Constitution Week proclamation
“… formally designat[ing] the week of September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week in the City of Prairie Village, Kansas, and ask[ing] our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.“
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day proclamation
FASD Support Network co-President Kathy White, representing 160 families across the state of Kansas, presented some data on children and adults with FASD and this diagnosis and umbrella term covering a range of affects of maternal alcohol consumption. Mayor Mikkelson then read the proclamation:
“… declar[ing] September 9, 2023 [9/9], as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day, and the month of September as FASD Awareness Month, and pledg[ing] to continue to partner with organizations, health care professionals, educators, and the public to raise awareness about our unified message: Pregnancy and alcohol don’t mix.”
National Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation
“… proclaim[ing] September 15 – October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month In the City of Prairie Village and urg[ing] all residents to respect and honor our diverse community and celebrate and build a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance.”
Diversity Committee Chair Councilmember C. Robinson shared information about the Listen & Learn event this Thursday, September 7th, at 6pm at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse. This is an informational event in conjunction with JCRB|AJC following steep rise in anti-Semitism.
I reminded everyone that the Prairie Village Arts Council’s 2023 State of the Arts reception and awards presentation will be Wednesday, September 13th at 7:00 until 8:30. I hope you can join us!
Also, our Call for Entry for 2024 Gallery Exhibits is open now for all 2D and 2D art:
Environmental Committee Chair, Councilmember Shelton, updated Council on this JoCo program. So far the group has audited around 2,100 PV homes (constituting the Monday and Tuesday collection routes). By the second round of collection, there was a reduction in the amount of bagged recycling collected on both routes so far.
JazzFest Liaison, Councilmember D. Robinson, reminded us that JazzFest is this Saturday. The temperature is expected to be in the mid-80’s, and the event will be kicked off by the SME Blue Knights. Join us Saturday at Harmon Park!
Parks & Rec Committee
P&R Committee Chair, Councilmember Gallagher, noted that the pool season is now officially closed with the conclusion of Puppy Pool-ooza tonight, and the committee will also be discussing the pickleball noise concerns of residents around Windsor Park at their next meeting.
Prairie Village Youth Council
Committee Chair, Councilmember Reimer, shared that recruitment for this current school year is underway, and she and staff are reaching out to all of the local schools. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors. The deadline to apply is 9/15. If you have questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Lancer Day Parade last Thursday was a great event and a beautiful day. Thank you to Prairie Village staff and Police Department for helping make that a success.
- JoCo District Court judge will announce her decision on the three petitions Wednesday, September 6th.
- Mayor has an upcoming call with the Mayor of Dolyna, Ukraine to wish them a Happy 1044th Anniversary. 🎉
- Will be attending the NAACP Freedom Summit this month with Chief Roberson
Chief Byron Roberson noted that that PVPD Annual Citizens Academy is a full class this year and begins Wednesday night!
Additionally, he gave an overview of the half year crime statistics. See pages 81-86 of the Council Packet.
Notable: the metro has seen a huge rise in auto thefts, but PV auto theft numbers are down. 98% of those vehicles stolen in PV, though, had the keys in the car or very near the car. How to support our local PVPD: lock your car doors and hide any valuables in the vehicle!
Crime Prevention activities have been ramped up to help curb other common criminal activity:
Deputy City Administrator Nickie Lee updated Council on the Neighborhood Design Guideline update process. In April, after the prioritization exercise, staff proceeded to look at best options and what makes the most sense for the community of PV. At one of the October meetings, our City Planner Chris Brewster, will bring some options to Council to review before taking those and Council comment to Planning Commission.
Public hearing to receive comments regarding the City exceeding the revenue neutral rate
Council held the public hearing which began with a budget presentation by City Finance Director, Jason Hannaman.
Councilmember Gallagher asked what would happen if we had to go back to last year’s dollar value budget number, and Jason shared that it’s a $1.5M+ cut and would mean we’d have to dip into reserves causing us to fall well below the threshold to keep our Aaa bond rating OR we would have to reduce city services. This budget was built to hold the tax rate steady.
Councilmember Gallagher also asked: Of the 13% increase over the 2023 budget, what percentage of that was the salary adjustments made? Jason: ~1/3 was just for the salary increase in compensation.
Councilmember Shelton reiterated that 1 mill = ~$45 per year per household and maintaining revenue neutral would mean 2+ mills reduction for 2024. That amounts to around $115 dollars per year to the average household, but, at minimum, a $1.5M shortfall to the city.
Councilmember C. Robinson shared that the Council prioritized the city’s public safety and attraction & retention of staff, including sworn officers, during the budget process, and he’s really proud that we voted to support those people that make Prairie Village great. After the salary adjustments, increasing pension contributions, and putting savings away for future capital projects, we’re at a respectable 5% increase over 2023.
Mayor Mikkelson illustrated how the so-called revenue neutral rate is a “declining city rate”, because it has no allowance for inflation and each year would require reducing city services, staff, and police officers. It also doesn’t account for population growth, and since PV population is on the rise again, keeping that rate would reduce the services we’re able to provide as the population grows larger.
Councilmember D. Robinson shared that he’d like to see more scrutiny by the Council of the budget, and Councilmember Gallagher pointed out that there were some items requested of the Finance Committee that were NOT approved, illustrating in just one way the level of scrutiny of the Council gives the budget.
Wes Jordan, City Administrator, responded that equipment, fuel, police cars, and health insurance are all going up well beyond the level of inflation – well beyond the Consumer Price Index. The City is trying to make sure service doesn’t fall below the level of last year’s service. Storm clean-up alone was in the range of $550,000, and that is a cost that homeowners didn’t have to pay directly because of the budgeting of the City. Bottom line: discretionary spending in this budget is nominal.
Consider Resolution 2023-03 approving a tax rate of mill levy rate in excess of the revenue neutral rate for the 2024 budget year
Council approved unanimously.
Public hearing for the 2024 budget & Consider 2024 budget adoption
Councilmember Herring shared that Prairie Village, during his tenure, has consistently been ranked as a top place to live, a desirable place to live, and none of this is by accident. It is because of consistent well-thought-through work of our staff, the finance staff included. It happens through the dedication of our residents who come to city events, residents who volunteer for city committees, and also, we have the best staff anywhere. PV has the best streets, wonderful parks, incredible festivals, an incredible public works department, and a thriving small business environment. This happens because of an investment in our community year over year for the cost of a couple of sodas a month. We make these investments grateful for every dollar that is given to our city. He looks through our budget and doesn’t see a lot of fat to cut. it is a lean, mean operation, and we have a strong return on our investment.
Council approved the 2024 budget unanimously.
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share this newsletter/post with your PV neighbors! Again, I’m happy to chat live if you have any questions.
Please be well and have a great week!
P.S. MARK YOUR CALENDAR for the NOVEMBER 7th GENERAL ELECTION to support me in my re-election. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!! 🤗 If you’d like to volunteer, click HERE.