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July 25, 2016
7:30 P.M.

Michelle Distler - Mayor

Councilmembers Present Staff Present
Councilmember PflummCity Manager Gonzales
Councilmember NeighborDeputy City Manager Charlesworth
Councilmember JenkinsAssistant City Manager Sunderman
Councilmember KemmlingCity Clerk Powell
Councilmember VaughtCity Attorney Rainey
Councilmember MeyerFinance Director Rogers
Councilmember SandiferDevelopment Services Dir. Wesselschmidt
Councilmember KenigPlanning Director Chaffee
Guest Councilmember HookPublic Works Director Whitacre
Parks and Recreation Director Holman
Stormwater Manager Gregory
Police Chief Moser
IT Director Bunting
Police Captain Tennis
Fire Chief Mattox
Police Captain Brim
Fire Marshal Sands
Deputy Parks and Recreation Dir. Lecuru
Police Captain Larson
Police Captain Mendoza
Transportation Manager Manning
Battalion Chief Hoelting
Emergency Manager Epperson
Police Captain Brunner
Police Administrative Assistant Greer
Management Analyst Schmitz
Human Resource Director Barnard
Sr. Accountant Oldham
Police Planning & Research Mgr. Collins
Economic Dvlpmnt. Council, Andrew Nave
(Shawnee City Council Meeting Called to Order at 7:30 p.m.)


MAYOR DISTLER: Good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the Shawnee City Council. I would ask that you please silence your electronic devices at this time.

I am Mayor Michelle Distler and I will be chairing this meeting. Tonight we have a special guest with us. Her name is Savana Hook and tonight she will serve as a guest Councilmember for Ward IV. She has read the packet, and will join in the discussion and will cast an honorary vote on each item.

I will do a roll call at this time. Councilmember Neighbor.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Pflumm.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Jenkins.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Kemmling.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Vaught.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Meyer.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Sandifer.


MAYOR DISTLER: Guest Councilmember Hook.


MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Kenig.




MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Hook, would you like to please lead us in the Pledge followed by a moment of silence?

(Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence)

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Before we begin our agenda, I'd like to explain our procedures for public input. During the meeting I will offer the opportunity for public input. If you would like to speak to the Council at any of those times, please come forward to the microphone. I will ask you to state your name and address for the record, then you may offer your comments. So that members of the audience can hear your comments, I would ask that you speak directly into the microphone. By policy, comments are limited to five minutes and no person may speak more than twice to any one agenda item. After you are finished, please sign the form on the podium to ensure we have an accurate record of your name and address.

I would also like to remind Councilmembers to wait to be recognized before speaking. When you are recognized, be sure to turn on your microphone. Please turn the microphone off when you are done speaking.

In addition, while we won't do a roll call vote on every vote, I will state Councilmembers' names who vote in minority so that our listening audience will have a clear and accurate record of the vote.



MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the Agenda is the Consent Agenda. Does the Council have any items they would like to remove? Seeing none, I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Move for approval.


MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, the motion was made by Councilmember Kenig and seconded by Councilmember Sandifer to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion passed 8-0.]


MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the Agenda is Mayor's Items, and I have one item tonight. So, many of you may have heard about this Shawnee Rocks activity that is underway. A Shawnee citizen and volunteer for the City, very active volunteer, especially with our Police Department, Beth Kornegay, sent me an article about Bolivar Rocks on July 1st and starting a trend. So, she had sent this article about Bolivar, Missouri. And so people are going around painting and hiding rocks in public places around the City like the parks and things like that. And then on the back of each rock it’s painted Shawnee, Kansas Rocks. And she started a Facebook and all of this. And it’s funny. So, that first Friday after she sent me the article and I’m like, well, let’s do this. We ended up running into each other at Michael’s that evening out buying supplies to get this started.

So, today when I last looked there were over 582 participants. So, in less than a week there was over 300 people involved. And now we’re at 582. And many, many posting pictures of people finding rocks, painting rocks, hiding rocks. And I’ve been so pleased with the interest this program has gotten. I love that it’s getting so many people outside doing fun things together with friends and families and many people have commented they have found parks and interesting places they didn’t even know existed.

So, it’s apparent to me that people have pride in their city, and that, of course, makes me very happy. So, tonight I'd like to thank everyone who is here who has participated in the rock activity. And if you would you please stand and stay standing, and then I would like to ask Beth Kornegay to come up to the front and meet me here in front of the dais.

I want to thank you and recognize you that You’ve Been Spotted by the Mayor for making Shawnee, Kansas a great place to Live, Work and Play. So, there’s the card, certificate and a Mayor’s coin that says, “Good starts with you.” And the reason good starts with her, like I said, so not only has she started this activity in the City that is kid-friendly. It’s got families involved. They’re painting together. They’re hiding together. They’re out together finding these rocks. They’re finding parks that they didn’t even know existed in Shawnee. I’ve seen comments that they’re learning history that they didn’t know about, Chief Charles Bluejacket and different plaques around town.

It’s positive fun during a time when there is so much negativity going on in the world. And I saw a comment of a lady who was new to the City and she’s learning the City and seeing the goodness. We’ve got people out shopping in Shawnee while they’re out participating in this activity. So, you have brought such a positive thing to this City. And I cannot thank you enough. And so I would like anyone who has been participating in this, if you’d like to come forward and have you picture taken with Ms. Beth.

(Pictures were taken)

Thank you guys so much for playing.


MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. So, Beth, I do. I want to thank you on behalf of the City and all the folks have had this fun because of you. And you make Shawnee a great place to live, work and play. And so thank you again to everyone who has participated.


MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the Agenda is Business from the Floor. Is there anyone who has comments on an issue that is not on tonight's agenda? Okay. Seeing none.


MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is Public Items. Item Number 1 is to Conduct a Public Hearing and Approve the 2016 Revised Budget.

The 2016 Budget has been amended to reflect various fund balances carried forward. The amended budget reflects a change in the Parks and Pipes Sales Tax Fund to allow for expenditures to expedite the Nieman South Drainage Project, and the Stormwater Utility fund to incorporate fund balance carried forward from 2015 in order to fund additional project expenditures.
There are three actions needed on this item. The first is to conduct a public hearing. Following public comments, I will ask for a motion to close the public hearing. Once the public hearing is closed, we will have Council discussion.


a) Conduct a public hearing.

MAYOR DISTLER: I will accept a motion to conduct a public hearing on the 2016 Revised Budget.




MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded to conduct a public hearing. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Sandifer seconded to conduct a Public Hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

MAYOR DISTLER: We are now in a Public Hearing. Is there anyone in the audience that would like to speak to this item?

b) Conclude the public hearing.

MAYOR DISTLER: The second action is to close the Public Hearing. Do I have a motion?




MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to close the Public Hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

MAYOR DISTLER: The public hearing is closed.

c) Approve the 2016 Revised Budget as shown in the Notice of Public Hearing.

MAYOR DISTLER: The third recommended action is to consider approving the 2016 Revised Budget as shown in the Notice of Public Hearing. Is there any discussion by the Council on this item? Is there a motion?



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore Councilmember Sandifer moved and Councilmember Kenig seconded to approve the 2016 Revised Budget. The motion passed 8-0.]


MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 2 is to Conduct a Public Hearing to Adopt the 2017 Budget.

After seven public budget meetings, at the July 11th City Council meeting, the Council voted to publish a maximum tax levy amount of $22,286,137, and an estimated mill levy of 26.976, an increase of approximately 2.44 mills. The service increases proposed at that time to be funded by the mill levy increase and an increase in the Stormwater Utility Fee that are to be discussed this evening include:

There are four actions needed on this item. The first one is to conduct a public hearing. Following public comments, I will ask for a motion to close the public hearing. Once the public hearing is closed, we will have Council discussion.

a) Conduct a Public Hearing

MAYOR DISTLER: I will accept a motion to conduct a public hearing on the 2017 Budget.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded to conduct a public hearing. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Sandifer moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to conduct a public hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

MAYOR DISTLER: We are now in a public hearing. Is there anyone in the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward and state your name and address for the record.

Public Comments:

MR. KISSINGER: Thank you. My name is Dennis Kissinger. I live at (Address Omitted). First, I’d like to take a minute to just simply thank the Mayor and Councilmembers for your service on the Governing Body here. I know that -- how much hard work goes into that. Lots more than just your meetings. How much time it takes from your families and from your other activities. Sometimes a thankless job and maybe there are other less painful ways to serve the community, but I appreciate everything you do and the important work for the community.

As for the budget, I guess a couple of points. I think the budget as you have it, including the items that are proposed for consideration for an additional mill levy kind of reflect to me the basics and fundamentals and the good job that Shawnee has always done in my experience of living here for nine years, and providing those really good down to earth services for the community. Not very flashy. Not one of those that get a lot of headlines. But everything from your public safety to the public works to the folks that we don’t see every day, I’ve been very pleased and impressed in my time with the services.

Now, I’m no different than anybody else as far as liking to pay additional taxes or fees. But I look at it a couple of different ways. One is the reasonableness of the level of the taxes. And so as I look at the mill levy as proposed, I look at Kansas City’s, the first class cities. And to my mind anything under 30 mills is a very positive and competitive rate for services in a community of this size in Kansas. I think there are only like eight first class cities that have a mill levy less than 30, a city mill levy. The second one for reasonableness for me is the overlapping mill levy because we all know that we don’t just pay city property tax, we pay the county, we pay the school district and others. And if I look at the level of that and the overlapping property tax rates, they say Shawnee is, you know, five or six in that -- from the best, from the bottom in that. So, I think it passes for me the reasonableness test.

But even more than the numbers for me I look at the property tax and the mill levy. We don’t like paying it any more than we like paying any other bills. But I look at it to the value that I get for the taxes that I entrust with you. And I have to say that I think that you have been in the past and what is proposed both in the budget with prior mill levy levels as well as what’s proposed for new pass that test for me. I think that you have in the past, and I trust you do, with the items that are proposed, to provide great value for that money being spent.

I know you have the stormwater fee as an ordinance. Is that also part of the budget? Can I mention that? From the stormwater fee, it’s one of those that, yes, it’s a large increase. But as you’ve learned and can see, the cost of building, maintaining and reconstructing stormwater is very high and it’s hard to keep up. And I don’t know that you’ve kept up as well as possible in the past. And what is proposed here should make a big dent in that. I think that, yes, it is costly to do those. But if you’ve ever experienced in your own home or seen it, stormwater in a basement, particularly stormwater that’s mixed with sanitary sewage in a basement or traffic caught in a roadway in high waters when the stormwater systems fail, I think that’s expensive, too, not only in dollars, but it’s expensive emotionally for the people involved in it. So, I would strongly encourage you to consider the full level of the mill levy proposed. I think it passes the reasonable test. And I hope to you it passes the value for dollars spent test. Thank you very much.

MAYOR DISTLER: Would you state your name and address for the record, please?

MR. MARTIN: All right.


MR. MARTIN: My name is Grant Martin and I live at (Address Omitted) in Shawnee. Can everybody hear me? Okay. Basically regarding the property tax increases, I would agree that Shawnee needs to have the necessary funds to maintain its sewer, streets, Fire Department, Police Department and Public Works. The June 26 edition of the Shawnee Dispatch estimated that the proposed average increase in property taxes would amount to about $4.05 a month. However, a later Dispatch edition cited an amount of $8.60 a month, which is a little higher. In addition, the Council has now proposed to double the stormwater fee from $3 to $6. The estimated amount quoted by the Dispatch to upgrade our sewers is $114 million. Before they vote, I would ask if the Council has fully studied the projected cost estimates for these sewer repairs and also for the new western Shawnee fire station to assure themselves that the new stormwater fees and property tax increases will be sufficient to cover these projected costs so that we are not looking at another tax increase in three or four more years.

Does the stormwater sewer cost estimate assume excavating all the old pipelines and replacing them with new pipelines? Or will some of the existing pipelines be injected with a PVC liner, which would thus eliminate the need for large scale excavations and heavy traffic areas. I have witnessed the recent excavation and repair of the broken storm sewer main at 73rd and Quivira several months ago which to me seemed to take forever before it was finally completed.

I’ve seen in the Dispatch that the public construction costs for the estimated western Shawnee fire station will be about $4 million. Will this be the actual amount or will it be exceeded? I assume that Shawnee will be buying some new fire trucks and possibly be hiring additional fire fighters to staff this new station.

I recall a few years ago that the new Shawnee Justice Center was about to run over the estimated construction budget by several million dollars until it became public knowledge and then the cost was then scaled back to get closer to the estimated amount.

The June 26 edition of the Shawnee Dispatch also mentioned several Nieman Road stormwater and street projects to be expedited under the City budget, but says that the funding for them will be discussed at a later time. And I’m curious what this means. Does the Council discussion at a later time indicate the taxes may have to be raised again to cover this cost?

The Council indicates that they’re short of money unless they increase the property taxes. However, I’m kind of curious as to how it is that we somehow have $1.8 million available to dole out to a movie theater group to upgrade their theater. I understand this money is supposed to be paid back to Shawnee over the next 20 years. But I ask why do taxpayers keep having to fund private business ventures in the first place. Mr. Jenkins was quoted in the Dispatch about the quality and the condition of the theater’s parking lot over the years not being maintained. And I would definitely agree with this observation. Will the theater parking lot be maintained in the future, time will tell.

Referring again to the June 26 edition of the Shawnee Dispatch regarding some quoted comments that were made by Mr. Vaught. I did not realize the City of Shawnee was suffering because of having the fourth lowest mill levy in Johnson County. This was certainly news to me. I did not realize that Shawnee’s approach to funding approaches that of a third world country. Is that really the case? I did not realize that Shawnee needs to be incredibly fast-growing. What is wrong with having a well-planned gradual sustained growth? I did not realize that for years and years Shawnee has wanted to be just as a bedroom community. In my 32 years of living in Shawnee, I’ve never known or felt that this was the case. I didn’t realize that Shawnee wants to be cheap, cheap, cheap and has been satisfied just to get by. That’s the first time I’ve realized this revelation. I did not realize that though sections of the Nieman Road corridor, being admittedly not that great, was actually in shambles. I do agree that some things should be done in the future to improve its appearance. And according also to Mr. Vaught, I do realize that we do not want to pay more taxes. However, taxes are necessary for the upkeep of a community.

We citizens of Shawnee would like to see our tax money be wisely spent by the Council and not frittered away. With that in mind, I would remind the Council that Shawnee has a number of retirees living on fixed incomes. For them the federal government -- there’s been increase in the cost of living Social Security benefits for three of the last six years. If that was only true and the actual cost of living had not increased in those years. At least according to the paper here, Mr. Jenkins publicly realizes and recognizes that many families in Shawnee have to deal with increasing costs of living on incomes that are not keeping up. And so basically that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward and state your name and address for the record.

MR. VOGT: Good evening. My name is Charles Vogt, not to be confused with Vaught, but that’s all right. (Address Omitted) in Shawnee for the last 20 years. And I should mention also as a business person, 21911 West 66th Street in western Shawnee.

I just wanted to tell you a little story. When I was a Vista volunteer back in 1970, I was in downtown Butler, Missouri. Downtown Butler, Missouri was having an open house for their fire department. I went into the fire station and saw this old fire truck. And I asked the fireman, how old is this truck. And he said, well, it’s a vintage 1950. And I said, you’re kidding me. A city of 4,000 people with a fire truck from 1950, and they said, yes. Well, believe it or not, the next day there was a major fire in the town square and it burned a quarter of the town square of Butler, Missouri. I had everyone calling me the next day and saying how did you forecast this was going to happen and what can we do about it. I guess that’s the last thing I would ever like to see happen in Shawnee, Kansas.

Here’s some of my reasons for why a fully staffed and supported fire station in western Shawnee is important, and I know there are other issues on the table. But as you know, I had some time here in Shawnee working with the Chamber of Commerce and we believed in encouraging growth in the City. But I will tell you this, that if we encourage p
We all know Shawnee is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, also in the county. So, we have to support the growth that’s taking place now. If you look through the Economic Development report that was done in 2015, I see the EDC is here, there are just several stories about new subdivisions opening up in western Shawnee. We have to support our growth. There’s also several different businesses that are being announced. There’s a new Westlink building, a 170,000 square feet. That’s two of them now that are out there without adequate fire protection. So, if we’re going to support, I mean, if we’re going to encourage growth, we have to support it.

