged to decorate their vehicles.
- The drive-through area would be decorated with patriotic décor, and potentially lined with the police cars and firetrucks if available.
Virtual component via social media channels:
- Recorded messages or musical performances
- Contests to be voted on with “likes” – best patriotic chalk drawing, best decorated bike
- A hashtag to encourage participation in the community
Approved unanimously by City Council, the VillageFest committee will now meet to develop a firm plan and budget.
Consider closure of the pool for the 2020 swim season
We tried to kick this can down the road a bit (2 weeks minimum) to see if our situation locally improves, but that motion failed 7-6. At the end of the discussion, these were the driving factors to staff recommendations to not open the pool for 2020:
- Enforcement of 100 person gathering limit, distancing requirements, and the high likelihood of conflict regarding gathering limits.
- 15-18-year-old employees will be on the front lines of enforcing distancing recommendations and sanitation practices.
- Lifeguard training cannot be conducted within the 6 feet social distancing guidelines. (As a matter of fact, JoCo has canceled their training, and Red Cross won’t even schedule with us until they figure something out.)
- PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements during rescues.
- Continuous cleaning/sanitation of frequently touched surfaces (pool furniture, ladders, diving board handles, slide stair rails, restroom sinks, door handles, etc)
- To be fair to the seasonal staff so they can seek other employment opportunities.
The motion to close the pool for the 2020 swim season was approved on a 10-2 vote, with Councilmembers Poling & Myers voting nay.
Consider approval of Resolution No. 2020-02 extending the Mayor’s Declaration of a State of Local Emergency for Prairie Village, Kansas
This resolution was approved unanimously after modifying the language to extend the emergency for only another 6 weeks (instead of 90 days), and then if the Mayor has to re-extend again before we can convene as a Council, the order shall be subject to ratification by the Council within 7 days.
There was plenty of discussion about this emergency declaration and whether we, as a City, need it or not. The League of Kansas Municipalities is adamant that it isn’t necessary, but Wes Jordan (City Administrator) has dealt with emergency funding in the past when we didn’t declare a state of emergency, and, my interpretation is that, he and the Mayor recommend it for this reason.
In the end, the discussion brought about compromise, if not an absolute agreement by all parties to one side or the other, and I’m glad we could find a resolution.
Reminder: the Prairie Village Foundation will take tax-deductible donations that you can earmark specifically for local food pantry disbursements. If you are looking for a list of local food pantries (none in PV are open to the public right now), the JoCo Library keeps a list HERE.
- May 5th – Board of Zoning Appeals & Planning Commission Meetings, 6:30 p.m.
- May 6th – Arts Council Meeting, 5:30 pm
- May 6th – Tree Board Meeting, 6:00 pm
May 8th – Artists’ Reception w/ the PV Arts Council – CANCELED
- May 18th – City Council Meeting, 6:00 p.m. on Zoom via Facebook Live which is accessible to ALL residents even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
Let me know you made it to the end, BY VOTING BELOW, so I can count how many folks are actually reading these. 🙂
STAY WELL & have a great weekend!