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APRIL 2021


Kansas City, Missouri, releases new street maintenance strategy — Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager Brian Platt and Public Works Director Michael Shaw announced a new comprehensive street maintenance strategy that focuses on resurfacing 100 lane miles of streets. The new strategy also includes plans for pothole patching, street preservation and a stricter excavation strategy.

Gardner hires new public works director — Gardner, Kansas, recently hired Kellen Headlee as the new public works director. Headlee served 20 years in the United States Navy as a Civil Engineer Corps officer. His background includes engineering and design, construction management, program management and managing multi-million-dollar public works projects. Headlee is a member of the American Public Works Association and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Berlin announces his retirement — North Kansas City, Missouri, City Administrator Eric Berlin plans to retire soon. Berlin made this announcement at the last city council meeting, stating that he will continue to assist in the budget process and in the recruitment of his successor. Berlin has worked for North Kansas City since 2014. Previously, he served as city manager for Raymore, Missouri, and city administrator for Spring Hill, Kansas.

Black Gilmore returns to Kansas City — Kansas City, Missouri, announced that Kimiko Black Gilmore will return to city government as a new assistant city manager. For the past two years, she served as the chief of staff to Chancellor Mauli Agrawal at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to working at UMKC, Black Gilmore served as an assistant city manager for Kansas City, Missouri.

Overland Park commemorates frontline workers — Overland Park, Kansas, recently commemorated frontline workers by proclaiming March 7–13 as Heroes Week. Mayor Carl Gerlach issued the proclamation to honor those who have served on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic. These heroes include medical professionals, educators, police officers, firefighters, staff members and others.

Olathe featured in budget and strategy webinar — Olathe, Kansas, participated in a ClearPoint Strategy virtual event titled "Linking Budget to Strategy in Local Government." The city staff joined representatives from two other local government to discuss how they have successfully connected strategy to their budget processes.

Leavenworth public works director retires — Leavenworth, Kansas, announced the retirement of Public Works Director Mike McDonald. McDonald worked for the city for more than 30 years and coordinated several significant projects throughout his tenure, including extending large sewer lines to the southwest part of the city to support growth in that area.

Lenexa ranked for best water facility — The Engaging Local Government Leaders’ (ELGL) Knope award competition recognized Lenexa, Kansas, for the Lake Lenexa water facility. The Knope award celebrates the best places in local government. This year, the award is focused on the best water, stormwater and wastewater facilities. Lake Lenexa made it to the Final Four of the best water facility in the country category.

Niche recognizes metro cities as best places to live — Niche, a website providing rankings and reviews of schools, colleges and cities, recognized several metro cities in its 2021 best places to live rankings. Niche uses several categories to determine rankings, including crime, job opportunities, public schools and local amenities. Metro cities that made the list include:

  • Overland Park, Kansas.
  • Prairie Village, Kansas.
  • Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
  • Olathe, Kansas.
  • Parkville, Missouri.
  • Lenexa, Kansas.
  • Shawnee, Kansas.

North Kansas City Fire participates in pilot program — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) selected the North Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department to participate in the second phase of the Community Risk Reduction pilot program. This program aims to build a digital community risk assessment (CRA) tool that identifies and prioritizes risks and provides impactful mitigation initiatives. The fire department will have free access to a dashboard, which includes customized visualizations that illustrate each community’s risks and hazards across a variety of categories such as demographics, geography, infrastructure and economics.


MARC Board of Directors — The next MARC Board of Directors meeting is from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The agenda will be online one week before the meeting.

First Suburbs Coalition — The First Suburbs Coalition will meet Friday, April 16, 8:30–10 a.m. The program will feature examples of successful Community Land Trusts (CLT). Before the meeting, First Suburbs Coalition members and registrants will receive an agenda and more information. Register here.

Managers Roundtable — The next Managers Roundtable is Tuesday, April 20, 1–2:15 p.m. via Zoom. The program includes a presentation from Jenn Nussbeck of Hope House on the Parade of Hearts, a region-wide public art display based on the KC Heart. This presentation is a preview for area managers before the campaign is publicly launched in June. During this meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager Brian Platt will introduce himself and share his current priorities. Register here.

Economic forecast for local officials webinar — MARC will host its next installment in a series of webinars that evaluate and forecast economic trends for local elected officials and managers on Wednesday, April 28, at 2 p.m. Due to popular demand, this 75-minute webinar will include refreshed data and the latest forecasts of regional economic conditions as the COVID-19 response continues. Participants will also learn about the impact of the American Rescue Plan. Register here.

GTI DEI scholarship opportunity — MARC’s Government Training Institute (GTI) is offering scholarships for the new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) series, which includes four classes. Scholarships are also available for the new DEI classes for front line workers. Scholarships will cover 80% of training fees. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate need and must submit an application to qualify. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on GTI's DEI series, click here. For questions, please contact Shelly Bolling-Strickland.

MARC receives GFOA Certificate of Achievement — The Mid-America Regional Council received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This is the highest recognition of governmental accounting and financial reporting from this organizatioaasn.

Children’s Mental Health Week — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Missouri is raising awareness for Children’s Mental Health Week which takes place the first full week in May. On Thursday, May 6, NAMI will host a Facebook Live event at 1:30 p.m. to raise awareness about Children’s Mental Health Week. For more information on Children’s Mental Health Week, click here. To register for the event, click here.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — KCRPC awarded a new two-year contract for dry ice for vaccination sites (bid 101) which took effect on Feb. 9 and includes delivery service. The personal protective equipment (PPE) contract (bid 94) is available through June 30, 2021, and includes wheelchairs and privacy screens for vaccination sites. The ammunition contract (bid 81) is in process of renewal. The public database, powered by CoProcure, includes the MACPP metro vehicle contracts issued by Clay County for 2021.

American City & County featured KCRPC in an article about how cooperative agreements can help lean-staffed procurement teams. The article promotes KCRPC for its regional approach to procurement, which is thought to help address a common criticism that cooperative procurement agreements may sometimes leave local, small and disadvantaged businesses behind. To read more, click here.



American Rescue Plan Act brings millions to local governments — President Biden recently signed the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) into law. This legislation includes $1.9 trillion in federal aid to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the plan includes $362 billion in federal fiscal recovery aid for state and local governments. Read more from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Tucson builds its own 4G network — Tucson, Arizona, is close to finishing the first phase of its 4G LTE network buildout. The first goal of the project is to use the existing municipal fiber network and roughly $5 million in COVID-19 stimulus funding to connect around 1,000 kids in low-income households to the internet. Read more at American City & County.

West Virginia city includes remote workers in development plan — Beckley, West Virginia, is partnering with the Raleigh County, West Virginia, Chamber of Commerce and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) to invite remote workers to move to the city as part of its new development plan. Read more at Governing.

Gainesville awarded for addressing homelessness — Gainesville, Florida, won the 2020 Crown Communities Award for its use of local partnerships to address a major homelessness issue. Read more at American City & County.



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