September 16, 2014

Downtown merchants asked to remove items from right of way

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Main Street business owners are voicing their displeasure after a city employee told them they must remove products and advertising from the sidewalk late Friday afternoon.
Ken Fleming owns Ken’s Swap-n-Shop on the southeast corner of Main and Elm Streets. When he opens his shop in the morning, he typically sets a variety of products on the sidewalk. They’re removed when he closes each evening.
“This is our way of letting you know about new items or big things,” Fleming said.
A petition asking that small business owners be allowed to display some of their wares outside sits on the counter in his store.
Jim Sherman said city codes enforcers issued verbal warnings to two businesses asking that they remove items from city-owned right-of-ways last week. JW Games and Movies was also served notice. Staff there was asked to remove the store’s life-size Superman statue.
Sherman said as per city policy, the verbal warnings were issued because citizens complained.
“It came down to literally residents having to complain about not having enough room to walk around,” Sherman said.
Fleming isn’t buying that story.
He noted that other stores in the area, including an antique store on Elm Street and a tire shop on east Main Street have items that sit out, and the coffee house across the street sets out tables and chairs each day.
“If I have to get rid of everything, everyone else should to,” Fleming said.
When the city receives property maintenance complaints for things like trash and debris, the complaint is logged into a system. However, the complaints against the swap shop and the game store were related to city-owned right-of-way, they were not logged.
“These are just calls from citizens that went through our front counter and then notes were passed to me,” Sherman explained.
The swap shop continues to set out a limited number of items each morning. Fleming says that’s because otherwise customers may think he’s out of business. On Oct. 29, two children’s toys riding-type toys dotted the steps leading into the store.
There are a few potential penalties for failure to comply with the city code that says it’s unlawful to sell or display items in the public right-of-way.
First, Sherman said, the city could issue a citation, similar to a traffic ticket. Or, the city could give the owner a 72-hour notice and then the city could remove the items.
“That’s not preferred,” Sherman said.
Typically, a verbal warning is enough.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever had to issue a citation in court,” he said.

Comments

  1. Gardnerwhos says:

    Just paint your Superman beige, he’ll fit right in with the adopted city codes.

  2. common sense says:

    Actually, you may not have been given all the info from Mr. Swap-n-Shop. It’s my understanding that he was asked nicely several times to please just place fewer items outside for display, just on his steps, similar to how the antique shop displays just a few particular items. As a long time resident, I’m tired of always seeing old tires, large pieces of furniture, & bins of junk on a table there on the corner that pedestrians have to walk around. Everything doesn’t have to be out on the sidewalk for people to know that the store is open for business! I agree with you about missing Superman, he was fun, but the City can not pick & choose where they will enforce the regulations by how much they personally like the display! I also agree that the stacked tires around the Big O business is beyond reasonable, and there too, the City has requested the owner to remove the tires in the right-of-way, without cooperation obviously. City staff are very reluctant to use heavy-handed tactics, such as citations, to enforce the codes unless all other (and multiple) attempts have been made to bring the property owner into willing compliance. If citizens don’t like the current regulations, they should take it up with the City Council, not castigate City staff when they are directed to enforce the existing codes!

  3. That is just rediculous. I have NEVER seen enough pedestrians on our sidewalks at one time that would cause people to not be able to walk on the sidewalks because of these items. (Maybe during fair week only.) We are already struggling as a city to attract (and maintain) businesses, which in turn diversifies our tax base. Quit making it so dang hard for businesses to do business in Gardner. Give me a break.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Sherman and many at City Hall don’t do what they should be doing but are Johnny on the Spot when they want to exhibit their Charles in Charge powers. City Hall will take care of the thieves/ cronies and create higher and unfair taxation for the average citizen. I have seen trailers and motor homes illegally parked for YEARS along with trashy blight that never gets addressed. City Hall and the slimy politicians and bureaucrats did the biggest disservice to this community ever when they put that red carpet out for the horror story of the intermodal which will do more to destroy our quality of life and bring on exorbinant costs than any good (and I can’t think of one good thing coming from it) it will ever do. Four times Sherman has given me incorrect information on different issues and he tells me he can “assure” me something is a fact and yet, when I ask him to, cannot provide the facts. Time after time this poor management has been exhibited to me over numerous years now such as Gardner Energy requiring average citizens to pay the transfer fees for businesses who want to start using our power source and then putting the cherry on the top of the cake, they want to give these entities a 30% break on their electric rates and the people go long with all of this crapola. You get the government you enable and support and if you aren’t doing your job as responsible citizens, then you will continue to be facing the problems of cronyism, poor government entities. And as a reminder to all citizens, YOU are paying top dollar for this type of government.

