January 21, 2020 Commission Minutes

January 21, 2020 Commission Minutes

January 21, 2020 Commission Minutes

website_admin Minutes


Regular Meeting

January 21, 2020                                                                                                                           5:00 P.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. 

Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Dakota Roubideaux – Code Enforcement, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Sami Philbrick – Museum Director, Jake Kling – City Attorney, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. Recognition of Past Commissioner: Annette Fairbanks – Andrew stated, Annette was unable to attend transition meeting so I invited her to this meeting for final comments.  Annette stated, being a Commissioner for fourteen years I have been asked if I enjoyed the experience.  It was extremely educational, sometimes frustrating but most of all rewarding.  I have lived in Goodland for forty years, raised our children in this community but fourteen years is enough.  The advice I would give all of you, when you to vote on an issue, vote for what is in the best interest of City and community not because you like it.  You set policy and make rules but Andrew, department heads and staff that make things happen for you and implement policies.  Mayor Garcia presented a plaque to Annette recognizing her for her years of service.  John stated, on behalf of the City, we have worked together many years, may not have always agreed but walked away friends.  I appreciate your hard work and dedication.
  2. Open Meetings Act Training: Jake Kling, City Attorney – Jake stated, welcome to the new commissioners, it is important to understand rules that go with your elected position.  Jake explained his job as the City Attorney.  Larger Cities have multiple attorneys for different functions.  The civil realm involves contracts, employment, selling or leasing.  What it takes to make a law and to stay within constitutional bounds of your position in local government.  In thr criminal realm, we hold City court twice a month for citations issued within city limits, I am the prosecutor for the City.  I represent the City; it does not matter who is in the commission chairs.  If one of you does something on your own, that is on you.  I cannot defend you for that.  You received a Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) guideline that you need to refer to often.  As an elected official, you are subject to KOMA, along with all committees and boards under the Commission.  The act is triggered by a gathering of any means: email, phone, text or meeting, of a majority of the members for the purpose to discuss business of the board.  It does not require an action take place.  If one of you emails the other Commissioners, you probably need to leave it that we will talk about it at the meeting to avoid problems.  KOMA ensures constituents know what is going on.  Any notice of a special meeting needs to be given in a reasonable amount of time if the meeting is not within normal meeting time.  Agenda and minutes are not needed but if they are done, they must be made public.  Executive sessions are the only time you can close the doors to discuss specific topics outlined in statute.  The motion has to have justification of session, subject of discussion and time and place of meeting.  You cannot do everything under non-elected personnel.  As long as you abide by rules of statute and legal counsel, you cannot be sued.  However, if you decide to act on your own, you will be on your own and a complaint can be filed against you with fines up to $500 per incident.  You are elected for a reason, you just need to follow the rules.  I would rather you ask questions if you are in doubt.  Mayor Garcia stated, no formal votes can take place in executive session.  Jake stated, correct, people have to know how you vote so all votes must be in open meeting.  There will be times in executive session when you question whether you can do something, so I give you a memo, but the information does not leave executive session or it becomes an open record.  Mayor Garcia stated, if you have questions or concerns, Jake works for the commission and will visit with you.


  1. 01/06/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2020-02, 2020-02A, and 2020-P02

ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 


  1. Resolution 1559: Abatement of 1101 Walnut Avenue – Andrew stated, resolution is for the abatement of nuisance at 1101 Walnut.  Dakota stated, this has been a big issue for many citizens.  Owners are deceased and property is not formally turned over to errs so cannot pursue them for nuisance in court.  We need to publish notice in paper to serve notice and abate nuisance.  Mayor Garcia asked, how long have owners been deceased?  Dakota stated, 2017 and utilities were also shut off for non-pay in 2017.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, the stuff was left on property early December.  We know who dumped it there, but do not have proof.  There has been power on in the house, but no utilities are connected to property.  Dakota stated, that is a separate issue that is being dealt with.  Jason Erhart, Police Officer stated, I spoke with individual we believe left stuff in yard and he admitted it.  Joni stated, there are some updates on property that will be passed on to City Manager.  Andrew stated, property is in name of John and Ina Pharr, deceased and have to provide notice to property owner to provide due process.  The alternative method is for resolution to be published in paper for two consecutive weeks which fulfills notice and permit us to abate nuisance.  I felt it was important to get issue on agenda to get publications done and be able to proceed.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, the resolution is only to clean up stuff on property?  Dakota stated, correct to bring property to code.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, with property owners being deceased, what happens to property in future?  Andrew stated, the last taxes were paid in 2016 so it is not on upcoming tax sale but will be in future.  Costs to abate nuisance will be assessed to tax role.  We may recoup through payment of taxes, unfortunately usually never recoup costs and property goes to tax sale.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, that is a concern we continue to have because property continues to deteriorate until a tax sale is held.  County says a tax sale is expensive to hold.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to approve Resolution 1559: Abatement of 1101 Walnut Avenue seconded by Vice-Mayor Thompson.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 


  1. Scheduling a Special Meeting for Commission Goal-Setting – Andrew stated, last meeting we discussed scheduling a special meeting to discuss goals of the commission.  Consensus of Commission is to schedule special meeting Monday January 27th at 5 p.m. in Commission room.   


  1. Museum Renovation Plan – Sami stated, Jerry Nemechek and Heather Evert are present from Museum Board.  The board completeda strategic plan for the museum and would like to renovate front entrance of museum to make it more appealing.  We have issues with front wall.  There is daylight showing under doors, the wall lets in water and dirt and the interior boards are warped.  We would also like to fix tile and lighting in front entrance.  The countertop needs updated and flooring is starting to bubble.  It is not a professional look.  Our solution is to renovate the front wall with UV protected glass to help with weather protection.  The plan is to include a second set of doors to help with weather protection, then wrap glass with photographs from our collections.  We feel this will clean up entry and make it attractive for visitors, yet we can see outside.  We will fund the project using match day funds, our fund raiser on March 28th and grants.  Any money needed to complete project will come from our Endowment Fund.  The fund consists of the Max Alderman memorial, miscellaneous memorial donations and visitor donations.  We feel this goes in line with the memorials.  Project requires a temporary wall to block off rest of museum while the entrance is being complete.  Estimated project costs are $70,000.  The Endowment Fund balance is approximately $115,000.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, this will be a great improvement to the entrance.  Commissioner Howard stated, putting stuff on the inside of glass will build pressure inside and glass would crack.  Andrew stated, if anyone has direction, next step is for museum to hold fund raiser and apply for grants, then bring expenditure back for approval.  Sami and the Board welcome input from commission, they have worked hard for a year to get to this point.  Mayor Garcia asked, who is your contractor?  Sami stated, Steve Roberts who completed the Library renovation and worked on the school remodel.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I appreciate the work you have done on the project.     
  2. Web Hosting Agreement with Sherman County – Josh stated, Eric Albright and I work together well.  I have been running City website for number of years.  The County is having issues with emails from State agencies getting kicked back because they are on a shared host.  In discussions with Eric, he has asked if I would be able to host the website for County.  They would have a separate server on our network, with proper security in place.  Andrew stated, Eric met with County and they are in favor of City web hosting.  They have agreed to a price of $1,100 first year then $600 for subsequent years.  I would like Legal Counsel and the Commission to review agreement to move to next step.  The funds would go toward funding IT costs.  Eric and Josh work together very well.  Mayor Garcia stated, anything we can do to enhance relationship with County we need to do.  Do you have an idea how much time will be dedicated to providing service?  Josh stated, the initial setup of server is minimal.  I have three hours in it now and going forward it will just be helping Eric trouble shoot.  I have been web hosting for years, but I am pretty much done with my work at this point.  Any other costs would be electrical but we have server running now.  Mayor Garcia asked, how did you come up with cost?  Josh stated, we looked at what competitors in field would charge for same service.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, it is great to generate revenue off your skills.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, if information got lost what is City liability?  Josh stated, agreement says we are not liable for backing up their data, it is their responsibility.  I backup everything, but ultimately, we have no liability. 
  3. Cemetery Caretaker Contract – Andrew stated, contract for caretaker services has been in place since March 2018, with two year contract and two year renewal option. In December cemetery board discussed renewal.  They recommend renewing contract with a $3,000 increase to $44,500 annually.  Previous services at cemetery cost $45,462.15 when contract was rebid so cost is still cheaper than two years ago.  In the budget process, we discussed and built $3,000 increase into the budget. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I fully support it, we are on the right track and it is looking good at the cemetery.    
  4. Review of Board Applicants – Andrew stated, City has several advisory boards and commissions where members serve three year terms.  Jackie Elliott is seeking reappointment on the Cemetery Board.  In addition, Ben Schears is seeking appointment to Housing Authority Board.  The Library and Housing Authority Boards are two boards where the City does not have authority over members appointed.  The appointments are at the recommendation of the Directors.  Shelia Barnett, Director of Housing Authority recommends the appointment of Ben for a four year term.   Lastly, my appointment on KMEA Board of Director’s expires April 2020 and I am asking the Commission to reappoint me on the Board.    


