October 21, 2014

Council debates lowering property tax rates

Graphic courtesy of Steve Shute

Graphic courtesy of Steve Shute

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
After a marathon, six-hour-plus meeting, Gardner City Council members reached a consensus to examine a 2015 budget with a tax rate lower than the 2014 tax rate. Council members did not approve a budget at the Aug. 4 meeting. Instead, after a lengthy discussion in which members reached a consensus to drop approximately $235,000 in proposed projects from next year’s budget, they decided to have another work session to see hammer out details of how a less than 2 mill decrease will impact the city.
City council members increased the mill levy by almost 30 percent in 2010. Finance director Laura Gourley said the increase was necessary, in part, because there were a number of property owners who were in arrears on their property taxes. For example, one owner of Gardner property, located near Celebration Park, owes more than $200,000 annually in property taxes. Another owner of property, located near Austin’s Bar and Grill, owes approximately $800,000.
Gourley said the process for collecting back property taxes takes at least three years, and typically longer.
To date, the city hasn’t had to make up for the back taxes using reserve funds, but that could change, Gourley said.
“It hasn’t been permanently resolved,” she said. “…I’m already moving heaven and earth. We haven’t had to cover it, but I do not think you will get out of it in the next two years.”
Steve Shute, council member, first suggested dropping the tax rate by 2 mills during a meeting two weeks ago. He said the city budgeted expenditures of $11.3 million in 2013, but one year later, staff has proposed increasing annual expenses to $12.8 million.
“In the intervening year of budget preparation between last year and this year, we have increased expenditures by over $1.5 million,” Shute said. “I don’t think we have a revenue problem. In fact, our revenues are better than we originally expected. I think we have an expense problem.”
Council members went line-by-line through proposed 2015 expenditures, cutting approximately $235,000 out of the budget. The cuts include $50,000 to study how to best use a city building located on the southeast corner of Elm and Shawnee Streets, $50,000 to examine future infrastructure needs at the Interstate 35 interchange near 175th Street, and $35,000 for consultants to assist in the development of a strategic plan to incent businesses to locate in Gardner.
Gourley warned that the cuts were all to one-time projects, and said it would require further cuts in future years.
She also warned that reducing the mill rate while the city continues to have a street maintenance and capital improvements list that are not fully funded may look bad to bond investors.
“I will tell you that I have had many discussions with your financial advisor who has said it is going to be a tricky message to your rating agency that you reduced 2 mills when you have yet to continue your street maintenance program,” Gourley said.
Mayor Chris Morrow and council member Heath Freeman argued that the discussion to lower taxes should have occurred several weeks ago, when council began nailing down priorities for the 2015 budget.
Council member Larry Fotovich reminded council members that when they were setting priorities, he was the sole member who supported lowering taxes as a top consideration.
“That was the priority that I tried to get you all to back, back then,” he said. “That’s not to say we don’t change the priorities now.”
He said a lower mill rate would “put points on the board” for the community.
“You don’t need marketing and rebranding. All you have to say is taxes went down,” he said.
He called potential tax cuts a cost of living adjustment for residents.
Members reached a consensus on several items in the proposed budget, including funding for two, new police SUVs; maintenance projects at the Gardner Aquatic Center, and for consultant services to update some city codes and regulations in line with the city’s comprehensive plan update.
Although the council reached a decision to attempt to lower the mill levy by about 1.75 mills, or between $10 and $15 for the owner of the average valued home, council members did not approve a final budget.
Council members supporting the possibility of a lowered mill levy included Tory Roberts, Fotovich and Shute.
Council vice president Kristina Harrison said she wasn’t opposed to spending the additional money, but she expressed concerns about some of the priorities set in the original budget that staff proposed.
For example, Harrison opposed several of the proposed projects that would require hiring consultants.
“I am not personally a proponent of paying a consultant to tell us something we already know,” she said. “The incentive strategy, the facility needs study, we know that stuff. We know something has to be done. I would rather spend that money doing something than paying someone to tell me what we already know.”
Council member Heath Freeman and Mayor Chris Morrow were least inclined to lower the mill levy. Freeman wondered why council members were changing their priorities at such a late date, and he voiced concerns that lowering the mill levy rate this year may require a mill rate increase next year.
The council will have a work session to nail down final details of the budget, and hopefully meet statutory requirements for publication notice and approval. State law requires the city pass a budget and send it to the county no later than Aug. 25.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Here is the first contract your Mayor and Council and Human Resources Mgr. approved for the present City Manager.

    AGREEMENT

    This Agreement made and entered into the 24th day of May 2012 by and between the

    City of Gardner State of Kansas a municipal corporation hereinafter called the City and

    Cheryl HarrisonLee hereinafter called Harrison Lee or Employee

    WHEREAS City desires to employ the services of Harrison Lee as City Administrator of

    WHEREAS it is the desire of the City Council hereinafter called Council to provide

    certain benefits establish certain conditions of employment and to set working conditions of

    WHEREAS it is the desire of the Council to 1 retain the services of Employee and to

    provide an inducement for her to remain in such employment 2 to provide for Harrison Lee s

    future security in case Employee is terminated without just cause and 3 to provide a

    procedure for terminating Employee sservices when City may desire to terminate her

    WHEREAS Harrison Lee desires to commence her employment as City Administrator

    NOW THEREFORE in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements

    contained herein the parties hereto agree as follows

    City hereby agrees to employ Harrison Lee as City Administrator of said City to

    perform the functions and duties of said office as set forth by law ordinance and the City

    Charter and to perform such other legally permissible and proper duties and functions as the

