Submitted by KRPA member, Troy Houtman, Wichita Park and Recreation
Some organizations emerge from a crisis stronger and more ready to thrive than they were before the crisis arrived. The big differentiator that separates them from companies that falter is people – how their leaders empathize, engage, motivate, and capitalize on their talents and knowledge in the face of adversity. Even more so is communication!
The critical first step is making sure people don’t jump on the “freak-out train” of doom, gloom, and complete helplessness. This train’s last stop is Catastrophe City, where we view today’s health crisis and economic plunge as being worse than they are or worse than they’re projected to be. In Catastrophe City, people feel powerless to change what’s happening. But this is rarely true.
So what can organizations do to turn adversity into an advantage during times of unprecedented uncertainty?
As leaders, we need to ask ourselves questions. Am I defining reality and creating hope in this unprecedented environment of challenge and change? Am I helping my people become the change agents we need so we can be successful in difficult times? And do they truly know the score so they can actively engage in improving the situation?
On top of all this, the great philosopher Winnie-the-Pooh has a few words worthy of sharing with your people that are more relevant now than ever: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Stay Safe and Healthy!
We remodeled! Many people are taking time during the quarantine to do housekeeping projects and remodeling jobs while they are at home. KRPA has done some remodeling too! The KRPA Discussion Forum, The Locker Room, has received an update. Go to the KRPA website and log-in. Then click on the Locker Room button in the top right corner.
The Locker Room update does not change much for you. The discussion forum looks the same, is still available 24/7 through our website, and can be accessed with your member sign-in information. You can still post and reply, add pictures, documents, websites, etc.
How is the forum update different?
You might be asking "why the changes?" KRPA takes much pride in serving you. We believe this service is extremely important for our member engagement, but we also want to be financially responsible. After some investigating, we found resources to provide this service to you while also cutting out a large amount of cost for our budget. As the economy recovers and the COVID-19 situation slow downs, we will be adding the extra features (like reactions and badges) back into the system.
A few reminders:
-Please remember to go to your profile, edit profile and your notification preference to get email notification when a new discussion is started.
- If you have never logged into the Locker Room before, you will need to click log-in and then "forgot password." It will walk you through resetting your password.
3. If you had bookmarked the old website, please change it to krpaforum.org.
If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jamie Reed.
Keep leaning into each other with your questions or resources. We are stronger together.
The Governor asked KRPA to create a reopening plan for parks and recreation most of which she included in her state reopening plan announced April 30th. The recovery plan task force has been working long hours to create the plan and give guidance to our members.
Detailed guidelines to open each area in the plan will be sent later this week or early next week.
Please remember this is a living document so we will update it as circumstances change. The latest version will be hosted on our website.
We would like to thank our recovery plan task force.
For the last several years, Parks & Recreation departments across the United States have struggled to find the ideal balance of time and space utilization for sports and recreation programming. On one hand, the need to increase activity levels for children – regardless of skill or aspiration level – has never been greater. On the other, the demand from competitive programs catering to players at the upper end of the skill and/or income spectrum has never been higher.
In most communities and on the national average, competitive programs have taken over. High-level players are participating in year-round programs that are granted the most desirable times at the most desirable locations, leaving less and less time for introductory and recreational programs. As a result, children whose health and social skills would benefit most from regular activity are losing the chance to play regularly and reap the benefits of consistent activity.
Countless statistics demonstrate this trend, but here is the one data point you should be most concerned about: the United States has a higher percent of overweight/obese children between the ages of 6-17 than almost any other peer country; nearly 40% of girls and 35% of boys in our country are overweight or obese. That puts us in “last place” compared to Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and nearly every other first world county.
The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the sports and recreation industry. Leagues have paused, tournaments have been cancelled, and – in many cases – service providers have shut down and will not return. It would be easy, and perhaps even natural, to panic. It would be equally easy to be complacent and assume that as our country rebounds the recent participation and activity trends will continue.
Instead of either of those, I encourage you to view this as an opportunity to regain your ideal balance. There is nothing inherently wrong with competitive programs and high-level players seeking extra time to improve. In fact, that is healthy and should be encouraged. But there is also nothing wrong with dedicating more time and space to kids who just need to learn to play, to benefit from activity, and to grow from positive adult and peer interactions. In fact, it is critical.
