Updated: Aug 27
Parker Mayor Cody Adams submits his letter of resignation during a meeting of the Parker City Council last week. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)
PARKER – Parker Mayor Cody Adams resigned his post at the end of the Parker City Council meeting last Thursday, Aug. 11. Adams, who was serving his first term in office, cited a conflict with his work schedule as the reason for the resignation.
“I don’t like to quit anything,” he said, “but it’s not fair to everyone when I’m not around.”
Adams said that work schedule had him gone five or six days a week, and he said he couldn’t be an effective mayor when he was gone so much.
As a result of Adams’ resignation, Council President Ashley Balthazor will assume the post of mayor.
Adams’ guidance was felt throughout much of the meeting, however. When the council discussed purchasing a pickup truck for Rodney Hetzer, city maintenance chief, it was Adams who proposed paying Hetzer for use of his personal truck – first giving him a $500 monthly budget for repairs and then amending that to paying Hetzer 52.5 cents a mile for miles logged on city business.
The council voted to set a limit of $7,500 to purchase a used pickup for the maintenance crew. It also voted to pay Hetzer mileage until the truck could be purchased.
Hetzer said that he had looked at used trucks that would work, however, other buyers quickly snapped them up. A separate motion was made to give Hetzer and the mayor the authority to purchase the vehicle.
The council also voted to approve the city’s 2023 budget after a brief hearing at the beginning of the meeting. The budget meets the revenue-neutral rate, which means that city taxes will not increase even though the valuation of real property in the city has increased by more than 14 percent since 2021.
The valuation of property in the city in 2021 was almost $983,000. That increased to more than $1.44 million for 2023. The estimated mill rate for 2023 is about 34.57 mills, down from 38.89 in 2022, however, the increase in valuation means fewer mills are required to raise the same amount of taxes.
A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Kansas has a statewide assessment percentage of 11.5 percent, so a house with an appraised market value of $100,000 would have a tax assessment value of $11,500. If the tax rate on that residence is one mill, the tax levied would be $11.50.
The corner of County Highway 1077 and South Street was discussed by the council. Adams pointed out that because of the trucks that turn down that road to go to Recycling Services’ metal yard, the pavement in that area is not holding up.
City Attorney Burton Harding suggested that, because 1077 is a county highway, the city should approach the Linn County Commission on finding a solution to repair that intersection.
Parker Police Chief Craig Haley demonstrates the Central Square computer program in a Linn County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle following the Parker City Council meeting last week. Haley is also a deputy with the sheriff's office. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)
In other business, the council:
Voted to spend up to $600 for council members or other officials to attend a training session on the Kansas Open Meetings Act sponsored by the Kansas League of Municipalities. The cost is $100 per person.
Approved allowing Police Chief Craig Haley to begin performing vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. Haley said Parker was the only city in the county that does not offer the service.
Listened to a proposal by Haley to get the city on the Central Square program used by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office (LNSO) to provide computer information in their patrol vehicles. Haley, who is also a deputy with LNSO, said that one of the cities approved to use the system was not using it, and he said he would try to see if Parker could use the system in its patrol car.
Approved spending up to $1,500 for gravel for roads and parking lot in Heritage Park. Hetzer said it needed gravel added before the Parker Day celebration on Sept. 17.
Learned that there continues to be incidents at the city lake where property has been damaged. Hetzer also said that a large tree by the boat dock was dead and that large branches had fallen off the tree – in one case nearly injuring a person.
Learned that a woman has been scaling the chainlink fence surrounding the city’s trash compactor at night, taking metal out of the recycling bin and spreading trash around the area. Haley said he would investigate the matter.
Learned that Wholesale Water District No. 13 has notified all customers that because of low water levels at Critzer Lake, it has implemented the first stage of an emergency plan that encourages everyone to conserve water.
Approved Sept. 17-23, 2022, as U.S. Constitution week, noting that this is the 236th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.