|Board Members Present||Staff Present|
|Elaine Copp||Parks & Recreation Director Holman|
|Peter Ehrlich||Deputy Parks & Recreation Director Lecuru|
|Pam Cremer||Shawnee Town 1929 Director Pautler|
|Board Members Absent|
A. ROLL CALL
MS. COPP: I’d like to call the February 4th Park and Recreation Advisory Board meeting to order. I will have a roll call.
MR. EHRLICH: Peter Ehrlich.
MS. SAWYER: Donna Sawyer.
MS. COPP: Elaine Copp.
MS. FABAC: Shelly Fabac.
MS. BAILEY: Rebecca Bailey.
MS. CREMER: Pam Cremer.
MS. DAVIS: Rueshunda Davis.
B. CONSENT ITEMS
1. Approval of the January 7, 2016 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Minutes
MS. COPP: Okay. The Consent Items, B, Number 1, approval of the January 7th Park and Recreation Advisory Board Draft Minutes. Has everyone had a chance to look at those?
MS. SAWYER: I move for approval of the minutes as presented.
MS. BAILEY: Second.
MS. COPP: Donna has moved for the approval. Do I have a second?
MS. BAILEY: Second.
MS. COPP: We have a second. All those in favor -- is there any other discussion? All those in favor aye.
ADVISORY BOARD: Aye.
MS. COPP: Opposed? (Motion passes 7-0)
C. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. SHAWNEE TOWN 1929 STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE
MS. COPP: Discussion Items. Number 1, Shawnee Town 1929's Strategic Plan Update.
MR. PAUTLER: Hello everyone. Charlie Pautler, Shawnee Town Director. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what we’ve been working on for several months at the museum and that’s the new ten-year strategic plan. So, I wanted to -- I will quickly take you through it. This will only be a five-hour program, so make yourselves comfortable. No. We’ll try and go through it fairly quickly here. I appreciate your feedback. And if you want to give me your feedback later after we talk about it, you can take the document home, chew on it a little bit, read it backwards and forwards and I would appreciate your feedback anytime. Basically we’re going to be taking this to the City Council in April. So, I welcome your comments over the next couple months. Anytime is fine.
So, basically I’ve been with Shawnee Town Museum for 3˝ years, and I started formulating in my mind the strategic plan really during my interview process in June of 2012 because I was taken through the site by all the key players. Carol took me through it, Neil took me through it, Tonya, our consultant that they used for the hiring who actually was involved in the first strategic plan, and all the staff. So, I got to see things up close and personal and got to really think about it in that two months before I took the job. And then in the last three years really since I’ve been working there I’ve seen it every day up close and personal, what really works, what doesn’t work so well, where we are in the first strategic planning process.
And basically I’ll start on page 3 with kind of a little bit of background. Because to start with this strategic plan we really need to talk about the previous strategic plan which was from 2004 to 2014, and it was a good plan. It was very ambitious as the whole project is, but it’s very doable. And what -- the only fault really that I see with the first strategic plan, it just didn’t happen in the timetable that they wanted it to. So, the City Council, they had several focus groups. They had teachers, educators, stakeholders, citizens, historians, staff from all aspects of the City that got together and formed committees and came up with the idea of interpreting the 1920s.
Why the 1920s? You know, because it was a watershed era in our country’s history, 1929 specifically. Now, when we talk about 1929, it’s really all of the 20s, and it’s into the 30s because of the Great Depression and the music scene and industrial technology and the farming movements. So, we’re covering a lot. But before it -- I don’t want to give you a history lesson. We already know what we interpret at Shawnee Town. This is really a guiding document for the next ten years. What kind of construction we do, when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to be paid for and what kind of programming we’re going to be doing at the museum and who our audiences are and who our partners are.
So, I talk about why the 1920s on page 3. Give you a little bit of background. And then on page 4, I start talking about the physical transformation of the museum and what still needs to be done. I don’t go into a great deal of history because most of you are from here. You’re pretty familiar with it. I did go into a little bit of detail. But really what we need to do in the next ten years is the primary focus of this document.
I’m really going to start on page 5, the construction to complete the mission. In 2004 to 2014, they had planned on finishing Shawnee Town by 2014. Like I said before, while it was just -- it was all good intentions, it’s just, you know, one of the main issues that came up was the fact that they had planned on rehabbing a lot of the buildings that were already there. Once they got into really looking at the condition of those buildings they found a lot of deterioration. They found water damage. They found bad roofs. They found a lot of mold in some of the buildings. So, we deemed that it was a better plan to reconstruct, and more accurately, the buildings that were there in the 1920s. So that’s what we’ve done since the last strategic plan. We have erected the grocery store, the undertaker establishment, the icehouse, refurbished the schoolhouse. We have reconstructed the city jail, the typewriter repair shop and the barbershop, and then done some work, well, no, the exhibit in the Visitors Center went before that. But it’s primarily been on those seven buildings, getting those finished and interpreted and staffed. So, what we’re going to be looking at the next ten years is really another seven buildings and then support structures for the museum programming.
