PRESENT:            Mayor Anita Newsom

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross

Councilman Dan Bishop  

Councilman  Shirley Smith

Councilman Les Smith


City Manager Kirk Davis

Assistant City Manager Laura Gay

                        City Counselor David Ramsay

City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld


Item 3. on the Agenda.            PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE


Mayor Anita Newsom welcomed scouts  from  Troop 271 sponsored by Gashland United Methodist Church and Scouts  Jason Pruitt and Mark Weinzerl led the Pledge of Allegiance in which all joined. 


Item 4. on the Agenda.            APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 22, 2001 MINUTES.


Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to approve the Regular October 22, 2001 City Council Meeting Minutes as amended.  Councilman Shirley Smith  seconded the motion.  The vote:  All “Aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)


Item 5. on the Agenda.            CONSENT AGENDA


Following the Clerk’s reading, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to approve the Consent Agenda as read; Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.   (5-0)




Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-72, authorizing acceptance of work under contract with Green Mountain Joinery, Inc. for the Oak Grove Storage Building and authorizing final payment in the amount of $1,023.15 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund.  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.   (5-0)


Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to approve BUILDING PERMIT for a 384 sq. ft. addition to existing structure at 6606 N Antioch Road.   Applicant/Owner:  Baldwin Properties, Inc.  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.     (5-0)


Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to approve INTERIM FINANCIAL REPORTS for October, 2001.  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.   (5-0)




Item 6. on the Agenda.            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.   There were no  communications from the audience.


Item 6a. on the Agenda.    Presentation  to the City Council from Trans Systems             regarding proposed Stop Sign at Brooktree & Kendallwood.                                                            


Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson advised  that he and Mr. Tom Swenson of Trans Systems Corporation met with the Woodlands Homeowners Association on October 13th.  The purpose of that meeting was to gain input from the association board and interested residents  about  the concerns relative to a stop sign that was requested at a recent council meeting.  During that meeting,  Board Member Kim Stevens requested  some information relative to the placement of stop signs further east on Brooktree, specifically Brooktree & Bales, Brooktree &  Norton and Brooktree & Myrtle, as well as a stop sign at 61st & Cleveland in the Carriage Crossings neighborhood     He intended to provide the traffic study and that information together to the entire association board and City Council at the same time however, because of the timing of the receipt of the traffic study we wanted to make sure that we are able to address it to the City Council.   We  just received the received the final draft so there was not time to put together the information that Ms. Stevens requested.     He apologies to Ms. Stevens and  will provide that information to her and the rest of the board this week. 


Director Wingerson introduced Mr. Tim Swenson,  TransSytems Corporation who the City contracted to perform a recent traffic analysis at Kendallwood Parkway and Brooktree Lane.


Tom Swenson,  noted the specific objective of the traffic study at Kendallwood Parkway and Brooktree Lane was to determine if a four-way stop was warranted.  The study they conducted was based on criteria in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control devices commonly referred to as the MUTCD recognized across the country as the definitive  source on the use of traffic control devices such as stop signs.    The primary criteria for justifying a four way stops were  safety  and traffic volumes to the extent that there are efficiencies or delays caused by drivers.   They were at this location on  Tuesday, October 16th to collect their traffic volumes over the course of a day from 7:00 AM  - 7:00 PM.   They met with the Woodlands Board on Thursday October 18th and the purpose of that was to listen to what their concerns.    What did they see everyday as drivers of that intersection that  might help him  to make sure he was in touch with what  everyday drivers saw out there.  Safety was cited as a concern in particular for Woodlands drivers who come out and are southbound at the intersection.  The difficulty they have looking back to the west is not only because of the curvature on Brooktree but because of some trees which block their sight  lines they can only see to the west  a certain distance.    It was noted that there is school bus pickup and drop off activity in the area.  It was suggested that some of the  other four-way stops suggesting in the area were seen as intersections of equal or lesser importance than the intersection in question.     Speeds on Brooktree were cited as higher than they would prefer to see and wrong way movement into the office park,  going  the wrong way on Kendallwood to the north,  was noted as happening occasionally.  Overall drivers thought that the delays they encountered at the intersection were rather minimal.


Mr. Swenson said there are three primary warrants for stop signs: 


a.  Where traffic signals are justified, the multi-way stop can be used as an interim measure while arrangements are being made to install the traffic signals.


b.     Five (5) or more reported crashes in a 12-month period that  are susceptible to correction by a multi-way stop sign installation.


c.  Minimum traffic volumes of so many per hour over the highest 8-hour period on the main street and than similar thresholds are established for the minor street.   In this case, Brooktree is considered the major street and Kendallwood Parkway the minor street.


The MUTCD also offers other guidance in addition to this hard and fast objective criteria for the use of four-way stops.  This guidance comes over decades of experience with stop signs.  Mr. Swenson said two key ones that he will cite are the suggestions that four-way stops  should only be used where the volumes of both streets are about equal.  In this case, it is only three-fourths; one-fourth.  72% of the traffic they counted was on  Brooktree compared to 28% on Kendallwood.


