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Feb 04

January 21st, 2020 City Council Meeting

Posted on February 4, 2020 at 11:51 AM by Lynn Hughes

Official Sesquicentennial Coin Approved, Sullivan Square Named, Strategic Planning in the Works

Baldwin City Council meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday evenings of each month, at the Baldwin City Public Library located at 800 7th Street, at 7pm

Dear Baldwinites,

The council led off with approval, pending completion of paperwork, of a yearly ongoing event request from Midland Railway, for an alcohol license. 

Sesquicentennial Update

Council Member Brian Cramer updated the Council on the Sesquicentennial Advisory Group’s progress. He noted that the co-chairs were present in the audience, Jeannette Blackmar of the Lumberyard Arts Center and Wendy Conover of Baldwin City Library.

The advisory committee is working to form a “season of events” from April through Maple Leaf of 2020.

City Clerk Laura Hartman showed the coin designed by Great Plains Promotion, and Brian Cramer noted the slogan on the back: 150 Years of Colorful History - People, Places, Progress. The advisory committee has adopted this design as the city’s slogan for the 150th celebration.

Sesquicentennial Coins

Council Member Lauridsen asked how the coins would be distributed.  Would the coins be sold? Given away? Council Member Cramer noted that the coins were brought before the council before the planning committee was formed, so the committee would appreciate council recommendation on what to do with the coins.

Council approved the final design for the front and back of the coin.

Strategic Planning

The city council considered a proposal from the KU School of Public Management to assist the city council with strategic planning.  was asked to submit a proposal for strategic planning facilitation in 2019. The Council discussed the details of strategic planning and they expressed support for planning and vision setting. Scott Lauridsen stated that the council needs to dedicate the next two (2) years to vision and planning. Corey Venable noted that part of planning ahead involves getting started even while planning. Brian Cramer mentioned the idea of being a book on a bookshelf - the city is only one of the entities in town, and should take the time to understand the other stakeholders’ plans as well as their own.

The council approved moving forward with the KU School of Public Management as a first step in strategic planning.  The council will consider a formal proposal from KU at the next council meeting.  

Personnel Rules & Regulations for 2020

and Salary Grade Schedule

This is an annual ordinance to approve basic personnel policies, and is followed logically by the salary grade schedule. I explained to the council that this came about in 2016 when the city hired an independent study of city employee wages. The wage range with annual increase has been brought to council on a yearly basis since then. Ordinance 2020-01 was approved 4-1.

Lotatorium changed to Sullivan Square

Council Member Cramer read from a booklet written by Loren Litteer about the Sullivan House, which once stood in the lot currently being developed. Here’s a portion of what he read: “Entertaining was an important part in the life of Baker Presidents, especially since there was no student union at the time. The patio on the north side was often used for these occasions, and a fish pond and fireplace were especially enjoyed. The yard was particularly popular on Saturday evenings when weekly concerts were held at the corner of 7th and High, the southeast corner of the Sullivan's spacious yard.” 

Cramer mentioned that the last resident of the Sullivan House, when it was downtown, was the Reverend Don Mueller, who wrote the Battle of Blackjack and Dastardly Doings at the Cider Mill, among other things. Part of the Cider Mill play is the Ballad of Sweet Lucy Sweet, which is about Baldwin City’s first female mayor, Lucy Sullivan, elected in 1889.

Brian Cramer proposed to officially rename the Lotatorium; Sullivan Square. The City Council approved unanimously, perhaps even enthusiastically.

City Appointments

Council must approve appointments of a treasurer, judge, attorney, city clerk, and police chief annually. A motion was made to approve the appointments as they currently stand: City Treasurer, Glenn Rodden; City Judge, Dakota Loomis; City Attorney, Blake Glover; City Clerk, Laura Hartman; Police Chief, Mike Pattrick.

Council approved the appointments unanimously.

Banking RFP

A request for proposals was to the three (3) banks in Baldwin City for banking services, and an independent summary was done of the replies by the city’s financial adviser. Staff recommended staying with Baldwin State Bank where the city currently banks, and the council approved a motion to stay at Baldwin State Bank.

KMEA Appointment

The Kansas Municipal Energy Agency requires the City Council to designate a representative from the council to sit on the board of directors. Former Council Member Tony Brown had been the designated representative, along with city staff members Rob Culley and myself. Brian Cramer was nominated to represent the council since he is the current Chair of the Utility Committee.

Committee Reports

Budget & Finance - Scott Lauridsen.

Scott mentioned wanting to develop an understanding of the budget process in the entire council, which will raise public awareness also. The first meeting for this committee was January 22nd, 7:15am, at City Hall.

Community Development - Susan Pitts.

Susan mentioned touring the Bauer Gym on January 20th with the CDC, and noted it wasn’t as bad as she expected. Meetings will be the fourth (4th) Monday of each month at 6:30pm. The first (1st) meeting was scheduled for January 27th.

Public Health & Safety - Corey Venable.

Corey said they had already met, and a letter from the Police Chief had been sent out about a street with some pending parking change. The Mayor mentioned aging city infrastructure as a potential upcoming committee topic.

Public Works & Utilities - Brian Cramer.

First (1st) meeting is scheduled at 9am on January 29th.

Legislative Committee - Julie Constantinescu.

Julie said she and Scott are discussing a potential meeting with State Senator Tom Holland, and the Mayor suggested also meeting with State Representative Eileen Horn. This committee is researching how Baldwin City can transition from a city of the third class to a city of the second class. 

Council committees have requested to post agendas for each meeting to the city website to increase transparency.

City Administrator Comments

I informed the council Community Development Director Ed Courton and I will be attending the state trails conference in Topeka on January 30th.


Glenn Rodden

City Administrator

Baldwin City, Kansas

*This article is part of an ongoing communications effort to effectively convey the “inner workings” of City Hall to citizens in a simple and accessible way. We welcome your input and opinions on any matter before the city council at any time. City staff and council members are happy to discuss issues one on one. Visit for contact information. Agendas are available at, and to watch online via livestream, visit*