Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zoning recommendation puzzles city council

October 21, 2010

Discussions about approving a rezoning recommendation became slightly heated between Baldwin City Council members Monday night.

The city council was considering an ordinance that would approve the Baldwin City Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone property at 913 Ames Street from commercial to single-family residential. Three of the four city council members at the meeting disagreed with the recommendation, because it goes against the council’s comprehensive plan for that area.

“I’m not against the request and I’m not completely against changing the zoning, but I want to know the reasons behind the recommendation,” City Council Member Mike Magers said. “I know it’s not just a knee-jerk reaction. I’d like to see some more thought put into it as this could become a presidence

City Council members Robin Bayer and Bonnie Plumberg agreed with Magers. However, Ted Brecheisen disagreed. He said the planning commission must have its reasons for making the recommendation, but those reasons weren’t given to the city council. He felt comfortable to make the zoning change.

“I think it’s just prolonging something,” Brecheisen said. “I would be surprised if anything is done commercially in that area for a long time.”

Bayer jumped in and said the council should be talking about whether to send the recommendation back to the planning commission or to move forward to a second reading at the next meeting. Brecheisen didn’t take kindly to being interrupted as he pointed and yelled at Bayer.

“I will talk about what I want to talk about,” Brecheisen said to Bayer.

Mayor Ken Wagner then asked Greg Wright, owner of the property, to speak about the situation and what was said at the planning commission meeting.

“I didn’t have any problem with the loan at that time,” Wright said. “Now a days with it being zoned commercial, someone has to have 20 percent down and they will get a 6 percent adjustable mortgage rate. If it could be zoned residential, they could get a loan at 3.5 percent down with a fixed rate of 4.5 percent.

“It’s a small, two-bedroom house and it’s roughly 1,000 square feet,” he said. “It is perfect for a small family or starting family. The planning commission said let the market dictate what the zoning is on that property. His main contention was to let the economy drive it.”

After Wright’s comments, the city council voted 3-1 to send the recommendation back to the planning commission for further explanation on why it was made. Brecheisen voted against the motion.


greyghost 9 years, 4 months ago

Put that female dog in her place, Junior!


defenestrator 9 years, 4 months ago

Bayer is a liar, a thief, and ignorant scumbag. Junior should have punched him in the face.


robinbayer 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe my position on the issue was properly stated in the above article. I am quite opposed to the request for changing the zoning for the property at 913 Ames. I do not see it in the same manner as other Council members.

I offered an amendment to move the item back to the Planning Commission with instructions for them to provide an explanation for their decision. Specifically I asked for their reason for recommending a change in zoning from the Comprehensive Plan that was ratified by the Planning Commission in 2008 and subsequently approved by the Council. I offered this amendment because two of my fellow Council members had questions regarding the reasoning for the Planning Commission's decision.

The article references a verbal dispute between myself and another Council member. To clarify, I raised a point of order with the Mayor that the discussion by the Council member was not germane to the topic at hand (i.e. referring the matter back to the Planning Commission). The rules of order for City Council meetings requires that the discussion be pertinent to the motion currently being considered and I did not feel that it was. My point of order essentially appealed to the Mayor (as the Chair of the meeting) to channel the discussion. The Chair could then determine whether the point of order was valid or not. The point became moot as the Council member did not continue his discussion.

There was no disrespect intended for the Council member. It was simply a matter of procedure to ensure that the meeting moved forward efficiently. Prior to me making the motion to refer, the aforementioned Council member was afforded the opportunity to speak first in favor of adopting the zoning change. He was given this opportunity to speak first because he made the initial motion to adopt the zoning change.


Stacy Napier 9 years, 4 months ago


Since when do Roberts Rules of Order apply to any governing body in Baldwin City? LOL

The problem is no one even knows the rules.


greyghost 9 years, 4 months ago

The "Council member" you are referencing is named Ted Brecheisen, Jr. You should show some respect and use his name when referring to him. You should also not interrupt him when he is speaking in turn.

You should also not try to get my posts removed. That's just petty.


TheOnlyGreyghost 9 years, 4 months ago

And you should not be an even more petty, creatively bankrupt posting-name thief. Totally hilarious that you would try to take Bayer to task on morality issues, as your guiding compass seems to follow a completely "me first and to hell with everyone" agenda, faketoast.


solo 9 years, 4 months ago

notwhat... I agree that very few in Baldwin even know Roberts Rules of Order but is that an excuse for not trying to at least acquaint yourself with the proper way a meeting should be held? That's like saying "gee I didn't know you aren't suppose to bas a school bus with it's lights flashing so officer please don't hold me accountable for my actions".

Some kind of order and decorum needs to take place in a meeting of governing bodies. The standard that has been adopted all over the USA is Roberts Rules of Order. So if Councilman Brecheisen doesn't adhere to the rules of order who is really at fault here? The councilman pointing out the error or the councilman who is ignorant of the rules????