The other thing is, I don’t know how many people know what an insurance rating is, an ISO rating. ISO rating is insurance service office. And every city is rated by the ISO for what their ability is to respond to a fire, because that’s your insurance rates. Your insurance rates are based on that. I can tell you Shawnee has a very good ISO rating right now. But if we don’t continue to support growth, that’s going to go away. And what does that do? Anyone who’s concerned about a tax increase should be also concerned about an income increase in your premiums for your insurance. Because if we don’t keep up with the growth your insurance rates will go up.

Mill levies versus sales tax. This City Council, Governing Body has decided sales tax is the answer to just about everything. We’ve seen the City of Shawnee with their sales tax, Parks and Pipes, public safety and pavement. Well, believe me, I was a city manager in Oklahoma during the oil bust. And guess what, the majority of their budget was based on sales tax. Guess what happened when the oil bust took place? The revenues for the City went down. Christmas 1986, I’m watching a group of city employees picket city hall because we had to lay off city employees because there wasn’t any sales tax to pay for their salaries. So, I don’t want you to rely too much on sales tax. It’s too volatile. And during the recession we found that out. We don’t want to continue to depend on that for major improvements. This is a relatively small increase that you’re talking about today. As the first speaker said, you’ve spent your money wisely in the past. Anyone who remembers Gary Montag as our former city manager and then Carol Gonzales, you know how frugal they both have been on maintaining our expenses.

Also the cities of the first class, we are a city of the first class. Lenexa and Leawood are as the gentleman mentioned earlier. Those people have more fire stations than we do and they have less fire calls than we do. So, that doesn’t add up. Response time. If you watched Channel 41 this evening you saw Stephanie Meyer up there, the President of the Council, talking about response time. Eleven minutes to get out to northwest Shawnee. That’s unacceptable. Four minutes is the norm. Eleven minutes, unacceptable.

And last but not least, Carol Gonzales is our City Manager. We have a City Manager form of government here. And I wanted you to know that all these people out here who represent departments for the City, they’re paid professionals. They know what they’re doing. They would not put these things on the report for new funding unless we really needed it. So, if we’re going to believe in our professionals that run this city, we have to also believe in what they’re submitting is realistic. And we have to also go by the former practice that they have had. They have had an excellent practice in not only saying what they’re going to do, but doing what they say they’re going to do.

And one last comment. I want to shout out to Brandon Kenig, my City Councilman. And I’m glad to see there are three Councilmen here now for my ward. But I can just tell you this. Your newsletter was very helpful, very informative. And I wish everyone could have read that newsletter because it gave a very honest depiction of what the situation is. It gave all the sides that I think that were very pertinent to the situation and it called me to leave the Democratic Convention on my TV set and come here tonight. Thank you very much.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward and state your name and address for the record.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Ray Erlichman (Address Omitted) here in Shawnee. I just wanted to correct something said by one of the speakers this evening and concern about $1.8 million going into the WestGlen project. That money, as we all know, or some -- most of us know, is not tax money per se. The City gets approximately $3 million a year in impact fees from Deffenbaugh, of which it’s split roughly 50/50 for streets and for Economic Development. True, the formula for disbursing that $1.8 million is using a TIF formula, but it is not tax money per se. In other words, coming out of the Economic Development Fund, the City Council can choose to just let the money sit there. That money that’s in that impact fund by ordinance or whatever legal method was used, cannot be used for anything else but economic development. So, you either use it or lose it when it comes to economic development. It’s that simple. So, apparently, and I’ve heard some other people mention that that they’re concerned about that coming out of the tax money, it’s not tax money. It’s economic development money that cannot be used for anything else. It’s that simple.

One other thing regarding the fire station, as long as it was brought up, in northwest Shawnee, besides 11 minutes being unacceptable, I don’t know if the Fire Marshal is going to throw anything at me from across the room or not. But a lot of people aren’t aware with some of the new materials being used in building today, and correct me if I’m wrong, sir, a fire will actually double in size every minute. So, if you’ve got a 100 square foot fire, 10 by 10, in one minute it’s going to become 200 square feet, it’s going to become 400, it’s going to become 800, it’s going to become 1,600. And by five or six minutes you’ve just lost that $350,000-$450,000 house that you’ve got. I do believe that is a correct figure, sir? Thank you. That’s all I wanted to add. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Okay.

b) Conclude the Public Hearing

MAYOR DISTLER: The second action is to close the public hearing. Do I have a motion?




MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. The public hearing is closed.
[Therefore, Councilmember Neighbor moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to close the Public Hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

c) Approve the 2017 Budget

MAYOR DISTLER: At this time, I would move Item D ahead of Item C, and we will have Council discussion and consideration of the 2017 Budget. Is there any discussion from the Council? Mr. Neighbor?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I’ve thought long and hard about this, but just some -- a couple observations I’ve had the past couple three weeks and going forward. So, in 2007, Shawnee was named one of the 50 best cities to live in the United States. In 2008, Shawnee was listed as one of the 100 most affordable places to live in America. In 2016, surrounding cities continued to be on the best-of lists. Overland Park in 2014 was one of the 50 best places to retire. In 2015, the 39th best city to live. And Nitch magazine recently commented that several Johnson County, fellow Johnson County cities, Mission, Westwood, Overland Park, are some of the hundred best places for millennials to live. But Shawnee is no longer mentioned on these lists of most desirable places. Why? Well, we’re falling behind. For years we’ve been doing more with less, but that’s not working anymore. Shawnee’s needs for basic services are growing at a rate that the current mill levy can no longer support.

Since the last time Shawnee property taxes were raised in 2006 for the 2007 budget, the Consumer Price Index has climbed an average of 3.2 points a year. Our population has risen from 57,200 to 65,200 in 2016, an increase of over 8,000 people or 14 percent. At that rate Shawnee will have over 70,000 residents right around 2020, late 2019.

Our parks have increased from 672 acres to 1,022 or 15.66 acres per thousand population. But our parks maintenance staff during that time has shrunk from 12 to 9 employees. The work has to be done. That’s why their overtime rate is up over 32 percent. Shawnee still has the highest acreage of parks of any first class city in Johnson County.

2006, we had 90 sworn police. 2016, we have 89 sworn police. The Fire Department had 57 firefighters in 2007, now we have 59. Again, the population has grown 14 percent.

This budget is all about basic services. That is what the residents want, what they expect and what they deserve from their city government. The proposed tax increase in the budget doesn’t cover any extravagances or quality of life amenities or upgrades. It’s just the blocking and tackling of city government maintaining the existing infrastructure today and providing a firm foundation for the basic services that are going to be required for Shawnee in the future. Therefore, I will be voting for Fire Station 74 and the few new positions critical to facilitation of the many projects underway within the City, both for today and tomorrow. I, too, as mentioned, I’ve got to pay the tax, too. I’m not particularly happy about it. But to provide the services that our citizens deserve and respect, I will vote for it.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there any other discussion from the Council? Ms. Meyer?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I don’t disagree with a lot of what Councilmember Neighbor has said. However, in looking through some of the proposal that has been augmented from what passed out of Committee, I think we need to kind of look at everything, at least I believe, in terms of whether it’s absolutely necessary. For me in order to approve a mill levy increase, it has to be sort of a critical need. I think we owe that to the citizens. And in looking through some of these, we’re talking about setting the fire station aside, which I absolutely support and want to support and supported it in Council Committee as it came out. Aside from that we’re looking at seven new positions. And as I click through that list we’re talking about one for stormwater which should be addressed in either the sales tax we passed last year or the stormwater fee conversation we’ve having later. We’re talking about a street maintenance position which should be addressed in the sales tax that we passed last year for the citizens of Shawnee. We’re talking about an increase of police officers of one, which of course, I think is a good thing. We’ve heard previously that our police chief is seeking a grant for five new officers. I believe that’s covered. We’re talking about a Parks and Pipes, or rather a Parks position, which again, should be covered by the sales tax that we brought to the citizens of Shawnee last year. So, to me I feel like we’re looking at all of these items that should be addressed in a different position. And in my view I would be in favor of keeping it at where we left it when it passed out of Committee when we sat in this meeting for months and months and months and crafted a Committee budget and that limited it to the 1.77 for a new fire station. And I believe that’s where it should stay.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’ve had correspondence with a lot of the residents in my ward, and I always keep quite a bit of correspondence with them. And when you get out to the western end of our ward, I’ve had several people that are very concerned about the fire station. They expect one more so than just want one. And I’m here to represent the people and I believe we need to do the fire station. When you talk about the police officers, and we have some -- our chief is trying to get a grant. That grant may hire some police officers, but they -- it doesn’t keep them. We have to come up with the funds later to keep them on board. You know, all the grant will do is get them started. So, it’s not like the grant is just going to automatically be a cash cow forever for these police officers. So, in this mill levy increase it allows for all of that and for the chief to get his officers and for us to be able to support them afterwards.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I guess I would just rebut that with it doesn’t really allow for that. The mill levy increase we’re looking at is for one additional police officer. So, if we’re pursuing a grant for five and that is the terms of the grant I understand is a gradual taper off as many federal grants are, it doesn’t allow for that to continue. What we’re allowing to continue tonight is a single police officer with that mill levy increase, not the five included in the grant.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. Just a couple comments. First of all, in response to the opening comments from Councilman Neighbor talking about how Overland Park is recognized as one of the greatest places to retire and to live and all that sort of that thing, I think that’s probably true and nobody is going to argue that point. But I should point out that the Overland Park mill levy is 12.848, a lot less than what we pay here in Shawnee. So, just FYI for people that didn’t understand that.

And the other thing I was looking at is we talk about the population is increasing. Yes, we have growth. We’re having a population increase and we’re having a bunch of business increase as well. And interestingly enough, as you increase population and businesses, you are growing the tax base also. So, you have kind of a self-supporting system there to a great extent. You have more people, but you have more money coming in to help pay for the needs and services of these additional people. So, I’m not sure if I have all the exact numbers to tell you if it’s a complete wash or not a complete wash. In some cases and in some areas it may not be enough to cover the expenses, in other sectors it may be more than it takes to cover that sector. So, there may be some trade-offs there.

I think everybody on this Council, and I think most people in this room know that I’m a public safety proponent to the max. Spent 30 years of my life in public safety. Okay. So, it’s a real near and dear subject to me. And I’d love for John Mattox to have his new fire station. And I’d want Chief Moser to have his guys that he needs to do a good job. I feel like it was presented to us wrong in this budget. I believe those, if there are needs and they need, and I think we’ve expressed the fact that they’re needed, if we have an 11-minute response time that really stands out as a need to me to build this fire station, why isn’t in the budget instead of on the unmet needs list. I have a real problem with that. I have such a big problem with that I’m going to vote against this tonight, this budget for that very reason. Not because I don’t want a fire station, I want a fire station, but I want to go back to the drawing board and bring that fire station back out to the way it’s supposed to be and bring our staffing levels up to the way they’re supposed to be instead of saying, where was your budget and we got stuff in there for train noise abatement and other activities, but I’ve got unmet needs over here like fire and police. I don’t think those two equate very well, so I’ve got some real problems with that. And, therefore, I don’t think I can really vote for this.

I have some similar comments and some significant comments to make about the stormwater fee as well, but I think we’ll be discussing that here in a few more minutes. But that’s my position.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes. I’m going to make a couple comments about public safety. First, Overland Park does have the lowest mill levy in the county, but they also have much more commercial area than we do. I think we’re sitting at around 24 percent roughly in terms of land area that we have that’s commercial. Overland Park is at 36 percent. They have an expanded tax base as well through several multi-use retail developments like Oak Park Mall that bring in additional revenue. So, Overland Park is somewhat of an anomaly in Johnson County and in the state as well for having one of the lowest mill levies.

With police, I think it’s true we’re applying for a grant for five officers. That’s speculative to whether or not we get that. Even then it won’t fully address the need I think that we have for additional officers and we need to start somewhere. And I think starting with one is a good place to start. The national average for police per capita is 1.8 officers per capita. We sit fairly far below that at 1.35 officers per capita. Only Overland Park and Olathe have lower rates per capita than we do. Overland Park is considering a mill increase to address public safety, so theirs will likely be ticking up. But I think that’s reflective of need that we have. And then also what’s reflective of the public safety need is the high number of blackout hours that we have. So, those are basically the hours that all on-duty full-time officers are on calls and not able to respond if there’s an emergency. And those have been ticking up month by month as well. I mean, and we’re sitting at, you know, not just hours, but, you know, several days’ worth of time in terms of blackout hours where we have officers that are not available to respond. And so in those situations it can be life or death. I do think a request for one additional officer is reasonable in the scheme of things and so I would start there.

I think it’s worthwhile to look at some of the other items if we’re talking about, you know, a parks technician and maybe a street inspector and if we want to pare that down. But I think absolutely when we’re talking about a stormwater tech, that goes hand-in-hand if we’re raising the stormwater fee, we need that position. We need the additional police officer position. And so to me those seem -- you can’t I think address public safety without addressing police. The fire station is absolutely needed. But we need police to go along with that. Thanks.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, and I would like to address Mr. Jenkins’ comments because I actually do have the number. Now, I don’t know how much it’s changed since I had that. So, ten years ago when I first got on the Council there was 50 governmental studies that had been compiled that showed it cost $1.15 for every tax dollar brought in when it comes to residential growth. So, with residential growth you’re always $.15 behind. With commercial development it was $.85 for every tax dollar brought in, and undeveloped land, it was like $.30 for every tax dollar brought in because undeveloped land doesn’t have a huge need for, I mean, there’s no snow removal, police, fire. I mean, you might have your occasional grass fire or whatever it is. So, those 50 governmental studies compiled tell us that it’s $1.15 for every tax dollar brought in. And with Shawnee’s growth boom it has unfortunately been mostly residential growth. So, we are behind. We’re not catching up quick enough when we’re already working very conservatively. And then kind of like I said in the last meeting, it concerns me when we say that we’re just all public, I mean, we’re all public safety. Well, IT is in included in that because every single fire truck, every single police car has MVTs in them. And if we don’t have IT supporting these systems that put the location in the truck and tell the fire truck where to go. And then once the fire truck gets there it tells them where all the surrounding hydrants are so they know the nearest one to hook up to get the fire suppressed in the least amount of time. Because to the point that Mr. Erlichman had made, you know, flash-over used to occur in a half hour. Not it’s less than ten minutes. It’s like an atomic bomb going off in your house because the new materials burn so hot, so fast, it’s less than ten minutes. And even fire gear cannot protect anyone from that. So, they have got to get to that quickly. They’ve got to get it cooled down. They’ve got to get it suppressed. They’ve got to be able to do rescue. Because otherwise, if it’s too late, that’s too long. And like again, I want to remind the Council that even adding the northwest station doesn’t meet all the needs because we lost three lives in the northeast section of the city. And in addition to that, we cannot say Public Works is not part of public safety because we had another storm pipe fail tonight which takes that street down. If our fire trucks and our police officers can’t get to these homes, you know, six minutes, you’ve got brain death and we can’t get to our people there because we don’t consider this important. We can cut ten percent because it’s not important because it’s not considered public safety, I don’t understand that. And to be able to fund all of these positions and be able to get that much more work done and provide that many more services to the residents that are being asked of us, me personally, through surveys and everything else, when you’re looking at an average of $5 a month, nobody bats an eye if Netflix raises their prices $5 a month or the cable bill or anybody else. But then when it comes to hiring these additional people and having an additional fire station, which needs the trucks, which needs the manpower, which needs the IT support, the Public Works supports, the HR support, I don’t understand why the $5 -- to the family that loses the lives and loses the property that $5 a month would have been worth it to them more so than an extra channel on Netflix.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Just a couple of things to add on. In terms of funding the fire station, I agree with you, Eric. I would have loved to have found it from the original budget. We looked through the budget. It cost $3 million to build a fire station and $1 million every year to staff it. That doesn’t exist in our budget. I’m sorry. I wish it did. I would love to find it. I would love for you to find it. I would love for us all to find it. It doesn’t. So, we’ve reached a point where I think we have been good stewards. We haven’t raised our mill levy in a full decade and I think it’s time to take a look at a critical need. I certainly think 11 minutes to get to west Shawnee is a critical need. And the money just doesn’t exist otherwise, so I absolutely see that. In terms of the street maintenance and the stormwater, my rub with that is not even one year ago we went to the voters of Shawnee and we asked them to approve a sales tax to fund road maintenance and stormwater fees. And now we are coming back to them and saying, just kidding. That money wasn’t enough, we need more. That I think sends a bad message to folks and it certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think it’s disingenuous. I am frustrated that if that amount wasn’t enough to get us through why we didn’t at that time say, here is what it’s actually going to take instead of a piecemeal of that that wasn’t actually a truthful statement. And in terms of the stormwater, lastly I would just say a stormwater technician probably is needed if we increase what we’re doing, but I think that that money to fund that position should come from the stormwater fee increase that we’re proposing or whatever. I think it should be housed within that, not within a mill levy increase.

