Archive for Monday, May 21, 2012

Miles becomes new Basehor City Council president

Travis Miles is one of six candidates running for three open Basehor City Council seats in the April 5 election.

Travis Miles is one of six candidates running for three open Basehor City Council seats in the April 5 election.

May 21, 2012

The re-forming of Basehor’s governing body became complete Monday when Travis Miles was appointed City Council president.

The council voted 4-0, with Miles abstaining, to install Miles in the position.

Before the vote, member Vernon J. Fields said the choice was easy, as Miles is the only council member who was given his seat by the city’s voters. He was elected to the council in April 2011.

“Given the fact that all of us here, with the exception of one, have been appointed to fulfill spots,” Fields said, “a logical choice ... would be to appoint the remaining elected official to that spot.”

The president runs the council’s meetings or work sessions if the mayor is absent. If the mayor is removed from office, the president becomes the new mayor.

Dennis Mertz, who was recalled by Basehor voters in February, was the council’s previous president (though David Breuer was technically the council president for a split-second in March before immediately becoming mayor).

Also during Monday’s City Council meeting:

• Officials shared two pieces of good economic news. Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley said 16 new home building permits had been filed with the city in 2012 through April, after only 19 permits were filed in all of 2011. That number far outpaced other nearby cities, he said.

Mayor David Breuer, meanwhile, said the city’s sales tax revenue had been up by about 9 percent during the year’s first four months, compared with the same time period in 2011. Those numbers, he said, do not yet include any receipts from the Orscheln Farm and Home store, the city’s new retail anchor.

• The council passed, 5-0, two resolutions relating to the refinancing of some of its debt.

One resolution authorized the city to issue general-obligation bonds to refinance its debt on the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway. That debt, owed to the Kansas Department of Transportation, is to be repaid through a transportation development district, which imposes additional sales taxes on businesses along the road.

The second resolution establishes a procedure for complying with federal rules as it issues bonds that are tax-exempt, which attorney Gina Riekhof said should help improve the rating of any bonds issued. By August, the city must also issue bonds to refinance its debt on the construction of Basehor Boulevard and improvements to 155th Street in 2008, and council members have discussed refinancing debt on the city’s wastewater treatment plant, as well.

• The council accepted, 5-0, the results of the city’s independent external audit for 2011.

Audrey Odermann of the accounting firm Mize, Houser and Co. said the firm had conducted some extra procedures in this year’s audit, including examining the use of employee purchasing cards.

“We did not find anything that we would say there was a material misstatement, by any means,” Odermann said.

• The council reappointed Lloyd Martley as police chief, William Pray as municipal court judge and Corey Swisher as city clerk and treasurer, each by a 5-0 vote.

• As part of its consent agenda, approved by a 5-0 vote, the council approved an agreement with Mike Kelly to serve as city prosecutor. Kelly has the same position in Tonganoxie. He’ll be paid $85 per hour or a minimum of $400 per month.

Also as part of the consent agenda, the council also approved an agreement with Affinis Corp. to provide designing services for KDOT-funded improvements to 155th and 158th Streets at a cost of about $195,500. Affinis is also designing the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway between those two streets, and the three projects will have a combined engineering cost of $311,600. Construction is scheduled for summer 2013.

• The council voted, 5-0, to remove the approval of employee health benefits for 2012-13 from the consent agenda and discuss the issue at its June work session. The vote came after former member Dennis Mertz distributed a packet saying the new benefit plans would not comply with a resolution passed in summer 2011 that caps the city’s benefit contributions.

• And the council approved, 5-0, the rezoning of a property at 2932 N. 156th St., allowing for the property’s owner to split the lot into two.

Comments

AboutTime 1 year, 11 months ago

Excuse me but how would I get a copy of the aforementioned distributed packet by the former member Dennis Mertz?

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Dennis Mertz 1 year, 11 months ago

AboutTime, you can email me and I can send it to you. It is unlikely the editor will post anything on this web page that would show the City yet again not following policy or the Kansas Statutes.

