There is an easy way to alert city staff to problems in our neighborhood. Through the City of Kansas City’s 311 Call Center, residents can request service for:
The city tries to respond to requests within two days, though this year’s proliferation of potholes has taxed its resources. To report a problem:
When submitting a service request to 311, include the location of the problem (either an address or detailed geographical information), a description of the problem and your contact information. You can also check the status of your 311 service request.
Julie Wittman originally started volunteering for the Ward Parkway Homes Association as a way to meet people and contribute to a great neighborhood. Today, she serves as co-chair of the WPHA Communications Committee and is a former Board member. (If you’d like to join the Communications Committee, she’d love to put your ideas and skills to use!)
Here’s how Julie answered our resident profile questions:
How long have you lived in the Ward Parkway Homes Association? Since 2011
Why did you choose to live in this neighborhood? I’ve lived along the South Plaza/Brookside/Waldo corridor for more than 15 years, and this part of KCMO just can’t be beat. I love that I can access the Trolley Track Trail and public transit so close to home, and that I can walk to my eye doctor, dentist, gym, hair salon, ice cream, library, and other local restaurants and services in a matter of minutes.
Do any family members or pets live with you? My husband, Andy.
Occupation (past or present)? I am part of the communications/marketing team for the City of Lenexa. Lots of public service experience so far in my career.
How do you like to spend your free time? Crochet, cooking and eating, reading, podcast listening, learning new things, gardening, long walks and talks, sipping a sazerac.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I’m probably the only renter in the neighborhood who has served on the WPHA Board. (Renters matter too!) Also, I formed the first women’s lacrosse umpire board in the Kansas City metro in the early 2000s. Refereeing lacrosse across the Midwest as a decade-long side hustle helped me pay off student loans.
What’s the most interesting feature of, or story about, your house? I was curious about what building-related permits the City of Kansas City had on file for our house, and the only one they could come up with was a sparsely-detailed permit to build the darn thing in 1922 for a whopping $5,000.
What is your favorite event or memory of the neighborhood? My mind was blown by some of the astonishing “secret garden” backyards of houses in our neighborhood that I visited during WPHA Garden Tours in past years. People are so passionate and creative! I’d love to see this event be revived someday.
What is your favorite area business/restaurant/meal/drink/service? Betty Rae’s, which is dangerously close to my house. And Bier Station, for the innovative concept and community spirit it introduced to the area.
When leaving for a summer vacation, protecting your home is just as important as protecting the items you bring with you. Be sure to take the necessary steps to give you peace of mind while you’re away. Here are some frequent mistakes to avoid.
Homeowners often hide spare keys around their houses, whether inside a fake rock, in a nearby plant or under the welcome mat. Because this is so commonplace, most burglars can easily find the hidden key, which makes breaking into your home quite simple. Instead, opt to keep a house key in a safer place, such as with a trusted neighbor, family member or friend.
It’s well known that you shouldn’t advertise vacations online (or anywhere, for that matter) before taking off on your trip. Don’t even post social media status updates while still on vacation. But maybe even more important is double-checking your social media accounts to make sure your address is not readily available to anyone seeking it. Delete past posts, party invites or events that may include your phone number as well. It’s easy to do a quick Google search and link a phone number to an address.
If you typically park your car in your driveway when you’re home, ask your neighbor if he/she would mind parking their car in your driveway while you’re away. This will give the appearance that someone is home. Keep up on regular home maintenance. Do you normally have a gardener maintain your lawn and landscaping? Weekly visits from the pool guy? Keep these schedules. If you do your own lawn work, hire it out or recruit family or friends to help while you’re gone.
Have a neighbor retrieve your recycling bin on trash day. If any potential thief is staking out houses, they’ll notice if something is off.
One easy way to tell if someone isn’t home is to just notice the pile of newspapers on the front lawn or the overflow of mail pouring from the mailbox. Suspending your mail service or having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail is a great way to deter thieves.
As simple as this sounds, sometimes people forget to double check that every door and window in their home is locked and secure before they head out on a trip. About 30-35% of all home break-ins in the U.S. take place through an open door or window.
Installing outdoor light with sensors or motion activation is always recommended for general home security. While you are away, using timers or other smart home lighting systems on interior lamps/lights will give the impression that someone is home and could deter unwanted guests.
The WPHA private security patrol comprised of retired and off-duty KCPD officers will check your house, doors, locks, windows and yard while you are on vacation and contact you if anything looks suspicious. Peace of mind while on vacation is priceless! Make sure you support this add-on service to get access to the vacation patrol benefit.
After 26 years, Maureen Hardy knows a thing or two about living in the Ward Parkway Homes Association. A longtime WPHA Board member, she’s a great advocate for our neighborhood at City Hall.
What street do you live on? Pennsylvania Avenue
Why did you choose to live in this neighborhood? Chose this neighborhood because it is a great community. beautiful homes and close to businesses.
Do any family members or pets live with you? Husband Gene
Occupation (past or present)? Retired, worked for Mayor Kay Barnes for 10 years.
How do you like to spend your free time? Reading, exercising, watching Kansas City Royals.
What is at the top of your bucket list? Don’t really have one, but would like to visit all the states I haven’t seen yet.
What is something most people don’t know about you? Love to sit on porch and enjoy the neighborhood and have it filled with neighbors that stop by and socialize.
What’s the most interesting feature of, or story about, your house? Built in 1923, great old beautiful house with lots of original, beautiful woodwork.
What is your favorite event or memory of the neighborhood? After we moved in, so many neighbors came and introduced themselves and offered us help. We went to July 4th picnic and met lots of folks and had a great time, and the rest is history.
What is your favorite area business/restaurant/meal/drink/service? Waldo Pizza, and most of the businesses we’ve used are great and friendly.
What Waldo hidden gem would you recommend to neighbors and why? Being a part and joining the WPHA and signing up to volunteer and help out with some of our fun activities and meet more of your neighbors. Dues are very reasonable.
Is there anything you would change about the neighborhood? Have more four-way stop signs around the school especially, and enforce the speed limit around our house, which is right next to the school.