The other guidance is not to use stop signs for speed control.  It has been proven in study after study in this country that do not meet that objective.   If the objective is to slow traffic along  Brooktree a long distance, putting a stop sign here is not going to change that condition.  So his assessments of these warrants is that no traffic signs are warranted at this intersection.   There have been no accidents in the last 12 months and we do not meet the minimum  volume thresholds.  We meet part of that on Brooktree but not on Kendallwood at all.  As part of his review he did look at and drive the intersections several times on different days and at different times of the day and on all approaches to gain a sense of  what drivers encountered.


One of the most fundamental things we need to provide at every intersection is good sight distance.   We want drivers to be able to look up and down the road before they proceed through a stop sign and turn in front of other traffic to make sure they can see it and make good decisions.    What he found when he looked at the intersection was that by and large it is a pretty good sight distance with the one exception that neighbors brought up that when you are southbound on Kendallwood and want to look west  it is very difficult to see very far for two reasons:  the curve in the road,  and the trees.  There is a cluster of  some deciduous trees right on the corner and up the road to the west there are some rather large dense pine trees that literally form a blockade and  allow drivers to see  a few hundred feet up the road.  Likewise,  if you are east bound on Brooktree you do not see the intersection very quickly and it comes up on you primarily because of the pine trees.   


Mr.  Swenson said they do not recommend the 4-way stop.       Frankly, there is no compelling reason to install them and the MUTCD has a forceful tone when it comes to stop signs in that you do need a very compelling reason to do that and that is because our goals on our street systems  are to move traffic efficiently and safety.  Safety is always the utmost concern but we want to be efficient as well.  We do not want to needlessly force others to stop or stop ourselves if there is no good reason to do that  The key is to provide drivers with the conditions so that they can make good decisions and safely navigate our street system which gets him to his #1 recommendation which is to remove those sight obstructions so that those southbound drivers on Kendallwood can see adequately to the west  a much more comfortable distance.     We can argue that there  have been no accidents which means that drivers are adapting but he still thinks it is importance to provide that fundamental good sight distance.     


While not strictly a part of the study per se, Mr. Swenson said the are other tangents this intersection can take to address the travel  speed which was an issue raised by the neighbors.   That gets into traffic calming which is a term we have no doubt heard.  The speeds on Brooktree measured by the City were relatively high compared to the posted speed limits.     The speed limits 25mph  and 85% of the drivers are driving 35mph.   When he watched the intersection it did not necessarily strike him  that drivers on Brooktree were going  inordinately fast through there but there are some things that can be done.  He points out that the conditions are pretty ripe for somebody on Brooktree to easily exceed the speed limit.    It is a nice 36’ wide street with  no parking so drivers have a very comfortable two-lane street and most of the intersecting streets and driveways do not carry a lot of traffic.   So somebody traveling along Brooktree in addition to having a nice comfortable road does not expect to  encounter much traffic turning in front of  them. .  Some things to consider are trying to effectively narrow the street, you could stripe a painted medium that would narrow the lanes, you could consider bike lanes on the outsides both of which would shrink those lanes from 16’ wide to 12’ wide which might have some effect on drivers speeds through there.     You could consider cross walks at the intersection with prominent marking materials and signs to get peoples attention and drivers attention that they are approaching an intersection.   There are a lot of things that would fall into traffic calming and a lot of communities engage the people who live on or near that street to work with staff to find the best solution to address the problem that people perceive is going on along  that street.  


Mr. Swenson invited questions at this time. 




Councilman Bishop said one of the questions raised by Councilman Les Smith several Council meetings ago when this issue was brought forward under comments from the audience was safety of the actual intersection because of the way the median protrudes out toward Brooktree Lane.   The question was is there a need to reconfigure the design of that intersection coming out of the Woodlands and Mr. Bishop asks if that was looked  at  as a p[art of this study.


Mr. Swenson said he does not see that the width of the median in this case is contributing to any problems but he did mention earlier that the Woodlands residents mentioned the wrong way movements that occur at some times and he did recommend in his report some standard traffic control signs to help prevent that.  But he does not see that the median itself is causing the problems,  particularly safety issues.  


Councilman Bill Cross noted the report tells him that something definitely has to be done about the trees and  secondly,  the need for closer supervision by our own law enforcement to slow some of those people down if the study indicates that the majority of those people are exceeding the speed limit.      Mr. Swenson agreed that enforcement is always an option that a community has.  They always talk about the three E’s of engineering, education and enforcement.    If they are exceeding the speed limit by that much, periodic enforcement would be a good idea.  


Councilman Les Smith said he  will probably not be in favor of stop signs at that intersection however he thinks we have to do more than rely on a couple of signs and enforcement to solve the problem.    In the minds of the residents who drive it there is a problem, so therefore we do have a problem.       There is also the school bus issue and he understands that we are working with the school district trying to get the buses to pull into the Woodlands to collect the children rather than out on the street.     The second issue raised was a cross walk of some sort to enable the children to go to the library.  Is it possible to put a sidewalk with flashing lights to address that problem.  


City Manager Kirk Davis said  cross walks  were recommended as potentially one of the options to let people be  aware they are coming to an intersection.     Mr. Davis said he had not thought of the yellow lights.


Mr. Swenson said flashing  lights or beacons is  discussed and he notes that you could also  try things incrementally.   It is hard to say that flashing lights are absolutely needed but it is something that can be considered.


Councilman Smith said he would like to see us doing something literally tomorrow.  This has been an issue for some time and we should start doing something right away but let’s try to exhaust all other possibilities before we get to the stop sign issue.  


