Council making personnel changes
Basehor City Council members made two key personnel decisions Monday, deciding to pursue a prospect from Hays as the next city administrator and firing Basehor’s planning director.
The council unanimously decided to pursue hiring Mark Loughry as the new city administrator. Loughry is currently the assistant city manager in Hays.
Hill said Loughry had made an extremely positive impression on the council.
“Every council member was pleased with the interview with him,” Mayor Terry Hill said. “His experience and background are exceptional and was far above some of our other candidates.”
Loughry said he was equally pleased with the city of Basehor and its staff.
“Before I even submitted a resume, my family and I visited Basehor to look at the community, the school system, the new grocery store opening, the neighborhoods and the city’s location to other areas,” Loughry said, “And we were all very impressed. We were all excited about the opportunity, so I submitted a resume.”
After he was selected from a pool of candidates, Loughry had several phone conversations with Hill and council president Jim Washington. Later, he came to Basehor again for two in-person interviews with Hill, Basehor Police Chief and interim city administrator Lloyd Martley, and the city council.
“Those interviews went very well,” Loughry said. “I’m very excited to accept the city’s offer and to have the chance to be part of the community.”
A contract for Loughry’s employment has not been finalized, Hill said, but a formal offer should be extended in the coming weeks – pending completion of the requirements of city policy for new employees – and a start date could be set by the second week of August.
After three executive sessions at the end of Monday’s meeting, council members unanimously agreed to terminate the contract of Planning Director Dustin Smith, who had been with Basehor since March 2006. Smith was the Bonner Springs city planner from 1998 to 2004 and also spent a year as community development director for the city of Merriam before taking the position in Basehor.
Hill said Smith, who was an at-will employee, had not met the council’s standards with his work.
“What I can say at this point is he did not perform to the level of expectation of the governing body,” Hill said.
Hill also said a severance package was being offered to Smith, but the termination agreement had not yet been signed, so the severance amount had not been finalized.
Smith was not available for comment. City council members and Basehor Planning Commission members contacted by the Sentinel did not comment on the issue.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the council:
• Approved, 5-0, awarding a bid of $131,882 for the 2009 Pavement Management program to Little Joe’s Asphalt.
• Tabled, 5-0, a decision to use plan A or plan B in the Glenwood sewer decommissioning project. At the July 13 work session, the council requested more information from McAfee Henderson Solutions engineering about the long-term costs of both plans. Plan A, which includes a gravity feed from the subdivision, costs more money upfront, but it allows for future development of the area. Plan B, which includes a force main along 158th Street, is $300,000 less but it allows for limited growth. Matt Henderson of McAfee asked for more time Monday to come up with the numbers the council wanted. The council then tabled the item until the Aug. 3 meeting and designated council members David Breuer and Dennis Mertz as the city's representatives in discussions about the issue with the county, Basehor-Linwood School District and Glenwood Estates residents.
• Approved, 5-0, to schedule a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 on the 2010 budget. The hearing will take place during that evening’s regular city council meeting.
• Considered donating funds to the Basehor Historical Museum and the Basehor Gold PRIDE group. The museum is in need of additional funding for its 2010 expenses, and PRIDE requested a donation for the 2010 fireworks display. No motion was made on either item, and thus, both items died. The council is still considering granting both donations. Council members would like to get a better idea of which organizations in the city need monetary assistance next year and then create a separate fund in the 2010 budget for community aid. When this line item is created, the council will then allocate funds to specific organizations based on need.
• Approved, 4-1 with council member Iris Dysart opposed, a first amendment to a cooperative agreement regarding transportation improvements at the intersection of 150th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40. Benchmark Management owner Ed McIntosh presented the council with a deed to the land located at this intersection, and the deed was reviewed by City Attorney Patrick Reavey. With the approval of this agreement, the council gave its approval of Kansas Department of Transportation’s transportation revolving loan 0126, to be used for the improvements at 150th Street and 24-40.
• Approved, 5-0, to pay Benchmark Management $157,089.16 for work completed on the Wolf Creek Parkway project.
• Approved, 5-0, to pay individual vendors working on the Wolf Creek Parkway project not exceeding $220,000.