CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 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 August 11, 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 JULY 28, 2003, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Bill Cross moved to approve the Regular July 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. PROCLAMATION: Recognizing the Clay County Public Health Center’s 50-Year Anniversary.
Mayor Les Smith read a Proclamation recognizing the Clay County Public Health Center’s 50-Year Anniversary. Freddie Nichols, Trustee and Treasurer of the Clay County Public Health Center accepted the Proclamation.
Mayor Smith offered congratulations and thanked Ms. Nichols for her service to the County.
Ms. Nichols thanked the Mayor and Council members and stated she has learned many things in her position at the Health Center, and Clay County citizens may rest assured the Health Center is doing a good job. Ms. Nichols remarked that it is wonderful the partnerships that have been made, which is also a good thing that has developed from the Homeland Security effort. Ms. Nichols stated the Proclamation would hang in a place of distinction at the Clay County Public Health Center.
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA.
Following the Clerk’s reading, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. Councilman Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to approve the ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS for Smokin’ Joe’s, 6004 B NE Antioch Road; Kwik Shoppe, 7603 North Oak Trafficway; HyVee, 7117 North Prospect; The Groove, 316 NE 72 Street; and Conoco Food Mart, 5810 N Antioch. Councilman Bill Cross 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.
Anne Alexander, 6767 North Askew Circle, began by saying she was a reluctant resident of Gladstone, but now is convinced that Gladstone is one of the best run cities in the Country. Ms. Alexander mentioned that Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis is featured in ART, which is a magazine published by Grand Communications, a division of the Kansas City Star. The article is about art in the suburbs, and is a really nice plus for our area.
Spencer Hunley, 5436 North Virginia Avenue, made available to the Mayor and City Council a listing of “Missouri Facts” and stated he is a Senior at North Kansas City High School, and will be graduating in 2004. Mr. Hunley explained he is requesting a resolution from the Gladstone City Council in support of changing the current Missouri Day to a more appropriate day in the school calendar. Mr. Hunley reported the State of Missouri Board of Education requires the study of the State of Missouri during the 4th grade year, when most children are nine years of age. When Mr. Hunley was in the 4th grade, he and his classmates made a special book about Missouri during the course of their studies, and his parents took him to visit President Truman’s Independence home. However, Mr. Hunley remarked, he was bored with a visit to a home where “someone used to live”, until his mother reminded him that Harry Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri and had been a nine year old boy just like Mr. Hunley was at the time. Mr. Hunley stated that got his attention, along with the facts that Missouri had two NFL football teams, two Major League baseball teams, and the Hubble Space Telescope was named after a boy that was born in Marshfield, Missouri, Edwin Powell Hubble.
Mr. Hunley continued by saying the list of famous people from Missouri went on to include: composer, Burt Bacharach; Bob James, composer to the theme from the television series “Taxi”; Ginger Rogers; Walter Cronkite; Dick Van Dyke; Eugene Field, who wrote “Little Boy Blue Come Blow Your Horn”; George Washington Carver; and Yogi Berra, who earned the most baseball World Series rings – a total of 5. Mr. Hunley remarked that the prestigious Davis Cup is named for Dwight Davis of St. Louis, which is the home of the first tennis courts built with lights for night time playing.
Mr. Hunley commented that when we celebrate Missouri, we celebrate General Omar Bradley; General “Blackjack” Pershing, the only 6 star general in the history of the United States; the world’s first school of journalism, located at the University of Missouri; the only United States World War I memorial in the United States; and the first daily newspaper, which was the St. Louis Herald. Mr. Hunley reported that Missouri is number one in the United States with the most caves open to the public, and is the home of Cliff Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s “Pinocchio”. Mr. Hunley stated his enthusiasm for Missouri has made him very proud to be a Missourian.