Mr. Davis said we have contacted the school district and are trying to encourage them to look at other alternatives to pick up the kids on both sides of Brooktree.   There may have been an issue for the School District at one time when those were private streets but the City has since taken them over and they are now public streets so there is an ability to use the road system in there to at least turn around without backing up a bus. 


Mr. Smith asked  how we can expedite our discussions with the School District.    Mr. Davis said we will try to get those discussions moving forward at a faster pace but he cannot say how fast their system would work  in terms of any changes.  But the direction he hears is move forward as quickly as possible with the school district and take  a look at what traffic calming ideas might work with the homeowners association and folks in the Woodlands.


Councilman Newsom  said round-a-bouts which she observed in Europe served to slow the traffic and  she realizes it is a major construction but looking towards the future she asks if  in their studies they find round-a-bouts work or would we be better off to place some smaller configuration of  an island.   Mr. Swenson responded that it is commonly discussed and the modern round-a-bout is  slowly being implemented.  In this whole metro area there are probably fewer than ten but it has become an alternative to consider and not just in neighborhoods but also on major streets.    Like anything different it is slow to catch on.    At this intersection, the wide medians really don’t lend themselves to a good round-about  design so that is why he did not mention it.  It  is certainly a tool that can be considered because it is an intersection control device and does calm traffic.  


Councilman Les Smith said he thinks we should at least explore that concept because it fits with the whole parkway theme in that area.  


Councilman Cross said those sound like good ideas and he thinks we could work out something with the School District who want the safety of the young people and  make contacts as far as cutting trees and placing cross walk signs  so that drivers and pedestrians know what we are trying to do.    He agrees with Councilman Les Smith that we need to start tomorrow.  


Mayor Newsom said if there are audience members who would like to address this issue she invites them to do so at this time.  


Rita Gauer, said she resides in The Woodlands and is present for the second time.    About a year ago she spoke with  Councilman Bishop and asked how they could go about getting a four-way stop.    Mr. Bishop told her that as an individual he could do nothing but recommended that a petition be generated signed by as many Woodlands residents as possible,  take it to the City Council and tell them why they need  this four-way stop desperately.   They have done that and have 86 signatures and an article from the Insurance Institute which recommends that all two way stops be changed to four-way stops to benefit the safety of older drivers and  indicates that the amount of accidents can be reduced by up to 50%.  Mrs. Gauer said in her book that is very very compelling.


Mrs.  Gauer advised that Woodlands resident Bill Reynolds wrote a letter to the City of Gladstone last June and received no response.   Carol Fisher who is also a resident  wrote a letter to the Mayor and Council and received no response.     One of the recommendations  is to tear the trees and shrubs out  but Mrs. Gauer  said  when you are trying to get into their development and are on Kendallwood Parkway there is a building obstructing and the trees are not going to make any difference.   You still can’t see as those cars come racing down Brooktree.      Although there have been no accidents there she sees this as an accident waiting to happen.   We are all getting annoyed with the business of traffic volume and traffic calming.  There are all kinds of four way stops in Gladstone and  she mentions N Indiana & Shady Drive and N Cleveland & 60th Street which do not have as much traffic as they do.  But we cared enough to put those stops in for the safety of the people which she thinks is great.   There  are 4-5 stop signs between N Indiana and N Jackson and she was told those were in place for the safety of the people living in that area because it is densely populated and serves four developments with several entrances and exits.  There is only one way in and out to the Woodlands.


Mrs.  Gauer said as far as traffic calming, try to tell that to some family who will eventually lose a loved one at the intersection of Brooktree and Kendallwood. 


Michelle Baker apologized for her emotion but said it was because she is a mother and referred to the children with her and said there are five compelling reasons why  we believe we need a stop sign in the Woodlands.     She asked that we look at the children closely and said she would hate to think that an accident could happen because they  were trying to cross the street to go to the library.   Flashing lights will not stop a vehicle if it is a yellow warning.  She does not know how to word it any other way  but she would just respectfully request that the Council please reevaluate  their decision on having stop signs so that Woodlands residents can carefully and  safely cross the intersection.   


Mayor Newsom asked if there were others who desired to address the Council at this time.    No one responded.


Mayor Newsom asked members of the City Council if they desired to discuss this issue further at this time or take action on it.


Councilman Shirley Smith said she realizes we have to have rules and regulations on matters or things would get completely out of hand but it does seem that our citizens should be listened to.  As she sees it,  up to now they did not know what to tell us to solve the situation,  and we did not know what to tell them.   What we need to do is study this further and very quickly. 


Ms. Smith said she is not one to say let’s do what everyone wants us to do but this has been going on for a long time and we do not have citizens really pursuing things like this unless they feel very strongly about it and feel they are right.    She said she knows of a few stop signs that were put up at the whim of a person and they have no value now.   That was many years ago and they have no value now.    So if we are going to pick out one intersection and say it has no value for a stop sign maybe we better review other intersections where we have stop signs that have no value.  She really thinks we have to consider the safety  of our citizens above and beyond the rules and regulations. 


Councilman Bishop asked Mayor Newsom what she is suggesting.  The Mayor said she does not know if someone wants to make a motion to enact the guides of the study, if we do some further research, or if  we over-ride the study and have the documentation prepared for placement of a four way stop at that location.  She asks the preference of the Council,.


