February Council Meeting Recap

I know it is hard to make council meetings and, let me tell you, I get it.  The nitty gritty details can get a little arduous and finding the time in your day to sit through it is not a top priority.  If you ever do get a chance, though, it is great to see your democracy in action!

In the meantime, I plan on publishing my monthly recaps of notable action and discussion before the council here on my blog, so here is my report on February. . .

Discussion Topics

  • We discussed the engineering to upgrade the lighting and fencing at the city parking lots near the fest hall this year. Yes, we are obeying our own design standards in for the fence and light fixtures!  We'll have some great new electrical potential in the lots as well.  Estimated project date of 2017.
  • At our study session we had a wonderful, thorough discussion on communication and the flow between citizens, council/mayor and staff.  The staff is creating a visual flow chart to both help the elected officials and citizens better understand how to bring new ideas.
  • We discussed some parking regulation amendments so that our private security company can take over enforcement and relieve the Sheriff's department of the task.  This will appear as a resolution and an ordinance at a March meeting.
  • Our Annual Budget Retreat is March 4th.  We will be meeting to discuss priorities, goals and finance for the next year and beyond.  Each council member is challenged with bringing one NEW idea to the table for discussion.  Let me know if you have A BIG IDEA!

Decisions

  • We approved a new, updated contract with the Humane Society for animal control.  Citizens can now call the Humane Society if there is an issue with an animal in town.  They will continue to receive animals at the facility and will help with our feral cat problem.
  • We annexed the new school district property into the city.
  • We changed our fence code so that fence permits are no longer required.  There are still legal guidelines that must be followed, but without permit review.  Make sure you know the rules before you build and feel free to come in and ask questions!
  • We proclaimed February 23, 2016 as World Spay Day along with many other cities across the world to help promote animal care.  Get your cat or dog spayed or neutered!
  • We amended our Rate and Fee schedule - a few house cleaning issues and one relevant one: we approved the Parks and Recreation Service Area Board's recommendation of a $0.25 cent increase to daily rates at the pool.  For you pass holders, there is no change in the rates, so enjoy and support your pool all summer long with a season pass!

Community Highlights

  • We are giving grants!  Due March 1st is the Group Funding Grant given to new festivals and events to aid in their advertising.  We give up to $10,000 out of our Lodging Tax income, so apply!
  • We heard your concerns about employee parking downtown.  What a great community conversation on Facebook this month!  The Economic Development Committee took up the issue and will be working on some solutions for resident access to crowded downtown and employee parking.
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If you have questions about any of these projects, please let me know!  As always, the minutes are available for your perusal.

mbretz@cityofleavenworth.com