CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
PRESENT: Mayor Les Smith
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilman Wayne Beer
Councilmember Carol Suter
City Manager Kirk Davis
City Counselor David Ramsay
Mayor Les Smith opened the Regular August 27, 2007, City Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 2. on the Agenda. ROLL CALL
Mayor Smith noted that all Council members were present.
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 AUGUST 13, 2007, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to approve the Regular August 13, 2007, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Item 5. on
the Agenda. PROCLAMATION: designating September 17-23, 2007, as “CONSTITUTION WEEK” in
Mayor Smith read and presented the Proclamation to Donna McKann, Constitution Chairman, and Freddie Nichols, Regent, of the William Boydston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ms. McKann thanked Mayor Smith and City Council members, and said she hoped everyone would remember the dates of September 17-23, and fly their American flag in honor of this wonderful commemoration.
Item 6. on the Agenda CONSENT AGENDA
Councilman Wayne Beer asked that Resolution R-07-67 be removed from the Consent Agenda for consideration as Item 6a. under the Regular Agenda.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Consent Agenda as modified. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-07-64, authorizing the City Manager to amend the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust Agreement to permit loans through ICMA Retirement Corporation beginning September 1, 2007 for the benefit of the City’s employees. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-07-65, amending the Gladstone City Employee Handbook to adopt updated policies addressing camera-equipped phones; hiring relatives; sick leave; smoking and tobacco use; substance abuse; employee dress; and the use of copyright materials. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION
R-07-66, supporting a partnership between the MARCIT-WeTIP Crime and
Community Safety Program and the City of
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve a NEW CLASS “C&H” PACKAGE LIQUOR LICENSE for Euro Market, 6942 North Oak Trafficway. Managing Officer: Judy L. Alijanovic. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve the JULY FINANCIAL REPORTS. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Item 6a. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION R-07-67, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Cargil Deicing for purchase of snow removal salt on an as-needed basis at $38.63/ton (7 day delivery), $42.75/ton (24 hour emergency delivery), and/or $46.92/ton (local pick-up).
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R07-67, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Cargil Deicing for purchase of snow removal salt on an as-needed basis at $38.63/ton (7 day delivery), $42.75/ton (24 hour emergency delivery), and/or $46.92/ton (local pick-up). Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Councilman Beer apologized for not asking this question from the City Manager earlier, but it is a question he would like to ask. Councilman Beer asked if the cost of $38.63 per ton is a delivered cost.
City Manager Kirk
Councilman Beer asked why it would cost so much more for us to pick it up locally at a cost of $46.92 per ton.
Public Works Director Chuck Williams stated this is a method the City has used for several years in cases where the salt is available locally. The company still has to haul it here and stockpile it, and if they have a stockpile, there is a cost for loading the salt from their stockpile into ours. This is not something we have been able to use in the past, because the winters have been such that they have never been able to build up a stockpile.
Councilman Beer asked for clarification if it is a matter of the company having to handle the salt twice.
Director Williams agreed that was correct.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Murlin Talbott, 5 NE 67 Terrace, stated he has lived in Gladstone for 37 years, and has been a member of Englewood Baptist Church, 1900 NE Englewood Road, for longer than that. Mr. Talbott said he was speaking on behalf of the church and on behalf of the Creative Arts Academy, with whom the church shares their property. The church has always been community minded; there is a baseball diamond the community uses, and they did have a basketball court the community used. Three years ago the church sold three buildings on its campus to the Creative Arts Academy. In this agreement, the City required a fence to be put up on the back end of the church’s property for about five or six houses that back up to the church’s parking lot. The church did agree to that, so the church, along with the Creative Arts Academy, put up the fence. In the process of putting up the fence, one of the people whose property backs up to the church’s parking lot said they could not do that; a gate had to be installed for them, because this is public property. Mr. Talbott said they should have known this, because this is where the neighbor has been throwing her ashes for years. Mr. Talbott said in trying to be a good neighbor, he wrote her a letter asking her to use the church’s dumpster free of charge, and to not dump the ashes on the ground as they make a big mess, and dust flies when they go over it with the lawnmower.