Mr. Hunley continued by saying that Mrs. Anna Korn loved Missouri. She believed that Missouri needed “…time for schools to honor the state and for the people of the state to celebrate the achievements of all Missourians.” Her work was rewarded in 1915, when a law was passed setting aside a special Missouri Day, in the month of October, for students, teachers, as well as Missourians to celebrate the day. The day has no specific historical significance, and it has been moved twice from the original day and still has no historical significance, Mr. Hunley reported. Missouri Day is currently the third Wednesday in October, which is approximately 10 to 15 days before Halloween.
Teachers following the current curriculum guidelines, will study Missouri after the winter break holidays, which allows them to take field trips to visit the state legislature while it is in session, and most 4th grade classes take these field trips near the first part of May. Mr. Hunley suggested the best time to celebrate Missouri would be the week of May 8th, which would be at the beginning of the patriotic citizen holidays. This is also when the Department of Tourism celebrates Missouri and kicks off the tourism season in Missouri. Mr. Hunley commented this is a perfect time to plant a Dogwood tree, go bird watching for Missouri Eastern Bluebirds, do a little spelunking in a cave, visit a historical site, eat a Twinkie or Cherry Mash (Missouri made of course), or drink a Bib-label-lithiated lemon-lime soda, known better as 7 UP.
Mr. Hunley remarked he believes, economically, Missouri will greatly benefit by this change in date, and suggested that communities celebrate their Missouri native daughters and sons, or products made in their communities. For the past eight years, Mr. Hunley and his family have given gifts that are made in Missouri, and this year, when they attended the 101st Missouri State Fair, they bought Missouri pecans, Missouri sorghney (sorghum & honey mix), Missouri coffee, Missouri root beer, Missouri spices and Missouri roasted corn on the cob. Mr. Hunley stated he feels many of our Missouri inventions, achievements, native sons and daughters, resources, businesses and history are “very under promoted”, and it is time we all become “MO PROUD”, and change Missouri Day to the week of May 8th, and bring the excitement of Missouri to all its citizens.
Mr. Hunley concluded by saying the City of Gladstone can help achieve this goal by a resolution in support of Missouri Day being celebrated the week of May 8th. Mr. Hunley concluded by saying the Missouri State Legislature wants to hear from communities, citizens, and all who support this change.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer mentioned that his spouse is a graduate from North Kansas City High School, as well as both of his sons, and Councilman Beer taught at North Kansas City High School for 24 years. Councilman Beer stated that Mr. Hunley has made his connection as a Hornet even more proud then he has been in the past.
Councilman Bill Cross remarked that he taught even more years then Councilman Beer at North Kansas City High School, and there were people in the room who were students in his Missouri History class. Councilman Cross thanked Mr. Hunley for sharing the information regarding Missouri and Missouri Day, which has made for an informative and enjoyable evening.
Mayor Les Smith thanked Mr. Hunley, and asked City staff to have a resolution supporting Mr. Hunley’s request at the next City Council meeting.
Pete Hall, 5621 North Clinton Place, stated he was representing some of the senior citizens of Clay County and mentioned that a five cent tax levy will be on the November 4, 2003, ballot. Mr. Hall reported this five cent tax levy would equate to a little less than $11.00 for $100,000 assessed valuation, and 100 percent of this tax would support a senior citizens service fund. Twenty-six counties in Missouri have passed this tax, and Platte County passed the same levy approximately seven years ago. Mr. Hall explained this tax would assist in keeping senior citizens in their homes and independent longer, by providing services such as minor home repair, health care on a minor basis, nutrition, and transportation. Mr. Hall mentioned several months ago a survey was conducted as to the needs of older adults and caregivers in Clay County. The survey results indicated there were needs in Gladstone, as well as Clay County. Mr. Hall stated he is the Chair of a group of citizens who are working to pass this levy, and he will talk to each City Council in Clay County to ask for resolutions of support for the senior citizens service fund, and to encourage anyone who wishes to participate or discuss this effort, to please contact Mr. Hall.
Councilman Bill Cross asked if there was a meeting this Wednesday, regarding this effort.
