Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of E-News - February 27, 2012:
• February 28 Special Session to Consider Council Vacancy
• Citizen Satisfaction in Olathe One of America's Highest
• Meet Mahaffie’s Newest Team of Horses
• March Brings Parks and Recreation Activities for All Ages
• Developer Forum and Public Workshop Set for February 29
• Legislative Forum To Be Held March 3 at City Hall

City Council
Released February 27, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, February 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a special session.  The special session agenda includes the consideration of candidates to fill the At-Large City Council seat vacated by Councilmember Bob Montgomery.  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Citizen Satisfaction in Olathe One of America's Highest
Released February 27, 2012
Olathe citizen satisfaction is at an all-time high based on the results of Olathe's most recent citizen survey presented to the Olathe City Council Tuesday evening, February 21.

The survey, DirectionFinder®, is conducted by ETC Institute and includes responses from a random sample of 1,226 Olathe residents collected in the fall of 2011. The survey has a +/-2.8% margin of error. Olathe is one of over 500 cities and counties in the United States using ETC to gauge citizen satisfaction and priorities.

According to Chris Tatham, ETC Institute Vice President, Olathe has gone from being average when the survey was first conducted in 2000 to one of America's highest performing cities in terms of resident satisfaction. He said, "Of all the cities we survey across the country, none have achieved such a dramatic turnaround in such a short time." Tatham attributed Olathe's success to several factors including investing scarce resources in areas most important to residents and being open and transparent with City finances.

Tatham noted that Olathe is not only a metropolitan area leader in satisfaction, but he said Olathe is easily in the top 5% of all cities nationally. He cited Olathe's performance in what he termed the two most important categories, "overall quality of city services" and the "value residents feel they receive for their tax dollars". Olathe has the metropolitan area's highest satisfaction level for overall quality of services at 92% while the Kansas City area rating is 54%, and the national average is 57% satisfaction. Olathe resident satisfaction with value for tax dollars stands at 76% while the metropolitan area and national levels stand at 40% and 45% respectively.

Olathe ranks at the top in the Kansas City metropolitan area in ten of the major categories surveyed, including the overall quality of city services.

The survey results showed Olathe's overall satisfaction index increased from 130 in 2010 to a record 132 in 2011. Since 2000, Olathe's composite satisfaction index has increased from a baseline of 100 to 132 for 2011. Conversely, the metropolitan area's composite index fell from 100 in 2000 to 92 in 2011.

Traffic flow and congestion management continue to be a top priority of residents for the future, along with maintenance of city streets, buildings, and facilities. Traffic flow and maintenance have been the top two priorities since 2000, though traffic flow satisfaction has improved from 27% in 2000 to 62% in 2011. This improvement is largely due to such investments as the 127th street overpass, the railroad grade separation, and the automated traffic management system.

According to Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland, the survey is a critical tool for the City to allocate scarce resources. He said, "While we have significantly reduced staffing and cut expenses, overall satisfaction increased because the City Council was able to spend limited money in areas our taxpayers most want it invested." This was echoed by Tatham. He said, "While a number of areas saw some decreases, overall satisfaction increased because the City actually improved in areas residents identified as most important."

Tatham cited the City's shift in resources for snow plowing as a prime example. The City invested additional resources in residential streets; a priority identified in the 2010 survey. As a result, satisfaction with plowing on major streets saw a slight reduction while satisfaction with residential snow plowing saw a significant increase, improving overall satisfaction with snow plowing.

A copy of the ETC Institute presentation and complete survey results are available in the Accountable Government section of the City's website, www.OlatheKS.org.


Meet Mahaffie’s Newest Team of Horses
Released February 27, 2012
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm debuted its newest team of horses at its Winter on the Farm event Saturday, February 25.  The team will be used throughout the year to pull the stagecoach and perform other 1860s farming activities at the historic farm and stagecoach stop.

Chip and Ace are male grey dappled Percheron draft horses.  Each horse weighs approximately 1,300 pounds and stands 6 feet two inches from its hoof to the base of its neck.  Ace has a darker face than Chip and when driving the coach he pulls on the right.  According to Mahaffie Site Manager Tim Talbott, “Both horses like carrots and apples and long walks around the historic grounds.”

Photos of the horses are available on the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop Facebook page.  They can be seen in action, along with Star and Hotshot, the site’s other horse team, Saturdays and Sundays beginning March 17.


