Animals, Arts Council, Budget, civic/community center, COVID-19, Diversity, Events, Foundation (PV), Ordinances, Policing, Recreation, Statuary, Sustainability

Council Recap – 4/19/21

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Recap – late again! so sorry…. 🙁

Presentation: Energy Audit Results

Energy Solutions Professionals (ESP) did an audit of the municipal complex and shared their findings, recommendations, and next steps with Council. Of note: PV has already taken major pro-active steps over the years:

  • Geothermal HVAC
  • Geothermal pool pumping
  • Renewables Direct enrollment with Evergy

Opportunities for further reduction of energy expenses and carbon footprint with the highest ROI:

  • Upgrade to LED lighting
  • Insulate attic space
  • Solar panels on complex roof (would probably put us below the minimum threshold to remain in Evergy’s Renewables Direct program, though)

ESP provided a detailed quote to the City with a 90-day price hold, but Council did not vote on approval because we will have to get additional bids before moving forward – IF we move forward. ESP’s original scope here was just the audit and recommendations. They gave several figures for the reduction in energy, but since it included solar, and that puts us below the minimum for Evergy, I’m not going to share them here. If they provide updated figures for LED and the attic insulation, I’ll provide those at a later date.

Consent Agenda – Sustainability Grant

Typically the consent agenda is approved as a block, but sometimes an item or two gets pulled out either for extra discussion or because someone knows they want to vote against it. In this case it was the latter, Councilwoman Myers pulled out the Sustainability Grant item, and voted no on it. It passed 10-2 with Myers and Councilman Runion voting no. You can read about the new Sustainability Grant HERE.

JazzFest Committee

So far, JazzFest 2021 is a go. The committee will continue to assess. *What’s scary here is that the JoCo COVID numbers are going in the wrong direction. This could hurt our chances to have the event again this year.

Police Pension Committee

The Police Pension Committee heard a presentation from Jeff White with Columbia Capital on the merits of bonding our police pension debt. The committee entertained a motion to have Jeff present to City Council, but it received no second. City Council at some point during this 4/19 Council meeting took a vote to invite Jeff, and it failed 5-7. I voted No on this motion, because Jeff’s presentation is available to watch ON OUR OWN TIME right HERE: 4-15-21 Pension Board of Trustees Meeting. (It was brought up again a week later in the Finance Committee meeting, and it failed again.)

It’s not that the Council does not want to hear from Jeff. It’s that 1) we can view his presentation at any time, and 2) the Police Pension Committee, who we vest with this responsibility, did NOT recommend it. We always have the opportunity to override a committee’s recommendation, but in this case a majority of the Council did not find it compelling enough to do so.

Arts Council

The 4th Annual Art of Photography (virtual) exhibition is still live at artspv.org/aop2021 with art available to purchase.

Also, mark your calendars for Friday, June 11th at 5:30 p.m. for our first annual Prairie Village Art Walk! We will also host a small ribbon-cutting for the “boy on a bike” sculpture which is PV’s newest public art piece.

PV Foundation

Ann Lilak, our longtime PV Foundation Chairperson, is stepping down, and Marianne Noll will take her place with former Mayor Laura Wassmer as Vice Chair. The Mayor and staff plan to honor Ann’s extensive contributions to PV sometime soon. Details to follow.

Mayor’s report
  • JoCo is ahead of schedule on the vaccination front. They’ve administered ~400k so far.
  • Unfortunately we are quickly shifting from a barrier of “availability” of the vaccine to the “willingness” of residents to get the vaccine. If you or a loved one are unsure about the need or safety of getting the vaccine, please contact your primary care physician for the pros and cons.
  • We need to get to 75% fully vaccinated before there’s even the tiniest, infinitesimal chance of “herd immunity”. Right now, we’re only at 25% fully vaccinated (and 40% with one or more doses).
  • The JoCo COVID orders are in effect until 4/30. The County Commission is reviewing the order now. See same article linked above.
Chief of Police Update

