City Council members share information about their priorities and ongoing projects. Here’s what they said:
Mayor Pro Tem ; 1st District at-large
During the 2015-2019 term I am serving as both mayor pro tem and chair of the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee. I have a number of priorities for the term including infrastructure improvements to the 1st District such as North Woodland Avenue, Parvin Road and the KC North Community Center.
Additional priorities I’m working on include veterans issues, homelessness, international business development and housing.
I’ve also been involved in supporting development of the MAPIT Mural Arts Program, an anti-graffiti youth program that has resulted in several murals being done throughout the city.
Public safety, infrastructure and entrepreneurship are the foundation of my service to the people in my district. I continue to work with KCPD to ensure police have the proper tools to serve and protect our citizens. I have also begun the work on building a new KCFD fire station in the northeast section of the 1st District. Sidewalks are a big deal, especially in the southern portion of the district, so construction on sidewalks in the North Kansas City School District will begin this summer.
Other projects I’m working on include developing a plan to create a new athletic complex/community center and building Class A office space to enhance local business development and to drive business to the Northland.
Beginning this spring, I will hold office hours at Barista Café located inside the Woodneath Library Center at 8900 Flintlock Ave., KCMO 64157. I look forward to meeting with you the third Monday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (excluding holidays, November and December).
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your councilwoman.
2nd District at-large
The economic future of Kansas City is bright and I am happy to be a part of all of the progress our city is making.
This will be an exciting year for the 2nd District with the construction of a new police station, Menard’s, Costco and the continued expansion of our award-winning trail system. I am optimistic that we will see progress in the redevelopment of the Metro North Mall site, and I will continue to work towards an agreeable construction plan for the Kansas City International Airport.
As chair of the Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Jobs Committee, I support our home-grown businesses and want to make sure that Kansas City is a great place for entrepreneurs to get their start and continue to grow.
I am committed to building/maintaining strong neighborhoods that attract people from all areas and give families a place to grow within their communities. It is important that we focus on revitalization of current neighborhoods in this city, especially those in the south part of the 2nd District.
Infrastructure is fundamental for our city’s economy. We will only enhance our living conditions by constructing foundations for a successful city. Whether these be roads, bridges, airports, telecommunications or energy infrastructure, they are necessary to ensure a successful and fully operating, efficient city. To that end, one of my main priorities is to continue the development of Twin Creeks. The Twin Creeks watershed has the greatest potential for development in the entire city. It should be built out in an orderly, well planned way that will draw people from across the nation.
Another priority is jobs, and we need more in the Northland. We will continue to search for businesses to locate in the I-29 corridor and on the nearly 11,000 acres of land around KCI.
3rd District at-large
I am honored to serve as one of your at-large councilmembers, proudly hailing from Kansas City’s 3rd District.
My colleagues and I have focused extensively on issues affecting much of the city, including addressing neighborhood blight, supporting reinvestment in our aging infrastructure, and working to grow small business opportunities and economic development throughout Kansas City. A good deal of my work also has involved review of Kansas City’s public transportation system and how well we do at getting people of all ages, particularly those who do not drive, to where they need to be.
If ever you want to chat, please feel free to stop by during my weekly office hours, Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9 a.m., at the Gregg-Klice Community Center at 17th Street and The Paseo.
As a member of the council representing the 3rd District, I am committed to stabilizing, sustaining and revitalizing our community.
My plan to fulfill this commitment includes the following:
Providing access to affordable and healthy food options
Creating living-wage jobs for residents on local and federal projects and supporting small business startups
Investing in public transportation and economic development along transportation corridors by funding and launching the Prospect Max Bus Service
Eliminating blight by demolishing and rehabbing abandoned buildings and improving trash pickup and services
Overseeing investment in the urban core’s aging infrastructure
Creating decent, affordable quality housing
Building the capacity of neighborhood and community based organizations
Strengthening relationships between the community and public safety officials
Increasing neighborhood policing resources
Revitalizing urban corridors including 18th Street, 22nd Street, Prospect Avenue and Troost Avenue
Preserving the 18th & Vine District
4th District at-large
The 4th District encompasses the oldest parts of the city, both north and south of the Missouri River. In many ways, the 4th is a microcosm reflecting the challenges of the city as a whole.
I have always been concerned with environmental sustainability and historic preservation—two concerns that come together in important ways when addressing ongoing issues like economic development and building strong, safe neighborhoods.
We cannot save a neighborhood by tearing it down, one house at a time. Some abandoned properties cannot be preserved, but demolition should be a last resort. Demolition too often leaves an empty lot too small for rebuilding and a drain on community resources. Without thoughtful planning, it can also leave a neighborhood empty of both people and pride.