March Brings Parks and Recreation Activities for All Ages
Released February 27, 2012
The Olathe Parks and Recreation Department still has spots available for several fun activities in the month of March.  Interested in becoming a lifeguard?  Don’t miss the final lifeguard training class before summer on March 21.  Looking to get active?  There is still room in the Aquafit program starting March 26.  Need to keep the kids busy during Spring Break?  Sign-up for the Spring Break Basketball Camp.  Finally, don’t miss the March 9 deadline for baseball registration (ages preschool to 4th grade).  For more information and to register, visit Parks and Recreation or call 971-8536.


Developer Forum and Public Workshop Set for February 29
Released February 27, 2012
Two public meetings concerning the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and Design Guideline Update are scheduled for Wednesday, February 29 in the Council Chamber of Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe.

A developer forum will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., beginning with a 20-minute presentation followed by open discussion and comments.  Coffee and breakfast items will be available in the lobby beginning at 8:00 a.m. 

A workshop for the general public will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The session will begin with a 20-minute presentation, followed by small group exercises where citizens and businesses can provide their ideas about development regulations in Olathe.  The meeting will conclude with an open discussion and comments.  Refreshments will  be provided in the lobby. 

The UDO update includes new standards for zoning, building design, site planning, infrastructure, landscaping, parking, nonconformities and vested rights, and land use.  It will also update the process for approving new development.  Public input is crucial to ensuring a UDO that is effective and helps implement the City’s new comprehensive plan.  Attendees may RSVP to the Planning Division at 971-8750. 


Legislative Forum To Be Held March 3 at City Hall
Released February 27, 2012
Olathe City Hall (100 E. Santa Fe) will play host to an Olathe Delegation Legislative Forum on Saturday, March 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Olathe State Senators Julia Lynn and Ray Merrick along with State Representatives Lance Kinzer, Mike Kiegerl, Bob Montgomery, and Arlen Siegfreid will be on hand to discuss issues of interest in the Kansas Legislature. 

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and coffee with the Legislators followed by the forum and questions for Legislators from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The forum will broadcast live on the Olathe Government Network (Comcast Ch. 7/ AT&T Ch. 99).


This Edition of E-News - February 21, 2012:
Farewell Reception for Councilmember Montgomery Set for March 28
• 2012 Summer Concert Schedule Announced

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.

Farewell Reception for Councilmember Montgomery Set for March 28
City Councilmember Bob Montgomery announced his resignation from the Olathe City Council in January, following nearly 15 years of service as an At-Large City Councilmember.  Councilmember Montgomery currently serves as a Kansas State Representative, representing the 26th District.

“I join the City Council and our entire community in thanking Councilmember Montgomery for his many years of dedicated service and lasting contributions to the City of Olathe,” said Mayor Michael Copeland.  “Councilmember Montgomery’s total commitment to public service has been unwavering, and we know that he will carry on his outstanding record as he continues serving our citizens at the State level in Topeka.”

Councilmember Montgomery’s resignation is effective upon the selection and appointment of his replacement.  The community is invited to celebrate his service and achievements at a farewell reception on Wednesday, March 28, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Ball Conference Center in Olathe. 

2012 Summer Concert Schedule Announced
The Olathe FREE Summer Concert Series is back for its 13th season and this year’s line-up promises to please the purest of music fans and families alike. Kicking-off the season on Friday, June 8 Royal Southern Brotherhood will delight audiences with their blues-rock sound and well-known talent. Up and coming blues singer and Kansas City native Samantha Fish will join Royal Southern Brotherhood as the opening act.

Keeping with the Kansas City native theme, sibling trio Trampled Under Foot will take the stage on June 15 with Mark Selby.  Both performances will thrill audiences with award-winning music from musicians that are native to our region.

The series rounds out in July with Sam Bush and Kelley Hunt delighting our Olathe audience on July 6 and The Phantom Blues Band and the Monophonics bringing a little soul on July 20.  The Olathe Free Summer Concert Series will end on July 27 with a crowd favorite, Liverpool, bringing the sounds of the Beatles back to Olathe.

Presented by Olathe Parks and Recreation and underwritten by Farmers Insurance Group, the summer concert series is in its thirteenth year of incredible free music for fans of all ages.  All concerts are held in Olathe’s Frontier Park, 15501 Indian Creek Parkway, and begin at 7:00 p.m.  The concerts are free, and guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and/or lawn chair to enjoy the show. Also, don’t forget food purchase is available and all proceeds benefit local Olathe children’s charities. To download a complete summer concert series schedule, visit Summer Concerts.
 


