By Linda Ahern
Owner/Publisher Lee’s Summit Tribune
On March 19, 2014 the Lee’s Summit Tribune made a request for a list of sewer adjustments from the City of Greenwood.
A similar request was made the following day.
The Greenwood city clerk responded by sending a 41-page document of adjustments. According to the city’s sewer use charge collection penalty ordinance, Section 705.080, whenever there are adjustments, documentation is required. Narrowing down these adjustments into a spread sheet, the Tribune found unsettling write-offs directed by Mayor Marvin Megee.
Out of the 41 pages, the Tribune noticed that Larry Miller, a city employee at that time, had sewer and solid waste charges and penalties of $211.27 for Jan. 26, 2011 written off as per Mayor Megee.
On the same date, Gary McCombs’ charges and penalties of solid wastes and sewer in the amount $418.50 were also written off as per Mayor Megee. McCombs was an city employee at this time.
Again, on the same day Jan. 26, Michael Totten, also a city employee at that time had his outstanding bill and penalties for solid waste and sewer usage amounting to $267.44 written off as per Megee. His home, 109 Third St. S., was foreclosed by PNC Financial.
There were nine residences the Tribune quickly picked out with total questionable adjustments made of $1,639.30. There are many more that need to be requested.
On April 7, the Tribune narrowed down the document to the nine accounts out of the 41-page documents and asked the Mayor why these adjustments were made.
Mayor Megee replied on April 8 with the following:
"Adjustments for Miller, McCombs and Totten were approved by the Board of Alderman at the BOA Meeting on January 24, 2011, in closed session under Personnel.
Adjustment for Harry Stark was due to a broken water line between the resident's meter and the home. It seems like we get requests for these adjustments once or twice a year. Residents have to provide a 1 year Usage History from the Water Dept. and evidence of repairs.
Adjustment request for Sandy Pearcy was due to her being unemployed for an extended period of time. The request was granted because the fee was a "soft-cost" and represented no use of city funds. (The Alderman were also made aware of Sandy's situation and this adjustment in closed session during a discussion regarding another matter.)
I do not recall and/or am unfamiliar with details regarding the remaining people on your list."
Marvin Megee, Mayor
Following this correspondence, under the state’s Sunshine Laws, the Tribune requested the Jan. 24, 2011 Board of Aldermen minutes, which read as follows:
MINUTES OF OPEN MEETING
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Megee at 7:00 PM and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present.
Roll Call: Mayor Megee – present Alderman Seagraves - present
Alderman Reynolds – present Alderman VanAcker - present
Alderman Cover – 7:18 pm arrival
Also Present: Paul Campo, City Attorney
Cliff McDonald, Director of Planning & Zoning/Public Works
Capt. Robert Leslie, Interim Police Chief
Dana McIntire, City Financial Specialist was not in attendance.
Mayor Megee asked for a Motion for the Approval of The Agenda. A Motion to Approve the Agenda was made by Alderman VanAcker; and a Second was made by Alderman Seagraves.
VOTE: Alderman Seagraves-aye Alderman VanAcker - aye Alderman Seagraves – aye
Alderman Cover – not present
3 ayes 0 nays
Mayor Megee then asked for approval of the Consent Agenda which included Bi-Monthly Payables in the amount of $71,330.75 and the BOA Minutes of January 12, 2011 A Motion to approve the Consent Agenda was made by Alderman Reynolds and a Second was made by Alderman Seagraves.
VOTE: Alderman VanAcker – abstain; Alderman Seagraves – aye; Alderman Reynolds – aye;
Alderman Cover – not present.
2 ayes 1 abstain 1 not present
Amending the 2010-2011 Budget - Dana McIntire was not able to attend this Board Meeting; however, Mayor Megee still wanted to discuss some items at this meeting. He asked the BOA Members to consider the overlay program of the four streets last summer (Ranson, 13th St., Allendale Lake Dr., and Huntington). He wants to continue this project and asked the Board Members whether they want to budget now for overlay or wait until after July 1st, 2011 Fiscal Year Budget. Alderman VanAcker suggested the current budget should be amended now as he feels the City will get better material pricing early in the Spring versus waiting until the summer months when road construction is in full swing and demand is greater. Alderman Seagraves suggests we go ahead and amend the current budget also.
