Council to choose mayor pro tempore

rpulley@lsjournal.comApril 30, 2014 

The Lee’s Summit City Council will vote on its stand-in mayor this week and hear a recommendation for creating a new zone for tax abatements.

The election of mayor pro tempore follows the installation of the new council members.

Allan Gray, from District 2, holds the office, often referred to as mayor pro tem.

The city charter requires council members to choose the mayor pro tempore from their ranks annually. The council member selected has the powers and duties of the mayor, during the mayor’s absence or disability, or a vacancy in the office. In Lee’s Summit that office holder has some additional influence, with the power to appoint council committees and chair persons for the committees, along with council liaisons, with the consent of the council, and assign ordinances to committees.

The mayor pro tempore keeps his vote as a council member, when acting as mayor, but does not have veto power.

The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority will make its final recommendation creating an urban renewal area along the commercial corridor of U.S. 50 and Missouri 291, so redevelopment can qualify for tax abatements for redevelopment.

The area would run generally from the U.S. 50 intersection with Chipman Road, along U.S. 50 while taking in some properties on Missouri 291 south, and north along M-291 north to Colbern Road.

The area includes many commercial buildings that are at least 30 years old or out-of-date designs for shopping centers, said Chris Sally of Development Initiatives, who completed a blight study for the LCRA. A number of vacant or other buildings are showing signs of deterioration, he said.

Also on the agenda, the Arts Council is scheduled to deliver its report on the downtown outdoor performance space and the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce will present a three-year marketing plan to be financed by the city.

The Arts Council will offer two conceptual designs, and has including adapting the restrooms in Arnold Hall to serve crowds at events as one option for both, if there is enough money in the $600,000 budget.

Other additions, dependent on funding, include:

• underground conduits for electrical circuits to tree wells

• modifications for use of existing restrooms at Arnold Hall

• perimeter lighting around the space

• waterline for a drinking fountain.

Jim McKenna, the community marketing manager, will present the Chamber’s proposal for a three-year marketing effort following up on the city’s new brand.

The Chamber is asking the council for committing to the program with at least $140,000 for its 2014-15 budget and $125,000 in the 2015-16 budget.

Lee’s Summit has a “business and industry” tax it collects on hotel stays to fund economic development projects, which have included marketing programs by the Chamber.

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