I support community improvements which will better connect all of Prairie Village.  Extending the trail will offer increased opportunities for connections with each other throughout our neighborhoods and the Village.  This will build a stronger foundation for our community and will give our residents reasons for additional community involvement.
While any additions and improvements will have costs associated with them, a planned development that leads to staged implementation would be much less expensive than a reactionary, poorly constructed response. Careful planning will result in a system of which we can be proud.   In order to accomplish this effectively, much time and reflection should be put into each stage of development.


Creating a unique corridor in Prairie Village that extends from the Village to the Corinth Shops, and eventually to Meadowbrook Park, will allow us to create a safer environment for alternative travel to and from different areas of our village.   Families, seniors, singles, and children will be able to more easily access events, businesses, community buildings, and each other as they benefit from the outdoors.  Increased fitness through walking, jogging and bicycling will be another advantage for all of us. A well planned network would allow for residents to move throughout the city without fear and without negotiating the space with vehicles. This could be accessed as a part of regular commutes, for shopping and recreation, and to bring others through our community to experience what we have to offer.


As I end this final question of the week, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the PV Post for allowing me this opportunity to provide more information to the constituents.
As your representative I want to know what is important to you and your neighborhoods.
What’s important is what matters to you.  I am ready to represent you.  Please vote for Serena Schermoly on April 5TH. Please visit http://www.serenaschermoly.org for more information. ~ Serena Schermoly

Prairie Village City Council candidates on the issues: The spending priorities

I want to know what is important to you and your neighborhoods.  As your representative I want to be aware of your concerns.


To be an effective representative on the Council, it is essential to communicate with the residents.  I would like to offer regular, informal Ward Meetings where issues and questions can be raised and the needs of our community can be addressed.  I will extend communication efforts through email, phone, knocking on doors, direct mailings and Facebook. I want to make it easy to be informed.


In the weeks that I have been visiting the citizens of Ward 2, I have heard many recommendations and concerns.  These include revisiting slower speeds on Tomahawk, additional sidewalks, storm drains in front of the walkways of homes, ice dams that form around the new sidewalks, adding streetlights, resurfacing streets, the issues with trash service and glass recycling, the proposed remodeling guidelines, city leaf removal, the placement of stop signs, adding a left turn light on Lamar, and water drainage problems.  These problems are both routine and extraordinary. Solutions will not be found if the concerns are not raised.


What’s important is what matters to you.  I am ready to represent you.Please vote for Serena Schermoly on April 5TH. Please visit www.serenaschermoly.org for more information.

Prairie Village City Council candidates on the issues: Compensation for mayor and council

Prairie Village City Council candidates on the issues: Trails and bike lanes

It is my understanding that all the renovations and tear-down construction projects have complied with current codes and regulations of the City of Prairie Village. With the proper set-backs and enforcement of those codes, residents can express their personal tastes in building and construction.  As larger and more expensive homes are built and remodeled in our community, the tax base supporting the city also increases. With this increase comes an increase in services for our residents.  I have been canvassing the neighborhoods in recent weeks.   The majority of those with whom I have spoken are not aware of the new regulations being proposed in our city.  I do not feel that the citizens of Prairie Village, including Ward 2, have a clear understanding of how these changes could affect them and their neighborhoods.  Three meetings appear to be inadequate in fully informing and educating the residents on the proposed changes.   This is an important policy decision related to remodeling, building, or rebuilding of homes, and the right policy decision should apply to the entire city, not hand-picked neighborhoods. This policy will affect property values in our community therefore affecting every property owner in Prairie Village. Before we implement a policy of this magnitude, there are still questions that need to be answered. The citizens need to have a solid understanding of how this will affect them.


I have sat through every public meeting the city has had on this issue, and critical questions remain unanswered. We have seen what the differences are in the proposed versus the existing regulations, but we haven’t measured the real impact of those differences. What do the differences mean for a family who is forced to rebuild after a fire or other similar devastating event?  How will the Prairie Village economy be affected by attempting to control the size and appearance of new homes? How will these new regulations promote diversity in our economy? How will these new regulations restrict a homeowner’s right to remodel or rebuild his/her own property?


The City of Prairie Village is not a homeowner’s association, and we should not implement knee-jerk reaction policies that can significantly impact economic development and the future of our community. If we are going to change zoning and land use rules and regulations, it should be a community driven, not a complaint driven, process. ~ Serena Schermoly

Each year the Prairie Village Post collects questions for candidates for public office from PVPost.com readers. Below you will find links to all five questions of the candidates for Prairie Village City Council on the PV Post site.