Mr. Talbott said they told the neighbor it is not public property, but is private property. Mr. Talbott stated it seems that she is very persistent, and he is certain she has been before the City Council many times in the past three years. A couple of weeks ago, church members saw that part of the fence was down a little bit. Mr. Talbott pointed out that other members of his church were present this evening, and said they do not want a gate of any type in this fence, and the Creative Arts Academy do not want a gate in the fence, but somehow or other it seems it is headed to have a gate in the fence. Mr. Talbott said he believes Pam Raisher may have signed an agreement on this under duress or whatever, but in talking to her, he had the feeling she could not fight City Hall.
Mr. Talbott said he cannot understand that if this is private property, and the church does not want a gate there, and the owner doesn’t want a gate there, something has happened somewhere or somehow that the City is involved in getting a gate in the fence. Mr. Talbott said he and the church do not feel it is fair. Pam Raisher told him today she has never wanted a gate there, and she does not want a gate there now or in the future. Mr. Talbott said they cannot see a reason why a gate is going in there. Mr. Talbott shared pictures with City Council members, and said what they are asking City Council members to do is to write a letter on City letterhead to the neighbor saying this is private property, and neither the City of Gladstone or anyone else has the right to be putting a gate in there.
Jim Wood, 2419 NE 68 Street, stated he is a recent Gladstone resident, and was a Platte County resident for 50 years, and has been a member of Englewood Baptist Church since 1968. Mr. Wood said he is well aware of some of the problems the church has had with this particular person. Mr. Wood said he has mowed the grass where the fence is now several times, and had to go through the debris and ashes she has thrown over there. As Mr. Talbott said, they have tried to tell her to use the church’s dumpster. The other problem is that she wants a place to put her wood back there, so the truck can pull in the back and unload a cord of wood in the wintertime. Mr. Wood said they have offered to let the truck come into the front street like anyone else, and they would carry it back for her so she would not have to pay for it. If she agrees to that, then she has nothing to complain about, but she doesn’t want that. Mr. Wood said she walks her dog on their property, and does not clean up behind it, and does not have it on a leash. Church members have asked her about that, so there are a several things that go back a number of years with this particular person, and she just wants a gate. The fence is on the property line, and probably more on Ms. Raisher’s property line now, because there is an easement in there. There is room for her to open her gate and walk her dog or carry wood back there, but she would be trespassing on someone else’s property.
Mr. Wood said it is an inconvenience and a risk for the church, and a property risk to have a gate in there. Mr. Wood said they are against the gate.
Mr. Talbott stated not only did one of the church members offer to carry the wood from the front to the back, someone else offered to pay to have the wood taken from the front to the back, but she says she wants a gate.
Mr. Wood said if this goes through, what is to keep the other four or five property owners from saying they want a gate, too. What would keep someone behind the Christian Church from saying they want a gate after they hear about this. It sets a bad precedent to do that.
Mr. Talbott said it kind of crams it down their throat that she comes onto their property with her dog and says this church is public property, and I’m going to bring my dog over here to do its thing. Mr. Talbott thanked City Council members for their time.
Mayor Smith asked Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson to provide some clarification in regard to this matter.
Assistant City Manager Wingerson stated this issue, unfortunately, as with most things, is not as clear as the original discussion of the matter. This is really a classic case of neighborhood conflict that Staff has been trying to mitigate since the original approval nearly three years ago. That is when the Council granted a Special Use Permit, just as the gentleman from the church indicated. With that Special Use Permit coming to the Council as a split vote from the Planning Commission, there were several conditions. One was to build a privacy fence along the north property line; another was that there would be no additional improvements to the site besides those improvements specifically indicated in the Special Use Permit application without a review of the Special Use Permit’s terms and conditions. There were signage restrictions as part of that Special Use Permit Ordinance.