This Edition of E-News - February 13, 2012:
• City Offices Closed for Presidents Day Holiday
• 2011 Development Year In Review Now Available
• Development Workshops Announced
• Experience Winter on the Farm at Mahaffie in February
• Interactive Map Viewer for Snow Routes Available to Olathe Residents

City Council
Released February 13, 2012
The Olathe City Council will meet in a joint session with the Olathe School Board at 6:00 p.m. on February 16, 2012 at the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive.   To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


City Offices Closed for Presidents Day Holiday
Released February 13, 2012
City of Olathe offices will close on Monday, February 20 for the Presidents Day holiday.  The City’s trash and recycling collection schedule will NOT be impacted.


2011 Development Year In Review Now Available
Released February 13, 2012
The City of Olathe 2011 Year In Review is now available on the City website, www.OlatheKS.org/Development/LongRange/DandD. The review provides detailed statistics on the permitting and development activity that occurred during 2011.

Notable new construction projects in 2010 included the Hilton Garden Inn, the Johnson County Public Works Office Building, a major addition to the Johnson County Adult Detention Center in downtown Olathe, and a number of major church and school additions.  Residential unit figures totaled 322 in 2011, down from 364 in 2010,  but up from 306 in 2009.  The average value per unit for single-family residential has increased from $272,924 per unit in 2010 to $288,907 per unit it 2011. 


Development Workshops Announced
Released February 13, 2012
The City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is currently being updated and a series of public input development workshops will kick off this month.  The UDO implements PlanOlathe, which was adopted in 2010.  The UDO will include new standards for zoning, building design, site planning, infrastructure, landscaping, parking, nonconformities and vested rights, and uses (such as home occupations, cell towers, etc.).  It will also update the process for approving new development.

Public input is critical to the UDO update process and the implementation of the City’s new comprehensive plan.  A public forum is scheduled for Wednesday, February 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Olathe City Hall, 100 East Santa Fe.   The session will begin with a 20-minute presentation, followed by an open discussion and comments.   A public workshop is also scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on February 29.  Lead consultant Mark White of White & Smith, LLC, will facilitate the forum.  Mr. White is preparing an analysis of the existing UDO and an outline that we will use as a blueprint for the new draft.  Public input will help shape these products and the City’s new UDO.

Interested participants can RSVP by contacting Sharyn Mueller at (913) 971-8750.


Experience Winter on the Farm at Mahaffie in February
Released February 13, 2012
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, will host its annual Winter on the Farm event from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on  Saturday, February 25.  Visitors can discover and help with winter farm chores that include chopping wood, threshing wheat, grinding corn, cooking on the cookstove, and blacksmithing.  Stagecoach rides will be available weather and ground conditions permitting.  Visit the Mahaffie Facebook page for scheduled activity times. 

All activities are included with regular daily admission of $6/adults, $4/kids ages 5-11.  Olathe residents receive $1 off admission with proof of residency.  For more information call (913) 971-5111 or email Mahaffie.


Interactive Map Viewer for Snow Routes Available to Olathe Residents
Released February 13, 2012
As Olathe experiences its first major snowfall of the season, residents are reminded of mapping technology that allows the public to track up-to-the-minute snow removal progress in Olathe at the touch of a button.

The interactive tool provides live location mapping of all vehicles engaged in snow removal activity.  Vehicles are “pinged” once per minute, transmitting virtual real-time data to users via the GPS/ AVL map. The dynamic mapping system can be searched, panned, and zoomed to better view a particular neighborhood or area of the city.  The page opens to a composite summary of the current location of each vehicle. Users have the option to toggle between mapping layers that show where plow vehicles have been in the last 13 and/or 24 hours.  This toggle feature is located on the top right of the screen, above the “ID” button.   Users can also input a specific location on the top of the screen and select from a photo view, a map view or a composite view of the requested information.

Visit Hot Topics/Snow Removal on the City’s website to access the Snow Plow Map.  The map viewer is only activated during significant winter storm events.