    Council shall from time to time assign to Employee

    A Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent limit or otherwise interfere with the

    right of the Council to terminate the services of Employee at any time subject

    only to the provisions set forth in Section 3 of this Agreement

    B Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent limit or otherwise interfere with the

    right of Employee to voluntarily resign at any time from her position with the

    City subject only to the provision set forth in Section 3 of this Agreement

    Page 1 of 7

    C The Employee agrees to remain in the exclusive employ of the City for the

    first year of the effective date of commencement of this Agreement and

    neither to accept nor to become employed by any other employer until said

    termination date which shall be one 1 year after the effective date of this

    Agreement unless City or the Employee has terminated this Agreement prior

    to that date The effective date shall be July 16 2012

    D In the event written notice is not given by either party to this Agreement to the

    other party one 1 month prior to the termination date above provided or a

    new termination date occasioned by extension this contract shall be extended

    on the same terms and conditions as herein provided for a one 1 year term in

    all respects and in all provisions hereof until Employee semployment with

    the City ends and shall continue to renew on a year to year basis unless notice

    is given one 1 month prior to the termination date of an intent not to extend

    E This Agreement does not preclude the party from occasional teaching or

    consulting as long as it is preapproved by the Council and does not interfere

    with the business ofthe City and that no conflict exists

    Section 3 Termination and Severance Benefits

    A In the event Employee is terminated by City before expiration of the aforesaid

    term or any extension thereof and during such time that Employee is willing

    and able to perform the duties of City Administrator then and in that event the

    City agrees to pay Employee a lump sum cash payment equal to nine 9

    months of Employee saggregate salary and benefits Employee shall also be

    compensated for all earned vacation and other accrued benefits to date

    provided however that in the event Employee is terminated for just cause

    as defined herein then City s only obligation to Employee is to pay her all

    accrued compensation at the date of her termination The expiration of the

    term of this agreement or any extension thereof shall not alleviate the City s

    severance obligations set forth in this paragraph

    B In the event the City reduces the salary or other financial benefits of

    Employee in a greater percentage than an applicable across the board

    reduction for all exempt City Employees or in the event the City refuses

    following written notice to comply with any other material provisions

    benefiting Employee herein and in that event Employee may at her option be

    deemed to be terminated for other than just cause at the date of such

    reduction or such refusal to comply with the terms of this Agreement and

    Employee shall be entitled to the same payments pursuant to Section 3

    Page 2 of 7

    subparagraph A above as if she would have been terminated by the City for

    C Termination for just cause is defined for the purposes of this Agreement to

    termination of any of the following reasons a act s of misfeasance or

    malfeasance or b act s constituting gross dereliction of duty or c

    conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

    D In the event that Employee becomes totally disabled or dies during the term of

    her employment with the City then the City s only obligation other than

    those that may be provided by insurance to Employee shall be her accrued

    but unpaid compensation to include aggregate salary accrued vacation pay

    and any other accrued benefits up until the date of her total disability or death

    E In the event Employee voluntarily resigns her position with the City other than

    for medical reasons or under circumstances covered in paragraphs 3B or 3F

    then Employee shall give City thirty 30 day s notice in advance unless the

    parties agree otherwise and then and in that event City s only obligation to

    Employee shall be for compensation to include aggregate salary accrued

    vacation pay and any other accrued benefits accrued but unpaid as of the

    effective date of her resignation or the time she vacates the position whichever

    F Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary if the majority of

    the Council determines that it is in the best interest of the City for Employee

    to resign and Employee has committed no acts or omissions to warrant

    termination for just cause as defined herein then upon Employee s

    resignation she shall receive all rights and benefits to be accorded her as if she

    had been terminated as set forth in Section 3A It is the intention of this

    subparagraph to distinguish between this type of resignation and a voluntary

    resignation as that term is used in subparagraph E of Section 3

    Employer may suspend the Employee with full pay and benefits at any time

    during the term of this Agreement if a majority of the entire Council vote to do so

    A City agrees to pay Employee for her services rendered pursuant hereto an

    annual base salary as established annually by the Council payable in

    installments as the same time as other employees of the City are paid The

    Page 3 of 7

    initial base salary shall be the sum of One Hundred Ten Thousand dollars

    B City agrees to conduct a performance review six 6 months following the

    Employee sbeginning employment date

    C City agrees to increase said base salary andor other benefits of Employee in

    such amounts and to such extent as the Council may in its sole discretion

    determine is desirable on the basis of an annual review of Employee made at

    the same time as similar consideration is given to other employees

    In addition to that required under State and local law City shall defend save

    harmless and indemnify Employee against any tort professional liability claim or demand or

    other legal action whether groundless or otherwise arising out of an alleged act or omission

    occurring in the performance of Employee sduties as City Administrator provided however

    that this shall not apply to punitive damages

    It is recognized that Employee must devote a great deal of her time outside

    normal office hours on the business of the City and it is agreed by the parties hereto that

    Employee shall not be entitled to any additional salary nor shall Employee be entitled to take

    compensatory time off to make up for the time spent by Employee outside normal office hours

    provided however that reasonable time off is authorized to attend to personal matters and such

    Employee sduties require that she shall have the use of an automobile during her

    employment and the Employee agrees to provide her personal automobile for this use City will

    pay Employee as additional consideration an automobile expense allowance equal to Four

    Hundred Twentyfive Dollars 425 00 per month during the term hereof unless adjusted as

    provided below Employee shall be responsible for paying for Combined Single Limit CSL

    insurance coverage in an amount of not less than 300 0 or the equivalent thereto and for the

    purchase operation maintenance repair and regular replacement of said automobile City shall

    not withhold from said automobile expenses allowance City agrees to review this allowance

    amount six 6 months after the effective date hereof and shall increase same if appropriate but

    in no event shall the amount be decreased Thereafter this allowance amount shall be part and

    parcel of the Employee sannual review process

    Page 4 of 7

    Section 9 Dues and Subscriptions

    City agrees to pay budgeted professional dues and subscriptions of Employee

    necessary for her continuation and full participation in national regional state and local

    associations and organizations necessary and desirable for his continued professional

    participation growth and advancement and for the good of the City including but not

    necessarily limited to the International City Management Association ICMA and the Kansas

