Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Baldwin City Council Hears About Murals and Tourism

Kevin Surbaugh

After crossing the street from the mural dedication, Mayor Marilyn Pearse called the June 20, 2017 city council meeting to order, the council unanimously approved the consent agenda. The consent agenda included a special event plan for a Neighborhood Pantry Farmers Market.
The council then heard from Jeannette Blackmar, Baldwin City Chamber Executive Director. "This is not an end, but a beginning," Blackamar said.  Planning for the next mural will begin on July 13, 2017, when those interested will meet at the Lumberyard Arts Center.
A mural helps make a city more attractive and attracts residents and tourists alike to areas where the murals are painted.
After the mural presentation, Michael Davidson, Executive Director of Explore Lawrence, addressed the council regarding tourism trends. The city of Lawrence has the largest footprint of AirBnB's in the state. He said, that the county had a 17 million dollar increase in tourism spending from 2015 to 2015.
In other business:

  • The council unanimously approved ordinance 1371, which will allow Fellowship Bible Church to establish a church on Ames, in shopping center where the fitness center used to be.
  • Unanimously approved ordinance 1372, which will annex a section of land which is located west of Lawrence Street and adjoins the corporate limits of the City. 
  • Tabled a decision on ordinance 1373, which would establish a sales tax for the proposed rec center. Steve Friend said that he was still working with a private donor who would possibly put up some of the funds needed to build the center. 
  • Unanimously approved Resolution 2017-09 which would establish a benefit district a long a part of First Street, to pave the street.
  • Unanimously approved Resolution 2017-10, which authorizes the city administrator to enter into  a Interconnection and Delivery Service Agreement with KCP&L. 
  • Unanimously approved the appointment of Ken Oshel as the cities Emergency Management Representative.
  • 1 comment:

    1. It’s very disappointing that neither of the 2 mayoral candidates exhibit the talent, vision, or foresight to serve in the mayor’s office of Baldwin City.

      Ms. Pierce. Shane Starkey was voted out of office by the citizens of Baldwin City. The voters spoke. The votes were decisive against Mr. Starkey continuing another term on the city council. Why would you now think that voters would want you to reappoint him for another 2 years on the council? Unless, of course, he aligns with you on issues that are unpopular and undesired by citizens.

      Mr. Starkey is, no doubt, a good person. Votes are cast primarily on policies and visions. Voters rejected his policy stances and vision for the city. Voters rejected his stand on the city taking over the Lumberyard Arts Center based on financial expectations and projections that would be rejected as overly ambitious and unattainable by entertainment experts and financial analysts. The Lumberyard Arts Center has been a money pit for its promoters sense its inception, including defaulting on its mortgage and being bailed out by its lender.

      As mayor, this proposal just contributes to a reputation of poor decision making and deceptive maneuvering to fool the public to meet your (and other’s) agendas (the new maintenance building on Orange Street) that otherwise would be rejected by the public. The sneaky, secret plans for a new police station. Ethical politicians SELL projects to taxpayers. When taxpayers are onboard, that’s success. Deception is not a trait of ethical political lenders.

      The council needs a replacement for Mr. Bauer who is an experienced professional in their field. A council member who has vision of what the city should be while retaining its historical character. You enlist new council members who are proven to have expertise and a track record of accomplishment. A council member who understands that voters and taxpayers want excellent services and neighborhoods where their infrastructure is historically recreated and in excellent condition.

      If you offer good services and have a reputation for great neighborhoods and ethical city government people will WANT to live here. This increases your tax base.

      New housing developments where out of town developers build substandard homes, creating dumpy looking neighborhoods, and taking their profits back to Johnson County are not on the list of taxpayer needs. Hundreds of thousands of dollars for industrial park infrastructure on empty, bare land means little to homeowners living on streets in disrepair, no curbing, no rain water drainage, and unsightly utility poles.

      Politicians out of touch or motivated by secret, self-serving ideas are not what Baldwin City is about.


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