Chief Roberson gave us a PVPD staffing report:

  • We are allowed up to 44 sworn staff (police officers).
  • We currently only have 42.
  • Four of the 42 are not operationally ready as they continue to complete field training and/or the Academy.
    • It takes about a full year to get new hires fully operational.
  • Five sworn staff have retired in the last 12-18 months.
  • Three left policing altogether.
  • PD is continually interviewing to find the right candidates.
  • Interviewing 10 prospective candidates in April.
  • PV’s competitive salaries have been helpful in attracting and retaining qualified candidates.
Assistant City Managers Updates

Tim Schwartzkopf is working on DEI training for staff, Council, and committees. More info to follow.

Meghan Buum let us know that summer pool memberships opened and are $10 off through May 19th. The pool also needs about 10 more lifeguards, so please spread the word and send candidates HERE.

Decision Package Overview

Staff gave a brief description of the presented decision packages put forth by staff and Council members for the 2022 budget process:

  • Public Works Full Time Employee – This is so our arborist can devote her time fully to trees, and a new person can pick up her other administrative duties that she was sharing.
  • Civic Center Feasibility Study – This is somewhat self-explanatory. But this would be a step or more before we decide to take such a project to the voting residents in the future. It’s more due diligence.
  • Sustainability Grants – This would be to fund the sustainability grant in 2022. The funding for 2021 came from excess Exterior Grant funds from 2020.
  • Energy Efficiency Audit Implementations – This would be to fund the options Council votes to take on from the ESP recommendations above.
  • 5-Year Salary Survey – This is a renewal from 2017 to make sure our salaries are competitive and we retain and attract the qualified candidates here in PV.
  • Police Department Canine Unit – This is for a new unit and covers the annual maintenance costs of the canine, care, and training. The initial start-up costs would come out of forfeiture funds.
  • Carbon Emissions Tracking Services – This would be to fund the annual maintenance cost of Dynamhex software.
  • Annual Diversity Training
  • Building Permit Software – This would be for an automated software to allow codes and permit processing to be more efficient and accurate.
  • Property Tax Relief Grant program – This is new and we received no details. There are similar programs in two nearby municipalities (I failed to record which ones), and apparently they have been very well-received and utilized. More info to follow.
Animal Ordinance Change

Brought forth from the Diversity Committee and chairs Selders and Poling, Council approved 9-3 the striking of section 2-123 a) 1. from the Animal Ordinance under Dog and Cat Control. It appears to be an unlikely and strange provision that mostly just incurs “targeting” and harassing by “unfriendly neighbors”. The PVPD was on board with the change, so I voted Yes on this.

The highlighted portion is the section that was struck:

Of note:

Council approved a special use permit a few weeks ago for the Meadowbrook Classic Car Show on the premise that they would require and enforce the County mask mandate, and Councilwoman Reimer pointed out that they did not follow through on their promise. This will surely be taken into consideration in the future. Very disappointing.

Agenda Packet for your reference

Closing

So that’s it for last week. Some things I’m working on:

  • Prairie Village Art Walk
  • PV Finance Committee duties
  • Johnson County Library Foundation Fund Development Committee duties
  • Johnson County Library Foundation Communications Task Force duties
  • League of Women Voters of JoCo Communications-Social Media Committee duties

Take care, continue wearing your masks, and get vaccinated!

Stay positive; test negative.

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2 thoughts on “Council Recap – 4/19/21

  1. Dick Strong

    What’s the latest on the Macy’s building?

    1. Bonnie Limbird

      Hi, Mr. Strong!

      The latest news is no news. They’re supposedly demolishing inside to make it more open for prospective tenants to visualize, so that’s the activity you’re seeing there. First Washington has said they’ve had some interest, but they haven’t said who and they haven’t made any announcements. I’m on the edge of my seat… 🙂

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