City Council pops the cork over annexation

By Mike Olson, Mayor, City of Lake Quivira

(From left) Q Inc. Board President Steve Sestak joins in the annexation celebration with Council members Dave White, Bruce Rimbo, Ben Kalny, Betsy Vossman, Mayor Mike Olson and City Clerk Diane Newton
(From left) Q Inc. Board President Steve Sestak joins in the annexation celebration with Council members Dave White, Bruce Rimbo, Ben Kalny, Betsy Vossman, Mayor Mike Olson and City Clerk Diane Newton

“Cities are not in the business of giving away land.” “No elected official in Wyandotte County is going to risk political capital to support giving away land without a commitment for development.”
These are the responses I received ten years ago, when, as a city councilman, I suggested the City of Lake Quivira annex the property currently known as The Meadows. For years, I accepted this position. After all, why would the second largest city in Kansas simply hand over land to Lake Quivira? Here’s the story. . .
Once upon a time there was a 61-acre tract of land owned by the Robertson family. Quivira Lane divided the property. For decades, the hay field on the west side was a magnet for stray golf balls shot from the number seven tee box, while the larger piece on the east side was left in a natural state. On numerous occasions, Quivira Incorporated (Q Inc.) tried to purchase the property in order to control any development which might negatively affect the golf course.
In addition to being split by Quivira Lane, the Robertson property had another unique feature. The west side was in the City of Lake Quivira; the east side in Kansas City, Kansas (KCK). Consequentially, any plan to develop the property would require approval from both cities.
After years of negotiations, the Robertsons sold the property to a developer rather than to Q Inc. The developer, who happened to be a Lake Quivira member, brought in a local real estate agent and presented a plan to develop housing on both sides of the property. The plan required that the entire 61 acres be included in the gated community. In response to resistance from the community, the real estate agent threatened to construct high-density housing on the KCK side, stating, “If you (Lake Quivira members) don’t approve the plan, we’ll start turning dirt in KCK in thirty days.”
The dirt never turned, but the landowner/developer did file a lawsuit against the City of Lake Quivira, the Mayor, Q Inc., and the President of the Board of Directors, alleging collusion between the City of Lake Quivira and Q Inc.
In 2007, the landowner/developer proposed a second plan, combining the two sides of the property by eliminating Quivira Lane from 78th Street to Holliday Drive. The development was to include over 100 homes and private amenities for the homeowners in this area. A big piece of the puzzle hinged on the ability of the City of Lake Quivira to annex the property from KCK. Some people believed that KCK would consider de-annexing the property, but only if there was a development plan in place. Additionally, it was rumored that de-annexation would be withheld until development was completed.
The landowner/developer promoted the plan throughout the community and ultimately presented it to the City Council, where it was defeated 4 to 1. Given the economic crash of 2008, it is hard to project what would have occurred had the development been approved.
Discussion about the property was quiet until 2012, when the landowner brought in a prominent Kansas City developer as a new partner to present a third plan. Once again, the plan failed to gain support from the community.
Finally, after years of legal battles and uncertainty, the lawsuit was settled, and the property was sold to Q Inc., thanks to the efforts of a small group of passionate Quivira members known as the Patient Quivirans. The group helped broker the deal and finance the purchase.
Q Inc. became the owner of the 61 acres and named it The Meadows. Not long after, Q Inc. purchased the Siler property, a 12-acre tract to the south of The Meadows. As you might recall, a few years ago, the Strategic Planning Committee considered development of the Siler property. Once again, there was concern over the fact that it was located in KCK.
This is where the story gets even more interesting. About eighteen months ago, I decided to pursue annexation of the Siler property, the east side of The Meadows, and a small 5-acre tract on the north side of Holliday Drive. These properties were owned by Q Inc. but in KCK.
At a monthly Johnson County and Wyandotte County mayors’ meeting, I jokingly asked KCK Mayor, Mark Holland, “Hey, want to give me some land?” He said, “Sure!” And so the dialog began.
KCK and Wyandotte County each received half of the taxes generated by the properties. But, as long as they were owned by Q Inc. and in KCK, there was little chance of development and thus minimal economic benefit for either. Mayor Holland realized the benefit to Wyandotte County if the properties were in the City of Lake Quivira. KCK would lose a little tax revenue, but the potential upside to Wyandotte County could be significant if there were any sort of development.
Because I wanted the City of Lake Quivira to have complete control of the properties, I insisted the annexation not be contingent on development. Mayor Holland agreed to this.
The annexation process began in the fall of 2016. As expected, it was slow. Over the last several months, Steve Sestak, President of Q Inc.; Erin Lecky, Lake Quivira City Manager; and I sat through many colorful meetings of the Wyandotte County Planning Commission. On June 13, 2017, at 12:30 a.m., the Wyandotte County Planning Commission made a unanimous decision to recommend the petition for de-annexation of the properties. The petition moved forward to the June 29, 2017 meeting of the Wyandotte County Board of Commissioners, who approved it unanimously.
Following the decision, Mayor Holland said, “There are currently seventeen homes in the City of Lake Quivira that are located in Wyandotte County. Without this decision, it was unlikely we would have ever seen the eighteenth. Wyandotte County is delighted to partner with Lake Quivira to promote development in the City of Lake Quivira. Ultimately, the Turner Schools stand to gain the most from any development.”
On July 3, 2017, the Lake Quivira City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the annexation of the land.
I do not know what the future holds for these properties; however, I do know it will be determined by members of our community, and not by a neighboring city. We should all celebrate this!
I would like to thank the Q Inc. Board of Directors; former General Manager, Dennis Nighswonger; Board Presidents, Patrick Pribyl and Steve Sestak; Council Members, Betsy Vossman, Ben Kalny, Brady Lilja, Dave White and Bruce Rimbo; City Manager, Erin Lecky; City Clerk, Diane Newton; and City Attorney, Ellis Rainey. All of these individuals contributed to the successful outcome.
I am incredibly thankful that Kansas City, Kansas is in the business of giving away land and that Mayor Holland was bullish enough on the City of Lake Quivira to risk “political capital” to let this happen.
It’s ours now. Let’s do something great!

