Recently sworn in city councilor Jori Nelson introduced her first new business as a member of the Prairie Village governing body Monday, but found little support for a proposal her colleagues said would place the city on a slippery slope of expectations.
At the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, Nelson requested that the city make a $1,000 donation to SM East’s drug and alcohol free post-graduation party, to be held May 14.
“I have a daughter who is graduating this year, and I think it’s important that all students have a place to have a safe time while having the time of their lives,” she said.
Councilor Laura Wassmer pointed out that the city had made a donation to similar functions in the past, but the council had extensively debated the issue and decided it wasn’t appropriate for the city to make a donation with taxpayer money to an event that only benefits a small portion of the city’s residents. Wassmer pointed out that such a donation might open the city up to the expectation of making similar contributions to private schools like Kansas City Christian, or to causes for many of the elementary schools in the area.
Councilor Andrew Wang noted that he had a senior graduating from high school this year as well.
“I think it is totally my responsibility to provide a place for them to go,” he said. “It’s not the city’s role.”
Nelson said she thought the city should be a leader in promoting alcohol-free activities, and that the city should not provide alcohol at its annual holiday party.
The motion failed 9-3, with Nelson, Ashley Weaver and Eric Mikkelson voting in favor of the request.