    Section 10 Professional Development

    A City hereby agrees to pay budgeted travel and subsistence expenses in

    accordance with adopted City policies for professional and official travel

    meetings and occasions adequate to continue the professional development of

    Employee and to adequately pursue necessary official and other functions for

    the City including but not limited to the Annual conference of the

    International City Management Association the Kansas City Managers

    Association and such other national regional state and local governmental

    groups and committees thereof which Employee serves as a member

    B City also agrees to pay budgeted travel and subsistence expenses in

    accordance with adopted City policies for short courses institutes and

    seminars that are necessary for her professional development and for the good

    Section 11 Vacation and Sick Leave

    Employee shall be entitled to four 4 weeks of paid vacation as of the effective

    date of this Agreement and annually thereafter Sick leave shall accrue and accumulate at the

    same rate as other general fulltime employees of the City

    Section 12 Disability Health and Life Insurance

    City agrees to put into force or continue in force and to make required premium

    payments for Employee for insurance policies for life accident sickness major medical and

    dependent coverage group insurance covering Employee and her dependents equal to the

    insurance benefits as other general fulltime employees of the City

    City agrees to budget and to pay for the same KPERS retirement benefits for

    Employee as afforded other general fulltime employees ofthe City In addition the City agrees

    to budget and pay 3% into ICMARC retirement fund after the initial six 6 month evaluation

    period Additional contribution to be reevaluated upon renewal of the contract

    Page 5 of 7

    A As part and parcel of the inducement to Employee to execute this Agreement

    the City agrees to pay Employee a lump sum payment of up to $8000 for

    moving and relocation expenses with supporting receipts

    B City agrees to pay up to $1200 per month for rental allowance not to

    exceed six 6 months to help defray a portion of Employees temporary rental

    expense Employee shall provide receipts for the reimbursement The six 6

    month rental allowance period begins July 1 2012 and ends on or before

    January 1 2013 Employment date must occur on or before July 30 2012

    Section 15 Other Terms and Conditions of Employment

    A The Council shall fix any such other terms and conditions of employment as

    it may determine from time to time relating to the performance of Employee

    provided such terms and conditions are not inconsistent with or in conflict

    with the provisions of this Agreement the Ordinances of the City of Gardner

    State of Kansas Statutes governing municipalities or any other law

    B All provisions of the Ordinances of the City of Gardner the Kansas Statutes

    Annotated and regulations and rules of City limited to vacation and sick

    leave retirement and pension system contributions holidays and other fringe

    benefits and working conditions as they may now exist or may be hereafter

    amended also shall apply to Employee as they would to other employees of

    the City in addition to said benefits enumerated specifically for the benefit of

    Employee except as herein modified or otherwise provided

    C Employee shall be a resident of Gardner at the time of the effective date of

    appointment or not later than six 6 months thereafter per Gardner City

    Section 16 Limitations State Law

    Notwithstanding any provision or agreement herein contained it is specifically

    understood and agreed between the parties that the commitments made hereby by the City are

    subject to any valid limitation placed thereon by the constitution statutes and laws of the State

    A The test herein hereto shall constitute the entire agreement between the

    Page 6 of 7

    May 24 12 0659p Cheryl Harrison Lee 4073667171 p1

    B This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the personal

    representative and heirs ofEmployee

    C This Agreement shall become effective commencing the 16 day of July

    D If any provision or any portion thereof contained in this Agreement is held to

    be unconstitutional invalid or unenforceable the remainder of this

    Agreement or portion thereof shall be deemed severable shall not be

    affected and shall remain in full force and effect

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF the City of Gaz4ner after formal action of the City council

    authorizing the mayor to sign on the O day of 2012 has caused this

    ement to be signed and executed on its behalf by Day C Drovetta its Mayor and

    tattested by its City Clerk and the Employee has signed and executed this

    Vj ensgnt in duplicate the day and year first above written

    PS7 CITY OF GARDNER KANSAS

    Bv

    City Clerk Mayor David C Drovetta

    APPROVED AS TO FORM EMPLOYEE

    7 l

    WAttorney Cheryl I iconLee

    Page 7 of 7

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Here is the 2nd contract for the city manager position approved by the Mayor, Council and Human Resources Mgr. Mary Bush.

    AGREEMENT

    This Agreement made and entered into the 4th day of March 2013 by and between the

    City of Gardner State of Kansas a municipal corporation hereinafter called the City and

    Cheryl HarrisonLee hereinafter called HarrisonLee or Employee

    WHEREAS City desires to employ the services of HarrisonLee as City Administrator of

    WHEREAS it is the desire of the City Council hereinafter called Council to provide

    certain benefits establish certain conditions of employment and to set working conditions of

    WHEREAS it is the desire of the Council to 1 retain the services of Employee and to

    provide an inducement for her to remain in such employment 2 to provide for HarrisonLee s

    future security in case Employee is terminated without just cause and 3 to provide a

    procedure for terminating Employee sservices when City may desire to terminate her

    WHEREAS HarrisonLee desires to commence her employment as City Administrator

    NOW THEREFORE in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements

    contained herein the parties hereto agree as follows

    City hereby agrees to employ HarrisonLee as City Administrator of said City to

    perform the functions and duties of said office as set forth by law ordinance and the City

    Charter and to perform such other legally permissible and proper duties and functions as the