The first part then, it’s divided into phases. There are six phases. The first one is landscaping and utility relocation for the next phase, which is the construction phase, is the Chevy dealership and the gas station and firehouse. Back then in the 20s and 30s the gas station served as the headquarters for the Shawnee Fire Department. They kept their one engine in that building and those are the two buildings that we’re going to be adding next. Now, I have added in bold at the bottom of each paragraph where that funding is going to come from. I go into much more detail later on in the document, breaking down each phase. And then at the end of the document is how much each component of each phase is going to cost. But for the sake of this meeting, so the first phase is $384,000. And that primarily comes from liquor tax money that we have saved up already. This is the Liquor Tax Fund 207. And this will take probably a couple years. This year we’re going to be doing the landscaping and the utility relocation. And the utility work will probably go into next year. And then in 2017 to 2018 will be the two buildings themselves.
Then the north block, which is Phase 2, that will include the drugstore, the dry goods store, State Bank and the electric store. We have an artistic rendering. Can everybody see it? So this is the north block. This is constructing four buildings at once. And what we plan to do is push out the north fence. This is the fence that goes by the front of the Visitors Center and get some more room there, and then puts these buildings side-by-side. And they will echo the original buildings that are still there on Johnson Drive just across from here at City Hall. This is an expensive chunk of buildings and this will be a portion of the projects that will be fund raised. So we estimate the cost to be $819,000. And most of that money will be raised from private funds. Now in the past, when we were finishing the farmstead, the Deffenbaugh Foundation came to us and gave us $500,000 to finish the farmstead. So we are, Neil and I, that’s why we had a rendering like this prepared was so that we could take it to potential funders and make our pitch.
So, Phase 3 will be the renovations of the Trail Café and the firehouse. The Trail Café is where we -- we use that for classroom space. We use it for a vending area for food during our special events. That really needs to be gone through and updated and modernized. It was built in 1984 and it needs a lot of work done to it. So, it’s hard to believe that 1984 was 32 years ago, but it needs some work. The firehouse was built in 1985 and it is in pretty dire shape. And what we would like to do with that is take the building down because the firehouse now will be interpreted across the museum campus in a much more authentic manner as part of the gas station firehouse. So we will use that slab or improve that slab to be an outdoor picnic pavilion because we really don’t have any place for kids, classrooms, groups, family reunions to picnic if it’s inclement weather outside. So that will be $150,000, Phase 3, and that will come from Liquor Tax Fund 207. So, that will not need to be fund raised.
Visitor Services, Phase 4, is a very important phase for us. And that will be the building of the visitor center. And in that we will have a variety of functions that serve the museum that we want to add a way that we can raise money for the museum. So, we will have our museum store in there. Right now we do a pretty good business with our museum store, but it’s a tiny little room at the front of our visitors center and we could -- I’ve been at other museums that have built visitors centers and you always have the public come in through your museum store and exit through your museum store. So, the other two museums where I’ve worked where we built visitor centers with a prominent museum store, those have done very well.
So, we would also have meeting space, office space for our staff. We would have a modern day classroom. We would have visitor restrooms that are handicap accessible. Right now we have one restroom in the visitors center. We would go to two that are sizable with baby changing area and everything. We would have a small staff library and a reading room because we are museum, we do have researchers that come to do research. We have a microfiche reader and a lot of newspapers and magazines and primary sources are on microfiche or microfilm and researchers look at those when they’re doing genealogy and family history and that kind of thing.
So, the staff offices that are now in our old visitors center, which used to be called the Trading Post, it was kind of a gift shop area back in the 70s and 80s, that will be made into collection storage. So, we will need to do some retrofitting to that building, but that way we will be able to get most of our museum collections, which right now are at three facilities. Two of them on site, I take that back. Three of them on site, one off-site. A major one off-site. We would be able to get most of that under one roof, which is a good thing for a museum to do. So, the visitors center, what we call the visitors center now would be retrofit for museum collection storage. The staff offices would be moved to the visitors center. We also have a partnership involved with the construction of the new visitors center and that would be our Convention and Visitors Bureau would most likely office out of that building as well. This is just a -- we’ve been kind of talking about that for the last ten years, but we haven’t crossed any T’s or dotted any I’s to talk about how that would exactly happened, but we’re allowing for room in there for Kevin and his staff to move in. It makes sense to have the Convention and Visitors Bureau, we’re the biggest attraction, the biggest cultural attraction in Shawnee, to have them headquartered with us. And this is a fairly expensive phase of the museum. For the visitors center, $885,000. And like the previous expensive phase, the north block, those four buildings, this, too, would be fund raised. So, Neil and I would take our artist rendering of the visitors center and we would go to donors and make the pitch.
