Alex Gill has lived on Jefferson Street for the last five years and serves on the WPHA Membership Committee. Here’s how he answered our resident profile questions:
Why did you choose to live in this neighborhood? My wife and I were living in an apartment on the Plaza and wanted to start a family. We knew we wanted to stay within KCMO city limits, and this area of town just spoke to us!
Do any family members or pets live with you? My wife, Caroline, our 18-month-old daughter, Lily, and our dog, Trudy.
Occupation (past or present)? Both Caroline and I work at Children’s Mercy (Hospital Hill) and love it!
How do you like to spend your free time? We truly enjoy staying local….like taking Lily and Trudy on neighborhood walks and taking part in local experiences like long lines at Betty Rae’s on nice summer evenings!
What’s the most interesting feature of, or story about, your house? The previous owner of our home worked for NASA, which I think has to be pretty rare!
What is your favorite area business/restaurant/meal/drink/service? Betty Rae’s! Both Caroline and I went to Mizzou, and the owner of Betty Rae’s used to work for Sparky’s Ice Cream Shop in Columbia! So, naturally, I feel a connection. Caroline jokes with our friends that I single-handedly made sure that Betty Rae’s made it through the first month by going every single night!
What Waldo hidden gem would you recommend to neighbors and why? F3 Fitness (75th Street across from CVS). Andre is the owner/operator and is tough, but fair. He provides a quality service at a fair price. If you’re thinking about improving your personal fitness then I recommend you go talk to him.
Is there anything you would change about the neighborhood? We love the neighborhood! If I could change one thing it would be the level of involvement. I would love to see more people in the neighborhood involved in the association!
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.
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.
Do you use the Nextdoor social media app for neighborhoods? If so, we’ve got some pro tips for you.
The default setting in Nextdoor is to show you updates from our neighborhood (Ward Parkway Homes Association, or “Ward Park”) plus 28 other surrounding neighborhoods based on a distance-based algorithm. That’s potentially a lot of neighborhoods you might not want to hear from every day.
Good news! You can pick and choose the surrounding neighborhoods you see updates from, as well as customize the type and frequency of email notifications you get. Here’s how.
The Ward Parkway Homes Association would like input from residents about satisfaction with member benefits and neighborhood services. Your feedback will help inform future decisions made by our Board of Directors.
Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey.
The Ward Parkway Homes Association is a wonderful neighborhood filled with neighbors who watch out for each other and value working together to keep our neighborhood beautiful, safe and welcoming. We invite you to renew your annual membership in the association by Oct. 1, 2017 — or join for the first time if you are not currently a member. You can send a check by mail or pay online.
The budget for operating your association for a year is approximately $26,000. This includes beautification and maintenance of common areas, social events for all ages, representation at local community meetings, website and other communication methods, welcome kits for new neighbors and our private security patrol.
Our security patrol service was set up several years ago because residents wanted more of a public safety presence in the neighborhood. Not only do off-duty and former officers patrol our streets for up to 36 hours per week, but if you’ve paid for the service, they will also provide vacation house checks when you are out of town. The patrol service is primarily responsible for deterring and responding to property crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery and vandalism.
The security patrol service costs $60 per year for residents — or 16 cents a day. We encourage you to share the responsibility for providing this safety benefit to our neighborhood and help us continue to maintain some of the lowest crime rates in the city. To request a vacation security service check, fill out this form.
As technology advances, our communication tools have changed. Besides our website and Facebook page, this fall we are debuting a new email newsletter. We realize that some residents prefer a traditional print newsletter or opt out of using computers. But producing and mailing a quarterly print version is more expensive than an e-newsletter, which we can send to residents more frequently. Unlike the Nextdoor social media platform, this e-newsletter will contain only information related to our neighborhood.
The Ward Parkway Homes Association has maintained the same membership dues for more than eight years, and we strive to keep dues reasonable for everyone to afford. In order to continue to cover rising expenses for our security patrol and other activities, membership dues will increase this year to $50 per home. Our general dues have covered a deficit in the security patrol the past two years so we can offer competitive rates to retain high-quality off-duty officers. Security patrol dues will continue to be $60 per year. This will help us continue to balance our budget and have funds for all association needs. In response to your requests for an online dues-payment option, last year we began offering online payment via PayPal.
The WPHA Board of Directors and committees are made up of volunteer residents. A core group help us with activities, events, and representation at city meetings such as the Community Policing Action Cooperative, Country Club/Waldo Area Plan Steering Committee, and Southtown Council. There is strength in numbers, and we need more help and fresh ideas. Please consider volunteering your time and talents. Even a small involvement builds connection and capacity in our community.
Thank you for investing in your neighborhood. Hope to see you at our events this fall!
WPHA Vice President
The Ward Parkway Homes Association recently discontinued using eNeighbors (paid service) and focus on using Nextdoor (free service!) instead as a private social network for our neighborhood. In addition to saving the homes association nearly $1,000 per year, Nextdoor gets far more activity than eNeighbors has. If you like that type of community forum in addition to Facebook, encourage your neighbors to sign up!
For those who aren’t already familiar with Nextdoor, here is a quick overview. After creating an account and verifying your address, you can post events, lost and found items, classifieds, request or share recommendations, and much more. Under account settings, you can customize how often you receive notifications and on what topics. There’s also a handy Nextdoor app for your smartphone.
Have questions? Let us know.