Mr. Hall replied, there would be a meeting Wednesday, at the Clay County Court House.
Mayor Smith asked if this levy passed, would some of the services provided to Clay County seniors, including Gladstone residents, be some of the same services that would possibly have been funded from the City of Gladstone budget.
City Manager Kirk Davis, replied that is correct, and although discussions have been held concerning senior citizen transportation, there would be little reason to move forward at this time, as it would be redundant with the program that is being proposed by the County.
Mr. Hall remarked this program does not increase County government; the only person who works directly with the funds will be the Treasurer. The County Commission will appoint a seven-member board who will select the services and oversee the fund. Mr. Hall stated one of his biggest concerns is the cost to businesses and the cost to the citizens of Clay County. However, it costs the taxpayers much more to place an individual in a nursing home or similar facility, opposed to keeping them in their home. It is hopeful through this proposed senior citizens service effort, other services may be coordinated that are already available in Clay County, and create a one-stop shop for senior citizens.
Mr. Hall commented that he is excited about this opportunity, although a tax increase is not something anyone likes. This proposed tax is very small, yet would provide a great service, and will save money.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer stated it is difficult to convince him to increase taxes. However, he is convinced this tax is in everyone’s best interest. It is a small tax, but has the potential to do a great deal of good.
Mayor Smith asked City staff to have a resolution for consideration on the next City Council agenda.
Mayor Smith asked City Council members to discuss their visits to cities and public entities while delivering proclamations of thanks from our city for the help we received following the May 4, 2003 tornado.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Joe Evans stated he had the privilege of delivering proclamations from our community to Kansas City, North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, and Lenexa, and in each instance, the City Council was very pleased to see a representative from the City of Gladstone hand deliver and read the proclamation. Councilman Evans remarked he was well received and offered kudos to whoever first thought of this brilliant act of customer service from one community to another.
Mayor Les Smith explained to the audience that the City of Gladstone received assistance from surrounding communities following the tornado of May 4, 2003, and City Council members thought it appropriate to deliver, on behalf of the citizens of Gladstone, proclamations of appreciation to the communities who assisted our City. City Council members shared the duties of delivering the proclamations to the various communities and public entities.
Councilman Carol Rudi reported that she and Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer delivered proclamations to Raytown, Grandview, and Gardner, Kansas, where they were greeted with amazement that our City Council would take the time to personally deliver the proclamations to their communities. Councilman Rudi stated it was interesting to visit the other cities and to meet their Council members.
Councilman Rudi continued by saying she read in a Missouri Municipal League newsletter that there might be potential lawsuits opposing the enforcement of the Use Tax, which it would seem could affect our city if those lawsuits were won. Councilman Rudi asked if it has been considered to put some of the Use Tax revenue in escrow. Although Councilman Rudi realizes some of the money will be used for a traffic officer, until this is resolved, she felt perhaps the City should hold some funds in escrow.
Councilman Rudi mentioned she read an article from the National League of Cities that addressed the Internet Tax moratorium. The article stated that Congress is being urged to make the moratorium permanent, and the National League of Cities was encouraging people to contact their Congressmen to encourage them to consider this issue very carefully. Councilman Rudi asked that the City to take a position on this.
Councilman Rudi commented that there was a memo in City Council’s packet regarding demolition and clean up following the May 4th tornado. In the memo it was mentioned moving forward with some code enforcement issues in some of those areas where it seems progress is not being made. Councilman Rudi stated she is in favor of moving forward with code enforcement so long as those people affected are not in the process of working with their insurance company, finance company, building contractor, and so forth. However, if people are just walking away from property that is in violation of our City codes, then she is in favor of code enforcement.
Councilman Rudi inquired into the street and retaining wall issues related to the Englewood Vista Independent Senior Living housing, and asked how many people have moved into the facility.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson replied the eastern portion of the 18 foot wide roadway, that was discussed at the City Council meeting two weeks ago, has been installed to allow Public Safety access to the area. Based on that action, 42 units were inspected for their final occupancy inspection, which was granted on approximately August 1st. Community Development has reviewed an additional set of retaining wall plans that were incomplete, and it is hoped to have the final set tomorrow, which will allow the retaining wall to be constructed to finish the roadway.