New Rule: Impact Fee – Passed at July 25th Board Meeting

Effective January 1, 2018, an impact fee will be assessed upon approval and before the issuance of a building or demolition permit.  The fee will be based upon 2% of the expected construction or demolition cost of the project as disclosed on the permit application.  Shortfalls of the fee, based upon the final cost of the project, will be collected upon completion.  A refund may be issued in the case of project cancellation. Fees will be collected for the sole purpose of road/drainage improvements.

A Summary of the July 25, 2017 Board Meeting

President Sestak opened the meeting by requesting a moment of silence for Thad Millard and his family. Attending members were then asked to share comments or ask questions. One comment was shared: “We’re just glad you’re doing the job you’re doing.”
President’s Report
President Sestak thanked Mr. Goss and the Quivira, Inc. staff for the exemplary work they have done to restore the community back to normal after the recent storms.
President Sestak then spoke about the recent annexation of the Meadows and Siler properties. After approval by the Unified Government on June 28 to de-annex these properties, the City Council called a special meeting on July 3 to approve the annexation of those properties under the City of Lake Quivira.
President Sestak explained when those properties were acquired, they were not brought under the Covenants of Quivira, Inc. This requires a formal resolution of the Board of Directors. President Sestak presented to the Board Members a resolution to subject these properties to the Declaration of Covenants. Motion to approve the resolution was made and passed unanimously.
General Manager’s Report
Mr. Goss noted in the past several months there have been three blackouts which have shut down the computer and communication systems within the Quivira, Inc. operations. He is working to obtain a quote for the installation of a backup generator for these critical systems. Motion was made and passed unanimously to authorize General Manager to spend up to $10,000 on emergency backup equipment.
Mr. Goss mentioned we have contracted with a new company for IT support. The servers and many of the computers are dated and unreliable. He is working to obtain a proposal for a new server and mini towers installed at the point of sale locations. He also spoke about looking into cloud-based software.
Finance Committee
Mr. Wilson informed the Board the committee had recently reviewed the April and May financial statements, and there were no surprises. He also mentioned during the meeting Mr. Goss updated them on insurance renewals, including no increase on our General Liability insurance.
Mr. Wilson then spoke about the 2018 budget process. He asked the Board members to take a hard look hard at any planned changes within the areas governed by their respective committees that may impact the budget.
Mr. Goss stated this year we will be budgeting based on member experience and target service levels within each department. President Sestak said unfortunately we haven’t set a clear enough expectation of what we can deliver for the budget we have to work with, and this has contributed to some of the recent issues. It is time to align our budget with the experience members expect.
Marketing Committee
Ms. Bowker spoke about the new Lake Quivira app which will be rolled out on August 1.
She then spoke briefly about a new program the committee is evaluating for new member recruitment. She handed out some analyses on the cost of not meeting our membership limits. Based on current levels, there is a deficit of 29 Country Club and 56 Social members. This shortfall results in an annual revenue deficit of more than $460,000 in dues, food minimums and nominal spend levels, plus an additional $175,000 in initiation fees.
Ms. Bowker explained the number of new members we need to recruit each year just to maintain the current levels. There is some strong competition in the area from other private clubs.
Providing this information was a lead-in to Ms. Bowker’s inviting the Board to attend a presentation by Creative Golf Marketing. She shared that this company has worked with 1,800 private clubs throughout the country, helping clubs get members involved in membership recruitment. Mr. Goss expressed he has worked with this company at two of the clubs he managed.
