For the Record

 Travel Expenditures in 2011

I paid several hundred dollars for the information that I received regarding the travel expenses for the Council at the time.  I have the receipts to show the excessive spending by the Council.  In response to the information, the City Council changed it policy to be in line with other governmental agencies and travel expenses using the GSA per diem guidelines for each Council representative.

Travel to NLC in 2014

I paid my own way to the NLC including air, ground, and meal expenses.  I slept on a cot in a room with two other Council women that had previously made a reservation for the conference.  The only expense the City incurred was to attend the conference itself.

City Reimbursements

I don't receive the City stipend given to Council members to offset their cell phone bills.  The only money I have ever received from the City is the ceremonial $1 for the volunteer service I have provided to the residents.

Shawnee Mission East Safe Graduation Party

I requested money for the entire Class of 2014 for the annual Safe Graduation Party.  The City of Leawood has donated and supported this party for many years.  It provides the seniors a fun and safe place for them to celebrate their graduation. At the end of each school year, the senior parents, along with the Shawnee Mission East PTSA and Administration, strive to provide a safe and fun After Graduation Party for the senior class. It is something the seniors look forward to with great anticipation as it is their final time together asstudents at Shawnee Mission East. The After Graduation Party has a 99% attendance rate by the graduating seniors and includes dinner, fun entertainment, games and wonderful raffle items. 

Council Pay

I am in favor of Council pay.  I am not in favor of voting myself a pay raise for the first time in Prairie Village history.  If the residents want this position to be paid, there is a procedural means for that to occur.

Faith Lutheran Church

The letter to the community never insisted the property be purchased by the city for a park.  I never said that any development of the property would be denied by the City.  I did encourage the residents to call the church to express their views about the property and what they hoped to see happen there.   "The City" is comprised of 12 Council members and a Mayor.  Negotiations were made based on conversations held between numberous parties.  No "threats" were ever made.  The City did our due diligence addressing all of the facts regarding demoliton and safety concerns.  In fact, two environmental studies were conducted.   There was discussion regarding the cost of installing park equipment.  Since we want the neighborhood to be involved in those decisions, no definitive price has been set.    

The Letter to the Residents

My name is Jori Nelson and I’m your City Council representative. I wanted to reach out to you to let you know about an opportunity for our neighborhood. As you may have heard, the Faith Lutheran Church on 67th and Roe is currently up for sale. It is listed on a commercial real estate site for $1,950,000. The City has approached them with an offer for $875,000 to purchase the land to create a park for the northern park of our City. However, they have received offers from developers as well. Currently, the property is zoned R1-A single family residential. If the developers wanted something other than single family homes, they would be required to rezone the property or apply for a special use permit like the developer did for Mission Valley Middle School. This would take Council approval. This part of our City has been identified as an area of the City in need of green space as stated in our Village Vision created in 2007. The City realizes and appreciates the quality of life a park offers for our families and residents. This 2.97 acres would greatly enhance this quality of life for those of us that live within walking distance of this property in the northern part of Prairie Village. It is anticipated that the church membership will be voting on this issue very soon. I would like to urge you to call the church and share your preferences with them as they prepare to make this difficult decision. Their phone number is 913-722-3515. Whatever decision is made, it will impact the character of our neighborhood. As always, it is an honor and privilege to serve you. If you should have any questions or concerns about any issues, please feel free to contact me anytime at 913-522-7497 or [email protected]

Respectfully,

Jori Nelson

Prairie Village City Council, Ward One  

  Live Streaming Meetings

Since I started on City Council, I have been advocating for the live streaming of our meetings for several reasons.  It allows the constituents an opportunity to see their municipal government in action.  People have busy lives and are often unable to attend meetings.  There are those that are homebound and unable to attend meetings.  Those that are unable to attend the meetings, have the opportunity to watch and listen to their representatives.  It also enhances the transparency and communication between the City and the residents.  

CID Money for Corinth and the Village Shops

I did not support the use of CID money for private developers.  I was not on the Council when then Council members voted to support the owners at that time with CID money.  It isn't TIF money.  It is a Community Improvement District that will provide the owners $1 million dollars a year for 22 years.