Officials who are closest to local residents have been busy lately in Johnson County.
That’s another way of saying city governments and various committees that help make them work still matter a great deal in creating a positive quality of life throughout the county.
Consider several issues that appeared in recent editions of 913:
In Shawnee, citizens have voiced concerns for many weeks about the Shawnee Parkway Plaza redevelopment and how much public money it could cost to complete. Defenders say some kind of incentive will be required to provide new infrastructure such as realigned roads and parking lots. However, the City Council will need to make the call on whether taxpayers must contribute to assist the redevelopment in a fast-growing city.
In Prairie Village, residents have sought more information about the conversion of the former Mission Valley Middle School into senior housing. Supporters note that the project could help serve growing number of seniors who want to stay in northeast Johnson County. More public hearings are ahead for the project. City officials need to decide whether this potentially positive reuse of the site goes forward.
In Leawood, city officials are discussing a request by the owners of the Ranchmart North shopping center to impose a one-cent sales tax to pay for improved sidewalks, parking lots and other infrastructure. Elected officials will have to decide whether taxpayers — and not the owner — must pay for the upgrades. Even though these sales taxes often have been approved elsewhere, Leawood must decide whether this owner has proposed a reasonable deal for access to tax money.
Officials in Fairway, Roeland Park and a few other cities also frequently wrestle with zoning matters and other issues. All of these are good reasons for residents to keep an eye on how effectively their city officials are looking out for the futures of their communities.