MAYOR DISTLER: And to clarify, so then to do less work. To use some of the money for the position, but get less of the actual work done. Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, I think the position is a part of the work, so, I think it’s all a cost of doing business.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. I think when we discussed this fire structure over the last seven or eight meetings and in Committee meetings, I expressed, I don’t know if anybody else, but I expressed at least once or twice that that would be a project that I was willing to bond. And everybody says, oh, we can’t do that. Well, we can bond Gleason Road. We can bond the Nieman Road projects. We’re bonding all kinds of stuff, but we can’t bond a fire station? I kind of take umbrage to that frankly. That’s ridiculous actually. It borders on ridiculous. We could bond it. And if it was, you know, I’m happy to see a new subdivision going in in western Shawnee, but we’re helping pay for that subdivision to go in by making improvements out there on a bond. Okay. Now, tell me how all this adds up. It’s okay to bond those things, but it isn’t okay to take care of our people and the safety of those people that live in northwestern Shawnee. I’m having a hard time making that wash, guys. I really am. In fact, I find that almost insulting that it would bring -- be brought out that way.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, we are bonding at the mill levies to pay for that bond. Is there any other discussion from the -- Mr. Vaught.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: You know, I’ve said it many times. Nobody likes to raise taxes. It’s the hardest job we have because you have a whole lot of people looking at you saying don’t raise my taxes. But I pay them, too. I have an expensive house. I have a commercial building, so it’s a double hit for me. A couple other on this Council that are in the same position, so we understand what it’s like. But, you know, it affects everybody. You know, one of the things about getting these that I think it’s important to understand is compromise. And so for anybody that just showed up or anybody that jumped in the game late, there’s an assumption that the City came to us and said we need 2.44 mills and the Council said, okay, we’re just going to give it to you, let’s vote for this.

Actually the City came to us and said we need six mills. We have six mills of unmet needs. Six mills of unmet needs. And so we as a Council took it upon ourselves to negotiate and look at it all and we decided, based on our job as representing the public and say what to us is the most important based on priority-based budgeting, which instead of looking at a department we look at a program. Because sometimes a program transcends two or three different departments. So, it’s hard just to say, well, cut that department. Because if we cut money in that department, that might affect our top priority.

I mean, when we talk about public safety, street lights are a public safety, but they’re not part of the Public Safety Department or Police Department or Fire, they’re part of Public Works. Lights in a park, you know, that’s public safety. I mean, you’re not going to feel safe at night in a park without lights, but it’s not part of public safety per se. So, it’s a tough one when get in this, well, we need to cut this department and this department.

Our priority-based budgeting pinpointed areas that the public said was important. But I’m going to go back to what I said. We started at six. And the City said we have six mills of unmet needs. We have gotten it to 2.44 saying this is what we feel that we can do. This is what we feel is fair and equitable. There is positions in there that we’re not filling. There’s needs that we’re not meeting, but here we are.

I will say, and this is where I disagree with Ms. Meyer, when we hire employees I don’t believe employees should be hired on a sales tax that could sunset. Because now you have a staff position that’s on a time clock. What happens if that sales tax sunsets and you have that position or positions and it doesn’t get renewed? Now, you’re in kind of a position where you have no choice but to either -- you eliminate that position or you go back to the General Fund and you raise taxes there. Specials. You know, and that’s on the specials. So, when we talk about Parks, Pipes and Pavement, you know, should we hire that position, that tech position out of that and then in ten years does it go away? I don’t think it’s a good idea because we’re going to continue to grow, we’re going to continue to have these needs. And I said hiring someone on a sales tax that could disappear, I’m not a real big fan of it. I think when people pay those sales taxes their expectation is the maximum amount of results that they can get on product and what we accomplish with it.

Development. And Stephanie knows this. She works for a company that -- her job now is kind of sheds light onto this subject that all the communities around us, there’s vastly more development happening all over Johnson County than what’s happening in the major cities, than what’s happening in Shawnee? Why is that? I mean, it doesn’t make sense. We have a lot of vacant ground. I mean, we’re between two -- or we have a big interstate that goes through the middle of us. We have K-7 and, you know, we’re just this side of I-35. We’re well accessible. We’re closer to downtown. But, you know, we get a big project and, man, look at this big project we have and, you know, shoot, Olathe could have seven, eight or nine of them in the pipeline. I mean, KCK has just announced, you know, I don’t know, a few -- couple million square -- there’s another announcement today, another 800,000-900,000 square foot industrial. It’s happening all around us. And so you’ve got to ask yourself, I don’t want to use KCK as an example because I don’t think they invest themselves as well as they should.

But of the Johnson County cities, I mean, look at Lenexa. Development in Lenexa is off the charts. Their mill levy is 31. And they passed a mill levy increase from 24 to 31 I think it was, or 27, or whatever, a four or five mill increase, with no opposition, unanimous vote. I don’t think anybody was even at the meeting. It probably went through on the consent agenda. I mean, it’s just -- is that right? I don’t know. Is that -- but the reality is they have phenomenal growth. They are a fast growing city. Not that we need to, you know, I don’t disagree. I don’t think fast-growing is the key, I think quality growth is the key. But people can’t -- developers are clamoring to get in the door in Lenexa and figuring out where they can plant their flag and make something happen. And so we look at ourselves and say, why is that.

Well, are we properly investing in ourselves? If you’re a developer and you’re going to spend, 40,50, $60 million in a city, do you not look at that city and go am I comfortable that this city is willing to step up to the plate and invest in themselves the way they need to? I mean, I know that’s a question they ask because I’ve talked to them. They’ve got to have a comfort level with us that we’re going to do what we need to do to maintain our city or they’re not going to invest their money here. And that’s no different than if you’re going to go buy a house in a, you know, a subdivision, you want to have some confidence with if you’re the first one in there you want to have some confidence from the developer that he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do and he’s going to follow through. That’s just kind of normal.

And then some of the things I’ve heard, too, when we talk about hiring. I’ve heard comments about wages and, you know, we should cut or those wages, we shouldn’t pay this much in wages. I’m just going to throw this out there. I thought this was really interesting. So, I was talking with somebody the other day about hiring. And I said, you know, McClain Foods is always hiring. And I jump on their website and I look at it and I was really kind of blown away that we look at positions here that some people think, you know, god, I can’t believe we pay that much or we look at starting salaries. You can go to work at McLane Foods right now, if you have a CDL license, which is not real difficult to get. Working -- you’ve got to commit from two o’clock to midnight hauling trailers from here to somewhere to Missouri back and forth, over a thousand dollars a week starting salary plus benefits. The requirements are a CDL, 21 years old, high school diploma or equivalent. And so when we talk about the trouble we have hiring people, if I’m 21 years old and I go do I want to go work for 40 doing this, go sit in a truck for 50-some thousand dollars a year, be home by midnight, bars don’t close till two, I’m good. Man, you know, I’d have been all over it. And so I thought when I was 21.

So, you know, we need to maintain this community. I totally support the fire station. Other things in this budget are codes enforcement, which that rated really high with our residents. We have a codes enforcement issue. We’re trying to shift from being reactive to proactive instead of waiting for someone to complain on their neighbors, which becomes very uncomfortable to people, we proactively drive around and we look for codes violations. That’s how you increase value in your community. That’s how you increase value in neighborhoods. When neighborhoods clean up, when you start imposing -- when you start enforcing codes on people who leave things in their front yard that aren’t supposed to be parked on their lawn, whatever it is, that detracts from their neighborhood, that brings down their overall property values of that neighborhood. If we want to grow our tax base, these are the things we invest in. Fire stations, public safety, codes enforcement. Those are the things that raise the value, the tax values across the city and increase our revenue, so then maybe in a few years, five, six, seven, ten years we can go, you know, we can reduce this. Our revenue has increase enough that we can reduce this mill levy because we have more coming in. So, to me that’s what makes it. But I think that I think that is key though is we started six. We have six mills of unmet needs. We’re at 2.44. That means we have 3.6 mills still of unmet needs that we’re not addressing.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. Just to respond to some of the comments of my ward mate Councilmember Meyer, or Vaught. That’s me. Sorry. I’m talking too much. So, stormwater. I will say I should have been more clear. I don’t -- I agree with you, I don’t think it should come from a sales tax. I think it should come from the conversation we’re going to have later in the agenda regarding the stormwater fee. So, if we’re increasing the stormwater fee to fund more projects, I think that that would not be an increased fee or whatever we want to call it that would sunset. And I think that it’s most appropriate to pull additional staff from that fund, which we’ll have later.
Codes enforcement. Yeah. So, right now it takes two business days approximately for our staff to respond to a code complaint. To me that’s pretty good. Is it worth raising someone’s property taxes to have five officers instead of four to increase it from two business days? I don’t think so.

In terms of development, yeah, I do see it. Yeah. I think you can make the argument that other cities in our metro are having more rapid development. I think there are a couple of other outlying factors for that. One, a lot of the developable land that we have left in Shawnee is effectively like building on the side of Mt. Everest. So, I think that the cost of building when the incline is like that is going to be a lot more than it is building in Olathe where it’s like flat prairie. So, I think we have to consider that. And secondly, Lenexa basically gives away the farm to anyone who gives them a second look. I don’t think that’s what we want to be. They are -- they throw incentives at people like a crazy person frankly, and I don’t think that that’s the standard we want to set. So, I think there are a lot of other un-related reasons why maybe development hasn’t happened as quickly that don’t have anything to do with these issues.

And lastly, I would just say one of the things that I think that concerns me the most about us talking about 2.44 is we’ve had probably six to eight meetings about this. We started talking about it in April. The Mayor did a great job I think of having all of the departments come forth with their unmet needs so we could have a full and frank conversation about it. Over the course of all that, you’re right, we did start with a six mill ask. And we had meeting after meeting after meeting and we had a final Council Committee meeting where we went through literally every single unmet need and none of this came forward. Everyone was silent. And then we get to the very last Council meeting, not even a Committee meeting, and it is just a motion to approve a hearing. And then out of nowhere we have a conversation about an additional, you know, a nearly one mill increase. I don’t think that that’s appropriate. I don’t -- I respect wanting to do more. But I think allowing people two weeks to digest a complete change in the proposal that the Council Committee took three months to vet is not appropriate and not reasonable. So, I guess that’s where I stand.



COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah. You know, when I look at the couple items on here, I mean, everybody wants a new fire station. And I just don’t think we need one every, you know, seven or eight months. And if you look at a couple items on here, that’s what we’re paying for it. Every seven or eight months we could build a brand new one with the two increases we’ve got proposed for tonight. So, I was going to ask Stephanie if you could reiterate what the original 1.7 included. And I wasn’t there at the final meeting and I listened to a lot of it. But you know what I mean, I was under the impression that we’re asking for the moon because this is the last year you can raise taxes without going to the people, which in my opinion normally is to have the people of Shawnee decide whether they want a property tax or a sales tax increase. So, could you reiterate what was in that original 1.7?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. Sure. I would be happy to. So, the 1.77 accounted only for the $3 million construction of the new fire station as well as the yearly ongoing $1 million cost to staff 12 fire officers at that location. That’s it.



COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: -- mills equates out to --

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: It’s approximately $4.05 a month for a household of $250,000.

MAYOR DISTLER: And then can you also --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That number is not right, but it’s not a big number. It’s lower than what it is. [Inaudible; talking off mic.]


MAYOR DISTLER: And would you also clarify for Mr. Pflumm since he wasn’t there? Because you were supportive of the moving forward with the stormwater project on Nieman, right? Doing that all at once now. You had said that about the mill increase.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. Yeah. And that was one that I was not necessarily supportive of or clear on as well. So, a part of the Nieman Corridor conversation of fast-forwarding all of those projects into one included a slight mill levy increase for a technician that would be associated with that position as well, which is I believe included in the revised proposal, I guess we’ll call it, that increased position. But the initial, as my understanding, was 41.77 exclusively for fire services.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Okay. And you and I did talk about that because I got your e-mail about that.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And so definitely --

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: It went to everyone on the Council and no one responded to it, just to clarify.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, you’re not supposed to respond a lot of times in a public meeting.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right. No. I’m just being clear.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: No, I did not want you to.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, I was not in favor of that. And I brought up that we, you know, if we’re going to do a project, there’s no reason that one project should force us to hire an individual, we should subcontract out the inspection services and project management services, whatever that one individual was going to do.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Relating to Nieman Road. Yeah. Yeah.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, I’m definitely not in favor of that.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: And that’s a part of the revised, not the initial 1.77. Is that clear? Yep. Okay.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I have a couple other things, but real quick. Dan just brought this up and he’s brought it up before, so when we talk about contracting out a position like that, that position is estimated, Carol, to cost what?


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: What would it cost us to contract out?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Doug, do you know an hourly rate for inspections that we pay now on a project? I know we approved a contract for $68,000 for the inspection on the Johnson Drive, which was just a small --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But if we did a contractor position, I mean, are we talking twice as much or are we talking -- I mean, I know in other areas, and my wife has worked as a contractor before in healthcare that, I mean, what they billed her out for was twice as much as what she made, so.

MR. WESSELSCHMIDT: I mean, hourly rates for technician inspections from engineering firms are running about $75-85 per hour plus, and then they charge I think about 145 percent for overhead and profit and benefits and all that. So, you’re talking about $200 an hour.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Versus $29 an hour, $30 an hour plus benefits, $40 an hour.

MR. WESSELSCHMIDT: Well, and plus benefits on that, yes.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. So, I mean, that’s kind of what I’ve heard before is while I make -- sometimes you think, well, that would make more sense, it seems to me like we’re going to get much more bang for our buck by hiring someone in-house that is here all the time in our system than spending $200 an hour for contract labor.

I just want to address what Stephanie said about stormwater. Can we just kind of recap the enormity of that issue? So, we have a -- how big of a stormwater deficiency? I mean, a hundred and some, wasn’t it million?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: A hundred and fourteen.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, $114 million. So, what we’re proposing, even on the stormwater fee and this, it still leaves us how far behind?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The increase in the stormwater fee will generate $1.7 million additional a year. And then the 0.11 that’s in the mill now for the stormwater tech is about $90,000 I believe.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, I mean, we’re still so far away from addressing this. And this isn’t something that goes away on its own. That’s a $114 million project -- problem. We also have a $100 million curb and gutter problem. So, when we really look at the big picture of it, this has been debated in this Council for years. Everybody wants to do curbs and gutters. That’s another $100 million problem. Some people, you know, the stormwater one is something you can’t ignore because they’re just going to keep caving in like it just happened again. So, yeah, we could take that position from that and we could pull here. But the reality is when it comes to stormwater, we have no choice. We need to put everything we can into solving this problem. Because when they cave in like the one on Holliday Drive, that was a million dollars. Or the emergency repair we had to do behind Shawnee Mission Ford there was $650,000, something like that. Maybe it should have cost us $400,000. Maybe it cost an extra quarter million because we couldn’t have that street down. It was a safety issue because we have a fire department right that it totally killed the response times going east, so you can’t just leave it. So, you’ve got to do emergency repair on it. And we all know what emergency repair costs even on our air conditioning system at our house. It’s, okay, we’re going to double it. So, these are the things we’re dealing with. And so the money it’s not addressing that. So, yeah, we could take that. [Inaudible] We could pay for it out of that fee. I just think that every dollar we can put into stormwater to get ahead of this we need to do it. It’s no choice.

I’m going to go back and disagree with you again on codes enforcement. I understand the two days. It’s not about response time. It’s not about -- it’s about proactive versus reactive. Our residents have said we want proactive codes enforcement. We don’t want to have the burden of codes enforcement placed on us calling and complaining on our neighbor. They expect a city to go out and actively go look for codes violations and take care of it. That’s a difference in philosophy and in a program. It’s changing how we do it. And other cities do it that way, other cities that start moving forward and clearing up their neighborhoods, they do it by proactive codes enforcement because I know walking around neighborhoods and all different areas of the City, I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff that you just shake your head. I mean, I literally saw a deck completely falling off the side of a house and it looked like it had been that way for years. And I’m going how does this happen? How did we, you know, a neighbor has got a look at that. And if their neighbor doesn’t want to complain because he feels bad or whatever, then that’s it. And that neighbor has to suffer when we decrease property value. That’s not fair.