Councilman Bishop said  for  the record he wants to be perfectly clear that his top priority is safety at that intersection and he is sure we all agree on that.   Mr. Bishop said he did tell Mrs. Gauer if she had compelling reasons that should be brought to the Council’s attention as to why stop signs should be there she should initiate that dialogue and bring it forward for discussion.  He believes that has been done and we have all heard the message which is certain residents  desperately want a stop sign.  But if  you look beyond that request for a stop sign what he really hears is that they want safety,  they want their children safe and they want to be safe.  These people are fearful and it is our job to give them  what they are really asking for which is safety at that intersection.  Although he respects the opinion of each of the Woodlands residents with whom he has spoken on this topic not one of them has credentials as a traffic engineer,  nor does he,  and that is what he has said from the start that he is very dependent on the recommendations of staff and traffic engineers.   Mr.  Bishop said he is impressed with the report given tonight from TransSytems and the lengths they went to hear the concerns of the residents of the Woodlands and they have given a report that analyzes the problem and he is can’t imagine someone not agreeing with their analysis of the problem.  They have made  what appear to be some very thoughtful recommendations to insure the safety of that intersection. When you combine that with our efforts to work with the school district to get the school bus to come into the Woodlands and put a crosswalk in there so the children can go to the library, it  seems these things if acted upon would go a long way in creating a safe intersection.   He hears the request being made for a stop sign but he has to say for the record that he has had telephone calls in the past three weeks from  Woodlands residents telling him emphatically that they do not want  a stop sign there.    He said Council received  a letter in their packet from a resident in the area who had seen some of the press coverage and said he emphatically does not want a stop sign there.  So we have people who care enough on the one side to say they  really want it,  and those on the  other side who say they really don’t want it.  So the Council is in a situation where he thinks they have to rely on the recommendations of the consultants. 


Mr. Bishop said speaking for himself all he is trying to do is insure the safety of that intersection.  He is impressed with the report from TransSystems and he thinks the best thing we can do is proceed with implementation of those recommendations.      He would like to see an analysis of a traffic circle.  He thinks that is an intriguing idea and he does not know that cost should be a big barrier.    Mr. Bishop said Mayor Newsom and  Councilman Les Smith struck on something that sounds really promising at that location and he would be interested in the analysis of the feasibility of  a round a bout.  In his view that would accomplish every goal that has been brought to our attention by the Woodland’s residents.


Mayor Newsom said she concurs  with Mr. Bishop almost one hundred percent.       She said she is not a traffic engineer but as a driver she knows when you see a wide stretch of road it is easy to accelerate.    There are ways to solve the problem so it is  a win-win.   It may  not be  as easy as going out and putting four poles in the ground and putting stop signs on them.   In the interim between the time we can getting started on implementing the traffic study and recommendations she would certainly hope nothing happens and we move on and implement this and see if those changes do  alleviate a good deal of the problem.   The Mayor said she is intrigued by the idea of traffic calming devices.  She received some information a few years ago on round-a-bouts and when she was in Europe she was watching  them  to see how they were used  because traffic was not stopped but slowed down significantly.     But it is not like Meyer Circle in Kansas City where motorists are spinning out in yards because that can be a bad thing.    


Councilman Les Smith said Councilman Bishop articulated the consensus of the City Council very well.   There are two things we can do,.  We can do nothing or commit to doing something and he thinks we are committed to doing something.  It may not be the solution that is desired immediately but we are committed to solving the problem and he thinks the solution should be more important than the method.      He told the City Manager that he believes he has some very explicit direction from  the City Council that we need answers,  and we need them very very quickly.  Those things that we can implement we need to implement very very quickly and he agree that is the direction  we need to go.  We need to solve the problem somehow but it sounds like creating a four-way stop might create problems in other ways and we do not need to trade one problem for another.    He told Mrs. Gauer and Mrs. Baker that this may not be what they were looking for but Council will commit to trying to solve that problem.  It just does not sound like it will be with stop signs.  We have a better solution that will be a very nice solution for that area.


Ms. Baker  asked how a traffic circle would allow pedestrians to cross the street any easier or safer.


Mayor Newsom answered that  it would be in combination with a cross walk  to slow down traffic.   Ms. Baker said the only traffic circle she is familiar with is off of Ward Parkway and she is not picturing  where a pedestrian cross walk could be placed in the middle of a traffic circle.  


Ms. Newsom said it may  not be in the middle of the circle,  the  traffic engineers would have to draw it up.     Ms. Newsom said it would not be as large as Ward Parkway but  what she saw used in other places was smaller so that  people would not raise their speed going around it but will have to slow down.    And then  a cross walk could  be at one end or another or designed to go through the middle of it where the children and pedestrians  could  cross at a green space  and have a spot to cross one lane and pause and cross the other lane as it clears, she does not know how it would be designed. 


Councilman Smith said the difference is that at Ward Parkway there are six lanes of traffic with a large circle.  We are talking about a much lower volume of traffic and the main thing is it allows everyone to be seen and the traffic slowed down quite a bit, as far as the intent.   That might not be the final solution but at least we are trying to go through all the other possibilities before we just say “no - we can’t do anything”.   That is probably leaps and bounds as far as success in the past.


