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Council Recap – 06/06/22

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

I forgot to send out the Agenda last week, so here’s the usual graphic I share from City Hall. It’s a short agenda with both our Mayor and our Council President OOT on family vacations 😁:


Pride Month proclamation

Urging all residents of Prairie Village, Kansas to respect and honor our diverse community and celebrate and build a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance.

Public Participation

Council heard from a PV resident, Brent Noll (sp?), representing his neighbors near Nall and Fonticello requesting some traffic control measures. This item is on this agenda, and he was just here to speak in support of that program and thank staff and council for their assistance.

Committee Reports

Planning Commission

Consider Ordinance 2473 to approve a renewal of a special use permit for the service station at 9440 Mission Road – approved unanimously.

Ad Hoc Civic Center Committee Report

Committee Chair Ian Graves reported on the two outcomes of last ad hoc committee meeting including a recommended MOU with the Y and a recommendation to update the citizen survey from 2019. We hope to have those on the City Council agenda of the first meeting in July.

The MOU will be flexible enough to be able to add additional interested partners, such as SMSD, the Library again, JCPRD, etc..

Finance Committee

Chair Ron Nelson reported on the final Finance Committee meeting where the proposed budget was approved out of committee and will be presented to the full Council at an upcoming meeting.

Arts Council

I reported on the current PVAC art shows and the artists’ reception last Wednesday for the Art of Photography JoCo Invitational Exhibit at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse where we had a great turnout from local JoCo artists and their families:

The call for entry for our next annual juried competition, the State of the Arts 2022, is now live:

Also, please visit us at our PVAC booth at the Prairie Village Art Show THIS weekend at the Shops at Prairie Village! Pick up our 2022 exhibit schedule at our booth, and bring your kiddos and let them participate in the Diversity committee’s Juneteenth poster making contest and learn about Juneteenth!

Diversity Committee

Councilmember Inga Selders reminded us of the upcoming event on Saturday, June 18th, 4-8pm at Harmon Park: the second annual Juneteenth Celebration where Representative Sharice Davids will be the keynote speaker.

Environmental Committee

Councilmember Piper Reimer updated us on the latest with this committee who recently heard a presentation from JoCo Dept of Health & Environment for their newest program, JoCo Green Businesses, helping companies with environmental practices. The committee was eager to learn how they can help promote this program.

The committee decided to have booths at both VillageFest and JazzFest to be a resource and answer questions for residents. They will also be donating leftover supplies from the seed balls they made for the native plant sale to the NEJC sustainability event, Go Green 2022, to be used as door prizes. That event will be Saturday, Sept. 17th from 9am-1pm at Sylvester Powell Community Center in Mission.

Drug & Alcohol Council

Councilmember Piper Reimer also shared that the upcoming DAC grant review cycle begins in September.

Tree Board

Councilmember Greg Shelton reported that it is the one year anniversary of PV’s tree ordinance, and it has been received well amongst residents. Bridget Tolle, city arborist, will report to Council at an upcoming meeting.

Planning for the annual Fall Seminar is underway. They will be focusing on native trees and sustaining our tree canopy. The seminar will be in September; more info to follow in August.

Mayor’s report
  • Mayor Mikkelson is on vacation, so no report this week!

Staff reports

Police Department

Chief Roberson reported that PVPD had a very busy day today: today was the first day of the PV Youth Academy including 8 students from the SMSD. It’s a week-long program where they will learn different aspects of law enforcement.

PVPD will have a couple of summer interns this year: Harrison Spencer, of Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, and Devlin Davis, of Kansas Wesleyan, both criminal justice majors.

Our newest dispatcher, Justine Miller, just started Monday.

PD interviewed nine officer candidates last week. Eight have continued on into the background process, and Chief is hoping to have some great new hires to share with Council soon.

Have you seen the new Internet Exchange zones? Look for the Kermit-green parking spots by PVPD to exchange with buyers/sellers from FB Marketplace or Craig’s List or other.