Mr. Wingerson said the current update is not very good. Neighbors Helping Neighbors did contract for the installation of the doublewide gate based on the three party agreement. Neighbors Helping Neighbors was told that it would take approximately two weeks to manufacture the two panels that create the actual gate, shore up the existing posts that hold the fence panels, and complete the installation. That has been about six weeks despite probably about 25 or 30 phone calls to the contractor, who is the same contractor who installed the privacy fence, as well as miscellaneous improvements on the church property about three years ago. Mr. Wingerson said in addition to the neighbor to the north, Staff routinely receives inquiries from property owners to the east about debris and activity on that side. Staff routinely receives calls from the community about signage; in fact, the City Council granted a variance to allow a banner sign to be placed on the privacy fence being discussed. Mr. Wingerson said today he believes there is a banner on the backstop at the church, advertising Creative Arts Academy. All of those things are inconsistent with the Special Use Permit.
Mr. Wingerson stated that today Ms. Raisher, the principal of Creative Arts Academy, called and indicated that she did not want the gate, so unless City Council members provides different direction, Staff will take that under advisement and see what appropriate options might be. Mr. Wingerson said to be honest, he does not know where to go from here, but he will say that Staff has offered neighborhood mediation on several occasions over the last three years. All the parties have not agreed to do that for a variety of reasons, so Staff is at an impasse; and unfortunately, this is one of those cases where the solutions are not readily apparent.
Mayor Smith asked if there was something lost in the translation – was the gate ever talked about at the Planning Commission level, or was it talked about in a private meeting on site.
Mr. Wingerson replied if it was talked about in the Planning Commission Public Hearing, it was not reflected in the Minutes, nor in the recommendation of Staff, the recommendation of the Planning Commission, or the final action of the City Council. Some of the Council remembers Staff providing the entire file at some time during the course of this discussion, to clarify that issue. It was a point said out loud in terms of a gate, but it did not rise to the point of a recommendation of the Commission or action of the Council.
Mayor Smith asked if Ms. Raisher stated that she would provide a gate.
Mr. Wingerson replied he did not remember that specifically, and did not know.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated, as he recalled, any mention that she had with regard to the gate was just a “gentleman’s agreement” between she and the neighbor to the north, and he believed that was predicated upon solution of some other issues. It is one of those things where one gives and someone else needs to give too, in order to promote harmony. Councilman Beer said he did not recall, other than just the mention of a gate during a Planning Commission meeting, that there was any other recommendation of the Planning Commission, and he did not recall that it was any part of the Special Use Permit.
Mayor Smith said if there was a “gentleman’s agreement”, and if Ms. Raisher told the neighbor that she would provide a gate, which may have kept that from coming to a head, then he believes firmly that one’s word is their bond. If she gave that word, then she needs to provide a gate, would be his guess.