Mayor Smith mentioned that there was at least one ambulance call at the back building of the facility this past weekend that used the access road.
Mayor Smith commented there was an article in one of the local newspapers last week that mentioned less then favorable comments directed toward City staff from the Englewood Vista Independent Senior Living developer, AHM, from Dallas, Texas. The article mentions the developer stating he had to complete some access roads to the Englewood Vista Independent Senior Living project, and the fact that access roads had to be installed to provide ambulance and fire equipment access to the back building of the project, before people could occupy the building. The article also mentions the developer stated there may have been safety concerns, but they had to watch their costs. Mayor Smith stated that if the time came that the City of Gladstone traded lives for a developer’s money, then the City is not doing its job. Mayor Smith asked that the message be relayed to City staff that they are doing their jobs very well, because we have already protected people that live in this facility.
Councilman Bill Cross stated he was fortunate to deliver four proclamations. Councilman Cross mentioned he was particularly well received by a group in Pleasant Valley, where there were eight Council members, and law enforcement personnel present. It was a very nice evening. The Clay County Sheriff’s office was very appreciative of Councilman Cross visiting their meeting and the presentation of the proclamation. The Clay County Commission and a large group of people were present at a meeting at the Clay County Court House, where he received a standing ovation, and pictures were taken. The City of North Kansas City also were very appreciative, and a large number of people were present when Councilman Cross delivered their proclamation.
Councilman Cross mentioned that the Clay County Public Health Center’s 50th Anniversary celebration was very nice and very well attended. Councilman Cross, Councilman Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Beer enjoyed the evening, and Councilman Cross congratulated Freddie Nichols on her work with the Clay County Public Health Center.
Councilman Cross complimented Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis on the Big River performances held August 8th, 9th, and 10th, and stated he was able to attend two of the three nights and the attendance was wonderful. Councilman Cross mentioned it was nice to see such a large cast with so many people participating in the performances.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer stated, as Councilman Rudi mentioned, they delivered proclamations to Raytown, Grandview, and Gardner, Kansas, and truly the reception they received was outstanding. In fact they received standing ovations, as well. Councilman Beer mentioned that he made a commitment that if any of the communities who assisted us suffered the same kind of issues as Gladstone, the City of Gladstone would assist them.
Councilman Beer congratulated Freddie Nichols on the outstanding job the Clay County Public Health Center does and stated he very much enjoyed the 50th Anniversary celebration.
Councilman Beer mentioned that there was recently an addition to the Dispatch newspaper called “The Best of the Northland”, and Gladstone fared exceptionally well in the publication. Mayor Smith and his business, the Gladstone Bowl, were recognized as the
Best in the Northland. The City of Gladstone was named Best in the Northland in a large number of categories. Councilman Beer concluded by saying Gladstone should be very proud.
Mayor Les Smith remarked the “Best in the Northland” plaques received by Public Safety and Parks and Recreation will be presented to those departments at the next City Council meeting. It is hoped a number of City staff will be in attendance, and appreciation will be shown for all the good work they do.
Mayor Les Smith stated he was in attendance to deliver proclamations to Kansas City, North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Grain Valley, Overland Park, and Shawnee. He, too, was impressed with the response he received. Staff from the City of Kansas City invited Councilman Evans and him to the podium, where they received a standing ovation from the Kansas City Council. The cities showed their appreciation to Gladstone’s City Council members for delivering the proclamations at their meetings. The cities also said very nice things about their interaction with Gladstone’s department heads and staff.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis commented he appreciated Mayor Smith’s comments in regard to the remarks from the developer, AHM, in the recent newspaper article about the Englewood Vista Independent Senior Living facility. The comments twisted the facts, but ultimately at the end of the article, the true motivations were apparent.
