Release from the Facebook Page of Lee Moore Gardner City Councilman
At last night’s regular City Council meeting, we started off with a preview of the State of the County Address from Johnson County Commissioner, John Toplikar. One notable item from the presentation was the status of the 2016 CARS (County Assistance Road System) projects, which are basically roads improvement projects that are funded in equal parts by the affected city and Johnson County. Gardner has one of these projects slated for 2016 at South Center from W. Grand to Kane St. Commissioner Toplikar also mentioned the projects to add shoulders on 199th from Homestead to Gardner Road, on Gardner Rd. from 191st to 199th, and the paving of 151st from Edgerton to Dillie. For county parks, construction of Big Bull Creek Park, located between Edgerton and Gardner, is scheduled to begin this fall and should take about a year to complete. This will offer 1925 acres of Frisbee golf, a playground, picnic shelters, 3 miles of trails, and group campgrounds for scout troop outings. The presentation also included updates on the sewer project at Gardner Lake, the $201 million courthouse and coroner facility project, new developments at New Century Airport, and the Intermodal.
For the second presentation item, we were treated to a video highlighting City of Gardner accomplishments for 2015 as prepared for the Mayor’s State of the City Address.
Next, the Mayor presented to the Finance Department the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award on behalf of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for presentation of our 2016 budget. We should all be very proud of this accomplishment by Finance Director Laura Gourley and her outstanding team in the Finance Department.
The Mayor then presented a plaque to Lenexa Police Officer, Ryan Sumner for his contribution to the formation of Gardner Police Department’s new K9 Unit. As part of this, we were briefly visited by K9 Zeus and his handler, Gardner PD Officer Anderson. Officer Sumner has served as a K9 handler in the City of Lenexa for a number of years and was instrumental in selecting K9 Zeus among other valuable contributions to this endeavor. Also, the Mayor recognized Trails West Ace Hardware owner, Rex Cummings for his very generous donation of equipment and supplies needed to care for K9 Zeus, including a lifetime supply of dog food! I would like to express my own sincere thanks to Officer Sumner and Mr. Cummings for their generosity.
The last presentation item on the agenda recognized the Prothe family for being the Special Olympics Outstanding Family of the Year for the Kansas City Metropolitan Region. Cary, Carol, Ryan, Emma, and Owen Prothe distinguished themselves for their active involvement in and lasting contribution to the local Special Olympics program known as Gardner Gold. Nicely done!
For the Consent Agenda, we approved expenditures for the first half of March totaling $419,884.11. We also authorized the City Administrator to execute $66,540-worth of contracts for the construction of a salt storage shelter to preserve our supply of road salt. We authorized the execution of Quit Claim Deeds for the sale of some properties located at Gardner Lake. Lastly, we purchased a dump truck cab and chassis worth $69,259 and decked it out with a dump bed, hydraulics, and snowplow equipment. The cost of the added equipment was $45,178.
The New Business for the evening included only the consideration of a Uniform Public Offense Code ordinance proposal to raise the legal age of tobacco sale, purchase, and possession in the City of Gardner from 18 to 21 years. The proposal would impose a fine of $25 for possession by an otherwise legal adult under the age of 21 and a fine of $200 for the sale of tobacco products, including “vapes” to persons under age 21. For this, the Council endured a lengthy and informative presentation from a sizeable team of lobbyists and doctors from the Tobacco 21 and Healthy KC initiatives as well as a Health and Wellbeing Specialist from Garmin. This presentation included facts, statistics, and projections by health officials and lobbyist organizations from all over the country and painted a very dire picture of the problems associated with tobacco use by young people. Despite this, the governing body voted unanimously to set aside this ordinance proposal.
For my part alone, I strongly opposed the notion that the city has any business passing an ordinance to restrict the otherwise legal in the State of Kansas personal choice of a legal adult citizen. I believe it is not the role of city government to use our police department to prevent people from making decisions related to their own health.
Here is the video from the meeting.