Mrs. Gauer said  an increase in accidents has been alluded to  if a 4-way stop is put in.   She said she cannot for the life of her imagine why 4-way stops could increase traffic accidents if people are going to stop they are going to stop so she does not understand the reason.  When they are coming from Kendallwood to get into the Woodlands there is only a 2-way stop.  Taking out the trees would be great for coming into the Woodlands but won’t help where the view is obstructed by the law building.    


Mrs. Baker said Mr. Bishop indicated he had received several phone calls from residents of the Woodlands who stated they did not favor a 4-way stop.  She heard no one at any of these meetings step before the City Council and indicate that view and questions what their reasoning would be.  Is it the inconvenience of pausing for thirty seconds at a stop sign?      She has not heard any reasons why residents would be against it.      


Mayor Newsom thanked Mrs. Gauer and  Mrs. Swenson  for  their comments.


Mayor Newsom asked the Council if a motion is needed to give direction to the City Manager on this matter.  City Manager Davis said the direction is clear. 



Item 7. on the Agenda.            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.


Councilman Les Smith  had no comments at this time.


Councilman Shirley Smith  advised  the City Council, City Manager and Management Team recently held  their annual retreat  which was a great opportunity  to  focus on the last year  and plan future goals and direction.     She also expressed her appreciation to Finance Director Sweiven for his report on the Local Government Employees Retirement system meeting.    Ms. Smith  also commented that she agrees with comments  made by residents of the west side of the city that a grocery store is needed in  that area.  


Councilman Dan Bishop  said he has talked frequently since coming on the City Council about the fact that Gladstone has entered into the realm of what is called a first tier suburb or  an inner ring suburb.    What this means is that as one of the first suburban communities as the metropolitan area begins to move outside of the urban core, we have some great opportunities  such as mature neighborhoods with  beautiful established trees.  We have a stable population and we also have some challenges in terms of aging housing stock and  aging retail corridors.   We have really focused  on the challenges in being a first suburb and done this through the Neighborhood  Preservation Task Force, the North  Oak Corridor Study and we are trying to be pro-active in dealing with those challenges and at the same time emphasizing our strengths as a first tier suburb.   He said he has been so interested in this issue of first suburbs  and  learned of an exciting program the Kauffman Foundation has undertaken.  They have entered into a significant financial contract with the Brookings Institution which is one of the foremost think tanks in the nation.  The Brookings Institution will come into Missouri and analyze issues affecting first suburbs not only in Missouri but as  a whole in the State level in the metropolitan area .  


He attended a kick off meeting on October 11th  where a presentation was made by  Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution  who was former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros  under the Clinton Administration.    The point Mr. Katz made  was that although their have been reams of  research on issues affecting urban cores there really  have been no significant studies done of the first tier suburbs.    The  contract  with the Kauffman Foundation and the Brookings Institute is being facilitated by Mid America Regional Council and is of the greatest significance.     In other metro areas where the first suburbs have  joined together in some sort association  they are able to work together collectively to address their common challenges as first suburbs and this means they are able to lobby at the state level for a larger piece of the state budget to address their specific challenges.  And they are able to lobby at the national level and get more federal dollars and some exciting things are happening through these associations of first suburbs.   


Councilman Bishop noted that only Gladstone, Grandview and Raytown were represented at the meeting and he had only learned of the meeting by chance and attended.   Forming an alliance of first suburbs was discussed and  he hopes we can continue to be involved and if we have opportunities to participate in  matters of this  importance that we  are represented.     


Mayor Newsom acknowledged that she had received an invitation to this meeting but other commitments prevented her from attending so  it had been forwarded to our staff for their interest and apparently no one was able to attend.     Councilman Bishop said it does concern him that we almost missed this opportunity  so we do need to insure that thinks like this don’t fall through the cracks.      The Mayor said she is glad Councilman Bishop could attend because it does sound like an interesting  program that would be beneficial to us.


Councilman Bill Cross said he attended a Board Meeting of TRY (Teaching and Reaching Youth)   recently and was pleased to provide them with copies of our  recently passed Beer Keg Registration ordinance.    He told Assistant City Manager Laura Gay that  one of the members expressed appreciation  for receiving a letter from her advising of the passage of this ordinance.   Only six other cities in Missouri have keg registration which  goes into affect next month.    TRY members were extremely pleased to learn Gladstone had passed this ordinance.


Mayor Anita Newsom   thanked crews who placed the flag banners on our corridors.    She also noted the successful  brush cleanup recently.   Our count was  2,771 over the three day period.      This  at   great service we provide to our residents.


She echoes comments from  Councilman Shirley Smith that goal setting was beneficial and a good process we have come up with good goals for next year and beyond.     She mentioned to Finance Director Cash Sweiven  that she had received some comments about tax bills which had a discrepancy between the listing on the county  bill versus the  city.   


Direcor Cash Sweiven  explained that we receive our tax information from the county and we ask citizens to go back to the county if there are discrepancies and the county will correct it and we will likewise correct the city’s tax bill.    Because of our low tax rate  in  some instances a  resident may receive a tax bill for a very low amount.    He said this year a policy was implemented in the Finance Department to abate any personal property tax bill  under $3.00 so that would explain  why their might be some differences in the tax bills.    The Mayor asked if there is not some way we can communicate this better to the residents to negate the confusion.    Director Sweiven said we definitely can through a flyer in the tax bills next year and other  means of communication.


