Friction emerges between Roeland Park, Commerce Bank on selection of art piece for Johnson Drive and Roe

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By Holly Cook

Representatives for the Commerce Bank planned at the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe are clashing with the Roeland Park Art Committee on the selection of an art piece.

The bank and a micro hospital being developed at the site agreed to use 1 percent of total development costs on an art display. Chair of the Art Committee Marek Gliniecki said Commerce Bank proposed installing an architectural landscape feature, which he did not think met guidelines outlined in the 1 percent agreement.

“They stated that they would like whatever is put on their site to be something that reflects their ethos as a corporation…rather than incorporate directly into a proposal for a more city-wide concept,” Gliniecki said.

Roeland Park councilmembers were briefed on the issue during last week’s governing body workshop.

Directly across from the site is the pending Mission Gateway project. Councilmembers said they are hoping to create a cohesive art display between the two corners while also coordinating with art at the old pool site development. The art pieces are meant to serve as gateway elements welcoming residents into the city.

“This will set a big precedent for the other two sites so we need to get this right,” Gliniecki said.

City administrator Keith Moody noted the 1 percent stipulation was outlined in a resolution and not an ordinance, so it does not have the strength of the law.

“The council took the action to adopt the resolution and the council could take an action to amend it,” Moody said.

Mayor Joel Marquardt said he would like to consult with the city attorney on the how much control the council had over the type of art chosen.

“I think we need to have clarity on the ability of the city,” Marquardt said.

City councilmember Michael Poppa questioned whether Commerce Bank understood the city’s intent to coordinate the art with other locations.

“Maybe Commerce didn’t really understand what we were doing because it seems pretty petty…of them that they wouldn’t let the residents of Roeland Park have their entry way when the residents of Roeland Park will be using their bank,” Poppa said.

Councilors moved the item to the next city council meeting so it could be discussed further with the city attorney in attendance.