So, the last historical structure to be reconstructed at Shawnee Town would be Dr. Sullivan’s residence. And this would, you know how when you go to the farm and you see the farmhouse, you’re able to see what country life was like in the 1920s. This would juxtapose that and we would have a city, an urban residence where you could go in. It’s a fairly small house, a house that was built around 1900. And so we would show country life versus city life. And that phase is $156,000. By this time we’re getting into the ten-year period. So, we’re getting at the end of the strategic plan. And this money, the 156,000, would come from Liquor Fund 207.
And then finally, the farmers’ market and performance area. We’ve talked about relocating the farmers’ market since at least 2007. We had a gentleman from the USDA come in and he gave us a drawing of what our modern farmers’ market could look like. Since Shawnee Town Museum interprets truck farming, vegetable farming, people making their living from the land, it makes a lot of sense to move the farmers’ market, which is now at Nieman Road and Johnson Drive in this parking lot right here down to the museum. But it doesn’t make sense to move it to West 57th Street, which is our entrance now. It makes more sense to keep it on Johnson Drive, a major artery in town with plenty of visibility. So, we’re looking at building a pavilion for that.
And then how many of you have been to the grandstand performance at Old Shawnee Days when the big band plays on Saturday night? Anybody? So, every year they rent that stage. The stage itself, Tonya, I’m going to ask for your help. Is it $10,000 just for the stage? It’s a lot of money. So, we would like to incorporate a performance area at the back of Town Hall, so that would be the main stage area for Old Shawnee Days. But we wouldn’t just use it once a year, we would use it for concerts in the park that Tonya puts together. We would use it for historical and music performances that we do and we could use it for rental as well. So, that is the final phase of the strategic plan building.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in just a few minutes and that’s $370,000. And this money we predict will be a mixture of Liquor Tax Fund 207 and privately raised funds. So, Neil and I are going to put a lot of mileage on our shoes going from group to group making the ask.
So, right now we’re on page 8. And there is one modification to the original strategic plan. In 2004, they envisioned having the Hocker Trolley Line interpreted at Shawnee Town. That is a rail line, a streetcar line basically that went from Shawnee to Kansas City. It ceased operation in 1929. That’s one of the reasons why I took it out of this plan because 1929 is really the period that we focus on into the 30s. So, it ended that year, and the cost is really prohibitive, which is another reason I took it out. And by the time we add all the historical buildings in the museum campus we’re not going to have much room left to create a realistic-looking trolley line. Because with a trolley line you have the track, which needs to go somewhere. You have the railcar itself, which could either be a reconstruction or an original. I don’t know where we would get an original, things do exist. And then you need a station. So, it was going to be over half of a million dollars just for that. So, I took it out at least temporarily. So, we can revisit it at the end of this when we get everything else built, especially the visitor services and all that, and we can see where we are. It could be put back in if we think it needs to be there.
So, then I talk about the interpretive program. And another area of the 2004 plan that wasn’t quite realistic was the dependence on volunteers to carry most of the weight of the interpretive program. So, all the museums that the committee looked at as models they use volunteers, but they also rely heavily on regular staff, part-time and full-time staff to carry out the mission of the program, to do the school programs, to do the living history programs, the daily guided tours. Most of that with most museums are paid staff. So, they’re people that go to school for it, they’re trained in it, it’s their profession. And then all of those museums are augmented with volunteers. Volunteers can help you do so many more things than you could ordinarily. But we’ve tried using volunteers as our program, as our entire program, it just -- we have great volunteers, but we don’t have enough of them, and there’s so much more competition nowadays for volunteer help than there were even 12 years ago when the first plan was written.
So, I have a plan in place over the next ten years to hire four part-time interpreters, museum interpreters. And so they would work approximately 1,000 hours a year, each one of them. We currently have one, so this would actually be the addition of three more staff. And they would help myself. I give interpretive tours all the time. I give school tours all the time. My curator of education Sharon Uhler, she also does the same. And then our museum interpreter works alongside us. But then we would be able to ease back into more of the things that we are paid to do, which is develop programs and do the bigger picture things and have paid staff do the regular daily interpretation with the help of volunteers. So, I go into some detail about that, how it’s just not a sustainable solution to have an all-volunteer program. We just don’t have the people. And we go out and recruit. We’re having a volunteer open house next month trying to get people interested, but volunteer living history programs can be pretty demanding especially when it’s 95 degrees outside and you need to go hoe the garden, you know, and pick vegetables and do laundry and do those programs with kids to show what life was like in the 1920s. It’s fun for the first hour and then, you know, sometimes it becomes a job. So, we need to hire people to help do this.
