Mark Taylor
[email protected]

The Edgerton City Council hired Elizabeth “Beth” Linn as city administrator on May 26.

Linn, who was one of nearly 60 persons who applied for the job, currently works as

Beth Linn

director of community development for the city of Raytown.

She previously worked as neighborhood services manager for the city of Merriam.

Linn has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.

Mayor Don Roberts said he was “excited” to have Linn on board.

“We are pleased to have someone with Beth’s education, experience and professional skills to help guide the council and the city through the rough times and the good times that lie ahead,” he said.

Linn’s salary was set at $83,000.

She replaces former administrator David Dillner, who resigned earlier this year to take a job with the city of Abilene.

Linn said the intermodal, along with other projects and challenges facing the city, sparked her interest in the job.

“The council seems really engaged in bringing the community forward,” she said. “We talked about a lot of exciting things like sidewalks and streets in town. Those kinds of things.”

Linn describes her administrative style as “leading by example.”

“In any one day in Raytown you’ll see me attending executive team meetings or answering the phones,” she said. “That fits perfectly for Edgerton. I have always been in small cities that operate on lean staffs, so doing budget and capital projects and answering the phones doesn’t bother me.”

Linn said her primary objective is to “work with the council on the things they have set forth.”

“I just want to help them achieve those goals,” she said.

Linn will start her new job in Edgerton on July 5.

In other business, the council:

Heard from resident Mary Pritchard, who expressed concern that she did not hear storm sirens during recent rounds of severe weather.

Mike Press, interim city administrator, said one of the city’s two sirens was recently on the blink due to a power failure. The siren has since been repaired by city staff.

Press said the siren does not have a battery backup and suggested that it be replaced.

Council members agreed, and also recommended that staff look into acquiring additional sirens to serve recently annexed properties.

The council also discussed a community storm shelter at the elementary school. Press said no other cities in Johnson County currently offer the service. He said having a community storm shelter would expose the city to liability in the event of no one being available to unlock the shelter during severe weather. Press said an alternative might be a coordinated effort by the city, school district, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Fire District No. 1. He said each agency could shoulder some of the responsibility for unlocking the shelter based on protocol.

The council directed Press to discuss the idea with the school district, fire district and sheriff’s office.

Agreed to match donations up to $200 from citizens to assist victims of last week’s tornados in Kansas and Missouri. Donations of bottled water and cash will be accepted at city hall and also during the community movie night on May 28.

Authorized a letter of support and proposed a $2,000 financial match for a $1 million Federal Highway Administration grant to study transportation in the area surrounding the intermodal.

KDOT wants to apply for the grant on behalf of Gardner, Edgerton and Johnson County.

The grant would study safe routes, overpasses, bicycle safety and the realignment of U.S. 56 Highway.

Press said the city was notified of the grant opportunity on May 20 and that the application is due in Washington, D.C. next week.

“There is a sense of urgency,” he said.

Roberts said, “It’s an opportunity for a large study that will largely impact the area. It will be a long time before we can afford a $1 million study.”

Heard a request from Sundeep Singh, fireworks stand operator, to reconsider the city’s requirement for fireworks stand operators to get permission signatures from persons living within 150 feet of a fireworks stand.

He said there is already a state law prohibiting the use of fireworks within 100 feet of a fireworks stand, and he believed the city’s ordinance was redundant.

Singh said he also was concerned that any resident within 150 feet of the fireworks stand could prevent him from doing business out of spite.

Councilwoman Heidi Wiseman expressed concern that having a fireworks stand nearby restricts some homeowners from being able to use fireworks on their own property during the holiday. She said she didn’t want to intrude on business owners’ rights, but also doesn’t want to intrude on property owners’ rights.

The council will review the ordinance at a future meeting.