The other item that I mentioned at the meeting is the bottom of the agenda for years and currently it states the agenda will be posted in the newspaper. This as well is being suppressed from the public.

Dennis Mertz mertz@swbell.net

PS.. I asked CRG to post my packet on their website but I am not allowed to post the full url here per new user rules. Just take the city's web site and change the .org to .info and you got it.

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Thinkaboutit 1 year, 11 months ago

WOW! Is Dennis Mertz really commenting on people not following policy?! That is really entertaining! Is this the same Dennis Mertz recalled by the citizens partially because he didn't follow proper procedures in terminating Loughry?

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Thinkaboutit 1 year, 11 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Miles! Im sure you will help guide this city into the future! Thank you for your dedication to this point.

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becky 1 year, 11 months ago

thank you dennis for coming to the meeting monday night, the health packet that was going to pass, had a cap on it from last year. that if insurance was going up the employees were going to pay some. i heard some bad words spoken from the front of the room. my opinion is the old council members david breuer, travis miles , and city clerk , cory and acting city admin. marley knew of the cap but thought no one would bring it up now that dennis mertz and iris dysart is out of the picture. YOU basehor people voted them out they were the ones triyng to hold down the cost for the people. the separate mill levy of 8.59 is a cap. the new budget they will start in july , you basehor people need to express concerns about this , or the separate mill levy will go up, you know what that means your TAXES will go up. when is the council members going to understand that the people of basehor wants to hold down the cost of spending. you new council members need to ask a lot of questions and look up things on your own . because city hall doesn't tell all. the information to you. i can't afford any more TAXES.

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johninbasehor 1 year, 11 months ago

The days of having a police force like Mayberry are over. You use to be able to hire people off the street as police officers. Now, according to state law, officers must be trained at a state facility, and as such, cannot preform the job as a police officer without the proper training. Officers must be smart enough to interpret the laws and enforce them fairly with skill and dedication to the job and community. This cannot be done by just anybody. These people have a skill that is in demand by many communities, many of which are willing to pay a very livable wage with full benefits. If you want to constantly pay to train new officers for other communities, then stick with the policies of the previous council, or train and retrain our good police officers with fair wages and benefits.

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Thinkaboutit 1 year, 11 months ago

I understand that people are concerned about taxes and that is very reasonable. However, if we don't take care of our city employees, they are goin to continue to leave. Our police department is already seeing high turnover. I see several new officers around! Not that those officers are bad by any means, but I would think an experienced officer is good to have. I heard we lost three or four officers primarily due to pay. If we are capping what we pay in insurance then they pay more out of pocket, correct? There are a lot of cities, counties, and other agencies that need police and are willing to pay to keep their community safe! I think we need to do the same. I'll pay more taxes to keep me and my children safe anytime!

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johninbasehor 1 year, 11 months ago

It will cost more to train new officers constantly due the churn rate than it will cost to pay the police a reasonable rate of pay to retain the good ones we have. New officers must ride two in a car until they go for their weeks of police training in Hutchinson, meaning that the city pays several months of salary to new officers, when in fact they are not qualified to police by themselves. You get what you pay for, which most of us know, but the last council ignored that fact by trying to pay our police officers the pay and benefits of a Wal- Mart greeter! Professionalism does come at a price.

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Thinkaboutit 1 year, 11 months ago

Well put John! Plus, while they are at the academy the depatment is short staffed!

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LR 1 year, 11 months ago

dennismertz(anonymous) says…

Is it the Mayor and Council's intent to raise our taxes?

If you plan on paying more for benefits and give raises to employee's then I would like to know where the funds will come from?

If you plan on saving money on the sewer treatment plant by issuing General Obligation Bonds then the Citizens of Basehor should see a reduction in the Mill Levy.

Pick 2 of the following. Which will it be?

