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Council Recap – 05/16/22

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Presentations

MARC 50 – Forward Day proclamation

Celebrating the collaborative work that has been accomplished over the past 50 years by the Mid America Regional Council.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month proclamation

Encouraging everyone in our community to recognize the numerous contributions made by the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Legislative Update

Stuart Little, from Little Government Relations (LGR) in Topeka, our joint lobbyist with several other municipalities, updated us on the 2022 state legislative session. Passed state budget, school funding bill, state sales tax elimination (phased out over a few years), etc., but the redistricting map is still going through the judicial process. That process should be complete before this week is out. If the court states they have to redraw it, the legislature will be back on Monday and and will have 2 days to redraw. (This also opens the floor back up to ANY of the bills that are still live, and veto overrides!)

The budget fully funded the Gannon education decision, but now allows open enrollment (🤷‍♀️), but doesn’t fund transportation costs for any students, including the special education students who are entitled to transportation by state mandate (🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️). This will potentially create greater equity issues as parents “shop” for the best school building for their student. The governor signed it despite protest by a few education activism groups. She knows there are parts of it that need to be fixed. One of the issues are the Local Option Budgets (LOBs). If you want to hear more from Stuart speaking on this, tune in or go to the SMSD Board of Education meeting on Monday, May 23rd.

Governor vetoes: prohibition on cities/counties banning plastic bags, allowance of autonomous delivery vehicles on sidewalks, prohibition of any governmental entity from requiring the wearing of face masks or vaccine passports for any health reason at all.

Prairie Village and our legislators, along with LGR, are on high alert to watch for all the perennial attacks on our local control as a municipality. Many of the bills that didn’t pass or were vetoed, will no doubt be back next year. For example, the revenue neutral law in place now replaced the previous tax lid, but it’s, if anything, even more restrictive than the tax lid, and is fiscal nonsense to not allow for inflation when the state’s OWN budget allows for 8.35% inflation. It will probably continue to be fussed with next year; we can only hope in the right direction towards common sense.

Public Participation

Council heard from a PV resident, Vicki Riffel (sp?), who attended the Y community center forum last week at Meadowbrook Park and who is very motivated, along with 2 friends, to make this community center a reality, and she wants Council to just send it to a resident vote so they can tell us that they want it.

Committee Reports

Arts Council

I reported on the current show and the artists’ reception last Friday for Art of Photography 2022 where we had a great turnout from the governing body too:

See artspv.org for pictures from the show and of the exhibit! This show is open through June 25th.

Mark Your Calendars for our next annual juried competition, the State of the Arts 2022’s, call for entry which goes live June 6th:

Parks & Recreation Board

Councilmember Terrence Gallagher reported on their latest meeting where they toured the pool complex, Harmon Park, Harmon Park restrooms, and the community gardens to discuss future projects and conversations happening around the proposed civic center.

Diversity Committee

Councilmember Inga Selders said to visit Diversity Committee at the PV Art Show at the PV Arts Council booth where we will have a poster making activity for Juneteenth and brochures on the upcoming ‘PV Seen” playdate that will kick-off soon.

Also mark your calendars for Saturday, June 18th at Harmon Park for the second annual Juneteenth Celebration where Representative Sharice Davids will be the keynote speaker.

NEJC Chamber Leadership

Councilmember Cole Robinson shared that three members of City staff and governing body graduated from the latest class, and he highly recommends the program to all council members and staff.

Mayor’s report
  • Gloria Steinzig, Ward 3 resident, who has lived in PV for 70 years (!) had a long conversation with Mayor about property taxes, and City Clerk Adam Geffert connected her with the property tax rebate program which will return about $600 to her this year.
  • Noted that staff is very taxed, so be careful of requests of them because they will want to go above and beyond for you, but they don’t really have the time.
  • The mayor of Lawrence, KS emailed to thank PVKS for sending PVPD officers to help manage crowds after the recent basketball win there.
  • We expect to hear from the Y soon with a proposal for how to move forward for PV to review and analyze (and vote on).
  • Met with KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas and discussed a lot of the big issues affecting the metro.
  • Met with UCS and discussed the REIC pilot program results and feedback.
  • The mattress recycling program was a success. Almost 500 mattresses were diverted from the landfill!
  • Walkie talkies are on their way to Dolyna, Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian Club of KC has been invited to have a booth at VillageFest.
  • Finance Committee met to review and discuss (but not vote) on all of the proposed decision packages.
  • Congratulations to all the Spring 2022 graduates in and around Prairie Village!
  • Sherwin Williams store grand opening May 24th.

Staff reports

Assistant City Administrator

Meghan Buum reported that the summer pool complex is completely staffed for the summer! Amazing! Manager Suzanne McCullough worked really hard to get return staff and to create an excellent culture. The Council’s decisions to reduce pool hours and boost lifeguard pay were instrumental in getting us to this stage.

Unfortunately, JCPRD was NOT as successful in their search for swim instructors, so the first two sessions of swim lessons have been cancelled. JCPRD hopes to have staff in time for the third session at PV Pool.

Additionally, the JCPRD tennis pro resigned, and they have not been able to fill that role yet, so their program is cancelled. PV will still have their summer tennis program through the Junior Tennis League.

The City-run summer programs are going gangbusters. There are already 160 children signed up for summer swim team, which is a record during Meghan’s time with the City. Pool membership sales are also going extremely well, and even outpacing 2019.