    Council shall from time to time assign to Employee

    A Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent limit or otherwise interfere with the

    right of the Council to terminate the services of Employee at any time subject

    only to the provisions set forth in Section 3 ofthis Agreement

    B Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent limit or otherwise interfere with the

    right of Employee to voluntarily resign at any time from her position with the

    City subject only to the provision set forth in Section 3 ofthis Agreement

    Page 1 of 7

    C The Employee agrees to remain in the exclusive employ of the City for three

    3 years of the effective date of commencement of this Agreement and

    neither to accept nor to become employed by any other employer until said

    termination date which shall be three 3 years after the effective date of this

    Agreement unless City or the Employee has terminated this Agreement prior

    to that date The effective date shall be March 4 2016

    D In the event written notice is not given by either party to this Agreement to the

    other party one 1 month prior to the termination date above provided or a

    new termination date occasioned by extension this contract shall be extended

    on the same terms and conditions as herein provided for a one 1 year term in

    all respects and in all provisions hereof until Employee semployment with

    the City ends and shall continue to renew on a year to year basis unless notice

    is given one 1 month prior to the termination date of an intent not to extend

    At the end ofthe contract and yearly thereafter on or about January 1 of each

    year salary and benefits will be negotiated

    E This Agreement does not preclude the party from occasional teaching or

    consulting as long as it is preapproved by the Council and does not interfere

    with the business ofthe City and that no conflict exists

    Section 3 Termination and Severance Benefits

    A In the event Employee is terminated by City before expiration ofthe aforesaid

    term or any extension thereof and during such time that Employee is willing

    and able to perform the duties of City Administrator then and in that event the

    City agrees to pay Employee a lump sum cash payment equal to nine 9

    months of Employee saggregate salary and benefits Employee shall also be

    compensated for all earned vacation and other accrued benefits to date

    provided however that in the event Employee is terminated for just cause

    as defined herein then City s only obligation to Employee is to pay her all

    accrued compensation at the date of her termination The expiration of the

    term of this agreement or any extension thereof shall not alleviate the City s

    severance obligations set forth in this paragraph

    B In the event the City reduces the salary or other financial benefits of

    Employee in a greater percentage than an applicable acrossthe board

    reduction for all exempt City Employees or in the event the City refuses

    following written notice to comply with any other material provisions

    benefiting Employee herein and in that event Employee may at her option be

    deemed to be terminated for other than just cause at the date of such

    Page 2 of 7

    reduction or such refusal to comply with the terms of this Agreement and

    Employee shall be entitled to the same payments pursuant to Section 3

    subparagraph A above as if she would have been terminated by the City for

    C Termination for just cause is defined for the purposes of this Agreement to

    termination of any of the following reasons a act s of misfeasance or

    malfeasance or b act s constituting gross dereliction of duty or c

    conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

    D In the event that Employee becomes totally disabled or dies during the term of

    her employment with the City then the City s only obligation other than

    those that may be provided by insurance to Employee shall be her accrued

    but unpaid compensation to include aggregate salary accrued vacation pay

    and any other accrued benefits up until the date of her total disability or death

    E In the event Employee voluntarily resigns her position with the City other than

    for medical reasons or under circumstances covered in paragraphs 3B or 3F

    then Employee shall give City thirty 30 day s notice in advance unless the

    parties agree otherwise and then and in that event City s only obligation to

    Employee shall be for compensation to include aggregate salary accrued

    vacation pay and any other accrued benefits accrued but unpaid as of the

    effective date of her resignation or the time she vacates the position whichever

    F Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary if the majority of

    the Council determines that it is in the best interest of the City for Employee

    to resign and Employee has committed no acts or omissions to warrant

    termination for just cause as defined herein then upon Employee s

    resignation she shall receive all rights and benefits to be accorded her as if she

    had been terminated as set forth in Section 3A It is the intention of this

    subparagraph to distinguish between this type of resignation and a voluntary

    resignation as that term is used in subparagraph E of Section 3

    Employer may suspend the Employee with full pay and benefits at any time during the

    term ofthis Agreement if a majority ofthe entire Council vote to do so

    Page 3 of 7

    A City agrees to pay Employee for her services rendered pursuant hereto an annual base

    salary as established annually by the Council payable in installments as the same time as

    other employees of the City are paid The base salary shall be the sum of One Hundred

    Sixteen Thousand dollars Seven Hundred and Thirty Six dollars 116 73retroactive

    to January 15 2013 City agrees to increase said base salary of Employee to One

    Hundred Twenty Four Thousand 124 000 on March 4 2013 Upon successful

    performance evaluation the City agrees to increase said base salary of Employee 7% on

    March 4 2014, 6% on March 4 2015 and 6% on March 4 2016 Upon successful

    performance evaluation employee is eligible for a yearly bonus of 5 of base salary

    In addition to that required under State and local law City shall defend save

    harmless and indemnify Employee against any tort professional liability claim or demand or

    other legal action whether groundless or otherwise arising out of an alleged act or omission

    occurring in the performance of Employee sduties as City Administrator provided however

    that this shall not apply to punitive damages

    It is recognized that Employee must devote a great deal of her time outside

    normal office hours on the business of the City and it is agreed by the parties hereto that

    Employee shall not be entitled to any additional salary nor shall Employee be entitled to take

    compensatory time off to make up for the time spent by Employee outside normal office hours

    provided however that reasonable time off is authorized to attend to personal matters and such

    Employee sduties require that she shall have the use of an automobile during her

    employment and the Employee agrees to provide her personal automobile for this use City will

    pay Employee as additional consideration an automobile expense allowance equal to

    Five Hundred Dollars 500 00 per month retroactive to January 15 2013 with additional

    increases yearly of $150 00 Employee shall be responsible for paying for Combined Single

