News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Area Firefighters and EMS workers endorse Jeff Quibell’s Candidacy for District 1 City Council

clock November 5, 2010 16:11 by author Jeff Quibell

I'm honored to have received the 1st endorsement of my campaign for Blue Springs City Council. Thanks so much to IAFF 3133 (that's our Firefighters and EMS workers) for their support! http://www.iaff3133.org/index.cfm?zone=%2Funionactive%2Felection_list.cfm


Mayor Pro-Tem Edmondson and Councilmen Lievsay Hold Two Town hall Meetings

clock November 3, 2010 10:22 by author Jeff Quibell

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CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI

PRESS RELEASE

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903 W. Main Street Blue Springs, MO 64015 — P: 816.228.0110 — F: 816.228.7592 — W: www.bluespringsgov.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: November 3, 2010

CONTACT: Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

Council District 2 Town Hall Meetings

Blue Springs, Mo. – District 2 Councilman Kent Edmondson and Councilman Chris Lievsay will host a series of town hall meetings this month to talk with community members about city government issues. The councilmen will field questions from residents and facilitate dialog about district priorities and current bond projects. Town hall meeting schedule:

November 11
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce
1000 W Main Street
Blue Springs, MO

November 18
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Central Jackson County Fire Protection District Training Facility
4715 SW US 40 HWY
Blue Springs, MO

“Elected officials need to stay in touch with the people we represent on a regular basis. In challenging times like these, it’s particularly important create a dialog about the challenges and opportunities we face as a community,” said Councilman Kent Edmondson. “Resident feedback is critical to serving our district and making Blue Springs the best community it can be.”

“These meetings provide us with an opportunity to hear directly from residents about their priorities, answer questions and address concerns,” said Councilman Chris Lievsay. “Town hall meetings are participatory democracy in its purest form. I invite all Blue Springs residents to attend and bring their questions or concerns.”

The meetings are scheduled to last one hour and are open to all Blue Springs residents.

For more information about the town hall meetings, email Councilman Kent Edmondson at kedmondson@bluespringsgov.com or Councilman Chris Lievsay at clievsay@bluespringsgov.com.

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Jeff Quibell Announces Candidacy for Blue Springs District 1 City Council

clock November 3, 2010 09:54 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3327 4x5 @ 72 ResSix years have passed since I first represented District 1 residents on the Blue Springs City Council. Of the many facets of elected public service I enjoyed, my favorite was the opportunity of meeting and knowing so many of my neighbors and fellow citizens, many of whom have become friends.

One of the most important, but least noticeable responsibilities of serving as a councilman is assisting citizens with day-to-day issues and facilitating the process of finding solutions. During my time in office over 700 of our District 1 residents reached out for assistance or gave suggestions and comments. It was an honor to represent each of them and work to solve those issues in an effective and timely manner.

Participating in the shaping of the future of our community is an awesome responsibility and one that elected officials should never take lightly. I found great satisfaction in contributing to the progress of projects that have allowed for the development of Adams Dairy Landing, and improvements on Highway 7, Woods Chapel, Downtown and Southern Blue Springs.

For the last three years, I have written articles for The Examiner and published a newsletter with the intent of keeping citizens informed as to what is happening in Blue Springs. The feedback and support that you, the readers of these articles, have given me encouraged me to continue to provide this service to our community.

Standing by and watching others lead has never really been in my nature. There remains much to be done to keep our city the best place to live, work, play, and raise our families. Current economic circumstances have created challenges in accomplishing some of the goals that were set in motion in recent years. In the last year, many of you have contacted me, thanked me for the articles and asked if I would consider running for office again. I appreciate your comments and encouragement, and am very excited to announce that I will be running again to represent the citizens of District 1 on the Blue Springs City Council. I will continue to write my articles and post them at www.AboutBlueSprings.com and through my email newsletter. Visit the website and click ‘subscribe’ and I will add you to the distribution list.

I look forward to earning your vote and to the opportunity to serve the citizens of District 1 again. I am excited to work with Mayor Ross and the other members of the City Council as we work through issues facing our great city. Thank you for the years of opportunity to be of service and for your continued encouragement and support!

Please check out my campaign website at www.JeffreyQuibell.com


Council Handled Project Respectfully

clock October 27, 2010 09:31 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 One of the most important tasks of a councilman is to weigh the evidence and to evaluate how each project fits the city’s plan. The City Council recently considered and approved a change to a controversial project, Parkway Estates, a housing development originally approved when I was on the council in 2006. As I watched the meeting, I experienced a bit of a déjà vu moment, as many of the same citizens were present to express their opposition to the changes requested by the landowner.


