The Mayor’s column – December ’09

News this month comes from outside the Council chambers where Sol Ellis and Mark Simpson formally filed an application for Lake Quivira’s (LQ) portion of the 64-acre “Links at Lake Quivira” development. With 38 acres of the proposed development inside the boundaries of LQ (the property to the South of Quivira Lane) and another 26 acres between Quivira Lane and Holliday Drive under the jurisdiction of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County (UG), I thought it might be helpful to review the process the application is anticipated to follow in the coming weeks. Continue reading The Mayor’s column – December ’09

Letter – Sandi Beck – thanks to community

On behalf of the entire Beck family I would like to thank this wonderful community for all the love and support you have given us over the past six years as Bear has been fighting Cancer.  You have been there with open arms, a word of encouragement, food for the entire family and so much love.  We cannot begin to tell you what it has meant to all of us.

Bear and I were married in our home the day we moved to Lake Quivira.  When I met Bear he said I was really going to love Kansas City because we were going to live in Lake Quivira, a place he had wanted to buy a home in for many years.  He was correct, we truly have loved living here and being a part of an amazing group of people.  We raised four children and nine grandchildren are now enjoying this wonderful community as well.

All the heartwarming cards and phone calls have been such a comfort. It is so nice to know that you have such good memories of Bear too.

We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Sincerely,
Sandi Beck and Family

McChesney’s Painted M Ranch

On Septmember 15, 2006, Quivira member Sam McChesney awoke at his new home at the Painted M Ranch in Olathe to the sound of dogs barking frantically. He got up to investigate, and he’ll never forget what he saw: “Wallpaper was burning like it was a mohair sweater. The flames just danced.”

Sam screamed for his son Jed to get out of bed—there was a fire in the house! “He thought I was overreacting to something,” says Sam, able now to smile. “I thought he was right behind me.

“I could hear his voice. I realized he had gone out of the house through the back door into the garage. Luckily the power hadn’t gone off. He was able to get the garage door open and escape.”

The house, which had taken 26 months to build, took 1 hour and 15 minutes to burn to charred beams and cinders. Sam’s wife, Vicki, had been in Utah. “We lost everything, including what our [grown] children were storing at the house,” says Sam.

Luckily, the fire did not spread to the other two houses on the ranch or to the barn, with its 25 stables. The horses were safe.

For those of you who last recall Sam, former Quivira resident, as president of Q Inc. or as a figure in HUD, owning and managing low-income housing, you maybe asking, “When did the McChesneys become horse people?”

You may remember Vicki liked horses and kept one at the Quivira stables. But Sam was indifferent, at best.

“I had a paint horse, ‘Scout,’ at the Lake,” says Vicki, who often rode with Elsie Davis. “I could have held a gun to Sam’s head and he wouldn’t have been able to identify which horse was mine.”

In 2001 Vicki went on a trail ride at Quivira with Randy and Jeanie Edwards. Randy commented, “You should get Sam to ride.” Vicki was unconvinced.

Randy went on, “I know Sam. He needs to take lessons.”

Sam acquiesced, riding for the first time in decades on Valentine’s Day 2002. Five lessons later he was hooked.

In Sam’s bio on the Painted M website, he writes, “My first lesson was on Mis, a 15 year old Morgan mare. We walked, trotted and cantered. I could not believe how much I enjoyed the rhythm of the canter.

Concurrent with Sam getting hooked on horses, the McChesneys had been pondering their next home—a “dream home” for their retirement.

The first dream home location they considered was Sedona, AZ. “We found the lots we’d been considering were actually closer than they’d appeared in the ads,” says Sam. “We didn’t want to get cozy enough with our neighbors to open and window and ask them to pass the sugar.”

The second possibility was a lot on Lakeshore at Lake Quivira. The lot was going to require major stone landscaping. At that time, Sam says, people weren’t building multi-million dollar homes, and he and Vicki weren’t sure the money the lot would require would ever pay off, so it was back to the drawing board.

Both Sam and Vicki agreed it would be nice to have horses on the property where they eventually settled. “With our kids out of the house, we wanted to build on an interest we could share,” says Sam.

“But I didn’t want to be married to caring for horses,” says Vicki. “We wanted to be able to get away.”

Then they hit on the idea of building an 8- or 10-horse barn and hiring someone for horse care.

That idea somehow morphed into the Painted M Ranch—70 acres housing a 25-horse barn with outdoor runs on exterior facing stalls; two heated wash bays with warm water; three tack up stalls and private tack lockers; an indoor, heated riding arena measuring 180’ x 80’; pasture land for grazing an additional 14 horses; two outdoor arenas – a western/roping arena and a show arena; three round pens for cutting, team sorting, roping practice and beginning lessons; and a few head of cattle they lease from their ranch manager, including longhorns, for roping practice. Also on-site is the McChesneys’ home (they rebuilt after the fire and moved in last Christmas) and two other houses—one for the ranch manager and one currently occupied by the McChesney’s son Jed.

