News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Agenda of Progress in Blue Springs

clock April 1, 2010 10:43 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Chipotle, Panera, Sonic, Panda Express, Taco Bell, Planet Sub. The addition of these eight restaurants, along with new retail shops like Petco, Gamestop and Maurices in the developments surrounding Coronado and Adams Dairy Parkway have provided opportunities for residents and visitors alike to have greater options for shopping and dining.

How very different this area looked just five short years ago. The area along R.D. Mize consisted of deteriorating homes, with the majority of the area along the parkway largely undeveloped for well more than a decade.

These developments have not come easily or without conflict. Our District 3 City Councilmen have continued to look for ways to stop these developments from progressing, in spite of the overwhelming support for new retail development in our citizen surveys. As I drove through the area after lunch at Olive Garden, I observed the restaurants and shops, all teeming with customers, and I simply could not comprehend why anyone would want to impede such progress.

Our council members must continue to open their minds to the opportunity inherent in these developments and look for ways to encourage the refurbishment of older shopping and business districts throughout our city.

New restaurants have recently opened in both the northern and southern areas of Blue Springs; we have seen progress in our downtown district; and the redevelopment of Woods Chapel Road is under way from Interstate 70 to the railroad tracks. The majority of our council members are eager to continue the positive momentum of the past several years. They understand the commitment they are making to finish what began and reap the benefits for our community.

Much work remains. On April 6, each district in our city will elect a council member. This is a privilege and a sacred responsibility. Those whom we choose to represent us will influence the future of our city.

Over the past several weeks, I have encouraged each of you to be an informed voter. Citizens willing to serve are a blessing, and we are fortunate to have two candidates to choose between in each district. The following are my endorsements for City Council:

District 1 – Dale Carter will listen to his constituents, consider the facts and ramifications before making a decision, and seek collaborative solutions on the important issues facing our city.

District 2 – Sissy Reed has served our city well for many years and will provide an experienced voice of coherent reasoning. Her calm leadership and respectful decision-making will guide the rest of the council members and facilitate support for continued development of all areas of our city.

District 3 – Grant Bowerman has a clear understanding of the issues facing our city. His positive demeanor, his passion for the community, and his intelligent evaluation of the challenges facing our community will serve the citizens of District 3 well.


Get familiar with candidates, and go vote

clock March 17, 2010 16:25 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Candidate forums provide opportunities for those seeking elected positions to speak to the voters and to answer questions on issues and positions.

The Blue Springs Business Association hosted a candidate forum at Clancy’s last week, the first of several organizations to host such an event. Each City Council candidate and the two Board of Education candidates had the opportunity to speak regarding their goals to serve our community. I found the predominantly positive outlook among the candidates encouraging. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who seek to serve their community, and I understand the commitment and dedication that campaigning involves.

We each have the opportunity and responsibility to influence the direction of our city through those we select to represent us. Blue Springs has three districts; each elects two councilmen on alternating years for three-year terms. District 1 includes the northern section of the city, District 2 covers the central part of the city, and District 3 covers everything south of District 2. To determine exactly which district you live in, go to http://bit.ly/bsccmap for a map.

Each district will be electing one council person on April 6. Take the time to learn about the candidates and their positions on various issues facing our city.:


District 1
Dale Carter – www.ElectDaleCarter.com
James May – www.ElectJamesMay.com

District 2
Sissy Reed – www.SissyReed.com
Chris Lievsay – www.VoteChrisLievsay.com

District 3
Grant Bowerman – www.GrantBowerman.com
Michael W Freeman – www.MichaelWFreeman.com

Review the information on each candidate’s Web site, and contact them if you have additional questions. Talk to them about what is important to you and how you would like them to represent you. Voting is a sacred responsibility. Vote for the candidate you believe will best serve our city.