I’m going to say something else, Stephanie. I know you’re not going to like this. But there was confusion on that meeting. When we went through line item, line item, I know after the meeting, the days after the meeting talking with my fellow, a couple co-Councilmembers, there was some confusion on how that meeting was handled. Most -- my understanding, and I was confused on it because it wasn’t an understanding it was going to be piecemealed. I think what the expectation was we were looking at more of a threshold of mills and looking at the City saying what are those priorities instead of us coming and saying because we had six mills and we weren’t going to get there. So, did we want to sit here and pick and choose and say, well, you win, you lose, you win? Or, okay, this and this are our top priorities. If we get to here, staff, what can you do with this, how can you make that work. And I think that was the expectation of some of the Councilmembers that we were going to approach it that way. So, I think when everybody sat silent in that meeting, I know afterwards and the days after talking to people there were, you know, I want more than that. And honestly the problem was you had a whole other -- you had other Councilmembers here that were in a position of voting for a fire station in Ward III, and I think they were troubled with, which that’s in my ward, I think it’s great. But I think some of them were troubled with, so I’m voting for a tax increase for Fire Station 3, but there’s nothing else in there that gets anything else city-wide. It was just the Fire Station 3 and how do they stomach that. Because I think in any of these negotiations that’s what politics are is if you’re going to vote for an increase, you’ve got benefit the people that you represent. And so I think there were some that, well, okay, you get a fire station, but what’s happening city-wide, what else are we doing. So, that was the feedback I got. I don’t know if anybody else wanted to chime in on that, but I know I was confused on it as well. I didn’t expect the meeting to be handled that way, so I think that’s why we ended where did. And then going forward people were like, well, and I think when we look at that vote that night there was some confusion on voting, who voted for what. It was kind of an interesting process.

MAYOR DISTLER: Ms. Meyer, then Mr. Sandifer, then Mr. Kenig, then Mr. Pflumm.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. Well, I have a lot to say about that. Regarding the stormwater and pavement. Again, I am so frustrated that we are now saying we need more for stormwater, we need more money for roads, this isn’t enough. We have this huge backlog. We have all this. When not a year ago we went to the taxpayers of this city and we said we have a problem. It has become serious enough that we need to take it to you for a sales tax increase. And I guess we were maybe too cowardly to give them a real number, so we shot for a number that maybe that would pass at this point. I’m just very confused by that, that if we knew the number was larger than what we were asking for, why the heck we didn’t ask for more appropriate numbers so we weren’t coming back 12 months later and saying we have all of this backlog, sorry, just kidding. So, that frustrates me I will say. As far as the meeting, I’m sorry that you were confused and if others were confused. I think we had months that we were talking about it. I know Carol did a good job of sending out an Excel spreadsheet that listed all of these unmet needs. You had the opportunity to, you know, contribute what you wanted. I start the Council Committee meeting as every meeting asking if anyone had any wider proposals. I heard nothing. I think at that point you could have come forward with any of these. You could have come forward with anything, frankly. When the chair of a meeting doesn’t hear anything in response, you kind of have to pick the direction you’re going in. I think that everyone on this Council, none of us are shy. Everyone has every bit of opportunity to speak up if they want to raise the frigging mill levy in some way. And I think that it is beyond a disservice to the citizens of Shawnee to say, well, we’re going to start at six mills and we’re going to see if that goes and we’re going to work our way backwards from there. We should absolutely not start at the highest possible tax increase and work backwards. That to me is completely irresponsible. So, I approached it in the same way I think that the Mayor did with asking for unmet needs and saying here are a list of things that the departments are telling us that they need that have priority, how many can we get consensus on. I think that that’s a more responsible way of going about it.

And I’m sorry that apparently people did not feel like they need join in. But I feel like it’s, frankly, a little bit of a copout to being saying now here at the end two weeks before we’re going to vote on this final budget, here is this proposal I wanted to present, but I was confused or didn’t want to present it at the appropriate time.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I think the state of Kansas put us in a situation that we had to make a decision on what we were going to do at this period of time. I don’t believe the mill levy had been an issue if the state of Kansas didn’t come in and vote to take the ability away from the cities of the state of Kansas. As of asking for a 3/8th sales tax, and we sent that out to the people to vote on, at that period of time we were still sending, I believe cameras through all the pipelines in our city and we did not have an accurate number of what the damage was and what we had that we were going to have to repair at that period of time, did we?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I might respond a little bit to that. We had been given a stormwater presentation for several years.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And then three to five years of the needs and the increasing needs and the costs that were coming down the pike. When we talked about the pipe sales tax we talked about it addresses flooding.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The utility addresses maintenance. And in the 30-some presentations I did on that sales tax to various groups throughout the city, I was very clear that that was a tax that was going to address flooding and it didn’t come anywhere near meeting the maintenance needs and that was going to be something that would come soon --


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: -- because the Council was going to have address that. So, I felt the need to be very direct and honest with the people and I was during those presentations.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And as of the maintenance needs, we didn’t have all the camera views at that period of time, did we?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We are still videoing.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We have enough information now to have a better number than we did at that time.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. So, you know, as of possibly giving the citizens of the city the wrong information to vote on, I believe is not a correct statement. I believe that we are constantly getting more information on what the damages are. At that period of time we probably wouldn’t have been able to get what we needed anyway because 3/8th of a cent sales tax was not enough to do the repair and a lot of us knew that. But it was the best that we could go after at that period of time. And after January 1, it all has to go to a vote of the people. And I don’t want to start anything, but Mr. Pflumm was one that voted against the 3/8th sales tax of putting it out to the people to vote on. So, that’s what we have to go after if we have to do anything past January 1. We have to have our discrepancies in the Council of who would allow the people to even vote on a tax because we have to make that decision whether we can send it out there and let you vote for it. You know, so, I think right now we’re doing the very best with what we have and I think we have an extremely good staff. They’re not out to get you people. They are giving us information that we actually need. Because when we’re elected, we don’t automatically know all of this. They bring it to us with their recommendations and we’re supposed to work with it. You know, we have a City Manager that gives us the advice. You know, if we really don’t need something, she’s very conservative and she would tell us that we could get by with holding off or we need to do it now. In this particular situation, I think we did put our numbers together. And the 2.44 in my opinion is probably a little low of what we actually need. But I’m okay with going along with it because of the needs of the City of what we need at this time. You know, so I believe that we did represent the people the best we could. I made statements in my campaign that I wouldn’t raise taxes again for ten years and I voted for a mill levy increase ten years ago. I have not voted for a mill levy increase since then. So, I’m keeping my word to the people. And that’s where I stand on it right now.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, I have a couple comments and questions related to what Councilmember Meyer said. I would be okay with looking at adding that funding for the stormwater position and looking at the stormwater fee and adjusting that higher as necessary to accommodate that. I think there is value to assessing that and having that all in one fee. I think I was under the assumption that we were going to do that from the beginning and we didn’t. And so I don’t know, in terms of the percentage, what that would work out to. I think it would probably be marginally higher. But we had not increased the stormwater fee since we implemented it and had one of the lowest in the county. And I think that that is directly related to what it funds and I think it’s very easy to understand number one. So, I am open to that if we want to discuss that, when we proceed to that. I will say as far as we’ve I think poured over this for several months now, staggered over several months program by program, department by department. And I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know for me that by the time we get to the end of this and we’re trying to summarize and wrap all this up it’s a lot of information, it’s a lot to try to pour over. Okay. You know, let’s go back to, you know, two months ago and to this meeting and to that meeting. You know, so being able to consolidate that all into, you know, an hour, hour and a half discussion at the end, I do think there is value to extending that discussion.

And also I had not heard from a single resident as to their opinion prior to that Council Committee meeting. And so I really wanted to get feedback because it’s hard to operate when you’re operating in a vacuum of no feedback. So, that was something I considered as well. I wanted to thank Mr. Vogt for referencing my newsletter. I don’t know if he’s still here. I did send out a newsletter and I poured over the numbers and I did research into how we compare as far as public safety, as far as fire, and number one, that helped me just being able to come and just understanding kind of everything we’re looking at and really what is a critical need and what isn’t. But I also wanted all of the people who live in my ward to have that information. And so I sent that out to a mailing list of about 225 people, about 205 which reside directly in my ward. I heard from three people on that, too, who were for the necessary increases in the mill and one who was opposed. But my goal with that was to ensure that all of that information was out there to be able to provide residents with the opportunity to provide feedback. And so if they were so encouraged they could come to the meeting tonight and be able to let us know what they think on that, number two.
And then number three, particularly with public safety, I will say that my opinion has changed as far as the need for the extra police officer just based on the national events of the last six to eight weeks. There has been a lot of turmoil in this country. And along with that I’ve received some e-mails from residents asking specifically about the number of police officers we have, define the duties, community policing and what that looks like. And so that’s at the forefront of people’s minds now. And along with that we have to recognize that not only do we have a police department that needs to be staffed up, we also lose officers on a somewhat regular basis due to attrition, due to moving to other departments, agency within the county.

We operate in a very competitive environment here in Johnson County in terms of police departments. I have a cousin who is looking for a job in law enforcement right now is really going from agency to agency and attempting to decide where he wants to go and very competitive and getting some, you know, and really kind of being enticed by a few of the agencies. So, I think we need to acknowledge that as well. And I think we’ve all seen the numbers in past meetings in terms of what that attrition rate has looked like through the last couple years as well.

So, you know, in closing, and I think Mr. Martin who was up here speaking before, a citizen, asked if we were going to come back in a couple years time and ask for another increase. And I can’t speak for the rest of us on this body, but there is no way that if I vote tonight that I can come in good faith and ask for another increase. So, we have to get it right tonight. And I think that’s part of the reason too why, you know, the additional time pouring over this is so key. Because I see this as a once in a decade, maybe once in 15-year vote. I know that I could not in good conscience come back and ever vote again for another increase in a couple years after the vote tonight just based on, you know, knowing sensitivity to seniors on fixed incomes as well as some other issues. So, part of it is being able to forecast what needs we have and vote appropriately. I still say, and I’ll repeat this, for me, two biggest concerns are the fire station, public safety and the stormwater tech position. I think those top three are critical in whatever package we have going forward.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Pflumm and then Mr. Vaught.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah. Mr. Vaught, you brought up codes enforcement and all that. We haven’t really set a policy to change that yet, so I don’t necessarily believe that we should hire an individual to -- because the policy we have now is not based on proactive. And I’m definitely not in favor of, you know, of changing the policy the way it is right now. So, that’s just one thing that you mentioned.

And then, Mr. Sandifer, you kind of alluded early on that the state of Kansas is really the reason why we have to raise taxes. And I kind of disagree because I think that what the state of Kansas is proposing is that, you know, you can raise taxes as long as you send it before the people, you know.

And I did vote against the 3/8th because I felt that that was too high because we went through several discussions. And, you know, hey, my points didn’t win out and you guys went for a much higher tax. And mine were based on the surveys that our City staff did and the responses back from the people, so that’s the reason why I did not vote for the higher tax because in the survey, you know, I had indicated I could vote for sending it to the people for what they had agreed to in the survey.
But I just -- I don’t know how I could support, you know, all these other positions and really any of that stuff, Brandon, because we get an increase, not every year, I think one in the last ten we didn’t get an increase, maybe two at the most. But in this past year I think we got a considerable amount of increase. I know that my building across the street and the assessed valuation went up like $92,000. Okay. So, there is huge amount of increases that are happening out there. I don’t know if everybody else is getting that big of a one, but that is over 20, close to 25 percent in one year. So, to say that we’re not, you know, getting these increases, you know, I think, and I have brought this up in the past, we need to do better with what we get. So, as far as -- I don’t know. Anyway, that’s all I got to say right now.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, just real quick, Dan. So, you’re saying that you’re not in favor of proactive code enforcement?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’m in favor of the last time we have it right now. And that’s the last time it got brought up and that’s the exact same thing I mentioned back then.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, you’re not in favor of proactive code enforcement?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: That’s exactly the same thing I said back then.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I just want to make sure I heard that. You know, something else we all need to consider. So, you know, we’re all kind of stuck on this 2.44, but everybody has indicated that but, yeah, we need a fire station, like they would vote for 1.7. So, wasn’t it two years ago, Carol, that -- so, remember -- wasn’t it two years ago budgets we were at 2.9 and we came into our budget right then -- when we set the -- when we went to set the mill levy, we actually reduced the mill levy by about 0.4-0.5 mills. And I remember that was the year Eric Jenkins, Mr. Jenkins got elected and his position was why did we reduce that, we should have used that additional -- I think it was several hundred thousands of funds. And I remember you saying we should have left it there and we should have used that roads because at that time we were struggling for dollars for road improvement.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I didn’t say that. I did say we should take more money out of the General Fund.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No. At that time you said we use that instead of reducing it.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: You inferred it, but I didn’t say it.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, it’s on record. We’ll go back and look. I’m sure somebody will.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, make sure. Good luck.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But anyway, the reality is though we were at 2.9. We were in the 2.9's. And we reduced it. I mean, so we did our budget and when we looked at it, it’s like we could have kept it and we could have added programs. Instead, we chose to reduce the mill levy. So, the reality is if we compare it to a couple years ago we’re at about a two mill increase because we reduced it two years ago, half a mill, close to half a mill. And those are the things that just kind of get washed over.

The other thing we all need to think about is we’ve seen a lot of rhetoric from state legislatures on social media today about, oh, this is, you know, this huge increase and we’ve been increasing taxes every year, well, we haven’t. Well, there’s a good example. Two years ago we actually reduced the mill levy. But one of the legislatures who’s banging the gong really loud, the reality is she’s paying $60 less I think or, you know, on property taxes than she did ten years ago. $60 more or less. But basically when we look at what the recession did that’s what everybody forgets. Yeah. I mean, Dan said, oh, yeah, this is up 25 percent, 20 percent. The problem is we’re just now getting to where we were when the recession happened. So, when the recession hit and I mean it started tanking hard in, what ‘07, ‘08. Let’s see. ‘07, ‘08, I think properties values, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10. I got elected in ‘10 and I remember, oh, my god, I mean, you look at the graph and it just -- it nosedived. So, it’s taken this long to get us back to basically where we were. I’m going to go back to what I’ve said time and time again. Through that whole recession we had one year, 2009, of retraction, of negative inflation. One year. Every other year we had inflation. So, during what people call the doom and gloom and the worst recession since the Great Depression, we still had inflation every year but one, yet our property taxes, our sales taxes went to nothing. Our property values tanked and they’re just now getting back in some cases to where they were. Some have exceeded it. I’m up in my neighborhood. I’m up over where it was. But some of the neighbors down here they’re paying the same in property tax and actual dollars that they did ten years ago. Well, you’re telling me your cost of living is the same as it was ten years ago. I know mine is high, higher than it was ten years ago.

So, let’s put this into perspective. We’re not being unreasonable. I mean, we’re trying to run a big city that’s seen phenomenal growth, 45 square miles, 750-some lane miles of road. I mean, you know, when we take a comparison on dollars, when we look at our total revenue in his budget, I think I saw Lenexa’s budget posted in the Dispatch or in the Star. Now, remember Lenexa is smaller. It’s got 15,000 or so less people. They’ve got twice as many employees and I think their total revenue is 160 million or something, I mean, what’s ours with all funds. I mean, it’s nowhere near that. And so people go, well, and you hear that. Well, how come Lenexa has all this cool stuff or how come -- we’re tight, guys. We’re tight. We’re not asking for the world here and I think everybody knows that. This has become a political issue of, oh, I can’t raise taxes or I can’t -- it’s not a political issue. Our job is to make sure that this city is run properly.

