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APRIL 2020


Kansas City region responds to COVID-19 — The nine-county Kansas City region has done extensive planning to address any hazards potentially affecting the metro area. The Kansas City Metropolitan Area Regional Coordination Guide (RCG) is intended to ensure strong communication and coordination among jurisdictions in the metro area during emergency events like COVID-19, where impacts will cross jurisdictional boundaries.

During the past few weeks, numerous mechanisms from the RCG have been activated:

  • Routine coordination calls are happening among regional emergency managers, public health agencies, hospitals, public information officers and others, in accordance with regional response plans.
  • Listservs for public information officers, city and county managers, parks and recreation directors and other groups have been used to share information and response actions.
  • is regularly updated as a source of regional information for the general public and partner agencies.
  • Elected and appointed officials in Jackson County, Missouri; Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, coordinated on the timing and messaging of stay-at-home orders to “flatten the curve” and slow the transmission of the virus.
  • All nine counties in the region declared emergencies and initiated 30-day mandatory stay-at-home orders.
  • County officials communicate informally with other government agencies within their jurisdictions including cities, schools and libraries.

MARC is working with local elected officials and emergency managers to put processes in place to increase cross-discipline and jurisdictional communications and coordination throughout the region, including the following action steps:

  1. Regional conference calls — The Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee (RHSCC), through the MARC Emergency Services Team, will begin periodic, regional conference calls, with an open invitation to all city and county leadership, to share a regional picture of the incident, key updates from subcommittees and anticipated future action as often as needed.
  2. Information sharing — Updates on key response and recovery activities across the region will be shared via the MARC blog at Blog posts will be updated as frequently as needed, depending on the current situation.
  3. COVID-19 MAC Group — A COVID-19 Multiagency Coordination (MAC) Group is activated to formalize and enhance regional coordination for this event in accordance with the RCG.

Blue Springs advances to the Sweet Sixteen of the Best Public Safety Facilities — Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) members nominated 32 police, fire and public safety facilities for the best of the best for the #ELGLKnope bracket challenge. The Blue Springs, Missouri, Howard L. Brown Public Safety Building faces the city of Northglenn County Justice Center in the Sweet Sixteen, and the winner will advance to the Elite Eight. The competition has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Raytown appoints Kuehl to serve as police chief — City Administrator Damon Hodges appointed Robert J. Kuehl as the city’s first appointed Chief of Police. On April 2, 2019, the community voted that the city of Raytown will appoint a chief of police instead of electing a city marshal. Kuehl was previously a deputy chief for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

Sherman receives Buford M. Watson, Jr. Award — Susan Sherman, assistant city manager of Olathe, Kansas, received the 2019 Buford M. Watson, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Management from the Kansas Association of City/County Managers (KACM). The award is given each year by KACM to a local government manager who has displayed the attributes of the former city manager of Lawrence, Kansas, including valuing customer satisfaction and encouraging new members of the profession.

Roeland Park starts year two of Neighbors Helping Neighbors — Last year, the city of Roeland Park, Kansas, began two programs to help residents cope with rising home ownership costs. The city offers a property tax rebate for qualified residents and administers Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a volunteer program to assist with exterior home maintenance such as tree trimming, painting and debris removal. The program is need based and assists residents with existing code violations who may have trouble affording repairs.

All-America City Awards finalists — The National Civic League named Topeka, Kansas, among 22 finalists for the All-America City Award. Finalists represent the diversity of American communities, including the large cities and small towns, from east to west and north to south.

April 1 was Census Day — Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, residents should respond in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. Cities and counties are encouraged to remind their residents to participate in the Census.


Board of Directors — The next MARC Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, April 28, 2020. The agenda will be online one week before the meeting.

Regional Assembly canceled — The MARC Regional Assembly scheduled for June 5, 2020, is canceled. MARC will re-evaluate the annual Regional Leadership Awards at a later time, and determine if an alternative awards presentation will be made in 2020.

Remote development services available — As your organization is adapting to remote service delivery, remember the shared services agreement with IBTS for building department services. IBTS is available to perform work directly for cities (planning, zoning, plan review and inspections) without access to city hall. IBTS can handle overflow projects that may occur due to staff illness or unavailability. In addition, for cities that have halted or reduced field inspections, IBTS can work directly for contractors as a third-party building code inspector. For more information contact Curt Skoog at

KC Metro Manager Mentorship Program — MARC is accepting applications for its KC Metro Manager Mentorship Program class beginning this summer and graduating in February 2022. 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 KC metro area. Managers interested in mentoring should contact Lauren Palmer. Applications are due by April 30.

Crisis leadership in an active threat The Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA) Task Force is hosting a seminar for elected and appointed officials. At this time, the event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Public safety officials routinely train, but this seminar will prepare local elected and appointed officials for crisis leadership and communications during and after a terrorist attack. Please encourage your governing body to attend. Watch a video about the event here. For more information, contact Erin Lynch.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — KCRPC awarded a new contract for petroleum and lubricant products to Heathwood Oil, effective April 1. Water and wastewater chemical contracts are pending renewals. The new contract for ethics, safety and fraud hotline and case management services, RFP 91, is effective April 1 with STOPit Solutions. All contracts are available on the new online platform, where you can search more than 45,000 contracts from national and regional cooperatives, state and local contracts. The 2020 model year vehicle contracts by Clay County are available at

COVID-19-related purchases — In response to requests for contracts covering PPE products, sanitation supplies, hospital equipment and more, CoProcure maintains a list of cooperative contracts related specifically to COVID-19 response. Local purchasing officials are encouraged to help update suppliers and inventory.

Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund — MARC is partnering with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, LISC Greater Kansas City and United Way of Greater Kansas City to establish a fund to respond to the urgent needs of area residents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will make grants to nonprofit organizations that support impacted communities with work around housing, food insecurity, access to health care and other critical human services. The fund’s initial goal is to raise $10 million, with the hope to exceed that as community needs require. The Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation have partnered on a challenge grant to match donations up to $5 million. Individuals are encouraged to donate.

Aging Services activates new home meal delivery services — The MARC Aging and Adult Services team acted quickly to implement meal home delivery service after MARC-sponsored community centers closed their congregate meal programs due to COVID-19. Qualifying program participants will receive frozen meals supplemented with fresh fruit, milk and bread from local suppliers. All meals and packaging comply with federal nutrition regulations and CDC distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fulfillment to clients’ homes began on March 31, just 15 days after congregate meal sites closed.

KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Fund — The KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Fund is a new community-backed $5 million small business relief loan fund to provide immediate relief to local, small businesses experiencing extreme economic disruption and financial strain as a result of the necessary public health measures to “flatten the curve” and combat the virus.



ICMA award recipient Christensen discusses mentorship and management. Read more at

Rural Missouri to receive $176M investment for broadband. Read more at Governing.

Milwaukee to turn closed landfill into large solar project. Read more at American City and County.

City officials plead with residents to stop flushing toilet paper alternatives. Read more at Route Fifty.


Click HERE to view a list of open grant opportunities.

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