Councilman Beer said he would agree with that, but he would also say that is between them, and is not a Council issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh stated he agreed with Councilman Beer. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he was on the Planning Commission when this issue came up, so he clearly remembers the discussion and all the issues that went through the recommendation to the City Council. Just recently in a conversation with Mr. Wingerson, it was outlined or suggested that it would be within the realm of possibility that if Ms. Raisher did not go forward and allow the gate for this one particular neighbor, which would give her access to private property, which neither the Council or the Planning Commission agreed to, that the Planning Commission might bring it back up on their radar for suitability discussions for continuing Ms. Raisher’s Special Use Permit. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he knows, because he was in the Planning Commission meeting, that it was after the Special Use Permit was granted that one of the Planning Commission members said that was a mistake, that because of the gate issue, we should be rescinding the Special Use Permit. This was after Ms. Raisher had her Special Use Permit, and had invested thousands of dollars in the business to move it to its present site from Antioch Shopping Center.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he was surprised that this issue is once again here before us. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said Ms. Raisher is operating a business now for close to three years, and obviously if there are signage issues that are not within code, that bothers him. In regards to the gate, if someone told him that he might lose his business if he did not allow this person access, or even just the mere suggestion that it would also become a topic of conversation for the Planning Commission, and ergo the Council, he would be inclined to look pretty hard, and he thinks that is where the “you can’t fight City Hall” statement came from, and Ms. Raisher may be thinking go ahead and put the gate in.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he agreed with the gentleman who spoke before Mr. Wingerson, where if she were to buckle under even suggested pressure that there is a chance she might lose her Special Use Permit to operate in that location, then what is to prevent the other neighbors from wanting a gate so they can also have access to private property, and there is no end to it. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said the irony is that neither the church nor the Creative Arts Academy wanted to put up the fence to begin with. There had never been a privacy fence, and it operated as a parking lot for all these years, and the residents were complaining because they were afraid that the lights from the automobiles picking up the children from the dance academy at night, might interrupt their home life. It was agreed that they would have to put up a privacy fence. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh stated the idea of going back and even suggesting that Ms. Raisher might lose her livelihood without acceding to the demands of one particular neighbor to put in a gate so it matches her gate, so she may clearly trespass, to him does not make a lot of sense.
Mayor Smith asked for clarification as to who might have threatened or suggested this to Ms. Raisher.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh replied he was not using the word “threatened”, he is just suggesting that it is in the realm of possibility that it might come up on the radar with the Planning Commission.
Mr. Wingerson said he believed that Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh was largely accurate, except that one has to consider those comments in the form of context. As an applicant for a Special Use Permit early on three or four years ago, there were very clear and serious discussions about the pros and cons of the Special Use Permit as opposed to a zoning change. That’s done from a positive aspect and a possible consequence aspect, because the prospective property owners must understand their rights under a Special Use Permit, which is really exactly that – a Special Use Permit. There were conversations about down the road possible consequences. More recently, and ironically prior to the Council’s consideration of the Sign Variance, there were additional discussions about possible consequences of not taking action. Not anything more than here are things that could happen positively, it could be no big deal, and these great things could happen; it could be a big deal and these bad things could happen.
Mr. Wingerson said he certainly tells Council as clearly as he can, yes, he talked to Pam Raisher about possible consequences, but also of the possible positive actions of her decision. It was Creative Arts Academy’s decision to apply for a Special Use Permit not a zoning change. It was also Creative Arts Academy’s decision to apply for a variance, instead of complying with the Sign Code. It was also Creative Arts Academy’s decision to sign the three-party agreement. Mr. Wingerson stated what he says, he thinks has limited bearing, because the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council make that final decision, and he was never going to make that decision, one way or the other. Mr. Wingerson stated Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh is correct in terms of the discussion happening; that did occur. Are they meaningful to what is going on tonight? He does not think so.
Mayor Smith asked what the three-party agreement states.
Mr. Wingerson replied it provides for a double gate generally located similarly to the existing gate on the chain link fence, and it outlines the liability of the neighbor to the north.
Mayor Smith stated he doesn’t know whether Council should be making the decision that a gate is built, but it stands to reason that if the lady had a double wide gate, and fence was mandated behind it, why wouldn’t that double wide gate continue. Basically it did close her off. If there are issues with her dog, those can be addressed. Mayor Smith said there is an agreement signed by the parties involved, which Mr. Wingerson discussed with Neighbors Helping Neighbors to help mitigate a neighborhood situation, which we do often and we do well. If the contractor had come back in two weeks as he promised, the gate would be up and this would be a moot point.
Mr. Wingerson stated unless the parties did not like the gate, which it sounds like they would not have liked the gate, but agreed that Mayor Smith is correct. Had the gate been installed, we probably wouldn’t be here.
