Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2001

City Council Briefs

January 24, 2001

City to consider pay for council, mayor

Tonganoxie City Council members Monday night backed away from a proposal that would provide pay for them and the mayor.

Mayor John Franiuk proposed that the mayor receive a $600 monthly salary and the five council members receive a $50 monthly salary. During the course of a year, the cost to the city would be $7,200, plus another $800 or so for Social Security and other benefits.

"I don't think the $600 is going to support my family or I will be able to retire," Franiuk said.

But he said the mayor's job takes a great deal of time.

Council member Janet Angell questioned whether the city has the funds for such a move.

"I just don't feel we can increase the cost to the city," said council member Kathy Graveman. "I do understand the idea of this. We put a lot of time into it."

After discussion, council members voted unanimously to consider including salaries in the 2002 budget.

City to continue health membership

Despite objections from two city council members, the city has agreed to continue offering employees the opportunity to exercise at a local health club.

Council members Janet Angell and Kathy Graveman said they didn't believe the city should spend money on health club memberships for city employees.

"We have a very good benefits package for our employees, a very good benefits package," Graveman said.

According to information provided by City Administrator Chris Clark, the city paid Midwest Athletic Club $1,760 for May and June; $1,320 for July and August; $352 for September and October; and $264 for November and December. The change in September reflects a decision to charge the city for the number of people who used the club, rather than a flat fee for every city employee.

Graveman said she doesn't believe the council ever approved the deal with Midwest that it was something added by former City Administrator Chris Eppley.

"We have a lot of other expenses," she said.

But council member Pat Albert disagreed with Angell and Graveman.

"By doing this, we're encouraging our employees to be healthy," he said.

Angell made a motion, seconded by Graveman, to suspend the agreement with Midwest, effective the end of February. That failed, 2-3. Albert then made a motion, seconded by David Hernandez, to continue paying Midwest Health $22 a month through 2001 for each employee who uses the center.

"I'd like to see some contribution from the employees," Angell said.

Mayor John Franiuk asked if Albert and Hernandez would amend their motion. They refused.

Albert's motion passed, 3-2.

Rezoning request returned to planners

Tonganoxie City Council members agreed Monday night to ask the city's planning commission to reconsider a rezoning request.

Steve Kelly, an Overland Park man who wants to develop 29 acres south of Urban Hess Business Center, had asked the planning commission to rezone part of his land from one industrial zoning category to another industrial zoning category. But the planning commission recommended that all 29 acres be rezoned.

Kelly said that's not what he wanted, and city council members agreed to ask the planning commission to reconsider its action.

The planning commission will reconsider the matter at its Feb. 7 meeting, and the issue will return to the city council on Feb. 12.

Liaisons appointed to several city panels

City council members soon will be attending meetings of various boards and commissions in Tonganoxie.

Mayor John Franiuk on Monday appointed these council members as his liaisons to the following boards:

Janet Angell to the planning commission and board of zoning appeals.

Kathy Graveman to the site review board.

David Hernandez to the library board.

Pat Albert to the tree board.

Ray Usher to the recreation commission.

Franiuk is an ex officio member of the library board, and he said he and city staff would attend county planning commission meetings, as well as county commission meetings, when necessary.

Several months ago, Angell had suggested that council members begin attending these meetings.

"We are not there to hinder them, to 'tell' on them," she said. "We are there for our knowledge. It's helpful to go to these meetings."

Franiuk agreed.

"We're there to learn and to help," he said.

Council members will consider rotating their assignments in May.

Council increases travel allowance

City council members Monday night approved an increase in the amount the city pays its city administrator and police chief for use of their personal vehicles. Both Chris Clark, the administrator, and Ken Carpenter, the chief, will be paid $225 a month. They previously were paid $200 a month.

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