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August 16, 2016
7:00 P.M.

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 KenigIT Director Bunting
Parks and Recreation Director Holman
Planning Director Chaffee
Deputy Planning Director Allmon
Fire Chief Mattox
Public Works Director Whitacre
Police Chief Moser
Kevin Fern, Visit Shawnee
Sr. Project Engineer Lindstrom
Neighborhood Planner Grashoff
Transportation Manager Manning
Communications Manager Breithaupt
Business Liaison Holtwick
Shawnee 1929 Museum Director Pautler
Curator of Collections Hsu
Curator of Education Uhler
(Shawnee Council Committee Meeting Called to Order at 7:00 p.m.)


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: [Inaudible; talking off mic.] Stephanie Meyer, Ward III. Besides myself, the Committee members here tonight are Jim Neighbor, Ward I; Dan Pflumm, Ward I; Eric Jenkins, Ward II; Mike Kemmling, Ward II; Jeff Vaught, Ward III; Mickey Sandifer, Ward IV; and Brandon Kenig, Ward IV.

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 Committee at any of those times, please go to the podium. I will ask that you state your name and address for the record, then you may offer your comments. So that members of the audience can hear you, I would ask that you speak directly into the microphone. By policy, comments are limited to five minutes. And 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 Committee members to wait to be recognized and to, unlike me, remember to turn on your microphone when you would like to speak so we can get a clear and accurate record.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: There are three items on tonight's agenda. The first item is to Discuss the Nieman Reallocation of Right-of-Way Study.

This item was discussed at the May 3, 2016 Council Committee meeting. Since that time, additional public engagement meetings were held to get public input. The final report and recommendations are ready. Dave Holtwick, Business Liaison, will provide some background and Randy Gorton of BHC Rhodes will give a brief presentation of the findings and recommendations of the study.

Welcome, Mr. Holtwick.

MR. HOLTWICK: Thank you very much. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here tonight, and my background is really going to be brief. You’ve heard most of it in the previous presentations in the background that you provided just now, Madam President. But my role, to start it all off, I’m going to introduce the project manager from BHC Rhodes Randy Gorton, and also one of the consultants that’s been part of the team Marty Shukert with RDG Planning and Design. They’ll go through and discuss the -- some of the additional items with the study, present their recommendations and then we’ll talk a little bit more. So, Randy, it’s all yours.
Nieman Road Reallocation of Right-of-Way Study
Presentation of Final Recommendations

[Overview slide]
MR. GORTON: Thank you, sir. Good evening. We appreciate the opportunity to come back before Council. Very briefly, we’d like to go through a little bit of background as much of the audience. I think Council is probably very familiar with this project and the process. But make sure everybody is on the same page, go through what was presented to the public after our previous presentation to Council on May 3rd, and then go through the recommendations that came out of that public engagement and the study process.

[Background slide]
Very briefly, this project uses KDOT Transportation Alternatives funding. It’s a cost share between the City and KDOT. The main objectives for this process are certainly to carry on with the previous planning that the City had done, begin more implementation. We also wanted to go ahead and develop some actual corridor layouts based on both addressing the image of the corridor as well as movement of vehicles, pedestrian, bicycles along the corridor. An additional part of that was some re-striping plans for Nieman Road based on some ideas that had been brought up in previous studies, and at the same time coordinate the study work with some concurrent historical, excuse me, linking Historic Shawnee Trail project under the Planning Sustainable Places program.

[Background slide 2]
October of last year we began the study process. In January and February, we had on-site work sessions here in the City to meet with individual property owners and the public at large to get more feedback. And then based on that information and our own additional analysis we presented both to Council and then to the public in an open house meeting in May, choices. And coming out that, based on the feedback we got, we prepared a final study with those recommendations this month.

[Presented Options at Open House slide]
In general, at the open house in May, our choices presented to the public focused on different lane configurations for Nieman Road. There was, as you know, much discussion about, again, there’s a certain amount of public right-of-way, how do we balance that for all of the users that need to take advantage of that public space? And that’s the number of lanes that Nieman should be, what kind of bicycle facilities we should have, what kind of sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities we need to make room for. We looked at intersection improvements, most specifically at Johnson Drive, but in addition, some of the other key intersections up and down the corridor. Ideas for streetscape and placemaking, again, to address the image of the corridor. Access management to see what opportunities made sense along the way. And then address existing above-ground utilities and some strategies that could I guess could enhance the appearance of the corridor and options for moving those out of view.

With that, I’d like to turn it over to Marty Shukert to go through some of the options that were presented to the public at the open house.

MR. SHUKERT: Thanks, Randy. And first I’d like to thank all of you for having us here and just to say it’s been a real privilege to work in Shawnee on this very exciting project. We’re really thrilled with the outcome and we hope you will be as well.

As Randy mentioned as we developed ideas there were ultimately three options that we looked at. And we’re interested in seeing what we could do to maximize benefit for each option.

[Limited Improvements: 4-lane section slide]
The first of those was basically keeping the 44 to 46-foot wide four-lane section the way that it is with better sidewalks and some other modifications to make the street work and function better.

[Road diet: Three lanes with shoulders or bike lanes slide]
A second option was to take that space between the two curbs and reallocate it. So, a three-lane section which had been talked about and which was in the Community Connections study, when three lanes are striped that leaves about ten feet of additional right-of-way and one option is allocating that ten feet to a shoulder or to a bike lane on either side. So, that was another option that was looked at.

[Road diet: Three lanes with side path/enhance sidewalk slide]
The third option was a little bit different. And that was moving the curb specifically on the west side in, narrowing the street from curb to curb to 34 feet so that it is a standard three-lane section, which then leaves enough room for a wider sidewalk or side path that accommodates multiple uses, pedestrians, bicycles and so forth. So, that was a third option that was looked at.

The first two options leave the curb space where they are. The third option moves the curb and provides the additional room for a side path, additional streetscape and amenities.

[Johnson Drive Options – Streetscape Elements slide]
In addition to those three options for evaluation, we looked at some other things. As we were developing the ideas in a public workshop or charrette session we heard people say, boy, if we could only put diagonal parking on Johnson Drive between Barton and Nieman that would be pretty cool and would really help downtown. So, we studied that idea and looked at a couple of options there. Leaving things alone moves traffic quite well. Going to four lanes rather than five lanes on the west side is promising. It opens up room for diagonal parking. It decreases the level of service a little bit, but might be worth further consideration. Another option which called for narrowing Johnson Drive on both sides of Nieman to provide diagonal parking just doesn’t work all that well from a traffic point of view.

So, the middle option of thinking about and studying diagonal parking on the Barton to Nieman block could be very helpful. It probably will work adequately, but it’s not really a fundamental part of our recommendation right here.

[Family of nodes slide]
We looked at place-making alternatives as well and developed ideas for a series of nodes or special areas along the street that would interpret history, which is now done only with directional signs. Even ideas of a vocabulary of place-making structures. There could be a monument in one place at bus stop, could have a roof over it so it provides some shelter, and maybe a middle level that provides some shade as well. So, these can provide information, historical interpretation, special events and those kinds of things. And so add some meaning and additional appeal and attraction to the street as well. So, we really did in all of these options try to look at Nieman Road as a place as well as a transportation artery and to work together with our various constituent groups, the businesses, the people who use the street to think about how we really can make Nieman Road in any number of ways a really excellent facility from a number of perspectives.

[Access Management on Nieman – 3 slides]
MR. GORTON: We also wanted to look at some other geometric physical changes that might be appropriate on the corridor. We had quite a bit of dialogue with different property owners up and down Nieman in terms of opportunities to consolidate access, entrance points onto and off of Nieman. Again, the more we can simplify this, it has a direct impact on the smoothness and safety of traffic. And so we looked at I think what you would call some low-hanging fruit, relatively non-controversial opportunities to simplify things a little bit without getting carried away.

[Overhead Utility “Cleanup” slide]
One other thing that we looked at we didn’t present to the public so much just because of the nature of it is a little more cost driven and policy at a different level, but we did look as part of the study opportunities to improve the appearance of the corridor with respect to the effect that overhead utilities, above-ground utilities have.

One option is basically to put as much underground as possible. We’ve got some approximate cost estimates from Kansas City Power & Light for that at 1.95 million. Again, that’s a very rough cost. Don’t be surprised if that would be higher if you actually wanted them to do that.

The surprising part is we looked at the option of instead of putting it all underground is actually relocating as much of it as possible behind the businesses that are along Nieman with the thought that the buildings themselves would shield much of that above-ground equipment. We were very quickly pointed out to us from Kansas City Power & Light that it wasn’t going to be much cheaper just because of a number of factors they cited. Basically $100,000 less which is probably within the percent error in their cost estimate anyway.

One other option is whatever equipment there, pick a more aesthetic enclosure, pole, other things that might -- we essentially call as camouflage for what facilities are already there above ground. And we gave a few examples of that.

We have been talking to Kansas City Power & Light. They apparently now actually have an internal working committee looking at options because Shawnee is far from the only city asking these questions. And apparently Kansas City Power & Light has gotten enough requests that they are looking at it internally what kind of equipment might, I guess you’d say, fit their maintenance schedule while better meeting some of the City’s aesthetic expectations.

[Public Input slide]
Throughout the process we tried to do a good job of engaging the public. We know Nieman is an extremely high profile corridor for the City of Shawnee. You have a lot of folks there with a lot of history and a lot at stake for that matter. So, we tried to hear from as many as possible and get some good meaningful feedback based on the options that we developed. We got a number of written comment forms after the public open house. We had an online survey available through the month of May. One thing that we noticed that the comment, the feedback that we got was fairly consistent, both online and written.

[Public Input Q1 & Q2 slide]
Based on that we had a high percentage of stakeholders on the committee, or excuse me on the corridor who responded to the working group. Quite a few residents, but also business property owners.

We did ask them of the different roadway configurations, the four lane, the three lane, whether it’s on-street bike lane, shoulders or a new multi-use path on one side, what they preferred. We asked them about access management. This graph kind of on the right shows I think good support for a very simple, relatively low impact approach to access management, which is what we had presented.

[Public Input Q4 slide]
And then in terms of the lane configuration, the yellowish bar on top was basically keeping things the way they are, the limited four-lane option. And then the middle greenish bar and the bottom orangish bar were the two different three-lane options. And then the only difference there was whether to have on-street bike lanes or to narrow the curbs and do a behind the curb multi-use path. Orange is the behind the curb multi-use path. It was the single most popular option.

[Final Criteria for Recommendations slide]
Based on all of this input, quite a bit of dialogue with City staff officials and then our own professional experience, we wanted to apply these criteria kind of to our overall decisions that we would make in terms of making recommendations. And again, we want to make sure it’s consistent, but we also want to make sure that it works well and it’s safe. Those are the paramount things. And then beyond that it’s again who benefits, bicyclists, pedestrians, adjacent property owners, the overall economy, the community at large, things like that. But we had a number of criteria and sub-criteria, and they’re included in the report, that we took into a consideration as we put together the final recommendations that are contained in the study.

With that, I’ll turn it back over to Marty to talk about a few of those.

[Final Study Recommendations slide]
MR. SHUKERT: Yeah. So, a funny thing happened on the way to a final recommendation. When I was a young planner and actually got appointed Community Development Director in Omaha in the 1980s, the guy who hired me was interviewed for the -- by the newspaper. And one of the best things he said was, well, he’ll work on something and then decide it isn’t a good idea and tear it up and start over. And that’s kind of what we did, but it was really a response to the public workshop. We presented the three options. Most people at the workshop tended to favor the side path solution consistent with the survey because they really liked the idea of the better bigger pedestrian accommodation and felt that a separation from automobiles was a much better option. But a couple of people said, you know, you really ought to put it on the east side rather than the west side. And we said, well, I think we thought about that, but Randy and I and other people working on the project and sort of went back, laid it out on the east side and discovered that actually that was a much better solution. Fewer driveway interruptions and a better place to put it in terms of connectivity to the park and to many, many other things along the way. But there was one nagging problem and that was the disability at 60th and Nieman at that intersection, which in some ways induced us to locate the path and the widened sidewalk on the west side. But we figured out a way to deal with that, which I’ll describe in a minute.

So, ultimately the basic parameters of the recommendation are a three-lane street, which was favored actually by 60 percent of the people in the survey. A ten-foot multi-use trail with significant setback of about eight feet on the east side and an upgraded traffic signal at Johnson Drive, which allows us to line up the left turns and eliminate one of the signal phases, which really improves traffic operations significantly.

[Final Study Recommendations slide 2]
So, the revised section looks something like this. But there are a couple of highlights of that in addition to those sort of basic parameters that I’d like to describe. First of all, we had the room to take Nieman Road slightly offline and shift it very, almost unperceptively to the east as it approaches 60th Street from either direction. That allows us to pull the street over and to provide good visibility for traffic moving out of 60th Street to be able to see Nieman Road. And people will never notice it except that they’ll have a little bit of -- they’ll have better site distance at that intersection. That kind of fixed that problem.

A second highlight is the use of two mid-block crossing nodes. One just south of 60th Street, the other just north of 57th Street created by using the center left turn lane, which we don’t need at those specific locations, because there are no left turns to be made to provide a pedestrian crossing refuge. That makes the crossing a lot easier for pedestrians even if the intersection or the crossing is not signalized and breaks down the dividing effect of Nieman Road.

The third issue is with a path approaching a congested pedestrian area like Johnson Drive, what do you do with bikes. You don’t want them on the sidewalk. So, in this plan we make that basically a pedestrian zone and a no riding zone. So, there’s a way of routing bicycles around the center section of Nieman Road and then putting bike parking or a bike rack at either end at 58th and at 59th, and not allowing bicycles on the widened sidewalk in that more pedestrian area.