-Raise employee pay and benefits

-Lower the City’s Mill Levy

-Improve City services (new equipment, improvements to City)

Last year the Council worked hard to keep the Mill Levy level without raising taxes. This included making the employee benefits a flat rate to the City, holding pay raises to a minimum (while other City's froze theirs) , lowering the deferred compensation to a compatible rate as other City's pay just to name a few.

With the 2013 City budget just around the corner I felt that I would share some of my thoughts on spending and what we achieved last year.

Also with sewer income being 10% higher than last years prediction, are we going to see a reduction in our sewer rates?

I support the current Council in making responsible decisions.

Thank you,

Dennis Mertz

May 8, 2012

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johninbasehor 1 year, 10 months ago

GladForNewCouncil (anonymous) says… An Officer’s Life

You wonder why he pulled you over and gave you a ticket for speeding, He just worked an accident where people died because they were going too fast. You wonder why that cop was so mean, He just got done working a case where a drunk driver killed a kid. You work for 8 hours, He works for up to 18 hours. You drink hot coffee to stay awake, The cold rain in the middle of the night keeps him awake. You complain of a "headache," and call in sick, He goes into work still hurt and sore from the guy he had to fight the night before. You drink your coffee on your way to the mall, He spills his as he runs Code 3 to a traffic crash with kids trapped inside. You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket before you leave the house, He makes sure his gun is clean and fully loaded and his vest is tight. You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you, He watches his buddy get shot at, and wounded in front of him. You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls, He walks down the highway looking for body parts from a traffic crash. You complain about how hot it is, He wears fifty pounds of gear and a bullet proof vest in July and still runs around chasing crack heads. You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong, He runs out before he gets his food to respond to an armed robbery. You get out of bed in the morning and take your time getting ready, He gets called out of bed at 2 am after working 12 hours and has to be into work A.S.A.P. for a homicide. You go to the mall and get your hair redone, He holds the hair of some college girl while shes puking in the back of his patrol car. You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over, His shift ended 4 hours ago and there's no end in sight. You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight, He can't make any plans because on his off days he still gets called back into work. You yell and scream at the squad car that just past you because they slowed you down, He's in the driver seat of the squad car, going to cut somebody out of their car. You roll your eyes when a baby cries in public, He picks up a dead child in his arms and prays that it was crying. You criticize your police department and say they're never there quick enough, He blasts the siren while the person in front of him refuses to move while talking on their cell phone. You hear the jokes about fallen officers and say they should have known better, He is a hero and runs into situations when everyone else is running away in order to make sure no one else gets hurt and loses his life doing it. You are asked to go to the store by your parents, you don't, He would take a bullet for his buddy without question. *You sit there and judge him, saying that it's a waste of money to have them around, Yet as soon as you need help he is there.

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LR 1 year, 11 months ago

"ThinkAboutIt" wrote>>> "...because he didn't follow proper procedures in terminating Loughry?"

Oh, but it's okay for the same people you're defending not to follow proper procedures in forcing out the former city attorney, the former HR clerk, the former police chief, and 3 former police officers that we know of, thanks to "basehordreams" previously posting to let us know about it, and only City Hall knows how many more??

Double standard. Nothing but hypocrites. Totally sick. Won't take an identity theft criminal case from a Basehor resident, Pierce has to investigate it behind his back, but loves to show off for the media on how much is "cared" about "saving" the citizens from seat-belt "crimes," and sure loves to show off his "power" to do it, too.

Clean up City Hall, please! Now watch all the "cronies" jump on with juvenile comments, never wanting to hear or say anything truthful because it's all been compartmentalized, just like the above quoted comment, so that truth can't get through. And how dare anybody try!

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Thinkaboutit 1 year, 10 months ago

Did Cheif force out the former police officers? I think not. I believe the officers left due to salary and benefits according to "Erik'"(who was an officer I believe) previos comments on this site. Chief cannot change salaries and benifits. That is the coucil's job!

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