CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2001
Mayor Anita Newsom called the Regular June 25, 2001 City Council Meeting to order in the City Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m.
PRESENT: Mayor Anita Newsom
Councilman Dan Bishop
Councilman Shirley Smith
Councilman Les Smith
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Laura Gay
City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld
ABSENT: Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Anita Newsom led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Councilman Les Smith moved to approve the Regular June 11, 2001 City Council Meeting Minutes as submitted. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded the motion. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Item 4a. on the Agenda PROCLAMATION FOR EPSILON SIGMA ALPHA INTER- NATIONAL WEEK
Mayor Newsom read a proclamation designating the week of June 25, 2001 as “Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Week” in Gladstone, Missouri. Members of the Gladstone Chapter accepted the proclamation from the Mayor.
The Mayor congratulated and thanked the members who have given so much of their time to Gladfest and other good causes in the northland.
Councilman Les Smith stated that in addition to Gladfest, these ladies co-host with Gladstone Bowl, a fund-raiser for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital each year. They bring in KFKF radio station with all their disc jockeys and do a nice job with this event.
Mayor Newsom also welcomed visiting scouts Patrick Carpenter and Cody Carpenter from Troop 357 from St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church.
Item 5. on the Agenda CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerks reading, Councilman Les Smith asked that the Annual Liquor License Renewal for Gladstone Bowl be removed from the Consent Agenda due to a conflict of interest.
Mayor Newsom stated that it would become Item 5a. on the Regular Agenda.
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to approve the Consent Agenda as amended. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
CONSENT AGENDA DETAIL
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-47, accepting work under contract with Weidenmann & Godfrey Construction Co., Inc. for Claymont Drainage Improvements and authorizing final payment in the amount of $2,231.70 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-48, accepting a Bill of Sale from Fairview Christian Church and Vaughan Mechanical, Inc. conveying to the City a water line and fire hydrants built in conjunction with construction at Fairview Christian Church, 1800 NE 65th Street. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-49, authorizing execution of a contract with Blaze Mechanical in the amount of $61,189.00 from the Combined Water & Sanitary Sewer Fund for installation of a 1800 GPM Booster Pump for the 5 MG Water Reservoir at 76th & North Troost in Oak Grove Park. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to approve the ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS for Applebee’s, Smokehouse BBQ, Osco Drug, Conoco, and Kings Super Store. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: “All aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to approve the FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2001. Councilman Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Item 5a. on the Agenda APPROVAL OF LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL for Gladstone Bowl.
Councilman Dan Bishop moved to approve the ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL for Gladstone Bowl. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded. The vote: “Aye” - Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. “Abstain” Councilman Les Smith (3-0-1)
Item 6. on the Agenda COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mary Abbott, 5905 N. Broadway updated Council on the bridge at 59th and N. Broadway. She stated that last Tuesday morning she had 4.7 inches of rain in her rain gauge and the creek was running just great. Everyone in her neighborhood thanks the City for the work done in that area.
Councilman Les Smith commented that in years past they might have been down the river somewhere and he is glad that has worked out so well.
Ms. Abbott said she can now sleep at night during a storm.
Item 7. on the Agenda COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL
Councilman Les Smith stated that he wanted to address an issue that comes up each year at this time and that is the enforcement of our fireworks ordinance. He asked about our official position on enforcing the fireworks ordinance.
City Manager Kirk Davis stated that the official position is that the shooting of fireworks are illegal within the City of Gladstone.
Mr. Smith said that in years past he has been very disappointed in the enforcement policies of the fireworks issue. It is disconcerting that whether it was theft, burglaries, or fireworks, this was a no-nonsense community and if you broke the law, you paid for it. He is not so sure over the years that we have not lightened up on our enforcement of fireworks. It has become more of a response to a complaint. He does not feel that is the way we should do business.
When you raise your children and they want to shoot fireworks you tell them they cannot do it, but then they tell you that kids on the other street are doing it and a police car just drove right past them. He would like to see the City be more aggressive on this issue and enforce it.
Mayor Newsom said she concurs with Mr. Smith.
Councilman Shirley Smith thanked State Representative Phil Willoughby for the extension of himself to Gladstone. She had heard in the past that there was little communication between the City and State representatives and is happy that has changed.
