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Mayor's Blog

Jan 16

Mayor's New Years Update 2021

Posted on January 16, 2021 at 12:22 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

I hope this finds you all well into the second week of the new year.  Most of us are glad to put 2020 behind us, and there really is light on the horizon.  Many of you have friends in healthcare who have received their vaccine, and while there have been some delays, the number vaccinated grows every day.  Importantly, thank you for being communicative, flexible and patient.

Four updates for you as we begin 2021:

1) With the new year come several changes in the City.  As you may have already heard, after conducting a national search, we found our new City Administrator in our own back yard.  Jennifer Lee, our long-time Assistant City Administrator, officially started her new role on January 1st.  We are now actively interviewing for a new Assistant.  Finally, thank you to our search committee!

Additionally, we have a new police chief.  Major Byron Roberson was officially appointed to the role this week.  He has been with the force for more than 20 years and will be a fantastic leader.  His predecessor, Tim Schwarzkopf, retired after 5 years as Chief and we thank Tim for his long-time service and leadership.

2) Next week one of the recommendations of the Tomahawk Safety, Beauty and Connectivity Committee goes into effect.  The speed limit on Tomahawk Road, from Mission Road to State Line, will be reduced to 25mph.  This will make 25mph the speed limit on every street interior to the City.  The police will spend time in January helping to educate drivers on this change, which should make walking, biking and even driving on Tomahawk safer.  

3) The pandemic is still with us, so please remain vigilant.  Please continue to limit gathering sizes, maintain social distance and wear masks when in proximity to others.  Please also be thoughtful and give people appropriate social distance in outdoor spaces – whether running on Belinder, walking on Tomahawk, or enjoying our playground and parks.

4) Finally, we finished 2020 with lower crime than 2019 and still the lowest in the metro.  But any one crime is too many, so we continue to need your help.  There has been a recent uptick in auto thefts and burglaries in surrounding communities.  The vast majority are of cars unlocked with the keys in them.  This was true of 90% of the auto crimes in our City in 2020.  Please lock your cars, don’t leave keys in them, and keep valuables out of sight.

As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are always welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov.  Thank you again – Go Chiefs!

P.S. In the last two snow events, someone has driven ATVs in Hiawassee Park.  In addition to being illegal and dangerous, this time there is damage to the park.  If you saw anything yesterday (1/15), know anything about this or perhaps have a Ring or other camera that looks onto the park, please don’t hesitate to call the police non-emergency line at 913-642-5151.

Nov 25

Mayor's Update - Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 25, 2020 at 9:19 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

 

“What if today, we were just grateful for everything.” – Charlie Brown

 

I love Thanksgiving.   I always have.  The commercialization of Christmas has tried to wash over it for years and has failed.  Halloween is now the second most commercial holiday in America, and yet Thanksgiving resists.  

 

No presents.  No songs.  Nothing but time with family and friends, which, in this most unique year, is harder to accomplish.

 

But if you step back and think about the foundation of Thanksgiving – gratefulness and thanks – you realize why it resists the commercial temptation.

 

In the most recent newsletter I noted that it was trite but true – this has been a year unlike any other.   So, on this Thanksgiving eve, I wanted to pass along four important messages:

 

1. Have a fabulous, safe, healthy Thanksgiving.  Your gathering may be smaller.  We are all adjusting our traditions.  But if you follow Charlie Brown, there is so very much to be thankful for.

 

2. I am so pleased to let you know that after a robust search for the past several months, the search committee (composed of the five council members, our five Board chairs, former mayors Fromm & Boeshaar and me) have selected a new City Administrator.  After a nationwide search, Jennifer Lee, our current Assistant City Administrator, will assume the lead role on January 1st.

 

3. The pandemic is still with us.  As I noted in the newsletter, we extended our City State of Emergency to align with the County.  Please be smart over Thanksgiving and the December holidays.  

 

  • Please, please, please social distance.  

 

  • If you are sick, stay home!  If you think your sickness might be Covid, please get tested before you step out.  

 

  • Please follow the county guidelines on masks.

 

  • I would also ask everyone to give people appropriate social distance in outdoor spaces – whether running on Tomahawk, walking on Belinder, or enjoying our playground.

 

  • Be mindful of your gatherings.

 

4. Finally, our City Tree Lighting is this Sunday, November 29th at 5:30pm.  My thanks and kudos to the Community Engagement Committee for developing a safe, County-approved plan to allow us to hold this event.  I hope to see many of you there (socially distant, of course! J).

 

As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are always welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov.

 

Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Jul 31

Mission Hills Mayor's Update #24 7/31/20

Posted on July 31, 2020 at 7:25 PM by David Dickey

Fellow Residents:

Can we already really be at the end of July!  Thank you for your continued feedback, flexibility and adaptability.  

Three updates for you on this final day of July:


1) As many of know, Mission Hills had a protest that began in Prairie Village and came through our City on Saturday, July 18th.  Law enforcement from Prairie Village, Leawood, Kansas City, Mission Hills and both counties monitored the situation and were prepared to intervene if necessary.

The protestors made their way from Weltner Park, to 71st and Mission, to Tomahawk, up to 69th, back to Belinder and ultimately returned to Weltner Park.  The protest came through Mission Hills mid-evening.

That same group is planning on protesting again this Saturday evening (8/1) at Weltner Park.  Their precise route is unclear, but it could again bring them to Mission Hills.  Once again, law enforcement will be ready on multiple fronts should the need arise.

Please know that resident safety and protection of property are our absolute priorities.  Peaceful protests are an important part of a democratic society.  Non-peaceful ones are most assuredly not.

Should this (or any) protest find its way to Mission Hills, please do not hesitate to call 911 should you observe any emergency situation, or you may call the non-emergency police dispatch line at 913-642-5151 should you see something concerning that does not rise to the level of an emergency.

2) I will continue to post when we have credible information regarding protests that may come through our City.  Based on resident feedback two weeks ago, we will also use NotifyJoCo going forward as well.

To sign up for NotifyJoCo, simply go to www.notifyjoco.org to sign up and set the alerts you wish to receive.

I would also ask that you encourage your friends and neighbors to sign up for these Mayor’s Updates (on the City’s website) as well as NotifyJoCo.  These two methods are the fastest and best we have for communicating about situations that are unpredictable and changing.

3) I am sure you all know the four simple things each of us can do to help stop the spread, but nearly five months in, we can all fall victim to complacency:
  1. If you are sick (no matter with what!), please stay home!
  2. Wash your hands frequently.
  3. Social distance.
  4. If you are in public spaces, indoors or out, and cannot maintain social distance, please wear a face covering or mask.

Please continue to enjoy our public spaces safely!  As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email info@missionhillsks.gov.  You are always welcome to email me directly at mayor@missionhillsks.gov. 

Thank you and have a great and safe weekend!