    Limit CSL insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $300,00 0 or the equivalent thereto

    and for the purchase operation maintenance repair and regular replacement of said automobile

    City shall not withhold from said automobile expenses allowance

    Section 9 Dues and Subscriptions

    Page 4 of 7

    City agrees to pay budgeted professional dues and subscriptions of Employee

    necessary for her continuation and full participation in national regional state and local

    associations and organizations necessary and desirable for his continued professional

    participation growth and advancement and for the good of the City including but not

    necessarily limited to the International City Management Association ICMA and the Kansas

    Section 10 Professional Development

    A City hereby agrees to pay budgeted travel and subsistence expenses in

    accordance with adopted City policies for professional and official travel

    meetings and occasions adequate to continue the professional development of

    Employee and to adequately pursue necessary official and other functions for

    the City including but not limited to the Annual conference of the

    International City Management Association the Kansas City Managers

    Association and such other national regional state and local governmental

    groups and committees thereof which Employee serves as a member

    B City also agrees to pay budgeted travel and subsistence expenses in

    accordance with adopted City policies for short courses institutes and

    seminars that are necessary for her professional development and for the good

    Section 11 Vacation and Sick Leave

    Employee shall be entitled to six 6 weeks of paid vacation effective January 15

    2013 and annually thereafter Sick leave shall accrue and accumulate at the same rate as other

    Section 12 Disability Health and Life Insurance

    City agrees to put into force or continue in force and to make required premium

    payments for Employee for insurance policies for life accident sickness major medical and

    dependent coverage group insurance covering Employee and her dependents equal to the

    insurance benefits as other general fulltime employees ofthe City

    City agrees to budget and to pay for the same KPERS retirement benefits for

    Employee as afforded other general fulltime employees of the City In addition the City agrees

    to budget and pay 5 into ICMARC retirement fund effective March 4 2013 and will increase

    and additional 1 2014 2in 2015 and 3 in 2016

    Page 5 of 7

    Section 14 Other Terms and Conditions ofEmployment

    A The Council shall fix any such other terms and conditions of employment as

    it may determine from time to time relating to the performance of Employee

    provided such terms and conditions are not inconsistent with or in conflict

    with the provisions of this Agreement the Ordinances of the City of Gardner

    State of Kansas Statutes governing municipalities or any other law

    B All provisions of the Ordinances of the City of Gardner the Kansas Statutes

    Annotated and regulations and rules of City limited to vacation and sick

    leave retirement and pension system contributions holidays and other fringe

    benefits and working conditions as they may now exist or may be hereafter

    amended also shall apply to Employee as they would to other employees of

    the City in addition to said benefits enumerated specifically for the benefit of

    Employee except as herein modified or otherwise provided

    C Employee shall be a resident of Gardner at the time of the effective date of

    contract and through the duration ofthe contract

    Section 15 Limitations State Law

    Notwithstanding any provision or agreement herein contained it is specifically

    understood and agreed between the parties that the commitments made hereby by the City are

    subject to any valid limitation placed thereon by the constitution statutes and laws of the State

    A The test herein hereto shall constitute the entire agreement between the

    B This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the personal

    representative and heirs ofEmployee

    C This Agreement shall become effective commencing the 8th day of March

    D If any provision or any portion thereof contained in this Agreement is held to

    be unconstitutional invalid or unenforceable the remainder of this

    Agreement or portion thereof shall be deemed severable shall not be

    affected and shall remain in full force and effect

    Page 6 of 7

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF the City of Gardner after formal action of the City council

    authorizing the mayor to sign on the 4 day of March 2013 has caused this Agreement

    to be signed and executed on its behalf by David C Drovetta its Mayor and to be duly

    attested by its City Clerk and the Employee has signed and executed this Agreement in

    duplicate the day and year first above written

    Ap CITY OF GARDNER KANSAS

    lerk Mayor David C Drovetta

    APPROVED AS TO FORM EMPLOYEE

    City Attorney Cheryl sonLee

    Page 7 of 7

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Any citizen may request a copy of these contracts by contacting the Gardner City Clerk.

    Do you think the increases you are seeing in these two contracts are excessive? Do you agree with these same types of increases also being afforded to other city personnel as approved by City Staff, the Mayor and the Council? Is the average citizen in our community receiving 10%, 12%, 9%, etc. raises? I certainly know my Social Security check will not be increasing at these excessive rates and yet my own city government thinks nothing of it to saddle me and all citizens with these types of increases, especially when you know your city personnel have already been receiving very good salaries and excellent benefits. The Council certainly hasn’t talked about keeping those costs in line, have they?

    Did you notice how your city manager’s monthly car allowance is $500 for 2013, $650 for 2014, $800 for 2015 and $950 for 2016? In my opinion you can tell your Mayor, Council and Human Resources Mgr. Mary Bush certainly are not spending THEIR MONEY for this type of excess.

    Your city manager is also receiving two pension plans and based on her 2014 salary that means citizens will also be paying those costs in excess of $16,368. And keep in mind you are also paying ALL EMPLOYEES KPERs pension costs in excess of 9% of their salaries and they may also be receiving more under another pension plan. And most of all, remember KPERs is in the RED for $10 BILLION the last I heard.