Lake and Residential Committee
Mr. Nelson reported the Infrastructure Review has been turned over to Olsson & Associates, which is in the process of reviewing the plan.
With regards to the 2 percent impact fee currently being considered for residential construction, Mr. Nelson stated the committee passed a motion not to impose such fee on dock site construction. The committee is preparing a dock site licensing guide.
Mr. Nelson made a motion to continue the deer management program for this year under the same perimeters as done in prior years; motion passed.
Mr. Nelson said the committee was asked to consider an exception to the boat quarantine rule with respect to newly-purchased boats shipped in their new, original packaging.The committee was unanimously opposed to this exception as it would be very difficult to administer.
Restrictions Committee
Mr. French stated the previously-approved motion on the 2 percent impact fee for permitted residential construction projects was published in the Quiviran and no feedback was received. Mr. French made a motion for the adoption of this new rule; motion passed.
Conversation ensued on construction rules and how at times the rules are hard to interrupt. Mr. French said the committee is addressing this issue.
Safety and Security Committee
Mr. Nelson made a motion fto establish a policy to provide written citations for infractions of the golf cart rules; motion passed.
Ms. Walker and Mr. Nelson spoke about formalizing a standard procedure when someone wants to enter Lake Quivira to look at homes for sale. Ms. Bowker stated the Marketing Committee is currently working on this and will get with the Safety and Security Committee to develop.
Mr. Nelson spoke about the importance of also allowing Ubers and taxis through the front gate to pick up passengers.
House Committee
Ms. Boling mentioned many members attended the last meeting to discuss the service levels at the Clubhouse. She indicated each of the recent incidents had or is currently being addressed, and part of the problem is staffing to budget. Staffing levels in each dining venue have been adjusted to improve service.
Ms. Boling provided an update on the Lake Level Conceptual Design project, which is on hold pending consideration of the impact on other areas of the Clubhouse.
Golf Committee
Mr. Markley stated the major topic of discussion at the committee meeting was the budgetary needs for repair of golf course. A list of these projects is being developed for budget consideration.
Tennis Committee
Ms. Walker alerted everyone that a dying tree will be removed. It was recommended removal be performed on a Monday when the Club is closed and the parking lot is empty.
Strategic Planning Committee
President Sestak summarized the member survey results. There were 335 responses to 551 surveys sent out, or a 61 percent overall response rate. More than 70 percent of Foundation Members responded to the survey. Survey results are posted on the LakeQuivira.com website.
The highest level of support was given to various Front Entrance projects. A master plan is currently being developed for the Front Entrance; this is a cooperative effort with the City of Lake Quivira and has been funded by the Quivira Foundation.
The Mother’s Club has expressed interest in adopting the Beach Pavilion as their target community project, and the Quivira Foundation is also interested in supporting this project.
With respect to Member Amenities, President Sestak said the survey provided insight into what the members would support. The committee is also considering which projects would help attract new members. There was good support for each project, and the next step is to suggest which ones should be pursued first. The goal is to complete and present the Master Plan to the Board in September.
Member Comments
Leanna Walters asked for an update on one of the outstanding residential construction projects. She indicated many members are upset over how long it has taken to come to a resolution. President Sestak stated construction on this home resumed this week.