I was proud of the entire council for the respectful manner in which they addressed the developer’s request and the citizen’s concerns. The council members invested significant time studying the issues and history surrounding this development, as well as listening and considering the points of view of the neighbors and constituents throughout the city.


Evaluating a change to an existing development requires familiarity with the city’s comprehensive plan as well as the many development ordinances. It was clear from the meeting that our councilmen did their homework. As each councilman spoke of his reasons for voting either for or against the request, their commitment to their position and to the integrity of their oath of office was apparent. Each drew from their own experience and evaluated the developer’s request based on what they believe is best for the City of Blue Springs, and I applaud their honesty and dedication.


A friend who has lived in Blue Springs longer than I have shared that when the Timber Oaks subdivision was completed, the developer came to the city for approval of an additional street, with the intent of building smaller patio homes. He stated that the neighbors came out in force, concerned that the new smaller homes would destroy property values, along with a variety of negative arguments to attempt to stop the project. Ultimately that project was approved and built. Today you would never know it was a separate project. These well-kept homes have been an excellent addition to the area, adding another choice of homes for buyers.


The Parkway Estates project will bring quality homes to the city that fit the plan for the area. While the neighbors did not get all they asked for, their input into the process was vital to improving the quality of the resulting proposed project. Citizens with concerns should always participate in the process of project review. That is the purpose of public hearings. In the end, the council effectively evaluated the project and achieved a fair conclusion to the process. Watch the meeting at http://bit.ly/cc20101018.


We are blessed to have a diverse and dedicated council in Blue Springs. One of them, Jeanie Lauer, has chosen to seek the office of State Representative in District 54. Jeanie has proven her leadership during her time on the council and will be a great advocate for our city and the other cities in District 54. I encourage each of you to remember to vote on November 2, and if you live in District 54, to cast your ballot for Jeanie Lauer.


The Wall That Heals Gets a Warm Welcome – Full Scale Effort For Long Ride

clock September 29, 2010 11:34 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff Quibell There are some experiences in life that can only be described as WOW! Tuesday, I had the distinct privilege and honor of joining the Patriot Guard motorcycle escort, as The Wall That Heals came into Blue Springs.

This morning began with a brisk ride from Blue Springs to Concordia with Blue Springs City Councilman Grant Bowerman. When we arrived at the Travel America Truck Stop in Concordia, the crowd of motorcyclists had already begun to assemble. By the time everyone had arrived, there were well over 200 motorcycles and their riders ready and willing to provide the escort.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s department and law enforcement agencies from all across the region, helped to manage traffic and to safely close the west bound interstate so that we could focus on honoring the 58,000+ men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War to protect our freedoms.

We were KSU (Kick Stands Up) at 12:15pm and began the process of entering Interstate 70. Approximately 100 of us lead The Wall ThatDistrict 3 Blue Springs City Councilman Grant Bowerman Heals semi truck onto the interstate. Councilman Bowerman and I were stationed only a few motorcycles ahead of the actual Wall. The remainder of the escort followed the Wall along the route. The sky was blue and the temperatures were perfect for a fall ride.

David Miller, the organizer for the Patriot Guard, emphasized to us that safety was of the utmost importance. The formation was staggered with 2 seconds between each motorcycle in line with each other and one second between motorcycles across from each other. No side by side riding.

As we departed from Concordia we began to encounter people alongside the highway waving, saluting, and displaying the American Flag. Almost every overpass had people on it, waving and showing their support. As we came over the hill approaching the Grain Valley exit we could see emergency lights on the overpass. Area Firefighters and Emergency Medical Personnel had set up on the overpass and were there to greet us.

Patriot Guard Staging AreaThe closer we got to Blue Springs, more and more people lined the road and overpasses to cheer on the procession. At Adams Dairy Parkway we turned south to 40 Highway and then west to Highway 7, where we were greeted by flag waving citizens of our community all the rest of the way to Pink Hill Park.

These gatherings of the people are an integral part of American life. There is no experience like receiving the support of your fellow citizens and honoring the traditions that make our country great.

Come join us in honoring the Veterans of the Vietnam War by visiting Pink Hill Park over the next few days. The Wall and its accompanying museum will be in Pink Hill Park from 6:55am Thursday September 30 through 6pm Sunday October 3rd. More information can be found at http://www.bluespringswallthatheals.net.