    Then you have the lovely thieves the citizens have been called upon to take care of by providing them with benefit districts via general obligation bonds. The thieves are supposed to pay assessments that show up on their tax bills each year until the bonds are paid, however, some of the thieves aren’t good at paying what THEY owe so consequently since your city placed you, the average citizen, at financial risk by issuing general obligation bonds which holds every citizen in Gardner responsible for paying those bonds if the thieves don’t pay their assessments. Your City Administrative Staff, Mayor or Council members never seem to talk about those financial exposures to all citizens. Think City Hall,. and especially Lehman & Drovetta who were real believers in those benefit districts along with many other handout programs, has been protecting your interests? And keep in mind that many of those getting their benefit districts have been getting the good ole “farm” appraisal classification wherein they may be paying as low as 43 CENTS a year to the city of Gardner and its citizens in property taxes and similar low amounts for our schools, etc. When those thieves don’t pay their assessments nor their taxes, the County doesn’t even begin the process to collect the delinquencies for three years since they are restricted by state law and it will take a good 7 to 7.5 years to get those jaybirds to the point of a Sheriffs Sale, to say nothing about all of the costs the citizens have to pay for that collection process. I feel as though citizens have been used and abused by the politicians, bureaucrats and the thieves for years and I see no real change coming to make things better. If ole Sutton was really working for the citizens he would be getting some bills through the legislature to stop these loopholes on the “farm” appraisal classifications and would be changing the laws so we don’t have to wait 7 to 7.5 years to hold the jaybirds responsible in paying their taxes and assessments. But you won’t see Sutton carrying that banner because the parties involved are banks, savings and loan associations, builders, LLC entities, investors, etc. – the Brownback type leeches that bleed the citizens dry in so many ways but they sure take care of the politicians who enable and support them. After I watched that presentation about how we are in good financial shape to take on more debt, even though we are still in debt for over $72 MILLION, I know City Hall is ready to Rock and Roll and placing the citizens at more financial risk.

    I really can’t see how local taxes can be reduced considering how our City and Brownback state governments operate because when all is said and done the citizens are the only ones around keeping things together. Always keep in the back of your mind that $10 BILLION KPERs debt that all citizens are responsible for – the thieves will be avoiding paying taxes any way they can with the help and support of the the politicians and bureaucrats so just like here locally with the benefit districts and the thieves not paying their bills, you know where the buck will will stop. Thank your ole City Hall, including your Financial Director, for making you a co-signer on those general obligation bonds for the benefit districts. As I always say, the thieves always have a smiley face but the citizens are standing around with a sad face and empty wallets.

    Citizens better be getting FULLY INFORMED as to what is actually going at City Hall and the citizens better be thinking long and hard about WHO AND WHAT THEY ARE ENABLING AND SUPPORTING.

    These are SOME of my opinions.

    Did you notice how your city manager’s monthly car allowance is $500 for 2013, $650 for 2014, $800 for 2015 and $950 for 2016? In my opinion you can tell your Mayor, Council and Human Resources Mgr. Mary Bush certainly are not spending THEIR MONEY for this type of excess.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Forgot to delete the last paragraph on the above posting – sorry about that but it wouldn’t hurt any citizen to read that paragraph two times…………….

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Here are a list of all of the properties here in Gardner who are paying assessments on benefit districts as per Gardner’s Financial Director, Laura Gourley You can go to the Jo. Co. Treasurer’s website, enter the parcel i.d. no. and review each and every one of the tax bills and note the assessment amounts and you can also check to see if they are paying or not. Financial Director Laura Gourley advised me “Because the City does not collect taxes/assessments, there is no record at the City of present status of outstanding benefit districts. As stated previously, the debt associated with any special assessments is paid from the Debt Service fund.” I told the City Council that to me Laura Gourley sounded to me like she couldn’t care less if those assessments are paid or not considering the reply she gave me regarding that issue.

    The parcel I.D. numbers for all the City’s benefit districts are attached. If these entities do not pay their assessments such as the Russell Family who right now I believe have delinquencies totaling over $300,000, then I hope all citizens know who will have to pick up the slack. And the Russell Family is only two years into their 20 year payment of assessments – looks like to me it is going to be a long haul for the citizens in the next 20 years for just that one entity. Your City Hall and politicians really know how to pick the winners, don’t they? Put the Russell Family along with the outfit that owes over $800,000 and the citizens are looking at a liability of over $1 MILLION and I don’t think the bad news stops there by any means. You got that huge tax increase in 2010 because 4 out of 9 benefit districts were in delinquency and I don’t think citizens are any better off today.

    If the politicians cut taxes this year, I believe it will only be because they are politicians and not decent citizen representatives. It is what those jokers DON’T TELL YOU that should concern responsible citizens.

    ***********************************************************************************************

    Parcel ID CP66930000 0001 CP28780000 0001 CP84400000 0041

    CP78460000 0001 CP66930000 0T0B CP73550000 0001 CP84400000 0042

    CP78460000 0002 CP66930000 0T0D CP84400000 0001 CP84400000 0043

    CP78460000 0003 CP66930000 0T0E CP84400000 0002 CP84400000 0044

    CP78460000 0004 CP66940000 0001 CP84400000 0003 CP84400000 0045

    CP78460000 0005 CP66950001 0001 CP84400000 0004 CP84400000 0046

    CP78460000 0006 CP66950002 0001 CP84400000 0005 CP84400000 0047

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    CP78460000 0008 CP66960000 0002 CP84400000 0007 CP84400000 0049

    CP78460000 0T0A CP66960000 0003 CP84400000 0008 CP84400000 0050

    CP64310000 0001 CP66960000 0004 CP84400000 0009 CP84400000 0051

    CP64310000 0002 CP66960000 0005 CP84400000 0010 CP84400000 0052

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    CP64310000 0005 CP66930000 0001 CP84400000 0013 CP84400000 0055

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    CP64310000 0010 CP66950001 0001 CP84400000 0018 CP84400000 0060

    CP64310000 0011 CP66950002 0001 CP84400000 0019 CP84400000 0061

    CP66930000 0001 CP66960000 0001 CP84400000 0020 CP84400000 0062

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    CP66950001 0001 CP66960001 0001 CP84400000 0025 CP84410000 0001

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    CP66960000 0002 CP67500000 0002 CP84400000 0029 CP94500000 0T0B