[Final Study Recommendations slides 3 and 4]
The sketches that you see before you give you an idea of what that will look like. So, here we’re at south of -- just actually at Roger Road with typical standard of an eight-foot setback, a ten-foot side path. On the opposite side of the road, in most situations we can provide a six-foot sidewalk with a six-foot setback, so that’ll feel much more comfortable to the pedestrian on either side. So, you’ll see this kind of a sense in the commercial part of Nieman Road south of Johnson Drive and that kind of a viewpoint of the street in the more residential zone north of 57th Street.

So, we think it will produce a very attractive environment that will be safe, that really will ultimately pay off in terms of significant investment and traffic flow improvements in the Nieman Road corridor. And of course, access management, how that’s all managed is a very important part of that, and that’s what Randy will address.

[Final Study Recommendations – Access Management slide]
MR. GORTON: And again, I think it’s appropriate, a very simple view, look for some basically extra driveways that can be eliminated. There are a few driveway locations that can be shifted. Not eliminated, but better line them up with entrances on the opposite side of Nieman. And then I think in the future as redevelopment occurs, that’s probably the test time to look at those kinds of more significant opportunities to simplify the total number of access points up and down. But I don’t think it makes sense to push that too hard on residents at this time.

[Final Study Recommendations – Other Recommendations slide]
Again, utility undergrounding. Essentially based on costs, if the City wants to invest money, it makes sense to go ahead, and again, assuming the costs are, in fact, that close, it may be worth the small extra cost to get everything underground. Again, we had further recommendations regarding nodes and some opportunities again for the aesthetic of the corridor and some consistency in creating a theme. And then we did go ahead and recommend “temporary re-striping” of the three lane. Again, leave the curbs where they are. As part of the original project to go ahead and do that, I think there was some concern about the effectiveness and the adequacy of three lanes. And this is a good way to do it fairly simply. So, we included that as part of the recommendations in the report.

[Graphics slide]
And again, we provided some graphics to illustrate using the existing street, how that would be re-striped into three lanes.

[Final Report slide]
The final report, PDF copies are available of the three sections of the report. An Executive Summary, we tried to get it as concise as possible. Again, the full report, and then there’s quite a bit of supporting documentation that’s also provided should someone want to dig in a little deeper at some of the background information that went into the study.

[Recommendations slide]
MR. HOLTWICK: Thank you, Randy and Marty. The last slide that you’re looking at here, I just want to say that staff worked very closely with Marty and Randy and the entire team, talked with them at length as they prepared the final report. And so what you see now before you really are the staff recommendations based on what we heard. And so this is where you all get to go from here then, and you’ll have a chance to ask them some questions again in a second. So, the first item really is to accept the Nieman Road Right-of-Way Reallocation Plan Report. The second item really of consideration is to approve the temporary re-striping plan for Nieman Road if you so choose. The next then is to direct the staff to proceed with the preparation of the final scope of work for the permanent construction, if you will, of the three-lane section. And you see the items -- so, working with KCP&L, getting the design work started. And in the packet memo you saw some of the timing of those other projects up and down Nieman and how that would all tie in with this project. So, those are the recommendations. And I think if you have questions, Marty and Randy are available to help, or any of the others that you would have questions of as well.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Thank you. Mickey.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. If we did the re-striping, what kind of a time period is it that we would allow people to use this and see just what kind of a difficult change this is before we do any construction on it?

MR. HOLTWICK: Well, I think a lot of that gets decided on the City in terms of how you want to program any permanent improvements to Nieman. The re-striping plans, from that perspective, we essentially just need to get KDOT’s final approval since they’re contributing quite a bit of money. Once that’s good, then it’s really up to the City how quickly they want to let that work and let it be done. It could very well be done this year, assuming KDOT doesn’t have any significant comments.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: On just the re-striping you’re talking about, yes.

MR. HOLTWICK: On just the re-striping. And then how long is that between your temporary re-striping and then reconstruction on Nieman. That’s really up to you folks how quickly you want to program the funds for construction of any permanent improvements to Nieman.


MR. HOLTWICK: And that’s 2017.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: What’s the cost to re-stripe?



MR. HOLTWICK: Yeah. That should be done within $80,000.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And that’s where I struggle with the thing because it’s a temporary striping and it seems like a lot of money to do something, then come back, tear it out and do it later. We had this discussion before, and I know that Brandon agreed with me, or I agreed with Brandon that -- and I don’t agree with what you said, Mickey, how much of a problem this is going to be because I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. But I think we’re going to change the striping without the public really knowing what the final plan is. I mean, we might have it. We know what it is. Us sitting in this room know what it is. But the average person driving up and down that street doesn’t know that something else is coming. They’re going to be scratching their head for several months going why is this re-striped and they’re not seeing a dramatic change or benefit, so I’m not real supportive of spending $80,000 to temporarily stripe a road, unless your idea behind it is to make, I mean, are we confident that that plan works and everything is good? Or why the recommendation of the temporary stripe? Is that common or is --

MR. HOLTWICK: From the consultant, you know, as you know we did a fair amount of analysis from a traffic perspective. We evaluated taking the existing four-lane street, narrowing it down to three-lane. Based on all of the information we had and the analysis, three lanes should be adequate to allow traffic to move well along this corridor. Our recommendation came out as much as what we heard as concern and a lack of confidence from certain portions of the public that this really is going to function well and they’re, you know, kind of get some buy-in.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, I think we all heard that. But I think we also have got to look at 60 percent of the people said we want this three-lane option. So, I think more people are saying it and you combine that with the other three-lane and those two far out way don’t do anything. So, I think there is more support on the side of let’s do this. I think my concern is knowing Shawnee and knowing some of the influence there is going to be inconvenience. It’s going to be a change for people, but there’s a really good chance that if enough uprising happens that we’re going to be sitting here contemplating killing this project altogether because of public sentiment before they realize what else is part of this project. I don’t want to risk losing this. We have worked really hard and come a really long way to get here. I mean, look, it has taken 20-30 years. I mean, this has been talked about forever. And so do we want to risk scrapping this whole project to re-stripe for several months and spend 80 grand that we’re going to have to re-spend again, or do we just want to bite the bullet and do this. And I guess I’m asking everybody else. I mean, that’s how I see it. I don’t know how everybody else feels about it. I just -- I don’t want to get this far and then because a few people get really inconvenienced and scream really loud and start influencing people that all of a sudden we’re contemplating, well, maybe we just don’t move forward with this because then this would have been a really huge waste of time and I just don’t want to risk that.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Mickey and then Brandon.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I remember 40 years ago when it was a two-lane road and the City was going to widen it because there was so much traffic. And I think it was suitable, very feasible. A lot of companies came in and did a lot of things. Things change, granted. With this Council I have heard for a year or two now that we’ve been accused of jamming things down people’s throat and not giving the public and the people a chance to kind of bite into something or to feel it. And that’s been -- several of us have been accused of doing that many, many times. And I think this is another one that would be jamming something down somebody’s throat. You know, when we first started talking about this I remember talking about re-striping it and see what the people thought. Give it a chance to take. And then all of a sudden I started hearing about, well, let’s not re-stripe, let’s go ahead and just do this. Because if you re-stripe it, you might get a lot of feedback more or less is what it is. That isn’t the words that were used, but that’s the way I was taking it. But I believe that we need to give the public time to kind of bite into it and maybe digest it just a little bit before we just all of a sudden spend $1.6 million of the public’s money and kind of, to my idea of it, is jamming it down their throat, not giving them a chance to look at it first.


COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I hear what my fellow Councilmember Sandifer is saying. I wanted to echo some of the concerns that Councilmember Vaught stated. I think for me, and I still have some of those concerns, is that if we proceed with the temporary re-striping now, I mean, looking at what was provided in the packet with the phases of -- the additional phases of the project, construction itself wouldn’t begin until spring of 2018. So, that’s a long time in between the temporary re-striping and before we actually see construction underway. And granted, you have drainage improvements and utility relocations in between. But that’s a long time without, you know, being able, I think the public to see the big picture. And I, you know, I don’t know how much benefit there is to the public to put them through inconvenience and hassle of a re-striping without what is to follow for, you know, another year and a half, two years. So, that’s my concern.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. First of all, I want to just say I think the consultants did a nice job of working with the public and trying to put a presentation together for us, so I appreciate that. My question is not really directed at the layout or the design or that sort of that thing. My question is really oriented on, I don’t think we’ve done a good job of saying why we’re doing this whole project in the first place. And I think that’s something we need to address. I think it would be very valuable to our public to know that we are wanting to do this Nieman corridor because of these following factors. It’s going to really boost development. It’s going to raise the ambiance of the area. It’s going to raise property values. There ought to be some estimates. There ought to be some come forward to this whole package that says this is why we’re doing the darn thing in the first place. And I think there’s a real lacking there for this project. And I’m getting push-back from some of my constituents saying this is a big boondoggle, why are doing this and all that kind of stuff, and it’s pretty hard to say this is why we’re doing it because I don’t have anything to say this is why we’re doing it other than the fact we think it’s a great idea and all that stuff. I’d like to get some stuff on paper. I’d like to get our folks, the Planning Department, some of the other fellows to sit down with the guys and gals and come up with a good overall concept for this which shows the benefit cost ratios and this is why we’re going to spend this money because it really is a good idea and it’s going to do this and that for the community. And that all members of Shawnee are going to get something out of this, not just people in the corridor. So, I think this is the way we need to look at most of our projects. What’s the benefit to the community overall and I think it should be a benefit community-wide. And I think it can be. So, please take a look at that. I’d like to see that before we actually vote on this project, to actually move forward. I think we should at least deal with the basics to say this is why we’re doing it. That seems quite appropriate.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Yeah. I want to thank you guys. You guys did a good job on the whole project from everything I’ve seen so far and I went through everything in the packet. I do disagree with Mr. Sandifer a little bit on the re-striping. I just don’t know that we’re going to get $80,000 worth of benefit on striping it with three lanes. But the overall project I’m in favor of. I don’t agree with you guys’ comments on the, you know, the sidewalk-bike lane, whatever on the east side. And, you know, one because of the sight distance at, whatever, 59th or whatever street that is, 60th. And then the other one is it just doesn’t make sense from just a common sense perspective of, you know, we’ve got a school to the west. We’ve got Old Shawnee Town to the west. There’s a football stadium over there. There’s all kinds of those types of things. I would think that you would put the sidewalk or the bike path/walking trail on that side. It just, I mean, it’s just common sense, but that’s just my opinion. And the safety thing was priority number one when we talked. And, you know, I don’t know for sure that you kind of address that whole thing. I mean I know you moved the street over, but still it’s a really tough intersection right there if you look to the north. But anyway, those are comments. And I really appreciate it. You guys did a good job. I’d like to see something move forward. I think the City of Shawnee needs that. I’ve been kind of pushing for it for many years just personally myself. And I think our downtown definitely needs to do something. So, thank you very much.


COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I would echo Dan and Brandon and Jeff’s comments. I think there’s something needed to be done. We’ve already decided to go forward with the -- all three of the Nieman Road projects, Nieman Road stormwater projects to get them done and out of the way so this, in fact, can happen sooner than later. I think that when people see that we have taken this step to redevelop our downtown and make a positive input, they will go ahead and they will understand, and I believe that it’s going to make a big difference as far as redevelopment and development downtown. The part about the temporary re-striping, temporary re-striping and then going with all the construction on it, I think it would almost be confusing to people. Well, we’ve got the new striping, but then we’ve got lane closures and everything. I think it would probably be more confusing than helpful at this point, particularly when the appearance is that the public wants to go ahead with the three-lane program. So, I’ll be voting for this.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff and then Mickey.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You know, going off the study --



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have Jeff and then Mickey.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Everyone wants to be.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: It’s hard to be me. You know, Mickey, you said something that I don’t necessarily agree with. And, you know, you’re implying that somehow we haven’t had public input on this and would be cramming it down the public’s throat. And I don’t think we have a single project that I’ve seen since I’ve been on the Council that we’ve spent more time and more public input on than this. I mean we’ve had multiple meetings. We’ve got consultants. We’ve got, I mean, we’ve done -- studies were taken. I mean, for the first time, I shouldn’t say the first time, but this is one of those times where we’ve truly gone above and beyond and we’ve advertised that and we’ve welcomed as much public input as we possible get. So, you know, if we wait several months and do this all at once this is going to be a surprise for everybody. This is what the people engaged showed up and said this is what we want. It’s been in the newspaper. And it’s been, and, you know, I didn’t get a rash of e-mails after it was in the newspaper telling people, no, don’t do this. I know I’ve talked to a lot of business owners. There’s a couple up and down here that don’t want it. There’s one that doesn’t want anything no matter what we do. And we all know who that is. But most of the property owners and most of the business owners I have spoken with support this. And it’s really what we’re talking about. You know, you talk about 40 years ago a two-lane road, so this kind of plays into what Mr. Jenkins said is why are we doing this. And honestly, when you look at it, how does Nieman Road look? I mean, 40 years ago, we changed it to a four-lane road or whenever it happened, what has it done for Nieman Road? I mean, yeah, you can get from Shawnee Mission Parkway from Wyandotte County to 75th Street or Shawnee Mission Parkway quick. But what has it done for downtown Shawnee? Because it hasn’t improved it any. It hasn’t gone up. I mean, honestly our downtown in Johnson County has some of the cheapest rents in the area in Johnson County. Cheap rents. And that’s because it’s just not a desirable place to be right now. That’s a fact of life. So, we could just keep doing the same thing and keep coming up with the same results and keep hoping that something will change without our intervention, or we intervene and we do something and we do like all these other cities have done and we make it happen.

