Mayor’s August Newsletter

Dear Mission Woods Residents - 
My recent travels reminded me that two things can be true at once: after spending time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Brooklyn, Norwalk, Connecticut and Woodstock, New York, I am reminded that there are interesting people doing good things everywhere, and it is good to get out of town every now and then. I am also very grateful to be back home in Mission Woods, to settle back into a late summer routine.

Here are a few items of interest from our City Council meeting earlier this week.

Work Around the City
We are still waiting on a date for the citywide tree trimming, as well as for the installation of new street lights. We'll let you know, as soon as the schedules are set.
Budget Priorities
The Council passed our 2024 budget last Tuesday. Many thanks to city Treasurer John Martin for his work bringing the Council up to speed on our options, then getting everything in order.

John has also been working with us to take a look at how the city's money is allocated. As of earlier this week, the city had $1,174,043 in four different local institutions. The majority of our assets have been in a checking account at Country Club Bank. We are currently working with the bank to move $500,000 of that into an investment account, to begin earning a modest amount of return, given that cities are primarily limited to investing in municipal and state bonds.
Managing our Stormwater
In another action, the Council approved a contract with local consulting firm Lamp Rynearson, to help the city comply with federal requirements to manage stormwater. The "MS4" program contains six categories of activities cities can engage in to work toward the standards. Examples of activities within those categories would be posting information on the city website, developing a response plan for spills, controlling runoff from construction sites and sweeping the streets. 

Johnson County's "Contain the Rain" program falls within the Public Involvement / Participation category. Starting next year, residents will be able to seek reimbursement for native plants and trees, and rain barrels. Stay tuned for more details.

Construction Project Appearance
The Council had a good discussion about how the City might want to regulate the appearance and noise of larger, ongoing construction projects. While there is currently a process for approval of projects via the ARB, complying with building codes and for obtaining necessary permits, we don't offer the homeowner guidance for expectations during the construction phase. We are exploring what reasonable requirements might be, while not placing too great a financial burden on the homeowner overseeing the project.

Changes Along Rainbow
Council member Erica Hartley raised two interconnected topics during the meeting. First, she reported back on ongoing discussions about a potential recasting of Rainbow Boulevard, to make it a more livable, pedestrian- and bike-friendly street. Given all the cities and stakeholders along Rainbow, this is a complex project, and it will likely be a number of years before consensus is reached and construction begins.

One newer stakeholder is the Karbank Company, which has been working with the city of Westwood to redevelop land along Rainbow, including the former Westwood View Elementary School property. Current plans would include office buildings, retail and a new city park for Westwood. Given Mission Woods' proximity to this major project, it will have an impact on residents' lives, whether you believe this development is good, bad, or somewhere in between.

To stay on top of this development, you might wish to subscribe to the Westwood Buzz newsletter. The next public hearing for the project will be during the Westwood Planning Commission's meeting on Monday, September 11.

A Somber Note 
As you have probably heard, Fairway Police Officer Jonah Oswald lost his life while on duty recently. The City extends its condolences to his family for this tragic situation. If you would like to make a donation toward the Oswald Family Fund, Fairway Police have set up this page with links that will allow you to do so.

The next Council meeting is Tuesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. Please feel free to attend.



Keith Mays
Mayor, Mission Woods