City Council discussed the Civic Center Campus, an additional Assistant City Administrator, the 2021 Legislative Platform, and more. Read on for details.
Council members present at roll call: Herring, J. Nelson, Selders, R. Nelson, Limbird, Myers, Reimer, Runion, McFadden, Graves, and Gallagher.
Here are the highlights of this meeting:
First Washington Annual Update
In 2020, First Washington Realty restored the brick on the PV shops clocktower, added new ADA stairwells, made infrastructure improvements to drainage, docks, gas meters, parking lots, and more.
In 2021, they’ll finish up tenant construction in the new Corinth Quarter development south of First Watch, add more recycling and composting options, and look at LED retrofits for lighting.
Maintaining tenants has been a struggle in 2020 across the country due to COVID, but First Washington is working with the tenants, and hopes to retain as many as possible. Blue Moose announced they’re closing their Prairie Village location, which is a BIG loss. It’s so new, there is no information on what will happen with that space, yet. There’s also no new information on the Macy’s building, though they will be doing some interior demolition to make it easier to show to prospective tenants.
The Mayor reminded all of us and our residents to SHOP LOCAL. This is how we can help our local businesses and entrepreneurs make it through this pandemic.
Civic Center Ad Hoc Committee
Councilwoman Myers presented the committee recommendation to hold further action on the civic center project until we get through the pandemic or a decision has to be made by JoCo Library or the Y. This motion passed 10-1 with Councilman Runion voting nay.
I reported that the State of the Arts Show is now online with winners posted at www..artspv.org, and online sales are available.
Keith Bredehoeft, Public Works Director, presented to the Environmental Committee about the herbicides and pesticides used in our city parks and properties. The committee will be working with Public Works to find natural alternatives, as well as look to other cities for ideas and best practices.
Parks & Recreation Committee
Councilwoman McFadden updated us on the projects Public Works has been doing this summer including design for a new Taliaferro Park shelter, the new skate park, holiday lights, new benches in Bennett and Franklin parks, and more.
The street sweepers are out working to keep the stormwater drains clear. Help them by clearing your leaves and keeping them out of the streets.
- The PV Foundation’s #GivingTuesday campaign was a success, and we’re on pace for an historically great year of giving. Donations are still accepted year-round, but with a match only through December 31st.
- The Mayor’s Holiday Tree lighting was also a success for the Foundation. There will be ongoing videos and events. Watch for new banners on the light poles on Mission, a raffle, and consider making a donation!
- A COVID vaccine is on the way, and our daily numbers weren’t as high as they were before Thanksgiving, but they are STILL TOO HIGH.
- There have been several new COVID outbreaks at a few Long Term Care Facilities in PV, and a few deaths.
- The Diversity Task Force had their last scheduled meeting and identified the priorities they plan to bring to City Council, hopefully in January.
- The final Village Vision 2.0 council work session is December 14th, and will cover two topics:
- 75th Street
- The outcome of PV signing up for the Renewables Direct Program with Evergy is that the Ponderosa Wind Farm in Oklahoma came online November 27th, and now City-owned lights are powered by wind!
- We are on track to beat the 2020 budget, despite COVID, thanks to sales and use tax income and the extreme tightening of the belts each department did at the beginning of the pandemic.
Wes Jordan, City Administrator, updated Council on the hiring of a new Finance Director to replace Lisa Santa Maria, who is retiring in February. Nickie Lee will begin January 4th, and will have about 20 days of overlap with Lisa for a great transition. Nickie comes to Prairie Village from the City of Olathe, by way of both the City of Topeka and the City of Smithville.
Consider approval of an additional position of Assistant City Administrator
Wes Jordan presented on the need and benefits of a second Assistant City Administrator for the City:
- Redistribute workloads more equitably
- Improve efficiency in furthering the City’s mission
- Increase our preparedness in emergency planning
Approved 10-1 with Councilman Runion voting nay.
With the creation of this new role and with his upcoming retirement from the PVPD, current Chief of Police Tim Schwartzkopf has agreed to accept this new position, and 27-year veteran Major Byron Roberson will be promoted and appointed to Chief of Police effective January 4th.
You can read more about both accomplished men here:
- ‘Showing progress’: Veteran officer will be Prairie Village’s first Black police chief
- ‘A sign of progress’ — Prairie Village names Maj. Byron Roberson as city’s first Black police chief
Consider approval of agreement with Johnson County for enforcement of county health order
City Council voted to approve this agreement on a vote of 8-3, with Councilors J. Nelson, Myers, and Runion voting nay.
This agreement only applies to this current health order specifically, and not to any new or expanded orders that may follow. If those occur, they would require their own agreement.
The agreement can be terminated at any time if we are unhappy with the execution. Chief Schwartzkopf indicated that PVPD has no problem working with the County. PVPD officers will still maintain a heavily “educational” mode, but will escalate where deemed necessary.
Council Committee of the Whole
Discuss the 2021 Legislative Platform
Council is going to consider adopting the League of Kansas Municipalities 2021 Statement of Muncipal Policy as our own with adds or deletions as needed. This could streamline our platform and coordinate our efforts better with our fellow NE JoCo municipalities where our interests align.
We will discuss more at the December 21st meeting.
Please stay safe & wear your mask.
Just a Couple Reminders:
Residents and visitors are STILL required to wear masks or cloth face coverings in Prairie Village and ALL of Johnson County as well as most of Kansas and the KC Metro on the Missouri side.
If you need a test, the Shawnee Mission School District and the State of Kansas have partnered with GoGetTested.com to offer free drive-through COVID testing at Shawnee Mission North. This is a saliva test, and you get your results in 48-96 hours.
BUT, if you can, please stay home. Stay out of large crowds. Protect the most vulnerable among us. Do your part.
- December 14th – Village Vision 2.0 Council Work Session, 6:00 p.m.
- December 21st – City Council Meeting via Zoom, 6:00 p.m.
- December 25th – Christmas Day, City Offices Closed
- January 1st – New Year’s Day, City Offices Closed
STAY WELL & enjoy the week!