I talk about adjustment of duties, how the curator of education would be much more involved with the daily program at least for a while until we get these people hired. I talk about guided tours. We’ve adjusted our schedule starting this year slightly because, and it’s based around our need for volunteers. And it’s really tough to get volunteers to volunteer on a Saturday all day. It’s much easier to get volunteers, especially retired volunteers, to help us on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, which is when we’re moving our living history program to, and then a guided adult tour on Saturday. We cut down on the need for volunteers on Saturdays. So, starting this year we’re going to go to guided tours on the hour on Saturday. It’s a uniformed, you’ve got a person with a polo, a branded logo polo, taking people through. And they’re specially trained to do this. But then the living history program would be moved to Tuesday and Thursday during the day, and then Wednesday evenings for people that work during the day and want to come out in the evening. Many museums have gone to evening programs, a regular evening program, and I think it would behoove us to do the same. We would be getting an audience that we ordinarily would not be able to get to.
I talk about different augmentation of the program, different kinds of programs we can have in addition to the guided tour program and in addition to our regular living history programs. And those include: first-person role-playing where you have someone, and whether it’s a staff person or a volunteer or a paid person that would come in to interpret Amelia Earhart. Amelia comes in and she talks about what it’s like being in an aviatrix in 1929 and all the challenges that she would have. Those are the kinds of things we’ve kind of experimented with in the past, but we’ve never really done a lot of. And it basically comes down to staffing and resources. But this is in the strategic plan now, so we’re going to be doing much more of this.
Using technology to help us with our tours. And every time you go out, every time I’m in an airport, every time I’m on a plane, every time I’m in public I see people looking at these things. (Smart Phone) Who has one of these, just curious? Everybody? You can use these to your advantage. A lot of museums are going to tours that can be found on this. Whether it gets just text that you punch in a mobile site, maybe there’s a QR code on the door of the barbershop, bing, it takes you to a mobile site with a brief interpretive description. Or there are so many unlimited capabilities with these things as it relates to cultural attractions in museums nowadays you could pull up not only text, but one of those interviews that we did in the year 2000 with one of the truck farmers that actually lived here in Shawnee in her voice or his voice, or Mr. McCallop talking about that black children couldn’t go to the regular schools here, he had to bus them up to Kansas City, Kansas in the 30s and into the 40s. You know we could hear his voice on our little phones. So, how cool would it be when we go into an interpretive space like the barbershop and you hear Mr. McCallop’s voice about what he did when he was a kid, you know, in that barbershop. Taking the interpretive message from just reading it or having a guide, but actually hearing from the original people that were there. We spent a lot of time and resources on interviewing these people back while they were still alive, and I’m glad that we did.
Now, we cannot just use that information for historians who are doing research projects, but we can bring it to the public. You can bring your kids in and you can hear about farm life narrated by a farm wife who remembered the 1920s and 30s. So, and these are very fundable projects, something like this that costs $3,000-$5,000 for a tour. There are grants that are awarded for things specifically like this. They don’t like funding operating. They don’t like funding necessarily me hiring somebody, but for a guided tour that’s an iPod or an iPhone tour, those are very fundable.
Expanding special events. Well, I talk about the kinds of special events that we do on page 12. We do two kinds at Shawnee Town. And we do mission-based events which are all the museum events, the history type stuff, which can be fun. But, you know, as you know when you’re in maybe middle school or high school, did history kind of get a bad rap? You know, sometimes history is known as being boring. Not at Shawnee Town. At Shawnee Town we do mission-based events that are living history, that are, you know, we have somebody come in and they talk about what it was, you know, from a first-person perspective. We do gardening. You can feed the chickens. It’s very hands-on oriented. So that’s the mission-based stuff.
But then we also have the community-based events. And you might think, well, what’s a community-based event. Well, Old Shawnee Days, our Christmas program, our Halloween program, our craft fair. The thing where we bring in a lot of community members. They see our museum as a very safe place to gather. It’s a place to have fun. It’s a wholesome experience. You can bring the whole family. You can have a family reunion on our grounds. It’s just a fun, safe place to be. That’s the community events. And that was not really mentioned very much in the first strategic plan.