PD’s next Coffee with a Cop will be at Hy-Vee on June 22nd, inside, from 7-9am.

Uvalde, Texas. [sigh] Chief followed up an email he sent to City Council with a few more words. He said, this is a terrible incident that we are all aware of, and rest assured that we also make sure that our PV schools are protected by officers trained in active shooter scenarios. PVPD keeps up-to-date plans of all the school buildings, and they do train in the buildings when they are available. They also have D.A.R.E. officers in all of the buildings regularly. **Chief emailed me later that evening too, because he forgot that they (PVPD) also participate in the school lock down drills along with the students (though the schools don’t have as many now as they did pre-COVID), and all new hires go to all of the schools in PV and do a walk through as part of their standard training.

City Administrator

Wes Jordan said that the 2023 budget will be on the next Council meeting agenda. Mark your calendars.

Refer to the June Plan of Action in the council packet for current staff projects. One project will be education to help residents understand the revenue neutral language and situation as we work through the 2023 budget.

Presentation from McGrath Consulting on compensation study and discussion on compensation philosophy

Victoria McGrath, McGrath Consulting, reported on her firm’s market analysis of today’s employment market in metropolitan Kansas City.

  • Midpoint analysis: a person “should reach the average market rate within 3 –5 years of service, fully capable & competent to do the job. City public works employees should get to midpoint by 7 years.” Only 24% of our City positions are not at that midpoint rate.
  • We have a longer tenured employee base (average years of service is 10+%), so we see a good percentage of employees have moved through the range to the top.
  • 95% of McGrath clients are paying at the 55th percentile. Our PV salary schedule is in line with the 55th percentile, but some positions will need adjustment.
  • There is a trend toward paying higher to attract and retain qualified staff.
  • National turnover rate in local government is currently 21.2%.
  • The private sector is becoming VERY big competition for local government recruiting.
  • Age groups 50 and over have the longest tenure of the organization and represent 34% of all employees.
  • 46% of employees are of the mobile generation (under age 40) and have an average of 4.35 years with the City.
Compensation Philosophy

Questions to ask ourselves as City Council:

  1. Is your compensation philosophy keeping in line with labor market change, industry change, and organizational change?
  2. Does the compensation system mirror the high value you place on positions within the organization?
  3. Is your compensation strong enough to retain employees?

Councilmember Cole Robinson kicked off discussion by thanking Victoria for her mastery of this topic and guiding us and also asking her what her advice is for us. She said to keep an eye on the major market players, but unfortunately we don’t have a way to model the private sector. We have to be “selling” the benefits of what a municipality can bring future employees that the private sector can not offer. (The examples she gave didn’t strike me as not being available in the private sector, but I do think there are benefits out there. KPRS may be one of those depending on its status from administration to administration, but I’ll defer to City staff and HR for how to target those.)

Cole continued by wondering if we should we consider recruiting more 40+ employees ready for a bedroom-type community like Prairie Village who are settling into their family life instead of the young new-grads who haven’t figured out what they want yet and could pick up in a moment’s notice and go elsewhere. To do that, we might need to start our salary schedule for those positions higher to attract those mid-range level employees.

Councilmember Ian Graves said he’s leaning toward targeting 60% of market to be competitive and attract employees.

Councilmember Ron Nelson pointed out that our housing stock is at a higher cost than some of the surrounding communities, so it may stand to reason that our workforce salaries should allow for our employees to live in the municipality that they work in, and asked Victoria if cost of living is considered in the analysis. She said they try to look at geographically contiguous and comparable cost of living municipalities.

Councilmember Terrence Gallagher asked about exempt vs. non-exempt employees and how those are evaluated. Victoria shared that it is difficult to compare them because of overtime, but more of PV’s exempt positions are out-of-market than the non-exempt positions.

Councilmember Piper Reimer shared that she really likes the idea of offering benefits to employees that offer them the flexibility workers in this era and younger generations are looking for.

