CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, May 12, 2003
PRESENT: Mayor Les Smith
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer
Councilman Bill Cross
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilman Joe Evans
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson
City Counselor David Ramsay
City Clerk Cathy Swenson
Mayor Les Smith opened the Regular May 12, 2003 City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Les Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance, in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF THE REGULAR APRIL 28, 2003, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
Councilman Bill Cross moved to approve the Regular April 28, 2003, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer seconded the motion. The vote: All “aye” Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Item 4a. on the Agenda. Mayor Les Smith read a PROCLAMATION recognizing the 40th anniversary of Antioch Middle School in Gladstone, Missouri. Antioch Middle School Principal Bob Russell was on hand to accept the proclamation. Mayor Smith invited Mr. Russell to say a few words.
Mr. Bob Russell stated that Antioch Middle School appreciates the recognition and he realized that many people present attended Antioch Middle School or are the parents of students who have attended the school. Mr. Russell remarked that the school is very proud of its affiliation with the City of Gladstone, and Gladstone Public Safety is one of the school’s long standing business partners. The City of Gladstone sponsors at least one of the school’s Business and Education Expectation programs (BE2). Mr. Russell stated he is very proud of Antioch Middle School and would welcome visits from the community. The school feels very much a part of the community as witnessed by the many students who return to school in the evenings to participate in Gladstone Parks and Recreation programs. Mr. Russell continued by saying that the school is very thankful to the voters in Gladstone who passed a bond issue for the North Kansas City School District that allows air conditioning to be installed in the entire Antioch Middle School building. This is a nice 40th anniversary gift. Mr. Russell invited everyone to visit in September, when the air conditioning project will be completed. On behalf of the Antioch Middle School staff, parents and students, Mr. Russell thanked Mayor Smith, City Council, and the City for honoring Antioch Middle School on their 40th anniversary.
Item 4b. on the Agenda. Mayor Smith read a PROCLAMATION designating the month of May, 2003, as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” in Gladstone, Missouri. This proclamation was sponsored by the Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City, Inc.
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilman Bill Cross moved to approve the Consent Agenda as read. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Bill Cross moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-03-34, authorizing Change Order Number 1 for the 2003 Curb and Sidewalk Program in the amount of $65,399.00 and authorizing the appropriation of additional funds in such amount from the Transportation Sales Tax Fund. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Bill Cross moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-03-35, accepting a Temporary Easement from property owners in conjunction with the Rock Creek Channel Improvements, Brooktree to Gladstone Lane; (Project #0123). Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Bill Cross moved to approve Park Festival Use Permits for the 7th Annual Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest in Oak Grove Park, 76th and North Troost, Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, 2003, and the 24th Annual Gladfest Celebration on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 3-5, in Gladstone Central Park, 69th and North Holmes under the sponsorship of the Gladstone Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Gladstone. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Bill Cross moved to approve a Beer License for the Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest in Oak Grove Park, 76th and North Troost, (2-day license), June 20-21, 2003, Managing Officer: James Shevling; and for the Gladfest Celebration in Gladstone’s Central Park, 69th and North Holmes, (3-day license), October 3-5, 2003. Managing Officer: James Shevling. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Mr. Clem Chirpich, 6316 North Camelot, stated that he lives in the area that was struck by a tornado on Sunday, May 4th. Mr. Chirpich thanked the Gladstone Police and Fire Divisions for responding as quickly as they did, and for the additional support from them and other City employees, as residents tried to recover. Mr. Chirpich thanked Mayor Les Smith, Councilman Bill Cross, and all City Council members for moving to restore electricity as quickly as possible on Tuesday when electricity was turned off, after being turned back on only two and one half hours, in the Camelot and Monroe area. Mr. Chirpich also expressed his thanks to Provco, the tree trimming firm who offered their services in the aftermath of the storm, and Mr. Chirpich suggested that if they are offering additional services, the City contract with them to trim additional trees.
