My Mike Olson, Mayor, City of Lake Quivira
It is hard to believe that 32 months have gone by since I started my tenure as Mayor. When I look back, I am overwhelmed by the accomplishments of the governing body during this period.
For three years straight, we finished the year under budget. We accomplished this without compromising our operations or raising taxes. People always say there is no such thing as efficient government. Those people have never been to Lake Quivira!
The following are the top 10 improvements of the past 32 months:
1. Annexed the Meadows and Siler Properties – We successfully annexed the Meadows and Siler properties from Kansas City, Kansas. The City of Lake Quivira now controls over 50 acres of land that is owned by Quivira Incorporated, but was located in KCK. No fees were paid for the land transfer and there is no promise of future development. This annexation might be the most significant development since our City was formed.
2. Formed a Mutual Aid Agreement with Shawnee – On December 29, 2017, our volunteer fire department will cease operations. They proudly served our community for over 71 years. We were able to negotiate a favorable agreement with the City of Shawnee that will provide our city with professional fire and medical services at a fair price. I can’t thank Chief Stephan enough for his service and assistance in making this deal happen. Closing our volunteer department will be an adjustment, but it is in the best long-term interest of our community.
3. Appointed a Full Time Police Chief – Chief Grenier was the part-time chief when I started my term. We made the decision to increase his position to full-time. I have lived here my entire life and can state with certainty, that Fred is a perfect fit for our community. He worked to shape a police department that fits the spirit of our community. The department is professional yet welcoming to our families at the lake.
4, Created the City Administrator Position – Erin Lecky has served as our City Treasurer for several years. Shorty after I took office, I suggested that we expand her position to more of a city manager rather than just an accountant. The results have been spectacular. The position allows Erin to network with other city managers, keeping our city in the loop on changes that could help or hurt our operations.
5. Established Fred Braun Day – Two years ago, we started the Fred Braun / Community Clean-Up Day. It’s been a great success. Citizens of all ages work together to collect trash and beautify our neighborhood. This fun and rewarding event is a wonderful tribute to Fred and the Braun family in recognition of the many contributions they have made to the community.
6. Improved the Fireworks Shows – Three years ago, we contracted with a new fireworks company and went from a good show to an epic show. Expect this trend to continue!
7. Hosted Police Appreciation Day – In 2016, we designated an afternoon of lake fun and lunch to recognize Lake Quivira’s finest and their families. The event was lots of fun and will take place every other year. I hope you can join us for the 2018 event.
8. Completed Phase One of the Spillway Project – After years of agonizing over the integrity of the spillway, we got down to business and did a complete evaluation. We recently completed phase one of the project and I am pleased to share that it came in $70,000 below the $250,000 budget. Phase one involved sealing off leaks under the spillway. Phase two will likely take place in 2019 to include a significant amount of concrete repair and replacement.
9. Completed Infrastructure Improvements – Over the last few years we have repaved a majority of Renner Road. The guardrails on the dam and on the horse stable pond dam have been replaced with wooden rails that are both attractive and safe. Other improvements include the new retaining wall by the gas station and the new curbing around the island at the intersection of Quivira Lane and Holliday Drive.
10. Reinstated Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance – We proudly reinstated saying the Pledge of Allegiance as we begin our monthly meetings.
I would like to thank Council Members Ben Kalny, Brady Lilja, Bruce Rimbo, and Dave White for all they have done for the City. I would like to send a special thanks to departing Council Member Betsy Vossman. For 11 years, her leadership has been outstanding. Please reach out to these individuals and express thanks for all they have given to this community.
Additionally, I would like to acknowledge my appreciation to the City staff, including Clerk Diane Newton, Treasurer Erin Lecky, Attorney Ellis Rainey, Building Officials Tim Perkins and J.R. Biron, Police Chief Fred Grenier, SMAC Representative Jamie Prybl, Judges Mark Logan and Dan Parker, all of the members of the City Board of Zoning Appeals, and Chief Mark Stephan.
I welcome Mayor Ben Kalny and Councilmembers John Christy and Gayle Best. I am confident they will continue to improve the City.
I can’t express how much I have enjoyed the privilege of serving as Mayor. I have always viewed Lake Quivira as my home, not my country club. As the world changes around us, I hope we can continue to maintain the small town community that made this place great.