This Edition of E-News - February 6, 2012:
• Mahaffie Recognizes Girl Scout Troop with Youth Volunteer Award
• Treat Your Little One for Valentine’s Day
• Come Grow with Us
• Library Food Drive  Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Sweetheart of a Deal Book Sale
• Council Accepting Public Service Applications for Vacated Councilmember-At-Large Position

City Council
Released February 6, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Mahaffie Recognizes Girl Scout Troop with Youth Volunteer Award
Released February 6, 2012
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site recognized the members of Spring Hill Girl Scout Troop #1040 for their volunteer service to the historic site at the annual Mahaffie volunteer appreciation event held Friday, January 27.  Every year the historic site recognizes a youth volunteer or a youth volunteer group who has made a measureable contribution to the site while setting a positive example for peers and exhibiting leadership, reliability and a love of learning and history.

The award is named posthumously in honor of Carrie Newson, daughter of Mike and Lynette Newson of Olathe.  Carrie was a volunteer in 1996 who gave tours of the Mahaffie house and assisted in the  gift shop.  She was tragically killed in a car accident in March of 1998.

Girl Scout Troop #1040 volunteers at Mahaffie with maintaining the site garden and encouraging visitors to participate in 19th Century children’s games, feeding the chickens, and other historic activities.  The girls also help with Mahaffie special events including the annual Wild West Show.

“Their work ethic is as great as their hearts,” said Alexis Woodall, site interpreter.  “Each of these young ladies provides outstanding actions to set examples for our visitors.”


Treat Your Little One for Valentine’s Day
Released February 6, 2012
Make this Valentine’s Day special and treat your little valentine to a special afternoon of tea and crafts.  The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site will host the second-annual Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, February 12.  Dress in your best and bring your favorite doll or stuffed animal to enjoy tea, refreshments and activities.  A session will be held at 1:00 p.m. for youth in kindergarten through third grade and a second session at 3:00 p.m. will be held for youth in fourth through sixth grades.  All activities will be inside the Heritage Center, 1200 Kansas City Road.

Admission is $5 per participant for both youth and adults.  To register, call 913-971-5111 or e-mail Mahaffie with the number in your party by Friday, February 10.  Youth must be accompanied by an adult.

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is open year-round 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Activities vary seasonally.  Details, including a schedule of winter events, are available at www.mahaffie.org or by calling (913) 971-5111.


Come Grow with Us
Released February 6, 2012
The Olathe Community Garden has plots available for the 2012 gardening season but they will fill up fast!  Plots include ADA and raised beds.  The Community Garden is located at the corner of Santa Fe and Pine streets near downtown Olathe.  Apply now at www.olathecommunitygarden.org/membership.html.


Library Food Drive  Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Released February 6, 2012
Both of the Olathe libraries will be collecting non-perishable food through Thursday, February 16 as part of a food drive honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Food donation bins will be at the Olathe Public Library, 201 E. Park and the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  Monetary donations can also be made online at www.olathelibrary.org or directly to www.olathepubliclibrary.harvesters.org.


Sweetheart of a Deal Book Sale
Released February 6, 2012
Mystery and true crime lovers won’t want to miss the Friends of the Olathe Public Library Sweetheart of a Deal Book Sale at the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  A large selection of mystery and true crime materials will be available as well as romance, fiction, children/teen books, cookbooks, classics, large print, poetry/arts, DVDs, books on CD, music CDs and much more. 

The sale will offer extended hours on from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 10.  The sale will also run from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 and conclude with the popular “Six-Bucks-A-Bag” Sale from 1:00 p.m. to  3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12.  On Sunday only, purchase a plastic bag at the door for $6 and fill with materials.  Buy two bags, get two free.  All sales are final and cash and check are accepted.  Due to space limitations, no strollers or book carts are allowed in the room.

For more information, visit www.olathelibrary.org or e-mail Rita J. Patterson, Community Relations Coordinator.


Council Accepting Public Service Applications for Vacated Councilmember-At-Large Position
Released February 6, 2012
The Olathe City Council is currently accepting Public Service Applications for the Councilmember-At-Large position vacated by Councilmember Bob Montgomery’s January 10 resignation.  Montgomery’s resignation was formally accepted by the Council at the January 24 meeting.  The position will serve out the remainder of Montgomery’s term which expires in April 2013.  Applications will be accepted by the Olathe City Clerk until February 27, 2012, and all applications are considered open public records.  The City Council will appoint a replacement from the list of applicants.  The Public Service Application is available online at https://www.OlatheKS.org/secure/Forms/PubServ.