Councilman Les Smith  said if someone  has an older vehicle that would result in a $3.00  tax   and they get a tax bill anyway, why would we not want to collect that $3.00.   Director Sweiven  said his calculations  were that our break even costs were at $$2.80 which is time, effort, postage  and  return of the envelope, etc.      His findings were that the city’s loss would be less than $2,000  and it costs that plus more for the postage, handling and time and effort involved in collection.   Mr. Smith said he has an older car that fell off of the tax bill this year and  his point is  if you are getting a tax bill anyway why would you not leave that older vehicle on.   Director Sweiven said if you have multiple vehicles on your tax bill, the system does not allow us to leave the older vehicle on your tax bill.      


Councilman Shirley Smith said  so if you only have one  vehicle on your tax bill and it happens to be an  older vehicle that would result in a less than $3.00 tax bill then you would not receive a bill.  Mr. Sweiven said that is correct.    Ms. Smith said  people were asking employees of the County Assessors office why they did not get a Gladstone  tax bill, so at a minimum we should have made the  County Assessor aware of this change.      Director Sweiven assured we would do a better job.   He also said we will research this for next year and will calculate it again and perhaps the result will be that we include all vehicles for next year, but regardless we will do a better job of communicating.


Mayor Anita Newsom   advised that one evening as she was walking through the court room she observed  Judge Rose and the Court Clerk  conducting court through TV monitors with incarcerated  prisoners.    This is a great idea because prisoners do not have to be transported and maximizes safety and minimizes cost.   She had not  been aware this system was in place and      was amazed.  She sees it  as a very  efficient way to conduct this business. 


Mayor Newsom said she was contacted by a citizen who suggested persons coming out of the Public Safety Citizens Academy might benefit our  Public Safety Department as volunteers.   There are 20  people  going through Citizens Academy  at this time and they might volunteer their time and interest to the City and help support  public safety.   She said  they  could utilize their knowledge and this might be something we could explore.


City Manager Davis said he will speak with Director Adamo and we will certainly look at opportunities for volunteerism.    He stressed that in areas of  personnel matters there would have to be some pretty restrictive rules and by-laws, but we can look at those privacy issues.


Mayor Newsom wished all a Happy Thanksgiving.


The Mayor advised that Saturday December 15th is the date set for Board and Commission interviews.    Councilman Bishop asked if media releases soliciting interest from residents have been sent as well as notifications to board members with expiring terms.   Staff advised they are being sent.


Item 8. on the Agenda.            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.


City Manager Kirk Davis announced the  50th Birthday Committee is meeting at 7:00 PM at the Elks Lodge this Thursday night and we are looking for volunteers to be involved in that year long celebration.      We encourage people who are interested in  working with committee to attend.   


He also announced that the Solid Waste  Disposal  Public Meeting  will be held at  6:00 PM at City Hall on Monday, November 19th to review the solid waste proposal received and obtain citizen feedback. 


The City Manager also announced the resignation of Hamid  Hashemizadeh as Public Works Director effective later this month.  He advised that Mr. Hashemizadeh has decided to pursue other career  opportunities and  we wish him the best. 


Item 9. on the Agenda.             CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING: on a request to rezone property at 7508 N Oak from C-1 to CP-3.  Applicant:  North Oak Garden Center.  Owner:  Anthony and Final Scare.   (File # 1164


Mayor Anita Newsom opened this  public hearing  and announced it will be continued to the Monday, November 26, 2001 City Council Meeting at the request of City Staff.


Item 10. on the Agenda.    PRESENTATION OF COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE CITY OF GLADSTONE FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2001 by Independent Certified  Public Accountants Cochran, Head & Co.


Lew Herman, Cochran Head and Company introduced himself and said  they worked on this project as a joint venture with Bruce Culley.    His partner Tim Fitzgerald is present to respond to any questions Council may have. 


He said the  Council should have received  a copy of the Comprehensive Annual Report, in addition there was the Single Audit Report, Management  Letter and the Gladstone Special Road District Report all performed in connection with the audit.         When they are asked to come into the community as an auditor they try to answer three basic questions when they are looking at the financial statements.   Are the financial statements free of material  mis-statement, are the effective internal controls in place and do they work, and did the City comply in all material respects with finance related laws and regulations both local, federal and state.  The answer to all of these is, yes.  


Their responsibility is to perform the audit within generally acceptable auditing standards and government auditing standards which govern the way in which  the city reports their financial affairs.  Their  objective is to provide reasonable, not absolute,  assurance that the financial statements are free of material mis-statement and they report on the internal control structure in compliance with laws and regulations.  


When they go through an perform an audit they are required to communicate certain things:  were there any irregularities or errors,  any illegal acts they saw, significant accounting policy changes.   The answer to all of these is, no there were none.    Any disagreements with management,  no,  there were none.    As far as cooperation,  as he indicated earlier they were given full cooperation.   He would note that when they do an audit they do not look at every transaction, they could not possibly.  They look at samples of transactions.  They look at checks for both payroll and regular, direct deposits and revenues and receipts and deposit slips, bank statements backup documentation,  This does not mean that they have seen absolutely every record and can assure with out a shadow of a doubt that there is not something that is irregular but they can tell us from their sampling techniques that they are fairly reliably assured that there are none of these particular issues evident here.  The opinion on page 15 describes what they have done and the limitations and in this case the report is unqualified which means that there were no problems or qualifications.   They have issued an internal report control as well that shows no material weaknesses in the internal controls. 