  5. I think Mr Sherman has too much time on his hands.

    Dont get me started about the Sign Nazi that picks up church signs – I like superman! the stuff on the street on main doesnt bother me.

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    Also your lovely Gardner city government has rubber stamped the actions of your Kansas legislators (like Sutton who was recently elected) who support and enable the gun lovers. More and more of those little boys and girls in big boy and girl pants walking around with their guns now because they CAN.

    Here is a conversation I am seeing more and more here in Kansas and I continue to believe much ignorance and regression are being exhibited.

    “I have a gun!”

    “So do I.”

    “Facebook me.”

    “Awesome.”

  7. Aw, Judith. You sound jealous that people can have intelligent conversations about important issues without you there to lie and insult them. But at least here you can hang out with all your noname friends. I note that you don’t seem to mind them when they agree with you.

  8. Judith Rogers says:

    Hope all citizens will take the time to watch the following program: http://video.pbs.org/video/2300849486. The Koch Bros., the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and like entities helped elect Sutton, Brownback and others into office and you know they will be carrying their banner wherever they dictate – hardly true representatives for the average citizen – that is my opinion. If citizens continue to enable and support cronyism government along with the robber barons, the price will be high and one they can hardly afford. I note the Koch Bros. were running political ads about two days AFTER the election……….they will forever be buying what they want and that want is money, greed and POWER.

    Kansas Star reports today that only 15.4% of the women in this area have a college degree and women only receive 73 cents for every dollar a man earns. Discrimination continues. Education HAS to be priority No. 1 for every family in the U.S. and that applies for all male and female youth. I believe if you are not educated or you are a follower and not an independent thinker, you are doing yourself and your loved ones a big disservice. The big boys will continue to run your lives as they see fit and much suffering will result. KNOW what brought about this terrible recession/depression and FULLY RECOGNIZE things really haven’t changed much in the past 4 years. Remember, it is a myth that low-income people do not pay taxes……..they are paying thru the nose every day to keep those fat cats happy and rich……………..

  9. amused citizen says:

    Judith what in the heck does your post have to do with the topic of stuff on the sidewalk?

  10. gardnermom says:

    I agree completely with angvande – the stuff in front of the swap and shop doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I have actually gone in and checked it out because of the items out in front. As for the superman – that is how the kids knew the store was open.

    The claim that people have complained about not having enough room on the sidewalk is absolutely insane. There are simply NEVER that many people on our sidewalks!

    We need small businesses in Gardner. We should be supporting them in every way we can and helping them succeed.

  11. Judith Rogers says:

    Your question indicates you have a problem in connecting the dots………..again, education should be Priority No. 1 for all citizens and independent thinking shinks the probability of people being “followers” which brings about corrupt, cronyism government. I don’t think you are “amused” – your motive behind your question is very apparent.

  12. A city code is not negotiable. Nobody should complain when a city enforces its own codes. If you think a particular code should be removed or reworded, put some effort into getting it changed – through elections if necessary. But a city needs to enforce its codes.

    You like the Superman statue? What if the game store put out a slutty Super Skank statue instead? Would you want the city to enforce the code then?

    You want the city to ignore its codes when a consignment store puts out a few items to draw customers, but what about when your neighbor has 6 vehicles under repair in his front yard or leaves a giant RV in the street for weeks at a time? Do you still want codes ignored?

    I like the Superman but that doesn’t matter. The codes do. We want our codes enforced. Or work through civic processes to get them changed or removed.

  13. Judith Rogers says:

    I want my City Staff and elected officials to utilize SERIOUS thoughts and common sense when setting codes and also in enforcing them. An ordinary citizen has a small chance in hell with City Hall listening to their concerns, viewpoints and opinions – the jokers don’t work for the average Joe Blow………they are too busy working for the fat cat thieves that the people are forced into taking care of – that is my opinion and has been for some time due my experiences with them.

