National Arts & Humanities Month proclamation
I read this proclamation, which includes updated info about the arts relative to the pandemic, and then presented it to Sarah VanLanduyt of the Arts Council of Johnson County along with a few of our current and new PV Arts Council members!
Recycle Right Campaign Presentation
Piper Reimer and the Environmental Committee heard about this program, Recycle Right, from JoCo Commissioner Becky Fast, received a presentation this year, and then asked staff to see how Prairie Village could work with this program as a city. Brandon Hearn, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, presented Council and guests with the program.
Brandon said that our recycling contamination rate is 24-30% (in JoCo), which means that product doesn’t actually get recycled. This program educates residents through curbside feedback after a 2 second spot check and will leave an “oops” tag if there is something in there that shouldn’t be. They also provide alternatives for materials that are meant to go somewhere else (such as glass). Recycle Right will also follow-up with the resident, and do a return visit to see if there is improvement.
Piper clarified that JoCo provides this service at no charge, residents can opt-out, and it only delays pick-up service by about an hour or so.
The PV program is already fleshed out and will run Monday, November 7th through Friday, January 20th! The City will receive a report at the end of the program about usage, beginning contamination rate, ending contamination rate, and more.
I can’t wait to see how my household is doing!!!
Mayor Mikkelson called the residents to the podium one-by-one who had signed up to speak for three minutes:
- Lauren Martin, proud PV renter and proud Prairie Village for All member. Thanked Council for taking up the recommendations. In support of equity in PV.
- Danial Tereros, appreciates the conversation and knows it’s important to see the process through. Wants to see PV be a better place, and not a “fighty” place. Some ideas: developers are increasing our housing costs – it might be worth revisiting exterior design guidelines; a recycling program for construction to recapture the amazing lumber in our 1950s homes that is unlike any lumber being milled today; AirBnb restrictions to say that hosts must live on premises. He stands for equity.
- Julie Mahan – thanked Council for what they’re trying to do by moving forward instead of only looking backward. As a teacher, she can attest that the classrooms are changing, and so are the times. Her POV is the ones who are against this endeavor are the ones are actually following the money. In favor of policies that favor affordability of housing in PV.
- John Cantrell – He’s hearing there are racial barriers to moving into PV, so he wants to know what they are.
- Hazel Krebs – unequivocally in support of policies that support affordability in PV. Supports equity in PV. Wouldn’t be in PV if not for multi-family housing; she is so happy to be here. PV has something that is great!
- Kelly Wyer – a full time working mom wants to stop rezoning in PV. Loves PV for the large and treed lots. Worried about traffic, congestion, packed schools, loss of property rights to extreme left activism.
- Karen Heath – her home has tripled in value over the last 21 years – her salary has not. If she were to move here today, she wouldn’t be able to afford it. She opposes exclusion and discrimination in all its forms.
- David Magariel – has two kids in public schools so is in support of diversity equity and inclusion in the city. The process the City is engaged in is appropriate and should be allowed to play out. He understands that Council has spent a considerable amount of time on these options. He is worried that there are people who want to cut off the democratic process and are misrepresenting what the Council is doing to his neighbors. He’s glad to hear from people who disagree with particular policies, good faith discussion are important – but cutting off a process before it is complete is inconsistent with democracy. The only path if the City does nothing is to turn PV into million dollar homes. Doing nothing is a choice. Wants PV to retain the features that brought us all here, but is also accessible.
- Trudy & George Williams – 24 year residents, Schools brought their family to PV, and they want to thank the City for the support of the Diversity committee and concurred with David’s comments.
- Jessica Fick – OP resident – used to live at Kenilworth and truly loved living in PV. Local clergywoman in PV, but she and her husband, also a clergyman, couldn’t afford to buy a 3-bedroom half a million dollar home. Ended up buying a condo in a multi-family unit in OP. The community has afforded her the ability to engage with her neighbors, and she’s thankful that PV is willing to do research to address the needs of people like her.
- Zach Flanders – speaking in favor of the housing recommendations. The recommendations remind him of St. Paul, MN that is mostly single-family, but also 4-unit and multi-unit housing, and it doesn’t detract from the streetscapes, quietness, and community. It allows for more diversity of age, socioeconomic, and all walks of life. If we don’t do anything, we’ll just become stagnant.
- Dan Tilden (sp?) – in support of affordability and attainability options in PV. Just moved back to PV with his wife and two sons, and he was pleased to hear upon returning of PV’s recent involvement in Black Live Matters, Stand Up for Black Lives, and more opportunities to embrace diversity. His experience with neighbors in Nashville from different backgrounds is why he supports these recommendations. The question isn’t if we will change, but how.
- Martin Dressman – it’s not about right or left, it’s about the right thing to do and letting all people all be part of the process. Fear has created an invisible border around PV to keep people out. Communities don’t talk to their neighbors anymore, and they need to and they need to get a grip.
- Jake Wagner – addressed the opportunity in front of us and thanked Council for the work they’ve done so far. Addressed Cantrell’s concerns that there are not barriers. W know that if we treat equally those have been treated unequally historically, the inequality does not go away. We have to strive for an equitable housing policy. The PV housing stock is incrementally being replaced through teardowns through an unfortunate developer-driven processes. This is a once-in-a-lifetime change. We have to work with the land that we have and our climate concerns tell us that we need to build more walkable environments – so we need polices that are more equitable.