First Task: Gather, Assess the Facts

clock September 1, 2010 11:53 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Differing opinions, and the discussions that come as a result, contribute to our society and provide a necessary vehicle to reaching a good decision. As I read Michael Freeman’s Op-Ed column in Saturday’s Examiner, I realized that it presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the difference between personal opinion and representative leadership, along with the attributes that we should seek in our elected officials. I encourage you to read his article, “Quibell column distorts trash debate”. http://bit.ly/mf201008  ( My original column can also be read at http://bit.ly/jq100825)

Over the years, I have occasionally been critical of our elected officials in my articles, primarily for two reasons. The first is when I view behavior that appears disrespectful to the people coming before the council in order to do business with our city. The second is for pre-determination of their positions on the important issues that they decide for our citizens. The first is an issue of common courtesy. The second is a matter of state law.

Mr. Freeman presumes that I have made up my mind on the issue of trash hauling and even goes so far as to suggest what my opinion might be. He, like some I have criticized in the past, appears to have made up his mind before he has all the facts. Personally, I value our freedoms and prefer to have the right to choose my own trash hauler. I have used several over the years and like the locally based company that I currently use.

Our elected officials, if they are following the law, do not have the freedom to predetermine their decisions. They are obligated to consider all of the facts presented to them and make their decision based on the facts, representing the best interest of our citizens. Our finest elected officials sometimes find themselves voting opposite of their own personal opinion when the facts support a different conclusion. Regardless of the decision they make, it is impossible to please everyone. At times, they even disappoint themselves.

I am flattered that Mr. Freeman considers me as an Uncle, although I can confirm that we are not related. As for Councilman Fowler, while we do not always agree, he is a passionate elected official who has served our city for many, many years, and certainly not someone I would characterize as evil. City Councils exist to work out the differences between competing interests and to make the best possible decisions for their citizens. It is sometimes thankless work and often opens the official up to public criticism.

My encouragement to our City Council is to obtain and review all the facts, and then and only then, make the best decision for all involved. This decision will affect all of our citizens, the businesses who serve them, and the employees of those businesses who live in and around our community. Like many, it is a complex issue when viewed outside the bubble of personal opinion. I am confident that this Mayor and Council will keep those things in mind and do their job with integrity and in the best interest of all.


Which way will city go on trash?

clock August 27, 2010 17:03 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 It seems some in our community, both residents and elected officials, are passionate about trash. It is interesting how certain issues generate such passion. The topic of discussion at the most recent City Council meeting is trash hauling in Blue Springs. Should it be managed by the city or left to the individual?


Trash disposal issues have come up before. In 2008, the city reviewed a trash transfer station in an industrial area on the north side of town. Passionate citizen discussion followed, and ultimately the project went away.


The city surveys the citizens, usually about once per year, to help the council set policy direction on a variety of issues. In the last survey the question was asked “How supportive would you be of having your city coordinate your residential trash and recycling services?” Seventy-three percent of respondents were supportive while only 10 percent were not supportive. When a survey shows that level of support, it is important for our council to further examine the issue and consider how best to respond.


Appropriately, the city’s Solid Waste Management Commission began studying the issue and made a preliminary presentation to the council last week. Councilman Fowler, who serves as council liaison on the commission, seemed out of sync with the report of the commission and, in a public e-mail to the rest of the council, seemed unsupportive of the commission’s work. In fact, Mayor Ross even reminded Fowler of his role on the commission. Fowler expressed concern that trash haulers would be put out of business if the commission’s initial recommendations were adopted.


Some areas of our city have already consolidated control of trash hauling. For example, the Sherwood Village homeowners association made the decision several years ago to manage the contracting of trash pickup, periodically bidding the contract to local trash companies.
No one knows the commission’s final recommendation, but it is important for everyone to keep an open mind, allowing the commission to complete its study, with public input. By law, our council members should not predetermine their response to this issue. It will be interesting to watch our mayor and council, both new members and those more experienced, as they examine the issue, seek residents’ input and reach a consensus. If you have an opinion on this or any issue affecting our community, please contact your City Council representatives. You can find their contact information at http://bit.ly/bscouncil.


City makes home ownership easier

clock August 12, 2010 15:05 by author Jeff Quibell

jeffqmug Recently, Wanda and I helped our youngest daughter, Ashley, move to Lexington, Mo., into a house she is renting, as she prepares to teach early childhood/special education there this fall.

It surprises me how quickly time passes. It seems only yesterday that Wanda and I moved to Blue Springs. I remember our progression from apartment dwellers to home renters and finally homeowners. My parents were there to help with each move, and Wanda and I are pleased to be able to help our girls as they take their place in the adult world.

For our community to be inviting, we need to provide for the entire cycle of housing choices that most people require as they make the transition from apartment rental to home ownership, and retirement or assisted living choices. As a community, we must ensure that quality housing is accessible at each step along the way.

