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Mayor's Blog

Jun 01

Mission Hills Mayor's Update #21 6/1/20

Posted on June 1, 2020 at 9:33 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

We truly are in unprecedented times.  We continue to recover from the pandemic and then an awful event occurred in Minneapolis late last week.

Not to minimize events unfolding nationally, but I will stick to five pandemic-related updates for our City tonight:

1) Last week Governor Kelly and the Kansas Legislature played what amounts to a game of chicken on the topic of Emergency Declarations.  The net result was to put full control back at the local level.  

Johnson County chose to ask residents and businesses to follow the Ad Astra guidelines.  That said, those are guidelines only, so individuals and businesses are encouraged to use their best judgement.  

2) Irrespective of what the State and County are doing, the City will continue the following through June due to our small City Hall space:

a. Board and Council meetings will continue to be held virtually.  
b. Staff will continue to split time in and out of City Hall to ensure we do not have an infection across our small team.

3) We are working with the Community Engagement Committee on rescheduling several events including Verona en Blanc, the Keim Street Fair (please note it will NOT be this weekend!), and the pop-ups they had planned.  More to come on this once dates are finalized.

4) I communicated with Chiefs Lopez and Schwartzkopf before the weekend and their teams continue to be healthy and are/were ready for any situations that should arise.

5) The Council held its first budget planning session today (Monday).  The City’s finances overall are in good shape.

Mission Hills’ revenue mix is very different than other nearby communities, and the Council took several important strategic actions just over a year ago that have helped cushion the current situation.

Thank you for continuing to walk and bike across our City.  Please stay safe as we slide into summer.  As always, if you have feedback or questions, feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are always welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov. 

May 21

Mission Hills Mayor's COVID-19 Update #20 5/21/20

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 9:51 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

First, I want to take a moment to thank our veterans as we head into the Memorial Day weekend.  The Memorial Day holiday is dedicated to those who have served and sacrificed so that we all can enjoy our many freedoms.  Reflecting on those freedoms is most appropriate as we re-open the State and KC metro, as I believe we all have a greater appreciation for them.

Dr. Franklin Murphy, a medical doctor by training and chancellor of KU in the 1950’s said this:

“It should be the aim of public servants to encourage individual enterprise, not deny it.  Otherwise one day we shall discover that the source from which this nation has drawn its strength will have been enfeebled beyond repair.  Our graduating men and women must clearly recognize and be capable of assuming their personal obligations, which a true democracy imposes on its citizens.”

Five updates that continue Murphy’s theme:

1) Tomorrow the State and County embark on modified Phase 2 of the Governor’s Ad Astra re-opening.  Modified Phase 2 allows the vast majority of businesses to re-open with certain restrictions.  Details of Modified Phase 2 can be found at this link:

https://www.jocogov.org/article/2020/05/21/13891

2) The Council last week unanimously voiced approval for the City’s re-opening plans to align with the State’s for now.  Thus, most meetings will be virtual in June until the gathering restriction grows from 15 to 45 in Phase 3.

3) I want to congratulate the graduates (and their parents) of all ages in Mission Hills.  I walk frequently in our City and you cannot miss the signs congratulating the high school, 8th grade, 6th grade and other graduations.  

4) The Community Engagement Committee is assessing a new calendar.  They have already postponed Verona en Blanc and the Keim Street Fair.  Be on the lookout for an updated calendar in the coming weeks.

5) Many residents do not realize that almost 90% of the creeks in the City are privately owned.  Having grown up with a creek that provided endless entertainment in old Leawood, part of me has been happy to see so many children rediscovering what fun these waterways can be.

That said, please be respectful and mindful of private property, and please be careful as our waterways are not always as clean as we would like.

As always, thank you for your continued feedback.  Please feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are also welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov. 

Have a safe, healthy Memorial Day weekend!  Enjoy Modified Phase 2.  

May 11

Mission Hills Mayor's COVID-19 Update #19 5/11/20

Posted on May 11, 2020 at 9:18 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

A week has passed since my last update and I am excited that we have taken a substantive step on the journey to a new normal.

I have quoted President Eisenhower before, and will do so again:

“The purpose is clear. It is safety with solvency. The country is entitled to both.”

Our State, County, Country and City now face the challenge of keeping people safe while keeping them solvent.  The challenge is material, and the solutions must be tailored to the situation at hand.  

Five updates for you on this the first day without a Stay-at-Home order (! ):

1) The County has aligned its re-opening plan with the State.  They have produced a very simple graphic that outlines the major elements of each phase:

https://www.jocogov.org/sites/default/files/documents/CMO/Phased opening in Johnson County 2.pdf

2) The City has created a phased approach to our work as well.  This document will be available later this week on the City’s website and was reviewed by Council in this evening’s meeting.  Please know it applies to City business and how we operate – it imposes no additional restrictions or requirements on residents beyond those of the County and State.

3) City Staff, Police Chief Schwartzkopf’s and Fire Chief Lopez’s teams remain healthy.  They are executing their emergency plans with excellence and continue to serve our City well.

4) The City Council met this evening and much of the conversation was on the pandemic and its impact.  We had an update to the likely fiscal impact of the crisis and have confidence that we can proverbially “weather the storm” with some belt-tightening and other straightforward actions.

5) Please, please, please be mindful of the State and County guidelines for social distancing and gathering size as we advance from phase to phase.  We have all given up a great deal to help “flatten the curve” and get the pandemic under control.  

And I do not mean to pick on young people (I have three young adults thrilled to be at home right now! ), but please remind them that their risk is likely not of getting sick themselves, but of being a carrier and infecting others.

I opened with President Eisenhower purposefully.  Without commercial and retail establishments in our City, the ravages of the shutdown are not as visible as they might otherwise be.  Please consider re-patronizing your favorite local business around us in the coming days and weeks, safely.

As always, we value your feedback, so please feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are also welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov. 

Welcome to Phase 1 – be healthy and safe!