President’s Report August 2017- Summer: the season of fun and problems

By Steve Sestak, President, Quivira, Incorporated

Summer at Lake Quivira is always a special time–an amazing Summer Rec Program, a vibrant golf season, a re-energized tennis program, an active beach and lake, countless events and of course, the best Fourth of July experience in America–and more. Thank you to the countless volunteers who have worked hard to make this another safe and successful summer.
Summer is also the time when most of our problems occur. Some of these are unavoidable; others are not. The ones that occur due to the lack of planning, coordination, and communication are the most concerning. There has been a recent increase in incidents that fall into this category. The General Manager and the Board members are fully aware of these incidents and are working hard to make sure they do not continue.
During one recent weekend, I was pulled aside by more than a dozen members complaining about one such incident. I get it. They were not happy, and they had every right not to be. Every member deserves to have a positive experience every time, and there is no acceptable excuse when this does not happen. But I would encourage every member to channel their complaints in an appropriate manner, such as contacting the General Manager or attending the respective committee meeting. The use of social media to air complaints has become common in today’s society, but consider who might view them; a prospective new member, a prospective home buyer. These sorts of public comments also live on well beyond their intentions. I cannot promise future incidents will not occur, but I can assure you each is taken very seriously and will be promptly addressed.
The simple fact is this: Lake Quivira needs to do better.
The competition has never been greater, nor has the expectations of the members. Protecting and maintaining our community, delivering the experience each member expects every time and addressing deficiencies which impact member recruitment and retention–it is not about choosing one area to focus on; each must be addressed, and all members must be prepared to do their part.
The recent survey has provided a clear indication of members’ interests, and work will begin soon on the 2018 plans and budgets. There will be many things to consider this year, and I am confident that, properly informed, the members will make the right decisions.

From the Clubhouse Manager. . .

 By Mark Allen, Clubhouse Manager

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer at Lake Quivira. We have had some great successes this summer in events around the club. The Pocahontas and Lake Classic member/guest tournaments were very well received, and the Food & Beverage department was given some wonderful compliments by the organizers of these events, as well as the participants.
We have had some challenges regarding other F&B endeavors, but we have welcomed the feedback from the membership and are working very diligently on making sure everyone is receiving the experience they are looking for from the clubhouse operation. One of the steps we have taken over the last month is to staff a dedicated server to the Sunset Terrace patio every evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Also, the House Committee has made the hours of operation easier to understand for the membership and the staff. For the summer months (through the end of September), food service will be available until 9 p.m. every day. The main bar and patio will be open for beverage service until 10 p.m. (last call at 9:30 p.m.) Tuesday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. (10:30 p.m. last call) on Friday and Saturday. The hours for the patio grill outs will remain as they always have been through the end of September.
Several upcoming events will definitely keep the club hopping as the summer progresses. Be on the lookout for the annual Pontoon Crawl on Aug. 26, hosted by the Garden Club. On Thurs., Sept 7, we will be hosting a Silver Oak wine dinner. The dinner will be limited to the first 48 reservations, and the cost will be $125/person. You will not want to miss this opportunity to taste these fantastic wines with food pairings prepared by our Executive Chef, Michael Lamping.
Speaking of chefs, one of our chef apprentices, Gabi Edrosa, was named National Runner-Up in the Jr. Chef of the Year competition. Gabi traveled to Orlando, FL, to compete against the other regional winners and came of just short of winning the competition. We are extremely proud to have Gabi on our staff. The next time you are in the dining room eating, you can brag to your friends that one of your chefs was a National finalist.
We all appreciate your patronage of the Clubhouse and the dining rooms. We know August is a month of vacations and school starting, but when you are in need of a good meal, I hope you will think of Lake Quivira first.
Cheers!