Mayor Megee asked Cliff McDonald, Capt. Robert Leslie and Administration as to whether they had figures for any amendments for their departments. Capt. Leslie answered to the affirmative. Cliff and Administration did not have current figures yet. Alderman VanAcker made mention that in the BOA Packet prepared for the "cancelled" January 24th Board Meeting, Dana’s Finance Report showed that Administration was at 100% for allotted overtime and Dana commented that this department has that this department routinely had overtime. He suggested that Administration should provide amended figures to the current budget to consider any routine overtime.
Mayor Megee reiterated that the big question is whether we start in the Spring with overlaying and repairs and amend the current budget to reflect these expenses, or does the Board wish to make that a part of the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year Budget on July 1st, 2010. Mayor Megee asked of Cliff McDonald how many total miles of streets were done last year and Cliff answered approximately 2 miles.
Mayor Megee and Cliff McDonald have identified approximately 15 various problems, sore spots and streets to be overlaid.
Alderman VanAcker also stated that cul-de-sacs were in bad shape both in drainage and drivability. He asked if Crack Sealing was included in this year’s budget for Rolling Meadows, Willow and Highland Park. Cliff stated he can amend to budget for these areas.
Alderman Reynolds asked Cliff as to whether Tyler Ln. is on the Public Works list and Cliff answered that it was along with Keagan St the street next to Tyler. Cliff also mentioned that Harris Street and other overlays are needed.
Mayor Megee and Cliff will put together the costs and a shopping list of projects, but at this time the snow is impeding the production to fully view what problems need to be addressed.
Inter-fund Loan Policy – Mayor Megee states that this is a very important item for the City and many cities have various funds they can use to meet expenses. This actually occurred in Greenwood shortly after the Quarry Settlement when the City used funds from the Transportation and Sewer Funds to pay off close to $800,000 in City Notes. At the time, this was done without a loan policy or plan to repay the funds; however, the Board of Aldermen fully agreed that it was to be paid back to the appropriate funds as the tax dollars came in.
Mayor Megee asked Paul Campo whether he had been able to look over a loan repayment policy. Paul answered had done so and that he would have a draft prepared for the Board Meeting on February 14th. Mayor Megee would also like to find exactly how much is due to the funds, get the various resolutions for the Inter Fund Loan Payment Program and develop a method to track the repayments.
$1,000,000 Investment – Mayor Megee discussed that the City has money in the bank that is drawing very little interest. His suggestion is to invest $1,000,000 in CDs. Mayor was wondering whether the City is able to use General Obligation Bond money on short term.
Paul Campo will call the Bond Counsel to make sure there are no bond covenants to keep us from investing some of the bonds.
All the Aldermen were in agreement to investing in CDs.
Proposed purchase of banners for City of Greenwood – Alderman Cover has been considering the use of banners to be displayed around the City. He feels that banners showing the City’s progress and beautification processes make the City more welcoming and desirable. Ideas of where and what type were discussed. Mayor Megee liked this idea.
RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES – There were no resolutions or ordinances presented at this meeting.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Scott Lamaster made a comment that he would like to see negotiations with KCP&L for lights to be installed along the 150 Corridor from the Lees Summit line on into Greenwood.
Alderman VanAcker suggested getting the opinions of the residents on adding lights and banners.
Park Board - Scott Lamaster, Board Member, reported that the Park Board had a good meeting with the Greenwood Sports Association and they are committed to achieving a solution to the issues that were discussed. He also mentioned that there are two vacant seats on the Park Board at this time.
Planning Commission – Cliff McDonald said there was nothing to report at this time.
Public Works – Cliff McDonald addressed Gambrell to 150 Highway, north of the last house on Hamblen. He stated that a Workshop has been scheduled for February 2nd at 7 PM regarding temporary construction easements on the properties on the east side of Hamblen. The easements are to allow construction equipment to maneuver during construction and these areas will be restored after construction is completed. There is also a utility line to be relocated and one Right Of Way acquisition required to relocate a telephone cable. Mayor Megee has requested that Paul Campo, City Attorney, sit in on this workshop if he schedule permits.