Mr. Wood said he was around in the beginning of this, and he is the buildings and grounds person for the church, and also one of the Trustees. At the time of the fence, he remembers sitting in here, when Ms. Raisher indicated she did not want a fence, and the church members indicated they did not want a fence. At the time there was no fence to be put up. Mr. Wood said they have approximately $9,000 in the fence, and there are other property owners who have a fence, but they haven’t made this kind of complaint. There are several feet between her gate and the fence, so she can use her fence and get out through the back of her property. The property owners do not maintain the area between the black top and the fence of their own property. Mr. Wood said he has mowed that a number of times to keep it attractive. The church hired a man that mows and he mowed it. They did not keep up that fence area. There is room for any of the property owners to get out from their property line and walk behind the fence and their line. They are not cut off.
Mayor Smith inquired into the church’s specific objection to the neighbor getting the gate.
Mr. Wood replied, as a member of the church, from his standpoint, it just does not seem right that you can take private property, a business or a church, and say this is what you are going to do, which was not in the original agreement, and then come back and say you have to do this.
Mayor Smith said what bothers him is if Ms. Raisher made a comment to the neighbor to the north, Nancy Norton, even just a good faith comment and said she would provide a gate as part of the fence, just because that didn’t make it through the process and the Minutes, that doesn’t count to him. If Ms. Raisher told Ms. Norton she was going to get a gate, that’s good enough for him.
Mr. Wood said he would have to hear Ms. Raisher say that she said that, because he does not believe that she did, but then he cannot speak for her. From the conversations he had with her during the Planning Commission, and anytime after, she has never wanted a gate there.
Mayor Smith said he was told by Dick Davis, who was a member of the Planning Commission, that she did. Mayor Smith asked if the neighbor has some right to go through a gate onto the church’s property.
Mr. Wood replied, does anybody?
Mayor Smith said no, that is his point.
Councilmember Carol Suter said she appreciates that City staff would like to help neighbors negotiate things to keep relationships good, but it is particularly unusual to grant a private land owner access rights to another land owner’s property. We are not talking about access to public property, we are talking about another individual’s property. Just anticipate ahead that the property is sold, and you don’t know who is going to buy it or live there, or what they will do with the access. Councilmember Suter said that is a big can of worms that has been opened that it seems to her perhaps in a court of law may not hold up in terms of the landowners’ rights.
Mayor Smith asked if the church owns that part of the property or does Ms. Raisher own it?
Mr. Wood replied under the Special Use Permit, Ms. Raisher owns that part of the property.
Mayor Smith stated for clarification, that Ms. Raisher can grant access.
Mr. Wood replied she could if she wanted to.
Mayor Smith said as Ms. Raisher signed an agreement granting a gate, it would seem she was granting access.
Mr. Wood stated Ms. Raisher probably has $800,000 in that piece of property, and probably doesn’t want to lose it in two years, so if someone came and said there is a good possibility – not saying that there is….
Mayor Smith inquired into who said that.
Mr. Wood replied Mr. Wingerson has just said that he said there was a possibility.
Mayor Smith asked Mr. Wingerson if we insinuated if the gate wasn’t built, that Ms. Raisher could lose her Special Use Permit.
Mr. Wingerson replied no.
Mr. Wood stated what Mr. Wingerson said was that it could come up for a Public Hearing again and go through all this motion again, and the Council could say put a fence in at your own cost.
Mayor Smith said what Mr. Wingerson was doing was rather than insinuating or implying that she could lose her business, he was stating all the facts. A lot of things could come up. Her continued violation of the variance on the Sign Ordinance could come up. Her debris and litter could come up. The play structure she built without a permit could come up. Those are all just factual things that could come up and jeopardize her ability to get her Special Use Permit renewed. Mayor Smith stated he does not disagree with Mr. Wood, and is not trying to be argumentative, but his point is we are almost crossing the line of casting aspersions on City staff, and he is not going there.
Mr. Wood stated he is not either. There is so much history that Council is not aware of on all the property. Mr. Wingerson alluded to the people on the east; the church fought their vehicles being parked on church property for years, because she had a gate that she wanted to get into to get to her swimming pool. There have been several issues.
