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APRIL 2018


Riverside appoints new city administrator — The Riverside, Missouri, Board of Aldermen hired Brian Koral as the new city administrator. Koral will replace Greg Mills, who is retiring. Koral is currently the town administrator in Atoka, Tennessee. Prior to Atoka, he served as the personnel director for the city of Sedalia, Missouri, from 2007 to 2011. Koral starts work for Riverside on April 23.

Kansas City, Missouri, city manager appoints new assistant city manager — Troy Schulte recently announced that Kansas City Fire Department Deputy Chief Donna Maize will become assistant city manager for public safety. She replaces Mike Schumacher, who is leaving Kansas City to serve as chief administrator in Lebanon, Missouri. Maize has been with the fire department since 1992, serving in various roles. As deputy chief, she was responsible for managing facilities, logistics, information technology and communications.

Niche ranks Overland Park second best city in which to buy a house — A new set of rankings from the website Niche should have the Overland Park residents feeling good about their city. The site's list of the best places to buy a house puts Overland Park second in the nation behind Plano, Texas. Niche developed its rankings based on factors including the quality of public schools and the affordability of housing. This is not the first time Overland Park has fared well in Niche's national rankings. The website currently has Overland Park as the sixth best place to raise a family and the eight best city to live in America.

Kansas City ranks second for women in tech — Kansas City remains the second best city in the U.S. for women in technology for four years in a row, just behind Washington, D.C., according to a new study by SmartAsset. The study looks at several areas, including gender pay gap, income after housing, women’s representation in the workforce and growth in employment. The study used Census data to compare 58 cities that have at least 200,000 residents.

Johnson County recognized as healthiest place to live in Kansas — Johnson County maintains its top ranking as the healthiest place to live in Kansas, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, released in March by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The rankings are available at

Downtown Merriam Partnership wins State award — The Downtown Merriam Partnership recently won the Distinguished Public Service Organization Award at the 70th Annual Kansas Recreation and Park Association Conference. The award recognizes organizations for their contributions to the advancement of parks and recreation. Made up of various city businesses, the Downtown Merriam Partnership focuses on the revitalization of downtown Merriam.

Johnson County department wins regional EPA award — The Region VII offices of the EPA awarded the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment with a 2017 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award. Johnson County earned this award for its local food composting programs, including a partnership program with Shawnee Mission schools. The EPA award program highlights the accomplishments of organizations and agencies that prevent and divert food waste.

Kansas City, Missouri, ranks among the most affordable cities in the nation GoBankingRates, a personal finance resource, compiled a list of the most affordable cities. Kansas City ranked second on the list, with Oklahoma City taking the top spot. The analysis compared expenses, including median home rent, groceries, utilities and transportation, to the area’s average household income.


Board of Directors — MARC's Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, April 24, 2017. The agenda will be online one week before the meeting.

MARC's Regional Assembly scheduled for June 8 — MARC's 22nd Annual Regional Assembly will be held on Friday, June 8 at the InterContinental Hotel, 401 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, Missouri. This year's Keynote speaker will be Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC), the largest organization representing America's cities and their leaders. The event also includes presentation of MARC's 2018 Regional Leadership Awards. Registration information is now available online.

Connecting the Heartland: A Megaregions Workshop — This one-and-a-half-day workshop will bring together public and private sector leaders from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Attendees will discuss shared transportation-dependent assets in the Heartland and operational strategies to enhance our shared economic assets. The megaregions concept promotes efficiency and regional cooperation by identifying best transportation planning practices for jurisdictions that want to work across their boundaries. The workshop is May 16 and 17. MARC, the Heartland Civic Collaborative, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Federal Highway Administration collaborated to develop this workshop.

National Historic Trails plan unveiled — During the past 18 months, MARC has worked with the National Park Service, local governments and local trails organizations to prepare a concept plan for retracing the three national historic trails through the Kansas City region — Santa Fe, Oregon and California. The purpose of the project is to create a system alignment that, once implemented at the local level, would connect the routes with historic and community assets. The draft plan is in the final stages of review and is available online. Once finalized, the MARC Board will have an opportunity to adopt the plan and incorporate it as part of the Regional MetroGreen Greenway Trails Plan. Local communities can pass a resolution in support of the plan.


Next Managers Roundtable focuses on Unified Government's efforts to improve residents' quality of life — The next Managers Roundtable luncheon is scheduled for Friday, April 13. The luncheon will highlight the Unified Government’s innovative work to improve residents' quality of life. The presentation will cover the open data initiatives that are underway, the Community Health Assessment process and the SOAR project, focused on addressing vacant and abandoned properties. The event begins at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served at noon. The luncheon will be at the Reardon Civic Center, 500 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas. Registration is available online. Luncheon dates for 2018 include: Fridays, Aug. 10, Oct. 12 and Dec. 7, 2018.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — The Kansas City Regional Cooperative Purchasing Program (KCRPC) began the renewal process for larvicide, road/ice control materials, surveillance cameras and chemicals for water and wastewater yearly contracts. KCRPC workshops and webinars are available upon request. Please contact Rita Parker to schedule a session or to participate in bids or sign up for e-newsletters. More information is available on the KCRPC website.


How cities are divided by income, mapped — Three types of visualizations show the stark economic disparities in U.S. cities. Learn more from CityLab.

FCC ruling on 5G infrastructure may hurt cities — The Federal Communications Commission is poised to make a directive on 5G, the next-generation, high-speed wireless standard, that could significantly affect local government control of infrastructure. Learn more from Government Technology.

Innovative playground design trends and fundraising resources — Novel trends in design combined with innovative approaches to playground use and access to a variety of funding sources are enhancing children's experience at public playgrounds. Learn more from Parks & Recreation.

Ill-prepared and underfunded, election officials brace for more cyberattacks — Federal intelligence officials warned Congress recently that Russia will again attempt to influence the elections through cyber-warfare. Learn more from Governing.

The ticking time bomb for suburban retail — Lightning-speed deliveries and autonomous cars could accelerate the current big-box implosion. Learn more from City Lab.

Do two-way streets help a city's economy? — A new study examines the economic impacts of two-way street conversions between 2004 and 2011 in six cities. Learn more from City Lab.

What Airbnb did to New York City — Airbnb’s effects on the city’s housing market have been dramatic, a report suggests. And other cities could soon see the same pattern. Learn more from City Lab.

When America's basic housing unit was a bed, not a house — The same cities that struggle to provide affordable housing today eliminated their critical-but-maligned flexible housing stock after World War II. Learn more from City Lab.

Getting public projects funded — The increasing burdens on taxpayer dollars, primarily driven by rising health-care and public-safety costs, make projects that would have been easy to fund five years ago much more difficult. Learn more from PM Magazine.

Planning for AVs: The time is now — The American Planning Association (APA) has prioritized planning for the coming wave of autonomous vehicles as a strategic research and policy initiative. Learn more from the APA Blog.

Report on the impact of internet sector on cities, future innovation — The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Internet Association (IA) recently released a new report detailing the size and impact of the internet sector on cities throughout the U.S. Learn more from NLC.

How did cities boost affordable housing in 2017? — Affordability is elusive in many of America's cities, but some of them made concrete efforts to fight that trend in 2017. Learn more from the Next City.


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