Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Council bids adieu to member

October 25, 2007

Lansing City Council members wished longtime officeholder Kenneth Ketchum well during his final council meeting Thursday, Oct. 18, which also happened to be Ketchum's 75th birthday.

Ketchum will retire to Hot Springs, S.D., after over 20 years on the council.

"Thanks for all your service over the years," Mayor Ken Bernard told Ketchum. "I appreciate your service, and good luck."

Ward 2 Council member Andi Pawlowski added, "I also wanted to congratulate Mr. Ketchum on a job well done. We didn't always agree on everything, but if we agreed on everything, we'd only need one of us up here."

"I'm just very happy I was able to serve for the number of years I did," Ketchum said. "I'll miss you all, but it's time for new blood. I know you'll pick the right candidate."

The city will begin advertising to fill Ketchum's vacancy later this month.

The feature presentation Thursday was a quarterly report from Tony Kramer and Steve Jack with the Leavenworth County Development Corp. They told council members there were 12 potential business leads countywide in the third quarter, including three locations in Lansing.

Jack, LCDC's executive director, declined to comment on any specifics until deals are final.

While there has been an increased interest in properties in Leavenworth County, Jack said, LCDC officials still hear familiar reasons why many prospects do not turn into viable projects, namely, a lack of available industrial-size buildings and a lack of developed, graded sites with utilities in place that are over 10 acres in size.

"We have the land, but it's not ready," Jack said.

Kramer, LCDC president, said the Port Authority's spec building committee is looking at a concept called virtual buildings, where plans are drawn up to the point of the local permitting procedures to expedite the process for potential businesses.

Kramer also noted that LCDC's strategic plan steering committee had its second meeting, and Jack told the council that a regional airport committee is finally "off the ground."

Also at Thursday's meeting:

¢ Mayor Bernard awarded a plaque to Public Works Director John Young, recognizing him as the city's Employee of the Fourth Quarter.

In a prepared statement City Administrator Mike Smith said of the six-and-a-half year veteran, "John's ability to manage multiple projects at one time has been nothing short of amazing. His ability to communicate with different entities has been outstanding. : We're glad John's a part of the team."

Young responded, "This group of city employees is the most talented, hardest working group of employees I've ever worked with, and this means a lot to me."

¢ The mayor proclaimed Oct. 27 as Military Retiree Appreciation Day to "recognize the contributions, sacrifices and loyalty of military retirees" in the community.

¢ Bernard also proclaimed October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"All citizens have the right to live without fear of abuse in their home," he said. Accepting the proclamation was Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman.

¢ The council voted, 7-0 (Harland Russell was not present), to accept the city treasurer's report for the third quarter as presented.

¢ Approved, 7-0, two ordinances updating the Lansing public offense code and the city's traffic code.

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