Since the first strategic plan came out in 2004, we’ve had a major recession hit this country. And most museums that were smart said we need all of these non-mission-based programs at our museums. We need to offer not only history-based programs, but we need programs that gather people. Old Shawnee Days. Okay. There’s a carnival in the parking lot. Big deal. Are people using our resources? Are people coming to the museum and saying, oh, look, they have a farm up here. Oh, look, they have chickens. What’s that about? You know, they learn while they’re there. They may not have come to Shawnee Town to experience a history type educational program, but by the time they leave they are much more aware and they do bring their family back. So, that’s the advantage of having community-based programs and embracing those community-based programs. That’s the way that modern museums do business. So, I embrace them. We do.
So, I talk about our website. We are up for a major redo on our website. We had a grant that paid for the one in 2006 and ’07, and we will be seeking funds either through grants or through our Friends group. I’ve already forewarned our Friends of Shawnee Town that I’m going to be making an ask as soon as our IT department, our Information Technology department with the City of Shawnee is very involved with us. I am working with them and we will come up with a vendor together on who can help build this website for us. So, this will be within the next year or two when we will be doing a major revamp of our website. It will be much more active. When you land on our splash page it will be much more -- you can see a film right away. It will be a much more active experience than we have currently. And it’s not anything against our 2006 website, it was great for 2006. But it’s 2016 now.
Social media. I talk about how that is such a little cost for us, but it’s really exploded. We use Facebook. We use Twitter. We use Instagram to publicize all of our events. And I have two staff members that are digital natives. I’m a digital immigrant, my generation. But I have two on my staff that grew up with computers and I basically have put them in charge of that and they’ve really grown our attendance and grown our revenue because of our social media presence.
I talk about our income, our donations and in-kind support, what kind of fundraising we have done. We get everything from small grants to the large, you know, $500,000 grant several years ago from the Deffenbaugh Foundation. And again, I’m kind of running through this pretty quick. You can take your time reading it on your own.
Our Friends of Shawnee Town is our Friends group that morphed from the Shawnee Historical Society, which was a grassroots group of individuals that formed in 1966 when the museum started. Concerned citizens had started seeing their Shawnee go under the bulldozer because of suburbanization. Think of all the housing developments and that were happening in the 1960s. You know, old Shawnee was starting to disappear. That’s why the museum was created in Bluejacket Park, which is now Herman Laird Park. So they started from that, and just a few years ago they became the Friends of Shawnee Town, and they are the ones who raised money for all of our furnishings. When you go to Shawnee Town Museum, you go into the farmhouse, well, the city and Ron Deffenbaugh and his foundation paid for all of the work on the buildings. But when you go into the buildings, all the artifacts, all the props, all the things that we use in our daily programs, those were paid for by the friends of Shawnee Town, so all the artifacts, what we haven’t had donated to us.
We are part of the Parks and Recreation department here at the City of Shawnee. I just came from Shawnee Tomorrow, which is a leadership program that Neil and Tonya nominated me for this year, and we had our second class today. And we went around the room after our tour today through the city and went through the police department, the fire department, and we came back and we were just kind of discussing our day. And I just mentioned to the group, you know, it’s so rare that a city has a museum, that a city sees that historical resource and values it and the people of Shawnee value that, and they give me a real budget. You know, they give me real money to do real things with. So, we’re very lucky that we have that. But the real department that makes that happen is the Parks and Recreation department. So we’re very lucky to be included. When we need help setting up for a special event we have tents and chairs and tables set up by the Park crew. That doesn’t have to come from my staff, so we’re very lucky there.
Admission rates. We’re going to slightly raise admission starting next year from, let’s see, Children’s rate will be raised from $1 to $2, and the School rate will be raised from $2.50 to $3. I know that’s pretty exorbitant, but we do want to stay very competitive.
Accreditation is an end goal for us. And the main organization in the museum world that you get accredited with is the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). And they like to see substantial completion of most of your infrastructure, your buildings, your staffing, your programs before they accredit you. So, we are in full support of getting accredited, but we just need to be further along in the process. Okay.
Finally, coach tourism on page 16. Kevin Fern, who is the CVB director, and I, we’ve talked really since I got here about the value of coach tourism. And that is people getting on coach buses and seeing the sights, either for day trips or overnight trips. We have the hotel infrastructure now. We’re just going to be opening a new hotel in the next week. It’s the Holiday Inn Express. So, we can support overnight trips more than we could before. But most people take day trips. Banks often have groups you can join to tour, but there’s all kinds of groups that have specialty tours, special-interest tours. If you’re a history buff and you want to explore Kansas City, you know, they usually hit five or six sites and then they go back home. So, we have the perfect site to really expand our coach tourism. And this is an area that we really, we get a couple, well, we get like one tour bus a year that comes through. At the other two sites where I’ve worked that’s an area that we’ve really been able to expand. We’re perfect here. We don’t have the challenges of the other places I’ve worked where we had hills and very little parking. Here we’re fairly flat and we have loads of parking, especially at the front of the museum where Town Hall is. We can really expand that. And the ground in the museum campus itself is fairly flat. So, as our population ages and they’re retiring they’re looking for things to do. They’re not sitting at home in their rocking chair crocheting an afghan. They are getting off their rear end. They’re taking in their cultural history and music and art and they’re going on tour buses because they like being with people that are interested in the same things they are. So, that’s an area that Kevin and I would really like to expand.
