Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mayor Garcia says his goodbyes

Mayor Chris Garcia speaks during the Jan. 15 Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Community National Bank. Garcia wanted to take some time during the meeting to thank all the people who stood by him during his term as mayor.

Mayor Chris Garcia speaks during the Jan. 15 Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Community National Bank. Garcia wanted to take some time during the meeting to thank all the people who stood by him during his term as mayor.

January 22, 2009

Mayor Chris Garcia began his goodbyes at the Jan. 15 Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting.

With the end of his term as mayor drawing near, he took the opportunity to address chamber members and guests during the luncheon to start the process of saying thanks and letting go.

He thanked his wife, whom he described as his rock and shoulder to lean on, and he talked about some of his experiences giving time to children in the community.

“My identity has been mayor, but I am also a volunteer,” Garcia said. “I really like working with the kids.”

One of the children Garcia talked about was a girl named Melissa. He told Melissa that if she made the honor roll, he would buy her lunch. The day came, Garcia said, when she was listed on the honor roll, and she told the mayor that she wanted Sonic for lunch.

“And just like the commercial goes, lunch at Sonic: $10. The smile on her face: priceless,” he said.

Garcia told those at the meeting that he could relate to a lot of the kids he met during the past four years. He said he had been quite shy when he was in school, and he hoped he sent a message to some children that they could do anything they wanted and could overcome any fears.

The city of Basehor was at a strong point, he said, and a lot of positive things were happening in the city. He said he was proud of the work that was accomplished while he had overseen the city, and he was excited to see what new things were in store for Basehor in the future.

Before he turned the floor over to City Administrator Carl Slaugh, he said a few words to the people who had supported him as mayor.

“Thank you to all the friends I’ve managed to keep while being the mayor,” he said, “And thank you to all the friends I have made.”

Also at the meeting on Thursday, chamber members and guests:

• Heard a budget report from Slaugh and Treasurer Susan Adams. In 2008, the city revenue was $5,459,423, which was 92 percent of what was budgeted for the year. $219,431.16 of revenue was from sales tax. The city expenditures totaled $5,365,839, which was 75 percent of what was budgeted. Adams said that most of the city departments were well under budget for the year. The 2009 budget totals $10,235,062. The city mill levy for 2009 is 28.621, the county levy is 31.560, and the mill levy for USD 458 is 54.644.

• Heard from Panning Director Dustin Smith about the status of the Basehor Planning Commission. He reported that 31 building permits were issued during 2008, and that only 15 cities in the state issued more permits in 2008 than Basehor. Smith said he was pleased to announce that the planning commission was back to a full seven-member panel.

• Listened to a Public Works report from City Superintendent Gene Myracle, who said that the city park had come along nicely, and that the public works department planned to expand the park’s west entrance so that it was two lanes. He also talked about planned renovations to 150th Street and re-grading ditches on 147th Street.

• Heard about changes in the city’s administrative department. City Clerk Mary Ann Mogle said that the city had added an archiving system to its Web site during 2008 and had since uploaded more than 1,400 documents. Mogle said that the goal was to make the site more user-friendly and accessible to the public. She encouraged the public to contact the administrative office at (913) 724-1370 with suggestions for the Web site.

• Heard from City Administrator Carl Slaugh that the Basehor Police Department now employed 12 full-time officers and 6 part-time officers. Slaugh also reported that the department had responded to 3,007 calls and issued 52 DUIs during 2008. Police officers were not able to attend the chamber meeting.

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