Mr. Talbott stated he believes the issue boils down to what the Mayor Pro Tem said. Mr. Talbott said he believes a person convinced against their will, is still of the same opinion, and maybe if he were in her shoes he would have signed something, too. It is like the old Mafia thing, “I’m going to make you a deal you can’t refuse” - here are some things that could happen. Mr. Talbott said Ms. Raisher definitely said to him that she felt under pressure that she had to do it.
Councilmember Suter stated that it goes without saying that whenever a political subdivision engages with its citizens, it does it knowing the power of its position. When you are dealing with people who are licensees, requesting zoning changes, or whatever, whether they are developers or whoever they are, we have a special obligation to be particularly careful in conversations, because no one has to say anything. I know if I have a Special Use Permit, I am at the mercy of the Planning Commission and the City Council at any time in the future, whether I’m a good player or not a good player in my own use of the property. Councilmember Suter said this is a particularly unusual circumstance that a private landowner would be granted access to some other private landowner’s property for use that seems to be in dispute.
Councilmember Suter asked if the agreement among the three parties that was signed is specific to that landowner. Hence, when the property is sold, does that access cease or is that continuous?
Mr. Wingerson replied it is specific to the landowners.
Councilmember Suter asked who would pay for the changing of the gate back to a fence?
Mr. Wingerson replied there was no provision for that.
Mayor Smith stated to Councilmember Suter that he does not disagree; however; he believes Councilmember Suter also knows that if there is a very lengthy Special Use Permit agreement that states very specific parameters for performance, the Council cannot arbitrarily not renew that permit. The position that Council takes is that they are less likely to ever rescind a Special Use Permit if the conditions are followed, and he is certain that Mr. Wingerson also told Ms. Raisher that if she does Conditions 1-20, or however many conditions there are, you will probably get your Special Use Permit renewed, so this cuts both ways. Mayor Smith said the thing that he was not clear with at first was it sounded like by providing access through the gate that Ms. Raisher had agreed to allow them access to the church’s property. We know now that is not correct. Ms. Raisher actually owns the property she would be granting access to, so she does have the authority to do that.
Councilman Carol Rudi asked for clarification if the area that is north of the fence that has been installed, that is open where people can walk upon – who does that belong to?
Mr. Wingerson replied he believed that area belongs to Ms. Raisher, and the approximate distance between the privacy fence and the chain link fence is about 24 to 28 inches. The members of the church may be more clear on this.
Councilman Rudi asked if the area all the way along the fence belongs to the property owners on the south side of the fence – the church and Creative Arts Academy.
Mr. Wingerson replied he believed that was correct.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated, without regard to some of the other issues on the Special Use Permit, in regards to the fence only, Ms. Raisher is in compliance with the Special Use Permit, and asked if that was correct.
Mr. Wingerson asked in regard only to the privacy fence?
Councilman Beer replied in regard only to the gate in the privacy fence, since there was no gate specified in the Special Use Permit, she is in compliance.
Mr. Wingerson replied yes.
Councilman Beer stated then the City Council would only have action to take if she were out of compliance. Since she is in compliance, this really is not an issue of which we should take any direct action. Councilman Beer said it seems to him this is nothing more than a private property access and a private property trespass and granted trespass issue. It is not a City Council issue.
Mayor Smith said other than hearsay, he does not believe “we have a dog in this hunt”.
Councilman Beer and Councilmember Suter agreed.
Mayor Smith said what we have at this point is a Special Use Permit with conditions, which is all Council cares about. If Ms. Raisher and whoever, through whatever efforts, entered into a private agreement to construct the fence, and thus, grant access, if she chooses not to build that fence, that is her issue.
Councilman Beer agreed.
Mayor Smith stated he does not know that Council can require Ms. Raisher to build it or not build it, but he does not want to forget that Assistant City Manager Wingerson has spent two or two and one half years trying to mitigate a neighborhood issue. Mayor Smith said he does not want the fact lost that Mr. Wingerson tried to do that, and he commends him for it.