Lake Quivira Country Club chef cooking up a successful 2017

Gabi Edrosa
Gabi Edrosa

By Lisa Phlegar
It’s been a meaningful year so far for Gabrielle (Gabi) Edrosa, Lake Quivira Country Club’s morning prep and line cook. Recently, Gabi won second place in the ACF Student Chef of the Year Competition held in Orlando, Fl. To advance to this national level of competition, she successfully won the title Central Region Student Chef of the Year in February 2017.
The ACF Student Chef of the Year recognizes a student who possesses a high degree of professionalism, excellent culinary skills and passion for the culinary arts. Five student chefs competed for the national title; one from each region, plus one from the military.This year’s competitors were required to create four portions of a finished entree with duck. The duck had to be fabricated in the competition kitchen and portioned into four servings. Each competitor had fifteen minutes to set up their kitchen, one hour to fabricate and cook their dish, ten minutes to plate and fifteen minutes to clean up. The competitors were judged on organization, cooking skills, culinary techniques and taste, which is based on flavor, texture and presentation.

Gabi’s dish
Gabi’s dish

Gabi created a fabulous dish that consisted of roasted duck breast and orange-thyme sausage with peach gastrique, peach and foie gras dumpling, truffle with rainbow chard, duck leg and shitakes in cream sauce, ratatouille of summer squash, and carrot ginger puree (see photo).
Competition is not new to Gabi. Previously, she has earned Best in Dessert at the International College Culinary Competition and a gold medal in the SK-1 category at the John Joyce Competition. She also helped the Johnson County Community College (JCCC) student team win the Central Region competition and earn a gold medal.
Also adding to Gabi’s eventful year, in May 2017 she graduated from the JCCC Culinary Program with a degree in applied science. Johnson County Community College’s culinary program has a world-class reputation. Its quality was affirmed by the World Association of Chefs Societies, which has awarded the JCCC program with a Recognition of Quality Culinary Education designation, an honor shared by only 35 culinary schools around the world, including just two others in the United States. (1)
Furthermore, Gabi completed the Chef’s Apprentice program and recently became an ACF Certified Sous Chef. Motivated to continue her education, Gabi will graduate from JCCC in December 2017 with a second degree in Food and Beverage Management.
Presently, Gabi is Lake Quivira Country Club’s morning prep and line cook. Since starting her employment at the Club in July 2014 as a Chef’s Apprentice, she has successfully advanced through other facets of kitchen detail; steward, pastry, grill, sauté and fry. Chef Michael explained, as an apprentice at a country club, the student has more hands-on and in-depth learning. This is because country clubs offer more opportunities for the student to experience he different facets of the culinary operation, unlike a hotel or restaurant where they are typically limited to two functions. Chef Michael added that country club executive chefs have a tendency to invest more time and opportunities in students.
I asked Chef Michael for his thoughts pertaining to Gabi and he said, “Opportunities like this don’t happen very often. I never did it, she did! When I see a young student put her heart and soul into a dish, I know I’ve done my best mentoring of these young culinarians. This is why I enjoy what I do–helping young cooks succeed!”
What are Gabi’s goals/dreams? She plans on combining her love of food and writing (her original major was English) and will start food blogging in the near future. In the kitchen, Gabi’s next goal is to advance and become a Sous Chef. She also plans on obtaining her Executive Chef Certification within the next eight years and perhaps one day she’ll pay it forward and mentor other young chefs.

(1) Johnson County Community College Press Release 2014

Q Inc. Property Manger Anita Bible proudly announces new addition to family

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Hunter Griggs-Bible (center), his mom Anita Bible (left) and the Judge all register approval at Hunter’s adoption on June 17.

Noe Pesina came to live with Anita Bible and her children when he was 16, in the summer of 2016. One of six children in his family, he had been placed in foster care by his mother. It had always Anita Bible’s goal to help teenagers who are put in similar situations. Her plan was to provide emergency care–one night or a weekend at most.
Anita recalls, “Noe was calm, quiet, had a huge smile on his face, always ready to please me by helping around the house. He told me, ‘‘Wow, you live in a mansion and your house is so clean. Can I live here forever?’”
Living in a town home in south Overland Park, Anita certainly doesn’t live in a mansion, but Noe’s statement told her a lot about where he came from. She soon learned he had been living through physical abuse for years.
Noe came to Anita’s family the summer of his junior year in high school. With Fs & Ds his freshman and sophomore years, Anita knew he would not be graduating with his class. But Noe flourished at Blue Valley West High school and graduated with his class in May. He will be moving on to Jr. College this fall.
Over Christmas, Anita and her children, Tori and Lee Griggs asked Noe if he wanted to be a permanent part of their family through adoption. Lee is working here at Lake Quivira in groundskeeping for the summer break; Tori lives on her own in Springfield, MO. “We all cried and hugged when he said yes,” recalled Anita.
“We then came up with a plan for his new name. He wanted my children’s name and mine, so we came up with Griggs-Bible.” Noe also asked if he could change his first name to something else, and he came up with Hunter.
Hunter was legally adopted by Anita on July 17, 2017.