    CP66960000 0003 CP09800000 0001 CP84400000 0030 CP94500000 0T0B1

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    CP66960000 0005 CP09800000 0T0B CP84400000 0032 CP94500000 0T0D

    CP66960001 0001 CP09800000 0T0D CP84400000 0033 CP94500000 0T0E

    CP66960001 0002 CF221415-1002 CP84400000 0034 CP94500000 0T0F

    CF231419-2013 CF221415-1003 CP84400000 0035 CP94500001 0001

    CP66930000 0001 CF221415-1004 CP84400000 0036 CP94500001 0002

    CP66930000 0T0B CF221415-2007 CP84400000 0037 CP94500001 0003

    CP66930000 0T0D CF221415-2013 CP84400000 0038 CP94500001 0004

    CP66930000 0T0E CF221415-2014 CP84400000 0039 CP94500001 0005

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    CP94500001 0007 CP94500001 0010 CP82400000 0093 CP82400000 0134

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    CP94500001 0013 CP94500002 0003 CP82400000 0099 CP82400000 0140

    CP94500002 0001 CP94500002 0004 CP82400000 0100 CP82400000 0141

    CP94500002 0002 CP94500002 0005 CP82400000 0101 CP82400000 0142

    CP94500002 0003 CP94500002 0006 CP82400000 0102 CF221409-3001

    CP94500002 0004 CP94500002 0007 CP82400000 0103 CF221409-3002

    CP94500002 0005 CP94500002 0008 CP82400000 0104 CF221409-3003

    CP94500002 0006 CP94500002 0009 CP82400000 0105 CF221410-1001

    CP94500002 0007 CP94500002 0010 CP82400000 0106 CF221410-2001

    CP94500002 0008 CP94500002 0011 CP82400000 0107 CF231430-1006

    CP94500002 0009 CP94500002 0012 CP82400000 0108 CF231430-2018

    CP94500002 0010 CP94500002 0013 CP82400000 0109 CP13700001 0001

    CP94500002 0011 CP94500002 0014 CP82400000 0110 CP13700001 0002

    CP94500002 0012 CP94500003 0001 CP82400000 0111 CP13700001 0003

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    CP94500003 0002 CP94500003 0005 CP82400000 0115 CP13700001 0007

    CP94500003 0003 CF221422-2002 CP82400000 0116 CP13700001 0008

    CP94500003 0004 CF221422-4007 CP82400000 0117 CP13700001 0009

    CP94500003 0005 CP73840000 0001 CP82400000 0118 CP13700001 0010

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    CP13700001 0035 CP13700004 0007 CP13700005 0016 CP13700007 0006

    CP13700001 0037 CP13700004 0009 CP13700005 0017 CP13700007 0007

    CP13700001 0037A CP13700004 0010 CP13700005 0018 CP13700007 0008

    CP13700002 0001 CP13700004 0011 CP13700005 0019 CP13700007 0009

    CP13700002 0003 CP13700004 0012 CP13700005 0020 CP13700007 0010

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    CP13700002 0006 CP13700004 0015 CP13700005 0023 CP13700007 0013

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    CP13700002 0013 CP13700004 0022 CP13700005 0029 CP13810000 0T0A

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    CP13700003 0001 CP13700004 0024 CP13700005 0031 CP13820000 0003

    CP13700003 0002 CP13700004 0025 CP13700005 0032 CP13820000 0004

    CP13700003 0003 CP13700004 0026 CP13700005 0033 CP13820000 0005

    CP13700003 0004 CP13700004 0027 CP13700005 0034 CP13820000 0T0B

    CP13700003 0005 CP13700004 0028 CP13700005 0035 CP13830000 0002

    CP13700003 0006 CP13700004 0029 CP13700005 0036 CP13830000 0003

    CP13700003 0007 CP13700004 0030 CP13700005 0037 CP13830000 0004

    CP13700003 0008 CP13700004 0031 CP13700005 0038 CP13830000 0005

    CP13700003 0010 CP13700004 0032 CP13700005 0039 CP13830000 0T0C

    CP13700003 0011 CP13700004 0033 CP13700005 0040 CP13840000 0001

    CP13700003 0012 CP13700004 0034 CP13700005 0041 CP13840000 0003

    CP13700003 0014 CP13700004 0035 CP13700005 0042 CP13840000 0004

    CP13700003 0015 CP13700005 0001 CP13700005 0043 CP13840000 0005

    CP13700003 0016 CP13700005 0002 CP13700005 0044 CP13840000 0T0D

    CP13700003 0017 CP13700005 0004 CP13700005 0046 CP13850000 0001

    CP13700003 0018 CP13700005 0005 CP13700005 0047 CP13850000 0002

    CP13700003 0020 CP13700005 0006 CP13700005 0048 CP13850000 0003

    CP13850000 0004 CP13930000 0004 CP74000003 0003 CP74000005 0008

    CP13850000 0005 CP13930000 0005 CP74000003 0004 CP74000005 0009

    CP13850000 0006 CP13930000 0T0L CP74000003 0005 CP74000005 0010

    CP13850000 0T0E CP67300000 0001 CP74000003 0006 CP74000005 0011

    CP13860000 0001 CP74000001 0001 CP74000003 0007 CP74000005 0012

    CP13860000 0002 CP74000001 0003 CP74000003 0010 CP74000005 0013

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    CP13860000 0005 CP74000001 0005 CP74000003 0012 CP74000005 0015

