Archive for Thursday, September 13, 2007

Crumbaker, Walker named planning body

September 13, 2007

The De Soto City Council approved Mayor Dave Anderson's appointment of two new members to the planning commission but not without comment.

Appointed last Thursday to join the De Soto Planning Commission were Mark Crumbaker and Rick Walker. They replaced Bob Friday and Richard Moberly, whose terms had expired.

There was little discussion of Walker, a civil engineer who spent two terms on the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education. The mayor's nomination of Crumbaker, however, was the subject of comment.

Crumbaker has been active in a number of causes, including opposition to the city's annexation of Sunflower Quarry. He was among those who sued in 2001 after the quarry was annexed and given a special use permit by the city. In a case that bears Crumbaker's name, the Kansas Supreme Court eventually decided the annexation agreement was in violation of the neighbors' due process rights in the planning process.

Crumbaker also serves as manager of Johnson County Rural Water District No. 3, which includes some of existing De Soto and much of its growth area, and on the Lexington Township Board of Trustees.

Councilman Ted Morse wondered if those outside influences would cause conflicts of interest, while Councilman Mike Drennon wondered if the Crumbaker would support the council's economic development efforts.

Anderson said he talked with Crumbaker before the nomination and said he was not "anti-growth" and that Crumbaker and the water district are ready to accommodate De Soto's growth. Outside interests was what the state wanted when it required the naming of two residents in rural growth areas surrounding cities, the mayor said.

The planning commission, which has been chaired by Kevin Honomichl for several years, will start an annual rotation of that position, Anderson said. He also suggested City Council President Tim Maniez, the planning board chairman and the De Soto Economic Development Council president meet regularly to ensure that planning commissioners understand the council's direction on economic development, Anderson said.

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