By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
The Liberal City Commission took on another heady agenda at its most recent meeting last night, which took place in front of a full chamber.
During the items from groups portion of the agenda, the Focus for the Future Committee was present, and chairman Ivanhoe Love gave an update on the committee’s activities, including working with citizens to propose projects funded by the city’s 1-cent sales tax, saying that the results of the tax have exceeded expectations.
“While we’re all excited about these results – and we still are – it’s time for the Focus for the Future, too, to refocus on our future,” Love said.
One of the main topics of the evening concerned cleaning up areas of the city with new resolution 2191, which concerned abatements against Liberal properties in violations of environmental standards. During the meeting, photos were shown to the commissioners of the properties in violation of the standards. The photos of the properties showed such things as broken equipment and animal carcasses. The original rules were that a person had 90 days to clean up or be fined.
“That’s definitely an immediate health hazard,” said commissioner Joe Denoyer to the citizen presenter about the carcasses. “I don’t know if that’s dogs, cats, goats or what that is but there’s definitely some things that need immediate care. Personally, I think that 90 days is too long.”
“It really is very unsightly,” added Vice Mayor Janet Willimon. “I mean, I drove by it and these pictures don’t really do it justice.”
One of the property owners, Cliff Abbott, then discussed with the commission about working to help clean up the properties.
The next abatement, resolution 2192, presented by Code Enforcement Officer Albert Gallegos, concerned a junked nuisance vehicle in the city. Both resolutions passed unanimously.
Another major topic during the meeting was the recent events concerning commissioner Ron Warren. Near the end of the meeting, he gave a statement to the commission and the gathered audience.
“I’ve had some financial difficulties now for about three years, and I tried to create housing in a non-favorable economy,” he admitted in his statement.
Warren admitted to the debts talked about in recent issues of the Leader & Times and says that he is working to pay off what he owes to the J-A-G Construction company, saying that there were no losses on the Self-Help Home project for the involved homeowners.
“The liens remain to motivate me to work a little harder at paying them back,” he said. “There has been no loss by the homeowners at this time, and it’s my job, personally, to make sure there never is.”
There were several other items that finished off the agenda, including the purchase of a new computer server for the recreation department, a transit grant the city recently received from the Kansas Department of Transportation and construction of a new ramp at the Liberal Airport that will be more compliant with standards set forth by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The city commission then went into three separate executive sessions, lasting 15, 15 and 10 minutes, respectively. The sessions concerned personnel matters of non-elected personnel. No action was taken after the sessions were finished.
When asked about what could be said about the executive sessions, Liberal Mayor Dave Harrison said “I can tell you that we had an executive session about non-elected personnel per K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) and that’s really all I can tell you. And no action was taken.”