    CP13860000 0006 CP74000001 0006 CP74000003 0014 CP74000005 0016

    CP13860000 0T0F CP74000001 0007 CP74000003 0015 CP74000005 0017

    CP13870000 0001 CP74000001 0008 CP74000003 0016 CP74000005 0018

    CP13870000 0002 CP74000001 0010 CP74000003 0017 CP74000005 0020

    CP13870000 0003 CP74000001 0011 CP74000003 0018 CP74000005 0021

    CP13870000 0004 CP74000001 0013 CP74000004 0001 CP74000005 0022

    CP13870000 0005 CP74000001 0014 CP74000004 0002 CP74000005 0023

    CP13870000 0006 CP74000001 0016 CP74000004 0003 CP74000006 0001

    CP13870000 0T0G CP74000001 0017 CP74000004 0004 CP74000006 0002

    CP13880000 0001 CP74000002 0001 CP74000004 0005 CP74000006 0003

    CP13880000 0002 CP74000002 0002 CP74000004 0006 CP74000006 0004

    CP13880000 0003 CP74000002 0003 CP74000004 0007 CP74000006 0005

    CP13880000 0004 CP74000002 0005 CP74000004 0008 CP74000006 0006

    CP13880000 0005 CP74000002 0006 CP74000004 0010 CP74000006 0007

    CP13880000 0006 CP74000002 0007 CP74000004 0011 CP74000006 0008

    CP13880000 0T0H CP74000002 0009 CP74000004 0012 CP74000006 0009

    CP13910000 0001 CP74000002 0012 CP74000004 0013 CP74000006 0010

    CP13910000 0002 CP74000002 0014 CP74000004 0014 CP74000006 0011

    CP13910000 0003 CP74000002 0015 CP74000004 0015 CP74000006 0012

    CP13910000 0004 CP74000002 0016 CP74000004 0016 CP74000006 0013

    CP13910000 0005 CP74000002 0017 CP74000004 0018 CP74000006 0014

    CP13910000 0006 CP74000002 0018 CP74000004 0019 CP74000006 0015

    CP13910000 0T0J CP74000002 0019 CP74000004 0020 CP74000006 0016

    CP13920000 0001 CP74000002 0021 CP74000004 0021 CP74000006 0017

    CP13920000 0002 CP74000002 0022 CP74000004 0023 CP74000006 0018

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    CP13920000 0005 CP74000002 0026 CP74000004 0027 CP74000006 0021

    CP13920000 0006 CP74000002 0027 CP74000005 0001 CP74000006 0022

    CP13920000 0T0K CP74000002 0028 CP74000005 0002 CP74000006 0023

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    CP74000006 0027 CP99600002 0011 CP22000002 0009 CP22000005 0002

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    CP99600001 0020 CP99600002 0016 CP22000002 0019 CP22000005 0009

    CP99600001 0021 CP99600002 0016A CP22000002 0020 CP22000005 0010

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    CP99600001 0024 CP99600002 0020 CP22000003 0001 CP22000005 0015

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    CP99600001 0029 CP22000001 0003 CP22000003 0008 CP22000005 0022

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    CP99600001 0031 CP22000001 0005 CP22000003 0010 CP22000005 0025

    CP99600001 0032 CP22000001 0006 CP22000004 0001 CP22000006 0001

    CP99600001 0033 CP22000001 0007 CP22000004 0002 CP22000006 0002

    CP99600001 0034 CP22000001 0008 CP22000004 0003 CP22000006 0003

    CP99600001 0035 CP22000001 0009 CP22000004 0004 CP22000006 0004

    CP99600001 0036 CP22000001 0010 CP22000004 0005 CP22000006 0005

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    CP99600001 0039A CP22000001 0014 CP22000004 0010 CP22000006 0009

    CP99600001 0040 CP22000001 0015 CP22000004 0011 CP22000006 0012

    CP99600001 0041 CP22000001 0016 CP22000004 0012 CP22000006 0013

    CP99600002 0001 CP22000001 0017 CP22000004 0013 CP22000006 0014

    CP99600002 0002 CP22000001 0018 CP22000004 0015 CP22000006 0015

    CP99600002 0003 CP22000001 0019 CP22000004 0016 CP22000006 0016

    CP99600002 0004 CP22000001 0021 CP22000004 0017 CP22000006 0017

    CP99600002 0005 CP22000002 0001 CP22000004 0018 CP22000006 0018

    CP99600002 0006 CP22000002 0002 CP22000004 0019 CP22000006 0019

    CP99600002 0006A CP22000002 0003 CP22000004 0020 CP22000006 0020

    CP99600002 0007 CP22000002 0004 CP22000004 0021 CP22000006 0021

    CP99600002 0008 CP22000002 0005 CP22000004 0022 CP22000006 0022

    CP99600002 0009 CP22000002 0007 CP22000004 0023 CP22000006 0023

    CP99600002 0010 CP22000002 0008 CP22000005 0001 CP22000006 0024

    CP22000006 0025 CP22000010 0001

    CP22000006 0026 CP22000010 0005

    CP22000006 0027 CP22000010 0006

    CP22000006 0028 CP22000010 0007

    CP22000006 0029 CP22000010 0008

    CP22000006 0031 CP22000010 0009

    CP22000006 0032 CP22000010 0010

    CP22000007 0002 CP22000010 0011

    CP22000007 0003 CP22000010 0012

    CP22000007 0004 CP22000010 0013

    CP22000007 0005 CP22000010 0014

    CP22000007 0006 CP22000010 0015

    CP22000007 0007 CP22000010 0016

    CP22000007 0008 CP67200000 0001

    CP22000007 0009 CP67200000 0001

    CP22000007 0010

    CP22000007 0011

    CP22000007 0012

    CP22000007 0014

    CP22000007 0016

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  6. Walter H. says:

    That is a long list of properties. You only have to go about 5 ID numbers in to find a property that owes over $200k and hasn’t paid their taxes since the inception of the benefit district. I cannot imagine how much is owed to Gardner from this list.

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