The property the McChesneys bought is located off Kill Creek Road, to the south of K-10—just a mile down the road from the entrance to Kill Creek Park, which offers challenging riding trails on its 950 acres.

The land had been a sod farm, complete with three small ponds for irrigation. Sam hired Leon Rieke of Quivira to build a 26-foot dam, which created a 20 foot deep pond, near to which they built their sprawling ranch-type house, complete with salt-water pool. With its high ceiling and pine-log beams, it seems all the horses in the barn could actually bed down in the living room, but Sam insists they scaled the original house down by a third when re-building, paying special attention to fire-safe construction.

Early on, Sam enlisted the help of his current ranch manager, Bill Walton, who grew up on a family farm nearby and who had been simpatico with horses from an early age, first riding them to move the cattle his father ran and later progressing to halter breaking fillies and competing in cattle roping events in the United Rodeo Association.

Bill explains on his bio that he started his training career working with people’s problem horses. After he established a reputation for fixing problem horses, owners started sending their regular horses. Bill began giving lessons to help the owners of the problem horses he had fixed.

His personal interest is in roping and other Western activities (reining, cutting, team sorting, and western pleasure), but he has also instructed dressage and hunter jumpers.

Sam counts on Bill’s aptitude with machinery, crops, cattle and sod to take care of the property and physical plant. “I’m totally un-mechanical,” admits Sam.

In addition to Bill, they employ a riding instructor, Stacy Maher, who has owned a number of show horses and competed with all of them, showing in Halter, Showmanship, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Trail, Hunter Under Saddle and Equitation.

Stacy writes that her coaching program begins with the fundamentals of proper handling of the horse, grooming and tacking up.  As she and her charge progress to riding, she stresses proper horsemanship/equitation skills, light hands and using rider aids properly, including seat, hands, legs and body position.

Her horse training program includes teaching the horse the basics she believes virtually every horse must know.  Her riding program focuses on teaching the horse to carry itself in a balanced, collected way, focusing on proper movement and proper head carriage.

But Sam ably handles nearly everything else: financial, marketing, administrative, advertising, customer relations, boarding agreements, capital expenditures, budget, hiring.

Vicki continues to be enthusiastic about their original plan and how it’s playing out. Relaxed and comfortable in jeans, hoodie, and well-worn cowboy boots, she seems in her element as she tells amusing anecdotes about their own horses and the ones who merely live there.

“I love living near the animals,” she confesses. “I ride every day I can.”

Sam, too, seems relaxed, yet definitely on top of his game, bringing in the administrative expertise he garnered in years of housing development.

He still enjoys the rhythm of the cantor he experienced at his first riding lesson just seven years ago. “Since that time,” he says, “I have been a lesson-taking fool. I have found this sport enormously challenging. I thought golf was tough. With the energy I have expended riding in the last three years, I could be playing golf professionally.”

For more information about the Painted M Ranch, go to www.paintedmranch.com.

To view more pictures taken at the Painted M Ranch, go to http://picasaweb.google.com/quiviran/PaintedMRanch#.

McChesneys and horse in stable

Board Summary – November ’09

Board of Directors Meeting Summary

November 24, 2009

The Board of Directors of Quivira, Inc. met for the regular monthly meeting on Tue., Nov. 24, 2009. Following is a summary of the discussion and actions occurring at the meeting.

Financial Report

John Miller, General Manager, reported the net operating results for October were positive, with a net operating income of nearly $32,000. He indicated the net income was about $17,000 better than budget for the month. He noted clubhouse sales exceeded budget by about $7,000, and operating expenses were held below budget by about $14,000, yielding a positive variance of nearly $21,000 for the month. Mr. Miller indicated golf related income, however, was off budget by about $12,000. Year-to-date, the net operating deficit stands at $16,295, which is approximately $8,000 greater than budget through October.

2010 Operating Budget

Tom Prater, Treasurer, presented the Finance Committee report and recommendation on the 2010 Operating Budget. Mr. Prater outlined the parameters upon which the General Manager was asked to develop the 2010 budget. He indicated revenues were projected to be based on an average of 500 members in the Foundation, Country Club Golf and Junior Golf categories; there are currently 509. Further, he noted other revenues, such as food and beverage sales and golf related revenue were to be projected at the same level as 2009 actual revenues. On the expenditure side, he noted management was instructed to budget salary and wages at the same level as the projected amounts for 2009, and to hold other budget items at or below the 2009 level wherever possible. Mr. Prater explained management prepared a budget based on these parameters, holding expenditures at only $20,000 above the projected amounts for 2009, yet the net operating loss was still projected to be over $105,000.

