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JULY 2020


Swingle named director of information technology for Lenexa — Lenexa, Kansas, has named Jerry Swingle as their new director of information technology. Swingle has over 25 years of professional experience in information technology, has played key roles in the development of Johnson County’s fiber network and has provided IT services for several Johnson County cities.

Shawnee names Potter as new fire chief — Shawnee, Kansas, has named Rick Potter as their new fire chief. Potter previously served as deputy fire chief for Pueblo, Colorado, and has more than 30 years of fire service.

Jackson County introduces 12-week paid parental leave policy — Jackson County, Missouri, established a policy that allows for up to 12 weeks of guaranteed paid parental leave for County staff following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy builds off the County’s previous policy, which allowed for five weeks of paid leave, and applies to mothers and fathers equally.

Gardner awarded funding for community policing — Gardner, Kansas, was awarded 125,000 in grant money from the Department of Justice to fund an additional police officer dedicated to implementing community policing strategies. These strategies are geared towards strengthening partnerships between law enforcement and residents, and enhancing safety through collaborative crime prevention efforts. Gardner was one of 15 recipients in Kansas to receive funding. The cities of Bonner Springs and Kansas City, Kansas, also received funding.

Excelsior Springs receives funding to improve critical infrastructure —  Excelsior Springs, Missouri, received $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) to improve critical roadway and sewer infrastructure to accommodate new business development. The project will be located in an Opportunity Zone and will be matched with state and local funds. The project is expected to generate $4.5 million in private investment.

Overland Park rated best place to buy a house — Overland Park, Kansas, has been ranked as the number one “best city” to buy a house in America by Rankings are based on public data concerning both housing and public schools in a given city. Kansas City, Missouri, was also in the top 25 best places to buy a house.

Harrisonville project featured in the Missouri Municipal Review — Harrisonville, Missouri, received recognition and was featured in the May/June 2020 issue of The Missouri Municipal Review for a water treatment project it completed in 2018. The article describes Harrisonville’s complete overhaul of its water treatment plant and how it led to improved water quality.


Board of Directors — There will be no MARC Board of Directors meeting in the month of July. Meetings will resume again in August.

MARC awarded CARES Act funding for economic development programs – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded MARC $400,000 in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant funding. Funding will be used to update economic development plans and assist Kansas City metropolitan communities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Suburb Coalition meeting — The First Suburbs Coalition’s next meeting will be July 17 from 8:30–10 a.m. The meeting will take place virtually on Zoom. Additional information and an agenda are forthcoming and will be sent out prior to the meeting.The event is free, but please register online.

Economic Forecast for Elected Officials webinar recording — COVID-19 has brought on and created a number of economic issues and needs within our communities. This webinar breaks down these economic issues and needs facing the Kansas City metropolitan area and offers economic forecasts on how our economy is doing, how long the recovery might take, and which occupations and industries will be most affected in the next two to three years. Speakers include Donna Ginther, professor of economics and director of the Institute of Policy and Social Research, University of Kansas; Jim MacDonald, chief community impact officer, United Way of Greater Kansas City; Frank Lenk, research director, Mid-America Regional Council. A recording of the webinar can be seen here.

2020 ELGL Diversity Dashboard Survey — The 2020 Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) Diversity Dashboard Survey is now live and open for local governments to complete. The ELGL Diversity Dashboard is the first national data collection on gender, race/ethnicity, age and prior education/work experience of local government leadership. The goal of this dashboard is to get a better understanding of diversity across a wider variety of local government leadership positions. All data collected is anonymized and does not reflect specific names or titles, but does allow you to look up your city and see what their specific demographic representation looks like. For more information, click here. To take the survey, click here.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — KCRPC contract for surveillance cameras, Bid 73, was extended to Sept. 30 and the rebid process will begin in July. Participants are needed to assist with specification updates. The salt/deicer contract, Bid 87, water and wastewater chemical contracts, Bid 84, and MARCER contract for medical waste disposal with MedAssure Heartland, Bid 80, were renewed for one year for 2020-21. KCRPC awarded ten contracts to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 response on an as-needed basis. View or download contract documents from the online platform. Available items include N95 masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and shoe covers.

Kansas City G2U Regional Coalition Annual Conference — The Kansas City Government to University (G2U) Regional Coalition Annual Conference will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. This virtual event is a great way for government and university officials to make connections and learn best practices to engage students in experiential learning. Celebrate the success of the first year of the nation’s first G2U Regional Coalition and share your input to shape the future of this important work. Register for the event here.

Planning Sustainable Places Projects MARC recently conducted a call for projects for funding from its Planning Sustainable Places program. Since 2013, MARC has successfully funded 67 different projects across the Kansas City metropolitan area through the Planning Sustainable Places program. See past projects here. This round, applications from 22 different organizations were received. Please help us determine which projects should be funded by taking a few minutes to review the proposed projects and share your thoughts on them by July 3. Review the projects here.

Training Goals During Changing Times webinar recording — Cities and counties are experiencing budget and operational shifts, making it difficult to maintain staff development goals. This webinar explores resources and creative solutions to deliver effective staff training and sustain employee cohesion during times of major organizational change. This webinar is for those interested in effective e-learning solutions for their employees. Presenters for this webinar include Michael Henry, M.S.Ed., eLearning producer, Point-Productions; Rebecca Lahann, HR manager, education and development, city of Kansas City, Missouri; Lauren Palmer, director of local government services, MARC. A recording of this webinar can be viewed here.

U.S. Census deadline extension reminder — The deadline to complete the U.S. Census is Aug. 14. Residents may submit responses for the Census online, by phone or by mail. Cities and counties are encouraged to remind residents to participate in the Census.



U.S. Supreme Court releases ruling in Title VII Suit — The United States Supreme Court ruled that employers may be sued under Title VII for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Read more at icmablog.

Knoxville endures ransomware attack – Knoxville, Tennessee was forced to shut down its IT systems following a ransomware attack. Read more at Americancityandcounty.

COVID-19 and mental health services — Counties work to step up their mental health services in the wake of COVID-19. Read more at naco.

Virginia incorporates health equity in COVID-19 response — The state of Virginia’s Health Equity Taskforce, in tackling COVID-19, pursues partnerships to provide PPE and information to minority communities. Read more at routefifty.

Los Angeles DOT taken to federal court over scooter data – The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) and their collection of e-scooter trip data is challenged in federal district court. Read more at governing.



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