Kansas City, Missouri

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses 318 square miles in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. It is one of two county seats of Jackson County, the other being Independence, which is to the city's east. As of 2010, the population census was 459,787 with a metro area of 2.1 million.[1] Kansas City was founded in 1838 as the "Town of Kansas"[2] at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and was incorporated in its present form in 1850. Situated opposite Kansas City, Kansas, the city was the location of several battles during the Civil War, including the Battle of Westport. The city is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues as well as to cuisine (Kansas City-style barbecue).

Elections

2015

See also: Kansas City, Missouri municipal elections, 2015

The city of Kansas City, Missouri will hold elections for mayor and city council on April 7, 2015. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is January 20, 2015. All 12 city council seats are up for election.[3]

Budget

The adopted FY 2012-2013 budget contains expenditures totaling $1,306,155,468. This is an increase of $60,887,894, or 4.9%, over the previous year's budget. Expenditure growth was driven largely by increases in Enterprise Programs, primarily capital improvement in the Water and Aviation departments.N Net general fund revenues are expected to decline by 2.4%.[4]

The budget for the City’s fiscal year beginning May 1, 2011 and ending April 30, 2012 reflects total planned expenditures of $1,246,558,124 – an increase of $16,114,187 or 1.3% over the FY 2010-11 adopted budget for the City as a whole. This growth is primarily generated in the General Fund Supported funds and is attributable to higher debt service costs throughout the operation. Revenues in the General Fund supported funds remain flat with all of the growth in the General Fund supported funds attributable to additional utility tax revenue generated from an expected electricity rate increase and a reallocation of local use tax revenue to benefit the General Fund. More highlights include:[5]

  • Asks for an additional year of wage freezes for all city employees
  • Requires a hiring freeze in all departments supported by the General Fund.
  • The budget increases the funds spent on capital maintenance by $2.5 million or 7.1% over the current year
  • Reductions to core services such as residential trash collection, illegal dumping abatement, animal control, building demolition, and neighborhood code enforcement have been minimized to the fullest extent possible
  • Maintains funding of the Fire and Police departments to support current operations

Transportation funding

In June of 2010, the Mid America Regional Council Board of Directors, the federally designated metropolitan planning organization, adopted a 30-year, $18 billion transportation plan.[6] Watchdog reporters have reported that the plan encompasses public policy ranging from climate change to regional employment growth.[6][7]

In September of 2010, the Liberty Restoration Project organized a protest against the city's backing of red light cameras.[8]

Public employees

Elected Officials

The City Council has 13 councilmembers, including the Mayor. All are elected at the same time to four-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. The City is divided into six council districts. The mayor and six councilmembers are elected at large, with one at-large councilmember representing each district. Six councilmembers are elected only by voters in their districts.[9]

Name District
Sly James[10] Mayor
Scott Wagner[11] District 1, At-Large
Dick Davis[12] District 1
Ed Ford[13] District 2, At-Large
Russ Johnson[14] District 2
Melba Curtis[15] District 3, At-Large
Jermaine Reed[16] District 3
Jim Glover[17] District 4, At-Large
Jan Marcason[18] District 4
Cindy Circo[19] District 5, At-Large
Michael Brooks[20] District 5
Scott Taylor[21] District 6, At-Large
John Sharp[22] District 6

Administrative officials

Troy Schulte is the current City Manager. The City Manager's Office consists of the following divisions and programs:[23]

  • 3-1-1 Action Center
  • Administration
  • Capital Projects Department (CPD)
  • Channel 2
  • City Communications Office
  • Contract Compliance Administration
  • Efficiency Strategies
  • Emergency Management Office
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Human Relations
  • Internal Auditor's Office
  • International Affairs and Protocol
  • Internships and Fellowships with the City
  • KCBizcare
  • Office of Civic and Community Engagement
  • Office of Environmental Quality
  • Office of Management and Budget

The City Manager's Office also works with a variety of community partners to assist in providing the best possible services and information.[23]

The City has a council-manager form of government. As the city's chief administrator, the city manager is responsible for making city government run efficiently and economically.[23]

The city manager serves and advises the mayor and City Council, appoints most department directors and prepares a proposed annual budget for council consideration. The manager also enforces municipal laws and ordinances and coordinates City operations and programs. The manager does not appoint the police chief or the parks and recreation director, who are appointed instead by the boards they serve.[23]

The City Manager's Office provides staff support services to the City Council and its committee meetings, and coordinates the development and analysis of policy recommendations presented to the mayor and City Council.[23]

The city manager interacts on a daily basis with the City's Executive Team, consisting of the City Manager's Office administrative staff and his department liaisons, department directors (including the chief of police and parks and recreation director, who are appointed by separate boards) and the city auditor and city clerk, who are appointed by the City Council.[23]

Salaries

The average municipal employee currently earns $46,630 per year.[24]

Pensions

A 2011 citizen's Pension Task Force recommended a series of reforms to the city's retirement system. Currently, city employees contribute 4% to their pensions, police civilians contribute 5%, firefighters contribute 9.55%, and police officers contribute 10.55%. Fire and police rates are higher because they do not also participate in Social Security. The citizen's task force recommended a 1% across the board increase in employee pension contribution rates. Employees also receive a mostly-automatic 3% annual cost of living adjustment, which the task force recommended reducing to 2%. The city currently contributes approximately $52 million annually to the retirement system. This makes up 10% of overall personnel costs.[24]

The average municipal employee currently makes $46,630 and retires after 25 years of service with a monthly benefit of $1,943.[24]

A reform recommendation for Kansas City Police and Fire Pension plan being debated currently between city leaders and union officials is reported to include:[25]

  • Increase the employee contribution rate by 1 percent.
  • Reduce the mostly automatic 3 percent annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Require employees to work longer to increase their final retirement pay.
  • Create a defined contribution system, like a 401(k), for some management employees.

Action is required by 2013 to control pension costs so the city can provide better basic services and give realistic benefits to current and future retirees.

Lobbying

The city does not provide information on taxpayer funded lobbying.

Transparency & public records

Taxes

The city collects both sales and property taxes. Rates for both taxes by district can be found here. Net general fund revenues are expected to decline by 2.4% over the FY 2012-2013 budget.[4]

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngB-
Budget
{{{1}}}
Meetings
{{{1}}}
Elected Officials
{{{1}}}
Administrative Officials
{{{1}}}
Permits, zoning
{{{1}}}
Audits
{{{1}}}
Contracts P
Partial.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records P
Partial.png
Local Taxes
{{{1}}}

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process
Main article: Evaluation of Missouri city websites

Last rated on Jan. 30, 2012

The good

  • Budgets are posted.[26]
  • City Council meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are posted on the city clerk's website.[27]
  • City Councilors and the Mayor are listed with contact information.[9]
  • Information on building permits[28] and zoning/development[29] posted.
  • City contracts are posted,[30] as well as information and documents on how to bid on city contracts.[31]
  • Contact information is provided for individual departments.[32]
  • Audits are posted.[26]
  • Information on taxes is posted.[26]

The bad

  • There is no information on whether or not the city lobbies or is a member of lobbying organizations.
  • There is an online form for public records request, but no information on what information is available, citizens' rights under the law, or other useful information.
  • Full contracts are not posted.

External links

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia.

References