    Around 2005/2006 I contacted Sherman about getting sidewalks along 183rd St. since it was so dangerous for citizens to be walking along that street. Sherman advised me the budget had already been set for that year but he would see to it that issue would be addressed next year. Well, next year comes along and still nothing on 183rd St. sidewalks I was at a Council Meeting after that and sidewalks were being discussed and I again spoke to the city about the needed sidewalks and at that time they tell me we can’t have sidewalks because of the open culvert 183rd St. makeup. Then just a few years ago I again pose the need for that sidewalk and lo and behold, somehow, that sidewalk is now viable and the citizens received a wonderful walkway along with the repaving of 183rd St. that was so needed and I have had citizen after citizen say how nice it is to have – one small victory for the citizens who pay their FULL TAXES and aren’t constantly at City Hall asking for a sweet deal or a handout like we have seen time and time again from the thieves and the slimy politicians/bureaucrats who enable and support them. I also contacted Sherman several years ago about the fire risk presented by how my townhome dryer vent was installed and asked if that met city code and whether they had inspected for that aspect before giving final clearance on the construction – NEVER did hear back from Sherman on that important issue and had my vent reworked to avoid the fire risk but you sure as hell didn’t get city action on this matter so there is a possibility that fire risk could happen another time. Then just a few months ago I contacted Sherman about another issue and again it turned out to be a total waste of time and the City Mgr. and the Council were fully aware of how careless and inadequate that matter was handled, at least in my opinion, but evidently not in theirs as they continue to support and enable such poor performance.

    I will say it again – the city seems to do what they shouldn’t be doing and do what they shouldn’t. And when you speak your mind or hold their feet to the fire, they don’t seem to like it whatsoever and proceed to thumb their noses at you or give you the Bird. Citizens need to be finding some responsible REPRESENTIVES to work for them rather than have City Hall run like the stinky political machine that they are with worthless, morally corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

    These are my opinions and viewpoints based on my expereinces. If you do want to work through CIVIC PROCESSES, you better have the patience of Job and you need to be ready and willing to hold people ACCOUNTABLE and that applies every day. City Staff and others want no interference whatsoever in the day to day running of City Hall and they had an attorney with Kutak Rock come and tell the Council that very thing (which you had to pay for) and you can view the attorney’s presentation on Utube videotape of that meeting. And the majority of the Council go along with this crapola. As I have said before a hundred times, the jokers don’t work for you, the citizen………..citizens have been disenfranchised for years now………..

  14. Judith Rogers says:

    I also wanted to mention that I contacted Paul Licausi, the deverloper on the property of the SE corner of 183rd & Center, to see if he would install a sidewalk on that property as it was developed for the need of the citizens – this was around 2006 to 2008. Of course, he advised he couldn’t help the citizens on that. Of course, keep in mind the people floated bonds for him and the owners of that property to install the needed infrastructure such as electricity, sewers, etc. at very low interest cost and gave them YEARS to pay off the costs. And good ole Licausi and the owners of that property, and still to this day the last time I checked, are getting their asinine “farm” appraisals on that property whereby they are only paying $3 to $5 a year in property taxes on each parcel of land on that corner and there has NEVER been farming activities on that property since 2003 when I moved across the street from there.

    I have seen these examples time and time again of where my city will take care of these takers royally and they can’t even help out their benefactors to point of putting in a sidewalk for a very short distance. Licausi got his sweet deal on Coleman after much politicking that I could expand on and he is still hanging around City Hall with his hand out because he KNOWS he will be well taken care of because that is what City Hall does in my opinion. Load the citizens with a higher tax burden than they should have plus place financial risks on them that they shouldn’t have as we have seen when these jaybird thieves won’t even pay their taxes nor the assessments and if you were doing your homework on these benefit districts, you would know exactly what I am talking about.

    My trust with my city and other government entities has been broken too many times for me to ever have a decent relationship with them – you break the trust and you really shoot yourself in the foot and many suffer as we see every day with our state and federal governments. Citizens have been dealing with the fiscal cliff for years and they always get the short end of the stick I would say……now go use civil processes to make the proper changes……lots of luck……..

  15. “Serious thoughts and common sense”, Judith? You say you want that, but then quote some rabid leftist pabulum about women’s rights and the Koch Brothers conspiracy theories? Aside from the surprise that you, of all people, would be a closet Obama supporter given all the crony capitalism he’s done and all the taxes he’s sidling us with, what does ANY of this have to do with sidewalks?

    Can you try to focus just a LITTLE bit?

    TheOwl has it exactly right. You want to complain about the city following the laws and ordinances it’s supposed to follow? Fine. We have free speech in this country so people like you can whine about stuff they don’t appear to understand.

    You don’t like the ordinances but don’t want to try to get them changed? That’s your problem. Don’t come crying to the forums about “common sense” or “connecting dots” if you’re too lazy to change the things you hate about our town.

  16. Judith Rogers says:

    I am very focused, Nonamer and that is one of the things you hate so about people such as myself who don’t go along with your hate and lie agenda.

