American Legion requests Council meetings begin with Pledge of Allegiance

There wasn't much on the Augusta City Council's agenda Monday night, but one non-agenda item may change every agenda from now on.

Gary Rogers, the Commander of American Legion Post 189 in Augusta – who placed small American flags at each council seat, brought a request to the governing body.

He pointed out Congress begins daily activities with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, as do the Kansas Legislature and even the USD 402 Augusta School Board.

"The flag means our country," Rogers said. "I would respectfully request that all meetings from here forward begin with the Pledge and a prayer."

Mayor Kristey Williams said she thought that was a good common sense request.

Councilor Ron Reavis said he saw nothing wrong with the idea and asked what action was necessary to make that happen.

"We don't need any action," Williams said. "We can just add it to the agenda."

There was no opposition to the idea to add the Pledge to the beginning of each meeting.

On the agenda was a 2013 Year in Review. Staff prepared a timeline to demonstrate everything the city accomplished in 2013.

"I have done this in other communities," City Manager Gabe Gonzalez said. "It isn't just about work but we can also celebrate accomplishments."

Assistant City Manager Josh Shaw reported on items such as the beginning of the new water line project to El Dorado and completion of projects like the Kelly and Ohio intersection.

Also Monday night, the council considered bids to replace a 1997 Ford Ranger that had been handed down to the Inspections Department from the Utilities Department three years ago.

The 2014 budget allotted $18,000 to replace the Inspection Department's 1997 Chevy. However the Ford has cost the city significant money for repairs recently and currently needs a new transmission.

"I understand that the Ranger has needed a lot of work," said Reavis. "But we were told during the budget process that the Chevy was unsafe, unreliable and getting 8-9 miles per gallon. Now we have decided to keep using it."

It was discussed this option was best because of the condition of the Ford Ranger.

The Council voted unanimously to award the bid for a 2014 Ford F-150 Supercab to Rusty Eck Ford for $20,997.

The old truck with be auctioned off with proceeds being used to offset the difference between the budget and the actual cost.

Councilor Mike Rawlings pointed out all local car dealers were hand-delivered requests for proposals but none of them returned a bid, so the council was forced to choose a Wichita business.