Mr. Chirpich stated that on Monday, after the storm, the Gas Company and Kansas City Power and Light disconnected service to severely damaged homes. On Tuesday, Kansas City Power and Light visited each home, pulled the meters from severely damaged homes, and asked remaining residents to turn their main circuit breakers off to avoid power surges. Mr. Chirpich continued by saying by 5:00 PM the power was restored to the houses Kansas City Power and Light felt were safe to have power. Mr. Chirpich reported that at 7:30 PM, Kansas City Power and Light was contacted by the City of Gladstone, who requested them to turn off the power, because the area was unsafe. The rumor was the reason for requesting the power turned off was to encourage the residents to vacate the area. Mr. Chirpich explained this was very disappointing to him as a resident as he had been without power for 48 hours, and it was nice to have the power back on to do the things that needed to be done.
In his area, Mr. Chirpich said, “Do Not Enter” signs were posted that indicated some of the residences were unsafe to occupy. Mr. Chirpich stated that such a notice was put on his house, Tuesday, yet no City employee had entered his house or talked to him. Mr. Chirpich found City employees and asked them about the sign, and the answer was that it was not because of the physical condition of the house, but because another storm was approaching and there was debris in the area that could compromise the safety of people.
Mr. Chirpich, along with his brother, walked into other areas, where there were no signs posted, yet there was debris on their streets, their roofs were damaged, and they had electrical power. Mr. Chirpich continued by saying the signs were not specific as to who had ordered them, there was no telephone number, or a reason for posting the signs. Mr. Chirpich felt that if such signage is used, they should be signed, there should be a telephone number, and there should be a reason as to why the building is unsafe to occupy. Mr. Chirpich said he was sorry to bring this up at this time. He does appreciate the assistance of the Police and Fire people, as well as City Council members, and appreciates the help in recovery.
Mayor Smith asked Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson to address the concerns of Mr. Chirpich.
Mr. Wingerson thanked Mr. Chirpich for his comments, and thanked Mayor Smith and City Council members for an opportunity to address Mr. Chirpich’s concerns. Mr. Wingerson stated that the small sign that Mr. Chirpich mentioned was first utilized Sunday night, right after the storm, between the hours of 8:00 PM and 1:00 AM, in an effort to identify areas of damage in a broad perimeter sweep in the area of Carriage Hill including North Camelot and North Monroe. In terms of the electricity, Mr. Wingerson continued, Mr. Chirpich is correct. The very next day, Wednesday, several teams of inspectors from other cities and Burns and McDonnell inspected the exterior and electric service of homes like Mr. Chirpich’s, and authorized the Kansas City Power and Light to restore service immediately. The decision to disconnect power was made for the protection of the residents in Carriage Hill. It was known the power in the general area was to be restored shortly, and the risk could not be taken of providing electric service to homes that should not or could not accept electric service, and create an additional hazard on top of significant hazard that already existed.
Mr. Wingerson apologized to Mr. Chirpich and about six other residents who had a very similar concern, but City staff acted very quickly the very next day, and power was restored that day or the following morning. Mr. Wingerson thanked Mr. Chirpich for his input, and stated his comments are appreciated.
Mayor Smith thanked Mr. Chirpich for his patience, and stated that the City had planned for such an emergency and he felt the City did a very thorough job of doing visual inspections of structures in order to protect the safety of the residents.
Ann Alexander, 6767 North Askew Circle, stated she was blessed to be seven blocks away from the tornado, but wanted to commend the City for blocking off the Carriage Hill area so quickly. Ms. Alexander remarked she was sure that in the long run it saved residences from a lot more damage and injuries. Ms. Alexander thanked the City and stated City staff did a good job.