You know, I’m going to argue real quick with Stephanie again. We didn’t start at six. Staff came to us and said we have six mills of needs. And so I’m going to refer back to a member of the public that said these are professionals, they know what they’re doing. If a staff member says, because we expect them to do their job. We have an expectation of the employees in this city that we want that department to be run properly and to do the job. When it doesn’t, then we’re the ones asking questions how come this isn’t done, how come that isn’t getting done. So, when that guy comes to us and says, or girl, when that person comes to us and says I need this additional employee to efficiently run my department to do what I need to do, well, then do we believe them or not? Do we just say, well, I don’t think you do. I don’t know if they do. It’s not, I mean, it’s IT. I couldn’t tell Mel whether he needs people or not. I know how to a run a computer, but I don’t know how to run an IT department. I mean, or Public Works, that’s a huge department. You know, if they say we need staff, I’m going to assume that they need staff. So, you know, does that mean we given them a blank check, no. We started at six and we said, okay, we can do this, we can handle this, 2.4. But to do just the fire station, what we’re saying is we don’t believe any department needs any other employees, period. Or if you do, find it somewhere else, reduce the service that you’re providing to pay that employee, but we don’t think that any of these staff positions that have been asked for are valid. We’re just going to deny them and we’re only going to vote for the fire station because that’s ultimately what we’re saying. And I don’t get that. They’re professionals. And they’re saying this is what we need to do our job. And it’s our job to say, okay, here is the funding you need. And I think we have residents that have an expectation that we want these things done in our city. We want these things maintained and they’re willing to pay for it.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I would just clarify I guess that in terms of the unmet needs that came to us, Mayor Distler asked every department to come up with their entirety of unmet needs, not a list of things that have to happen, critical needs I would say, in the next year. So, I think I would not categorize that conversation as them coming and saying it is an absolute must have necessity this year that we get these things that equal out to six mills. I think Mayor Distler asked for the gamut so that the Council could have, you know, complete control over what all of the needs were, to take a thoughtful and balanced look at what the budget would look like. And with that I would just say again, stormwater, we have an opportunity to address that in a couple of, you know, agenda items here tonight. And in terms of the police department, again, there is the federal grant we’ve talked about. Something else we’ve not mentioned tonight is there is a chance at least, a 50-50 I would say, that we’re going to be seeing a new courthouse in Johnson County. And with that will be approximately $1.6 million in annual funding to the City, which I would love to take $500,000 of that or whatever the need is to fund all five of the police officers that Chief Moser needs. That seems like a perfectly germane and appropriate thing to do to me. So, I think we have other outlets for that. And with that, I would make a motion that we approve the 2017 Budget as passed out of Council Committee with 1.77 mills directed towards the fire station.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: [Inaudible; talking off mic] I guess I should turn on my microphone. Okay. There we go. Council President, I thought your -- I thought the budget meeting that you held was fine. I thought it was very simplistic. We went through item by item. If you didn’t understand, wow, I’m kind of worried about that if you don’t -- if you didn’t understand that. That was pretty basic. We ranted on and on and you gave me all kinds of quotations about how much it cost to hire contractors. Well, you know, that’s really not thinking outside the box very well. Anybody ever heard of temps? I mean, I worked for years with the federal government and we temp hires for three to five-year appointment times, so we were able to address surge jobs where we need, hey, boy, for a while here we’re going to need two or three extra guys in here, let’s hire some temps. And they were hired at the prevailing wage. They weren’t hired at contractor rates or anything like that. They came in and they had a big advantage to us, too because we got some good ones in there. And as we had turnover within our agency we were able to pick up some of those guys. They found permanent full-time employment with us, so it was kind of a nice way to really check some people out and put them through their paces for a few years and to determine if maybe that’s somebody you might to like have full-time on your staff. And we found some very good people that way.

The last thing I wanted to comment on, and, you know, I think right now passing new taxes is really kind of premature. I feel like we should be a little more patient. Everybody keeps telling me the economy is rebounding. In fact, a lot of people are trying to tell me the economy has already rebounded and that’s ridiculous when you have 19 million people that have dropped out of the labor pool. And so they calculate the new employment -- unemployment figures on that, which is ridiculous. So, obviously the economy hasn’t completely turned around. And I think the economy is turning around. City Manager Carol Gonzales gave us all our very own copy of what happened to our property taxes in the last several years. If you looked at mine, it looked like it was a titan missile taking off from the launching platform because it looked like this going up. And as a matter of fact, if it continues to do that we’re going to be in really good shape because the Johnson County assessor is doing a great job out there making sure they’re getting every nickle from us. And I believe that if that rebounds, I think, yes, we did have a flat period, so let’s all go jump off the bridge and raise a bunch of taxes and stuff instead of saying, hey, time out, we can make this. I think this is a situation which is going to improve dramatically over the next two or three years. And, you know, in most cases taxes don’t go down, most of the time they just go up.

Now, Mr. Vaught likes to say how we went down 4/10th of a mill or whatever, and I’m not saying that’s impossible. But generally speaking, taxes go up, they don’t go down. So, I.m hesitant to put new taxes in place when I’m seeing that just right around the corner here we’re turning the corner economically as a nation and as a city. And by the way, if somebody says we haven’t been in -- if we haven’t got a larger tax base than we used to have, they’re nuts. Because I was on the Planning Commission for 20 years in this city and I’d like to have you take some pictures, some old aerials from 20 years ago and compare them against those aerials right now. It’s been an explosion in retail and other businesses with this community. Give me a break. It really has. Drive up and down Shawnee Mission Parkway for a while. Go out and look out west. I mean, come on. Let’s don’t get ridiculous here. We’ve got an awful lot of development and we’ve had an awful lot of growth. So, the point being is I think a lot of these issues are kind of like the sky is falling argument. I don’t think the sky is falling and I think we’re going to be able to meet our obligations pretty well. So, that’s all I have to say on that. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: And I would agree. We have had a lot of commercial growth over the past 20 years, but it has not kept up with the residential growth where we stay behind when it costs us $1.15 in services for every tax dollar brought in. And that does not come from the City of Shawnee, that comes from, like I said, 50 governmental studies. It’s been in the minutes several times as I’ve brought it up over the years beginning way back when I got on the Council. Is there any further discussion from the Council? Mr. Kenig?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I had a question I think for the City Manager. But if you could clarify any potential cost savings that would -- that might come about from mainly, I mean, these are mostly staff positions, but also the program and project costs, maybe the fire station, codes enforcement. Since these are projected costs right now, any potential cost savings that might incur, would those go back into the specific budgets by department for these or would those be applied elsewhere in the General Fund?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I’m not sure when you’re taking about cost savings what you’re --

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Well, if there were any potential cost savings, I guess, for example, the construction of the fire station. If that cost were to change at all.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Oh. If the cost came in higher or lower?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Correct. How would those be applied?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: All the items that were in the budget and discussed are in the General Fund except for the Fire Station 74, which as the Mayor mentioned, there’s a $450,000 debt payment budgeted in that mill as in the Debt Service Fund. That would be in the Debt Service Fund. So, if that came in less, then there would be a little bit of play with the Debt Service Fund. If it came in more, we’d be a little squeezed. The remaining would be in the General Fund.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: You know, we wouldn’t hire all these people January 1. There is obviously going to be some cost savings initially and then moving forward just varies on what level of employee you hire and how much they are paid.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: In the past, has the Governing Body ever considered applying any of those potential cost savings back to the mill levy like on a per year basis to account for that project coming in under budget?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: With all these positions I would say we really haven’t, in terms of staff costs, haven’t talked about those. There is just a lot of play in those as you have vacancies just through normal vacancies. We save some. We have payouts for people when they do leave, so then you lose some. So, there’s a lot of play in those numbers anyway. So, it would be very difficult to track any specific cost savings related to these specific positions.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Right. And I know the positions is more difficult, so I was thinking particularly the fire station. Then when we get to the stormwater fee discussion, you know, based on the ability to address those projects on, you know, per annum, that any potential cost savings that might be incurred would result in some kind of trigger and we could apply those back somehow. So, just a thought, but I didn’t know how complicated that would be.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And I might just clarify if I could on the stormwater also. The Stormwater Utility Fund is funded by the fee, which right now the $3 per year usually generates about $1.7 million a year. It’s also funded by a $750,000 transfer from the General Fund. And so the way that we had structured this was to increase that $750,000 transfer, if this position would get approved, to $840,000. The $90,000 for that stormwater tech position. So, while it wouldn’t be funded from the ERUs directly, that funding gets all put together in the utility fund. And that was how it was established initially that some of the General Fund also would be contributed towards stormwater maintenance. So, I just wanted to be clear you all were talking about the $3 and using some of that $3 to fund the position. It really will be funded out of that fund, but just the -- if it’s passed as part of the mill levy increase, it would just increase the transfer from the General Fund.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: [Inaudible; talking off mic] if it wasn’t based on, you know, needs and to be able to apply that position.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. And Councilmember Meyer mentioned the courthouse and the associated tax with that. And I know we briefly discussed that in the past. Can you reiterate as well, assuming that that does pass, how those funds may be applied?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: It would be my intent to come back to this Governing Body to have that discussion.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We haven’t had that discussion because it is unknown at this time. But obviously there’s lots of needs. That would be a discussion you would want to have at that time. I do always advise against funding positions from sales tax for the reasons Councilmember Vaught mentioned because they sunset. But certainly there are other project-based issues that we have on the list that we could discuss.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: And I’m sorry. I have a follow-up question to that since I’m new and still kind of going through this. So, if that -- assuming that is passed and we have that discussion and we decide to apply those somewhere within the budget, will that necessitate a change to the current budget, which would be 2017? So, would we have a revised 2017 budget rather than look at 2018? Is that how that would proceed?



CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The way the county has structured it is it kicks in January 1 of ‘17. So, when we do 2017-Revised, as we always do a revised budget of the current year, then we would at that time accommodate that increased revenue into the budget.


MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there any further discussion from the -- Mr. Kemmling, then Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I’ll start by saying I agree with a lot of what Eric said. I agree with a lot of what Stephanie said earlier. Changing subjects slightly. Over the months that we’ve been discussing this budget, I don’t remember a single Councilmember downplaying the importance of our fire or police. I don’t remember anyone out here saying, no, that’s stupid, we don’t need a fire station. I don’t really think that’s been the argument. So, I think to paint some on the Council as callous or harsh or not caring whether there’s fire response, it’s not very constructive. It’s not very accurate. And insinuating that a Councilmember would rather someone die in a fire over $5 a month is just -- it’s not realistic. It’s not what we’ve been discussing. Our discussion here is not whether we need to improve fire response or police, it was how to do it. So, I feel like we should be a little bit more accurate on how we’re framing that discussion when we’re talking about other people and how they’ve been talking about.

With that being said, Jim started off kind of going on a historical approach of Shawnee and how things have changed over the years. The Mayor brought up her first budget ten years ago. Mickey brought up that where we did the mill levy increase in 2007. And we must all be thinking alike because I went back and I read the last ten budget meetings. And what we did in the 2007 budget, the meeting was in 2006. They proposed to raise the mill levy 3.6 mills.

And I’ve got some comments here. Mickey, you had said that we were are in the crises situation now, indicating that we need to raise taxes and that the City of Shawnee has never been in this bad of a shape before. And then-current Mayor Meyers said that without a mill levy increase street projects will grind to a halt. Stormwater needs will go unmet. Economic development activities will stall. New parks will not open and reinvestment in older neighborhoods could cease. So, for the 2007 budget the sky was falling also. And they voted 5-4 to approve a 3.6 mill levy increase. And the total at that time was about $17.3 million.

In those ten years the population of Shawnee has increased about ten percent. Tonight’s budget that’s in the packet was proposed at $2.2 million. That about a 30 percent increase in the mill levy from a gross dollar standpoint with a ten percent increase in population. So, the City’s revenue has increased since then even though we still seem like we’re battling those same problems that Mayor Meyers said we’d solve with that mill levy increase in 2007. At the same time not only have we increased the amount we take in through our mill levy, we’ve also instituted new revenue through the pavement that was passed, the sales tax for pavement was passed since then. Since then we have also reinstated the franchise fee. And tonight there’s a proposed doubling of the stormwater utility tax.

So, I would make the argument that even Shawnee has grown, that the tax base has grown and so has the revenue with it. I would also think that possibly leads back to Mrs. Meyer’s comments of if we put a new tax are we going to be needing one again soon. And I would say historically that’s been the case. I mean, we’ve had two new taxes come in after that, and that mill levy increase in the last decade. We’re talking about increasing another tax. I’m not so convinced that if we were to raise it tonight that solves all our problems. It seems like historically we tend to come up with more. So, with that being stated, I’m not really in favor of increasing the mill levy tonight or increasing our tax base.

I agree with Eric. It would be nice to have this fire station. It’s too bad that it has to be on the chopping block. We have things that the City has funded that did not go on the chopping block for raising taxes. We didn’t put to lay the fiber in the City. That’s roughly $100,000 to co-locate that. That was not something put up for a mill levy increase because it doesn’t sound as good as fire officers or police officers. We didn’t propose increasing taxes for passing along the health premium insurance increase for our employees. It seems like the things that get put up there for the tax increase and on the chopping blocks are the things that people would want, the things that people would justify raising taxes for, whereas, other things got included in the budget. I mean, we’ve talked about these all over our meetings. Continuing education, travels, dues and subscriptions. There’s a lot of things that were included in this budget that weren’t put on that chopping block for unmet needs. And so ultimately that’s why I won’t be supporting the budget as proposed.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Neighbor, before you speak I want to address a couple of things. First off, never did I insinuate anyone was callous or did not care or did not want that fire station. I believe every single member of this Governing Body wants that fire station and I believe there is not one person sitting here who wants to support a tax increase for that said fire station. The point that I was making is that when generalized statements are made that we can just cut ten percent, rah, rah public safety, cut ten percent, not raise taxes, I specifically said I don’t work well in generalities and I need to know specifics. Because as Councilmembers you look at every single line item of our check register every single month and vote on it and yet you don’t have the money to come forward to put this in place of this. In addition with that as I sat here and added up the $100,000 for the fiber, health premium increase, the continuing education and the travel, you’re still not even at a million dollars. During the Council retreat we discussed many programs. Not one Councilmember stood up and said, I want to cut the 10-10 taxi for seniors or I want to cut this program or I want to cut that program. Not one Councilmember sitting here wanted to cut any of the programs that you had the authority and the ability as a policy statement to come forward and say, we, as a Council don’t find this to be a priority anymore. And the 3.6 in 2006, just to clarify it that the years before it was dropped three mills. And then because it was dropped three mills because the City was sitting okay and we wanted to give that tax money back to the residents, so it was dropped three mills and then we ended up getting behind again. So, then we put the three back and we had to add 0.6 for street maintenance. And when Mr. Meyers made the statement, Mayor Meyers made the statement that he made during that time, it was the year before the recession hit. So, then it was after that. And then so even though we had raised it back to where it was with an additional 0.6, we still ended up getting behind on the street maintenance because that was when the recession hit. But never, ever did I say there is not one person here that does not care about that fire station. And as you said, it’s how we get there. Well, that’s the point I’m making. Tell me how to get there. Be the hero. Come up with the money. You would be the hero to every resident of Shawnee. And that register is available to every resident of Shawnee. Tell us. Because there is not one person sitting here who wants to raise taxes for this fire station. Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I’d just go back to the same thing and point out that historically that everything has gone up and so has the cost of doing business. The consumer price index has gone up three points, two points average for the last ten years. We all know that because, you know, our cost of living has gone up. This budget is all about basic services and it’s about trust. I understand what everyone has said here tonight. But the student, excuse me, the residents expect quality, public services and that’s what we’re in the business to provide. I would ask that since there’s some things that have been -- I know that there is a motion on the floor. I don’t believe it’s been seconded yet.

MAYOR DISTLER: Yeah. It hadn’t been accepted yet because there was still discussion going on.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I’m done for right now. Thank you.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I just want -- a couple things that Mr. Kemmling said. You’re right, 2007, and I wasn’t on the Council. Well, let me ask you a question real quick. What year did Bryan Kidney, former finance director get hired?


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. So, and I’m going by what I’ve been told here because you and I are both in the same boat, we weren’t serving then and not that involved. But I know that we had phenomenal growth from 1990 to, it would have been, no, 2000 to 2010 I guess. Even up to present. So, forecasting wasn’t really done prior to Bryan Kidney. He built that forecasting method. And what the Council, from my understanding, or not the Council, what the City did during that growth phase was bonded a phenomenal amount of roads. And if you look at our -- if you look -- I know when I got elected and which we talk about, you know, bonds and where we’re at and redoing, but the bond payments were huge. And it just kind of became this, unt-oh, look at where we’re at moment because it just built and built and built. And then so in 2007, yeah, you reduced the mill before that. Then kind of -- the reality goes, well, we can’t afford these bond payments, so you raise the mill. It was kind of all over the board. And so when we look at what we’re doing now, and that’s one of the things I appreciate when Mr. Kidney was here was he kind of built this forecasting. So, even when we look at all this stuff, what we’re not even thinking about is, and we all sat in this budget presentation and watched it, I mean, we’re slipping further behind every year anyway. I mean, we forecasted out 10-15 years. And if we look at growth based on what we think it’s going to be, we’re going to be faced with some issues down the road. So, I mean, I think, you know, I think it’s kind of tough. 2007, yeah. That was the last good year. And then in 2008, it started to tank. And by 2009, people were ready to slice their wrists and that was it. So, kind of here we are. I mean, it dropped off dramatically. But if there is no second on the motion, I would --

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, I’ll accept a motion now if the discussion is done. First, I want to make sure.