The Management Letter has a few items none of which are earth shattering.   Some items have been noted before and  Director Sweiven has discussed the implementation of the new reporting model which  starts July 1, 2002.   He said  Cash Sweiven has asked them to assist him in performing the change and implementing the new reporting model and they have agreed to help Mr. Sweiven do so.


Cochran Head is asking staff to monitor the Bond covenants and reserves.  Details are given in the Management Letter.  Fixed assets has to do with donated assets which becomes a more significant item in the new reporting model, but basically refers to when a developer donates pieces of property and/or streets from a development or improvements, the City is responsible for maintaining those and take them in as a donation.  They are asking the City staff to account for those on a more current basis.  This is done at year end, but not on a month to month basis.


Public Safety funds were discussed last year in the Management Letter and staff has been able to implement the changes recommended and has agreed with the changes.  The same holds true with EMS and accounting duties.  They were all implemented satisfactorily to their review.


The Bond collection is still a segregation of duties issue.  In the Management letter it refers to the fact that one person who is collecting the money should not be depositing the money and should not be writing checks on the same bank account.  It is a matter of personnel and availability and transferring responsibilities between staff.   Mr. Sweiven  has looked into this area and is reviewing  ways to practically implement some changes to safeguard this issue.


Mr. Herman stated that he is with Bruce Culley, Cochran, Head and Company and they did this as a joint venture.  They will now go into some areas that Director Sweiven thinks is important, the purposes of financial condition.  Financial condition, for those on the City Council, is how well, after you are gone, can this City and community meet their financial responsibilities, both in long-term debt obligations as well as paying the bills for next month and next year. 


The first presentation deals with revenue as it relates to population and can be a double-edged sword.  This is the general fund revenue as it relates to the population.  The City is basically a little over $600 per person in revenue as it relates to other cities.  There are 1530 cities in this study throughout the United States and is not classified in any way, but includes cities of all sizes and economic basis.  Gladstone is right above the 50% level which is average in this case. 


Next is total General Fund revenue from the City’s own source compared to the total general funds.  In other words, how much does the City receive from the state and other agencies to help support Gladstone.  The City is on the high side of this ratio, above the 50% mark. 


General  Fund sources from other funds compared to other general funds has to do with how much we have to get as transfers to help support the general fund operation.  Last year the City had a transfer from the fund accounting of $160,000, putting it right at the 50% range.  A lot of communities have this, but if you have a low ratio, it suggests there is little reliance on operating transfers from other fund sources. 


Mr. Herman stated that next is the operating expenditures in relationship to total expenditures and how much the City is spending..  A low ratio suggests adequate maintenance of infrastructure.  In this particular case, the City is lower, considerably better than the top 75% of communities in the survey.


Total revenues as it relates to total expenditures.  In this case, the City is trying to build equity, so there is equity to carry over to meet expenditures for the next year.  You want those revenues to be higher over the expenditures.  In this particular case, the City is a little bit below the average.


The fund balance is the money left over at the end of the year.  How much can be used for next year’s operations.  In this case, the City is above average, just by a marginal amount.  General Fund cash and investments as it relates to General Fund liabilities.  For those in the business community, this is called liquidity.  If the City were shut down tomorrow, took all the cash, could you pay all your bills.  In this case, the City is better than the average city and a higher ratio shows you can meet your short term liabilities very well. 


How do the short-term general fund liabilities relate to the general fund revenues.  A low ratio suggests short-term obligations can be serviced by normal annual revenues.  In this case, Gladstone is close to the top 75% again. 


Long-term debt as it relates to the population.  When we are all long gone and you have those long-term bonds or certificates of participation that you are paying off, are our kids still going to have to pay for it or am I going to have to pay for it.  Do we have a lot of debt in relationship to the per capita.  As you can see, Gladstone is better than the average, not quite at the top of the 75% of communities. 


Debt service as it relates to total revenues.  Again, the City is better than the average.  This refers to the ability to pay debt service when required.


General Fund unreserved fund balance as it related to general fund expenditures.  In this case, the City is in very, very good shape.  The City is one of the top 5%.  What it basically says is that the City has enough to meet three or four months worth of expenditures on the normal General Fund operations without getting any tax dollars.  That is healthy and where you should be.


As Gladstone relates to all the 1530 communities out there, a year ago, the City was at 83%.  This year you are at 81%.  The difference is the debt service load which you picked up this year.  The City went from a $425,000 debt service amount in the year ending 2000 and this year you are at $925,000 and that is what brought the City down just a little bit.  However, the City should be very proud of the fact that it is in the 81% of all cities within the study. 


Mr. Herman thanked the Council and restated that the City is in a healthy position and he would be happy to answer any questions. 




Councilman Bishop moved to approve the Annual Financial Report; Councilman Bill Cross seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.   (5-0)


Mayor Newsom thanked staff for a job well done.


Item 11. on the Agenda.    FIRST READING BILL 01-42, establishing a Sister Cities Commission for the City of Gladstone, Missouri; setting forth the duties, and providing for the appointment of members and selection of Chairman and Officers.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to place Bill 01-42 on First Reading; Councilman Bill Cross seconded. 




