• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Pleasanton council discusses preparations for June 4 rally

Updated: May 26

PLEASANTON – In a slight shift of plans for the Soldiers for Jesus motorcycle rally slated for June 6, the Pleasanton City Council learned on Monday, May 23, that organizers of the Wall of Death show needed to move the date of building the structure forward by a day.

City Administrator Teresa Whitaker told council members that American Motor Drome Co. asked to have the area at 11th and Main streets closed the Thursday before the rally for construction, and would use the next day to tighten up the structure for use the following day. The Wall of Death is a silo-shaped wooden structure where motorcyclists ride horizontally using centrifugal force to keep them from falling off the wall.

The council approved closing that area on Main Street for an additional day. Whitaker told council members there would be a private Wall of Death show on Friday night.

Whitaker also told the council that more than 50 10-foot-square booths for vendors had been sold along Main Street for the “Thunder on the Street” (TOTS) rally. (See map of the rally, right.)

The area the rally will occupy on Main Street has been reduced in hopes of keeping the crowd more together and providing better parking spots closer to the event. This year the rally will be three blocks long from Eighth Street to 11th Street.

Like last year, the Soldiers for Jesus rally will begin with a ride from Living Proof Church just off U.S. Highway 169 in Paola to Pleasanton. Registration for the ride begins at 7 a.m. with kickstands up at 9 a.m.

In other business, the council also learned that Sandy Atkisson had resigned her job as animal control officer for the city. However, Whitaker told them that Atkisson wanted to continue to be codes enforcement officer if the council would allow her to do so. Performing both of those duties is a part-time job. Whitaker said the police department would handle animal control duties until the council decided on a replacement.

The council also voted to hire Councilman Joe Whitaker as part-time compactor operator for a wage of $9 an hour. With Councilman Aaron Portman not in attendance, three council members voted to hire him. Joe Whitaker abstained from voting.

There was some discussion about whether hiring Councilman Joe Whitaker, who is the spouse of City Administrator Teresa Whitaker, constituted a conflict of interest. However Councilman Jake Mattingley equated it to his service as a paid “volunteer” on the city’s fire department.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted to enter into a contract with American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service to cover the motorcycle rally from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Voted to hire Jaidyn Pointer as a lifeguard for the city pool at $9 per hour.

  • Approved the purchase of a mower from Neal Manufacturing Inc. of Mound City for nearly $13,800.

  • Learned that the city now has capability of selling licenses on line.

  • Voted to send a letter to the Kansas Department of Commerce protesting plans to shift state grants that have previously helped with infrastructure expense to other things like daycare expansion.

  • Discussed different materials to repair potholes on city streets. Mayor thanked resident John Harrington for erecting a barricade around a sinkhole on the 700 block of Cedar Street and Jack Schreckhise for filling potholes with gravel in that same area.

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