Ms. Smith stated that our dialogue with the State benefits us both ways. Councilman Bishop agreed that is a two-way street. We can gain a lot from having our State representative conversant with us. We can learn a lot and obtain a lot. The other way around is that he really needs our input because he has to vote on these issues. When you come down to a vote on a issue, you have to know everything you can so you know if you are doing the right thing or not. She hopes we can continue this to our mutual benefits.
Councilman Dan Bishop thanked Councilman Smith for reminding him of the fireworks issue. He remembers two years ago at Oak Grove Park, while watching the fireworks display, there being fireworks set off by individuals and people behind the holding tank. He is not sure if it was a private exhibit or strays from the City exhibit.
After the 1999 Fourth of July, he remembers Councilman Newsom specifically raising the issue in a very strong manner that shooting fireworks was in direct violation of our ordinance and the expectation was that something would be done about it the following year.
Mr. Bishop stated that in 2000, he was sitting in the park and thinking it was every bit as bad as the previous year. Nothing happens and it is amazing that officers stand there for crowd control and it seems they make no apparent effort to go out and stop that from happening in the back parking lot. It was insulting to him that nothing was being done at that time.
Councilman Bishop said Mr. Smith raises a good point and he hopes that there will be stronger enforcement this year.
Mayor Anita Newsom stated that the fireworks issue has been a drum she has beaten for many years. If it is an ordinance, then we need to enforce it. There is a reason it was put into effect and it is not only protection of individuals, but protection of property. One of her first years on the Council there was a situation with fireworks and loss of property, which if enforced, it would not have happened.
She does realize that chasing down stray firecrackers is not a high priority when there are criminals running the streets, but loss of property is a high priority. There are people that start early in the morning on the fourth or before, shooting off bottle rockets, spinners, sparklers, and things that are then left in yards and left to be run over by lawn mowers. That is an issue.
There are many things we cannot regulate, but we do have an ordinance for shooting off fireworks and she believes that we do need to enforce it with all due diligence.
Councilman Bishop commented that in his subdivision, all roofs have shake shingles and when you worry about bottle rockets being shot off and maybe landing on your roof, that is a disconcerting thought.
Councilman Shirley Smith stated that she thinks that most people accept the fact that fireworks are going to be shot off, even now we are hearing fireworks. When it becomes really irritating is when you hear fireworks late at night, even 2:00 am in the morning. She knows they have been set off below people’s windows late at night. That is when it is most disturbing and maybe we can monitor between Midnight and 6:00 am.
Councilman Les Smith stated that this is a public safety issue and a property issue, but 40% of injuries caused by fireworks are actually by-standers. It costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million per year in medical costs for fireworks injuries across the country. It is a public safety issue. The three most common injuries are firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers, which we usually think is not very dangerous, but is.
Councilman Bishop noted that the Fairview Christian Church parking lot is a spot for heavy fireworks usage surrounding the Fourth of July. Reverend Loyd Gentry would like to have some patrol out and run people off if they are using the parking lot for fireworks purposes.
Mayor Newsom stated that in the last FYIN newsletter from the City Manager we have the possibility of four vacancies on Boards and Commissions. One may be resolved by the end of the summer with a work schedule conflict. The others are Recycling and the TIF Commission which Councilman Smith has vacated.
Ms. Newsom stated that when the TIF Commission was formed, we looked for participants to represent different bodies and groups. Mr. Les Smith was tagged to be the local business owner representative. As a group, we are not quite through half the year and she asks what process we want to use.
Councilman Bishop stated that he thinks we need to have a file that we maintain on an ongoing basis of names of citizens. The fairest way would be to publicize through the local newspapers and on our government access cable channel. Last year we happened to have an unusually high number of vacancies on the Boards and Commissions and a high number of people willing to serve and were able to plug them all in. The fairest way is to solicit letters of interest and as we have openings, to pull from that file. The alternative would be for Council members to recruit people but that prohibits a lot of folks who might be interested in serving from having the opportunity to do so. The fairest way to encourage more interest is to solicit letters of interest and draw from that batch.
Councilman Les Smith commented that he does not disagree with this method. At the last Council meeting it worked well that we had a citizen expressing interest in a particular committee who had some level of expertise to go ahead and appoint him. If a person expresses an interest and we have a letter in the file, then it works for him.
Councilman Shirley Smith remarked that if we need names to start a file, maybe City Council members can provide a list of two or three names.
Ms. Newsom stated that we are getting a broad spectrum when we advertise to the public with a Public Notice. This would not be as large a pool. We would need to set aside some time before Council meetings to conduct interviews.
