Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Baldwin City Council Talks Fees

Kevin Surbaugh

The Baldwin City Council their last meeting of the year on December 19, 2017. In the absence of Mayor Marilyn Pearse, Council-Member and President Kathy Gerstner presided in the mayor's seat. After quick approval of the agenda and consent agenda, the council moved to public comments. Hank Booth, approached the podium at this time, thanking Council-Members Gerstner and Christi Darnell, for their service on the council. The two council members did not run for re-election and will be retiring from council politics after this meeting.  Although they will be present at the first meeting of January to open that meeting and swear in the mayor and two new council members.
After which, Jeanette Blackmar made a special presentation regarding "First Impressions," a program that looks at the community through the eyes of a first time visitor to the community. Blackmar told the council, that there will be a number of public meetings on this issue throughout the year. The first of which will be January 10, 2018, in which the public will be able to hear a report of what some visitors from Iola seen and what their reactions were. After that, another presentation will be presented on Februrary14 during the chamber luncheon. Other meetings will include a plan of action in March with a follow-up in June.
Council-Member Kathy Gerstner set
in the mayor's chair for her last official meeting
on the Baldwin City Council.
During old business, the council again took up charter ordinance 27, which will replace charter ordinance one. The ordinance changes dates of mayoral appointments from the former spring election cycle to the new fall/winter schedule. Motion carried 4-1 with Council-Member A. J. Stevens casting the single dissenting vote.   Council then voted on a related ordinance 1380 amending section 1-301 which basically does the same thing and passed on the same 4-1 roll call vote.
Council members also discussed a proposal from the previous meeting that was suggested by former council-member Ken Hayes. The proposal is to temporarily lower some of the fees to connect new construction. Tony Brown said the utility committee is looking at the cities costs and expect to be able to be able to report on that come January.
The discussion then turned into an overall fee schedule. Currently the fees, according to City Administrator Glenn Rodden, are scattered throughout a number of ordinances. Rodden suggested, that the council list all of the ordinances in one ordinance that can be reviewed and adjusted as needed each year.
In other business the council:
  • Approved an agreement with Lawrence/Douglas County for the Baldwin City Fire Department to provide emergency medical services (EMS) in the Baldwin City area at $15/person. 
  • Wished City Attorney Matt Hoy well, as this was his last meeting. 
  •  Learned the first meeting of January will be the second Monday (January 8, 2018) instead of the first Tuesday and the new council will be sworn in. 

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