Monday, October 12, 2015
Blasters contract, free downtown parking discussion on tap for Oct. 26 meeting
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.
-On Monday, I attended a YPN mentor meeting with Joe Craigmile’s group to talk about different ways residents can get more involved in the community. We discussed the typical avenues, i.e. voting, attending council meetings or contacting city officials with ideas, but we also discussed something as simple as getting to know their neighbors better and building relationships.
-On Tuesday, several agencies and city staff met with representatives from HUD out of Kansas City, as well as Sallie Hemenway from the Missouri Department of Economic Development, to give an update on recovery efforts, and provide an opportunity for agencies to talk directly with HUD officials about issues on their minds.
-Later that afternoon, AtCM Kelly and I met with public works staff to review their list of items to be included in our 5-year CIP.
-On Wednesday, several staff members met to review the solid waste franchise RFP. We are waiting for some additional information from legal counsel before we put the RFP out for bid, but I have asked our public works director to put together a summary of the RFP that we can forward to you and members of the Solid Waste Commission.
-On Thursday morning, staff in my office met to discuss a plan for the various policies and procedures that we need to review, both in response to the state audit, and other policies that need to be looked at. So far we have identified 12 that we are working on. For now, we are going to be focusing on exploring a purchasing card program, creating a change order policy, and updating our purchasing rules/regulations, cell phone reimbursement, and travel policies. We will also be focusing on our take-home vehicle policy, fuel usage, and vehicle allowances (all highlighted in the state audit). Some of these will require council review and approval, while others can be approved administratively by me, under authority granted in the Charter. As we work our way through these policies I will keep you updated.
-Earlier today, I had a meeting with Callie Hudson and a local designer to talk about our city flag. The discussion quickly morphed into a conversation about a lack of consensus about what Joplin is, or who we want to be as a community or what we represent. We ended the meeting with an understanding that anyone who would be interested in talking about this should be invited into the conversation, so we will be working on setting something up. As soon as a place and time are set, we will push the word out.
-The Ham & Bean Feed returned to Joplin this year, and was held from 11-1 today at Memorial Hall, with good success. We raised $976 through admissions, and another $644 in silent auction proceeds, for the benefit of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Employee United Way committee and the other city volunteers who agreed to serve and help make the event possible, and of course our friends in the fire department for cooking a delicious meal, and our parks staff who stuck around afterward to help clean up our messes. I think it’s fair to say that we’re excited to see the event return, and are looking forward to an even bigger turnout next year.
-I am attaching a memo from Assistant Parks Director Paul Bloomberg, discussing the feasibility of renting the newly-opened JOMO Activities and Sports Complex, which would allow for an expansion of our indoor programming. As I expressed to them, my biggest concern at this point is offering programming at a facility that isn’t within the city limits of Joplin, and we are working with the legal department on an agreement that would allow us to use the facility, before we present it to you formally. But for now, I wanted to share Paul’s email with you so you can begin thinking about it. Feel free to share your thoughts with me and I’ll pass them along as necessary.
-I am also attaching the latest update from Public Works. We have begun including the CDBG-DR projects as they have gotten underway, but here is the rest of Director Heatherly’s summary:
Operationally, everything is fairly normal with the exception of having several sinkholes/mineshafts open up that we are having to address. We intend to get back onto Main for the completion of our band aide fix of the roughness issues just as soon as we get these sinkholes filled.
Staff is continuing to finish up its follow-up report to MDNR on the sanitary sewer break in Tallgrass Estates. o Public meetings have been held with S. Main street businesses and on Thursday night a meeting with the 20th street residents took place as part of the public engagement program for the two CDBG-DR road improvement projects. The design is to be completed next summer with construction to begin late summer to early fall on these two projects.
In the Pipeline
-Please mark your calendars for a work session/special meeting on Monday, October 26th , to discuss two items: 1) the proposal from the Joplin Blasters on redoing our lease agreement, and 2) downtown parking. With respect to the lease with the Blasters, regardless of the outcome of those discussions, we will need to take a new lease to you that reflects some changes made within the organization. Specifically, we need to change the name on the lease from Pro Baseball Management, LLC to the Joplin Blasters, LLC. Staff is still working on additional information that we will be able to present to you at the meeting. Also, I have asked Downtown Joplin Alliance Executive Director Callie Hudson to attend the meeting to discuss the idea of eliminating paid parking in downtown. I will forward that proposal to you, along with staff analysis, well before the meeting so you can be prepared to ask questions.