Like all United States government processes, local municipal government is slow, diplomatic, and deliberate by design. Believe it or not, I think it is exciting to watch when the deliberate process works by opening controversial topics for input, securing multiple opinions and ideas, compromising, and establishing a new answer, rule, law or direction.
This month, we have two perfect example of this process in motion.
In a past article, I mentioned that the City has entered into a relationship with the University of Kansas (KU) School of Urban Planning and the Mid-American Regional Council (MARC) to rebuild the City’s comprehensive plan. We are officially kicking off this effort in mid-September. When completed, the Comprehensive Plan will define how the City grows, evolves, or changes in the next ten to twenty years. The last Comprehensive Plan was completed in the early 2000’s and does not include a significant portion of the City.
This process will take almost a full year to complete. We will conduct surveys, focus groups, interviews, as well as talk to residents, and local businesses. We will also look at county data, and take trends into consideration. This process is purposefully slow, deliberate, and thorough. Over the next few months the City will be seeking opinions and process participants. I am proud to announce that two of our most respected, dedicated and passionate citizens have agreed to Co-chair this process, Dave Tillema and Pattee Beets. This process will kick off September 15th, with the KU students and MARC.
Over that last year, I have mentioned the different boards and committees the City has in place. I have also mentioned that my primary goal was to establish professional processes that are scalable and repeatable in the future. One Board has evolved over the last 20 years is the Board of Adjustments. This Board is responsible for making decisions on exceptions to our rules and codes. They are also responsible for interpreting what our codes says. Just like how Courts often interpret language and implementation of regulations, our Board of Adjustments does the same for our Municipals codes. For the first time since I have become involved with the City, our Board of Adjustments will be asked to make an interpretation of the City’s code. Like decisions Courts make when interpreting laws, the Board of Adjustments could be making an interpretations that may have a long term impact on how one of the City’s building codes is implemented and regulated. If you are interested in seeing a local municipal government operate, this meeting will provide a perfect example of the greatness of the American governmental structure in motion.
On a final note, I am proud to announce that Alderman David Tillema (Doc) was recently honored with a Civic Leadership Award from the Missouri Municipal League and the City of Lake Lotawana. Doc Tillema, currently serving a second term as a City Alderman, received this award as an acknowledgement and grateful appreciation for his outstanding leadership, dedication and numerous contributions to the City and community of Lake Lotawana. As you can also see, Doc is continuing his investment into our community by co-chairing City’s Comprehensive Plan update process. If you see Doc, please congratulate him and thank him for his contributions.
If you have something you would like me to cover in a future article, please drop me a note!
Scott Miles, Mayor
City of Lake Lotawana