Hunter  Griggs-Bible (left) and his happy family on graduation day.
Hunter Griggs-Bible (left) and his happy family on graduation day.

Things to ask your lawn care provider to help reduce nutrient pollution in lakes, rivers and streams

By Jamie Pribyl for the City of Lake Quivira’s Stormwater Management Program

Ask your lawn care provider about their water quality conservation practices when it comes to the amount, type, placement and timing of fertilizers.
* Ask them to avoid application of fertilizers during or just prior to a rain.
* Ask that they carefully blow any fertilizer back into the yard that has landed in the street, sidewalk or driveway during application.
* Ask that they also remove grass clippings and leaves from the street with the caveat that these items are not blown into storm drains or into the lake.
* Ask that they exercise great caution when applying fertilizer to areas of your lawn that lie close to the lake or to storm drains and French drains.

Mayor’s Report – August 2017

By Mike Cooper, Mayor, City of Lake Quivira

When I was a kid at Lake Quivira, I thought being in charge of the fireworks display would be the coolest job ever. You get to pick the fireworks and know all the details of the show. So awesome, right? Wrong. I can tell you the fireworks show is like the carnival. It’s fun to attend, but it is stressful to run. Thank goodness for Ben Kalny. The turbulent weather on the 4th created some anxious moments for the scheduled show. Fortunately for the great City of Lake Quivira, Ben managed to keep the fireworks crew focused, and the result was another fabulous show!
The rain didn’t stop the parade either. Hundreds of loyal Quivirans decorated their golf carts, slapped on their ponchos, and created one of our best parades. The new route gave it a fresh feel. The highlight was Allison Borberg singing the National Anthem over the police car public address system. It could not have sounded any better. Thank you, Allison! The afternoon was topped off by Fire Chief Stephan’s annual barrage of parachutes after the beach games.

Police Chief Fred Grenier help with the water slide on Summer Rec Beach Day
Police Chief Fred Grenier helps with the water slide on Summer Rec Beach Day

For the third summer in a row, Police Chief Fred Grenier and I joined the fun at the annual summer beach day. I’ve always believed it is important for kids to meet and interact with the police in a fun and positive environment. This year, we set up a totally legit slip-n-slip! Thanks to Police Chief Fred, Councilman Brady Lilja, Cara Olson and Nick Prutsman for all of their help. It was a great time and, as usual, I think I had more fun than the kids.
Now that we have covered the fun stuff, let’s get down to business. At our July meeting, we finalized the 2018 budget. You should have received a copy in your black box. You will notice, once again, we avoided raising your city tax. Lake Quivira has one of the lowest mill rates in Johnson County. This is the result of good planning and wise spending. (See photos, page 6,)
We continue to move closer to finalizing the plan for the spillway repair. We are waiting on the final approval from the State of Kansas. The initial phase of the repair is expected to begin this fall. The work will consist of drilling holes in the existing spillway and injecting a polymer material to seal the leakage that is currently weakening the spillway. The work will take about two weeks and will require the lake level to be lowered. The next phases will likely take place in the fall of 2019 and will involve repairing the concrete and improving the downstream drainage.
On Sat., Nov. 4, the City will host a Firemen’s Ball in recognition of all of our loyal volunteer firefighters. The bash will be an epic celebration! Please save the date. Details coming soon!
There are many warm summer days ahead, so I expect to see you on the water!

0817 mayor photo of slip and slide sized

 

 

 

 

 

0817 mayor water slide 2
Mayor Olson (left) and Councilmember Brady Lilja assist a water slider