I was just -- when we had our little break here I took off to the east coast. And on the way back, I drove up there and back, and I made it a point -- I drove to Boston and back and made it a point to get off the beaten path and we hit a lot of small towns. And so one of the ones I was completely impressed what Champaign, Illinois. And it sounds like you’ve been there. But you come off the highway, you go down a four-lane road. And as you come into the downtown, two lanes. Not even a center turn lane, it’s two lanes and not really any street parking. It narrows down. You’ve got this little cool triangle courtyard downtown. The band is playing. It’s a Friday night and there’s people everywhere. Traffic was congested, but traffic is not a bad thing. We have this idea that, well, we don’t want any traffic. Well, no, you do want traffic because traffic means business. It means people, it means dollars. It means people are doing something, it’s an activity. But it was awesome. I mean, you had a brew pub next door or a, what’s it called, a gastropub. I don’t know. Anyway, it was alive. I mean, it was a cool environment.

And you got out that zone and it came, you know, when you got away from the two lane it looked like that. It looked like Nieman Road. When you go to the two lane everything was new. Sidewalks, everything was beautiful. Cool courtyard. People walking up and down and it was tight and it was -- everybody was there and it was a gathering center. It works.

There was another city I was in, I can’t remember the name of it. But even Gettysburg. We went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. What is amazing is their town square, their center. You know, four or five highways, all these lanes come together. They’re two lane. They all converge in a big roundabout downtown. A lot of traffic, but it didn’t seem to hurt anything because people were all over. It works.

But I would say, I mean, to answer, I mean, I know there’s kind of this why are we doing this. I go down Nieman and I just look at empty buildings. I look at bars on windows. I look at what, two or three automotive repair centers, a parts store, a parts store that left. You know, the last retail empty building it had got filled by a discount smoke shop. You know, we can do better than that. But what we’re doing now isn’t working. So, I guess we can all sit here and sit on our hands and that’s kind of what I feel like Mickey is saying, well, you know, we went to four lanes, now what are we doing? Well, we’re trying to make it better. I guess my concern back to doing this is I can see kind of where this is going with a few is we’re going to put it out there. The public is going to oppose it and that gives more reason to come up here and kill this project that we’ve worked so hard to get and the public supports it. We’ve done our homework. They support it, they want it.


COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And going off the recommendation of our consultants who recommend re-striping it first. When we first brought this thing to the public our first initial decision was to re-stripe. That’s why we came up with that money and budgeted it so we could re-stripe it. Let the public know what we were trying to do and give them a heads up. You know, no matter we do to this project the strip center that has the smoke shop and has the auto parts store that disappeared, he is not going to put any more money in that center. He is not going to fix it up. It doesn’t matter how many millions of dollars we throw out in front of it, he isn’t going to put any more money in it. It doesn’t matter how many millions of dollars we throw out at Johnson Drive and Nieman Road, that Aztec Theater across the street is not going to open. It doesn’t make any difference. We can throw out as much money as possible. Now, Dan Pflumm owns the building across the street. We widen it 12-foot, give him a bunch of space on the side, it’s going to look good for him. Jeff Vaught bought a building up the street hoping that if can develop this, make this all good, maybe these guys can rent it and make some money. Maybe they can’t. But the fact is we have other people down the street, you know, we have Donovan’s Service, which I’m sure is probably one of them that want it on the other side of the street on the trail, you know, he has very little room up front now, a little bit more, whatever.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: He would get more.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’m not against this project. I’m not against it. But what I’m pushing for is what we initially started which was let the public find out what we’re going to do, re-stripe it. And we discussed this and that’s what everybody decided to do and now everybody wants to not re-stripe it and just do the project. So, I’m not against the project, but I’m not going to support the project unless we re-stripe it first. And that’s where I stand.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Is there any further discussion from the Council before we open for public input? Okay. Is there anyone from the audience who would like to speak to this item? Okay. Well, seeing none there, we have three actions on the item to consider. The first is recommending that the Governing Body accept the Plan Report. The second is a decision about the re-striping. And lastly, is direction to staff regarding moving forward with the project. And because of the discussion, I might separate those into three separate motions.

a) Recommend the Governing Body accept the Plan Report

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, I would accept a motion on the acceptance of the Plan Report.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Is there a second. I have a motion and a second. All those in favor say aye.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: That’s only the Plan report?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay. Just accepting the plan report. Yeah.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Opposed nay. All right. Motion passes.
[Therefore, the motion was moved by Councilmember Neighbor and Councilmember Kenig seconded to accept the Plan Report. The motion passed 8-0.]

b) Recommend to not re-stripe and save the budgeted $80,000.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. The second, I would accept a motion on a decision about the re-striping. Jeff.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I move that we do not re-stripe, temporarily re-stripe. We save the $80,000 to use on the project.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have a motion and second. All those in favor say aye.




COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: It sounds like I have three nays, Councilmember Sandifer, Councilmember Kemmling and Councilmember Jenkins. With that, the motion passes.
[Therefore, the motion was made by Councilmember Vaught and Councilmember Neighbor seconded to not proceed with the temporary re-striping of Nieman Road. The motion passed 5-3, with Councilmembers Jenkins, Kemmling and Sandifer voting nay.]

c) Direct staff to move forward with the project.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: And the last motion is the direction to staff regarding moving forward with the project.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have a motion and a second. All those in favor say aye.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Oppose nay. All right. Motion passes.
[Therefore, the motion was made by Councilmember Neighbor and Councilmember Vaught seconded to direct staff to move forward within the Nieman Road Corridor project. The motion passed 8-0.]


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Moving on. The second item is to Discuss the Shawnee Town 1929 Strategic Plan. I’ll let them tear down for a moment. Thank you. Thank you.

In 2004, the City Council adopted a strategic plan that provides the overall direction and outlines major projects necessary to achieve the goals and objectives for Shawnee Town 1929. Charlie Pautler, Museum Director, will present an updated ten-year plan. Welcome, Charlie.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you. I passed out a Calendar of Events. I also want to pass out our Time Travelers brochure at the conclusion of my talk as well as our rack card. And all of those are new brochures for this year. I just want to show the diversity of the programming that we do at Shawnee Town Museum. So, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m Charlie Pautler. I’m the Director at Shawnee Town Museum. I’ve been there for four years now. I just celebrated my fourth year anniversary just a couple weeks ago.

So, it’s a pleasure to speak to you today and to talk about where we’ve been the last ten years briefly and then really where we want to go the next ten years. I do have some of my key staff with me today. I’ve got two curators, our Curator of Education Sharon Uhler back there. Our Curator of Collections, Shannon Hsu right there. And between the two of them that’s all the education programming, all our public interface with the school kids to seniors and all of our collections and interior work, reconstructions, and our collection development and preservation of our objects. So, that’s basically the institution there.

I also wanted to introduce our Friends of Shawnee Town board members. We’ve got Kevin Fern, Cindy Ridgeway, Pat Lyles, and I think there was one more here earlier, but so. But the Friends are very important. I’ll mention them at a couple times in our program tonight. But they provide advocacy for us, public understanding and they also provide funding for us through various events where they raise money and awareness. So, with that, I’ll go ahead and launch into our plan.

[Shawnee Town 1929 Strategic Plan 2015-2025 slide]
So, this is our Strategic Plan that really programmatically we’ve already started implementing the things that don’t really cost a lot of money yet. But I wanted to take you through our programs and also our building developments, what we have on tap, what we’d like to do the next ten years.

[History Mattered: 1966 slide]
So, it all started here 50 years ago with what was known at the time as the Old Jail. There was a -- this was a grassroots effort by a group of concerned citizens in Shawnee called the Shawnee History Society. They mobilized when after World War II all of the suburbs sprang up in Johnson County. Everybody here knows the story. Homes and new shopping developments, they started to overtake our historic architecture. This is a problem all over the United States and also in Johnson County. So, some concerned citizens and got together and preserved -- this was the second attempt. It was a successful attempt. The first one, the wagon master’s house was not successful, so they were not able to save it in 1959. By 1966, they had secured this building. Moved it to Bluejacket Park which was a county park at the time, eventually given to the City of Shawnee. This was going to be the beginning of a place called Old Shawnee Town. So, that’s --

[Ten Years After: Shawnee Town 1976 slide]
I’m going to fast-forward another ten years. So, kind of a bird’s-eye view of what had happened since then. I don’t have a -- every museum director carries two pointers. Oh, it’s on my mouse. Ever museum director needs good IT support.

Over here there is the stone building that I mentioned and then the west block was built in 1967-68 right here. Funeral home, general store, stage and the Shawnee State Bank. And then the bandstand was built in 1968. In 1975, the Hart Home, which is what we called it then, was moved there from 75th and Quivira. So, that’s what it looked like. Town Hall as you can see, and this is Johnson Drive back over here. Town Hall was not built yet until 1982.

Old Shawnee Town in the 1960s and 70s, 80s into the 90s was -- the historical society did a great thing. They preserved some buildings that were threatened by demolition. They reconstructed some buildings to interpret our early life ways. Really in the 19th century into the 20th century. But the time period interpreted was very broad. But they preserved the buildings.

[History Mattered in 2004 slide]
Eventually as we moved through time the historical society members are getting older, they’re looking for the future of their institution. They want Old Shawnee Town to survive. So, they look to the City of Shawnee as that partner. So, it becomes City property in 1998. And with that the hiring of the first staff. Most importantly the focus and convening citizens together, stakeholders, the City Council of Shawnee, the Mayor, City leaders, Parks and Rec staff. We are part of the Parks and Recreation Department. Teachers, educators, concerned citizens. To figure out what do we want to do with Old Shawnee Town.

The thing that they came up with was approved by the City Council in 2004, and that was to interpret the 1920s. And the 1920s, specifically truck farming, the rural community of Shawnee really before World War II came in and changed everything. World War II was a game changer globally, nationally and to our city. So, before World War II you had a rural economy. We had 550 residents of Shawnee. And all the businesses in the small town proper supported that rural economy. And that’s what the original planning committee decided to tackle. And that’s what we’ve been working on the last ten years.

[Okay...so...WHY the 1920s? slide]
So, I’m going to take you through, okay, so why the 1920s? I like fun graphics. Who doesn’t like fun graphics?

[The 1920s, and specifically 1929 slide]
Some of the reasons why was the City was incorporated in the 1920s. The Mission Theater opened in 1927. Americans loved cinema as much back then as we do today. We gather around the water cooler at work and we talk about what movies we’ve seen. If it was a nice art film, if it was a blockbuster. They did the same thing back then. It’s the jazz age. It’s the radio age. It’s the age of prohibition where you could not buy or sell alcohol. That was a huge thing in our history and we get to talk about all those things because that’s the time period. A weekly newspaper was established that year that talked about, reported on what Shawnee citizens were doing, the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s all in that county newspaper column. And it was 1929, of course, you remember from history, it was a watershed year in our nation. It was the beginning of -- the stock market crash happened that October and then the Great Depression happened soon after. So, we get to talk about how Shawnee was affected by it and how it survived the Great Depression.

And lastly, the 1920s provides a niche. Nobody else in Kansas City talks about the 1920s and 30s like we do. And we are only one of three museums in the nation that talks about this epical time period. So, one is California, one is in Minnesota and then we’re here.

[The Construction Begins slide]
So, the construction began about 2007 to realize that first strategic plan. And here we are. We’re looking at Garrett’s Grocery Store and the Undertaker establishment.

[Reconstructed Liestman’s Ice House slide]
The first building completed was the Ice House. And in each building, I’m giving you the real basic version today, but in each building we talk about a multitude of themes and why are they important. Ice houses, of course, this provided refrigeration for all the rural families in Shawnee. Only in town did you have electricity. So, some people in town had refrigerators. Out in the rural area they delivered it, first by wagon and then by truck. Every time that somebody put a card in their window saying what kind of block of ice they wanted. So, it was very important for the refrigeration of food and the health of our community.

[Reconstructed Yotz Typewriter Shop slide]
Yotz’s Typewriter Shop. Yotz is a colorful character that you couldn’t -- if I tried to make this stuff up, I probably couldn’t because he was a World War I veteran. He was a real estate magnate. He was the City Clerk. He was a contractor. He built the City Jail, which I’ll get to in just a second. He was cantankerous and he ran a mail order business where -- it was a brick and mortar store in Shawnee, but yet it was mostly through mail order. So, people would send him their sick typewriters and adding machines, he would fix them and mail them back. He advertised in a lot of different journals for his business.

[Reconstructed Bouseman Barber Shop slide]
Bouseman Barber Shop we built -- we opened that the same year. It’s a den of activity. We have school programs going on where we talk about the, you know, a barber shop by the 1920s, this was more of a science. You had to go to school. You had to be trained to be a barber. You had to have a health certificate. That you had to be certified by the state of Kansas to practice barbering.

We brought in Locks of Love. Sharon came up with this program two years ago where women, it was mostly women, came in and donated their hair to cancer survivors to be made into wigs. So, we try to get civically engaged with our community as much as we can.

[Shawnee City Jail slide]
The Shawnee, the spacious, I should say, Shawnee City Jail. This was the Justice Center back in 1926 when it was built. And it was just one room. They had at least one cell in it, possibly two. The police officer was part-time. We did not have a full-time police officer yet. They were mainly stopping people for traffic violations for speeding through town. It was a bit of a racket back in the 1920s. It was a way to raise funds. And also prohibition was going on. So, the buying and selling of alcohol was really the main thing that they were getting people for. We didn’t have crime as we do in modern society. They had crime, so the hardened criminals that they would get, they would go to the county lockup in Olathe.