Galen Neill, 6010 North Wyandotte, asked how roofing permits are issued. He has witnessed a roof being taken off very slowly, and he is concerned that if there is rain, the consumer will not be protected. Mr. Neill asked if when a contractor applies for a permit, is he required to prove to the City that he has insurance, and is the contractor required to have a license with the City.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson thanked Mr. Neill for his question, and stated that roof permits are required in the City of Gladstone for consumer protection against two things; one is to ensure the structure is not overloaded with weight, and the other is contractor licensing. A roofing contractor is required to obtain a City business license, show proof of liability and workers’ compensation insurance, and receive several inspections throughout the roofing process. Mr. Wingerson continued by saying that the time in which a contractor completes a project is not something which the City regulates, but if Mr. Neill would provide the necessary information, City staff will investigate this specific case.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Joe Evans thanked the Public Safety and Public Works personnel for all their work
this past week and their assistance to citizens in all damaged areas of Gladstone.
Councilman Carol Rudi thanked City staff, and stated she knows many have worked long hours with little sleep, and have done all they can to make this tornado clean-up go smoothly for everyone. Councilman Rudi asked the audience if they know of anyone who is having problems to call the City, because the City is here to help residents get through this difficult time. Councilman Rudi extended her sympathy to anyone who has suffered in this storm, and hopes they get through this very quickly. She was fortunate not to have damage and feels very fortunate.
Councilman Bill Cross stated he wished to reinforce what his two colleagues have said, and stated he appreciates all the work that City staff has done.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer agreed with his fellow Council members, and stated that after the storm had abated, he went to City Hall to lend what help he could. He was with members of Public Safety and the Leadership Team until approximately 10:00 PM that night, and came back the following day and was with them until about 10:00 PM that night. Councilman Beer was happy to see the leadership and professionalism displayed. The Leadership Team, Public Works and Public Safety employees were exemplary, as were all City employees. Councilman Beer was very proud of the efforts of City employees in the aftermath of the storm, and the way the City came together to abate as much as possible the storm aftermath. The night of the storm Councilman Beer was with Public Safety when rain and hail had resumed. Public Safety personnel were in the rain and hail securing the storm damaged areas. This past Sunday, Councilman Beer was part of an approximately 200 volunteer effort to assist in storm clean-up. The volunteers were citizens, and people from other cities who volunteered to provide help.
Mayor Les Smith agreed with fellow Council members and stated that there may have been some things that could be improved upon, but in talking with Dick Davis recently, the last time a tornado hit Gladstone was when Dick Davis was Mayor, which would have been about 1971. The fact of the matter is there is an emergency operation plan in place for the City. The City has experienced an ice storm, flooding, and now a tornado. Mayor Smith continued by saying that first and foremost our hearts and prayers go out to those people who are affected; the storm started on the west side of town and ended three miles to the east in Carriage Hill. Mayor Smith remarked that City staff began arriving at City Hall before he was sure it was safe to leave their homes, and by midnight the Carriage Hill area was secured. People were safe, with folks out of their homes that needed to be, and recovery efforts were underway, which was due to the foresight of the people that we pay to deal with these issues. They had the foresight to put together a plan in calmer times and the plan worked.
Mayor Smith commented that he could not be more proud of the City government. In Mayor Smith’s opinion government is there to do for people those things that they cannot do for themselves, and that has been proven over the last week. It has been a very long and hectic week, with some people working 18 to 20 hour days. Mayor Smith stated it struck him that City staff was not doing it to earn a paycheck, but rather because they epitomize public service. Mayor Smith addressed City Manager Kirk Davis by saying that he is certain that accolades will soon be coming in as people get their lives together.
Mayor Smith stated that in many parts of the City, before people talk about what they have lost, they express their gratitude for what the City has done for them. There are people who did not shed a tear until they began talking about how the City government has helped them. Mayor Smith remarked that we, as people, should be very proud, and City Manager Davis should feel very proud. Mayor Smith hopes City Manager Davis will pass this on to all City employees. In regard to volunteers, Mayor Smith stated the Gladstone Church of Christ, who cooked lunch Saturday, fed 400 people, with some of them from Provco, the company Mr. Chirpich mentioned, and some were from other cities. Those people deserve a lot of credit. Mayor Smith concluded by saying this is a great place to live, we do good things for people and we do them right.
