February 11, 2016

OUR VIEW: Press recommended as interim administrator

We welcome Mike Press as interim Gardner city administrator, should council members approve Mayor Dave Drovetta’s recommendation.
Press is well-respected in the Johnson County community. A former Johnson County manager. He most recently served as an interim city administrator in Edgerton while they conducted an administrative search.
Our working relationship with Press has always found him to be honest, fair-handed and forward-thinking.
Press’ recommendation for appointment was announced in a letter from the mayor, which states the administrative search is suspended until spring. The letter, signed by Mayor Drovetta, goes on to say two potential candidates withdrew their names, apparently due, in part,  to a letter to the editor from another councilmember. Although a specific  councilmember is not named in the letter, Councilmember Larry Fotovich did write a letter to the editor regarding the search.
The complete text of  Fotovich’s letter, and the Mayor’s letter are available online at www.gardnernews.com.
We believe Press has the personality and expertise to rise above any political negativity, and we hope his recent experience in Edgerton can assist the two communities in pulling together and cooperating as the intermodal, and subsequent growth it spins off, is built. The communities share not only borders, but community members and the USD 231 school district.
Congratulations to the mayor and city council on an excellent interim choice.


  1. Jared Taylor says:

    Where are you at now Mr. Beasley with the kudos to the News for a positive piece on the City? You’re always very quick to criticize.

  2. Sorry about that, I was sleeping and getting the family ready for soccer this morning. GREAT ARTICLE!! It would be great to have someone that worked for the city that the Gardner News could write something positive about beside Fotovich. 😉

  3. Jared Taylor says:

    Sleep is no excuse! :)

  4. Actually after thinking about it for a second, this is a huge win. If Drovetta is willing to appoint and the Gardner News is willing to endorse, we’re on unknown ground here. I’ll take that.

  5. I hope all remember to keep an eagle eye on the politicians and the bureaucrats who are around to do their bidding. This article tells you what can happen when the risk takers risk your money but with no risk to them……….wonder how much longer good ole Coleman is going to keep going selling camping equipment during these hard times and whether the industrial revenue bonds will be paid for and what mess you could be left cleaning up and paying for…………once again, I am not quick to back slap the big boys and their paid politicians – their track record is there for all to see, that is if you want to see it……..call it positive, negative or whatever – I call it using good judgement and making intelligent choices – something our governments haven’t been using for years because they don’t work for the people any more – only for themselves and the special interests who they actually work for…….


    Olathe Gateway’s bond issue defaults, even with Bass Pro
    Date: Friday, September 16, 2011, 5:00am CDT

    Steve Vockrodt
    Reporter – Kansas City Business Journal
    Email | Twitter | Facebook
    Years of lower-than-expected revenue pushed bonds for the Olathe Gateway project into default.

    Holders of $13 million in tax increment financing bonds for the retail project, which Bass Pro Shops Bass Pro Shops

    Follow this company anchors, were informed of the default on Sept. 1. The default came after a reserve fund dried up, leading to a $175,000 shortfall on payments due at the beginning of the month.

    Olathe began dipping into the reserve fund for the bonds a year ago.

    Olathe officials pushed hard to land the project, and the area’s first Bass Pro store, at 119th Street and Renner Road. But the city did …

  6. This editorial tells you how the politicians line the pockets of the thieves and the takers and you pay for it. I don’t care if those businesses are going into distressed areas or the luxury environments such as Leawood, the taxpayers should not be paying bribe money to them. But you should have figured out by now our politicians every day play the legalized game of blackmail and bribes – WITH YOUR DOLLARS!!!! Do you honestly think you will ever come out ahead dealing with blackmailers and thieves or lowlife politicians???? I don’t and I am sure tired of having to bankroll the lowlifes such as the local Dictator and his paid bureaucrats and the thieves who only come here for the bucks. These blackmail deals are being played in all states – not just Kansas and Missouri – the citizens of the U.S. are getting the knife in the back 24/7 and you should know by now who is holding the handle of the knife.


    The Star’s editorial | AMC tax-break deal is more fiscal folly

    Updated: 2011-09-17T01:40:28Z
    The private business will get a reported $47 million in public incentives to leave its corporate headquarters in downtown Kansas City and move to Leawood, one of the area’s wealthiest suburbs, where the median family income is nearly $150,000 a year.