[Garrett’s Grocery Store slide]
A grocery store. The 1920s was the first era really of modern advertising as we know it. When we go into a modern Hy-Vee in Shawnee we see all the advertising, whether it’s on a label on a can or big advertisements, blow-up beach balls or blow-up bananas or, you know, sticks that dance.

[Interior view slide]
So, here we really have that first flavor of that. And I credit Shannon Hsu to that. She is the detail person. If it was up to me I guess none of our cans would have labels. But when the public walks into this space they’re really transported back to the 1920s because they see all that advertising. We had a beautiful partnership that continues to this day with Avila College. And there’s students in their interior design program partnering with us and another contractor [inaudible] and they produced all of these labels. So, it gave them projects to work on towards their graduation and it gave us a more affordable product than if we had just gone straight to a contractor.

So, a lot of the brands are recognizable, some of them aren’t. Shannon and her volunteers contacted every company, because every one of these companies is now owned by somebody else, to get permission because we didn’t want to have a lawsuit. And, Carol, we don’t want you to get in trouble with lawsuits. Ellis. So, that’s the grocery store.

[Undertaker establishment slide]
Undertake establishment. Again, we talk about the change in an industry. Every building you walk into we talk about the way that industry was 30 years ago in the 19th century and the way it is in the modern dawn of the 20th century and how it is today. So, we try and draw relevance from it. Undertaking was -- that’s the outside. Well, you can tell from the outside that it was a retrofit 1890s building just by looking at it.

[Interior views slide]
The inside was retrofit for a modern embalming room in the lower left. Seating area. They were bringing funerals from the family home now into a neutral place where people could gather. And offices and private waiting area for the family, this is a very interesting building if you haven’t been. And we talk about death. We talk about -- not with small children, but with families that are mature enough to handle it we talk about that last part of life and how that really changed in the 1920s moving the funerals from the family home into a neutral facility.

[The Farmhouse and Truck Farm slide]
The Farmstead opened in 2013. I consider this kind of our crown jewel. A lot of work went into it from everybody at the City. Our Parks staff helped rehabilitate the buildings, help move the buildings. Remember that photo I showed you from 1976 of the Hart Home out on the main, the east side of the museum campus, it was relocated once again, the final time I might add, to an area where the City pool was in Shawnee. So, those of you that might have grown up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, there was a big city pool right there. So, now we have not only the farmhouse, but we have all the outbuildings that you would have seen on a truck farm.

[Garden slide]
All the varieties of vegetables that we grow are authentic for the late 19th century and early 20th century. We know what Shawnee farmers were growing because we have K State, they were putting out agricultural reports almost every year on what specific regions of Kansas were growing. So, we know what this part of Johnson County was growing, what kind of chickens they were raising, what kind of cattle, what kind of vegetables.

So, and what’s interesting about Shawnee, Kansas is these were all truck farmers which means they’re taking their truck produce to Kansas City, Missouri. They’re not just selling it to Kansas Citians. That’s what’s the most interesting thing I think about this. We are becoming a major food distribution point. So, what we grow, the spinach, the tomatoes, the okra that we grow in Shawnee, Kansas is being sent out to Denver. It’s being sent to Chicago. It’s being distributed to areas that are much cooler than we are and they have as long of growing seasons. So, that’s one thing we’ve really found out during our research phase is how some small farm in Shawnee, Kansas was really helping feed the middle United States and into the westerns United States.

[John Deere and 1929 Ford slide]
We talk about change again at the truck farm. This was the most modern building of the farm. This was the Marketshed and we have the 19th century technology that was still widely used in the 20s. If you were to go downtown to see a movie in 1929, you would have maybe parked your Model T or your Model A next to a farm wagon or a buggy. So, it was that change in technology. Some people were still hanging onto the old, but we have the new, this Model AA 1929 Ford pickup truck which at one time was driving by Councilman Sandifer in the 70s.


MR. PAUTLER: He keeps wanting us to put a plaque on it. I’m joking. Just for the record I’m joking. So, this is a popular place for school kids because they get to come in and see where the vegetables were processed, where the only running water on the farm was in this building. It was plumbed in from the well. And the kids, you know, kids with little fingers, they were the ones that washed the vegetables. They were the ones that bundled the vegetables, put it in the baskets, helped load the truck. So, kids are learning all kinds of skills when they visit us in 4th grade or 5th grade.

[1927 Nash slide]
This is a good place to also talk about our Friends of Shawnee Town group. They pay for all of the fixtures and furnishings in the buildings. The way that we’ve worked it so far is the City, out of my City budget and the tax money from the liquor fund, that pays for the buildings. And private fund-raising pays for the building construction itself. The Friends of Shawnee Town, they pay for all the artifacts. From the biggest such as a 1927 Nash down to the paperclips in the manager’s -- the owner’s office for the undertaker. So, they pay for everything. And all the curtains, the wallpaper, that kind of thing. So, it’s a good relationship that we have them. And we wouldn’t be able to do it if we didn’t have the Friends.

[...but what are buildings without people? slide]
But what are all these buildings without people and programs? So, we try to make history come to life. And we don’t, you know, 20 or 30 years ago museums, because we didn’t have the Internet, because we didn’t have Facebook, because we weren’t enamored with our cellphones looking at them all the time. There, I finally found mine, we didn’t have large plasma TVs in our homes. People got out more. So, generally you would build it and they would come. Now, they don’t necessarily come if you build it. Now, you have to market the heck out of it and you have to make it relevant. So, we have to make a connection to our lives, to our modern lives today. We have to give people a reason to want to come out and see the old way and draw relevance from that.

So, that’s Sharon in the photo there. She’s teaching the children about gardening, about open-pollinated corn and how it’s different than our modern hybrid corn. Why it’s important to the people of the 1920s, where it would be distributed, how it’s planted.

[Kansas and Missouri curriculum-based programs slide]
The school kids help us plant our garden. Another school group will probably help us harvest a lot of our garden in the fall. So, it’s a constant year cycle. We start in April with the school kids planting and we finish in October. So, we have a living history program. We have an educational program that is designed mostly for 2nd through 5th grade, but we take all grades. And we’ve designed our school programs specifically around the curriculum standards. And those curriculum standards change every few years. So, Sharon is on it. I’m on it. We’re studying what the modern curriculum is and how to design a program around it. So, we cover curriculum in various points in history. Of course, social studies, those are kind of the obvious ones. But also now science, reading and math. There’s a lot of math that would have been done a truck farm. There’s a lot of science in the form of how a seed grows and what happens to it eventually and how it pollinates.

[But there’s still work to do slide]
But that’s really what we’ve done so far. And now I’d like to focus on the work that we have to do over the next ten years. And these are two of our volunteers on the bookends, Jim and Pat, and then JoJo is our new museum assistant that we hired back in the spring. And she has helped really bring the program to life this summer. So, she survived the summer of a hundred degree heat so many times and she still comes to work every day. So, we’re proud of that.

[The updated Strategic Plan 2015-2025 slide]
The updated Strategic Plan. We’re really taking those ideas from 2004, what we’ve learned and we are flushing it out and this is a plan for completion of Shawnee Town. So, it’s divided into six construction phases. And again, this is based on what has worked so far and what hasn’t. And each one of these construction phases is kind of independent.

So, we have funding right now, most of the funding set aside for the first phase. The second phase is going to be a phase where we have to fundraise it ourselves. While we’re doing that maybe we will accumulate more money for the third phase. So, what I’m saying is we might do Phase I, then Phase III, then Phase II, then IV, depending on what we have the money for.

I’d like to point out that we’ve been very responsible and we don’t spend money that we don’t have. We don’t put the City in a lurch. I don’t have to go to my Friends group and ask for an extra 40 grand real quick by Friday. So, we try to spend responsibly. Unless they give it to me, of course.

[Phase I slide]
So, the first phase is planning, grading, utilities and starting the west block and then starting one building on the east block. Let’s see. We’ll enclose the storm creek. We’ll be filling that in with dirt, planting for more green space in the intervening years until we build a visitors center. I’ll get to that in just a moment. We will repair that first building that was brought to Shawnee Town in 1966, that stone building. It’s in need of a roof. It’s in need of some tuck-pointing. So, it needs some care. And we will begin construction of the Chevy dealership over on the east block. That’ll be next to the typewriter repair shop. And then we will turn our attention over to the west block and begin that with the gas station which also doubles as the fire department.

The Shawnee Fire Department back in the 1920s operated out of a garage, a private garage in town. And I had the pleasure of meeting with Chief Mattox a few weeks ago and the Fire Department is on board. They’re excited about the new opportunity. He’s even offered to maybe bring their REO fire truck maybe for a special event or two. So, we’re excited about that. And Neil will make sure that it will fit in the garage if it rains. We won’t let it get wet.

So, that’s Phase I. That will replace the dilapidated funeral home, the Shawnee State Bank and the dry goods store. At first, we planned to take the funeral home, the state bank and the stage. We will leave the dry goods store up for a few years because we have an issue with storage space for our collection. That is the building in the best shape of all of them. The other ones we have severe mold, we have severe rot.
The funeral home was built on telephone poles for footings. There really were no footings. It was built on telephone poles and those have long since rotted and it’s kind of hanging there.

The State Bank, the parapet looks like it’s wanting to move inward. They’ve done some bracing over the last few years, but we have not occupied those buildings for four years now, so those will be coming down.

The cost will be paid for from Fund 207, which is our Liquor Tax Fund.

[Firehouse/Gas Station and Fisher’s Chevrolet Dealership slide]
And that is an historic photo of each building, the firehouse/gas station and the Chevrolet dealership which was Fisher’s.

[The West Block slide]
The continuation of the west block, the completion of the west block includes the new Shawnee State Bank. This is a more historically accurate representation of what is there now. It had a side, you notice kind of on the side of that there is a -- the main door was on the corner. And then the Tom Davis Dry Goods store, the drug store and then an electric store. An electric store back then was a place where you went to go buy a toaster. They sold electric appliances. So, that’s an artist rendering by Charlie Goslin. He did the first rendering for us back in 1966 and he did this rendering for us just last year. So that, again, it’s the State Bank, dry goods store, drug store and then electric store.

These we will built all at once, but they will be furnished one at a time. I want Shannon to keep coming back to work. Because to furnish a building in an authentic manner, it takes -- it’s a monumental undertaking just to get all the details right. We don’t cut corners because we want our visitors to be transported back in time. So, we’re going to be opening those one at a time.

[Phase II slide]
And this will be, the price tag of $819,000 will be fund-raised through private and corporate donors. There are a couple different corporations that we’re going to be approaching here very soon, Neil and I, and we will take our drawing of that west block and what it’s going to look like. We have success with that in the past. So, we hope to do that again.

[Shawnee State Bank-Tom Davis Dry Goods Store-Goddard’s Electric Store slide]
Historic photos of those buildings.

[Phase III slide]
Renovations of the Trail Café and the firehouse. The Trail Café is really our -- it serves as a classroom. It also serves for the Optimists when they provide food for our large special events. They operate a food kitchen out of there. So, that will get new wiring. It’s getting a new roof right now actually. It will have updated appliances. It will have an updated restroom that’s handicapped accessible.

And then the firehouse is in about the same condition as the undertaker is now. So, that will be taken down. And what I would like to do is use that -- we do not have an area where kids, where classrooms can picnic outside when it’s inclement weather. So, I want to add a picnic pavilion with a roof that will enclose everything. That will encourage more family reunions to come our site and school groups. So, that amount of money will come from Liquor Tax Fund 207.

[Phase IV slide]
The Visitor Center. Right now we don’t offer much in the way of visitor services. So, visitor services means, well, having a presence for number one. We have a lot of feedback on people that kind of are a little bit frustrated when they get to us because there’s not much signage and they don’t know where West 57th Street is. It’s kind of a hard visitor center to find right now. We will be moving that visitor services building over to the Johnson Drive side. It makes a lot more sense for people to be able to find us.

And then we will be providing things like visitor restrooms to them there, an orientation space, a classroom, and a library where we could lend books. A museum exhibit that talks about what Shawnee was like before our time period and well after our time period. And offices for the staff.

Right now we’re kind of retrofit into broom closets and copy rooms. We make it work, but we’re in need of -- once the program is developed this far we’re going to need real offices. And the close proximity will be right next to Town Hall, so that will give us a better presence for rentals.

And the Trading Post, which is where our visitor center is right now, that will be retrofit. And I don’t think it will take a lot of retrofitting to make it into a full-time collection storage unit. So, by moving more of our artifacts on-site, and we have a couple satellite facilities right now where we store our large artifacts especially off-site, so we won’t have that need anymore. So, we’ll have more of our artifacts under one roof at Shawnee Town. Not all, but most.

So, this is a hefty price tag as well, but it’s one that we will go back and raise money from private funds.

[Phase V slide]
Our last historical reconstruction will be Dr. Sullivan’s residence. And he was a prominent doctor in town all through the early to mid-20th century. And there it’s going to be located between the West Block and the Farmstead so people will encounter it on their way to and from the Farmstead. There people can compare and contrast modern living in the 1920s, i.e. running water, electricity, flush bathrooms with those lack of facilities at the Farmstead. So, it’s going to be a wonderful compare and contrast. And that will come from Liquor Fund 207.