    P.S. I am NOT a closet Obama supporter…………I very much voted for him and so glad I did so.

  17. Judith Rogers says:

    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

    Albert Einstein

  18. C’mon, Judith. FOCUS!

    Everyone else had been talking about city codes and sidewalks. Your imagning hate in people who disagree with you is probably the EXACT thing that Einstein was talking about in the quote you posted. You should try for a change holding yourself to the standards you expect from everyone else.

  19. Judith Rogers says:

    I hear Romney singing in the shower………………..

    There’s a fire starting in my heart
    Reaching a fever pitch, it’s bringing me out the dark
    Finally I can see you crystal clear
    Go ‘head and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare
    See how I leave with every piece of you
    Don’t underestimate the things that I will do

    There’s a fire starting in my heart
    Reaching a fever pitch
    And it’s bringing me out the dark

    The scars of your love remind me of us
    They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
    The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
    I can’t help feeling
    We could have had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    Rolling in the deep
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    You had my heart inside of your hand
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    And you played it, to the beat
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

    Baby, I have no story to be told
    But I’ve heard one on you
    And I’m gonna make your head burn
    Think of me in the depths of your despair
    Make a home down there
    As mine sure won’t be shared

    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    The scars of your love remind me of us
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    I can’t help feeling
    We could have had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    Rolling in the deep
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    You had my heart inside of your hand
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    And you played it, to the beat
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    We could have had it all
    Rolling in the deep
    You had my heart inside of your hand
    But you played it, with a beating

    Throw your soul through every open door (woah)
    Count your blessings to find what you look for (woah)
    Turn my sorrow into treasured gold (woah)
    You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow (woah)
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    We could have had it all
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    We could have had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    It all, it all, it all
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

    We could have had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    Rolling in the deep
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    You had my heart inside of your hand
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    And you played it to the beat
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

    We could have had it all
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
    Rolling in the deep
    (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
    You had my heart inside of your hand
    (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)

    But you played it
    You played it
    You played it
    You played it to the beat.

  20. It’s so amazing, Judith, that you seem to love Obama because he’s everything you say you hate about Gardner politics. Of the two guys running for office, you’d think you’d prefer Romney

    So the question is, do you hate Romney because he planned to cut taxes on the middle class and would have, at least, TRIED to fix the broken economy … or do you hate him because his religion is the same as people from around Gardner that you hate as well?

  21. Judith Rogers says:

    Hate is always on your mind and in your heart, Nonamer……………..no wonder and no surprise as to why you don’t take ownership of your comments……..the White Hood certainly is the proper attire for you, your words and your activities…………..

  22. And there you have it, folks. Gardner News, are you watching your comments section?

    We go from talking about city codes and sidewalks to KKK references, all courtesy of your resident bigoted hatemonger, Judith Rogers.

    Congratulations! When you can’t win any of arguments based on the strength of your logic, all you have left is hatred, Judith. You just conceded any point you’ve ever made or ever WILL make, all based on your bigotry. But we knew that’s who you are anyway. Just nice that you show your true colors.

  23. I’m not going to argue with Judith since I figured out a long time ago that it is nothing but a waste of time. Nothing you could possibly type is going to change her mind.

    Rather I was curious as to where you get your Romney facts nonamer? Probably a moot point since the election is done and over and this is but a local newspaper forum, but since you both like to bring up national politics…

    When did Romeny say he was going to cut taxes for the middle class? Last I checked he was all about tax breaks for the ‘job creators’, not the middle class. And as far as the religion thing Romeny is a Mormon which is not the same thing as a Catholic/Baptist/Christian. Unless you are telling me that Gardner has a large Mormon population that I am unaware of.

  24. Gardnerwhos says:

    There actually is a rather large Mormon population in Gardner – as a side note they spearheaded the recall election of 2009-10. Jared Taylor, Ryan Beasley, Chuck Whatshisfacedoesntpayhistaxes. Peter and Avis Solie. The reason I mention these names is because they have been highly visible and active in the community and I believe you may recognize them. Obviously there are many more members of the church who call Gardner home.

    Currently church members are directed to attend the Paola Mormon church, when enough members settle in Gardner the church hopes to establish a Gardner branch.

  25. backroom cronism, fatcat bureaucrats, pointed racial remark, and obscure reference to something I did years ago. I don’t like rich people. Oh yeah a farm. Judith, say something relevant, get some new nouns, and really try to make a difference instead of raising the hackles of people you depend on. Yes, you do. Depend on them. For the record, I was the one who dumped Alele. You’re welcome.

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