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Kansas City Promises Success

Here are the facts of Kansas City stability and success:

My Highest Priority Was To Be Smart With The Money

  • We stopped the runaway TIF giveaways.
  • We cut actual spending for the first time in memory.
  • We reduced the City’s direct tax rate to 1.4678%.
  • We held the City's debt essentially level, after a $1 billion increase between 1999-2007.
  • The City has more money in reserve than at any time in the past ten years.
  • I didn’t use taxpayers’ money for limos, bodyguards, and drivers – I drove my own car.

Create Clean, Safe Neighborhoods

  • We added 66 more cops to our neighborhoods, and crime has dropped by 31%.
  • I focused the budget on basic services, like snow removal and sidewalk repairs.

Focus on Infrastructure

  • I steered $67 million toward rebuilding our neighborhoods.
  • We now have a responsible plan to overhaul the City's water and sewer system.
  • The City increased our walking trails from 30 miles to 50 miles.

Improve Citizen Satisfaction

  • Citizen satisfaction scores increased in 18 areas, including police and fire.
  • We removed 90% of the metal plates from our streets.
  • We now have a GPS-based process that enhances our snow removal capabilities.

Bring Government Back to Regular Folks

  • I won 80% of the contested votes on the City Council.
  • My votes reflect your priorities: less spending, more cops, and better neighborhoods.
  • I reached out to thousands of Kansas Citians at more than 100 Town Hall meetings.
  • I aggressively recruited ordinary citizens for board and commission appointments.

Work Toward A Regional Transit System

  • I worked hard for transit, but put it aside because of the recession.
  • I will re-explore this economic engine once the recession lifts.

Here’s how others have judged the City’s performance under my leadership

  • In the top 20 in the Brookings’ report of the strongest cities during the recession.
  • From 126th place to 60th place in the Best Performing Cities by the Milken Institute.
  • From 124th place to 59th place in Global 150 Metro Performance by the Brookings. 

My Vision For The Future

Making Kansas City The Safest Big City In America

For decades, Kansas City leaders have pursued the glitzy “deal of the day” instead of focusing on basic services and neighborhoods, and this bred conditions that produce crime. Public safety is the most basic job of city government. It is critical to quality of life and to economic development. Investors won’t invest, customers won’t shop and employees don’t want to work in areas that are unsafe. My commitment to you:

The Highest Priority Is To Make Kansas City The Safest Big City In America

This is an absolutely achievable goal. Other cities have done it, and we can too. A summary:

  • Substantially increase the number of cops on the street.
  • Hold command staff accountable for dramatically improving the homicide case clearance rate – currently that rate is a dismal 42 percent.
  • Focus on “quality of life” crimes like vagrancy, prostitution, vehicle break-ins, graffiti, and disorderly conduct, similar to the “Broken Windows” strategy that reduced violent crime in New York City. (New York City has a much lower crime rate than Kansas City.)
  • Continue my initiatives that prevent crime by revitalizing neighborhoods: Zone 2-7, Anchor of Hope, New Tools, A City that Works, and Schools First.
  • Provide our police with state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and technology.
  • Give our officers the community and moral support they need to do their jobs well.

Schools are vital neighborhood anchors and critical to the city’s ability to retain and grow its middle class. I will continue to focus dollars on creating islands of safety, cleanliness, and stability around each and every single school in Kansas City.