    Kansas taxpayers will help AMC move its 400 employees a few miles to a brand new building, leaving behind empty office space in the heart of Kansas City.

    In the frenetic battle for jobs in the metro area, the AMC deal shines a spotlight on just how poorly public officials and corporate leaders on both sides of the state line are serving taxpayers.

    •The AMC deal won’t create net new jobs for the region.

    •Tax revenue in Missouri and Kansas City will be reduced, taking money away from schools and other public services.

    •Kansas won’t receive enough in new direct tax revenue to make the deal worthwhile. That’s because the company reportedly will get to keep and spend millions of dollars of its own employees’ state income tax withholding payments, through a program known as Promoting Employment Across Kansas.

    (As we’ve noted before, the program’s more accurate name would be Poaching Employment From Kansas City because it has been used to help steal more than 1,500 jobs in two years from the city.)

    Kansas City Mayor Sly James and other Missouri-side officials understandably bemoaned AMC’s decision. Yet James and others are playing the game too because they had offered public incentives in a desperate bid to get AMC to stay in Kansas City. And the mayor this month is asking state lawmakers to allow the city to even more aggressively dole out public funds to private businesses.

    Giving tax breaks to promote development in economically depressed areas throughout the Kansas City area can and does make sense, and The Star has endorsed many of those worthwhile efforts.

    News flash: Leawood is not an economically depressed area.

    AMC has signed a 12-year lease for its new building in Kansas. Soon the clock will start ticking on when the company will be back in play, pitting Kansas and Missouri against each other again in the search for even more public incentives. Good news for AMC stockholders, bad news for taxpayers.

  7. This is how I see Mike Press laughing at the Dictator………….Not your average laugh……http://thebubble.msn.com/#/video/?id=29957766-4b1f-40be-800e-cbca15ce58d9

    I have a pain in my side from laughing at this thought……………I’m so baaaad………….

  8. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    From the agenda for the October 17, 2011 City Council Meeting is New Business Action Item #8:


    Agenda Item: Consider authorizing the Mayor to execute a contract with Michael B. Press for Consulting Services.

    Department: Mayor

    Background/Description of Item: Consider authorizing the Mayor to execute a contract with Michael B. Press for consulting services to assist the City with general operation and increased effectiveness as a governing body until a new City Administrator is hired, or by March 31, 2012, whichever is later.

    Staff Recommendation: Consider authorizing the Mayor to execute a contract with Michael B. Press for Consulting Services.


    THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into this 17th day of October, 2011, by and between the City of Gardner, Kansas, a Kansas municipal corporation, hereinafter referred to as “City,” and Michael B. Press, hereinafter referred to as “Consultant.”


    WHEREAS, City desires to employ the services of Consultant, as an independent contractor, to assist the City with general operations and increased effectiveness as a governing body, performing many (but not all) of the job responsibilities that would be performed by the City Administrator until a new City Administrator is hired; and

    WHEREAS, said Consultant desires to work as an independent contractor for Gardner, Kansas, subject to all the terms and conditions of this Independent Contractor Agreement.

    NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants hereinafter contained, the parties agree as follows:


    The City hereby agrees to employ Consultant as an independent contractor and not an employee to provide consulting to the Governing Body and staff to assist the City in achieving its mission and goals and improving overall organizational effectiveness. Consultant’s duties will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, performing several of the job duties which would ordinarily be handled by the City Administrator in the absence of an individual in that position. Consultant will work with the Governing Body and staff in developing goals and objectives to be accomplished, and determine the frequency of Consultant’s presence at City Hall. A specific Addendum to this Agreement will be executed after the Governing Body and Consultant have an opportunity to develop jointly the specific action items for Consultant to perform during the term of this independent contractor arrangement.


    This Agreement will expire when Consultant and the Governing Body mutually agree the goals and objectives set forth in the Addendum are accomplished, or mechanisms are put in place to accomplish said goals and objectives, or no later than March 31, 2012, unless mutually extended in writing by both parties.

    Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with the right of the Governing Body or Consultant to terminate this Agreement upon 15 days written notice of termination to the other either with or without cause.


