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MAY 2018


Smithville appoints new city administrator — The Smithville, Missouri, Board of Aldermen appointed Cynthia Wagner as the new city administrator. Before serving in Smithville, Wagner was an independent government management consultant. She also served as interim assistant city administrator for Grandview, Missouri, and as city administrator of De Soto, Kansas. Wagner started working for Smithville on April 24.

Greater Kansas City ASPA chapter announces 2018 award recipients — The Greater Kansas City chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) named Hannes Zacharias as the 2018 L.P. Cookingham Award recipient. City of Lenexa, Kansas, Deputy City Administrator Todd Pelham earned the Local Government Public Administrator of the Year Award. Also, Erin Lynch, MARC's Emergency Services and Homeland Security program director, is the 2018 Crisis Management awardee. The ASPA chapter's annual awards breakfast is May 9, 2018. Registration information is online.

PGASLA recognizes Jackson County's Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority — The Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (PGASLA) awarded the Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority the MetroGreen Visionary Award. The award is given to a city, county or governmental agency that "conducts outstanding efforts to promote trails and greenways" like the original MetroGreen Plan envisioned.

Unified Government is grant finalist for a special field refurbishment — The Scotts Company and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced in late March the four community organizations that fans will vote on to receive improvements to their local ball fields. The Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program provides youth with modern, playable baseball and softball fields. The program selected the Unified Government's Parks and Recreation Department as a finalist from 350 grant applications across 315 cities in 43 states seeking refurbishments for their youth fields.

Independence breaks ground on phase two of community solar project — In March 2018, city leaders joined representatives from MC Power to break ground on phase two of the Community Solar Project at the former Rockwood Golf Course. This is the latest expansion of the solar program in Independence, Missouri. When complete, Independence will be home to the largest single community solar project in the state of Missouri. MC Power will install solar panels that will generate an additional 4.5 megawatts of power on the southern half of the existing golf course. When phase two is complete, the city will have a total generation capacity of 11.5 megawatts.

Regional cities recognized in online rankings — Many area cities are highly ranked in Niche's 2018 "Best Places to Live" State rankings. Leawood, Fairway, Westwood, Roeland Park, Mission, Merriam, Mission Hills, Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Lansing, Leavenworth, Gardner and Prairie Village, in Kansas, and Parkville, Missouri, are among the top 25 in the various rankings. The 2018 "Best Places to Live" rankings by Niche provide a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability of an area. The rankings take into account several key factors, including the quality of local schools, crime rates, housing trends, employment statistics and access to amenities.

Kansas City, Missouri, Land Bank creates unique home ownership program for public employees — Following its successful Dollar Home Sale and #HeartofKC home sale, the Land Bank of Kansas City launched a new initiative for public employees to become home owners for $100. Announced on April 23, the Land Bank is putting 25 homes up for sale to employees of the city of Kansas City, Jackson County, Kansas City Police Department, state and federal employees, and school districts inside the Kansas City, Missouri, city limits. The Land Bank will accept applications until May 28.


Board of Directors — MARC's Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, May 22, 2018. 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 Parkway, 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. The 2018 honorees include KC Scholars; Jewel Scott, executive director of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; Sheila Tracy, president of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce; and the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Registration information is now available online.

Call for Planning Sustainable Places projects is open — The Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) program is seeking project applications that continue the work of the Creating Sustainable Places initiative and the region's long-range plan for sustainable development. The PSP program advances detailed local planning and project development activities that further the creation of vibrant, connected and green places. Projects need to integrate transportation, land use and the environment, and incorporate a thorough public engagement process to vet the project with the community. There will be a pre-application workshop on May 15 at 1 p.m. in the MARC Board Room. The project submission deadline is June 22 at 4 p.m. Please contact Beth Dawson for more information

Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination for the Central Plains/Heartland Region — 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 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. Registration information is now available online.

Part three of Making a Great City Speaker Series — This free event covers the benefits and challenges around small-scale infill development. The speaker is Jim Kumon, president of the nonprofit Incremental Development Alliance. During his presentation, Kumon will highlight how smaller-scale, infill projects are fundamental to financially self-sustaining communities and also help maintain affordable housing. Kumon explores how current zoning and development conventions make these small-scale projects difficult. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the presentation starts at 6:30pm. Registration information is available online.


MARC is seeking applicants for its local government services program director position — The local government services program director provides support to local governments in the Kansas City region. This position oversees the agency's work and staff committed to local government services, including a regional training institute, the regional purchasing cooperative, Managers' roundtable, special initiatives for the First Suburbs Coalition and the CORE4. More information is available online.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — The Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) program issued a new request for bids for auto and truck tires. Bids are scheduled to be opened May 18 and a new contract would start July 1. KCRPC is also soliciting interest in participation for lease or purchase of uniforms. The bid would include provisions for lease or purchase of uniform shirts and pants used by public works, parks and fleet personnel. If there is adequate interest, the bids may also be expanded to include locker leasing, patches and floor mats. Please contact Rita Parker for more information.


Municipal bond analyst survey — Key survey findings: Pensions are still the top issue, but state government credit quality jumped to the third most important issue. Learn more from PNC.

Why revenue projections are everything for cities — Learn the four principles of the government budgeting process, and why revenue projections are important to justify spending and start important projects. Learn more from EfficientGov.

Los Angeles plans to find solutions to its housing crisis in its backyards — The city's Innovation Team is creating a simplified system for residents to build extra homes in their backyards. Learn more from Fast Company.

What Mayors want — From climate change to infrastructure, mayors are increasingly listing issues that were once national and state priorities as top local concerns, according to a new national survey. Learn more from CityLab.

The importance of measuring parks and recreation use — Parks and recreation departments will make smarter decisions if they have data on how the public uses their facilities. Learn more from Parks & Recreation.

Email phishing attacks: A significant threat to America's cities and counties — Ninety percent of all successful cyberattacks worldwide begin with phishing, a social engineering technique in which cybercriminals primarily use email to trick people into downloading a malicious attachment or clicking on a malicious link. Learn more from American City & County Blog.

L.A. Cyber Center hopes to be a model for cities nationwide — During the past four years, Los Angeles has centralized its cyber operations using models developed by the federal government and industry sectors. Learn more from Route Fifty.

Portland's 'granny flats' get an affordable boost — A new startup pays the upfront cost of a backyard dwelling in exchange for some of the rent it generates. Learn more from City Lab.

Bridge the urban-rural economic divide to create local/state economic growth — A new report released by the National League of Cities (NLC) challenges conventional thinking about the urban-rural divide and encourages stronger links between urban and rural areas to spur economic growth. Learn more from NLC.


Click HERE to view a list of open grant opportunities.

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