Archive for Saturday, June 29, 2013

Baldwin City Council agenda for July 1

June 29, 2013

I. Call to Order: Mayor Marilyn Pearse

II. Consent Agenda: (All matters listed on the Consent Agenda are to be considered under one motion and will be enacted by

one motion. There is to be no separate discussion on any Consent Agenda Item. If discussion is desired by an elected official of the

City on any Consent Agenda item, then that item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately).

A. Consider the draft minutes of the June 17, 2013, Regular Meeting.

B. Consider Appropriation Ordinance No. 2013-7A: claims against the City for goods provided

and services rendered.

C. Consider Reappointing Bill Winegar to the Douglas County Emergency Management Board

D. Consider Appointing Shane Starkey to the Douglas County E-Community Leadership Board.

III. Committee/Commission Reports

A. Public Works Committee (Christi Darnell)

B. Utility Committee (Jason Mock)

IV. Special Reports or Presentations

A. 2012 Audit Review (Audrey Odermann)

V. Unfinished Business

VI. New Business

A. Acceptance of Bid for Highway Salt (Bill Winegar)

B. Consider Endorsing a Letter of Support for a Proposed Walking Trail at Douglas State Lake

(Collin Bielser)

C. Consider Ordinance 1296 for a Conditional Use Permit for Rainbow Preschool to Operate at

115 Sixth Street (Tina Rakes – 1st Reading)

VII. Public Comments and Questions

VIII. Discussion Items from Council Members or Staff (items not for action at this time)

A. Sunflower Foundation Trail Grant Update (Collin Bielser)

B. City-Wide Cleanup Update (Tina Rakes)

IX. Schedule & Announcements

X. Executive Session

XI. Adjourn


1776attorney 4 years, 11 months ago

How about listening to the taxpayers for once and expressing a big "no" vote on this walking trail out by the Douglas County Lake.

This project is opposed by the majority of taxpayers for numerous reasons, including-

  • This is a project decided behind the scenes to solely benefit the wealthy homeowners in this far northern area of the city limits in addition to a few rich developers who would like nothing better than to print up a fancy new home sales brochure that includes a grand nature walking trail right next to their newly built neighborhoods.

  • A walking trail built on the outskirts of the city is inaccessible to the majority of residents, especially the elderly. Most citizens wanting to use the walking trail would have to drive their car just to get to the trail and it would only be usable during daylight hours.

  • As a safety issue, a trail area in a remote location such as this cannot be regularly watched over or patrolled for medical or crime issues.

The new mayor would be wise to get out and talk to taxpayers. It is evident that some council members are ignoring the voters.

It should be remembered that the new mayor actually had more voters vote against her for office than voted for her. One third of the votes went to her and 2/3 of voters cast ballots for the 2 competing candidates. That is not a mandate. She would be wise to step back and take the time to learn why the citizens of Baldwin City have grown extremely angry with the city governance and the school district's mismanagement.


greyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

I would like to see published this letter of support for the walking trail. To me, it sounds like a letter, perhaps with local citizen signatures, supporting such a venture. I would be very much interested in reading it, as well as signing it.

This is a state fishing lake not within the city limits, so any arguments about local taxes benefiting only those who live north of 56 Highway is moot. I live well south of 56 and would love to see any and all upgrades to alternative transportation in and around this town.

And to the new mayor: Please don't feel threatened by the above comment. You were duly voted into office. Mr. Attorney doesn't have insight into the consensus of Baldwin citizens' opinions on anything and should be taken with a grain of salt for even suggesting that he does.


1776attorney 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for your comments, GreyGhost.

Here are the facts.

The proposed walking trail has nothing to do with the actual Douglas County State Lake. The trail is to run within the city limits though the FireTree neighborhood north to Signal Oak.

"The proposed hiking and walking trail is the green line that begins at Douglas County 400 Road and ends in the FireTree neighborhood. The city is seeking a grant to pay for 80 percent of the estimated $650,000 cost." (Baldwin City Signal, December 2009)

"When the council approved applying for a Transportation Enhancement Grant last month, the price tag for the proposed hiking and biking trail was estimated to be $240,000 to $270,000. The measure barely passed, 3-2, and City Administrator Jeff Dingman was asked to get “firmer” numbers for cost. That number is right at $650,000, with the Kansas Department of Transportation picking up 80 percent of the cost. The city’s cost would be $137,000 for the trail, which would start at County Road 400 (State Lake Road), go through the Signal Ridge subdivision and into the FireTree Estates subdivision. Eventually, the plan is to have the trail throughout Baldwin City." (Baldwin City Signal, December 2009)

Thus local Baldwin City taxpayers are being asked to pay $137,000 (the estimate 4 years ago) for a walking trail within the city limits to serve the residents of FireTree and those wealthy neighborhoods north of Highway 56.

An elderly taxpayer living south of Highway 56 cannot be expected to walk 1 mile just to get to the walking trail, then walk the trail itself and return home. Central city dog walkers cannot walk all the way north just to walk their dogs between FireTree and Signal Oak.

