News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Public Safety Advisory Board Seeks Resident Input at Public Forum – November 12

clock October 30, 2013 09:58 by author Jeff Quibell

Blue Springs, Mo. – On November 12 at 6 p.m., the Blue Springs Police Department and the Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens’ Advisory Board will host their annual public forum to discuss a series of issues related to public safety in Blue Springs. The forum will take place at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District’s Training Center, 4715 W. Highway 40 and is open to the public.

Advisory Board Chairman Tom Echerd will preside at the forum and encourages any interested persons to attend. “Treanor Architects, MWL Architects and Burns & McDonnell will give a presentation on the status of the Public Safety Building expansion and remodeling project approved as part of the Public Safety Sales Tax,” said Echerd. “These meetings represent the Board’s ongoing efforts to keep residents informed and engaged in the activities of our Blue Springs Police Department.”

At a recent meeting, the Board established the following topics that are of great interest to the community and will be on the agenda for the November 12 public forum:

• The Blue Springs Police Department's Traffic Control Unit has made a concerted effort to reduce speeding violations in areas where accidents frequently occur, school zones and other areas in response to citizen's requests. What concerns do you have regarding the enforcement of traffic ordinances in our community? What suggestions do you have?
• What changes in coverage or services provided by our Animal Control unit would you like to see?
• What other services related to public safety would you like the Blue Springs Police Department provide or help coordinate?

“I encourage all residents to come and provide any input they may have. It is through the community’s partnership with the Blue Springs Police Department that we will be able to create and maintain the safest community possible,” Blue Springs Police Chief Wayne McCoy said. “We value everyone’s input; by working together we can celebrate our successes while gaining an understanding of those areas where residents feel we can do better.”

Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens’ Advisory Board
The Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens’ Advisory Board was created by City Ordinance in August 2009. The six-member board is comprised of two residents from each City Council District, along with non-voting ex officio members that include representatives from the Blue Springs Police Department, City Council and a student from the Blue Springs School District.

Public Safety Sales Tax
In April 2011, voters passed the 1/2 cent dedicated Public Safety Sales Tax to address needs found in the Public Safety Citizen's Advisory Board analysis. The Public Safety Advisory Board, made up of Blue Springs citizens, is charged with oversight of the tax. The Advisory Board makes regularly scheduled reports to the City Council on spending of funds collected by the tax and report on performance goals. These reports can be found on the City’s Web site by visiting www.bluespringsgov.com.

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Blue Springs City Council Work Session July 29 2013 on EMS Service Subsidy

clock July 30, 2013 11:51 by author Jeff Quibell

The following video was recorded on an iPad at the work session meeting.  This is because the City of Blue Springs does not currently record and broadcast work sessions.  Note that the audio is complete, but the video is not managed like is possible with the camera equipment permanently installed in the room.  I recorded this session at the request of numerous constituents that were unable to attend the meeting and wanted to hear the council’s rational for what ever decisions might be made at the meeting.

Hopefully in the future we will broadcast these meetings using the city’s equipment.  I will certainly be advocating that during the August 2013 budget session for the 2013-2014 year and continuing forward.  Giving our citizens the opportunity to understand the rationale for the decisions we make was one of the original reasons for televising our council meetings.  Work sessions should not be treated any differently.

Sincerely,

Jeff Quibell


Correction of the facts regarding how Blue Springs has funded Ambulance Service over the years

clock July 17, 2013 12:54 by author Jeff Quibell

Following the distribution of my July 17, 2013 Newsletter, Councilman Fowler contacted me to let me know that I had misstated the information in his motion that I referred to in my newsletter. He is correct, I said he was talking about a sales tax, his motion was regarding the city’s property tax. The remainder of my comments remains accurate as to how I viewed his motion.


What are the facts regarding how Blue Springs has funded Ambulance Service over the years?

clock July 17, 2013 05:00 by author Jeff Quibell

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In 1974 the city passed a general sales tax.  The ballot language was as follows:

“Shall the sales tax ordinance be approved?

Ordinance No. 760 of the City of Blue Springs, Missouri, passed September 19, 1974, imposing a city sales tax at the rate of one percent (1%) on the receipts from the sale at retail of all tangible personal property or taxable services at retail if such property and services are subject to the sales tax imposed by the State of Missouri, for a period of five (5) years.”

In 1979 the ballot language for renewal was as follows:

“Shall the City’s 1% sales tax be retained?”

Both ballot measures were approved.  Over the years the city has added and removed many services that are/were paid for by the 1% general sales tax.  But as you can see, there is no dedicated tax for ambulance service in Blue Springs and there never has been.

Councilman Ron Fowler’s motion at a recent council meeting did not adequately define what amount he would remove from the general sales tax that currently only provides a partial subsidy for the ambulance service in Blue Springs.  His motion also did not make a persuasive case for adjusting the sales tax because the tax is not dedicated to the purpose we were discussing and changes in revenue distribution occur every year within our general budget.  As the needs of the city change the Council must have the flexibility to adjust funding to meet those needs.

For many years the City of Blue Springs has held the ambulance license for the entire area that is covered by Central Jackson County Fire Protection District (CJC), including areas outside the city limits.  We contract ambulance service to CJC and subsidize the service.  Until recently the city collected the fees billed to the users of the ambulance and our taxpayers subsidized any short fall out of our general fund.  There is no dedicated funding source for ambulance service.  In addition, when we subsidize this service we are doing it for areas of unincorporated Jackson County, Grain Valley, and Lake Tapawingo at no direct cost to them.  The City of Blue Springs is the only entity responsible for the subsidy.

Blue Springs has agreed to transfer the ambulance license to CJC and the issue on the ballot is how CJC is proposing to eliminate the Blue Springs subsidy.  When we transferred the license to CJC recently we also transferred the user payments to them as well.  The end result will be all of us in the CJC district will contribute directly to the service we receive including the County, Grain Valley, and Lake Tapawingo residents.  This allows money that currently subsidizes the ambulance service to be redirected to meeting needs in the Blue Springs community.

If the issue fails to pass, the license will transfer back to Blue Springs along with the fee revenue.  Things would then return to as they were before we transferred the license to CJC.   If this happens, the city will have to look at alternatives, but our options are not set in stone.  We believe the CJC provides the best service in the area and the best way to continue to receive that level of service is for it to be fully under their control.

Finally Blue Springs at 2% continues to have one of the lowest city sales tax rates in the metropolitan area. In recent years the City has also fixed our sales tax leakage problems by encouraging new retail developments in our city. Because of this, some of our sales tax revenue is paid by shoppers from outside our city. It is great to have these low tax rates and to be able to continue to provide quality services to our citizens!

I would encourage you to support CJC’s ballot issue in August and share this information with your friends. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service!

Jeff Quibell
District 1 Councilman
City of Blue Springs


Blue Springs Kiwanis Supports CJCFPD Levy to be voted on April 6th

clock July 16, 2013 15:55 by author Jeff Quibell

By a unanimous vote today the Kiwanis Club of Blue Springs voted to endorse the EJC Fire Protection District Levy to be voted on Aug 6th.

If you’d like more info click the link below.

http://www.cjcfpd.org/cjc/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:2013-levy-presentation&catid=1&Itemid=100100


Senator Blunt’s Response To President Obama’s Gun Control Speech

clock April 3, 2013 17:22 by author Jeff Quibell

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For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012

Contact: Press Office, (202) 224-1403
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Senator Blunt’s Response To President Obama’s Gun Control Speech Today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s speech today calling for stricter gun control policies:

“Like all Americans, I was shocked by the incredible tragedy in Newtown, and I’m committed to finding ways to prevent these senseless acts of violence. Unfortunately, President Obama is once again calling for gun control policies that restrict law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights and fail to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook.
“I won’t support any proposals that infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights or ultimately prevent two neighbors from trading shotguns. Instead, I’m focusing my efforts on improving mental health policies to ensure we’re spending federal dollars more wisely when it comes to identifying, treating
, and caring for people who are mentally ill.”

Senator Blunt has co-sponsored a number of mental health bills in the Senate, including:

· Senator Blunt joined U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) in introducing the “Excellence in Mental Health Act,” a bipartisan bill intended to address our nation’s fragmented mental health system by offering current Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) a chance to obtain the Federally Qualified Community Behavioral Health Center (FQCBHC) designation. The legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jack Reed (R.I.), and Barbara Boxer (Calif.).

· Senator Blunt is a co-sponsor of the “Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Mark Begich (Alaska) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and cosponsored by six of their colleagues. The bill authorizes the launch of a demonstration program to support mental health first aid trainings nationwide in order to help individuals to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illnesses and addiction disorders.

· Senator Blunt is also a co-sponsor of the “Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Al Franken (Minn.) and Mike Johanns (Neb.) and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 14 of their colleagues in the Senate and 10 members in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will help make communities safer by improving access to mental health services for people in the criminal justice system who need treatment. The bill also focuses on giving law enforcement officers the tools they need to identify and respond to mental health issues, and includes a 5-year reauthorization of the “Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act” (MIOTCRA), continuing support for mental health courts, and crisis intervention teams.

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Additional Outdoor Warning Siren Testing Tomorrow (3/6/2013)

clock March 5, 2013 17:26 by author Jeff Quibell

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CENTRAL JACKSON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

PRESS RELEASE

CJCFPD Training Facility | 4175 US 40 HWY | Blue Springs, MO | P: 816.229.9118 | eoc@cjcfpd.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: March 5, 2013

CONTACT: Kim Nakahodo, Public Information Officer

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

Additional Outdoor Warning Siren Testing Tomorrow

CENTRAL JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. – The Central Jackson County Emergency Management Agency (CJCEMA) participated in the statewide tornado drill today to test its network as part of the national Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Recently, the outdoor warning sirens and the radio system underwent upgrades in response to federal narrow-banding mandate. Technical problems with the upgrade were diagnosed during today’s test of the outdoor warning sirens and resulted in sirens either not responding or not responding as expected.

As a result, CJCEMA will be conducting another test of the outdoor warning sirens tomorrow, March 6 beginning at noon across Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Lake Tapawingo. Representatives from CJCEMA, Motorola, Blue Valley Public Safety and Commenco will be conducting repairs on the outdoor warning system throughout the afternoon. Please be advised that sirens will be sounding throughout the afternoon as crews work on individual sirens.

Every effort is being made at this time to correct these concerns as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience as we work to make these repairs to our outdoor warning system.

The CJCEMA is an emergency management agency consisting of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, the City of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lake Tapawingo and surrounding unincorporated areas. The EOC is located at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District’s Training Facility and brings together representatives from Police, Fire, Public Works and Emergency Management agencies.

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Are YOU Ready for a Disaster? Free Community Preparedness Classes Offered

clock February 7, 2013 17:35 by author Jeff Quibell

CENTRAL JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. – Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. In a large-scale disaster, local officials and relief workers will not be able to reach everyone immediately. Help could come in hours, or it may take days. Will your family be ready?

The Central Jackson County Emergency Management Agency (CJCEMA) is offering a series of free community preparedness classes throughout Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Lake Tapawingo.

“These presentations will cover what disasters are most likely to happen in our area, how emergency response works in our region, and what steps you can do to better prepare your family for disasters,” said Todd Farley CJCEMA emergency manager. “As we head into severe weather season, I invite you to attend one of these free community classes and meet your local emergency management team.”

Class Schedule:
• Tuesday, February 19 from 7-8 p.m., Mid-Continent Library, Blue Springs North Branch, 850 NW Hunter Drive, Blue Springs
• Tuesday, March 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Lake Tapawingo Club House, 244 Dockside Drive, Lake Tapawingo
• Tuesday, March 12 from 7-8 p.m., Mid-Continent Library, Blue Springs South Branch, 2220 S Highway 7, Blue Springs
• Tuesday, March 26 from 7-8 p.m., Grain Valley City Hall, Board Chambers, 711 S Main Street, Grain Valley

The CJCEMA is an emergency management agency consisting of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, the City of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lake Tapawingo and surrounding unincorporated areas. The EOC is located at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District’s Training Facility and brings together representatives from Police, Fire, Public Works and Emergency Management agencies.

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