Councilman Rudi asked if putting in the gate would change the fence requirement – that is still considered fence?
Mr. Wingerson replied the discussion about the privacy fence was in regard to the differing operation of the dance studio in evening hours during the week as compared to the church that is pretty much a Sunday daytime operation. The neighborhood on the north side expressed their concern about car lights in the parking lot through the chain link fence into their homes. That is where the privacy fence came from. The gate, when it is closed, will do the same thing as the privacy fence.
Councilman Rudi asked for clarification, if putting in the gate would not take Ms. Raisher out of compliance for the fence.
Mr. Wingerson replied no.
Councilman Rudi said she agreed that this is not an issue for the Council.
Councilmember Suter said she believed the parties should check with legal counsel, and she believes this is a private matter at this point, because of the subsequent agreements.
Mayor Smith stated that Council is not one way or another on this issue. This is not to be held against Ms. Raisher in the future, and Council wishes all parties the best of luck in resolving this issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh stated he believed that Ms. Raisher should be made aware of the fact that if there are current infractions, like the signage on the backstop and so forth, and that Council takes a dim view of her not complying with all the articles that allowed her to have the Special Use Permit.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilmember Carol Suter expressed her congratulations and appreciation to all the City staff and elected officials and all the volunteers who participated in Gladstone on the Move, and participated in the concept and implementation of the partnership with North Kansas City Schools on our Natatorium. Both of which are the subject of some impressive awards that the City is going to be receiving. It is amazing to be a part of a small community like ours and to have that kind of recognition for innovation and creativity. A lot of people say the only way to success in the 21st Century is creativity; we are not about service industry anymore. We are about ideas and a creative economy, and it is a blessing to know that we are working with people who are that creative and insightful to come up with these great ideas that not only work well for us as a community, but have also now provided the City recognition far beyond our own corners.
Councilman Wayne Beer had no comments at this time.
Councilman Carol Rudi stated she has been asked if the City would be conducting the neighborhood sweeps in the future, because they really liked it.
Mr. Wingerson replied, yes, they are coming forward. A new Code Enforcement Officer will be starting work on September 12, and a second person will be starting about 30 days later. Neighborhood sweeps will start directly after the training period, and will continue in the Spring of next year.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh congratulated Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis on the attainment of her latest professional designation. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he read about it in the paper, and again congratulated Director Lillis.
Mayor Les Smith had no comments at this time.
Item 9. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis reported that notice was received last week that the Missouri Municipal League (MML) was going to award our City an innovation award for our partnership with North Kansas City Schools in the completion of the Natatorium and Community Center. City Manager Davis said he believes everyone is aware of the value and the opportunities that partnership has provided the City, and it is nice to be recognized by MML as Councilmember Suter mentioned. This is the second of two awards the City has received recently. The other award was from the International City Managers Association for strategic leadership and governance, and we are one of three cities being recognized under that category from around the world. The City will receive that recognition in Pittsburg in October. The MML recognition will be received in September at the MML conference here in Kansas City. City Manager Davis said he is very pleased. A lot of work and time went into all of these activities, and certainly everyone at the dais has spent many hours considering all of the issues that went into those two efforts, and everyone deserves a pat on the shoulder.
City Manager Davis stated he did not realize that Public Safety Director Bill Adamo was not going to be present this evening, but he would like to take the opportunity to say some things anyway. Mr. Davis announced that Director Bill Adamo, after 36 years of service to the City, has signed up to retire, and his last day will be September 3, 2007. He has served this community for 18 years as a Director, and served the community as a Firefighter and Public Safety Officer for 36 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Director Adamo is a member of the Metro Chiefs Association, National Police Chiefs Association, and the National Fire Chiefs Association.