[Phase VI slide]
We are very involved with civic engagement. That’s kind of a museum and education word that’s been floating around for about 15 to 20 years, civic engagement. What does that really mean? Well, that means connecting with your community, public interaction, making your museum so that people that wouldn’t ordinarily come to a museum, they’re there for maybe something else like Old Shawnee Days. I’ve got a picture of Liverpool there. They come to the concert. How many did we have for Loverboy this year? 40,000 people that came for that concert. They come for another reason, to recreate, to have a family reunion in a safe environment. But then they discover the educational things while they’re there. And we’ve had a lot of repeat visitation. Each year we have more and more of that. So, we are being discovered. We’re not really a best kept secret anymore. And I don’t like us to be a best kept secret. And so we’re getting -- through civic engagement we are offering public events, these special events I list here, concerts, community events. We’ve got a craft fair that our Friends put on. Old Shawnee Days put on by the Old Shawnee Days local committee. Historical Hauntings and Christmas around Town. So, all of those we offer at Shawnee Town. And they began that in 1966. The historical society understood civic engagement before the rest of America understood civic engagement.

[The finished layout for Shawnee Town 1929 slide]
So, this is what the final layout will look like with all the different buildings. The buildings in gray are the ones that we already have in place. The Farmstead is up here. The grocery store, ice house and undertaker is right here. The typewriter, barber shop, and stone building and jail are back here. This is the Trail Café and this is the old -- no. This is Trail Café. This is the schoolhouse. I’m sorry. Let me go back. Technology. I’m from the 1920s, folks, it’s hard. So, this is the -- so, this will be the picnic pavilion. Then we’ve got Doc Sullivan’s house right here. A performance space on the back of Town Hall. Then we’ve got the gas station/firehouse, Shawnee State Bank, the dry goods store, the drug store and then the electric store. And then across here the first building that we’ll be building after this is the Chevy dealership right here, Letter D.

[Event photo slide]
So, these are just some photos taken from some of our events. I probably have some explaining to do later.

[Inaudible; conversations off microphone]

But we have the Police Department out for all of our events, they provide public safety. But they come out and give out candy at Historical Hauntings. And the top photo is of our spring, our summer concert series that Sharon organized starting three years ago now. Jammin’ on the Green, which has become very popular. So popular we added an extra concert in September starting last year. So, by September, maybe it’ll have cooled off a little bit this year. But we’ve got another one coming up.

I passed out the Calendar of Events just so you can see the diversity of the programming that we offer. Most of these we didn’t offer even three years ago. So, take a look at those.

[Earned revenue 2004-2015 slide]
Now, for some numbers. Earned revenue. Since the last strategic plan, the total income was a little over $75,000. Now as of last year, the last complete year was $123,000. We bring that in primarily through rentals of Town Hall, wedding receptions, corporate meetings, retirement parties, family reunions and program. Program means school programs. It means our living history program. It means any kind of mission-based program that has an educational component to it.

[Overall Attendance slide]
And then overall attendance looks pretty good. The one caveat I will throw out there with overall attendance, it depends on what the weather is like for Old Shawnee Days. That really affects our attendance. It really rained in 2011, but this year -- this last year we finished very well, 145,000 people annually for our visitation at Shawnee Town 1929.

School programs have gone from 1,800 to 2,300 as we build our curriculum. And our mission-based programs, those are other mission-based programs, 1,600 people, children and families. So, that is an area that is continually growing, both of those sides, the rental side and the program side.

[Revenue and expenditures slide]
These are our revenue and expenditure figures. The one thing I want to point out that isn’t reflected in these numbers are the two hotels that will be coming into Shawnee. Those will be providing some revenue for us that is not reflected in this table.

[Shawnee Town 1929 partners slide]
We don’t operate in a vacuum. We don’t operate alone. We are a part of the City of Shawnee. We’re part of the City Parks and Rec Department. We have a healthy Friends group. We have a very supportive City Council and Mayor. And we always have and I’m very appreciative and my staff is as well. So, these are all of our partners. You know, I call Mel when I need help with my computer in IT. We have local businesses that Sharon calls when we’re getting money for sponsorships for the Halloween program. The Shawnee Chamber, Visit Shawnee. Kevin calls me when he would like me to come out and talk to a group I’m more than happy to do that. And Kevin and what’s formerly known as the Convention and Visitors Bureau, they’ve been extremely supportive.

I came from a site -- I’m from this area originally, but I spent 17 years in Minnesota where we didn’t have a close relationship with our CVB because they just didn’t get it. Well, Kevin and Visit Shawnee, they get it. So, we’re very appreciative of that.

And all of our volunteers. We could not do our interpretative programs with just the professional staff that we have. We have several hundred city-wide, but we have about 20 to 25 really dedicated living history volunteers that stay out in the grocery store and undertaker shop when it’s 105 degrees inside. They sweat. They put their blood, sweat and tears into the place and it really shows because our numbers have really gone up.

[Friends of Shawnee Town slide]
So, the Friends, again they raise money for us. They raise awareness. And they put on the Craft Fair, which is coming right up the middle of September. And they also offer for our kids, our poorer schools that can’t afford to come to Shawnee Town, they provide a bus subsidy for that. They spent almost $3,000 last year in helping to get poorer schools to come and visit our educational programs and participate.

[Historic photo slide]
So, I’ll leave you with this, a historic photo and a photo of Amelia Earhart and Jaden. So, the two women on the left, these were Shawnee truck farmers. They spent their lives working with their hands, working in the heat, working in the cold. And we’re privileged to be able to interpret their lives today.

[The End slide]
So, with that, I can open it up to any questions you might have.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Thank you, Charlie. Any discussion? Jim?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. Charlie, I just would like to say good job and I appreciate your vision and forethought for the next ten years because it looks like it is going to continue on in the spirit it has.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: And we’re rolling in the right direction. The other thing, a huge shout and thanks to the Friends of Shawnee Town because this wouldn’t happen without your folks’ efforts.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I kind of want to echo what Jim said. It looks like a great plan moving forward, and so, you know, good luck getting everything done. And I think you’ve got a lot of support behind you. And thank you everybody, everybody in the City of Shawnee that supports you. It’s been around for a long time. I think there’s a lot of, you know, sweat that went into that place. And anyway, and so thanks.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jeff and then Brandon.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I agree. It’s interesting to watch this evolve, so it’s fun watch. You know, what I think would be interesting is if, you know, I’m not originally from Shawnee and a lot of people that visit they probably don’t understand kind of where that was. It would be interesting to have a map that kind of, you know, a big oil picture, you know, of today’s Shawnee and then link each -- a link from -- and then a map of that and link each one of those buildings of where it actually stood in Shawnee.





COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Well, no, but I mean like an outside one. Like where for visitors could walk in -- unless we can all visit your office and just funnel through.

MR. PAUTLER: You know, there’s different ways to capture that information through Survey Monkey or using our modern technology. And one thing I haven’t really talked about much is the use of modern technology and really the program side of things. There’s a lot of ways to interpret our history to people other than using living history. Luckily, we have a huge core of volunteers to deliver those programs. But there are signs we can use or there is utilizing that thing I picked on earlier that we all look at frequently, using the Internet, using a mobile website, using -- and we started doing oral histories, what, 12 years ago, somewhere in there 15 years ago, interviewing people while they were alive who were truck farmers in the 20s and 30s, getting their first-hand accounts in their voice. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to walk into the Farmstead if we don’t have a living history interpreter and be able to hit that interview and we just -- you hear some of the high points in their voice of what their life was like in that kitchen. So, I haven’t answered your question, but there are certainly ways to capture that information of where people are visiting us from, whether it’s in various part of Shawnee or all over the world.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: And you actually hit on exactly what I was going to suggest. I mean being able to incorporate technology, and so many of these museums have, you know, the walkie-talkie functionality where you can get the first-hand interpretations. But more cost effective is being able to do it from your cell phone and just being able to as you go exhibit to exhibit play that recording. But I just want to echo, I mean, this is truly a visionary plan. And I’ve really come to really love just the diverse programming that you guys have and put on every year. It’s really quite remarkable. And I think the Speakeasy series is something that’s great because it draws in a younger crowd as well and gets them excited. And the speakers that you guys are able to attract are always fascinating. They always tie national themes of what happened during the period back to what was happening locally. And they’re well-attended. And I’ve gone to as many of them as I can and have brought others to them. But you guys just do a phenomenal job with the program and I think that stands out, so.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you very much.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Charles, I just wanted to tell you I really appreciate the plan. I think you guys did a really good job of writing that. And just for your information I read every single word of it today, and there were some things we didn’t talk about in there, but I think those are good things as well. It really gives cohesiveness to what we’re trying to do and what you’re trying to do. It gives you a basis, a strong foundation for moving forward. And I think those things are so important when you’re reliant on support from outside entities such as Friends of Shawnee and that kind of thing. I mean, to be able to show them up front this is what we’re trying to do and this is where we’re going I think that’s just really great. And it was well done, very effectively done. Thank you.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you.


COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Old Shawnee Town has always been just fabulous. You know, I went to the first Old Shawnee Days and it’s just cool. And it’s kind of the peaceful side of the Shawnee. You know, I’ve been up here for a little while and hardly, I mean, you’re going to get complaints about anything. But the Parks Department in Shawnee, we get admiration instead of complaints more so than we do in other areas because even if people have admiration for what we’re doing, they don’t always say it. Whereas, in the Parks Department you just hear about how good it is and how fun it is because it’s more enjoyment and activities for the people. And I just feel fortunate to be a little piece of it and just to learn from you guys. You guys are amazing. You’re doing a great job. And thank you for the great presentation.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you. And thank you for the support of the City Council.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. Is there anyone from the audience who would like to speak to this item? Okay. Seeing none, the recommended action is to forward the Plan to the Governing Body for approval. Would anyone like to make a motion?



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have a motion and a second. All those in favor say aye.


MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. Thank you again.

MR. PAUTLER: Thank you.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Sandifer seconded to forward the Shawnee Town 1929 Strategic Plan to the City Council for approval. Motion passed 8-0.]


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: The third and final item is to Discuss the Councilmember Appointment Process.

The Council Committee has discussed this item at several meetings. At the April 5, 2016 meeting, there were still questions about the new election law, and the Committee again tabled the item. Nolan Sunderman, Assistant City Manager, will review the background and provide options for discussion.

Welcome, Nolan.

MR. SUNDERMAN: Thank you. And I apologize. I don’t have any fun photos to hand out or -- I’ll start off with just kind of a quick handout. It’s got the four vacancy options as well as the two additional hybrids. I just want to make sure you have a copy, make notes. We can kind of walk through this, if there’s any changes.

MR. RAINEY: Is that Brandon’s Alternative I and 2? We affectionately call those the Brandon Amendments by the way.

MR. SUNDERMAN: So, let me pull up Charter Ordinance 40. So, this is a draft of Charter Ordinance 40. We’ll be focusing on the highlight section, so I can kind of scroll through this. There is a lot of changes in this document, so obviously I can try to answer those or Ellis can. I know Katie has obviously done a great job and a lot of research on this well, but we can address those. We’ll be focusing on this highlighted section in terms of the actual vacancy. So, are there any other questions kind of outside the highlighted area in terms of the charter ordinance?

So, the next item is Policy Statement 7. There’s just one minor change on this document and that’s in terms of the appointment of the vice-chair. And you kind of have to scroll through this. And that’s the only minor change on Policy Statement 7.

And then you also have a draft of this Council Vacancy Appointment Process. I believe this was the process that was followed the last time there was a vacancy on the Council. Are there any questions with that particular?

[Election timeline slide]
So, this is just a quick reminder of the City election timeline. We have the odd year fall elections are the City elections. Even year fall elections are the state and federal elections. And then what’s new is the May 1 certification of City offices. That’s kind of a new date you’ll see is kind of this May 1st. That’s actually in the state statute. So, that’s kind of something new that you may have discussed prior, but just kind of wanted to point that out.

And then you can see the chart in terms of where each of the Council seats fall in light of the terms and the changes to those, when the election would be and then the actual swearing in.

[Vacancy Option No. 1 slide]
So, Vacancy Option No. 1 is the current process, I’m sure you’re familiar with. The Council can attempt to fill the vacancy to the unexpired term. If it’s not filled within the 60 days, a special election would then be called.

[Vacancy Option No. 2 slide]
A second option is the special election. So, there is no attempt to fill the vacancy, go straight to the special.

[Vacancy Option No. 3 slide]
The third option is the utilization of the annual election cycle so the vacancy may be filled. Then the City Council could -- and that would be for the -- I’m sorry. That would be for the even year or odd elections. This would be the upcoming annual election. The Council could fill that seat up until that point and then this would eliminate the special election cost.

[Vacancy Option No. 4 slide]
And the last option as far as what we’re presenting is essentially the same as No. 3. It would only be for the City election, so the fall of odd years. That’s kind of the change between 3 and 4. Both Options 3 and 4 would eliminate that special election cost.

Then that’s it from our perspective. Councilmember Kenig has proposed kind of two hybrid options, and I can pull those up as well for discussion. Or I don’t know if you want to jump in.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Jeff, I think you have a question first?

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Yeah. You know, here we are looking at approving or changing our charter ordinance. And with our last primary election, I got a feeling we’re going to be doing this again. I do know that in speaking with a few of the current legislature, I brought up kind of this idea of a city council having a primary in August, an election in November, and a swearing-in in January. And they said you guys do you understand the timeline there. I said you could have an incumbent City Council member get bumped out in a primary and for six months he’s going to sit in that seat going through this process. And they kind of looked at me and went, oh, we never thought of that. So, my understanding is in talking to a few people there’s support to at least change the swearing-in date. I don’t know if that’s written in stone. I don’t know if that has to be January how that works, but to where they would allow the swearing-in immediately after November. Is that what we’re talking about the chart here?