Today’s question is: What are your views on the city’s role in regulating new construction in the city, including the tear-downs?  Please be specific. 

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We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from PVPost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the second question for candidates for Prairie Village City Council. Today’s question is: Other cities in northeast Johnson County pay a stipend to the mayor and city council members for their service. Prairie Village pays […]

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We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from PVPost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the third question from candidates for Prairie Village City Council. Today’s question is: Please name one topic or issue you plan to tackle in the next four years and explain your particular stance. Ward 2 […]

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We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from PVPost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the fourth question from candidates for Prairie Village City Council. Today’s question is: What are the spending priorities that the city should be addressing? Please provide some detail about your priorities. Ward 3 Andrew Wang […]

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We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from PVPost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the final question from candidates for Prairie Village City Council. Today’s question is: This year, the city will build a walking trail along Mission Road from the Village Shops to SM East. Do you support […]

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Currently the Prairie Village Council receives $25/month communications allowance, an iPad, pool membership and an ID Shield subscription. If the current compensation is inadequate, the place for this discussion is in a public referendum.
On January 30th I had the opportunity to attend the City Council Work Session and the topic of Mayor and Council pay was raised.  The discussion among the council was contentious.  The Mayor and several members of the council proposed that their positions should be paid.  It was noted by other council members that we have a tradition of voluntary public service, and that many were uncomfortable voting a pay raise for themselves.  While I agree that there is a lot expected of our representatives, we accept public service willingly.
For comparison, the surrounding City Council Compensation are as listed below.

·         Fairway, Population 3,963, Council Pay $150 month and Mayor Pay $300
·         Leawood, Population 32,991, Council Pay $416.68 month and Mayor Pay $800
·         Merriam, Population 11,281, Council Pay $452.50 month and Mayor Pay $998.17
·         Mission Hills, Population 9,501, Council Pay $0 month and Mayor Pay $0
·         Prairie Village, Population 21,447, Council Compensation $25 month

The proposed compensation for the Mayor of Prairie Village was $700-$1000 per month with the Council to receive $200-$500 each per month, equaling a total of $37,200-$84,000 annually. This would be more than enough to compensate a new full-time staff position to take the stress off of the City Administration and Council.
Prairie Village is unique in our Community Leadership’s dedication to volunteer service.  I am honored to live in Prairie Village and currently volunteer on two city committees, as Vice-Chair of the Arts Council and the Marketing Director for the JazzFest.  The village has countless volunteers, with more than a hundred being recognized for their dedication last year. They serve on more than 12 committees, and work tirelessly to grow and develop the opportunities we have as residents.  If we pay the council for their volunteer service, what does it say to those other volunteers who give selflessly to the work of the city?
If a referendum is passed approving compensation, I will donate my pay to a charity.  Serving as your representative would be an honor and a privilege.   Please vote for me on April 5, and visit my website www.serenaschermoly.org, for more information. ~ Serena Schermoly

Prairie Village City Council candidates on the issues: Your top priority

Most of the concerns expressed to me by the citizens of Ward 2 involve issues with Public Works.  In 2013 we repaved 7.3 miles of streets but the 2016 target is only 3.5 miles.  We will fill 500 fewer potholes this year over last.  Playground Inspections in 2015 were budgeted at 180, up from 130 in 2014.  This year’s target is 64 inspections.  While I believe protecting our AAA Rating is essential, and that balancing the budget is a necessary component of that, funds must be allocated to providing the services and infrastructure maintenance to prevent costlier repairs down the road.  The current budget decreases infrastructure spending by 10%.  Our Public Works team does a great job but they can’t be asked to do more with less.


Spending priorities should go along with saving priorities.  Council travel in 2014 and 2015 totaled over $30,000 dollars and 60 days of travel.  I propose less spending on travel and conferences. To one conference last November we sent 7 representatives, Mayor, and staff.   While it is important to represent our community to the organizations and opportunities available through conferences and training, it is important to keep the benefits in balance with their costs.  I applaud the two representatives who share a room and those who cover their own expenses to limit the cost to the city while still participating in these events.


In my committee work for the city and listening to council meetings, the most cited response is the burden on staff by the council and the potential demands placed on city staff.  This is a very real concern with an obvious solution.  If staff is overburdened by the scope of their current duties then there is a need for additional staff.  While the current staff does an outstanding job under these conditions, a Council Liaison / Administrate Support Specialist could alleviate some of the responsibilities current staff are required to fulfill in committee and council meetings. ~ Serena Schermoly

What are your views on the city’s role in regulating new construction in the city, including the tear-downs?  Please be specific.