City Council Newcomers On The Biggest Challenges Facing Kansas City

Jul 2, 2015

The newly elected Kansas City Council features a lot of new blood— six out of the 12 members have never served on the council before. 

In the spirit of getting to know our newly elected council men and women, we asked them — what is the greatest challenge facing Kansas City as you start your term?

Of the six newcomers to the Kansas City council, half said that repairing and maintaining the city's infrastructure is the biggest challenge.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Here are their answers: 

Heather Hall, 1st District

I believe the biggest challenge we will face is tackling the infrastructure needs of our city. So many areas are in desperate need of updating, such as roads, sidewalks, curbs, sewers and parks. We must get to work on the basic needs of our citizens to strengthen our city's foundation.

Quinton Lucas, 3rd District At-Large

You could be on the far east side of Kansas City, you could be in the Northland, you could live outside the city and have some of the same concerns ... I think in the next council term, how we can really work on stronger east-west transit routes. We spend a lot of time on north-south routes — Main Street, Troost Avenue and Prospect Ave are discussed often. How do we get people from jobs in my part of the city, the east side of Kansas City, off into other parts of the city or even to Kansas?

Jolie Justus, 4th District

As far as transportation is concerned, we have a really interesting, diverse group in the 4th District. When they talk about transportation they mean active transportation, like bicycling and walking, they mean bus transit, they mean streetcar, they mean roads and bridges. My district is really pretty diverse in the fact that all of those things are important, so I think that will take front and center at the beginning.

Lee Barnes, 5th district At-Large

I think on the campaign trail we heard [infrastructure] being something that we have to be able address. We’ve had so much delayed maintenance on our infrastructure that it's coming to a head now and we’ve got to be able to address that, and address it in a fashion where we’re not going to neglect other services.

Alissia Canady, 5th District

For the residents of the 5th District, the conversation has been around crime and perception of crime, and stimulating economic development around the major investment with Cerner, and also along the Prospect corridor. Primarily, bringing some additional commercial retail shopping to the south east part of Kansas City so that the residents aren't forced to go to surrounding cities ... to spend their tax dollars.

Kevin McManus, 6th District

Investing in our infrastructure and maintaining our infrastructure . I really believe that by investing in and maintaining our infrastructure, we’re creating that platform for economic growth and for progress. That's going to be our biggest challenge going forward. To be able to do the things we can, to invest in the future ... I think infrastructure is key to that.