MR. RAINEY: That’s been discussed quite a bit. There’s not a lot of answers to a lot of this. You know, I mean, this is -- we’re all going through this for the first time. Most people regard that particular provision of the statute to be uniform, uniformly applicable to all cities, meaning we can’t charter out of it like we can the others. The vacancy in office provisions, you know, they’re either -- there’s either inconsistent statutory provisions or there are statutes that incorporate other statutes that have provisions that apply not equally to all cities so we can charter out. That particular provision everyone has indicated they believe --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: No, and I understand that. But my concern is, and if it happens, it happens. I think we’re going to be doing this again because I’ve got a feeling this new legislature is going to look at this because of actual representation of local government and their wants and desires and go, okay, you don’t like this, let’s look at this. I do know that the ones I’ve talked to, there is an awareness that this, you know, having a general the first week of November and then sitting around for another 2˝ months just doesn’t make sense at the local level. We’ve got to get business done. Now, obviously we’re doing this, but.

MR. RAINEY: It doesn’t. And I’ve heard a lot of frustration with that. And there was a lot of frustration even with us in trying to draft the alternate vacancy provisions because number one, we don’t want to screw it up. And number two, you know, you could have a -- if we didn’t make it uniform as to you filling a vacancy, you could also have a vacancy that would be filled and would that person then take office as soon as the vacancy is filled or would they take office at the end. At the end being, you know, like everyone else done, the people who are running for their regular term. And everyone chases themselves back around in a circle and says, well, that has to be uniform then. It has to be uniformly applicable to everyone, so everyone is following the same statute.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Just out of curiosity, and I don’t know if you can answer this. I mean, based on what we’re spending on legal fees to figure this out, statewide, how much money is being spent on legal fees to figure out how to put in place something that the state voted on that doesn’t -- just kind of hand us a pile and say, okay, figure it out. And we’re spending thousands of dollars in legal fees and we may not even get it right.

MR. SUNDERMAN: Well, and I think the secretary of state was supposed to issue kind of an opinion on a lot of these issues by July 1st. And now they don’t think it’ll occur until at least after the election. So, I think what’s also interesting about the swearing-in is it actually specifically says the second Monday in January in the statute. And, you know, not all cities have meetings on the second Mondays and so do you schedule a special swearing-in at that time. And so there’s just a lot of, you know, animosity over that specific, how specific it is in the legislation.

MR. RAINEY: I was just trying to find the statutory -- here is -- just to show you a little bit of the confusion. K.S.A. 25-21a03 regarding primaries and primary and general municipal elections. And they have all these provisions here. And then in (d), “The secretary of state shall establish primary election procedures for primary elections for municipalities.” (e), “The secretary of state shall establish general election procedures for general elections for municipalities.” And then you go down to this last one here and it says, (g) “The secretary of state shall adopt rules and regulations to implement this section on or before July 1, 2016.” And no one has seen it. And to partially answer your question, the last city attorney meeting I went to, you know, I mean, gosh, there were probably 200 people there and we spent a good two hours on this issue with everyone in the room. It’s not easy.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I feel like we’re wasting our time.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, I would just -- I would break in and say, first of all, I don’t disagree with you that I think it was a bad law. It shouldn’t have been passed. They didn’t consult anyone at the local level. That’s my own opinion. Regardless of that, it is the law. And regardless even of that, what we’re discussing is not whether we like having elections in the fall and being, you know, sworn in January, we’re discussing what to do about a vacancy. So, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a parallel conversation. It doesn’t do us any good to discuss what the state government has done because we can’t impact that. I think what we’re trying to do now is put to bed a very, very lengthy conversation we’ve had about what to do when a vacancy occurs at the local level. So, I don’t know that it’s necessarily germane.

MR. RAINEY: I’m sorry. Maybe I wasn’t very clear on that. We have to transition over whether we like it or not.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I know. And I understand that. But I guess my frustration here is, I mean, what we’re talking about here and what you’re saying, trying to -- this is -- we have no choice. It’s getting very convoluted though. I mean, it’s -- they’ve created a scenario here where, I mean --

MR. RAINEY: Well, our election commissioner is not very happy about it either because they’re going to have to run all these elections and they don’t have any guidance yet from the secretary of state that’s going to tell them what to do. So, there’s a lot of frustration. But, you know, I don’t know that we can do anything about it other than transition. And we have all the statutory mandates and the provisions in place. I’m certain now in the charter ordinance the only thing we don’t have is we don’t know what text to put in there for vacancies in office. And now we have four options that we had up on the board and then we have the two new Brandon Amendments. So, whatever -- we just need to decide on one of the six and we’ll put them in there. If we need to come back and change it next year, we’ve got to come back and change it next year I guess.


COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yeah. I like the system that we have at the moment. I think it’s worked out well. And it’s actually three of the people on this Council have been appointed on here and who knows if they would have ever won an election. You know, nobody knows that. But they were appointed on this Council.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I’ve won one since.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You know, if we were going to change it, I’m still against the point of spending money for a special election. You know, if everybody is hell bent on trying to get this changed, I mean, Option 3 and 4 are the ones that do not have a special election fee, is that correct?

MR. RAINEY: That is correct.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I mean, if we’re going to look at something, look at something that’s not going to cost us. You know, that’s my opinion.
COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I would just jump in real quickly and say I was one of those appointed and I hated the process. And I think it was terrible as a candidate and I think it led, and I’ve talked about this for three years now since I was appointed the first time and reelected in an election, just to point out.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You weren’t reelected, nobody ran against you.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: You weren’t reelected then either, were you, because nobody ran against you.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I was unopposed also.

COUNCILMEMBERS: I think that’s still reelected. In any event --

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: It’s not reelected, it’s elected.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Whatever the hell it was. All right. So, I don’t know that we can start throwing names, Mickey, as always. But I would say my experience with the process, and I would venture to guess I’m not the only one was not a good one. I know Mike had been through a process. I mean, all of us have kind of -- many of us have been through that process. It wasn’t a good one. I don’t think that it was fair to any of the candidates involved. I think that it led to a lot of undue speculation about the motives of the people on the Council, the candidates, and I think that’s why we started this entire conversation. So, I have supported changing it for three years and continue to support changing it. Brandon and then Dan and then Eric -- Brandon, Eric, Dan.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. Well, I want to kind of go into kind of the two options and kind of my thinking on that. So, I’m welcome to go ahead and do that now?


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, just to give some background on this. So, shortly after I was appointed to the Council we had this discussion and it’s been tabled a couple times. But initially my thoughts were that I would be in support of a hybrid. I see benefit in being able to have somebody who is duly-elected in the position as soon as possible, but there are cost elements involved. And so I think it would be somewhat negligent to ignore elections as they occur and not try to piggy-back on those. And because this is very complex and I have difficulty thinking extemporaneously and spontaneously, I had to plot out these scenarios, hence, what you have before you.

So, these two options came about because when I was looking at ways that we could piggy-back on elections either annualized or just going based off of odd cycle City elections, I started from the scenarios the City provided to us and tried to see if we could condense the amount of time that we were to have a special election between a vacancy and a special election to about six months, and the same for a regular scheduled election. That was difficult to do, but that’s where these time frames come into place. And as I was going through this, I realized that there’s no way to not have a temporary appointment within the process because no matter what, if you’re going to have a special election you’re looking at a six-month window. And I did talk to county election staff last week because I know that the numbers that we were provided are about 120 days to 150 days for the county to prepare for a special election. That’s actually on the conservative side. I was told that more than likely than not it would be closer to six months or 180 days. And that’s partially because we would be the first Class 1 city to do this. Roeland Park, which currently has this in place, is much smaller. So, when they have a ward special election, they set up polling places for two precincts basically and that’s how they do it in one ward. For any of our wards there would be multiple polling places, many more than two. And so that requires sending out notices to all the residents, calling the polling places to see if they’re available because many of the polling places that would be available during a regular August-November election won’t necessarily be available for a special election and so they’re going to have to find alternative locations. And then being able to staff those up. Hire election workers and go through that process. Hence, why that can take up to six months.

So, for me I don’t think -- I don’t see how you can deprive any given ward of their voting strength, basically 50 percent of their voting strength for six months without having a temporary appointment in place. A lot can happen in six months, not only budget process, but cycles fluctuate and we could be considering any number of issues. And essentially the residents of that ward would be deprived of their full vote, disenfranchised actually. So, to me I think you have to have a temporary appointment within any of these, hence, my support for a hybrid system. And the main difference between these two is that if you’re tracking with annualized it’s a little bit easier. There is basically two time frames involved because you don’t have to separate out into odd and even years versus if you’re tracking two city elections only, you have that additional length of time to where you would have to adjust, hence, the odd year being split up into two and then having basically the even year is so far from where the normal election would be, local Council election. Hence, you -- the idea is that you would automatically schedule a special election is there is a vacancy at any time between January 1st and December 31st of an even year, which just accounts for that length of time. So, that’s just my thoughts on it. I’d be happy to answer any questions on that as well.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. I think we have a couple comments. Eric and then Dan.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. My first comment was I agree with you 100 percent, Councilman Meyer, your comments you made earlier. I think that was just absolutely perfect. A question I had though was Option No. 3 and Option No. 4 as presented to us tonight. And one of them is for even -- well, one says even or odd years, the other one said only odd years. So, if you go with Option No. 4, you had to have another option as well it seems like because that only covers odd years, so that’s kind of confusing on how you would implement that.

MR. SUNDERMAN: Well, you would only have the -- the election would only be held on the odd years to keep kind of those local city issues on the local ballot. So, you would potentially, depending on the timeline and when that vacancy occurred, even if it was before May 1 of an even year, you would state wait until that fall election of the odd year.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Got it. That clarifies that.

MR. SUNDERMAN: Sorry for that.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Don’t like that idea. So, okay.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. I don’t want to interrupt you before I move on to Dan. You look like you’re thinking thoughts. Are you finished?



COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That’s why I stopped.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: You looked like you were midway, so I didn’t know.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I was waiting for a proposal.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I know. Well, I didn’t know what was going to happen.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, I agree with your comments on the selection process. The problems we’ve had, endless problems with that, this is probably why we’re here is because we had those problems. So, I think we could piggy-back on an election in the fall of every single year whether it be an even or an odd, so it wouldn’t cost us anything to have an election, you know, once a year if we needed to for a Council position. That would be my opinion right there. I don’t like this election process. I think there’s too much, you know, inbreeding and, you know, jockeying and stuff like that. So, I just think that --

[Council talking amongst themselves.]

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, anyway, I just think that we could, I mean, it’s not the greatest thing in the world to have a vacancy, but you’re not going to go more than 12 months ever, and chances are you’re going to be less than that. So, I just think that we should, you know, go with the election cycles that, you know, that are available to us. And then, you know, it’s not the best to go with seven. Maybe it’s six, I don’t know. But, you know, if you had one short, you know, I still think you’re getting represented in your ward. It’s not perfect, but it gets rid of the, I don’t know, the collusion and stuff like that’s happened in the past.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: You know, I’ve always been the one that said that, you know, I think our system works fine. I would just say that, you know, and it was stated we might be doing this, you know, we could even come back next year and just start all over again. I’m not sure we’re going to be looking at the same election bill after this legislature gets done this spring than what we have right now. So, do we want to go through all this? I mean chances are nobody up here is going to resign in the next 12 months. But obviously anything can happen. But -- or even the next six months. But do we want to just -- do we want to kind of go through all this with these timelines and these dates, or do we want to just wait and see truly what this legislature is going to do. What’s the secretary of state going to do? Let’s keep it on the appointment and just come back and revisit it when we actually know that these are the dates. Number one. Number two is, I would only say for a council appointment on even years, like what we just saw, they’re hyper-partisan. Our elections now at the state and federal level have become hyper-partisan. And the onslaught that we just witnessed even in the campaign for the 39th, I would not want to be a councilmember stuck in the middle of that. I mean regardless, you know, if you’re on the wrong side of the money and that’s what we saw, you’re a target. And you’re going to be a target in your local community. You’re going to be -- you’re not running for a state office. You’re going to be a target in your community and you’re going to have big money going after you because why not, they’re already sending it out and they going to take you down with whoever. It’s, you know, you’re not partisan, so that’s the question. Where do we put them on the ballot? Do we put them, you know, is it going to be on that -- is it going to be on the primary ballot in August or is it going to be on the November? And the primary one, obviously you’re on both ballots, Democrat and Republican. But typically in Shawnee there is either no Democrat. You know, this election we saw a lot, but typically Democrats aren’t running, so you’re going to be on a Democrat ballot on a primary when Democrats aren’t showing up to the polls, or you’re on a hyper-partisan Republican ballot. I don’t think that’s fair to the person -- I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that. So, you know, if we did some of this, I’m not opposed to getting around to the next cycle and saying, okay, we’re in an odd year let’s get him in an election cycle, in this local election cycle. But, you know, and that’s why the state, I mean, as much as I don’t like the election bill, they did come down and say that we don’t, a lot of them, the majority of them came down and said we don’t agree with mixing local elections with state and federal elections, and that’s why we have an even and odd year. And we’re going to sit here and say, well, we know better than that, we’re going to put you in the middle of a state. And so I just -- I don’t agree with that. I think it would get ugly. And it would not, I mean, I think that would get uglier than the appointment process. I just don’t see how that would be healthy for what we’re doing here.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I guess I would just say in terms of the timing, I don’t think we can predict what the legislature will or won’t do next year. But regardless of that, we’ve been asked to clarify what we want to do about vacancies as they’re updating the ordinance to be reflective of the laws that have already been enacted at the state level. So, we’ve got to go one way or another. I don’t see the point if we’re making that decision why we don’t make a decision about what we want to do as a Governing Body. That way that’s in place so we aren’t coming back if it does change in a year, in another six months. We keep this cycle going. I think as a group we need to make a decision one way or another what our will is as it were so that can be moved forward. And in terms of which option -- I would favor the option of the next -- it would be Option No. 3. So, whatever the closest election would be you would be, I think it actually would be a greater issue for that person of being so down-valid that your race gets ignored. Then I think the people are going to throw in big money and play in all of that. And you’re going -- the candidate would be on both the Democrat and Republican ballot because it would be a non-partisan position.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: They would be except typically in Shawnee you don’t have Democrats on the ballot.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: There were, I mean --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: There was this election because Democrats made the decision to go after crazy over-the-cliff Republican legislature.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, if you have a normal election is it fair to a candidate who is supposed to be non-partisan to be on a ballot where you have far greater Republican turnout than you do Democrat turnout?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: They’re on both ballots. How is that not fair?