Police Department

Captain McCullough, for Chief Roberson who is on vacation, reported that PVPD is working with Public Works to establish “safe internet exchange zones” (for exchange of goods & money for purchases from sites like Craig’s List, Facebook Marketplace, etc.) by the skate park. There will be green-painted spots with signage that are under surveillance 24 hours for safe exchanges. The City and PVPD will work on messaging to get the word out about these designated safe locations.

Consider bid award for the installation of two electric vehicle charging stations to Teague Electric and transfer $20,000 from Building Reserve to project ELEC2020

Keith Bredehoeft presented this proposal to add two stations near the skate park, and it was approved unanimously.

Consider approval of design agreement with Lamp Rynearson for the design of the pool repairs for the lap and adult pools

Keith presented on this necessary work as well. Lamp Rynearson is very familiar with the PV pool complex, and have been good to work with. They will look at a couple of options to remedy the issues. The cost range so far for the construction itself is probably around $750,000 to $1,000,000, and Keith has allowed for a million to cover contingencies.

Councilmember Selders shared reservations about spending these dollars on the existing lap pool when we are currently considering an indoor lap pool via a community center building. Keith presented his assessment that option 2 from the 2013 feasibility study by the architect at the time is the only realistic location based on our current Harmon Park work for a future community center if it were to come to fruition. That location wouldn’t affect the existing lap pool.

FYI:

  • The City subsidizes the pool at $200,000 last year and generally at around 40% each year.
  • The JoCo Swim & Dive League are currently the only league utilizing our pool, and they are out of the pool by around 11:30 before the pool opens.

Motion to approve passed unanimously.

Protocols for adding new agenda items for a Council or CCOW meeting

Wes Jordan, City Administrator, gave a little background on the unwritten policy (more protocols, really) for bringing new agenda items to the Council. The last time this was discussed was in 2019, and I had some confusion about this when we were moving so quickly on policies related to COVID-19 in 2021, and I asked that it be reiterated to the whole Council. So, Wes has brought it forward for review and possible discussion.

Councilmember Cole Robinson asked what the difference is between adding something during New Business vs. adding it while reviewing and voting for the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Mayor posited that the more notice to fellow councilmembers and staff the better, to give them AND residents following along time to gather information or form thoughts, so making a motion to add an item to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting could be preferable. Councilmember Graves concurred during the meeting. I concur as well. I’m glad to have a plan.

No vote was needed on this item.

Consider agreement with Transystems for traffic study on Nall Avenue from 67th Street to 75th Street

Keith presented this as well.

This agreement is to update the traffic study performed by Transystems approximately 10 years ago on the Nall Corridor. This study will focus on the section of Nall Avenue from 67th Street to 75th Street to determine if reduction of lanes from 4 to 3 is appropriate given the volume of cars and turning traffic. Included in the new layout will be dedicated bike lanes per the City of Prairie Village and the City of Overland Park Bike/Ped plans. The result of the study will lay the foundation for the design used in the upcoming CARS project on this corridor. The CARS project was approved as part of the overall Prairie Village CARS submittal at the April 18th Council meeting for 2023 and is a joint project with the City of Overland Park.

Council approved this agreement unanimously.

Agenda Packet for your reference

Closing

So that’s it for this week.

Some things I’ve been up to:

  • Framed 65-ish submitted photographic artworks with the Arts Council for Art of Photography 2022.
  • Worked with the Arts Council again the day after framing to hang the Art of Photography 2022 Show – Check it out!
  • Watched the first in-person (I watched later online because of bullet #2 above) monthly meeting of League of Women Voters of JoCo about: Spreading Empathy – Fighting the Mental Health Stigma.
    One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year (NAMBI). Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior or mood and impacts day-to-day living. The LWVJoCo has been working since the 1990s to support comprehensive mental health services in JoCo. This panel discussion, led by Tim DeWeese, Director of the JoCo Mental Health Center, will discuss mental health services now available to residents.
  • Helped my girl celebrate her Sweet Sixteen with her friends:
  • Enjoyed a relaxing Mother’s Day with my family
  • Attended the City Finance Committee to review the 2023 proposed decision packages and more. Our next meeting is May 26th.
  • Participated in an REIC Community of Practice Round Table with UCS, my fellow REIC pilot program members, Jim Echols of UNITE KC, Dr. George Wiliams of Stand Up for Black Lives + Prairie Village (a fellow REIC participant!), Elisha Williams of JoCo NAACP, and Connie Espinoza-Springfield of Johnson County Latino Leadership Network.
  • Attended the May Arts Council meeting where we had a guest to observe and learn more about the committee.
  • Celebrated my 46th birthday with my family at Café Provence! 😋
  • Convened a meeting of volunteers in our Senate District to get to know one another and brainstorm.
  • Attended the Y’s community meeting at Meadowbrook Park about the future of the Paul Henson Y.
  • Helped set-up and attended the 5th Annual Art of Photography opening reception at City Hall last Friday night!
  • Attended an online phone bank training led by a volunteer who was BORN to phone bank – she was awesome and inspiring!
  • Worked on a home DIY project with my husband, and let Abi try the circular saw, jig saw, and power drill to remove the mystique of power tools.

Let me know if you have any questions. Be well and have a great week!

🙂

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