As a Parks & Recreation leader in your community, you now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a lasting impact on the health of your community by improving access to recreational programs and providing space and time for every child to play. What will you do with your opportunity?
Author: Evan Eleff is the COO of Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) and a Partner in all of the SF Companies. He has led sports and recreation planning, funding, development, and management initiatives in over 1,600 communities around the world and is one of the United States’ leaders and foremost experts in improving the health and economic vitality of communities through sports and recreation.
Message from KRPA President, Olivia Mayer, to Members:
As we find ourselves in uncharted waters, now is the perfect time to remember that we are each other’s most valuable resource. While we are being forced to temporarily close facilities and halt operations, we are faced with the dilemma of how to best serve our communities. It is time to focus on what we still can do to improve the quality of life for Kansans. COVID-19 has affected our lives at such a quick rate that we have been in a reactive state. Now is the time to come together and share ideas to become proactive in this venture. Now is the time to formulate safe and conscientious solutions to offer communities. We need to play to our strengths, reiterate the power of outdoors and greenspace, facilitate ways to enrich day to day living, and work together to make it through these uncertain times.
The KRPA board urges you to use the discussion forum to share and discuss issues related to COVID-19 during this time. Talk with other professionals about their protocols, policies and leaning on each other to keep up spirits is helpful for everyone. You will find policies and protocols posted by other members but most importantly, respond to those who have questions. There have been posts with language you can use for your own community so don't reinvent the wheel. Your membership is paying for this important tool for you to use. so sign up/in now to see the discussions or opt-in to receive the discussions by email. Visit https://community.krpa.org.
You are an important part of the response to this challenge. Let's all show our communities the leadership they need right now.
In an effort to mitigate the impact and spread of coronavirus, the KRPA office will be closed. Staff will be working remotely until further notice. Please feel free to email any of the staff. We will try and get back with you as quickly as possible. Information regarding upcoming KRPA events will be announced later today.
Erika Devore, Executive Director- firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie Reed, Membership and Education Manager- email@example.com
Amanda Sterling, Communication Coordinator- firstname.lastname@example.org
Working in this unprecedented times will be happening more and more digitally. Does your agency or focus area have questions and need to communicate with park and recreation professionals around the state? Chat and share at KRPA's Discussion Forum, The Locker Room, or find member contact information within the KRPA Online Directory.
Legislative Update- Week 5
Following the failure of the 'Value them Both' Senate Constitutional Amendment on the House floor on Friday, work has largely come to a halt. The House and Senate have not been on General Orders this week. Committees on both sides have continued to hold hearings, work bills and move legislation forward. Stay tuned as issues arise and develop.
Please contact Kearney & Associates at (785) 234-5859 or Steve Kearney, Kari Presley or Colin Thomassett if you wish to appear and testify or submit written comments.
We need the testimony 48 hours in advance of the hearing and for Monday hearings no later than 9:00 a.m. the Friday before. The Committee Chairs have implemented rules that require submission of copies of testimony 24 hours in advance of the hearing and in some instances earlier.
Hearing Schedule for the week of 2.17.20
Updating approved types of personal flotation devices
Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources
02/17/2020 - Final Action
Amending STAR bonds by adding rural redevelopment projects and major business and medical facilities, increasing certain project investment and sales requirements, adding a return on investment analysis and other requirements and approvals by the secretary and extending the sunset date
House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development
02/17/2020 - Hearing
02/18/2020 - Hearing (possible continuation)
Extraterritorial zoning, subdivision regulations; mailed notice to land owners of record
Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government
02/18/2020 - Hearing (opponents continued)
Requiring the secretary of wildlife, parks and tourism to establish state threatened and endangered species lists that are based on the federal threatened and endangered species lists
02/18/2020 - Hearing
Authorizing the Kansas department of wildlife, parks and tourism to purchase land in Kingman county
02/19/2020 - Hearing
Before You Head to Topeka
Be prepared. Make the most of your time and resources at the 2020 KRPA Conference and Trade Show by sitting down and formulating a plan first.