City Manager Davis said the Public Safety Department has seen a lot of things happen while Bill was Director. He led the accreditation effort through CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act); he has provided equipment and training to develop a Tactical Team; and he has overseen the installation of a Computer Aided Dispatch System in Public Safety. The remodeling of Fire Station 2, which included a new addition, and training facilities, and the construction of a the new Fire Station 1 on North Oak Trafficway was also done under his watch. Director Adamo oversaw the remodeling of the Public Safety Department downstairs in City Hall, creating a state-of-the-art Police headquarters, including a state-of-the-art Dispatch Center.
City Manager Davis stated the City saw significant upgrades while Bill was a Director, in fire equipment, tactical equipment, and certainly in training. The City saw increases in fire and ambulance staffing. The School Resource Officer Program was started. Director Adamo started and enhanced the Detective Unit, and the cyber crimes effort; and in the Support Bureau he implemented the Community Policing Program. Director Adamo started a Traffic Bureau, a Fire Inspection Program, a Hazmat Program, and initiated the use of a second ambulance that came through the Gladstone on the Move effort.
City Manager Davis said these are just a few things that came to mind today when he was jotting down his thoughts. Bill has made a significant contribution to the Public Safety Department, to the metro area, and certainly to the City of Gladstone. He is a leader in our organization. He is respected by his employees. He is respected in this community. He is respected by members of the Leadership Team.
City Manager Davis concluded by saying he is truly honored to serve with Director Adamo. He is a trusted advisor. He is, and always will be, my friend. I congratulate him on his honored years of service, and wish him the best in his retirement.
Mayor Smith said Director Adamo will be missed, and it is amazing to him as our City has gotten more involved in regional issues how not just well known, but how highly respected Bill Adamo is, far beyond the city limits of Gladstone. Leadership is action, not position, and he certainly deserves all the respect he has earned.
Item 10. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING: on setting the annual rate of levy for the 2007 Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes within the corporate limits of the City of Gladstone, Missouri.
Mayor Les Smith opened the Public Hearing and stated a report will be heard first from City Manager Davis, and then anyone from the audience who would like to speak in favor or in opposition.
City Manager Kirk Davis
City Manager Davis stated Bill 07-25 will set the Property Tax Levy for 2007. The City’s 2007 valuation for total assessed property is $379,754,911, which includes $2,395,450 in new residential construction, and $751,650 in new commercial construction, and a decrease of $4,605,157 in personal property. Collectively, the 2007 assessed valuation represents a 3.98 percent increase over the previous year primarily due to the fact it is a reassessment year. The attached Bill would set the property tax levy at $0.9290 for residential and agricultural real property, $0.8550 for commercial real estate and $0.5391 for personal property per $100 assessed valuation. City Manager stated these levies are recommended for Council’s approval. This is a little bit different than from the past as there was just one levy set in the past; however, there is now legislative authority to break out the two levies, the result of that is in the table that Finance Director Debra Daily has provided in the first page of her memorandum. This table sets out the four categories that we have to calculate the property tax assessment on now.
City Manager Davis stated even with the different calculations, Director Daily is to be congratulated, because she still came within $9,000 of her budgeted amount, and he is pleased with that.
Comments from the audience in favor or in opposition
There were no comments from the audience.
Mayor Smith closed the Public Hearing.
Item 11. on the Agenda. FIRST READING AMENDED BILL 07-25, setting the annual rate of levy for the 2007 Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes within the corporate limits of Gladstone, Missouri at $.9290/$100.00 valuation for residential; $.9290/$100.00 valuation for agriculture; $.8550/$100.00 valuation for commercial; and $.5391/$100.00 valuation for personal property.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to place Bill 07-25 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 07-25, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 07-25 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.043. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
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.
There being no further business to come before the August 27, 2007, Gladstone Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Les Smith adjourned the regular meeting. Councilman Wayne Beer made a motion to adjourn to Closed Executive Session pursuant to Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemption 610.021(1) for Litigation and Confidential or Privileged Communications with Legal Counsel, and 610.021(2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion, and 610.21(3) for Personnel Discussion. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, Mayor Les Smith. (5-0).
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: ___
Approved as corrected/amended: ___
Mayor Les Smith