MAYOR DISTLER: Is there any more discussion from the Council? Mr. Kemmling, Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Stephen, could I have you put this on the projector, please? Just so members of the public here can see. This is an example of our check register. This was last month’s.


COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: And I don’t think the check register is completely worthless. I do think it’s a little bit hard to detect fraud in here. And the reason I say that is this one had a thousand entries to it. So, you’re probably, I don’t know how many you’re looking at there, maybe 50. If that gives you any idea of the scale of these when we get them. And I was looking at them and some examples we had were NAPA Auto Parts. How do I detect fraud there? How do I know if it was Part A, Part B, Part C? I don’t know. One said Office Depot, office supplies. How do I detect fraud or waste there? I don’t know if we bought the brand name pens versus the generic pens? I poured through these. And like I said, I’m not saying they’re worthless. There is valuable information in here. But I don’t think to say that just because approve this every month that we can automatically spot waste or anything else. I also don’t -- I get told all the time, City Council, big idea, big pictures, don’t nit-pick, don’t crawl through the details or the minutiae. And so this to some degree is crawling through that minutiae and those details that we used to get roused over all the time. I’m kind of curious from staff, maybe Carol. Do you want me e-mailing you every month asking about explanations for all 11 or 1,100 or 1,000 entries in this?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I certainly have had Councilmembers who have done that in the past and we’re glad to provide answers.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Okay. So, I just don’t fully agree with the agreement that because we get the check register, therefore, we somehow know where waste could be or where revisions can be because it’s just not descriptive enough to find all of those. There could be some found in there, but I don’t think it’s descriptive enough to find all of them. Some of those examples I listed just now is things that weren’t on the chopping block or weren’t on the unmet needs list was not meant to be a total list or anything along those lines. But it’s the idea that there are certain items that seem more palatable to a tax increase than others. And so that was to bring up some of those examples. I also don’t know, well, I’ll leave it at that. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Neighbor and then Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Well, one thing I would say and with the motion, I would hope that we don’t chop off our nose in spite of our face because I agree with Mr. Kenig this is probably the opportunity. If staff brought these as needs and things they need in their department this year, they’re going to come back next year. And I do not believe at this point in time that we say, well, it might be nice if the county gets a sales tax. What if they don’t? We can wait. Can we wait two years for this fire station down there to wait for the economy to improve? I don’t know. 2007, they thought things were just fine and 2008 happened. We have no way to forecast. And I think part of our job as being elected leaders is to look to the future not just deal with today. We need to provide the sound footing and basis for our city to go forward, not to set it up so we start in a bit of decline.

One thing I will throw out here just for the sake of conversation at this point. We’re talking about a fire, it was 1.77. The policeman is 0.10. That would put us at 1.87. The street inspector’s point 0.11. That’s 1.98. The stormwater would be 0.11. That’s 2.09. The code would be 0.09. That would be 2.18. Those are just -- when you add up those specific things. But then I go back to if the CPI has gone up 3.2 a year every year, it’s going to keep on going up, so it’s going keep costing us more to provide the services just because.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I’m having difficulty when I’m told that we have offered no other alternatives in terms of building a fire station. I believe I have been very forthright and have said on more than one occasion that I would be happy to support the building of this fire station with a bond.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: And I don’t know why you people aren’t listening to that.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But you sit here and said nobody has offered any alternatives. That’s an alternative.

MAYOR DISTLER: No. We are bonding the fire station.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We are bonding it.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. But then you’ve got to pay for it with a mill.

MAYOR DISTLER: The mill levy is to pay for it.



COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But I think we can pay for it without having a mill increase.

MAYOR DISTLER: How? That’s what I’m asking.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I’ve been all through that, too. And every time I bring up any idea whatsoever you guys tell me how I’m micro-managing you. So, you know, I’ve about had it with that. In my memo I wrote to you folks, and I gave a copy to all of you and we discussed it in the budget hearings, I said, do you want me to be -- actually want me to be the one to cut it, or should the staff be looking at where we could make those savings and offer those options up to the Council to make decisions on, okay, do you guys want to keep this, do you guys want to keep that. Here is what we could do. Here’s an option. We’re not getting any of that. We’re getting zero. We’re getting zero options being on the table. It’s my way or the highway. Here is the budget. Take it or leave it. In fact, we want some more money on top of that. And that’s the reality. That’s the kind of budget process we’ve been dealing with. And that last statement really upset me because I have offered more than once ways that I would be willing to do this fire station and been just totally ignored. So, frustration levels are high over here.

MAYOR DISTLER: And I understand, Mr. Jenkins, and I apologize for that. And I did read your proposals, but like again, I go back to the -- I’m the green. I’m the detailed analytical one. And to me it was generalities. And so I was still not able to get down to the numbers that could have supported this fire station. I am the one that the City Manager probably refers to that asks her about certain expenses because I would see things and I would question them. And I believe everyone should be doing the same if something does not look right because it is our charge as a Council to decide what policies we want to have. What things do we want to do? Do you want to cut the 10-10 Tax senior service? Do you, I mean, every single item was brought up in the Council retreat and nobody wanted to get rid of any of the programs is where I struggle of then where are we going to find this funding. And, you know, if they’re spending 10 extra dollars on name brand pens versus the ones that stop writing, are they really wasting because they might get three years out of that pen versus two weeks because it quits writing, it dries up. Is there any further discussion from the Council?



COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I’d just like to say that when I look at numbers, I will look for ways, but I -- in no way do I feel as though the members of this -- or this staff of this City are intentionally going to fraud us. And so I take objection to what Mr. Kemmling said saying that he’s looking at the check register wondering where there’s fraud because the assumption is that we have people in this city that would intentionally fraud the city out of money. And you’re the one that said it. You said fraud several times. I understand we look for waste. I don’t believe that we have City staff members that are going to commit fraud against the city.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I’ll clarify if it wasn’t clear. We had been asked at the previous meeting and this one to show where the waste was because we look at the cash register.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, waste and fraud are different.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I’d never insinuated that there is fraud at the City.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, you did say the word fraud several times.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Okay. Let me clarify my statements.


COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Looking at the check register doesn’t give all the data that we need. It gives an overall description. I was trying to respond to the comment, that show me where the waste is. Yes. There’s a difference between waste and fraud. So, if I said fraud I mis-spoke. I’m not accusing the staff of fraud. What I was saying is, if you want me to find waste there where is waste there. That’s what I was saying. There was no accusation there. I also -- I’ll clarify, too, because we’re here. I just want to say, we’ll get to this item here in a second. But if we do -- we’ve been talking about whether we’re going to do 2.44 mills or 1.77 mills. Something to keep in mind. If we do vote to increase the stormwater utility fee later on tonight. That’s roughly the equivalent of 2.1 mills if you do the math on that. So, just keep in mind when we’re saying we’re keeping the mill levy down, well, maybe the mill levy down, but if we’re adding another tax we could potentially be doing 4 mills total tonight. So, it’s a lot closer to that six than it makes it sound earlier. Also, the pen thing was a hypothetical. I’m not saying to buy one pen over the other. I don’t think that was ever intended to be taken as an actual example because I don’t know what that line item is for. It says office supplies. Hypothetical. It’s an example.

MAYOR DISTLER: Right. And I was just stating, so when I’ve asked that question I am told. I mean, they have all the receipts. They have to turn them in for every penny they spend. So, if you see office supplies and you want to know what that particular office supply charge was for they will provide you the receipt is all I was saying. Is there any further discussion from the Council? Mr. Kenig and then Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I think it’s always worthwhile to look for, you know, so-called fluff if there’s excess in the budget that we can cut. I do think that’s something that should be done year round though not just at the time that we’re looking at approving the budget and looking at potential increases. I think we’ve talked about those costs, you know, that run, we’re looking at thousands of dollars not millions of dollars which is just the fire station alone. So, it doesn’t get us where we need to be. Is it something we should look at, absolutely, but year-round. And it’s something that should be an on-going effort and not something that we just do once a year. But that’s something that doesn’t resolve the critical needs we have now even if we somehow found, you know, line item by line item to add to three million. It still doesn’t account for the critical needs that we have today, not tomorrow, not two months from now, not three months from now, but today, particularly for the fire station. But I would argue for police as well. And then the second question I had was just a clarification from what Councilmember Neighbor said earlier when he had modified the original package of mills. I think you said you had a number of 2.18. Was that subtracting the stormwater tech? Or not subtracting the stormwater tech. But I was adding that up and so I got 2.18 as well and that was subtracting the codes enforcement, park technician and court security.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I believe, what I have down here, I had fire, police, the street, the storm tech and codes. That’s where I came to 2.18.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Fire, police, street and codes and what was the --

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Stormwater and then the code enforcement.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Stormwater and then codes. Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: But again, the other part is if we’re going to talk stormwater and that needs to be in there, that could go either way.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. Thank you. And I’ll just add, I know we’ve already talked about this, but if it would lead to a consensus, I would be open to look at increasing the stormwater fee to account for that tech position if there is a major desire to keep those contained within one item, one cost item. So, I think that can be up for debate. And we can discuss that more if there is an interest in that, but I don’t know how everybody feels.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. Just a brief comment. I looked, for example, at the budget for the City Council. And I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but there’s $50,000 in there for dues and subscriptions for City Council. I don’t know what clubs I’m in or what organizations I’m assigned to, but that’s an awful lot of money. $33,000 for us to travel and go to different events or whatever I guess to pay our registration fees or what not. $33,000 for the City Council. I mean, that’s just looking at one small piece of the budget. But, you know, $17,000 for books and films. Okay. I haven’t seen one book or film yet, but I guess I’m getting them. I don’t know. Maybe I need to check my mailbox more frequently. You tell me there’s no fat in that budget and I’m sorry, but I think there is. And there’s enough in there to pay off the bond for that fire department.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there any further discussion from the Council? Mr. Neighbor?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: I just would offer that just because it’s in the budget doesn’t mean it necessarily gets spent. It’s there to use if we need it. If it doesn’t get spent, it rolls over or it goes back to the General Fund.

MAYOR DISTLER: Any further discussion? Okay. If not, I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: There’s a motion on the floor, Madam Mayor.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I’ll just restate my motion and just couch it with I think that we spent three months, a little more than, discussing the budget and going through all of the departmental unmet needs and having a pretty robust conversation that resulted in a budget that included a 1.77 mill increase for a new fire station in northwest Shawnee. And I think that that is appropriate and reasonable. And I think that we should honor what came out of Committee as opposed to kind of coming in at the last minute and I think, frankly, kind of adding on to a proposal that seems really attractive because of the fire station. So, it seems I think somewhat tempting to say, well, we’ll add some other things to it because the fire station is enough of a draw that people will vote for it. So, that sort of rubs me the wrong way. So, with that, I will renew my motion to approve the 2017 budget as approved by Council Committee with a 1.77 mill increase for the fire station and ensuring staff.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there a second?

[Councilmember Meyer moved to approve the 2017 Budget as approved by the Council Committee meeting with 1.77 mill levy increase for the Fire Station including staff. The motion failed for lack of a second.]

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there another motion? Mr. Vaught.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Move to approve the 2017 Budget as presented with taxing authority for $22,286,137 and an estimated mill levy of 26.976.


MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. There is a motion and a second. I’ll do a roll call. Mr. Neighbor?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer?




MAYOR DISTLER: 5-3, motion fails.
[Therefore, Councilmember Vaught moved and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to approve the 2017 Budget and the corresponding projects and programs as shown in the attached memo from the July 11, 2016 City Council meeting, and set the total taxing authority at $22,286,137 and direct staff to publish the Notice of Vote. The motion failed 3-5 after a roll call vote with Councilmembers Pflumm, Jenkins, Kemmling, Meyer and Kenig voting no.]

MAYOR DISTLER: I will accept another motion. Ms. Meyer?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I would amend the original, I guess I would make a new motion to approve the 2017 budget as amended by Committee with the 1.77 for the fire station and include the 0.10 million, bringing to 1.87 for the additional police officer.

MAYOR DISTLER: The motion has been made. Do I have a second? Motion fails.
[Therefore, Councilmember Meyer moved to approve the 2017 Budget as amended by the Council Committee meeting with a 1.77 mill increase for the Fire Station and include the .10 mill for the additional police officer, for a total mill of 1.87. The motion failed for lack of a second.]

MAYOR DISTLER: Do I have another motion? Mr. Neighbor?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I would move that we approve the 2017 budget and corresponding projects and programs with the total taxing authority of $22,286,137, and an additional mill levy of 1.77 for the fire station, 0.1 for police, 0.11 for the street inspector, and 0.09 for the codes inspector.

MAYOR DISTLER: Do I have a second?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I’ll second that.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been and seconded. Mr. Neighbor?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling?



COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: It looks like it’s the only way we can get this done, but we’re leaving a lot of unmet needs on the table. I’ll vote yes.



MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer?




MAYOR DISTLER: And I vote yes. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Neighbor and Councilmember Kenig seconded to approve the 2017 Budget and the corresponding projects and programs and an additional mill levy of 1.77 for the Fire Station, 0.10 for Police, 0.11 for the Street Inspector and 0.09 for the Codes Inspector, and direct staff to publish the Notice of Vote. The motion passed 5-4 with Councilmembers Pflumm, Jenkins, Kemmling and Meyer voting no. Mayor Distler cast the deciding vote in favor of the motion.]

MAYOR DISTLER: The final action, Item C, is to consider adopting a resolution. Kansas statutes require that a city pass a resolution to increase property taxes beyond the amount that was levied in the 2016 Budget.

Is there any discussion from the Council? Mr. Jenkins.



COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. When we discussed in the Council Committee meeting we talked about a $3 a month increase on the homeowners in Shawnee. And $36 a year to solve a lot of problems on drainage sounded like --

MAYOR DISTLER: What item are you on?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I thought we were going to the next, finishing up with the stormwater.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We haven’t got there yet.

MAYOR DISTLER: Yeah. We’re not there yet.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. Well, my mistake then.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there any discussion from the Council?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: What are we doing exactly then?


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Because you skipped around. You skipped over one.

MAYOR DISTLER: Yeah. The final action is action is Item C, is to Consider Adopting a Resolution. Kansas statutes require that a city pass a resolution to increase property taxes.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. You’re on that one. All right. We’re good.

MAYOR DISTLER: -- beyond the amount that was levied for the 2016 budget. Okay. So, is there any discussion from the Council? Okay. I will accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay.


MAYOR DISTLER: Well, let’s do a roll call. Mr. Neighbor?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer?




MAYOR DISTLER: And I vote yes. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Neighbor moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to adopt a resolution approving an increase in property tax revenues over the amount levied to finance the 2017 budget. The motion passed 5-4 with Councilmembers, Pflumm, Jenkins, Kemmling and Meyer voting no. Mayor Distler cast the deciding vote in favor of the motion.]
(Having passed, Resolution No. 1785 was passed.)


MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 3 is to Conduct a Public Hearing to Consider a Resolution of Intent to Issue Private Activity Revenue Bonds for the Stag's Creek Project, in the Principal Amount Not to Exceed $8,000,000.

The bonds will be used to finance a portion of the cost of the acquisition and construction of a 34,557 square foot commercial facility, including real estate, buildings and improvements to be located at the northwest corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Goddard Street. Property acquired with proceeds will be exempted from 90% of ad valorem taxes for 10 years. Construction costs will be exempt from sales tax. Prior to issuance of the bonds, Kansas law requires a public hearing be held in connection with the granting of tax exemptions.

a) Conduct the Public Hearing

MAYOR DISTLER: There are three actions. The first is to conduct a public hearing. I will accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to Conduct a Public Hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

MAYOR DISTLER: We are now in a public hearing. The public hearing will begin with the presentation by Andrew Nave, Executive Director for the Shawnee Economic Development Council. After Mr. Nave’s presentation I will ask Councilmembers if they have any questions specifically related to the presentation. I will then ask if there are any comments from the public.