Councilman Les Smith asked if this was an ongoing file whereby if we have openings, we do not have to wait six months to interview and fill these positions.
Councilman Bishop stated that in his ideal scenario we would have a number of those folks to interview and get acquainted with. Until the last two years, we have had more people expressing an interest than we have openings. We make the appointments in January and there are some residents we are not able to find places for, and as openings occur during the year, we have already interviewed them and so we pick the one most qualified. That did not happen this year, so we are at a disadvantage in filling these spots now. We need to get the process going where we can have some folks to call on.
Mayor Newsom confirmed that we are talking about a pool for the short term to fill the existing vacancies, then go through the annual process and interview in December when terms expire.
Mr. Les Smith stated that if someone is interested in the mean time, instead of waiting for our call, if they submit their letter, it will be an ongoing pool at that point.
Mr. Bishop said he tells residents to submit a letter of interest to Diane Whitaker or Marilyn Ahnefeld and it will be placed in the file.
Ms. Newsom confirmed with Council that staff will send out a Public Notice inviting letters of interest. She asked City Manager Davis to please facilitate this notice.
Councilman Bishop stated that maybe letters should be general in nature, not specific to a particular Board or Commission. Mayor Newsom agreed with a general letter of interest.
Councilman Les Smith noted that there was one holdover individual from last January’s interviews from his understanding. When that occurs, do we need to discuss that and their interest in a committee.
Mayor Newsom agreed that there was one person not appointed to a Board or Commission from the residents who interviewed in December. This person was asked about serving on the Recycling and Solid Waste Committee and declined. She is still in the pool. We need to see if this person might be interested in serving on the vacancies we now have.
Councilman Shirley Smith stated that was the idea, someone we have already interviewed, to see if there is anything that person is interested in.
Ms. Newsom said Council needs to be thinking about the National League of Cities Conference coming up the first part of December. Information packets usually come out the first part of July. She asks everyone to look at their calendars to see if they plan to attend or want to attend so that Diane Whitaker knows. We can then make hotel and flight reservations in a timely manner. The hotel is the critical piece so we can get lodging closer to the conference location and do not have to take shuttle buses from another hotel.
The dates are December 4th through the 9th with pre-conference sessions before that. Please look at your calendars and give Diane a heads up if you plan to attend.
Ms. Newsom stated that before we meet again, the City Fourth of July celebration will be held at Oak Grove Park and the weekend after that Theatre in the Park will present “The Wizard of Oz”. This is an encore performance with all new actors, but the last time Ibsen Dance put this on it was a dynamite show, one of their best. It is good for adults and good for kids.
Mayor Newsom also commented that for the Fourth of July, she is cranking up her ice cream specialties again. Council and staff are invited to join in and if they want to bring something to share, that would be great.
Item 8. on the Agenda COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER
City Manager Kirk Davis introduced Melanie Pollard, our new Public Information Coordinator.
The Mayor and Council welcomed her to the City.
Item 9. on the Agenda CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING on a request to rezone property at 5800 N. Oak Trafficway from C-2 to CP-3. Applicant: Auto Trend, Inc. (File #1148).
Mayor Newsom stated that this public hearing was continued from May 21, 2001 and the applicant has withdrawn the request for this rezoning, therefore no public hearing will be held.
Item 10. on the Agenda CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING: on a request to rezone from CPO and CP-2, to CP-3 property at 6902 North Oak. Applicant: Dominic Cuccia (File #1152)
(Continued from the May 29, 2001 City Council Meeting)
Mayor Newsom stated that the applicant has requested further continuance of this public hearing to the Monday, July 9, 2001 City Council Meeting to allow staff review of potential changes to this development project.
Item 11. on the Agenda APPROVAL OF BUILDING PERMIT for 3,395 sq. ft. tenant finish at 4770 N Belleview, Suite 203. Applicant: Luke Draily Construction Co. BP #01-0441
Councilman Les Smith moved to approve the Building Permit. Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.
Mayor Newsom asked if everything was in order. Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson agreed that it was.
The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Anita Newsom. (4-0)
Item 12. on the Agenda OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business for this evening.
Item 13. on the Agenda QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA
There were no questions from the news media and Mayor Newsom welcomed Sophia Maines from The Kansas City Star.
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There was no further business to come before the June 25, 2001 Gladstone City Council Meeting, and Mayor Anita Newsom adjourned the Regular Meeting.
Marilyn F. Ahnefeld, City Clerk
Anita Newsom, Mayor