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Examiner
  • County likely to address animal shelter next week

  • Jackson County legislators took no action Monday on last week’s revisions to a regional animal shelter agreement but indicated they’ll address the issue next Monday.



    “Everything’s being evaluated, but I think you’ll see some action next week,” said Legislature Chairman Greg Grounds, R-Blue Springs.

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  • Jackson County legislators took no action Monday on last week’s revisions to a regional animal shelter agreement but indicated they’ll address the issue next Monday.
    “Everything’s being evaluated, but I think you’ll see some action next week,” said Legislature Chairman Greg Grounds, R-Blue Springs.
    The city and county have been going back and forth for many months about how to operate the $5.5 million shelter on Missouri 78 near the community college. Under an agreement four years ago, the county has built and paid for the shelter, and the city is to run it, taking in animals from Independence and unincorporated parts of the county. It’s meant to replace the city’s shelter on Vista Drive.
    But the two sides have clashed over how to run the shelter, specifically whether it would have maintain a “no kill” status, something the county has insisted on. Both the City Council and County Legislature have insisted that they are at their limit on how much tax money they’ll put into the shelter.
    The County Legislature in December passed some changes to the 2009 agreement and awarded a five-year contract to the Great Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to run the shelter. Last week, the council adopted changes of its own, including wanting to collect $44,000 in expenses from the county, having the county pick up severance pay for city workers who might be let go when the regional shelter opens, and a city-county committee to promote animal-welfare education and look as issues such as spaying and neutering.
    Although they didn’t say what the topic was, legislators and County Executive Mike Sanders met with legal staff in closed session for about 20 minutes on Monday.
    A handful of other issues came up Monday:
    n The Legislature agreed to pay $3.39 million for a parking garage at 505 E. 14th St., near the Courthouse in downtown Kansas City. That’s apparently the issue legislators discussed in closed session two weeks ago. The seller is 505 Properties LLC. The county plans to use it for employee parking, replacing spaces that are currently leased.
    n Sanders has named Cathy Jolly to his staff in a senior policy role. Jolly is a former Kansas City Council member, former state representative and former assistant county prosecutor. She’s currently on the Center Board of Education. Her focus for Sanders is to be on health and public safety.
    That move coincides with the decision by Chief Administrative Officer Fred Seims to cut back to a part-time role – though Sanders joked that part-time for Seims might be close to what others call full time. Seims, who retired as Blue Springs city administrator several years ago, agreed to help Sanders with the transition into office when Sanders was elected in 2006. He’s been on Sanders’ team ever since.
    Page 2 of 2 - The other night, Sanders said, he got a text message from Seims at 12:30 a.m.
    “That’s part-time Fred,” Sanders said.
    n Sanders said it’s not entirely clear what happens next, now that the Missouri Senate has rejected Gov. Jay Nixon’s nomination of Kansas City attorney Stephen Bough to the Jackson County Sports Authority.
    “There’s some debate,” he said.
    Sanders said last summer he hoped putting Bough on the authority, which oversees Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums, would mean taking a tougher stand in getting the Chiefs and Royals to follow through on commitments regarding stadium maintenance and upgrades.
    Generally the county posts an opening to the Sports Authority, and then county legislators forward three names to the governor, who names one, subject to Senate approval. The county might have to start again, but there’s some thought that the governor has the authority to name one of the other nominees from last summer, when he selected Bough.
     
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