The new permanent Diversity Committee convened for their first official meeting mid-February. Their appointed members so far are:
- Chair Inga Selders
- Vice Chair Tucker Poling
- Eric Mikkelson
- Etienne Clatanoff Orozco
- Todd Harris
- Dr. Jameelah Lang
- Dr. George Williams
- Pastor Dennis Solis
- Michael Shook
- Chief Byron Roberson
- Melissa Brown
- Staff Liaison Tim Schwartzkopf
And there will be two additional members appointed by next month, I believe.
At their first meeting they heard from Julie Brewer of UCS about the Racial Equity in Cities pilot program, and had more discussion on the racial covenants and deed restrictions, which you can read about in the Shawnee Mission Post.
The JazzFest Committee met to discuss the state of the pandemic and the economic feasiblity of holding the JazzFest event in 2021. They will see where the infection rates are in April and assess then.
The VillageFest Committee had a special meeting to discuss moving forward with VillageFest 2021. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of VillageFest, so there will be an event, and the anniversary will be celebrated in some way, but it will probably be in most ways like the VillageFest 2020 drive-through event. Stay tuned.
As part of the Consent Agenda, and to clean-up the appointment calendar to have half of the committee up per year, Mayor Mikkelson made a new* appointment and several reappointments to the Arts Council:
- Kathy Clark – 2021-2023
- Sheila Evans – 2021-2023
- Julie Hassel – 2021-2022 (one year)
- *Karin Jones – 2021-2023
- Maddie Kamphaus – 2021-2023
- Nancy Maxwell – 2021-2023
- Shelly Trewolla – 2021-2023
Our newest committee member, Karin Jones, brings curatorial and project management experience to the committee along with her art history background and Nelson Atkins work experience. We can’t wait to welcome her at our March meeting!
- The Johnson County restaurant & bar curfew has been lifted, but all other restrictions, including mandatory masks, are still in place.
- We currently have ZERO active outbreaks in Prairie Village Long Term Care Facilities.
- Ginger Powers, one of our Ward 3 neighbors, is turning 90 this month and has lived in PV for over 5o years! The Mayor signed a special proclamation for her:
- The Prairie Village Black History Month celebration from last week is still available to view if you missed it. It includes several artistic performances, and isn’t to be missed:
Classic Car Show at Meadowbrook Park, April 10
The Kansas City Automotive Museum has been working with the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District for several months to host a classic car show on Saturday, April 10th at Meadowbrook Park. The event is a joint fundraiser for the Kansas City Auto Museum and the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District’s arts program.
City Council approved this outdoor event on a vote of 8-4. Cars will be parked on both sides of Meadowbrook Parkway for visitors to view. Museum staff worked with the Johnson County Health Department and the PV Police Department for proper health and safety protocols. Food trucks will be on site, but alcohol will not be served at the event. Masks will be required. The Post wrote about this, too, HERE.
Renewables Direct Program with Evergy upate
Council approved an addendum to our Renewables Direct contract with Evergy based on the actual output of the Ponderosa Wind Farm in Oklahoma that went online at the end of 2020.
Councilman Chad Herring, Ward 1, asked the Evergy representative if these wind turbines are winterized to avoid the freezing as happened at some wind farms in Texas during the recent winter storms. Evergy will get back to the City on that. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t have that answer ready to go. This has been a HOT topic the last couple of weeks. Evergy should already know the answer to that question.
International Construction Codes update
Previously discussed at length at the February 16th meeting, City Council approved almost all of the code versions that were on the agenda this week by a unanimous vote. Only one had a single No vote, but still passed.
In the coming weeks, we expect a presentation from a community green building advocate about the differences between 2018 and the 2021 codes. Although no one has contested the idea that the 2021 version is better than the 2018 for sustainable construction, this presentation, along with another one hopefully about the International Green Construction Code as an overlay, will help inform Council on the best way to move forward still balancing housing attainability with sustainable construction.
Budget Goals & Objectives
We reviewed these for the 2022 budget planning cycle. Our goals and objectives seem to change very little from year to year, because they’re all important and they’re the basis for all we do and expect in PV. They are:
- Quality of Life
- Superior Services
- Community Safety
- Mindfulness of tax burden
- Investment in Public Realm
- Environmental Sustainability
Police Department policy manual software
With ever-evolving legislative initiatives, changing technologies, and the fluid social atmosphere of the United States, Chief Roberson and staff feel it is time to partner with a service that can provide real time legislative updates, ongoing training, and expert policy modifications and recommendations based on industry standards for the Department’s policy manual. So, City Council approved a contract with Lexipol Services for the management, development, and updating of processes.
Check out the two additional signs at 71st Terrace & Eaton!
So that’s it for this week. Some things I’m working on:
- Assisting Arts Council with the organization of a brand new event: the Prairie Village ArtWalk! Coming in June 2021!
- Working on surveys for Arts Council patrons, artists, and guests to see how we’re doing and get ideas for where we can improve.
- Continued discussions with fellow municipal arts councils on best practices.
- Watched the USWNT beat two more teams to claim the SheBelieves Cup!
Take care, continue wearing your masks, and get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.