1) Download the conference app
The KRPA conference app contains all of the essential information that you will need while attending conference. It has the schedule, the speakers, the vendors, maps for the conference center, and more. You should have received an email inviting you to the app from Crowd Compass. If you did not, please click here to learn how to access the app. Don’t forget to allow push notifications from this app during your time at conference so you don't miss out on any important updates.
2) Review the schedule.
This one’s a no-brainer. Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference, and use the schedule to devise a plan to meet your goal. Log-in and create a customized agenda within the conference app. Make sure to attend conference-wide events such as the keynote speakers. If you prefer a hard-copy, please remember to print the schedule-pdf before you arrive at conference.
Also, make sure you are registered on the KRPA website for the tours, socials, and the Strength-Finders workshop that you would like to attend.
3) Bring a few extra dollars
· Silent Auction Purchases at Trade Show. Don’t forget there will be a silent auction at the Trade Show. Susan with Shawnee County Parks + Recreation has done an amazing job gathering items for this year's silent auction. It will be full of items from vendors, sports memorabilia, gift cards, and more. You will find a treasure that you might want to take home, so be prepared.
· Purchase a $10 Poker Hand for a chance to win big $$$. The 2020 KRPA Trade Show fundraiser is the Poker Run event. Purchase your $10 Poker Hand from a KRPA Board member or at the conference registration table when you arrive at conference for your chance to win big $$$ at the Trade Show. Click here to learn more about the fundraiser.
4) Find out who’s going
The people you’ll attend sessions with are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new KRPA members, or touch base with longtime friends than at a conference.
Connect with KRPA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #KRPAConference to find friends posting about conference. The app also offers a social page and access to reach out directly to other conference attendees.
5) Bring the right gear
· Pack enough business cards. Make sure you have some business cards handy to share with new contacts.
· Bring layers of clothes. Conference center rooms notoriously fluctuate in temperatures because of the location or number of session attendees, so dress in layers and you will be prepared for any situation
When You Arrive
6) Come to the registration desk
Don’t get stuck at the registration table and miss your first session. Visit Jamie Reed and her awesome volunteers early to pick up your nametag, your CEU form (if needed) and get any questions answered.
7) Divide and conquer
If you’re attending with coworkers, try and see as much as possible. Splitting up for sessions will maximize how much you’re able to learn and ensure that each of you has unique insights to take back to your company.
On your own? Discovering how your agency fits into the larger Kansas park and recreation field and how other agencies run, is an invaluable insight. A conference provides a unique opportunity to pick the brains of fellow members and agencies, which leads us to Tip #8.
8) Connect with fellow KRPA Members
Networking with other professionals in your field is a highlight of the KRPA conference and our association. Make time to connect with fellow members. Attend the branch social and meet people in your field of expertise. Exchange information--- when you have questions and need help later in the year, you’ll have the new connections to contact for support.
When you are home and waiting for the 2021 KRPA Conference in Manhattan
9) Gather your thoughts
All that information you gathered from sessions and new contacts from the conference and the trade show can quickly be forgotten if not organized right away. Write down your key takeaways. Enter new contacts into your address book. Fill out the KRPA post-conference survey which will be on the app and sent out via email.
10) Prepare to share your "Clear Vision" when you arrive home
Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests to your new contacts while the conference is still fresh in your mind. Include a personalized message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember to make yourself memorable by reminding your new contact what you discussed.
Schedule a team meeting for the week or two after conference. Share the insights you gained at conference that are likely to be useful to your agency. Or, write an email to document the most valuable information. There’s no better place than a conference to take stock of the state of your agency and your profession.
2019 Legislative Session Recap
The 2019 legislative session concluded in early May with the legislature having tackled many large issues, while still leaving plenty of work to be done in the second year of the biennium starting on January 13, 2020. Given that Governor Laura Kelly's first budget survived mostly intact, and that no substantial tax reform package was signed into law, the state accounting ledger is on relatively firm footing heading into 2020. The Legislature was able to put together a school finance package to satisfy the Supreme Court, but Medicaid Expansion still remains elusive to advocates looking to expand access to health insurance.