Councilmember Dave Robinson said that no person should ever leave PV because they’re not paid enough, but at the same time we shouldn’t hire people just because we pay the most because the price-chasing employees aren’t the ones we want for longevity. There has to be a balance. Outside of salary, we need to be also looking at creative ideas to find that balance particularly for employees that don’t have the, for example, work from home options that administrative staff may have, i.e. public works and police officers.

Councilmember Ian Graves made a motion to direct McGrath to model the 60% salary range for comparison. Cole seconded the motion. He also pointed out that our committees cause a lot of work-life balance problems for our administrative staff – another example of non-salary specific issues for compensation.

Councilmember Lauren Wolf said that if we can’t offer the work-life balance, there comes a point where no matter how much money we through at it won’t matter.

I brought up that we should consider the opportunity to add more positions in conjunction with salary adjustments to help with the work-life balance.

Council voted to approve the motion by Ian unanimously.

Consider approval of Ordinance 2474, an ordinance deleting Article 8 (Sign Regulations) of Chapter 16 (Zoning and Planning) from the municipal code

Jamie Robichaud, Assistant City Administrator, gave the background on this change. We currently have two different sets of sign regulations and she wants to get that cleaned up, so we’re just deleting this one as it contradicts what’s in the zoning regulations which is what the City permits based on.

Council approved this deletion unanimously.

Consider traffic calming on 69th Street from Nall Avenue to Fonticello Street

Keith presented the history on this neighborhood cut-through from Nall to the Village Shops. He thanked Brent for coming to represent his neighbors. This area’s traffic calming study got bogged down by COVID when volumes went down, but they have accelerated again, and the area does qualify, so Public Works is ready to move forward. PW is recommending traffic tables.

Council approved this project unanimously.

Agenda Packet for your reference


So that’s it for this week.

Some things I’ve been up to:

  • Had our first internal PV Racial Equity in Communities Meeting to talk about next steps
  • FINALLY had dinner at Verbena in Meadowbrook Park! I definitely recommend it. 🙂
  • Participated in our second Ad-Hoc Civic Center Committee Meeting
  • We finally got to have our annual City Council social and hang with some of our staff members without talking business; just getting to know each other.
  • Attended a discussion series called: AIA Guides for Equitable Practice: “Engaging Community”. Applicable to my career AND my council service.
  • Finished our Finance Committee meetings with final votes to take to the full council, including a PV nominal mill levy reduction.
  • Visited the Painted Chairs at Corinth Square adirondacks that were newly placed on Memorial Day weekend. You can have one of these chairs for your very own! Bid HERE, and net proceeds go to PV Art Council!!
  • My husband and I built a daybed for our back porch with cushion storage that matches our deck!
  • Attended a Lunch and Learn: Beyond LEED A look at WELL and Green Globes. Another good dual-purpose learning experience for me in both council service and career.
  • Attended the Art of Photography JoCo Invitational Artists’ Reception (see photos in Arts Council committee update above). This exhibit and the main AoP exhibit at City Hall are on display until June 25th. Go check them out!
  • Attended the inaugural Meadowbrook Park Festival with live music, food trucks, Strawberry Swing, and an artist talk by Amie Jacobsen, designer of ‘Gateway’ coming soon to the Park.
Meadowbrook Park at sunset
  • Framed in our back porch for screening in a few weeks. We can’t wait to enjoy this space away from the bugs this summer. 🙂 Next step priming, painting, and then screen and trim!
My tiny little weaving.
  • I also, most importantly, have been volunteering my time getting the word out about the August 2nd primary vote on a constitutional amendment. I’m letting people know how they can help get the word out, defeat this amendment, and for some who don’t know about it, educating them on what it would mean for Kansan families if this is allowed to pass. If you’d like more information, HERE is a good place to start. If you’d like to volunteer also, please email me! We have duties large and small for every comfort level!

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


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