Item 9. on the Agenda. SECOND READING BILL 03-24, granting a Special Use Permit subject to certain conditions to Gladys Morrison for operation of a Massage Facility on property at 7513 North Highland.
Mayor Smith stated a legal protest petition has been filed that does apply to the issue at hand, and in the opinion of the City Counselor, is a valid petition. By City and State Statutes, it will require four “yes” votes by City Council to approve this Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to place Bill 03-24 on its Second and final reading. Councilman Joe Evans seconded.
Mayor Pro Tem Beer commented last week his position was to approve this Special Use Permit, however given the level of neighborhood opposition, as well as the protest petition, he feels he has to honor the wishes of the opposing neighbors, and will be voting “no” on this Special Use Permit.
Councilman Carol Rudi suggested that if this Bill does pass, she would like City Counselor Ramsay to find a way to monitor the status of Ms. Morrison’s license, and if it does not pass, the City still needs to look into this, because in the future there may be a similar type of application. This is done with day care facilities, and Councilman Rudi feels it should be a practice to monitor anything that is licensed by the State. Councilman Rudi also mentioned that not only would the list of improvements to the property itemized in the conditions of the Special Use Permit need to be completed, but the property would need to continue to be maintained.
Councilman Rudi stated she is very torn on this issue, and has been from the beginning. She feels Ms. Morrison and the massage facility would be a good addition to the neighborhood and would not create a problem. Councilman Rudi wishes to do as the neighbors wish, but did not agree with the position they have taken, so has not yet decided how she will vote.
Mayor Les Smith commented that he voted against this Special Use Permit at the last meeting, although he has always been a supporter of small businesses. Mayor Smith apologized to Ms. Morrison that he could not support her request, although he is certain she would run a good business and has a good client list, many of whom Mayor Smith knows. Mayor Smith stated he felt certain that if Ms. Morrison’s Special Use Permit was approved, and she came back a year from now for a renewal of the permit, there would not be the objections there are now. However, Mayor Smith stated, in the meantime until the neighbors become comfortable with the massage facility, they will be uncomfortable in their homes. Every time a car pulls into the driveway and every time Ms. Morrison has a visitor in the evening, the neighbors will be counting cars, and wondering what is occurring, which does not allow the neighbors to enjoy their homes.
Mayor Smith remarked he does not feel it is City Council’s place to tell the neighbors they cannot enjoy their homes on a daily basis. Mayor Smith stated he feels the argument the property is not currently being maintained is valid, and he feels confident Ms. Morrison would fulfill all the conditions listed on the Special Use Permit. However, the neighbors would rather have the property the way it is, then have a business located there, and Mayor Smith feels he has to respect the neighbors’ wishes. Mayor Smith mentioned he does hope City staff has looked at the property to determine if there are code compliance issues that need to be addressed. Mayor Smith apologized, but he cannot vote in favor of this Special Use Permit for the reasons he mentioned.
Roll Call Vote: All “nay” – Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer , Mayor Les Smith. (0-5).
Mayor Smith informed the audience Bill 03-24 was not approved.
Item 10. on the Agenda. SECOND READING BILL 03-25, repealing provisions of Chapter 26 of the Gladstone City Code and enacting in lieu thereof new provisions clarifying the distinction between commercial and non-commercial activities and permit requirements in the regulation of Door-to-Door Solicitors and Peddlers.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to place Bill 03-25 on its Second and final reading. 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) The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 03-25 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.878. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Joe Evans, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Bill Cross, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Item 11. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no further business.
Item 12. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 13. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT.
There being no further business to come before the August 11, 2003, Gladstone City Council Meeting, Mayor Les Smith adjourned the Regular Meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Beer moved to adjourn to Closed Executive Session in the City Manager’s office pursuant to Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemption 610.021 (1) for Litigation and Confidential or Privileged Communications with Legal Counsel and Exemption 610.021 (2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion. Councilman Bill Cross seconded.
Roll Call 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