On Thursday, the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce will host a lunch-hour forum at Adams Pointe Conference Center. Call  816-229-8558 to make reservations. The Eastern Jackson County Builders and Developers Association forum is also Thursday at the Blue Springs Country Club. The social hour begins at 6 p.m. with a dinner for $15 served at 7 p.m. The program follows dinner, during which the candidates will introduce themselves and answer questions from the audience.

Louis L’Amour said “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” April 6, vote!


Eastern Jackson County Builders Association – Candidate Forum

clock March 15, 2010 17:12 by author Jeff Quibell

Following is information regarding another candidate forum for the upcoming April 6th city council election in Blue Springs.

 

Jeff,

Below is a reminder I mailed out to all of our members about the upcoming Candidates Forum we will be holding at our next meeting, this Thursday. If you think your readers would like to attend, please feel free to pass it along. Make sure it is clear that dinner at the meeting will cost $15, so no one is caught off guard.

The March Meeting of the Eastern Jackson County Builders and Developers Association will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the Elks Lodge at 100 NE Brizendine Road in Blue Springs.
Social Hour will begin at 6:00 pm, with Dinner at 7:00 pm.
Association business and an industry related program will follow dinner. This month we will be holding a Candidates Forum for those running for City Council positions in the Cities of Blue Springs and Grain Valley. Each candidate will have a few minutes to introduce themselves and explain their stance on major issues of their election. A Question & Answer session will follow.
Feel free to pass this invitation along to friends, neighbors, and business acquaintances so they can join us to hear the candidates speak.
The cost of Dinner is $15, the Social Hour will be sponsored by:
Kansas City Power & Light - Kristin Riggins
Midwest Lumber - Ray Mager
Reece Nichols - Lakewood - Renee Ryan-Edwards
Stewart Title Company - Cindy Hood
We will also be holding our Annual Election of Directors, so plan to attend.
The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Fred Byam
Secretary-Treasurer
Eastern Jackson County
Builders & Developers Assn.
3501-G S. Sterling Ave.
Independence, MO 64052
816-252-3519


Candidates, voters each have roles

clock February 24, 2010 09:52 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 It is a short six weeks until the citizens of Blue Springs will again choose a person to represent them on the City Council. While it seems we are always in the midst of some political season, this one has come upon us quietly. Several friends have remarked how this election has not generated the controversy of some in the recent past.

This will be the first election in five years in which I will not be serving as a councilperson or seeking office in Blue Springs. I miss the personal contact of the thousands of homes I visited and the thoughts and opinions of so many of you during my campaigns and my time in office.

The candidate’s efforts will include a variety of methods to convey their message to the voters. Some will knock on doors; some will use direct mail or the telephone. The Internet is another method of campaigning, including Web sites and social networking sites such as Facebook. It is important that we, the voters, make wise selections on who will help govern our city.

Candidates focus on those that vote regularly. While the election board does not indicate whom you voted for, it does keep records of how often you vote. This information is readily available through the election board. I urge each of you to participate in the process of choosing your representatives, whether it is a local, state or national election. Take an active role in your community, and make an informed decision on Election Day.

There a several opportunities in March to meet the candidates, learn about their ideas and visions for Blue Springs, and to ask questions. The Blue Springs Business Association will host a candidates forum at 8 a.m. March 11 at Clancy’s Bar & Grill. The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce candidates forum luncheon is March 18 at Adams Pointe Conference Center. Reservations are required and can be made through the chamber office. Watch The Examiner for other opportunities to meet the candidates prior to voting on April 6.


Jeanie Lauer is running for District 54 Missouri State Representative

clock January 1, 2010 11:15 by author Jeff Quibell

For information about this candidate for Missouri State Representative go to http://www.jeanielauer.com.


City procedures usually work well

clock November 25, 2009 08:43 by author Jeff Quibell

Mayor Ross admonishing the District 3 Councilmen to follow proper protocol Mayor Ross, along with the majority of our city councilmen, are working together to effectively handle the large and small issues of city government in Blue Springs.

Our council is most efficient when all of our elected leaders are respectful to each other and are willing to listen to each point of view on every issue. It is through careful consideration and thoughtful evaluation of all available information that great decisions take place on behalf of our citizens.

Our city’s charter defines three geographic districts from which our city councilmen are elected. Two councilmen are elected to serve the residents of each district. Councilmen are expected to respond to issues within their own district and to seek the advice of our professional staff. As a matter of protocol and courtesy, information is typically forwarded to the appropriate district councilmen if they are contacted on issues outside of their own district.

The primary issue at the Nov. 16 council meeting resulted from a citizen complaint regarding a potential code violation. A permanent outbuilding, in place for several years and constructed from what appeared to be a former portable container, was the basis for the complaint.

While the issue itself was relatively minor and easily addressed, the larger discussion was how the complaint was brought to the attention of the city and how it was handled by the District 3 councilmen, Ron Fowler and Sheila Solon, who represent the southern part of the city. The property in question is in the far north end of the city, an area represented by our District 1 councilmen, Jeanie Lauer and Lyle Shaver.

E-mails copied to the city clerk and comments made in the council meeting suggest that our District 3 councilmen directed staff to take action regarding this issue, without involving the District 1 councilmen. When Mayor Ross requested an explanation from Fowler and Solon as to why the issue was not directed to the appropriate councilmen, their answer was ambiguous at best. What is very clear to me from their comments is that our District 3 councilmen believe that it is their job to personally address issues not only in their district but throughout the entire city. This line of thinking is disrespectful to the voters who chose their elected representatives.

Kent Edmondson Our District 1 and District 2 councilmen addressed this issue in a professional and respectful way. Councilman Kent Edmondson was again a calm voice of reason in the meeting, despite Councilman Fowler’s repeated interruptions. Our city attorney,  Bob McDonald & Lyle ShaverBob McDonald, showed patience and restraint as he explained the legal basis for his response.  The meeting is available for viewing on the City Website at http://tinyurl.com/bscc091116.

People who are willing to serve, to give of their time and work positively for the common good are sometimes difficult to find. In Blue Springs, our councilmen are compensated for their service, both with salary and benefits. It is our responsibility as residents to ensure that we are getting what we are paying for in our representatives. Candidate filing for the April election of a councilman for each of the three districts begins Dec. 15 and ends Jan. 19.


Open House Public Meeting Scheduled for Woods Chapel Road Improvements

clock November 5, 2009 21:28 by author Jeff Quibell

image CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI
image MEDIA ADVISORY
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 5, 2009, 2009
CONTACT: Merideth Parrish, Public Information Officer
Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.935.4176
Email: mparrish@bluespringsgov.com
Open House Public Meeting Scheduled for
Woods Chapel Road Improvements, November 12, 2009

Blue Springs, Mo. – The City of Blue Springs and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will host an open
house-style public meeting on Thursday, November 12, to share plans for Woods Chapel Road Improvements from I-70
to south of Briarwood Drive. The project team, TranSystems of Kansas City, Mo., will be on hand to answer questions
from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Howard L. Brown Safety Building, Multi-purpose Room, 1100 SW Smith St., Blue Springs,
MO 64015.


The City of Blue Springs and MoDOT encourage anyone who uses this route to stop by, review preliminary plans, share
project issues and concerns, and provide written comments at the public meeting. No formal presentations will be made.
For questions or additional information, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/woodschapel or contact the Blue Springs
Engineering Department at (816) 228-0121.

###


Please remember to vote today for the Combat Tax renewal!

clock November 3, 2009 10:10 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff2007 This is just a reminder to go to the polls and vote for the Combat Tax renewal in Jackson County!


Why Block Economic Development?

clock September 18, 2009 09:08 by author Jeff Quibell

DSC04405 As citizens, it is our responsibility and privilege to elect our representatives. We choose those that we believe will most accurately represent our beliefs and ideals, and those who will look out for our best interest. Once elected, we have a right to expect our leaders to speak to the issues that come before them in a straightforward manner, without attempting to twist or misconstrue facts. Our most recent Blue Springs city council meeting is an unfortunate example of how issues and details can be manipulated in an attempt to inaccurately spin the facts.