That is why I strongly support programs to rehabilitate and reuse abandoned residential stock. Programs that reduce ownership by neglectful absentee landlords and encourage affordable housing should be a top priority. Strong, safe neighborhoods are not just important to those who live there. They are the building blocks that create a great city.
I remain committed to building healthy communities and improving the overall quality of life for all Kansas Citians by empowering neighborhoods and getting the best return on the City’s investments.
The Cliff Drive Scenic Byway, located in Kessler Park in the historic Northeast, continues to be a family-friendly destination that contributes to Kansas City’s livability and beauty. Cliff Drive provides nearly five miles of paved road surrounded by forest and rock walls and is maintained through volunteer efforts and the Kansas City Parks Department. Each weekend the gates along Cliff Drive are closed to motor vehicles so pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy the area unimpeded with friends and family. Within the last year, Cliff Drive has closed off the westbound lane for two-way pedestrian and bike traffic, in addition to opening up a new trail and establishing bike signage.
Investing in this valuable resource will continue to be an important project for the 4th District and for all of Kansas City.
Lee Barnes, Jr.
5th District at-large
I plan to work with my colleagues and City staff to facilitate successful development of the Prospect Corridor and the 63rd Street and Prospect/Citadel site, and assist community based developers in building our housing stock, especially the urban core of the 5th District. We should continue sustainable water projects in the Marlborough area such as Target Green East Marlborough and Target Green West Marlborough, and locate funding for a community liaison to assist with overall community development.
I also plan to:
Work with representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration to define and address any environmental issues at the Bannister Federal Complex
Investigate the waterwheel-powered trash interceptor manufactured by Clearwater Mills LLC to determine if we can develop a specific design and project plan that would benefit the City, especially in Brush Creek.
Work with the Country Club Right-of-Way Advisory Committee, Marlborough Neighborhood leaders and Councilwoman Alissia Canady on ways to connect the Trolley Track Trail to the Marlborough Neighborhood.
Address blight in the eastern portion of the district, especially the shopping centers at Loma Vista, Robandee and 94th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard.
As chair of the newly combined Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee, I am working to address quality of life issues. We must revitalize our older neighborhoods. I am working with the mayor and city manager to establish a rehab loan fund to encourage home ownership in severely distressed areas. Immediately, I created a diversion program for code violations. When eligible seniors, disabled or otherwise indigent residents find themselves in violation of housing code ordinances, there will be a staff person to assist them by coordinating resources to address the violation. This alleviates blight and financial hardship on residents who are committed to their communities.
I am committed to catalytic economic development that creates jobs and supports business growth. I led the negotiation that secured the commitment of hiring 30 percent of Kansas City residents on the anticipated convention hotel. Since then I have worked to create policies that would encourage local hiring on all publically funded development projects. There is a $250,000 allocation in the submitted budget to obtain the necessary local workforce study.
6th District at-large
My focus and commitment continues to be encouraging economic growth that improves the quality of life in your local neighborhood. As chairman of the Planning and Zoning Committee, I would like to see neighborhood-friendly development that brings more people, local small businesses, jobs and investment into Kansas City to strengthen our neighborhoods and increase revenues so we can maintain and improve our basic city services for neighborhoods and our citizens.
We all have a stake in the future of Kansas City and need to work together to make this happen. Last fall, I held the first-ever community planning and zoning listening session centered on receiving input from neighborhood leaders. I plan to hold more sessions citywide.
New significant business growth in South Kansas City and major public investments we made at the South Patrol Police Station and the Bay Water Park have led in part to the opportunity for revitalizing neighborhood shopping centers such as Red Bridge, Watts Mill and Ward Parkway, which will bring family-friendly spaces, better grocery options, restaurants and local small business growth. We need to do more and keep the momentum going. As an at-large council member who, like the mayor, represents the entire city, I believe we need all parts of the city to succeed for Kansas City to continue to grow.
was born and raised in the 6th District, which I represent as vice chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, co-chair of the Legislative Committee, and member of the Finance and Governance Committee. I see these roles as interrelated in achieving one of my top priorities: addressing the significant needs in our city’s infrastructure and transportation systems. Given Kansas City’s immense geographic size and its aging infrastructure, improvements must be made through a combination of federal, state and city funding and by leveraging private investment.
Improving our infrastructure will pay big dividends. It will not just make our city more livable and accessible for our residents, but will also drive economic growth and development. The 6th District has already seen tremendous job growth following major infrastructure investment. I hope to build on these successes with future projects, such as the widening of the 155th Street corridor and the expansion of the Richards-Gebaur Commerce Park.