Building & Zoning – No report.
Police Department – Interim Chief, Captain Leslie reported that the selling of three vehicles and implementing policies and procedures created a substantial savings to the City and Department’s current insurance costs. He reported that the Federal Uniform Crime Report is completed and submitted to the appropriate agencies. Racial Profiling Report is to be completed in late January 2011.
The Department is still working on getting the ALERT System on line with Oak Grove Police Department. Captain Leslie is still working on getting the REJIS system installed in the Department
A January 13th meeting is set to discuss the dispatching issue. Mayor Megee and Captain Leslie will be in attendance.
Revisions to the Police Department budget have been completed and submitted to Dana McIntire for her review.
A thank you to Scott Lamaster for installing the chair rail in the interior hallway of the Police Department. Mr. Lamaster has become a volunteer for the Greenwood Police Department is looking to possibly join the Public Safety Committee.
Administration – Dana McIntire was not present to discuss financial status and there was no report. However, Glenda Smith, City Clerk, presented a question to the Board Members as to whether the Board would like to once again review the IT Proposal that was previously introduced several months prior to the Board by the City’s current service provider, Technology Solutions or whether they wanted go out for bids from other vendors. Mayor Megee feels that this is an important item but asked if he could get back on that subject at a later date.
MAYOR AND ALDERMAN COMMENTS
a. Alderman Reynolds - Thanks the crews for a good job in snow removal. He encourages residents to let the street crews know you appreciate it.
b. Alderman Cover – Asked the City Clerk if she felt the problem with continued high costs for the IT service calls was due to our equipment or cost itself. The answer was that it should not be due to equipment breakdown as nearly all the computers are brand new now. Technical problems seem to be a lot of the issues and the number of times the return for the same reason.
Alderman Cover also expressed appreciation with the City’s snow removal efforts. He also was glad to hear Hamblen Rd is moving along well. This road project is the biggest thing to come along to keep Greenwood going in the right direction. With 150 coming toward Greenwood an
c. Alderman Seagraves – Expressed appreciation to the employees involved in snow removal for the good work that has been done.
d. Alderman VanAcker addressed the fact that the BOA continues to operate in a fiscally conservative mode and sees from current financial information that this is benefiting the City . He feels all the members led by the mayor have done a great job. He also addressed snow removal operations in that he had zero complaints from the residents and therefore wanted to compliment the street crews on a "good job". The last item he addressed was that he had four complaints on the signal light at 150 Highway and since this is a MODOT problem requested that a call from the City be made to MODOT City Engineer to have something done about the light at Casey’s intersection.
Alderman VanAcker has met with the new owner’s of Bleachers at 291 and 150 Highways (Formerly Paddy OQuigleys). A Greenwood Resident is helping to promote this new establishment to become successful and Alderman VanAcker feels it would be good if other Greenwood residents would help in its success also by patronizing this establishment.
Alderman VanAcker suggests at the looking into the Economic Development Corporation once again to continue to attract more businesses in Greenwood. He would like to see efforts in driving mores Sales Taxes coming in with new businesses.
e. Mayor Megee – Addressed snow removal issues regarding cul-de-sacs and said he there have been complaints by some regarding the snow left behind by the plow blades. You can have whatever degree of snow removal you are willing to pay for. Mayor’s message is, if you want dry pavement 8 hours after the snow, we can make that happen. The challenge is it is very expensive. Regarding the snow left behind from the plows, he feels any resident that can invent the answer and eliminate the problem they will be very successful. The City doesn't have the answer to that problem.
Mayor Megee announces that on September 11 of 2011, it will be the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. It is going to mean a lot to people everywhere. He is now working on something to allow Greenwood residents to participate in a Memorial Celebration for 9/11. If anyone would like to volunteer, he feels this would be great.
Mayor Megee requested a vote to go into Closed meeting Pursuant to Sections 610.021.1; 610.021.3; 610.021.12, 610.021.13RSMo. A Motion was made by Alderman VanAcker and a Second was made by Alderman Cover.