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Shawnee and Blue Springs named in Top 100 Places to Live in America — The cities of Shawnee, Kansas, and Blue Springs, Missouri, were named among the Top 100 best places to live by Money Magazine. The list included communities with 50,000 or more residents.

Schulte to retire early next year — Troy Schulte, the city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, will retire early next year when his contract expires. Schulte served as the city manager either on an interim or permanent basis for more than a decade, placing him among the longest serving city managers in the city’s history.

Mission appoints new parks and recreation director and public works director — Penn Almoney started as the parks and recreation director for the city of Mission, Kansas, on Sept. 12. Almoney was formerly recreation superintendent for the city of Springville, Utah. Celia Duran started as the director of public works on Sept. 18. Most recently serving the city of Belton, Missouri, Duran spent more than seven years as deputy public works director and city engineer for the city of Olathe, Kansas.

Merriam promotes MacDonald to public works director and hires new finance director — The city of Merriam, Kansas, promoted Public Works Superintendent Jim MacDonald to public works director on Sept. 23. MacDonald served as the interim director since April. The city of Merriam also hired Donna Oliver as the new finance director. Oliver currently serves as the finance director of Riverside, Missouri, and will start her new position on Oct. 28.

Smith hired as interim city manager for Osawatomie — The city of Osawatomie, Kansas, hired Michael Smith as the interim city manager. Smith served as city manager for the city of Lansing, Kansas, between 1999 and 2015. He also served as police chief of Lansing for two decades. The council’s goal is to hire a new city manager before the contract with Smith expires on March 27, 2020.

North Kansas City receives L.E.A.F.S. award — The city of North Kansas City, Missouri, earned a Leading Environmentalism and Forwarding Sustainability (L.E.A.F.S.) award from the EPA’s Region 7 office. The L.E.A.F.S. award recognizes communities that support the EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative through sustainable practices, innovative thinking and environmental stewardship. North Kansas City earned the award for its remediation and revitalization efforts.

Olathe receives awards at Kansas Water Environment Association conference — During the annual Kansas Water Environment Association (KWEA) conference, the city of Olathe, Kansas, received multiple awards. The KWEA recognized Olathe’s wastewater treatment facility as a top Class 5 plant within the state. KWEA also recognized Olathe’s composting facility as the top biosolids management program in the state of Kansas. The city received a number of staff awards as well. More information is available online.

Peculiar launches phone app — The city of Peculiar, Missouri, launched its own app that will allow citizens to report problems and receive an immediate response. The app, made by the company ClickFix, allows citizens to follow up with the city while the problem is being addressed. The city hopes that the app will improve communication with citizens, while also improving response times.

Bonner Springs, Edwardsville and Kansas City, Kansas, launch Adopt-A-Spot program — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and the cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville, are working together to keep their communities litter free through a citizen-led action program. The program, called Adopt-A-Spot, will be part of a five-year stabilization, occupation and revitalization plan (SOAR) aimed at improving communication, appearance and safety of neighborhoods within Wyandotte County.


Board of Directors — The next MARC Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The agenda will be online one week before the meeting.

Information Technology Shared Services — MARC facilitated conversations during the past several years to develop a regional shared service system for information technology for cities and counties. An RFQ/RFP is drafted to evaluate approaches and potential partners to create an IT shared service system for the region. A meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 2:30–4 p.m. in the Heartland Room at the MARC Offices to review the draft RFP/RFQ and discuss the evaluation and selection process. Space is limited, so please RSVP and direct questions to

Celebrating 40 Years of the Managers Roundtable — This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Managers Roundtable. Come celebrate this milestone on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 3–4:30 p.m. at the MARC offices with a special meeting of the Managers Roundtable. The program will feature Buford Watson Jr. Award (Kansas) and Jay T. Bell Award (Missouri) winners from the Kansas City region. A networking social will immediately follow the program at 4:30 p.m at The Phoenix. Registration is available online.

Kansas City Metro Manager Mentorship Program — The Mid-America Regional Council is now accepting applications for its Metro Manager Mentorship Program. The program seeks to partner individuals interested in a career in city/county management with chief or deputy chief administrative officials from local governments in the Kansas City metro. The program seeks to develop leaders for tomorrow through mentoring, while also fostering regional relationship and partnership building. The application deadline is Oct. 15 and matches will be assigned by Nov. 25, 2019. Managers interested in mentoring should contact Lauren Palmer.

First Suburbs Coalition meets in October — The First Suburbs Coalition will be working on next steps and implementation strategies as a follow up to the First Suburbs Regional Housing Summit that was held in July. The next meeting is scheduled for 8–10 a.m. on Oct. 18 at the Matt Ross Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — The Mid-America Council of Public Procurement (MACPP) metro vehicle bid for 2020 models opens Oct. 22. Documents are available online. KCRPC issued Bid 88 for office paper in September and it is currently under evaluation. The new contract take effect on Nov. 1. The RN/LPN staffing services bids are due Nov. 1, and new contract take effect on Jan. 1.

2019 National Cyber Security Review — The 2019 National Cyber Security Review (NCSR) assessment opens Oct. 1, 2019. Cities and counties in the MARC region are encouraged to take advantage of this free, anonymous tool to help governments better understand and measure gaps in their cybersecurity programs. All subrecipients of the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) must complete the 2019 NCSR to be eligible for funding. For more information and resources for the 2019 NCSR, visit the MARC website. Register for the NCSR here.

Public Service Youth Career Expo — The Public Service Career Expo will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. More than 3,500 middle and high school students are expected to attend. Volunteers are needed for shifts between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to help with registration, greeting participants and set up. Sign up here.


Texas bans red-light cameras — The state of Texas joins eleven other states by banning red-light traffic cameras despite strong opposition from safety advocates. Learn more at Governing.

Employees key to effective cyber defense — Email is the most popular form of phishing and employees are the first line of defense against these attacks, making it essential that they are trained on how to handle suspicious emails. Learn more at Route Fifty.

Oklahoma wins case against Opioid Manufacturer — The state of Oklahoma won a landmark case against Johnson and Johnson regarding aggressive marketing of opioids, in which they will receive 572 million dollars in compensation. Learn more from American City and County.

Proposed EPA rule to limit state authority under the Clean Water Act — The EPA announced a proposed rule that would revise Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, tightening the timeframe and criteria for states to review project permits. Learn more from NACO.

Study suggests council-manager governments are more ethical — A new study from the School of Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill concluded that council-manager governments are 57 percent less likely to have instances of corruption than mayor-council governments. Learn more from ICMA.


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