Current Economic Environment
The Consensus Group consisting of Legislative Research, Division of the Budget, Department of Revenue, and economists from state universities meet twice a year, in April and November to provide an estimate of revenue and expenses for the Governor and Legislature to build the annual budget. The most recent meeting of this group produced some interesting and mostly positive data forecasts for the Kansas economy. It is anticipated that we will continue to see modest economic growth through FY 2021. Real Kansas Gross State Product is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2020. This lags the national economy as measured by U.S. Gross Domestic Product which is expected to grow by 1.9%.
Employment continues to be strong in Kansas and the data shows that wages have been growing. The labor market is relatively tight with unemployment at 3.4%. In terms of agriculture, there has been modest growth in net farm income over the last couple years attributable in large part to the federal market facilitation payment program. However, the energy sector continues to experience declines in production and price for both oil and natural gas. Inflation continues to be moderate and the 2020 and 2021 forecasts both call for a 2.1% inflation rate.
Given the moderate growth expected by the Consensus Group, and the favorable economic indicators, overall revenue estimates for FY 2020 and FY 2021 were increased by a combined $525.5 million. The profile for the State General Fund, taking the recent consensus estimates into account, shows that the State will have a positive ending balance through FY 2023. The State ended FY 2019 with over $1.1 billion in the bank. Even with the additional anticipated revenues, the State continues to have higher expenditures than revenues. The State General Fund profile assumes consistent and reasonable growth and does not consider any potential additional revenue (e.g. Internet or digital sales tax) or reductions in revenue from potential tax cuts.
Medicaid Expansion - One of the biggest policy issues from the 2019 Legislative Session was expanding Medicaid, which would provide health insurance coverage to approximately 150,000 Kansans. Last session, the Kansas House passed Medicaid Expansion through HB 2066 by a vote of 69-54, however, progress on sending a bill to Governor Kelly stalled out in the Senate. It has been over nine years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed, and Medicaid Expansion has been an option for states to pursue since 2014. To date, Kansas, along with 13 other states have not expanded their programs. There was a commitment by Senate leadership that the issue would be studied in the interim by two different committees - the Senate Select Committee on Health Care Access and the Special Joint Committee on Medicaid Expansion. Both Committees have met, and we now have a Senate proposal that should be debated when the legislature convenes in January.
Tax Policy - In addition to Medicaid Expansion, another large policy item leftover from the 2019 Legislative Session revolves around state tax policy. SB 22, which was one of the original large-scale tax bill from last session was vetoed by Governor Kelly in late March. After the legislature reconvened in early May, they passed another tax bill in the form of HB 2033, which contained nearly all of the same provisions as SB 22, but at half the cost because it did not allow for the changes to be retroactive. Governor Kelly ultimately vetoed both bills and the legislature was unable to override her veto on either bill. Governor Kelly issued an Executive Order in September creating the Governor's Council on Tax Reform, which had the charge of studying how Kansas can create a fair and efficient tax policy. Governor Kelly's Council made a series of recommendations including taxing digital products and implementing a refundable food sales tax credit. It is anticipated that legislators and lobbyists will again push this year to address the issues around decoupling and taxation of international income, which will set the stage for another year of fighting on tax policy.
Constitutional Amendment on Abortion - With the Supreme Court decision in April ruling that the state constitution protects the right to an abortion, many legislators have been strategizing on how they can address this in the 2020 Legislative Session. One part of the debate is settled, and that is to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for the voters of Kansas to decide. While all the details around the potential language have yet to be worked out, it can be reasonably assumed that there will be a robust debate in both chambers. Perhaps the biggest unknown at this point, should the amendment be approved by the legislature, is whether the constitutional amendment appears on the August or November ballot.
Supreme Court Nominating Process - The process by which justices are nominated to serve on the state Supreme Court been questioned by legislators, especially in terms of transparency. The current process involves a nine-member Nominating Commission, including five lawyers and four nonlawyers. There are feelings that the current process leads to justices that don't represent the political makeup of Kansas, and many in the legislature would like Kansas to follow the Federal model, allowing the Governor to make appointments subject to Senate confirmation. It is anticipated that we will continue to hear from legislators that this process should be amended.