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: And so everybody knows I’m unaffiliated. So, I’m saying this from the middle.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right. And I guess I don’t understand your concern because they would be on every ballot. If you go in as a Republican or a Democrat and pull a ballot, it would be on -- your name would be on both ballots.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I understand that. But would you not have more -- is there not typically more Republican turnout because there’s --

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, that’s going to be the case in every election. Where we are in Shawnee there’s a greater --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Except for local elections where it’s non-partisan and then you have an equal mix.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, sure, but they’re non-partisan races. But if you’re looking at -- if we’re talking about making it partisan, which I don’t think we should do, or even looking at it in a partisan sense, Shawnee voter registration is overwhelmingly Republican. So, you’re going to get --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I understand that.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: -- more Republicans anyway.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But why would we want to put someone who is -- how is it fair to put those people into a partisan election when the state has said we have even and odd years, locals are non-partisan, odd years. But if you’re going to fill a vacancy, now we’re going to stick them in a partisan even year. I don’t see how that makes any sense because the state even said that’s not a good idea.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: But it wouldn’t make --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: That’s why they did what they did.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: It wouldn’t make the office partisan. It would be listed as non-partisan. It would be listed on both ballots.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I understand that. It’s still a partisan election and it’s partisan politics. And that’s what the campaign is about.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Jim has a question, and I have one and Mickey has got one.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Well, you don’t want us just to argue with each other? So, Jim, Dan, Mickey.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: This is real conundrum. There are no good answers. We were sort of left to hang out -- hung out to dry if you will. Is something going to happen different? I think it probably will. But the point is that we have to do something now to meet the law. And unless we want to go against the law, which I’m not excited about doing, we’ve got to come up with a decision. And just because we make a decision today doesn’t mean that when we get something else we could go back and revisit it although we beat this to death over and over and over. So, I -- as much as I’m disinclined and much as I follow this stuff, I like Option No. 3 because Option No. 4 basically is the same -- leaves us the same place we are today. Option No. 3 I think would, and I don’t like it. I mean, I don’t like any of this, but I could live with that one. And understood what you’re saying about, you know, it’s one of the things I’ve been saying is how do we take a non-partisan race and put it in -- on an even year ballot and that flies in the face of the other information. But then again we have to look and tend to our own knitting. And if that’s the way it’s got to be, that’s for now. I would offer that in 18 months we’re going to be back revisiting this thing. But that doesn’t make any difference now because we’ve got to obey the law.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Dan and then Mickey.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Option No. 3 is still the Council fills the position until the next election.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right. Well, I guess I would read it as they have the option of filling it or they could leave it vacant until the election, correct?

MR. RAINEY: Yes. We were just talking about wanting to point that because of the fun conversations you and I have had about “may” and “shall” in the past. This provision specifically says you may. And the reason that was put in there I think from all of our conversations was that that would allow you to exercise discretion to decide what you want to do based upon when that vacancy may occur and how much of a length in timer there may be till it’s filled. So, that gives you the option of filling it or just going to the special election, or I’m sorry, the fall.


MR. RAINEY: I wanted to make sure you noticed the difference between the “shall” and the “may” that’s in there.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And I think one of the things that’s hard to remember, but that May 1st deadline really throws a wrench in this whole thing.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Because truly some -- that position, it could be 18 months if someone --


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: -- the position became vacant the second week of May. Then it’s 18 months until you can get them on a ballot.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I agree. Yeah. I think that’s why -- go ahead.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Because it’s May 1st for the fall election?



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. So, I mean, I think that, not to jump in, but that’s why I also favor No. 3 because it gives us some discretion if it is a situation like that where you don’t leave a ward open for 18 months or 12 months or whatever, but then it does put them up on the next ballot and not cost us the special election cost.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: How does that work for a special election though?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: What do you mean?


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: That would be assuming we were putting them on a regularly scheduled election.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I understand, but --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And Option No. 3 doesn’t provide for a special election.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Councilmember Kenig’s suggestions provided --

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: But I mean you don’t have to go 18 months on a special election.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Basically it’s six months.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We’re subject to the election provisions.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: May 1st being the last day that we can certify to the election office to have a candidate on the ballot for that fall election. So, it really is a long period of time. It’s kind of awkward.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Mickey and then Brandon.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’m also not really in favor of the point of having elections along with the state government because generally you get put clear down at the very end if people even see you and you’ve got to worry about trying to -- the difficulty of getting people out to vote for you and the difficulty of gathering money for the election, you know. And that’s back to the point of where everybody is trying to get the cities as a partisan election to where you almost have to grab a party to give you a hand. You know, so I think it’s forcing somebody’s hand just a little bit. But, you know, I guess I’m siding with Jim a little bit. I see where he’s at, but I don’t like the point of having it in a fall election, I mean, the fall election with the city government -- or state government, I’m sorry.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: But Jim supported No. 3.


[Inaudible; talking off mic]

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’m going along with him for the moment, but I don’t like it.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Brandon and then -- did you have a response to him?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, I just kind of wanted to add something. If we added that it was going to be, you know, if it’s six months, I mean, whoever the Council is up here could say, all right, you’re in and he gets an incumbent.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: You know what I mean. And it’s an advantage that that person may have over a different opponent.



COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: [Inaudible; talking off mic}


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: But what I’m saying is we stick a time limit in there. You know, if it’s three months. Even if it’s a day he’s got an advantage.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: [Inaudible; talking off mic]


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think that’s kind of what Brandon’s was getting to.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes. So, my intent of my plan was to address that, specifically the May 1st certification deadline. So, with all of those options that I presented that at the most you would have probably about a six-month window where you didn’t have an election of some sort to fill that seat with the appointed person.

So, going from that I had a couple comments I want to piggy-back on. I know Councilmember Vaught made an argument which is, I find somewhat valid, on the commingling of partisan and non-partisan elections. But at the same time, I mean, we’re going, we have a new normal we’re operating under. We’re going to have City elections in August and November from this point out. Citizens are going to be accustomed to voting in August and November for every single election from this point out, so it’s going to be something of habit. And so I think that it makes sense to tract to that regardless of who else you have on the ballot or not. I think that that provides consistency and it’s going to be, it’s going to take a while for citizens to acclimate to that, but it is a new normal and we should be in line in terms of being consistent with that. And the second thing I’ll just reiterate, you know, as far as the options that are on the table and it seems like there’s some consensus around Option No. 3. And, you know, I’m good with that as long as we retain the ability to fill that vacancy at the onset before the special election because I still think it’s unacceptable for us to have a position go vacant for four to six months and just waiting for a special election. Because again, you’re diluting that ward’s voting strength. We’ve all seen how many issues can be decided on -- based on one or two votes. And I don’t think it’s fair to the people to have their vote basically abdicated in their ward, again, by half 50 percent. So, I think it’s very incumbent that if we’re talking about a three to six-month window that we take action and we fill that seat with a temporary appointment and then get an election in place as soon as possible, next scheduled election, to have that seat filled with an elected representative. But I think at no point in the process should citizens of any ward go with having their vote disenfranchised for a long period of time.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Here in Shawnee we had a person living in Arizona representing a ward. Okay. So, whatever rules you put in here they waited until just after the election and then, boom, they resigned so that we could appoint somebody that we wanted in that case, whoever that person was, okay. So, I just think that we need to -- my first opinion is this needs to go to an election because of all the problems that we’ve had. You know, but if we put in there something similar to what you’re talking about, but just, you know, a time frame, you know, if it’s going to be over 12 months or something, I don’t know. But whatever that time frame might, something reasonable.


COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: You know, everybody is -- the assumption is the incumbent you have an advantage. I don’t think if -- if you’re an elected incumbent you have an advantage. But if you’re appointed, I mean, it’s not like you have any name recognition other than the fact that you were appointed to the Council. But I don’t, I mean, for the cost of what you’re talking about, a special election, just avoid the fact that you might have an incumbent around for a year or something like that, I don’t -- I mean, is it a, you know, a $60,000 advantage. I’m not sure it is, so.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Actually I didn’t say special election. I didn’t say that.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I said one of these two --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: So, then leaving it empty then?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: -- fall elections and leaving it empty. That was my first option.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. So, leaving it empty and not doing a special election.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: But if we -- if I compromised to Mr. Kenig or Councilmember Kenig, I’d want just a time frame in there if it’s going to be more than so many months, then it’s possible to elect that person.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Jim. Never mind. Okay.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Mike, did you?

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I think our overall goal of shortening a potential appointment from two years down to something less that Option No. 3 for the most part would accomplish that. So, I think that’s an improvement of where we’re at now, except like we talked about the potential of someone resigning May 2nd and then it would be 18 months. And so I think Brandon’s hybrid attempts to basically address both of those because I believe your proposal is fall election regardless, the soonest fall election. However, if it’s after the filing deadline in May, then you’re saying let’s do a special election rather than wait 18 months?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Right. I mean, the idea is to reduce that window to about six months, yeah. And so if you’re talking about longer and extending into the next one, then that would spark basically or trigger a special election.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yeah. So, it sounds like you’re kind of saying Option No. 3, but you’re putting that, kind of like the timeline Dan was talking about where if that -- if the timeline for Option 3 is too long, which is essentially just after that filing deadline, then we’re going to go to a special. You’re basically I guess outlining a method to have a special election if the vacancy is too long?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Right. Yeah. Accounting for that certification deadline and length of time because I think that’s the concern that most have expressed here is the length of time that that position goes without an elected representative over an appointed representative. And so that addresses that.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I like that hybrid. I mean, I think of the four that we just listed, No. 3 is the best, but I think it’s even better to put some of Brandon’s proposal in there and try to minimize the amount of time that we are without an election. So, I would be in favor of that.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, Brandon, to kind of explain it, you basically say Council appointment on both of those options there, January to May 1st, you know, if they had a vacant seat. So, in both of your scenarios you’ve got Council appointment.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: That’s correct. I have that in both places because, again, I mean, this is all speculative, too. I mean, we have no idea of when the vacancy is going to happen, so we have to count for small windows to larger windows. And I’m still of the viewpoint that if we’re talking about a four, five, six-month window that needs to be filled in the interim by somebody. There needs to be two votes from that ward. And so that’s how this addresses it. But the idea is to get to an election, quickest route possible, shortest amount of time possible.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So, I kind of agree with you, Brandon, on getting to the election the quickest route possible them, but not filling that position until that election because that’s why we’re here. We’ve had issues.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: [Inaudible; talking off mic.]

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: And I see where you’re coming from, but I personally have -- I’m reluctant voting to remain that vacant, or keep that vacant. Again, we’re talking about an amount of time that can stretch. And again, a lot of this too is based off of how soon a special election can take place, which can be -- which most likely be six months from what I’ve been told. A conservative rate would be 120 days if everything works out and, I mean, there’s no issues with scheduling and with notification of polling places. But more likely than that, it’s going to be six months just based on the sure size of our city. We’re not a Roeland Park that has, you know, just needing two precincts when you have a ward election. So, accounting for that I strongly feel that there needs to be -- the appointment needs to be retained, or at least we need to modify to keep the options, so we have the discretion with each one of these to be able to do a temporary appointment or not, vote on that as we go forward. But I think we need to retain that.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Just a comment and follow-up. We’re not really looking at six months because it takes a while to appoint somebody, too. So, you would need to subtract that amount of time from that six months and say that’s the actual window of un-represented time. Because there’s going to be some unrepresented time no matter what you do because if you -- if we go with the system we have you’re going to have nobody in there for several months. So, in all fairness we need to make that point.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. I think I would go ahead and open it up to anyone --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Could I clarify one?


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: When you’re speaking of a special election, you’re speaking of then a -- this city only calling a special election and we would pay for it, correct?



COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, that is the key difference between these two and the two that have been offered by the City is that this opens up to a special election, so there would be costs incurred. So, you’re talking about, you know, a minimum $30,000 cost with each of these.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. I would go ahead and, oh, Nolan, did you have something? Okay. I would go ahead and open it up and ask if there is anyone in the audience who would like to speak to this item? Come on up, sir. If you’ll state your name and address for the record.

Public Comment:

MR. ERLICHMAN: Ray Erlichman (Address Omitted) here in Shawnee. I think I personally have been up in front of this Council and Council Committee I don’t how many times regarding this subject. Originally my thoughts were to totally eliminate Council appointments and go with an election, be it a general election or a special election or whatever. And there was a lot of push-back because of the cost of an election for a special election. As a matter of fact -- I’m sorry, Stephen.