If anyone from the audience would like to speak during the public hearing, please raise your hand and I will recognize you to come forward. Following public comments, I will ask for a motion to close the public hearing. If the Council has any more comments we will have them at that time.

Mr. Nave, please go ahead.

MR. NAVE: Thank you, Mayor, members of the Council. I’m here tonight to talk about Stag’s Creek, an exciting project that is moving forward. Many of you are well familiar with it. Many of you were at the, I want to say groundbreaking, but the glass breaking event a couple weeks ago that was a part of the, I guess public kickoff of the project. But this project has been moving steadily forward for several weeks and months now. It’s been through the Planning Commission approvals over the last month. And then going back to March, if you recall, the stormwater channel improvements that you all supported discuss this project, albeit at a preliminary stage and a high level at that meeting, we discussed and was mentioned discussion of a public-private partnership of public incentives to help justify the project and move the project forward, which brings us to tonight. So, we’re talking about a private activity bond placement and a subsequent tax abatement going along with that project.

Working with the developer over the last few weeks and months, I have been looking at the various development tools, certainly from his perspective, from the development cost side of the ledger and then also looking at it from the public tools perspective, what do we have to help close the gap or close some of the needs of this project. We looked at primarily two tools or public incentive tools, the KNRA, the Kansas Neighborhood Revitalization Act. The tax rebate as you all are familiar with it. It’s available in the downtown area. And we also looked at traditional property tax abatement that we’ve used for many office projects in the area. For a couple reasons, I won’t get into all of the details, but for a couple reasons I think the developer is requesting property tax abatement first and foremost. Property tax abatement through private activity bonds provides him greater flexibility and greater advantages when it comes to financing. Financing this sizeable investment through private activity bonds gives him some internal advantages when it comes to financing. There’s also a timeliness benefit I guess you could say that comes with tax abatement. Oftentimes with a tax rebate the property taxpayer and the owner pays that tax and has to be rebated through the county, back through the city, and so that can often have a time lag. And there’s also a sales tax exemption associated with this. So, for many reasons, not just one the developer is looking at property tax abatement and requesting that tonight. But we also wanted to look at the rate. This is slightly above our stated policy for tax abatements and what we’ve had in other parts of the community. You’ll probably closely most align this project with the Perceptive Software building at Shawnee Crossings, which is an 80 percent ad valorem, 80 percent tax abatement. This is slightly higher than that. But this does fit within the KNRA, the tax rebate boundaries which is what was received for some of the office buildings. The Great Western Bank comes to mind in the downtown area that’s next door. So, those are some of the -- just setting the stage of the consideration tonight. I think this project is worthy of your consideration and certainly a project, one that will really help move our community forward and one that really helps revitalize Shawnee for a couple different reasons. Number one, this project is a huge -- it’s clearly textbook redevelopment. This is a site that you all are probably familiar with and know, but this is tearing down four structures that are all over 50 years old. This location right on Shawnee Mission Parkway is the front door to our community. We have thousands and thousands of visitors and workers that come into our community every day off Shawnee Mission, off I-35 and come down Shawnee Mission Parkway. So, clearly, this location is the front door to our city. This site has a few challenges you’re probably familiar. Many of you live in the community and work here for many years, but it’s worth repeating that some of the challenges inherent to this site make it different than other tax abatement projects that we’ve considered in the past. Certainly the site itself with the creek, the location, the depth off of Shawnee Mission Parkway is a challenge. I don’t want to go so far as to say there’s environmental clean-up or contamination, but there are environmental challenges with this site that the developer at least has to study and to acknowledge and prepare for. There’s a former dry cleaner on this site. There’s a former gas station on this site. There’s a former restaurant with grease traps on this site. So, there’s a lot more to this site than just a normal green field raw land site that we’re considering. And also the density of this project and what’s being proposed is considerable. We’re talking about three-story office development as opposed to single story retail, which we have in many other places in the community. And to boot, we’re actually getting structured parking. We’re getting underground parking with this project, which is the first time for a multi-tenant building in Shawnee’s history. So, there’s some site challenges and some differences that compare to other office development. But the number one reason I would advocate to you to consider this project strongly is because of the nature of what this development is. This is office development. This is what we need, in my judgment as your economic developer, what we need more anything. We need new office development. I won’t go over all of the stats in your packet memo, but there’s some statistics that were put in there that show the need that we have as a community encouraging that employment base, encouraging that tax base for new office development. One of which is that our office vacancy rate is about of that of the Kansas City Metro. Now, that’s a true statement, but it’s not the whole picture because some of that is our office availability and the amount off office property that we have. It’s just so low, just so shockingly low compared to neighboring communities. So, this building as constructed as a traditional office building will be the fourth office building in Shawnee that’s over 25,000 square feet. In the City of Overland Park, there’s 192. In the City of Lenexa, there’s 65 buildings of over 25,000 square feet. So, we don’t have the office product. And consequently, the few buildings that we do have fill up fairly nicely and fairly quickly, so we have a low vacancy right. But we don’t have the office supply that many cities around us do.

I would say it’s not just on the supply side, but on the demand side. The EDC, as we track projects and work with companies, we track everything, where they’re looking, what size are the buildings they’re looking at, all the factors that go into their analysis. And even when we stop working with them, whether they land in Shawnee or they go somewhere else, we still follow-up with them, ask them why did they choose to not locate in Shawnee. And over the last five years our database shows that we’ve tracked 33 office projects that have considered downtown Shawnee, and that’s a bigger area than just Shawnee Mission Parkway and Nieman. But 33 office projects have looked in downtown Shawnee and over a third of them have left or closed their consideration of Shawnee, eliminated Shawnee because there isn’t office availability. There isn’t an available option for them. That’s over a third of those. So, there’s certainly a supply side challenge and there’s a demand challenge of we’re losing potential tenants now. We had a tenant in the Device Shop on Shawnee Mission Parkway, an incubator, that relocated to South Creek office park in South Overland Park solely because they couldn’t find an available office option right there. So, enough of kind of the background and the setting of the stage, but just wanted you to hear some of those numbers and some of the statistics that kind of talk a little bit about the need for this project and some of the components about that. But I do want to highlight just a few things about the project.

[Project Team slide]
But to kick off, and helping me tonight is the applicant and the developer Kevin Tubbesing with Stag’s Creek, LLC, is here in the audience. With him also is Terry Tevis, his architect of Tevis Architects. And then Dan Foster of Schlagel & Associates. They’re all in the back there. Happy to answer questions as needed that I can’t address regarding the development and their project. Also with ms is Joe Serrano from Kutak Rock, your bond counsel who will answer all the hard questions on the IRB. So, that’s the project team.

[Location slide]
Flying through. You know the location, you know the site. There’s 11 parcels at basically the northwest corner of Goddard and Shawnee Mission Parkway is where we’re talking about for this project.

[Site Plan slide]
Site Plan. Doesn’t show up real great there, but just know that it’s about a 35,000 square foot building, three stories. What’s being considered tonight is on Lot 1. There’s two other lots. There’s a lot kind of on the right side or the eastern side of the site that’s a retail site as well as another site on the eastern side of the creek that aren’t under tonight’s IRB consideration. But Lot 1, about a two-acre site is what is being proposed.

[Proposed building slide]
This is what is being proposed in the community. In my judgment this rendering show just the beautiful architecture and the modern sleek design that I think we can all be proud of to have on the Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor. So, it will certainly be a signature building for Shawnee.

[Northeast/Southeast Corner View slide]
Just another angle. You can see just in this different sketch a mock-up that there’s a lot of glass that will allow a lot of light which will lend itself to the kind of professional office environment, professional services sector that I think this developer is trying to address.

[Cost Benefit Analysis slide]
So, for tonight for this public hearing, for tonight for your consideration is a cost benefit analysis. We have a public hearing under state law about the potential cost and benefits of the project. As you recall, like very similar to what we did for the WestLink project, this is a spec development. Mr. Tubbesing doesn’t have any committed tenants to his project, so for the purpose of this cost benefit analysis and this study, we have to make some assumptions on what that might be. And they’re educated assumptions working with the applicant and our staff and the City staff.

But just to run through those. It’s about an $8 million construction value of the building. 138 jobs. That’s an estimate based off a very standard industry ratio of 250 square feet per employee of office users. So, that’s a -- CCIM, real estate designation, gives us that statistic which is a very safe estimate. We also estimate based on the quality of the building and kind of the target that Mr. Tubbesing is appropriate that this will be a professional office environment. And so using kind of an average industry within the professional services, we think those jobs would be about $80,000 a year job. Some tenants might be more, some tenants might be less. But we think that average is a fair average. And 138 jobs, that’s well north of $10 million in annual payroll that would be generated in this facility. The total capital investment is a little closer to 10 million. That’s a function of there’s going to be furniture, fixtures, equipment. There’s going to be tenant improvements. There’s going to be more investment in the building by the tenants than just what the developer is doing building the building.

I won’t go through all the numbers there, but you can kind of see the New City Taxes, then the additional fees or revenues that is modeled in this study is a little less than $900,000. The City’s costs and then the cost of the abatement itself, a little over three-quarters of a million dollars for a cost benefit ratio of 1.2:1 with a payback period of six years. And all other taxing jurisdictions, the state law requires us to do this for the county and the school district are all comparable or very, very close. So, that’s the study. I will leave you with the last comment, and this is just the model, kind of estimating based on good solid estimates, but this is what the model does and it’s intended to show you the full picture of the pluses and all the minuses of this project. I will leave you with, and this is probably no surprise to anyone. Given the value of the current buildings that are there today and the age of those buildings, the tax value that’s on the books today is not very much. And so even with the ten percent pilot or the 90 percent tax abatement kind of already spent and that ten percent that’s left over, you, the county, the schools, all entities will be receiving more revenue through the next ten years than you would have from the buildings that are sitting there currently. And then certainly in year 11 and beyond, you’re receiving well north of $200,000. Not just the City, but all taxing jurisdictions receive well north of $200,000 a year in new revenues and beyond the abatement. So, in the short term and in the long term, this is a project that is a benefit to the city. So, with that, I know that the developer and his associates are here to answer any questions. I’m happy to answer any questions on the analysis itself. That’s my presentation.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Does anyone the Council have any questions? Mr. Kenig?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Not a question so much as a comment. So, appreciate the presentation. And just to reinforce what Andrew said we do have a very critical need for office in this city. Particularly multi-story office buildings which are very rare. If you did a scavenger hunt you would not find that many throughout our city. And I work in the start-up side with a lot of entrepreneurs that when they get to that point where they’re looking for office and looking to expand, and I do my part to bring them to Shawnee, but it’s a difficult and tall task because they’re just -- we don’t start off with that much. So, this, you know, this is a game changer in that regard, so I thank you for bringing it to us.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. I’ve been trying for about 12 years, talking to people, trying to put something together to make this work. And Mr. Tubbesing brought this in and I want to thank him for bringing that to our city because it’s a well needed improvement that we’ve needed for many, many years. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Jenkins, then Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. I think this is a great project, especially like it was said by, I think Andrew mentioned it. It’s kind of a gateway to the community. It puts a nice anchor building right there. Good buildings beget good buildings in my opinion. And I think this could be the precursor to some other significant nice developments. And this, of course, has taken a lot to get there with all the drainage improvements and all the things. But I think we’re getting there really good, something worthwhile out of it in the end. So, I certainly can support that.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Neighbor?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I would just like to echo Mickey and Eric’s comments. I think it’s a good project. It’s going to be a welcome addition to the entry into our city and I think it’s just the beginning of many good things to come as we work to do the Nieman corridor and downtown and things like that. And Kevin, thank you very much for bringing that to us.

b) Conclude the Public Hearing

MAYOR DISTLER: Any other comments from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Move to conclude the public hearing.


MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. The motion passes. The public hearing is now closed.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Meyer seconded to conclude the public hearing. The motion passed 8-0.]

c) Adopt a Resolution

MAYOR DISTLER: The final action is to consider adopting a Resolution declaring the intent of the City to issue federally taxable private activity bonds for the Stag's Creek Project, in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $8,000,000 for the purpose of financing the cost of acquiring and constructing a commercial building within the City.

Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I’ll accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Move for approval.


MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Jenkins seconded to adopt a Resolution declaring the intent of the City to issue federally taxable private activity bonds for the Stag's Creek Project, in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $8,000,000 for the purpose of financing the cost of acquiring and constructing a commercial building within the City. The motion carried 8-0.]
(Having passed, Resolution No. 1786 was assigned.)


MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 4 is to Consider a Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds to Pay a Portion of the Costs Related to the Nieman Road Corridor South Storm Drainage Improvements Project, P.N. 3400.

This project is on the City's Capital Improvement Plan for construction in 2016. A Resolution is required to authorize the City to issue General Obligation Bonds to finance a portion of the project. An Ordinance and Resolution authorizing the bonds would be presented at a later meeting.

The recommended action is to consider adopting the Resolution. Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item?



COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I kind of do have a question. You know, we were talking about doing the trail and all that. That is not part of this, is that true, or is that included in here?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The trail along the creek is included in this project.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Which is different than the other trail project that’s been discussed in the past.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Okay. So, the trail --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Connecting the Merriam?


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: It’s not part of this?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Right. This is a trail and it will actually have a sidewalk that will go along 62nd Street, the south side of 62nd Street --


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: -- and include some curb and gutter improvements along Roger Road.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: But this doesn’t --

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: -- was wondering because I don’t want to steal any Ward II thunder, but there’s a little bit, you know, get back on --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: That project has not come forward yet.




COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Following up on that. I’ve been getting a number of phone calls from those folks down in that area about -- really upset about the trail going through their neighborhoods. And remember that lady came to us a few meetings ago and said there was a lot of heat being generated. And I’m getting calls like that now and supposedly there’s 20 names on a petition and they’re going to bring that information forward. So, it’s not all peaches on that trails project. So, we may need to take a look at it and perhaps -- we had three alternatives. Perhaps one of those alternatives, might need to do a fallback on one of those or something. Maybe have to do some modifications.

MAYOR DISTLER: Any other discussion from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I’d like to [inaudible] question because [inaudible; talking off mic] because I’m one of the residents.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. I will accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to adopt Resolution authorizing the issuance of General Obligation Bonds to pay a portion of the costs related to the Nieman Road Corridor South Storm Drainage Improvements Project, P.N. 3400. The motion carried 8-0.]
(Having passed, Resolution No. 1787 was assigned.)


MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 5 is to Consider Approval of Preliminary Plans for the Clear Creek Parkway Improvement Project - Clare Road to K-7 Highway, P.N. 3413.

On May 9, 2016 the Governing Body approved the study and report provided by Shafer, Kline and Warren related to the project. The project requires preliminary plan approval and authorization to proceed with final plans. A copy of the preliminary plans have been available on the City's web page. The estimated cost for the project is $5,259,000 and is funded through a benefit district and General Obligation Bonds.

The recommended action is to consider approving preliminary plans as submitted and authorize Shafer, Kline and Warren to continue with final plans.

Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone in the audience that would like to speak to this item? I’ll accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Move for approval.


MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Meyer seconded to approve preliminary plans as submitted and authorize Shafer, Kline and Warren to continue with final plans. The motion carried 8-0.]



MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the agenda is Council Items. Item Number 1 is to Consider an Ordinance Increasing the Stormwater Utility Fee.

The Stormwater Utility Fee was initiated in 2006 at a rate of $36 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) per year. On June 21, 2016, the Council Committee recommended 4-3 to increase the Stormwater Utility Fee from $36 per ERU to $72 per ERU. The revised fee would provide approximately $1,748,000 in additional funding. Included in the packet was a plan showing how the additional revenue would be allocated to support the Stormwater Program.