  1. City Manager – 1.  Match day funds received by the City were the Museum in the amount of $2,671.50, Topside Trail $1,130.25 and Main Street Flowers $2,603.  2. Free dog tag day was January 15th and we issued 495 tags.  3.  New audio equipment is installed for meetings.  There are speakers set up so commission can be heard and a speaker in hall to help if overflow.  In executive sessions, you need to make sure the microphones are off.  Mayor Garcia asked, in future will we utilize equipment to go live with meetings?  Andrew stated, that is direction heading but first step is to ensure we have clear audio.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, on the Master Plan, can that file go on a USB drive if we want a copy?  Andrew stated, yes I believe so, they are currently compressing the file.  We did have archeologist onsite last week and they did not find anything. 
  2. Chief of Police – Joni stated, 2018 statistics are available if you would like information, I will go over 2019.  For calls for service, we had a high of 938 during the month of May.  This includes only the calls that went through dispatch center.  In 2020 we have 315 calls to date.   We had 1,275 cases in 2019 which is higher than 2018 because we started to pull case numbers for citations.  We will not have good statistics for five years.  To date in 2020 we have 59 case numbers pulled, which is low but all calls for service require officer contact but may not need a case number.  We had 603 citations and approximately 100 warnings in 2019.  We appreciate the alarm ordinance as we have had a 51% decrease in false alarm calls.  Upcoming we are hosting tactical training with KLETC which allows us to have two to three officers attend at no cost.  In addition, we have the cost savings of our officers attending without paying for food and lodging.  This month we are hosting department training for Taser recertification this month.  In March we have opportunity to bring in basic investigation training course which is $500 per person for the class.  We have officers able to attend free.  In April we are hosting field officer training course.  Officer Tim Wright is attending the academy until April.  I am continuing to work on policy manual and procedures which are about 75 % complete.  We recently completed the Drive Safe event with FCCLA which was fun and we are a sponsor for SAFE program coordinated with JR Commission.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, it is nice to hear the alarm ordinance is working.   
  3. City Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1.  Thank you for your support in my recent surgery.

Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1.  No Report.

Commissioner Howard – 1.  They started work on Topside Trail project.  They have had a problem with the wind, but working with it.

Commissioner Farris – 1.  I am concerned with 17th street and elevator traffic; it is falling apart.  Andrew stated, we have discussed street and agree it will need to be addressed in near future. 

  • Mayor 1.  Would like to thank Annette for service to the City and the employees for all you do.


  1. Under the authority of KSA 75-4319(b)(1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel –   Mayor Garcia made a motion at 6:22 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of  K.S.A.75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnelnot to exceed fifteen minutes.   I request only the Commission be present. Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:37 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded by Vice-Mayor Thompson.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:38 p.m.  Next special meeting is scheduled for Monday January 27th and regular meeting is February 3rd.


ATTEST:                                                                                John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk