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City of Ramona
Council Minutes
March 12, 2012
Ramona Senior Center

Presiding: Mayor Brendan Bailey

Council Present: AJ Svoboda, Art Stroda, Jayme Brunner, Byron Noeth, Bill Alcorn

Staff present: Fern Leach, Jessica Gilbert, David Staatz,

Others in attendance: Rohani Alcorn, Marvin & Janet Rains and daughter Sara, Collin Bailey, Alan Bentz, Robert & Deb Hare, Dan & Connie Smith, Don & Kathy Matkins, Bill Henricks (Insurance Planning), Brian Bina, Attorney.

The meeting was called to order by the mayor at 7:00pm.

The City Clerk read the minutes for the February meeting.

Motion:  Art Stroda moved to approve the February 2012 minutes as read.  Bill Alcorn seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Fern Leach presented the bills for payment.

Motion:  Byron Noeth moved to accept the treasurer’s report; motion seconded by Art Stroda, and passed unanimously.

Youth Council
Mayor Bailey reported that the young people of Ramona voted for the officers of the newly formed Youth Council.  They are: Terren Thompson, Junior Mayor, council members: Cassy Thompson, Sara Rains, Solomon Brunner.  Mayor Bailey and Councilman Brunner are advisors for the Youth Council.

EMT Rescue Knives
The mayor mentioned that EMS week is coming up and wondered if Ramona would contribute $60, along with other cities in the area, to buy rescue knives for emergency personnel. The Council asked to table the matter until the April meeting.

City Clerk’s Report
Jessica Gilbert reported that City Attorney, Lori Lalouette was released of her duties as city attorney, by letter from Mayor Bailey on February 17, 2012.  Two candidates for the position were scheduled to appear at the March meeting—Brian Bina and Susan Robson—but Ms. Robson withdrew her name at the last minutes because of increased workload.

Jess reported that the website is nearing completion and should be up “live” by May 1. Because the city council agenda and minutes will be available on the website, the notebooks will no longer be maintained at the post office.

She mentioned that she received word from KDHE that there’s a burn ban on open burning during the month of April.

Gilbert mentioned that the bill from the Marion Vet Clinic for euthenizing Jon Gehrke’s three dogs back in May, was to have been paid by either Mr. Gehrke or the landowner, Collin Bailey, but instead the bill was sent to the City.  Mayor Bailey said he would take responsibility for working with Collin Bailey on getting the bill paid. Jessica wrote a letter to the clinic stating that the City did not authorize this procedure and could not pay for it. The letter also set in place a policy, approved by Mayor Bailey, that in the future the vet will not perform any services that would be billed to the City of Ramona, without a letter authorizing the procedure. The letter will be signed by two city officials.  This will protect both the city and the vet clinic personnel, who trusted what was told to them when the dogs were brought in last May.

Jess reported that 6 new stops were ordered through Marion County, which reduced the cost per sign to $24 instead of $40. Marion County Commissioners just approved the bid for new stop signs and included 6 for Ramona so the city could save money.

Maintenance Report
Dave Staatz reported that the tractor is fixed and that new stop signs and freshly painted street signs are going up as they are painted.

Candidate for City Attorney
Attorney Brian Bina of Karstetter & Klenda, with offices in McPherson and Marion, summarized his education and experience as a candidate for Ramona’s City Attorney.  Council asked whether he preferred working with a retainer or billing by the hour and Mr. Bina said he preferred the latter. When asked about his hourly rate he said they charge cities a reduced rate of $130 per hour. The Mayor asked if phone calls were charged at this rate, and Mr. Bina said they were. When asked about mileage charges Bina said he charges mileage rather than an hourly rate for driving time.

Motion : Bill Alcorn moved to hire Brian Bina as Ramona’s City Attorney. Seconded by AJ Svoboda. Motion passed unanimously.

Senior Center issues
Insurance/roof: City Insurance agent, Bill Henricks presented the bill for the city’s insurance policy, and explained that taking over the senior center does not change the city’s premium since no fault is built into the city’s policy.  Bill also explained that because of the roof’s poor condition, the senior center building itself cannot be insured for replacement, until a new roof is on the building. Council asked if the premiums changed if the new roof was metal, and Henricks said that it did not change the insurance premium. Art Stroda is investigating costs for replacing the roof.

Motion: Byron Noeth moved to authorize Art Stroda to acquire estimates for replacing the Senior Center roof.  Seconded by Jayme Brunner. Motion passed unanimously.

Former Councilwoman, Kathy Matkins, mentioned that she spoke with Kacey Nickel about the senior center roof and he said if the city had a group of volunteers to help him he’d reduce the cost significantly for labor.

Naming the building: City Clerk Gilbert said that as she was working on the new city website she found herself wanting to call the Senior Center the “City Building” because the function of the building is changing. She asked Council if they were interested in renaming he building, because if so, this would be the perfect timing.  Suggestions were discussed.

Motion: Art Stroda moved to rename the senior center Ramona City Hall.  Seconded by AJ Svoboda. Motion passed unanimously.

Follow-up of Rains/Bell Horse Case
Mayor Bailey said that he’d spoken with Marvin Rains about whether he planned to pay the fines assessed by Ramona’s Municipal Court for violation of ordinance 189, and Marvin indicated that he planned to go back to court. Marvin was present and affirmed that this was correct.  Marvin added that he had many issues he planned to raise about the original verdict. When the city clerk interjected that the return to court would be charges of contempt of court, not re-opening the case, Marvin got upset and left the room.

Since the senior center group is no longer taking responsibility for distributing commodities to the 30+ families eligible for assistance, the Marion Co. Dept on Aging contacted the city clerk, asking if there were volunteers who would take on this task, which occurs about 4 times per year.

City Councilman Bill Alcorn said he would be the point person for this job, with assistance from Councilman Jayme Brunner. The city clerk said she’d get them both keys to the senior center, and notify the agency that they will take over commodity distribution.

Tornado Safety
Fire Chief Alan Bentz and Mayor Bailey reported that they were unable to find a way to electronically (either by radio or cell phone) set off the tornado siren. The group discussed other ways to utilize the $1,000 grant money given by Walmart for an improved or used tornado siren.

The concern about the current siren is that only fire department personnel have keys to the fire department where the switch is, and they are not always in town to carry out the task of setting off the warning. Ideas and possible solutions were discussed between audience and council until a winning solution emerged.

Motion: Bill Alcorn moved to use the $1,000 grant money to hire a person to wire a switch to the outside of the firehouse that would set off the warning siren. This switch will be covered by a box, with a lock and key. Keys would be given to city council and maintenance personnel. Seconded by Byron Noeth. Motion passed unanimously.

Fly Control
Resident Jennifer Hathaway sent an e-mail to the city clerk to ask if the city had a plan for handling the large amount of flies that arrive in the summer.  Maintenance superintendent, Dave Staatz, said that when he sprays for mosquitoes, the chemicals also take care of flies. Gilbert said she’d relay this information to Ms. Hathaway.

Bunny Hop
Mayor Bailey said that the First Responders Unit—himself, Michele Bailey and Penny Coffman—will oversee the Bunny Hop and Egg Hunt scheduled for Saturday, April 7, 2pm in the city park.  

Don Matkins alerted the council to a concern that they might want to address before the egg hunt and this is the discovery this past week of needles (the type associated with drug use) were found in the city park.  Mayor Bailey thanked Don for bringing this to the council’s attention and further suggested that whoever found the needles should also call the Marion County Sheriff’s office.

Don Matkins also mentioned that the city park is looking quite untidy and needs cleaning before a community event is held in the park.

Fair Housing
City Clerk Gilbert mentioned that April is Fair Housing Month and the State of Kansas traditionally requests the towns and cities to declare by proclamation that the city supports the principals of fair housiong.

Motion: AJ Svoboda moved to pass the fair housing proclamation (exhibit A). Seconded by Bill Alcorn. Motion passed unanimously.

New Business
Dave Staatz said he would be holding an event in the park fro 7-10pm sometime in the near future, for the kids in town, playing their favorite music (no rap, said Dave).  One of the council suggested he work with the Junior Council on this event.

8:50 pm Executive Session: The Mayor declared executive session for 30 minutes to discuss legal issues with the new city attorney.

9:05 Regular session re-convened.  No official actions taken.

Motion:  Jayme Brunner moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:10pm. Motion passed unanimously.


Jessica Gilbert, City Clerk

Exhibit A

Celebrating 44 Years of Fair Housing
City of  Ramona, Kansas

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, of which Title VIII declared that the law of the land would now guarantee the rights of equal housing opportunity; and

WHEREAS, the City of Ramona is committed to the mission and intent of Congress to provide fair and equal housing opportunities for all, and today, many realty companies and associations support fair housing laws; and

WHEREAS, the Fair Housing groups and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have, over the years, received thousands of complaints of alleged illegal housing discrimination and found too many that have proved upon investigation to be violations of the fair housing laws; and

WHEREAS, equal housing opportunity is a condition of life in our City that can and should be achieved,

I, Mayor of Ramona, on behalf of its citizens, do hereby proclaim the month of April as


And express the hope that this year’s observance will promote fair housing practices throughout the (City/County).

Dated this 12th day of March, 2012

Mayor Brendan Bailey
March 12, 2012
City of Ramona

General Account:
Beginning Balance             15,903.11
    State of Ks.-Retail tax    811.38
    Westar Franchise     191.23
    Sondergard (Sr. Center)    40.00
Total Income        1,042.61

Balance prior to expense            16945.72

    Westar (Shed et al)    68.51
    IRS- 2011 tax (qtr 1)    223.52
    IRS-2011 tax (qtr 2)    179.68
    IRS-2011 tax (qtr 3)    224.60
    IRS-2011 tax (qtr 4)    117.73
    Social Security taxes 2011 corrected
    Don Matkins    25.15
    Jessica Gilbert    61.95
    Fern Leach    3.48
    Dave Staatz    20.77
    Atmos Energy    79.03
    Rural Water #1    43.90
    Insurance Planning Center    1569.00
    Clark Lumber    51.36
    Westar Energy (lights)    247.39
    Jess Gilbert (reimbursement)    62.52
       Postage 10.40
       Supplies 7.45
       Easter event 44.67
    Easter Event – treats, prizes    25.00
    David Staatz (maintenanc)    103.42
    Jess Gilbert (clerk & website)    540.63

Sub-Total Expense        3,647.64
Journal Entry 2012:#1 putting tax liability
  in the correct year        -745.53
Journal Entry 2012:#2 correcting Social Security        -111.35
  rate from 6.2% to 4.2% in 2011

Total Expense for March, 2012        2,790.76        

Ending Balance as of March  2012            14,154.96

Investment @ Edward Jones            5,000.00

Reserve Funds
Reserve Fund:  Park Improvement ($600 drinking fountain)    876.32
Reserve Fund: Siren    1,000.00
Reserve Fund: 4th of July    1416.43
Reserve Fund: Memorial Bench repair    500.00

March 2012

Sewer  Fund:    
Beginning Balance        `    22,968.81
    Sewer Fees    20.00
    Thompson $10
    Thornhill $10
2011-2012     $20

Total Income        20.00

Balance Prior to Expense            22,988.81

    Westar Energy    49.46
    Don Beisel    75.00
    US Postage 2 coils    90.00

Total Expense        214.46
Balance for March 2012            22,774.35

Investment CD with Edward Jones            10,000.00

Highway Fund:

Beginning Balance            9,248.31
Total Income        -0-
Balance Prior to Expense            9,248.31
Total Expense        -0-

Ending March 2012            9,248.31
Investment CD with Edward Jones            5,000.00