Item 7a. on the Agenda. Board and Commission Appointments.
Mayor Smith made the following recommendations for appointments to Boards and Commission vacancies:
Sister Cities Commission
Scott Archuletta, Student member (as recommended by the Sister Cities Commission)
Cable TV Advisory Board
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to ratify the appointments as listed. Councilman Joe Evans seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis reported that the Park Watch Program meeting for Oak Grove Park will be tomorrow night, May 13th, at 6:30 PM at Oak Grove Park, and the Municipal Pool begins its 25th season on May 24th.
City Manager Davis thanked City Council members for their comments, and stated he was very proud of City staff’s response to the recent storm. Mr. Davis stated that there will be a wrap-up report in the near future. However, for now, a lot of work needs to be done. Mr. Davis said that City staff tried to err on the side of safety and hopes everyone is understanding of that. It was not always convenient for the residents for a couple of days, but overall the residents’ comments to Staff have been very positive, which is appreciated.
According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Mr. Davis reported, 389 homes were damaged in Gladstone, with approximately $30 million in damages. An Emergency Operation Center (EOC) was initiated at about 6:00 PM, on Sunday, May 4th, the day of the storm. The EOC still exists today, with daily briefings. Mr. Davis explained that in responding to a storm of this magnitude, the response is very complex. City staff was dealing not only with utilities and insurance, but also with unknown safety issues. Mr. Davis continued by saying the winds went through the City at over 200 miles per hour. Search and rescue efforts were taking place in the dark of night to determine if there were casualties; fortunately there were none, but there were five cases of injuries. Considering the damage to the City, that is unbelievable. Mr. Davis stated that following the storm it was necessary to secure the severely damaged areas, provide medical services, and conduct structural inspections.
The City’s Emergency Operation Plan is very complex, but it worked. Mr. Davis stated it worked not only because a plan was in place, but because of dedicated City employees. Mr. Davis expressed his appreciation to the Leadership Team members who gathered resources within minutes, and began applying those resources according to the direction and plan of the EOC. Mr. Davis said he is convinced that a better response could not have been achieved than was achieved by the City of Gladstone. The City is working with residents and insurance companies with demolitions, as well as maintaining security in damaged areas. The City is trying to get neighborhoods back to normalcy as quickly as possible. Mr. Davis expressed his appreciation to Mr. Chirpich for his comments, and apologized for any inconvenience. Mr. Davis thanked the City Council and the City’s Leadership Team for their support. Many City Council members were at the EOC the night of the storm. Mr. Davis stated it may have seemed chaotic, but it was organized chaos. Mr. Davis concluded by saying that City staff will continue their efforts until the work is finished.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer commented that while those in the position of making decisions the night of the storm may have felt there was chaos, his observation was things were under control. Councilman Beer stated he has been in the position of having to make similar types of decisions, and he understands. Some mitigating factors Sunday evening were the City was without power, and many phones were not working. Councilman Beer continued by saying there were emergency generators at City Hall, but calls could not be made to other people in the city, so there was no communication by telephone. The cell towers sustained damage and the cell phone system was overloaded, and no one could make cell phone calls. Councilman Beer said communication was horrible the night of the storm and that was a critical factor. The Police and Fire radios also sustained damage. Even so, Councilman Beer remarked, things went extremely well, and City Manager Davis and all City employees are to be applauded for a job well done.
Following applause from the audience, Mayor Smith stated that Gladstone Neighbors Helping Neighbors is organizing a volunteer effort this Saturday, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. For more information, please call City Hall at 436-2200. Mayor Smith concluded by saying that Carriage Hill is not the only area affected by the storm. There was damage to the west City limits, and there is still work to be done.
Item 9. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING FOR BLIGHT DETERMINATION OF GLADSTONE PLAZA.
Item 12. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business.
Item 13. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 14. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to adjourn the meeting. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Mayor Les Smith