In Blue Springs, we have an appropriate mix of housing for our citizens to choose from, with rental opportunities, starter homes, move-up housing and retirement options. Last week the City Council expanded the options for qualified buyers by establishing a first-time home buyers program.

District 1 City Councilman Dale Carter ran for office on a platform that included developing this type of program. Just four months later, he succeeded in receiving the unanimous approval of the council to establish a fund for first-time homebuyers using federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

Wanda and I own a rental duplex townhome in Blue Springs, and over the years, we have rented to many young families who simply didn’t have the resources to make a purchase when they first became our tenants. We have found it typical that our tenants will stay for a few years, and then they are able to accomplish their goal of home ownership and purchase their first home. We are always thrilled to see this transition and ready to provide a home for the next family that is just one step away from home ownership.

Dale’s program will make it easier for our city’s renters to take that next step and as a result provide buyers for those wishing to move to their second or third home. Without those first-time buyers, the cycle of home purchasing stagnates and the pool of buyers is reduced, which can cause home values to decline. So while the program provides a direct benefit for a limited number of homebuyers, the indirect benefit is much wider. Soon, with the development of Missouri Innovation Park, it will be possible for even more of our citizens to live, play, and work right here in Blue Springs!

Congratulations to Councilman Carter for demonstrating effective leadership and for working with the mayor and the rest of the council to continue to keep Blue Springs the best place in the nation to raise a family!


In office, it’s actions that matter

clock July 28, 2010 09:33 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Once again, it’s election time, as you can tell by the proliferation of political signs, letters to the editor, and junk mailings filling up our mail boxes. There are politicians who say they represent our interests, politicians who say they aren’t politicians, and opinion column writers, current and former politicians. How do we weed out the facts from the spin and make good decisions in selecting our next leaders? It’s difficult if not impossible to effectively verify the statements made by politicians in a timely manner. We often believe what we read or hear, especially if we know or trust the source.

As I read the letters to the editor and added my own comments to several, it occurred to me that those letters have been written with the best of intentions, usually to help friends with their efforts to win an election. Letters of support to express our own individual opinion of the person, not necessarily that the person we are supporting will in the end vote the way we think they should. Our elected officials surprise us at times with their comments, and their votes not always in sync.

So how do we as voters figure out whom to cast our vote for? Whom do we believe? The answer is simple and hard at the same time. We should make every effort to learn more about the people we are supporting, and we should dig more deeply than just our personal relationship with that person. Friendship is one thing; voting is another.

I really wasn’t surprised when I read Ron Fowler’s letter to the editor supporting Sheila Solon, as they are longtime political friends with similar positions on local issues. Ron wrote about how Sheila voted against multi-family housing complexes. What he didn’t mention is that she votes for them as well. Right or wrong, she is inconsistent on this issue. Once in February 2003 she voted to put multi-family zoning on Adams Dairy Parkway and twice that I recall in 2007 while I was on the council serving with her.

Ron also talks about Sheila voting against sales taxes. Those votes were actually against the new retail development on Adams Dairy Parkway. The next time you sit down for dinner at Olive Garden or shop at Target or Gordman’s, consider that she fought hard to stop Adams Dairy Landing from coming to town. Just before she left city office, she worked very hard to scale back Missouri Innovation Park from its original 500 acres to just 100 acres. Her actions would have restricted job growth in Blue Springs at a time when we need more high-quality jobs. Again, she is inconsistent after making “real jobs” a focal point of her council campaign.

Former Councilman Solon, as pointed out by Mayor Ross in a recent article, was very ineffective as an elected official while on the City Council. I expect it would be no different in Jefferson City. Fortunately, the voters have a choice on Aug. 3. I would recommended giving strong consideration to Mike Parker. I’ve spent some time getting to know him and believe that he will best represent the interests of his constituents and will be an effective leader.


Hope for the Redevelopment of the K-Mart Building

clock June 9, 2010 12:56 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Sometimes hope is found in the simplest of places. Monday evening, the Blue Springs City Council unanimously passed a consent agenda containing hope that the K-Mart building at 40 and 7 Highways may soon find new life and new opportunities.

Since 2003, the vacant building has been a frustration for residents and city officials, as many looked for ways to eliminate the blight that K-Mart’s closing brought to that intersection. One of the challenges in addressing the situation involved the bankruptcy proceedings that continued for several years after the store closed. It was not until late in 2006 those Tri-Land properties purchased the site and began the process of exploring options with the city regarding possible redevelopment. Several years have again passed, leaving people to wonder if anything is ever going to happen. More...