So, then on 17 through 18 I go into a little bit more detail on the phases of construction. But probably the sheet that most people are interested in is page 19, the cost breakdown of the different phases. So, I didn’t come up with these numbers in a bubble. I tried not to. I involved Bert Schnettgoecke at the City. I involved Neil. I involved Ramie DeGraeve in Parks to try and give me, you know, a pretty accurate estimate. Then on page 20, I gave you a table of what our earned revenue has looked like over the years really since the adoption of the last strategic plan. And our earned income in 2004 was 75, almost $76,000. This last year, we just finished a month ago, we were at $123,000. So, we have much more to see now than we did ten years ago. Many buildings are open. We have a vibrant interpretive program. In spite of all the challenges that we’ve got with volunteers, it’s still a very healthy organization and we can get even more healthy and we can continue to grow and serve more people.
So, that’s my plan. I presented it to Neil, got some good comments. Presented it to our Friends group, got some really good comments. Presented it to Carol Gonzales, our City Manager, got some good comments, and I’ve incorporated that into those version that you’re looking at. So, I welcome your comments now. I welcome your comments after you’ve had a chance to really digest it. So, that’s really the plan.
MS. COPP: Thank you, Charlie. Does anyone have any comments at this time? Like you said, I think it might be wise if, you know, you take a little bit of time and read this. If you have any major concerns or questions, get back with Charlie. I’m sure he’d love to talk to you about it.
MR. PAUTLER: You can call me during business hours. You can call Neil Holman on his cell between midnight and four, he’s always there. But, yeah, I do welcome your input if you’d like to take a look at it and then give me a call anytime.
MR. EHRLICH: I do have one question, Charlie.
MR. PAUTLER: Yes, sir.
MR. EHRLICH: Thank you first of all. That was a great presentation. When you mention the Deffenbaugh funds, do you foresee that being repeated?
MR. PAUTLER: Well, we are going, well, we’ve had preliminary discussions with them about a year ago when Ron passed away, and they are interested in what we do. They certainly support what we do. We’ve got the ear of a couple individuals on their board, but Neil and I will be making a formal presentation. Now, that we have this rendering we were kind of waiting on it. Now, that we have this rendering, then they have something to look at, so we will make a formal presentation very quickly here in the near future. And then we’ll -- we’re also having a landscape architect draw up a map of what all of these buildings will look like. And that will be ready by the time I present this to the City Council in early April. So, and if you’d like, I can certainly bring that back to this group and show you once it’s done. It’ll probably be done in a couple months is what we’re hoping for. But, yeah, we will be approaching the Deffenbaugh Foundation for this block of buildings and then hopefully the Visitors Center as well.
MR. EHRLICH: That’s terrific. Thank you. I also note that there must be a lot of liquor plans, or a lot of liquor sales planned for the City, but we have two new restaurants across the street. What do you think?
MR. PAUTLER: Yeah.
MR. EHRLICH: Thank you again.
MS. COPP: Thank you, Charlie.
D. MEMBER REPORTS
MS. COPP: Next on our agenda, D, Member Reports. Donna.
MS. SAWYER: Particularly in light of Charlie’s presentation, I would like to remind everyone on this board that they should welcome the opportunity to become Friends of Shawnee Town. We have individual memberships and business memberships and it’s very affordable at $35 for an individual membership. It’s a good way to support the museum, so think about that.
MS. COPP: Thanks, Donna, for the plug. Anything else, any other member? Okay.
E. STAFF REPORTS
1. DIRECTORS’ REPORTS
MS. COPP: E, Staff Reports. Director’s Report.
MR. HOLMAN: Kind of going to do something a little bit different on staffing when we come up here. I’m going to have the division staff come to the board meetings from here on out. If there’s something special, then Kate or Sean can come and give their presentations. But it’s just going to be the division staff, myself, Tonya, Charlie and Ramie. So, that’s a little change. So, nothing wrong. They just, you know, I think we just were talking, just probably should be the division staff that makes the presentations and all and let them stay home with their little ones I guess with all the events we do. So, that’s one change.
MS. COPP: Okay. So, in the future a Director’s Report, we won’t have a director?
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah.
MS. COPP: And Tonya --
MR. HOLMAN: Tonya will do the --
MS. COPP: She’ll do the --
MR. HOLMAN: Those are her employees. She will do the Aquatics --
MS. COPP: Okay. Okay.
