The Mayor's September Column - Lake Lotawana
September 15, 2017
As part of our ongoing process to improve the professionalism, and services at City Hall, I am proud to announce that we recently added Michaela Hunter to the team as the Planning and Zoning Administrator. Michaela will be responsible for managing our contracted inspection services, running the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Board of Adjustments, as well as running the process to update our building and development codes.
Michaela brings a level of expertise and education, in this realm, that will be new to Lake Lotawana. She worked for the City of Kansas City as a Planner and Economic Development Specialist. Her biggest project was managing the pre-construction phase of the Power and Light Entertainment District. As a planner she worked with builders and developers to determine conformance with zoning ordinances. She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Masters Degree of Community Development and Regional Planning.
One of the areas the City has been challenged in recent years, is building codes, inspections, and adherence to zoning regulations. The City code has evolved over time, and as we all know, Lake Lotawana is a unique place. Our City Administrator, in combination with our legal team, were working to fix these issues. We will now have a dedicated expert on the team, that will be fully focused on the task. Hiring Michaela will also allow us to reduce our legal team dependency for domain expertise.
Michaela has lived in the Kansas City area for twenty-three years but was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is one of nine children. For the last ten years, she has spent the time volunteering,raising her three sons, and a dog named Roogles, all while supporting her husband grow his real estate law practice.
Michaela is joining us at a critical time. We are wrapping up the Comprehensive Planning process (more on that in a future News article), on the cusp of our Community Improvement District exiting the bankruptcy process, and budgeting and planning for 2018. She will jump in right away and start helping the team.
From my perspective, having another professional on the team provides our Town redundancy at City Hall. We have one more professional that can help us solve problems, fix issues, and be a knowledgeable expert for our community. I would like to thank the Board of Aldermen for supporting this strategic hire.
If you are in the neighborhood of City Hall, stop in and introduce yourself to Michaela.
In other business, Mother Nature has not been kind to our sewer system this year. We have made significant improvements on the collection system over the last few years (there is an engineering report on the City website that breaks down the fixes and the reduction of rainwater impact to the system), but large rain events can still create challenges. The City is still spending over $100,000 annually on improvements to the collection system. We are also starting an engineering study that will make recommendations on how we proceed once a major portion of our bonds are paid off in 2020. The Department of Natural Resources provided the City a significant grant for this engineering study.
It is also “budgeting season”. If you want to see how the Board is planning to spend your tax dollars in 2018, now is the time to attend a City work session. We hold these the first Tuesday of every month.
If you have a topic you would like me to cover, please drop me a note!
Scott Miles, Mayor
City of Lake Lotawana