Criminal Justice Reform - The 2019 Legislature passed HB 2290 with only one dissenting vote between both chambers. One of the provisions in the bill was to create the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission. The Commission was charged with studying numerous aspects of the criminal justice system including sentencing guidelines, proportionality, diversion, supervision, specialty courts and other programs for offenders. Meetings of the Commission began this summer to meet a December deadline of producing an interim report (http://www.kslegresearch.org/KLRD-web/Publications/CommitteeReports/2019CommitteeReports/KS-CriminalJustRefmComm-cr.pdf). The Commission will continue to meet throughout the year and will issue their final report by December 1, 2020.
Marijuana - Legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic around the legislature for the past few years and there are now three states bordering Kansas that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana. The Special Committee on Federal and State Affairs met in October on the topic of medical marijuana. There were many proponents and opponents who testified. Ultimately the recommendation from the Special Committee was to take a look at the Ohio law, which allows for medical marijuana in some forms. The Committee was also interested in what could be done to provide individuals an affirmative defense if someone who can legally possess marijuana in other states is traveling through Kansas. These recommendations will head to the legislature and it seems likely that there will be legislation this session on this topic.
Transportation Plan - Transportation funding has been one of the annual budget issues facing legislators over the last decade. From FY 2011 - FY 2020, on average, $177 million has been swept from the state highway fund to the state general fund every year to fund core services of government. This does not include other extraordinary expenses that have come over time including Statehouse Debt Service, the Affordable Airfares program, and education transportation funding to name a few. Legislators have coined transportation funding as the "Bank of KDOT" (Kansas Department of Transportation) since it has been used so often to fund other government services. Governor Kelly would like to end the transfer of funds and keep more funding at KDOT to implement her new transportation plan. This new plan will focus on being nimble, stretching dollars, and community input to address the estimated $18 billion worth of needs statewide. As the Governor rolls out her new budget, this new plan, and funding for the plan will be one of the big budget issues this session.
Noneconomic Damages Cap - This summer the Kansas Supreme Court struck down the state's cap on noneconomic damages, citing that it violates the state constitution. The statute in question relates to damages for personal injury or death, which has been currently capped at $325,000. Striking down of the cap disrupts years of public policy and advocates claim that this will have far-reaching consequences for cases involving medical malpractice, workers compensation, and general tort litigation. The legislature held two interim committees this fall to discuss the topic with the only recommendations that they continue to study the issue and get updates from stakeholders on ramifications.
2020 Legislative Calendar
You can find a list of the 2020 Legislature here: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/members/, or in Excel which includes all contact information: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/members/csv/
All 165 legislators will be up for election this year. This will most certainly create an interesting dynamic as a number of legislators including Senate President Susan Wagle (running for US Senate) and House Appropriations Chairman Troy Waymaster (running in the 1st Congressional) will be running for new positions, as well as those legislators just trying to retain their seats. Positioning on issues will become paramount, in addition to trying to end the session in an expedient manner so the candidates can free up their time for campaigning and fundraising.
The Capitol will have a new snack bar ready for this session that will feature a grill and serve hot food. After about $150,000 worth of work, you will now be able to enjoy a new snack bar on the ground floor of the Capitol, just across from the vending area near the Visitor Center and entrance. Don't worry, if you're upstairs and need some refreshments, the snack bar on the third floor won't be closing.
Information provided by:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is excited to announce that the Request for Applications for the second phase of the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative is now available! Blue Cross is continuing efforts to improve the health and wellness in communities across Kansas. The four-year coordination grants will award $200,000 each for up to 24 communities.
Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by BCBSKS. It provides community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life. Communities that are awarded a coordination grant will have the opportunity to access additional non-competitive grant funding.
The funding period is from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 31, 2024. BCBSKS is accepting letters of intent from communities interested in applying for the grant. Letters of intent must be submitted no later than Jan. 17 in order to receive an application packet. Applications are due March 20. Awardees will be announced on July 1.
Please see the attached RFA . More information and frequently asked questions, is available at http://www.bcbsks.com/pathways/.
Request for Application Packet
For questions regarding the Letter of Intent contact:
Virginia Barnes. MPH
Director, Blue Health Initiatives
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Toll-free: 1-800-432-0216, ext. 8004
In Topeka: 785-291-8004
PO Box 1283
Lawrence, KS 66044