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah. She’ll do the Aquatics and Recreation.
MS. COPP: Okay.
MR. HOLMAN: So, just wanted to -- so, if you don’t see them coming anymore that’s just --
MS. COPP: Thank you. Tonya, do you have a report?
MS. LECURU: Just a couple of things. As we talked a little bit as some of you were coming in we just had a flying trip back from Dodge City this afternoon. We got in about 5:15 for our 5:30 meeting, but Neil and I and Ramie and Sean Thomas from our Parks staff had the opportunity to go to Dodge City and participate in our annual state conference. And it was nice to see a different part of the state and they had incredible speakers this year. It was a really good process. Enjoyed talking to folks from different parts of the state that maybe don’t normally attend the conference just due to distance and cost and those kinds of things. So, it was nice to see that. And Ramie is still on his way back. He was on the planning, the conference planning committee this year and so had some last minute things he needed to finish up. And then Sean had the opportunity this year to participate as a young professional in the young professional group of KRPA. And both of them represented Shawnee very well. In addition, Mo Loridon from the Police Department came and made a presentation to the state organization as well about ALICE training, which is active shooter training, and did a great job. So, you will be pleased to know that Shawnee was well represented at the state conference this week.
The Royal Ball is this weekend. And we were talking a little bit earlier with Elaine. We’ve had this, is it 15 years almost I think? Fifteen years. It’s been Cinderella’s Ball up to this year. And we did change the name and we tried to update it a little bit to accommodate our new princesses. But some of the changes we made going forward provided some challenges to the event and our attendance was considerably down this year. So, three weeks ago we looked at those numbers and we made the determination instead of offering two events we would consolidate and just offer one. And a large portion of the folks that had signed up for a Friday were able to transfer to Saturday. We did lose some, but a lot of them were able to transfer.
When we started the event it was “the event.” I mean, there wasn’t a whole lot in any of the other cities or agencies or churches or Girl Scout troops doing something like this. I believe there was one other that I was aware of in Johnson County. And so when we started that it was a great event. Still is a great event, but there’s just a lot more competition. This weekend alone Olathe is having their daddy-daughter date night. There’s a church in Lenexa that is having a daddy-daughter date night on Friday and Saturday. Same dates and times as ours. And so there’s just a lot of opportunities and options. So, I think it’s one of those events.
And as we talked in December, looking at the events we do and how they’re reaching our market and are they doing the right thing, are we spending the resources in the right area, I think this is a good indication that we need to look at the time and effort into that and at least reduce it to one night, if not look for something new to provide for our residents. I’ve had parents say, yeah, the girls are like, hey, we get three daddy-daughter date nights this year. Dad, he goes no, we get one, you get to pick which one. And Girl Scout troops are doing it for their groups and churches and things, so there’s a lot of competition. So, we’ll be looking at that a little bit more.
But we do have a great event scheduled. We have 306 folks signed up for Saturday night, 172 girls I believe. So, it will still be fantastic. We just wanted everyone who attended the event to have the same great opportunity and to experience it and not have a full night on Saturday and, you know, a hundred people maybe on Friday and just not have the same atmosphere. So, I think we made the right choice and we will see. But if anyone is able to come and help us, we still will have quite a few folks. And we’ve got coat check. We’ve got food. We’ve got flowers. We’ve got all kinds of good stuff. So again, if anyone is interested and able to help us on Saturday night, please let me know.
The activities that we’re working, as Neil said, I’ll be doing kind of an update of the recreation side of things. Sean is still hiring pool staff. It is improving somewhat, but they’re coming along, so that was nice. I think he had eight or nine new applications over the weekend and that made him feel a little bit better with where we we’re going. We’re real close on concession and still doable numbers. I think we’ll be fine with the other -- with swim instructors and lifeguards.
So, Kate is working on our spring brochure. This will be our first time that spring has a separate brochure from summer. So, in addition to doing spring brochure we’re also working on a summer camp brochure that will kind of be back to the spring-summer, but that is for the Kansas City Star. So, lots of work and finalization and proofing of that information right now. We’re working on performance appraisals. We have a pickleball tournament on February 20th for our 50-plus participants that I believe is close to being full. That’s a great day of activity for them, and looking forward to that. The 13th, February 13th, we have our TAKE self-defense class. And if you haven’t participated in it, ladies, or your daughters or whatever, please take a look at it. It’s great. It is a free training. They do accept donations. I think they request maybe a $10 donation, but is a great opportunity to learn how to protect yourself.
