Councilors Shelby Dirks, Bob Watson and Kevin Suderman favored the move while Byron McCarty voted against it.
McCarty said he liked the idea of board training, but felt the $3,500 contract was too much to spend for a one-day seminar and a year of “coaching” with city leaders.
The council, which tabled the idea at its previous meeting, reviewed the idea of having City Administrator Larry Paine lead the seminar since he has led similar training sessions elsewhere on behalf of the League of Kansas Municipalities.
Mayor Delores Dalke said Paine would be qualified to lead the seminar, but doing so would create an awkward situation because some board members are employed by the city and some boards have city employees as support staff.
Paine said, “We need someone to be frank without being as diplomatic as I would need to be.”
Paine raised the idea of training volunteer board members at the council’s previous meeting, saying he and Dalke believed training in effective boardsmanship would be helpful after “observing the performance of several boards and commissions under the city’s umbrella.”
Paine wrote in his memo: “There are signs of problems within the boards and their staff support personnel.”
Political events policy
The council amended City Policy No. 22 to allow political events in city-owned buildings for a rental fee.
Paine said recently a request had come to him to hold a political event at the Scout House.
“When we checked the policy, political events were not part of the allowed uses,” Paine said. “I checked with (the League of Kansas Municipalities) and they told me there is a prohibition against political events on public property in the statutes.
“However, the local governing body can make an exception by an affirmation vote of the council.”
Council members expressed an interest in making such an exception, for a fee, because the city has few other places to host those kinds of events.
Counter offer on lots
The council authorized Paine to make a counter offer to the potential buyers of two city-owned lots in the Willow Glen subdivision.
A couple has offered to pay $6,500 total for lots 20 and 21. Paine said the couple do not plan to build a house on either lot.
The city-owned lots in Willow Glen have been offered for sale at $5,000 each. Without potential property tax revenue from the construction of homes on those two lots, the council agreed to stick to the selling price of $10,000 total for the two lots.
In other business, the council: report the building pad for Midway Motors’ new facility in Hillsboro Business Park is now complete; dirt work will continue on other portions of the development.
• approved the mayor’s appointment of Kathryn DeFillipis to the Tree Board.
• approved a request from Sara Sigley, Student Activities Board adviser at Tabor College, to host a music event on campus May 8 that may end later than the city’s noise ordinance normally allows.