    City agrees to pay Consultant on a monthly basis for his services at the rate of $9,000.00 per month for services rendered pursuant to this Agreement. Consultant shall prepare and present a monthly invoice to the City pursuant to the terms of the agreement. Said invoice may include any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Consultant in performing services pursuant to this Agreement.


    It is agreed that Consultant is not an employee, agent, partner or representative of the City and shall not hold himself out to the public as an employee, agent, partner or representative of the City, but shall at all times be an Independent Contractor working for his own benefit. The City will not provide, nor will it be responsible to pay for, any benefits of Consultant, including but not limited to retirement compensation, vacation or holiday pay.


    Consultant shall not have any authority to act for, or on behalf of, or to bind the City in any manner, expect as expressly authorized by the Mayor and/or a vote of the City Council.


    In accordance with Kansas law, the City agrees to defend and indemnify Consultant for any claims made against Consultant for actions or inactions by Consultant while acting within the scope of this Agreement.


    This document shall constitute the entire Agreement between the parties. This Agreement shall become effective upon execution by Consultant and execution by the Mayor after approval by the Governing Body.


    This Agreement is to be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Kansas and any action to enforce this Agreement shall be brought in the Johnson County District Court.


    This Agreement cannot be modified or changed by any verbal statement, promise or agreement and no modification change nor amendment, shall be binding on the parties unless it shall have been agreed to in writing.


    Consultant acknowledges that in the performance of this Agreement he may be granted access to trade secrets, proprietary material, and other information, that is confidential in nature. Consultant shall not at any time, whether during or after the term of this Agreement, directly or indirectly, by any means or devices whatsoever, divulge, use or permit the use of any confidential information, except as required in the performance of this Agreement for purposes of the business of the City. It is further understood and agreed that to the extent any
    confidential information is provided in writing to consultant, he will return those writings to the City at the conclusion of the term of this Agreement.


    In the event any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid, a violation of any law or regulation, or unenforceable for any reason and in any respect, and the basis of the bargain of this Agreement is not thereby destroyed, such invalidity, violation or unenforceability shall not affect the remainder of the Agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect, enforceable in accordance with its terms.


    The waiver by either party of any breach of this Agreement shall not operate or be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach.


    Neither this Agreement nor any duties or obligations under this Agreement may be assigned by either party without the prior written consent of the other party.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties set their hands the day and year first above shown.

    Michael B. Press

    David C. Drovetta, Mayor

    Doreen K. Pesek, City Clerk

    James R. Hubbard, City Attorney

    Michael B. (Mike) Press began his professional career as a paramedic with Johnson County Med-Act in 1976.

    He was promoted to Field Supervisor (Captain) in 1978 and was named Med-Act Director by the Board of County Commissioners in 1980.

    After 19 years as Director and subsequent promotion to Director of Emergency Services, Mike was appointed County Administrator. In 2000, following a Charter Change in County Government, Mike was selected by the Board as Johnson County’s first County Manager.

    As County Manager, Mike oversaw an organization of 4,000 employees and a budget of $735 million dollars. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of 40 departments providing outstanding services to over 500,000 citizens of Johnson County, ranging from Public Safety, Judiciary, and Infrastructure to Health and Human Services. Johnson County Government is the recipient of numerous regional and national awards for excellence in service, and is recognized as one of the best County Governments in the United States by public and private organizations alike.

    Mike retired in 2009 from that post after nearly 33 years of public service. Since that time, he has been a consultant to local governments most recently serving as the Interim City Administrator for the City of Edgerton, Kansas.

    Mike is a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas and a Master’s Degree from Baker University.

    Mike has received numerous awards and commendations in his professional career, including Kansas EMS Administrator of the Year, Mid-America Regional Council Administrator of the Year, and the L.P. Cookingham Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Administration. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas Association of City/County Managers.

    Mike is married and has one adult son. He likes to play tennis, kayak, and study science in his spare time.

Comments do not necessarily reflect those of The Gardner News, or staff. By posting, commentators assume all liability. Please contact webmaster to report comments that infringe on copyrights, or are of a profane or libelous nature. Webmaster reserves the right to edit or remove content deemed offensive.


Speak Your Mind