Let’s look first at the discussion coming from the District 3 Councilmen. The city’s check registers are a typical item on the consent agenda. Councilman Solon requested this item be removed from the consent agenda for further discussion. Her concern, and apparently Councilman Fowler’s as well, centered on reimbursements for business lunches and dinners, and the policy of how those reimbursements should be handled. Most successful organizations and businesses require some level of business conducted outside of the office, or in this case, city hall. Perhaps her concerns are indicative of the type of business Councilman Solon does, but for most of us in business, meeting with clients or prospective clients over lunch or dinner is a common practice. It is entirely appropriate that staff members should be reimbursed for doing their job at our request. Of course, proper documentation and procedures must be followed. We are fortunate to have a talented and dedicated financial department who oversees expenditures.

As I watched the remainder of last week’s meeting a common, reoccurring theme began to appear, again with the same two councilmen. Councilman Solon advocated reducing the funding to the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation by 10% or $30,000, suggesting that the EDC budget should be cut because of the current hard economic times. However, I recall this same suggestion from her several years ago before these hard times. What is the true motivation here? Why are the District 3 representatives so opposed to economic development?

These recommendations appear to be attempts to slow economic development in Blue Springs. The frequent no votes coming from our District 3 councilmen often focus on economic development issues. While the developments occurring in various parts of our city are designed to increase revenue and help keep our taxes low over the long term, these votes seem designed to impede those efforts and keep our citizens spending their tax dollars in other municipalities. Is this truly the will of the residents in District 3?

I encourage people to speak their mind, and believe that a spirited, open discussion will bring a better end result for all. Contact your councilmen and speak your mind. You can watch the meeting at http://bit.ly/bscc20090908.


Mayor Ross deserves some praise

clock June 11, 2009 00:59 by author Jeff Quibell

DSC04409While dining recently with friends at the new Panera Bread on Coronado Drive, the discussion turned to how vibrant our city has become since the addition of just a few new restaurants and shops.  The parking lots were almost full and each of the nearby establishments was hopping with business.  

We all agreed that it was encouraging to see busy shops and restaurants, and exciting to see them succeeding. As new stores and restaurants continue to open we will have even more opportunities to be proud of our city as we see quality growth, in spite of the national economic situation.

Several friends have recently commented to me that they were surprised that my articles seemed to be very complimentary of Mayor Carson Ross. While Mayor Ross was my opponent in the last election, I have a great deal of respect for him, and have found that he and I have similar goals for our community. Both of us want to see Blue Springs prosper and under Mayor Ross’ leadership, that common goal is coming to fruition. For that I am very thankful and very supportive.

By writing about what is happening in Blue Springs, I hope to encourage our elected leadership and to help our citizen’s stay informed about the good things that are happening in our town.  While we, as citizens, may not always agree with the decisions made at city hall, it’s important that we engage our elected representatives in respectful, productive dialogue regarding our views and our goals.

From my discussions on the doorsteps of thousands of Blue Springs homes, I know that our citizens desire leaders that are willing to make changes to the outdated policies of the past. Over the last five years you, our citizens, have made many changes in our elected leadership.  These choices have changed the nature of decision making in our city and improved the process of governance in Blue Springs.

Televising council meetings and broadcasting them on the internet has made our city council’s actions much more transparent than in the past.

Our citizens are watching our council meetings and see firsthand how their leaders are performing. The leaders who are flexible, open minded and fiscally responsible are moving our community forward.  By watching the council meeting broadcasts, it’s easy to tell who is making a difference. Remember, our next city election is only 10 months away and we will each have a choice to make.

We all want a city that will weather the nation’s current economic storm and come out stronger in the end.  It remains an honor for me to participate in some small measure in that process. I look forward with anticipation to the bright future of our city.