CITY CLERK POWELL: [Inaudible; talking off mic.]

MR. ERLICHMAN: Oh, okay. Sorry. This was out by the last survey. Why am I having trouble getting this up here?

(Off Record Talking)

MR. ERLICHMAN: There we go. Anyway, this question was on there. And first of all, I’d say that my opinion for what it’s worth, and I know I’m not an expert in surveys, this was a loaded, push-pull type question. This should have been two questions. The first question should have been the procedure. Are you in favor of an appointment or an election? Boom. The second question was -- should have been, if you are in favor of an election, would you still be in favor of it knowing it would cost $37,000. So, that should have been two questions. Also the way this was written, I think there’s a slight error there because the appointments used to be for the full term or whatever was left in there, not just, you know, until the next general. It would have been to complete the term no matter how long it was involved. So, there’s a little misunderstanding on the wording. Now, if we’re going to write a question like that, why didn’t we write another questions, are you in favor of an appointment knowing that the Council might be subject to another letter of reprimand from the District Attorney’s Office regarding possible inconsistencies with the Kansas Open Meetings Act. We could have put that up there as a question, too. Okay.

So, now we get off of that and let’s go into what’s really relevant right now. I heard a comment a few --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Which letter are you referring to?

MR. ERLICHMAN: Beg your pardon?

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Which letter are you referring to?

MR. ERLICHMAN: The letter that District Attorney Howe sent out stating that he felt that the Council violated the spirit of the KOMA law.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Violated the spirit. Okay. So, he didn’t actually saw we any violated anything.

MR. ERLICHMAN: I didn’t say you violated.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: Okay. I just wanted to clarify that.

MR. ERLICHMAN: I never said you violated KOMA. I said --


MR. ERLICHMAN: Okay. He said violated the spirit of KOMA, but it was still a letter of reprimand. And all you have to do is look up the definition of the word reprimand and that letter was definitely a letter of reprimand or rebuke. Take your choice.

All right. Now, moving along.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Love your proposal, Ray.

MR. ERLICHMAN: I beg your pardon?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I’d love to hear your proposal. We can move on. Thanks.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Well, I wanted to add something because it was something I heard a few minutes ago. I personally don’t give a hoot about what’s fair or right for a candidate. I’m concerned about what’s fair and right for the citizens in the ward. Now, as far as putting an election on an even number year, even though we’re non-partisan, that’s one of the easiest things in the world to do. Because it will go up on a ballot, not under a category of a political party, it would be City Council Ward, I’m going to use Ward IV because I’m going to use Mickey because of his time that he’s got on the Council, and I want to use your election cycle for example for a reason. For Ward IV, do you want Joe Smith or Bob Jones? Take your choice. Just like even on partisan elections there’s ballot questions and everything else that are not under party category. So, what’s so difficult about putting a non-partisan election question in a partisan election? It’s real easy to set that question up on a ballot, so it doesn’t fall under any category.

The way things are now, and again, I want to just use Mickey. You were elected in ‘15, so you come up in ‘19 again. And let’s just arbitrarily say that for some reason, family matters, whatever, you have to resign. You know, not have to, not being forced to, but you feel it’s better. To avoid a special election and spending $37,000, we would have to probably still go along with a Council appointment until the next election that we could piggy-back. And then that person in the piggy-back election would fill out the -- finish out the term. And since we are still going to have City elections in odd years, I don’t see where there would be a great length of time between election cycles. So, as an example if you were to resign now, we could appoint and then the piggy-back election would be the fall of ‘17. So, that person would, you know, be the appointed person would be filling a smaller gap in time. And that’s why I wanted to use your time length.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: [Inaudible; talking off mic]

MR. ERLICHMAN: So, I don’t think we have to worry about options as far as if the vacancy occurs between this time and that time and this time and that time. Keep it simple. The appointment is made to temporarily fill the position until the next election where we can piggy-back on with no special election fees. And then the person that comes out the victor in the special election finishes out the term. And that by the way is very similar to what’s done in many, many U.S. Senate races, U.S. Congress races, et cetera, right down the road. But we won’t have an appointed person sitting around for maybe two or three years on a council. And I really, really, really don’t think it’s the Council’s position to tell the citizens of a ward who should represent them. That I just find just totally against my feelings. That’s all I can say.

So, I would go along with a hybrid, but make it very simple until the next election where we can piggy-back on without any cost of $37,000. That would also eliminate possibly some questions as Chairwoman Meyer brought out about even when she was appointed there was questions about appointments. Here you’re only going to be appointing the person for a very short period of time, so you’re not going to have those kind of questions come up and hopefully no more letters from the District Attorney. And that’s my feelings.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. If you will sign the sheet on the podium. Thank you, sir.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Oh, yes. Never done that before.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: First time. Mickey.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. And, you know, it all sounds good, but I still have to agree with Brandon that, you know, there’s issues that can come up in a ward that you need both people. But the whole, you know, both members to help maybe push something through, help get something through to help whatever it is going on in your ward. I don’t think we need to leave, as he would say, the ward half uncovered. So, I still believe there needs to be an appointment process at some period of time.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Is there anyone else in the audience who would like to speak to the item? Okay. Any further discussion from Council? I would I guess perhaps accept a motion. Mike.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yeah. I’d make a motion to forward Brandon’s hybrid proposal with piggy-backing on annual elections and also a timeline specifying special elections, with the only caveat to his proposal being that the wording say that the Council “may” fill the vacancy instead of “shall” fill.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I’ll second that and accept that as a friendly amendment.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Can I clarify which option?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yep. The hybrid option.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I’ve got two on that, so one or two.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think they’re --

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: I think the hybrid election scenario, so January 1st through May 1st and then May 2nd through December 31st.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: But then you added something about an annual.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I just changed the word “shall act to fill” to “may act to fill.” Similar to the language that the City had on their Option No. 3.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. It’s got “may act on it.”


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: You guys following?

MR. RAINEY: Yeah. We’re going to change it and put it in a Word document so we all are real clear on what you’re --


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: That would be great, yeah.

MR. RAINEY: If you want it -- and you have two parts to your draft language.


MR. RAINEY: So, the first paragraph there applies from January 1 to May 1, and the next paragraph applies from May 2 to December 31. And what I didn’t hear in the motion was in the second paragraph whether there was a “shall” or a “may.”

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yeah. I would be for both. Both “may.”



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Does the draft language as amended make sense to everyone before we vote? Dan.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I don’t like it, but I’ll compromise probably for that for now.


COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I have to think about it. I’ll send it to Council and then I’ll --


MR. RAINEY: The second paragraph --


MR. RAINEY: -- line 2, at the very end that’s “shall.”

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. Thank you. And perhaps we maybe don’t like for different reasons, but I would still lean towards No. 3 because I don’t see a need to spend the cost for a special election when we can just fill it at the next one. So, anyway. Everyone understand the motion on the floor. All right. All those in favor say aye.




COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, that would be 6-2 with Vaught and Meyer as the nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Kemmling moved and Councilmember Kenig seconded to approve the hybrid Brandon Amendment proposal piggy-backing on annual elections, creating a timeline specifying special elections, changing the language to say the Council “may” fill the vacancy instead of “shall” fill. Motion passed 6-2, with Councilmembers Vaught and Meyer voting nay.]

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you. Are we --

MR. SUNDERMAN: Well, I just wanted to follow-up in terms of the Policy Statement 7 and the vacancy appointment process and then just the entire charter ordinance itself just to make sure. We’re going to be fast-tracking this to bring it onto the next Council meeting, and which is not in the memo. Just wanted to make sure we’re clear on that. So, if there is anything we can discuss this evening, then we can work that out as well, so.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think we’re -- we’ve talked about it so much.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think we’re good. Thank you, Nolan.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: But we do need a motion to recommend a revision to PS-7 if you’re so inclined.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And then if you don’t want to act on the vacancy procedure one tonight that’s fine. There’s no rush on that, but I think we do need the policy statement to be consistent with the charter.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. Brandon, would you like to make that motion?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. Yeah. So, and please correct me if I’m wrong. So, motion for amending Policy Statement 7 to be consistent with our charter ordinance, correct? Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Including the vacancy language? No.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: [Inaudible; talking off mic] Sorry.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Can we make the motion to include the vacancy language?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: They’re two separate policy statements.

[Inaudible; talking over one another]

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: So, PS-7 is just about election of the vice-chair of the committee. That needs to be moved to January. So, that would be the change to PS-7. And then there is an example policy statement that’s on the vacancy, the appointment process that you’ve looked at before also. So, that would be recommend to approve a new policy statement regarding the vacancy process if you want to do that tonight.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. So, we’ll start with PS-7.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. I motion to amend PS-7 to be consistent with our charter ordinance.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. Do I have a second?


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Our charter ordinance or what the new state statutes?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: State statutes or --



CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Our charter is consistent with the state statutes.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: We’re changing the charter.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: To align with state statute, so yeah.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. So, I recommend amending Policy Statement 7 to align with state statutes and our charter ordinance.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Oh, I think we’re making this too complicated.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I don’t want to be picky, but truly state statute has nothing to do with our Council Committee Vice-Chairman position. So, really just consistent with the election cycles provided for the in the charter ordinance.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: [Inaudible; talking off mic] Policy Statement 7 to be consistent with our charter ordinance.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: We’re making this very complicated.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I have a motion and a second. All those in favor say aye.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Kenig moved and Councilmember Jenkins seconded to amend Policy Statement 7 to be consistent with the Charter Ordinance. Motion passed 8-0.]





COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I already gone one of those. You’ve got to second it.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Hold on. Wait. Wait. Wait. People, we need to decide if we’re going to act on the vacancy and move it forward, correct? No? Uncharted territory. Carol, would you like --

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: [Inaudible; talking off mic]

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The policy statement that’s on page 55 is one you’ve seen at least two other times before. It represents the process that you used last time if you’ll remember, then we did the interviews.


CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Everybody put their names up. Stephen put those on the overhead. That was how the motion was determined. So, that’s reflected in this policy statement. If that’s the procedure you want to follow, if you want to have more discussion at a future meeting about it we could.


COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, question, point of clarification. So, if we’re retaining that as an option, which we are, based on the -- we want to keep that in. So, okay.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. This just speaks to the specifics of the vacancy.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: The mechanics of how we actually go about filling it.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, we don’t need to act on this?



COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Or we can, but --

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: If we feel like --

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: [Inaudible; talking off mic]

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I think we should agree. I think we should unless the Committee feels like there needs to be more discussion about this at another meeting.

[Inaudible; all talking off mic]



COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: I’m done. I’m spent.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. So, I would --

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: There’s no way that you’re spent.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I would love to accept a motion reflecting that.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So, okay. I motion that we -- sorry. I motion that we take the Council vacancy procedure and move that forward as, I don’t know if I’m saying this right.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Into the policy statement.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. Into the new policy statement. Do I need to say it needs to be added to the new policy statement?

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Our intent was just to have a separate one. That’s how we drafted it. There’s no right or wrong answer to that one.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Okay. So, I motion that we move forward the Council vacancy procedure for adoption with the policy statement.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Great. All right. I have a motion and a second. All those in favor say aye.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay. Motion passes.
[Therefore, Councilmember Kenig moved and Councilmember Sandifer seconded to forward the Council vacancy procedure for adoption with the policy statement. The motion passed 8-0.]

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Maybe we’re done talking about vacancies.



MR. RAINEY: We want to make double sure.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You’re right.

MR. RAINEY: This is pretty significant stuff for you guys. I want to make sure everybody saw Section 7 regarding the vacancy in the office of the Mayor. And the way I understand that that is written out would be -- the Council President would become Mayor.

COUNCILMEMBER VAUGHT: [Inaudible; talking off mic]

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I love it. Just kidding.
MR. RAINEY: Anyway. And then the following May 1 date, to the very next May 1 date we would certify the mayoral position as an office to be elected at the following November fall election. So, that would be similar except for the fact that you don’t fill a vacancy of the Council President. And in the event the Council President were to resign because they do not want to run for mayor, then there would be another vacancy.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. Are we good with --

MR. RAINEY: You guys are -- I just wanted to make sure everyone was okay with that.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That’s no change really.


COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That just adopts it into the new process where it has to be done in November. That’s all it does.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: [Inaudible; talking off mic]

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Just brings it up to date, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

MR. RAINEY: There’s a lot of red and lot of lines in it, but that’s basically what we ended up with.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. Essentially all that does it move it to the -- on the election cycle with everything else. Because the Mayor was always the -- the Council President was always going to be the mayor anyway. That was the normal line of succession. So, it’s really no change in that process, it’s change on the -- when the election date would be scheduled. And that should work fine.

MR. RAINEY: Yeah. The only thing we’d changed was it used to say the Mayor or Council -- if there’s a vacancy in the offices of Mayor or Councilmember, then we will elect a Mayor. And you obviously didn’t intend for that to be in there.



MR. RAINEY: You meant for there to be if there’s a vacancy in the offices of a Mayor. Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: So, you’re cleaning that up, cleaning up the language.



COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay. I think we’re good with that. Thank you.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: That concludes the agenda.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Motion to adjourn for the fourth time.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right. A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.


COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. We are adjourned.
[Therefore, Councilmember Pflumm moved and Councilmember Jenkins seconded to adjourn. The motion passed 8-0.]
(Shawnee Council Committee Meeting Adjourned at 9:32 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 September 2, 2016

Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary



Stephen Powell, City Clerk

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