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Dec. 13, 2022
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Minutes for SB59 - Committee on Local Government

Short Title

Eudora community library district act.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 13, 2019

The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., welcomed returning member Representative Bishop, and opened the hearing on SB59.

Revisor Mike Heim briefed the Committee on the bill.  He explained that the bill will allow the City of Eudora to continue being a part of a library district previously established by the City of Eudora and the Eudora Township.  He said that when the City of Eudora grew from a third-class city to a second-class city, an unintended consequence was that the city was no longer considered to be within the township.  The bill authorizes a joint resolution by the Township board and the city leaders to create the Eudora Community Library District.  Mr. Heim stated that the bill also grants taxing power to the new library entity similar to that of other library districts.

Eric Magette, President, Eudora Township Public Library Board, reviewed the community involvement that brought the bill to fruition; he stated that the process was a multi-year effort involving many local organizations.

Mr. Magette responded to members' questions:

  • The bill has widespread support and has generated no opposition.
  • The bill is necessary to provide a stable future for the library.  Having two oversight authorities does not assure a long-term outlook for the library.

Don Grosdidier, Resident, City of Eudora, testified in favor of the bill; he echoed the previous comment that the bill has extensive local support--as evidenced by the many written-only testimonies.  He emphasized the value of the library, saying that the two pillars of a community are good public schools and a good public library.

Barack Matite, City Manager, City of Eudora, spoke in support of the bill.  He explained that the change in the city's classification legally separated the city from Eudora Township municipality; on its own, neither the city nor the township could financially support the library. Both are needed to make the library viable.  He said that the bill will enable the library to move forward.

Responding to a question, Mr. Heim replied that a population under 2000 is classified as a third-class city; from 2000 to 15,000, a second-class city; over 15,000, a first-class city.

Kurt von Achen, Eudora Township resident, gave testimony in support of the bill.  He listed all the programs provided by the library, including offering free meals during the summer months.  (Attachment 1 includes all four testimonies)

Davianna Humble, Management Intern, League of Kansas Municipalities (LKM), also spoke in support of the bill (Attachment 2).  She reported that LKM has been working with the city of Eudora, assisting them in working through the process that ultimately brought about this bill.  Answering a question, Amanda Stanley, General Counsel, LKM, replied that this is the first time in Kansas history that a situation like this has developed.

The following individuals provided written-only testimony in support of the bill.  All the testimony is included in (Attachment 3):

  • Tim Reazin, Mayor, City of Eudora
  • Eudora Township Board
  • Amanda Stanley, General Counsel, LKM
  • Amber Jackson, Library Board Member
  • Lori Eisenhour, Library Board Member and local business owner
  • Steve Splichal, Superintendent, USD 491
  • Michael Ahlen and Vestana von Achen Ahlen, Residents, City of Eudora
  • Pennie von Achen, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Timothy and Brigitte Pringle, Residents, City of Eudora
  • Laura Lewis, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Molly Pratt, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Cass Steinlage, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Michael Braa, Library Board, City of Eudora
  • Nancy Winslow, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Scott and Jody Keltner, Library Steering Committee
  • Amy Jankowski, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Dr. Robyn McCabria Kelso, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Jason Hoover, President and CEO, Kaw Valley State Bank
  • Diana Chrislip, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Robert Sailler, Heartland Committee Member, City of Eudora
  • Chelsea Pratt, Resident, City of Eudora
  • Nancy Thellman, County Commissioner, Douglas County
  • Mary Kirkendoll, The Hammert Building, Eudora
  • Danny Lewis, Resident, City of Eudora

Members expressed appreciation for the way the community collaborated in finding a creative solution for their library.

A motion was made by Representative Amyx and seconded by Representative Long to suspend the Committee rules in order to expedite SB59.  The motion passed unanimously.

Representative Bergquist moved and Representative Howard  seconded to consider SB59 as favorable for passage and to be placed on the Consent Calendar.  The motion passed unanimously.