- Michael Jones – wants to know about pickleball lines at Taliaferro Park. (City staff is going to reach out to him. 😊)
Cindy Volanti, PV HR Director, presented the renewal packet for City staff. This renewal was approved by the insurance committee before coming before Council. Of note, City staff have done great with their wellness programs, and were able to reduce some rates (by 4%) here and there. During negotiations with the provider, the City require ad 12% rate cap, and the insurance company agreed to it. We also have an opportunity to get a refund, which is very rare for a group of our size. Preventative care visits, health assessments, online coaching, employer challenges, and other programs… all of those activities and the percentage of involvement by staff counts toward the possible rate reductions each year, and we can get up to a 6% if we keep improving. Council approved the renewal.
Defunct Ad Hoc Housing Committee FYI
Councilmember Ian Graves and I did a small presentation to the local Keller Williams market center on Somerset in Corinth Square. We were invited to a weekly agent meeting by Ward 3 resident, Warren Smith, and we were happy to chat with a not-so-small, but very welcoming group of real estate professionals that cover PV as well as the entire metro out of this humble PV office. The agents had relevant questions and critiques for Council and the Planning Commission to consider. We encouraged them to be engaged in the process and share their expertise.
Councilmember Greg Shelton reminded us of the first housing recommendations workshop coming up on October 25th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at City Hall and also available to view online on Facebook.
Parks & Recreation
Councilmember Gallagher reported that Public Works is working on winterizing the parks throughout the City; Taliaferro Park construction is slightly behind schedule due to material availability; and the committee is continuing to work through the new and updated park signage plans.
The State of the Arts 2022 is available for only 11 more days to see the exhibition both here and at Meadowbrook Park.
Ribbon cutting at Meadowbrook Park…
I also welcomed our new committee members:
- Justin Begnaud – Justin recently moved back to the area after some years in Los Angeles as a film producer. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree and is heavily involved in non-profit charities, including art-related institutions.
- Reese Naftel – Reese retired from business as an armed services air traffic controller. He and his wife, Linda, moved to Prairie Village from Stanley about 4 years ago where they had previously lived for about 25 – 30 years. Reese has a Bachelor of Arts / Graphic Design degree from Auburn University.
- McKay Stangler – McKay is married to an artist, has an 8-year-old son and a baby on the way. He recently joined the Prairie Village Foundation Board of Directors but would like to be more involved. McKay is interested in broadening access and representation to include all residents of Prairie Village.
- Amy Bagnall – Amy has experience serving on non-profit boards that work with artists, and is currently on the board of Social Media Club – KC. She owns her own marketing firm and believes the strength of a community is buoyed by a strong a vibrant arts culture.
We also hope to add a teen member this year, Trinity Ready from Shawnee Mission South, who also attended this meeting.
Join if you can. so fun. (Applications aren’t open now, but will be after the current session ends.)
PV Seen Playdate – 20-30 families attended. It looked like a LOT of fun.
Interpretive Panel – Diversity Committee wants to collaborate with Parks & Rec and will be reaching out soon.
PV History page – the committee is working on this now and will bring it to City staff soon.
League of Kansas Municipalities Convention
Ron reported on this event and some workshops that he attended on housing and more.
UCS Drug & Alcohol Council
Awarded dollars on October 13th. It is so invigorating to see all the amazing organizations in our area working so hard to serve our citizens in JoCo!
- Mayor reported on his recent activities.
- Mayor did my job letting Council know about the MARC First Suburbs Coalition meeting this coming Friday. (I always forget to share.)
- Upcoming: Oct. 29th, 3-5pm – Trick-or-Treating at both shops….
- Upcoming: Dec. 1st Mayor’s Tree Lighting (proceeds to local PV foundation 501(c)(3))
- Upcoming: Dec. 4th Gingerbread House Decorating (proceeds to local PV foundation 501(c)(3))
Fire Chief, Steve Chick, updated Council and PV residents on staff training (over 10,000 hours this year alone, much of it collaboratively with fellow districts), First Response Advanced Life Support program (having paramedics on the “first out” units), future capital improvement plans, renewal of mission and value statements with the input of the community, and the updated quarterly report.
Councilmembers Herring and McFadden took this opportunity to lavish well-deserved praise on CFD2!
Construction issues on Mission toward Leawood and rolling closures (see this post for a few more details).
So that’s it for this week. My apologies that this update is so brief and full of incomplete sentences (and probably typos). I have been slammed with deadlines at work, and now I just need to publish it no matter what. 🙂 I’m literally not giving it my usual triple check. So sorry! 😭
I also had an in-person high-level chat with a resident this week about the housing recommendations (soon to follow up with a coffee) and sat down today with another person over coffee to help her understand what the groups are for and against. Every conversation helps me and I hope it helps them too.
I usually stay out of the comment sections, but my name (misspelled) recently popped up saying that some of us on Council “have ignored or downplayed the concerns of PV residents for years on this issue”. I have no idea what this person is talking about. This issue has only been under review since this time last year, and no one has reached out to me about it at all until just late this summer. So exaggeration, hyperbole, and slander are the names of the game right now, and I find it very disappointing.
I attended a convening of staff, elected officials, and citizens of the First Suburbs Coalition this week, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that PV is not the only municipality looking at housing inventory and ADUs. Just this week, I heard specifically from Grandview, MO and Mission, KS (notably Mission is also landlocked like PV). A friend also reached out to my from Roeland Park where they’re about to look at their housing policies. The policies Grandview has enacted are very detailed and, I think, will be a good resource for PV as the Planning Commission looks at possible proposals. If you’re interested in hearing what other cities are doing, let me know!
Let me know if you have any questions. Please feel free to share this with your PV neighbors!
Be well and have a great week!