The recommended action is to consider passing an Ordinance increasing the Stormwater Utility Fee. Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I started on this earlier. When we discussed this matter we brought up the idea that it was going to be $72 a year per household for this fee. And that doesn’t sound too bad when you look at it on the surface that, yeah, three bucks a month is not that onerous. But then I started looking at this other little chart that was provided in the packet and that’s what scared the hell out of me. This, for example, are the fees that are going to be charged to some of our businesses in the community and I’d like to review a few of these. The University of Kansas Hospital is going from $6,696 to $13,392. The Walmart folks are going from $18,000 to $36,000. St. Joe’s Church is going from -- the Catholic Archdiocese is going from $13,000 to $26,000. Full Faith Church of Love, $5,000 to $10,000. Grace Christian Fellowship $2,000 to $4,000. Unified School District to 32,000. The schools are suffering and they’re trying to make ends meet and we’re jumping this from 32,000 to 64,000 on that Unified School District. Unified School District #512 is going from 15,000 to 31,000. And, guys, we’ve got some businesses that are having trouble enough already just trying to hang in there and make it through this recession and make ends meet. If we’re really wanting to be promoting business growth and so on, these are some pretty big numbers. I mean, it didn’t sound bad when were taking about, okay, I’m a homeowner, I can shove $36 more in the pot. But some of these guys I’m not so sure they can dump that much in the pot and still stay viable. It makes me kind of worried about it, so. I’m raising that issue and it makes me not want to support it for that reason. I don’t know if we can do a different formula that wouldn’t be so punitive on our businesses and level it out a little bit where they’re not just getting hammered. But right now it looks like our businesses are going to take a real hard hit and I’m real concerned about that.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I would just say, you know, I think even if we double it we’re still lower than -- where does it put us compared to other Johnson County? We’re still -- aren’t we still lower than or right at then, we’re right about that mark, competitive.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Each city has such a different method because some have sales tax that are devoted to that. Some have property tax that are devoted to that and some have stormwater utility. So, Lenexa’s utility fee I believe is $9 per ERU. Mr. Whitacre, I’m looking at you. I think that Overland Park’s is two. They are looking at increasing it slightly. I know we had a chart of -- but this would put us kind of right in the middle.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. I mean, I would just say, you know, I’m not worried about Walmart, they can afford it. You know, the smaller businesses, it’s going to be an increase. The big business, if you’re a big business, if you’re a Walmart, you’re a big box, you know, if you can’t afford another $15,000 a year when you, I mean, you’re in trouble. As far as churches, that’s an interesting one. And this conversation has come up before. Nobody wants to charge churches more. But the reality is they don’t pay property tax. And we still have to service them. They still generate wastewater. They have a parking lot or stormwater. They have a parking lot. They have runoff. And so it costs us money. And so, you know, I mean, and I’ve talked -- I read a real interesting article years ago, so -- where am I thinking of? Cambridge, Massachusetts. So, several years ago they had to impose a pilot program on all their non-profits because they had so many non-profits and so many schools and, I mean, they’re whole -- if you go to Cambridge, Mass, that’s all it is, non-profits, schools. They were collecting so little tax revenue that they couldn’t run the city. So, they proposed a pilot program and all the non-profits that weren’t paying any tax so that they could actually provide the services needed to keep those places functioning. So, I mean, what’s interesting, we just went through this whole debate on, you know, revenue and mill levies. And, you now, if you pick up the phone you call 911 from a non-profit versus a for-profit, we’re going to show up. So, while that doesn’t have anything to do with stormwater, the reality is, you know, non-profits, churches, nobody wants to hammer them, but, you know, their parking lots create run-off. It creates an issue. And I said I, you know, we don’t hit them anywhere else. I mean, that’s it. And so it’s a tough one. But other than how do you create a formula around that. And I think I’ve even looked at in the past, and we talked about. I don’t know how you do it. I mean, you start picking and choosing and I think it’s -- it can get pretty controversial of, well, we’re not going to charge you as much as, you know, I don’t know how you do that. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s based on your parking lot, right? Yeah. So, I mean, if you’re not using half your parking lot, then plow it under and plant grass and you’re going to save money. I hate saying that, but there’s some places they have a whole lot of asphalt that doesn’t get used. But it’s, you know, I’m not going to argue. It’s a tough one. But I think at the end of the day it’s the cost of doing business. And we’re not going to be the highest by any means, it just gets us in the game so we can solve this problem we have because we need to solve it.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I would just add. I do think long-term I’m sympathetic to what Eric said because I think that those costs, particularly for non-profits like churches are high. So, I think that’s something we need to look at going forward. By the same token I think that balancing these costs out is also important. I hear frequently from that, you know, we rely a lot on the property tax. This is a fee that is paid for by everybody, which I think there is something to be said for that, too, because -- that everybody has a responsibility and everybody can be damaged, you know, by flooding, by a pipe, critical pipe bursting. Those are incidents that affect everybody regardless of the type of building or type of structure, homeowner versus commercial. And, you know, I think that at the rate that we’re having these disruptions and failings, you know, I think that we need to be proactive in being able to get on top of this. And I know that many of these organizations that, you know, if they did have a pipe fail near them they would want us to be able to respond quickly. And if we’re not able to, you know, that doesn’t look good on us as a city in terms of being able to provide core services.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I think, you know, if we end up with a situation again like we’ve had for say around Deffenbaugh when we’ve had in some other instances, which we are running into now about the corrugated pipes rusting out and it’s shutting down roads. You know, we shut down a road to one of these shopping centers these guys aren’t going to care about paying taxes. They just want that road open. You know, so whatever it takes to get it open. You know, if they’re paying more taxes to care of some of this pipe work that was put into the infrastructure around them and they don’t want to take a chance of any more disruptions in their business, you know, they’re -- how do you weigh this out? You know, I think, you know, being in business ourselves that it’s -- sometimes you have to kind of weigh out the situation to see, you know, if you’ve got a situation that they’re asking for more money to take care of the infrastructure. What would you do if the infrastructure shut down your road in front of your business? You know, try to get ahead of the game a little bit instead of waiting until the damage is done and then go back and say, yeah, go ahead and tax me, let’s fix this. I’ve got to be open, you know, let’s take care of it ahead of it time or stay -- or at least look into the future a little bit.

MAYOR DISTLER: Any other discussion from the Council? Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. Just one more comment. When I was looking at this list that was provided as kind of a sample. This is just a sampling, of course. We have a lot more than 20 businesses in the community, this just list 20. How many rooftops as far as housing?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I believe over 25,000. Is that correct, Mr. Chaffee?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Rooftop housing rooftops, not business. Just residential, single family or -- we have about 25,000? Because 10,000 homes with this increase would be, what, $360,000 more. 20,000 homes would be $720,000 more. And another 8 -- 180, that’s $900,000 from the houses. This is $387,000 just for these 20 businesses. How do we come up with only $1.7 million out of all that? That’s kind of a confusing number. It really is. It should be a lot more than 1.7.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The ERU is flat per household no matter what size your household is, but the --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Right. That’s what I said. That’s why I only counted it at $36 per house. There’s 25,000 houses.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Then the ERU is based on 2,773 -- 72 square feet of impermeable space. So, depending on the size of your parking lot and your building of a business or a non-profit --


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: -- then for every 2,773 square feet you have an impermeable space that’s one ERU. So, that’s how the calculation is. It’s all GIS spaced. We reevaluated it. We reevaluate it every year, look at updates and changes and reassess.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, looking at a number of these like the United States Postal Service. That’s not that big of a building, they’re forking out $2,000 if we do this. I mean, the numbers don’t seem to add to me. I don’t know what the deal is, but it seems like it should be a lot larger number than 1.7 million. And this only represents 20 businesses and this alone is 387,000. And based on the numbers for the housing that’s going to be 900,000. So, just with these 20 buildings and our houses that’s almost 1.3 million. Yeah. 1.2 million. And so we’re only getting 500,000 on all the rest of the businesses in Shawnee. That just doesn’t -- the numbers don’t add up, it don’t make sense. But then you name some of the larger, when you look at some of the larger, probably some of the larger businesses aren’t they, the larger parking areas?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We tried to pick an assortment of large and small and the --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I don’t think there’s anything special here.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Some of them are grouped. So, the Walmarts are all the Walmarts in Shawnee, so not just one Walmart. Then the USD 512 is all the schools.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But still, all the businesses in Shawnee that are on this list of 20 only add up to $500,000? That’s hard to believe. That number just doesn’t make sense. It really don’t.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, there’s only one example I can think of because my dad’s building, well, was, he sold it, down here on Johnson Drive didn’t have a parking lot. It was on-street parking. So, his business was -- do you know how many square feet that building was? I mean, that’s a huge building, but there’s no parking lot.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But you can run up and down Shawnee Mission Parkway. You go up Johnson Down. I mean, the end of 55th Street. I mean, go down Nieman. There’s all kinds of parking lots everywhere. And, man, this is only 20. And I know it’s some of the bigger ones and all that kind of stuff. But all the rest of them combined only add up to $500,000 in income. That doesn’t make sense, so.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Well, I want to reiterate, some of those cumulative of -- if there’s several businesses in town like three Walmarts. If there are several schools, all of the schools are included in some of those numbers?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, how many Walmarts you got on here? This is two, right?


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Three of them? You’ve got three of them on here?


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Still, I’m with Eric. I mean, that still seems awful low. Do we -- can --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Well, I would just reiterate. We reassess every year. Mr. Gregory can speak in much more detail to it if you would like, but.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: [inaudible] the budget for that stormwater utility.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. I mean, the numbers just don’t -- they don’t smell right. I don’t know. Something doesn’t seem right there.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I mean, because you’re going to double this. So, whatever the number is now it’s going to be double.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: And you’re showing 1.7 now being doubled. So, it should be 3.4 approximately, almost 3.5.

MR. GREGORY: Mike Gregory, Stormwater Manager and Public Works. Every couple years or so we get a new aerial and we use that to go over in detail all the commercial properties, that is, the non-residential properties.


MR. GREGORY: And so our list is checked fairly often and we round up on the ERUs to get the amount that we have. So, 25,000 properties I think, I mean, residents. And I don’t have any of those numbers here. I’m sorry. But that’s the number we figured out every year new. Add in all new builds and all -- anything else like that. And so that’s the number we’ve been coming up with every year, about 1.67 million.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, do you follow what I’m saying? I mean, this doesn’t make much sense though. This is 20 of our businesses. We’ve got a lot more than 20 businesses even though these maybe some larger ones and stuff.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That seemed to be -- those numbers don’t seem to be --

MR. GREGORY: I think we have around 1,400.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. Those numbers don’t seem to be in proportion at all. I mean, this should be a whole lot more money if -- with these kind of assessments.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I mean, my gosh, you know.

MR. GREGORY: Well, those like Carol was --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Like the post office, that’s not a huge place. They’re putting out 2,000. You say -- how many businesses you say we have.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: That’s both of them combined. That’s all the post offices combined, or are we saying just one?

MR. GREGORY: It would be. And I’d be glad to go over that list in detail with you.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. Because this isn’t any of the shopping centers or anything like that?



MR. GREGORY: And it’s done per parcel is how we do it. So, say a Walmart had two big parcels. We would charge them per parcel just for what’s on that one.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Sure. Got it. But I don’t -- the numbers don’t make sense.

MR. GREGORY: I’ll be glad to prepare a list and send you the whole thing.


MR. GREGORY: All right. Any other questions?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Could you send that to all of us, too, please?

MR. GREGORY: Certainly.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And is this the Stormwater Utility Fee right up here?

MR. GREGORY: That shows the amount -- go ahead. Go ahead, Maureen.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: That’s just the Stormwater Utility Fund.

MR. GREGORY: That just shows the annual amount for each budget year that we would expect. So, you can see in 2015, it was -- actual amount was $1.73 something. And then we budget each year that much. Then you see in ‘17 anticipating the ERU to $72 a year, so.



COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I just think that, I mean, we just need to remember when we talk about 1,400 businesses that, you know, Ten Quivira, I mean, that’s one parking lot. That’s 15-20, whatever businesses in that one parking lot. So, we can’t really can’t go by number of businesses, it’s the number of parcels.

MR. GREGORY: It’s the number of parcels.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: The number of commercial parcels we have. So, it’s kind of misleading when we start looking at looking at businesses.

MR. GREGORY: And that what you’re looking at is like City Manager said, it’s a combination of some like for certain different business. I combined them. So, you could see that’s the building. Like you can see Parks and Recreation on that list and it gets a certain amount. Or Deffenbaugh, it got all of its properties added up and that would be the number they would get.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, and to Mr. Vaught’s point, too, I guess if you’re doing like number of businesses, we also have several home businesses. When you look at the business licenses for childcare and things like that. So, those wouldn’t be counted either --


MAYOR DISTLER: -- in that.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Or even an office building.


MR. GREGORY: Any property that had a residence on it, then it was just given a one residential fee.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: All right. But here’s 20 and here’s 1,400, so you’ve still got a wild fluctuation there any way you slice it.

MR. GREGORY: I’ll send you that list.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: And these comments are well taken. I mean, I understand what you’re saying.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: But still, we seem like way out of whack here. I wouldn’t want you to stop everything you’re doing just to do this, but --

MR. GREGORY: It’ll only take a few minutes.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Just, you know, when you can get to it.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah. Anytime.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I have a question.


MR. GREGORY: We check it all the time.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: When you send that list, is it going to be lumped, or are they going to be all by parcel?

MR. GREGORY: It’s going to be all by parcel with the property owner right by it.


MR. GREGORY: I’ll send it to you in a spreadsheet so you can mix and add them up and sort them easily.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yep. Not really a question, I think more of a comment. I don’t have much more to say about it aside from I wish that we were not discussing a 100 percent increase in the Stormwater Fee. I think when you consider the overall burden, including what we’ve just added tonight, in addition to the sales tax we passed last year that we’re looking at a pretty significant increase for the residents and businesses of this city. And I wish we would have been a bit more measured with this proposal this evening.

MAYOR DISTLER: Any other discussion from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to comment on this item? I’ll accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I move for approval.


MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay.


MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Let’s do a roll call. Mr. Neighbor?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling?






MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer?




MAYOR DISTLER: And I’ll vote yes. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Vaught moved and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to pass an Ordinance increasing the Stormwater Utility Fee. The motion passed 5-4 with Councilmembers Pflumm, Jenkins, Kemmling and Meyer voting no. Mayor Distler cast the deciding vote in favor of the motion.]
(Having passed, Ordinance No. 3161 was assigned.)



MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the agenda is Items from the Planning Commission Meeting of July 6, 2016. Item Number 1 is to Consider Z-02-16-07, an Ordinance Rezoning from Single Family Residential to Commercial Highway-Overlay, for a Portion of Stag's Creek, Located in the 6200 Block of Ballentine.

The Planning Commission recommended 6-0 that the Governing Body approve Z-02-16-07. The recommended action is to consider passing an Ordinance rezoning from Single Family Residential to Commercial Highway-Overlay for 1.43 acres located in the 6200 block of Ballentine subject to the condition listed in the staff report.

Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I’ll accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Sandifer moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to pass an Ordinance rezoning from Single Family Residential to Commercial Highway-Overlay for 1.43 acres located in the 6200 block of Ballentine subject to the condition listed in the staff report. The motion carried 8-0.]
(Having passed, Ordinance No. 3162 was assigned.)



MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the agenda is Staff Items. Item Number 1 is to Consider Bids and Award Contract for Stormwater Improvements, 60th Street and Barton Street - Phase II Project, P.N. 3414.

Bids were received from four contractors on July 8, 2016. Staff recommends awarding the bid to Max Rieke Brothers, Inc., Shawnee, Kansas, in the amount of $120,608.42. The recommended action is to consider awarding the bid and approving and authorizing the Mayor to sign the contract.

Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I’ll accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to authorize the Mayor to sign a contract with Max Rieke Brothers, Inc. in the amount of $120,608.42 for the Stormwater Improvements, 60th Street and Barton Street - Phase II Project, P.N. 3414. The motion carried 8-0.]



MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is Miscellaneous Items. Item Number 1 is to Ratify the Semi-Monthly Claim for July 25, 2016, in the Amount of $1,758,068.62.

Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I’ll accept a motion.



MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Vaught seconded to Ratify the Semi-Monthly Claim for July 25, 2016 in the Amount of $1,758,068.62. The motion passed 8-0.]


MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 2 is Miscellaneous Council Items.

Does anyone on the Council have an item they would like to discuss? Mr. Pflumm.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I was just going to thank our young Council person that we have over there. Sorry that you had to come to a meeting that was --



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: [Inaudible; talking off mic.]

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And my next part of my question, is your grandpa Wilbur? He’s not. Okay.

MAYOR DISTLER: And I would just like to thank the public support of our police department that’s been coming in in light of all the stuff that’s been going on. So, please kept it coming.



MAYOR DISTLER: If there are no other items, I’ll accept a motion to adjourn.




MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded to adjourn. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. We are adjourned. Thank you.
[Therefore, Councilmember Sandifer moved and Councilmember Kenig seconded to adjourn. The motion passed 8-0.]
(Shawnee City Council Meeting Adjourned at 10:29 p.m.)


I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter.

/das August 1, 2016

Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary



Stephen Powell, City Clerk

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