This project serves a small, upper middle class, new neighborhood and developers who have plans for future housing developments north of Highway 56 and all Baldwin City taxpayers are being deceived and being asked to pay for this project.

The majority of Baldwin City residents and taxpayers live south of Highway 56.

The focus of the city government and taxpayer expenditures should be improvements and enhancements to the streets, curbing, sewers, and sidewalks in the center city area of town before there is any discussion of unnecessary, fluff projects.

"Final official totals were: Pearse 240, Mock, 226 and Plumberg, 103." (Baldwin City Signal, April 2013)

Mayor Pearse: 240 Opposing candidates: 329

While I wish the mayor success, she clearly did not receive overwhelming voter support and no mandate for her one issue (fiber optic broadband) election campaign.

These are the facts.


greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

"These are the facts." (mindless blabber from a pretend lawyer)

The fact is that in the special election of 2009, the majority of voters passed Proposition 2 in favor of library expansion and walking/biking trails.


Peabody 4 years, 11 months ago


Thank you for listing the vote total for the last mayoral election, as your initial assertion that Mayor Pearse won 1/3 of the total vote, while the other two candidate won 2/3 of the total vote is mathematically impossible.

In the last election cycle, Ms. Pearse received 240 of a possible 569 votes, or 42% of the total vote (rounded). Mr. Mock received 40% of the total vote, while Ms. Plumberg received 18% of the total vote (both figures rounded).

If you are going to post with assertion that "these are the facts," please do so with accurate information.


1776attorney 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your comments, Peabody.

If I recall, 1/3rd plus 2/3rds equals 3/3rds (or 1 or 100%). Seems possible to me.

My initial comments were a generalization if you read closely; an estimation. My later comment "These are the facts" is clearly written only in my follow-up comments where actual numbers are listed and are, in fact, "the facts".

It is disingenuous for you to mix up 2 different types of comments (a generalization and a factual statement) in order to try and misrepresent my valid point.

Even at 42% of the vote, Ms. Pearse received less than a 50% majority which is no mandate from the voters to pursue a particular agenda.

I wish Ms. Pearse success in her term, but I stress that many taxpayers are not happy with the direction of the city agenda.


Peabody 4 years, 11 months ago


Yes, indeed, 1/3 + 2/3 = 1. Good math - unless you need a plurality.

Here's a simple thought experiment: Ninety-nine (99) people vote in an election and Candidate A receives 1/3 of the votes, a total of 33. The other 66 votes are split unequally between Candidates B and C. Candidate A wins the election. How is this possible?

I actually agree with you that Mayor Pearse did not receive a mandate in the last election, but you don't strengthen your case by doubling down on your casual estimates of vote totals that were way off the actual results. Just stick with the numbers -- 42% is less than 50%. This is clearly not a majority, but it was enough to win the last election.


1776attorney 4 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps you should review the "comprehensive" plan. The state lake portion of the project is only part of the envisioned trail. Getting the state to pay for a lake trail is the first step of a city-financed walking and biking trail that runs from the state lake through Signal Oak and then terminates in FireTree. A trail that serves the newer, wealthier neighborhoods north of Highway 56 and the developers who plan to add additional housing developments in this area.

If this state lake portion is built, the city leaders can then more easily push through the southern portion of the trail at city taxpayer expense.

Just as the north 6th street improvements were a behind-the-scenes taxpayer-funded project to benefit these housing developments, the walking trail is also an under-the-radar project to benefit the neighborhoods and business interests to the north at the expense of the taxpayers and homeowners south of Highway 56..

Before you make your uninformed comments, please take the time to study the "complete" project. You'll present an educated, informed opinion instead of snarky, petty, and ignorant blabber.


greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

You're against the trails at the state lake because to connect the city to them would require trails through Firetree and you don't want Firetree to benefit from such improvements? Haaahhaaaahaaa. Cut off your nose to spite your face much? I see that the whole city will benefit from these trails. Jesus, maybe one day the trail will meet up with the Prairie Spirit and Flint Hills trail systems.

I indeed voted for the sales tax increase for just these types trails through the city. In fact, the tax question passed--meaning we as a city voted to raise sales taxes in order to improve the library and add walking/bike trails within the city. So, when you and your ego come on here and claim that you think the council and mayor are disregarding the voters, it is you that is being ignorant (not to mention egotistical, falsely omniscient, and the voice of BC).

Please get over yourself, or gather your "friend's" signatures and petition the council against this state funded trail system. Good luck.

(1776attorney: I'm not really a lawyer, but I play one on the Signal website)


Stacy Napier 4 years, 10 months ago

Grey is right to a point. It is just a letter of support. No reason that county / state money come back to our city region.

However I do agree that in whole this is a waste. If you want to walk / ride in nature do it. You should not need a manufactured path to do it. We need to stop spending money on pet projects and fix what we have already.


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