Councilman Bishop stated that he thinks this is a good program.  When we started talking about this last year, we could not possibly have imagined the events that happened this September.  He thinks more than ever, it highlights the critical need for understanding of people of diverse backgrounds, races and cultures, to have a more international outlook and to enable us in times of crisis not to hold one ethnic group responsible for the atrocities of a few fanatics and to be able to approach things with a clear head.  It is a great program and he is pleased by the commitment the core members have already shown and the committee work so far.  This, in conjunction with our 50th anniversary celebration, will be a nice addition to the festivities and he supports this program. 


Mr. Bishop stated that whenever  he would meet the Honorable Councilman Bill Parker from Liberty at a meeting , he would corner him until he brought the issue forward.  They are getting good results in Liberty and grateful we are moving forward with  a Sister Cities Program it in Gladstone.


The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 01-42, Waive the Rule and Place the Bill on Second and Final Reading;  Councilman Bill Cross seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 01-42 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.810;  Councilman Bill Cross seconded. 


Roll Call Vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0) 


Item 12. on the Agenda            FIRST READING BILL 01-43, electing the Alternate LT-8(65) Benefit Program under the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) for the City of Gladstone, Missouri pursuant to RSMO  70.646 as amended.   Effective Date:  January 1, 2002. 


Councilman Les Smith moved to place Bill 01-43 on First Reading; Councilman Dan Bishop seconded. 




Councilman Bishop stated that this was something that we talked about during the adoption of the 2002 fiscal year budget in May.  We know that one of our greatest assets in the City is our employees who have done so much for this community.  He thinks it is appropriate and fitting that we are able to do it.  We will increase this LAGERS benefit designation and he will support it.


The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 01-43, Waive the Rule and Place the Bill on Second and Final Reading;  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 01-43 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.811;  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded. 


Roll Call Vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0) 


Item 13. on the Agenda.    FIRST READING BILL 01-44, an ordinance amending Chapter 21 of the Gladstone City Code to enact a new section prohibiting a person from leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle; and providing for penalties for violations thereof.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to place Bill 01-44 on First Reading; Councilman Bill Cross seconded. 


The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 01-44, Waive the Rule and Place the Bill on Second and Final Reading;  Councilman Bill Cross seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 01-44 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.812;  Councilman Bill Cross seconded. 


Roll Call Vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0) 


Item 14. on the Agenda.    FIRST READING BILL 01-45,  an ordinance amending Chapter 21 of the Gladstone City Code by enacting a new section prohibiting certain acts that constitute endangering the welfare of a child and providing for penalties for violations thereof.


Councilman Les Smith moved to place Bill 01-45 on First Reading; Councilman Dan Bishop seconded. 



Councilman Shirley Smith stated that there have been cases where these kinds of laws  have been used by children to get their parents in trouble and asks if there are safeguards for parents in this document.


City Counselor David Ramsay stated that they are not specifically stated in the document.  Most of the charges require more than just neglect, they require criminal negligence which is more akin to reckless action or knowingly endangering a child.  The state statute is more involved because it does refer to sections of the juvenile code where the child is involved in a crime or has been neglected by being allowed to live in an unsafe structure.  An adult or parent who places a child in that situation or encourages a child to violate the law, then is subject to being charged and possibly convicted in municipal court separate and apart from what occurs with the juvenile.  The first section which is criminal negligence to act in a manner creates a substantial risk to life, body or health of the child requires more than just an allegation by the child and is going to be most useful for our police officers as they deal with domestic relations, domestic disputes and problems in the home.


Councilman Shirley Smith stated that these things seldom come up but she  would hate to see parents in a position where they are afraid to do anything.


Mayor Newsom stated that if this functions in any way like the Clay County Juvenile Court works, then the parents and child are given all the due process necessary to present their side and equitable judgment is made to protect both parties involved.  Ms. Newsom stated that she assumes we are functioning in  the same format.


The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 01-45, Waive the Rule and Place the Bill on Second and Final Reading;  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  The Clerk read the Bill.


Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 01-45 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.813;  Councilman Dan Bishop seconded. 


Roll Call Vote:  All “aye” – Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0) 


Item 15. on the Agenda.            RESOLUTION 01-73, pertaining to the financing of certain improvements and authorizing the offering for sale of an issue of approximately $6,500,000 Certificates of Participation, Series 2002.  


Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to adopt Resolution 01-73;  Councilman Les Smith seconded. 


The vote:  All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0) 


* * * * *


There being no further business to come before the November 12, 2001 Gladstone City Council Meeting, Mayor Anita Newsom adjourned the Regular Meeting.



* * * * *


Councilman Dan Bishop moved to adjourn to Closed Executive Session in the City Manager’s  Office pursuant to Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemptions 610.021(1) for Privileged Communications & Litigation, 610.021(2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion, and  610.021(3) for Personnel Discussion.  Councilman Bill Cross seconded.  The vote:  All “aye” -  Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom.  (5-0)  


Respectfully submitted:




Marilyn  F. Ahnefeld, City Clerk               

                                                 Approved as submitted:  ___

                                            Approved as corrected/amended: ___




                                                                                                      Anita Newsom,  Mayor