One other challenge that we have we’re working on right now, we’re waiting for an announcement from the Kansas City Barbecue Society board on their date for the American Royal, which last year moved to Kauffman Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium. The date that it’s normally scheduled is a Royal’s home game. It’s a home game weekend, so they are looking at moving perhaps the date of the American Royal. Will that date be earlier? Will that date be later? If that date is earlier that will be on our weekend, so we will have some decisions to make as we move forward. So, that’s where we’re at.
MR. HOLMAN: Yes, I do. I do have some things. Like Tonya said, all the division heads are doing evaluations. We are also getting into the 2017 budget, 2016R/2017 budget. Connect Shawnee is moving along. We’ve got plans where we’ll be on those for the field checks with KDOT. And then we are working on grading plans for Shawnee Town on that south part of the town and the grading plans for the community center site out west. Knock down that dirt pile and just get everyone excited and say, no, we’re not doing anything. But I’ve got to get that dirt pile knocked down to see if I need any more dirt. For Ramie, Connect Shawnee tree removal. Remember we talked about the little, the Northern Small Eared bat, so that’s coming up. So, we’ve got to get the trees down. We’re putting new dugouts at Gum Springs, the new tops. Then just getting the ball fields because March everything is open for play. So, baseball, sports fields, soccer is going to be starting. So, the staff is busy getting everything ready for summer. Cleaning restrooms and getting ready to open up the doors. Any questions.
MS. COPP: Thank you, Neil and Tonya. Does anyone have any questions for them?
MS. FABAC: Just a quick question. Do you know when they’ll turn the water on like for the drinking fountains and fountains in the parks?
MR. HOLMAN: The drinking fountain is usually after Mother’s Day, I mean, right there -- just maybe a week there. We’ll see what the weather is like. But now at the ball fields where there is -- like Stump, it will probably be a little bit earlier. You talking about out in the parks?
MS. FABAC: On the trails.
MR. HOLMAN: Yeah. On the trails, they’ll be later. They’ll probably be the last ones we do because there’s no insulation. And once you do that you get all the back flows put together, that just -- so, weather plus, you know, maybe the --
MS. COPP: Okay. Thank you, Neil. So, we’ve done Directors’ Report, Recreation Report, Aquatics Report and Parks Report.
2. SHAWNEE TOWN 1929 REPORT
MS. COPP: And so we have Shawnee Town 1929 Report. Charlie, you have anything to talk to us about?
MR. PAUTLER: Wait, there’s more. I passed out the 2016 Calendar of Events. That’s our events brochure. We started doing this last year. It just showcases all of our events all year long. So, please take this with you. Put it in your glove box if you’d like. And then we have a leap year dance coming up that is -- this is leap year by the way. And it’s February 27th which is a Saturday. We will be bringing in the Grand Marquis. And they’re a really good band that plays 20s, 30s, 40s jump, jive and wail type music. And we’ve had them out here a couple times before. All the proceeds for this dance go to our Friends of Shawnee Town. So, it enables us to buy more program props and artifacts for the museum. So, I do have handsome posters here designed by our own Royal Kruger. And if anybody would like to take posters and put them in your favorite place you might already notice a few up in town, but I have several here if you want to take one with you tonight. It’s Saturday the 27th. That’s really all I got.
MS. COPP: And the cost to that is --
MR. PAUTLER: The cost is, it’s a special deal --
MS. COPP: It’s a discount.
MR. PAUTLER: -- if you are a Friends member.
MS. COPP: Yeah.
MR. PAUTLER: But it’s $15 for a single, $25 per couple. If you’re a Friends member it’s $10 for single and $20 per couple.
MS. COPP: See, we get discounts for being members.
MR. PAUTLER: Yeah.
MS. COPP: Thank you, Charlie. Any other questions or concerns or comments?
MS. DAVIS: I actually did have a question.
MS. COPP: Yes.
MS. DAVIS: Are we expected to dress in 1920s attire?
MR. PAUTLER: It’s encouraged, but you don’t have to. There will be a lot of people that just come in nice clothes, or you can wear casual. It doesn’t matter. We just want you to come and have a good time.
MS. COPP: And you’re looking for volunteers too that night, aren’t you, kind of to help.
MR. PAUTLER: No.
MS. COPP: Okay.
MR. PAUTLER: I think we have most of that taken care of.
MS. COPP: Taken care of. Okay. Okay. Any other questions?
MS. COPP: Do I have a motion for adjournment?
MS. BAILEY: I move we adjourn.
MS. COPP: Rebecca moved. Do we have a second?
MS. CREMER: I second.
MS. COPP: I have a second. Any other questions? All those in favor aye.
PARKS ADVISORY BOARD: Aye.
MS. COPP: Opposed. Meeting is adjourned. (Motion passes 8-0)
I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter.
/das February 23, 2016
Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary
Tonya Lecuru, Deputy Director Parks and Recreation