Mr. Prater explained the Finance Committee considered a variety of revenue options and expense reduction options in order to close the gap between projected revenue and projected expenses for 2010. Mr. Prater indicated the committee decided to recommend the following steps to balance the budget: increase dues by $10 per month; increase the monthly food minimum from $50 to $60; increase cart rental rates to $35 for 18 holes/$18 for 9 holes; increase trail fees from $444 per year to $480 per year; increase family guest fee rates to $40 on weekdays and $50 on weekends and to reduce the voluntary contribution to the employee retirement system by 50 percent. Taken together, these steps amount to about $104,000 and would bring the budget to within about $900 of balance. Mr. Prater noted the committee discussed several other expense reduction options as well. He indicated the General Manager had already made several reductions in order to meet the parameters established by the committee. Holding payroll to the 2009 levels resulted in a reduction of approximately four positions. No pay increases are anticipated in the 2010 budget, and the amount included for employee health insurance allows for only a 10 percent increase in premiums, while the actual projected increase is 20 percent. The difference in the cost for health insurance will need to be made up through reductions in coverage and/or increases in employee contributions.

The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding the budget and options for raising revenues and/or reducing expenditures. There was discussion whether the membership would be receptive to both an increase in the food minimum and a dues increase. There was also discussion of whether the operating reserve, which is projected to be in the $160,000-$180,000 range at the beginning of 2010, should be used to offset some of the projected operating shortfall. After further discussion, the Board decided to table action on the 2010 Operating Budget and continue consideration of the budget at a Special Board meeting on Tue., Dec. 15.

Lake & Residential Committee

Ron Chapman, Committee Chair, reported the committee discussed concern expressed by some in the community with the burning of leaves. He shared information with the committee on services in other communities that collect or vacuum leaves along the roadside. He noted the community of Roeland Park provides this service to its residents. He indicated at future meetings the committee will continue to discuss the potential of offering this service at Lake Quivira. It was noted the flyer distributed around the community which addressed burning and zebra mussels was very well done. Mr. Chapman noted he has received several favorable comments regarding the flyer, which was prepared by committee member Chris Becicka.

House Committee Report

Landy Boling, Committee Chair, commended the good work of Clubhouse Manager, Judi Renzi, and the clubhouse staff as evidenced by the very favorable budget results for October. Mr. Boling also noted the committee is seeking member opinions with regard to a business expo next spring. The survey is on the weekly E-News. Members are encouraged to respond. He also noted the committee discussed various ideas on ways to increase business on Sundays. He noted the cook-out during the summer was very successful, but since that ceased at the end of summer, business on Sundays has been very slow. Finally, Mr. Boling noted only about 20 members have made reservations for the New Year’s Eve Party. He indicated it will take a minimum of 80 members and guests at the event to make it at least a break-even proposition.

Safety & Security Committee

Dana DeSpain, Committee Chairperson, reported the committee evaluated the traffic signage at the intersections of Terrace Trail West and Glenview and Terrace Trail West and Mojave. The committee discussed whether some changes in the signage should be made based on concerns expressed on visibility, particularly at the Glenview intersection. Members of the committee determined not to pursue any changes in the signage at this time, but recommended trimming of brush and tree growth be undertaken in order to improve visibility at the intersections.

Public Relations Committee

John Hoover, Committee Chair, reported no new members have been brought in since the last Board meeting under the membership drive in effect. He noted to date two new golf members and two new social members have been recruited.

Spirit of Quivira Committee

Dana DeSpain, Committee Chair, reported Annie Noland, Sandy Treas, Dennis Jarman, Carol Borberg and John Harding have agreed to serve as members of the Spirit of Quivira Committee this year. She also noted six nominations have already been received, and she encouraged members to submit additional names for consideration.

Social Membership Bylaw Amendments

The Board gave final approval to two Bylaw Amendments relating to the Social Membership category. First, the Board approved an amendment revising the privileges extended to Social Members. Effective with new members joining after January 1, 2010, the privileges afforded Social Members will no longer include the privilege to register a boat for use at Lake Quivira. The Board also approved an amendment to increase the maximum number of Social Members from 50 to 100; currently there are 45 Social Members.

In other discussion and action the Board:

  • Approved an extension on the waiver of initiation fee for a second property.

Letter to the Quivirans – from John Jurcyk

“And the autumn weather / Turns the leaves to gray

And I haven’t got time / For the waiting game….

And the days dwindle down/ To a precious few…”

~September Song

Greetimgs:

December 15, 2009. Vote deadline.

Our Foundation membership should vote “Yes” on the three amendments to our Quivira covenants on or before December 15.  Please go to the Quivira office and vote “yes” on amendments 1,2A, and 3. You will be glad you did. Why? Continue reading Letter to the Quivirans – from John Jurcyk

2009 In The News

“Off to See the Wizard” is the theme of the 2009 Pocahontas Classic Golf Tournament.
A plaque is dedicated to Roger Blessing (shown here with wife Jeanne) at the newly-renamed Roger Blessing East Side Park.
John Miller, LQ General Manager, accepts a plaque for 20 years of service, as his wife Joan looks on.
LQ Catfish are 2009 Champs in the Lake & Country Club League.
LQ Yacht Club hosts Sweet Sixteen Nationals in September.