Seems to me this is a perfect example of why as a city we all need to spend more time choosing our elected representatives. In this day and age of strained budgets and anti-tax sentiments it is more and more important we elect representatives to our council who have some iota of creativity and ability to think outside the box. We desperately need problem solvers not just people who say "no" but don't offer up resasonable alternatives. These council elections have got to stop just being a throwback to junior high popularity contests where the guy/gal with the most popular (i.e. familiar ) name wins because some of the better candidates were too afraid to throw their name into the hat.

Because "elections" are on everyone's mind right now I would encourage everyone to strongly start thinking about this Spring's City Council elections. I believe 2, if not 3, of the present council members are up for re-election. I have no idea of any of these people will run again. However, I do know that if they do decide to run I would like to see some healthy competition and some real debate in the arena of ideas put out there for the public to digest.

So I challenge all who read this to start thinking about who you would like to see on the City Council. Why not encourage that neighbor, that friend, that co-worker, that member of your church who you think can make a difference to step up to the plate and actually run for Council? Heck, that person might be you or your spouse. Whoever it is it is long past time that council members in this town get more attention paid to their abilities and less to the amount of time they have lived in Baldwin City.

I'll start the process: I have no idea who TheOnlyGreyghost is in "real life" but I like the way he/she frames an argument and defends his/her position. I don't agree with him/her on everything but that's ok--I respect his/her thought process and intelligence. Don't even know if this person even lives in the city limits however, someone like that would make an admirable and worthy candidate for city council. Our town needs and deserves the best and the brightest. Think about it.


solo 9 years, 4 months ago

P.S. Before the grammar police take my task on the above post I realize I have made a few typos---I beg everyone's indulgence. However I think the point is still clear.


Stacy Napier 9 years, 4 months ago


I was pointing at those who don't know proper decorum. It was a bit of sarcasm. I am sure 1/2 of our elected officals have never even heard the term.

You call out Ted in this but I also call out the Mayor. He is in charge of the proceedings.

I agree with you 100% The elections should not be about who has the biggest business in town.


true_bulldog 9 years, 4 months ago

Proper decorum is BS. Robin Bayer complaining about something being "germane" to the discussion. That's what normal city councils and school boards do. Discuss the issue. Robin is so anal about everything that it's ridiculous. Germane? Get a grip.

Bayer was appointed to the council by Mayor Ken Wagner to fullfill Wagner's council position after he won the mayor's race in the next election. It was Wagner's biggest mistake. It was a political payoff for Bayer's work in Wagner's campaign and was purely wrong. There were several council candidates that just fell short of winning that should have been appointed. Robin Bayer has an axe to grind and is nothing more than a computer geek whose businesses have failed in Baldwin City and blames city government unrightly for that. He has no business being on the council and I hope (and pray) that he will not run for election this spring. He has no business on the council and has allienated city staff and others who are important to this city. He's a jerk.

This is a good example of Robin's problems. Mayor Wagner has done a good job with everything but this appointment. He has found that he can't control Robin. A good case of be careful what you wish for. Wagner thought he had the perfect hatchet man for what he wanted to do. However, that has blown up in his face. Just say no to Robin. Please.


solo 9 years, 4 months ago

not and true I agree with you that most of the council doesn't have a clue what Roberts Rules of Order are but that does not make me feel any better. Yes, we are a small town but that shouldn't mean that we don't get a slate of candidates who understand just what governing is all about. Unfortunately it is my opinion that most who run in this town haven't a clue what they are getting into and have never actually participated in a meeting where "rules of order" are adhered to. There is a reason for these rules---it's to keep a meeting on track and keep it productive. If we totally ignore the rules simply because we don't know them then chaos will reign. I do agree however that all things done in moderation is the best approach. I would bet that is what happens the majority of the time in council meetings.

As for your assertion that the mayor should have appointed the vote "runner up". Please tell me where in the statutes does it say that? It may be what you think should have happened but nowhere does it say that it had to happen. the mayor was within his rights to appointment whomever he pleases. As for being a "hatchet man"--to whom has Mr. Bayer taken a hatchet and what exactly has "blown up"? This is the kind of political rhetoric that is non productive and can be harmful. (As a side note I would ask just how often do any of those civic minded "runner up" candidates show up for council meetings? You know, if they were that concerned for this community wouldn't they be there at the meetings whether they were elected or not? Just saying.)

I stand by my premise that we need good candidates for city council (and the school board for that matter). Personally I hope Mr. Bayer does run because I have taken the time to get to know him and find his intellect and problem solving abilities just what this town needs. Also, contrary to your assertion, he is highly successful in his line of work. (Yes, his small business in Baldwin didn't make it. But if that were a disqualifier there are at least a couple of other current council members who shouldn't be sitting on the council either).

Obviously you disagree and that's fine. But instead of worrying about who should not run for council why not start talking to people who you think should run? I would just hope you would encourage folks who actually have some kind of vision for this community and have actually done some research into what being an effective councilman is all about. My point was that it is not too early to start this discussion.


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