Special to The Gardner News
In a very lengthy meeting, the Edgerton City Council met on Nov. 14. Fourteen items requiring action were on the agenda for this meeting. Mayor Donald Roberts and four of the five council members were present. Councilman Jody Brown was absent.
The agenda item receiving the most discussion concerned the issue of whether or not city employees would be allowed to “conceal carry” handguns, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill on July 1, 2013, allowing cities to exclude people licensed to carry “conceal carry” handguns if the city building has “adequate security measures.” Adequate security is defined in the bill as “the use of electronic equipment, (ie. metal detectors) and security personnel at public entrances to detect and restrict the carrying of any weapons into the state or municipal building”. City staff members have stated that the city is not in a financial position to provide “adequate security measures” as defined.
The city’s primary insurance carrier, EMC Insurance, has not yet come to a conclusion for municipalities allowing the carrying of handguns by city employees, under the new state law. This is primarily due to the fact that many cities employ law enforcement positions that may require a firearm. However, the City of Edgerton contracts with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services, and this contract would not be impacted by any future decision the governing body might make in regards to personnel policies. The city of Edgerton also does not currently employ any staff members required to carry firearms or weapons necessary to carry out their official city duties.
Under the new state law, cities may prohibit or restrict employees from carrying concealed weapons while on city property as long as the restriction is included in the city’s personnel policies. This is the specific issue which deals with “workplace safety” policies that the Edgerton City Council was asked to consider and review at the Nov. 14 council meeting.
After much discussion, the governing body decided to delay any decision and is going to address the issue again at a work session/ special council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Edgerton City Hall.
In other business, the governing body approved an agreement for construction inspection services with Pfefferkorn Design and Construction for the railroad crossing “quiet zones” project at the crossings at 199th Street, and at Nelson Street. The city council tabled a decision regarding the construction of a 500,000 gallon water tower located at,and to serve, Logistics Park Kansas City. The governing body will address this issue again at the work session on Dec. 3.
Also, council approved a contract with Candid Marketing for marketing and communications services for the city of Edgerton for fiscal year 2014. Candid Marketing is currently under contract for fiscal year 2013.
A one-year contract with Mize Houser & Company P.A. to prepare the city’s financial audit for fiscal year 2013 was approved.
The city council approved a contract with the Reflective Group of Baldwin City for information technology services.
In addition to the work session and special Council Meeting Dec. 3, the next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 at Edgerton City Hall.