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Jill Quigley, chair

We welcome Jim Quigley to the Observer Corps. Jim will be observing WaterOne.


Observer Corps reportsJohnson County Community College Board of Trustees

March – April

Roberta Eveslage

March 21

  • The Gardner School District was recognized as an outstanding district.
  • Janice Blansit, director of adult education at JCCC, received the Kansas Adult Education Association’s Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service promoting, developing or implementing adult education in the state of Kansas.
  • The new Audit Committee surveyed all information technology for Business Continuing Education.
  • The college lobbyist reported that the Kansas Legislature has considered few bills, but that the House did pass a Medicaid expansion bill, which now goes to the Senate. The campus currently has many roads blocked due to construction of new facilities.

April 18

  • The meeting began with a budget workshop for next year.
  • Five campus groups were recognized, including the men’s basketball team, which won second place in NFAA Division 2.
  • The Kansas Legislature has passed an education funding bill and is hoping the Supreme Court will find it meets the adequacy requirement in Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution. The current rule regarding tax itemizing is still being scrutinized.
  • The college has over 70 opportunities for student placements for learning experiences.
  • Many 50th Anniversary celebration activities are in progress; here is a calendar of events.

For more information, read the board packet and minutes.


Observer Corps reportsUnified Government Board of Commissioners

March 28

Marge Gasnick

The board approved an ordinance that adds penalty levels for property owners, including LLCs, that continuously violate codes pertaining to air pollution, fire prevention, buildings and building regulations, streets and sidewalks, and health and sanitation. The penalties now range from $100 for the first violation to $1,500 for the sixth or subsequent violation within a 24-month period. Staff explained that these penalties provide more options to pursue repeat code violators. The process for assessing and administering these penalties is separate from the municipal court process for code violations.

The Adopt-A-Spot WyCo program, which enables groups to adopt areas in parks or along streets for cleanup, was also approved. The groups must agree to do at least three cleanups in a 2-year period and are recognized with a sign.

The minutes and agendas of the Board will provide more information.


Observer Corps reportsOverland Park City Council

April 1

Luann Peterson

The City Place Corporate Center, located at the southwest corner of College Boulevard and Switzer, requested council consideration for tax abatement, in the form of Federally Taxable Activity Economic Development Revenue Bonds.  According to representatives of this development, prospective tenants are being lost to other cities that offer this type of tax abatement. Addressing this issue, council held a public hearing to consider bond issuance not to exceed $30 million. This tax abatement would target Class A office space, defined as office space that is well located, has good access and is professionally managed.  Class A space would, therefore, attract the highest quality tenant and command the highest rents. 

The public hearing portion met with no public comment. However, there was some pushback from two council members after the public hearing and during the passing of Resolution 4523, which declared the intent of the city to issue these revenue bonds. Most of the council seemed to agree with Councilman Dave White’s comment that Overland Park doesn’t see enough speculative office space being offered and that this tax abatement will encourage “A” office space availability. But Councilpersons Faris Farassati and Gina Burke were skeptical that developers need tax incentives in Overland Park. Farassati argued that he didn’t trust the developers to give the prospective tenants the benefit of the tax break. The resolution passed 10-2.

For more information, read the agenda and minutes.


Observer Corps reportsPrairie Village City Council Meeting

April 15

Eileen Marshall


  1. Johnson County Commissioner Becky Fast spoke briefly about some of the priorities of the BOCC, including mental health, housing affordability, extension of the life of the county landfill and replacement of the Corinth branch of the library.
  2. The Teen Council was recognized.

Other items:

  1. The Mayor reported that a delegation from Ukraine had visited the city and was particularly interested in the non-discrimination ordinance passed recently.
  2. Talks continue with the YMCA and the Corinth library regarding the feasibility of a new PV community center encompassing all three organizations.
  3. The Council approved a $4.7 million contract to remove the low-water crossings on Delmar and Fontana south of 83rd Street and to mitigate the flood risk of nearby properties. Work will begin soon.
  4. The council discussed a preliminary draft ordinance regulating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in the city. Further research and discussion will follow.

For more information, read the meeting packet and minutes.


Observer Corps reportsWaterOne Board

April 9

Jim Quigley

The WaterOne Board received reports on an engineering project in progress to develop a new ozone water purification facility at the Hansen water treatment plant on Holiday drive. Also discussed was the deterioration of the Missouri Riverbed, which they believe is being exacerbated by sand dredging permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers, and the effect it has on the water supply. They encourage WaterOne patrons to contact them to help seek a public hearing before these dredging permits are renewed in 2020.

WaterOne is sponsoring a 5K race on May 4. All proceeds from entry fees will be donated to causes supporting clean water.

Reports on the damage to WaterOne facilities caused by recent Missouri River flooding, as well as the recent breakage of an 8-inch water main on Nall Avenue, requiring closure of Nall for several days, were presented. (Watch a local news video.)

For more information, read the agenda and minutes.


Back to the May Newsletter