Mark Holland

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Earlier this summer, Jeff Blackwood started the process of moving his business to Kansas City, Missouri -- and out of Overland Park, Kansas.  But first, he had something to say.

“I could have just moved and not said anything," Blackwood says. “There’s really no benefit to me in having said anything, but it comes down to conscience.”

Dan Margolies / Heartland Health Monitor

Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, Wyandotte County has seen the number of its uninsured fall from 26 percent to 18 percent, one of the biggest drops in the country.

But it’s one thing to boast of boosting the ranks of the insured, another to steer them through a complicated and, at times, bewildering health care system.

With a $1.9 million grant from the United Health Foundation, announced today by county officials at the offices of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the county is now in a better position to do that.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government broke ground Friday on a new police station in Argentine, next to the Walmart Neighborhood Market that opened in 2014.

“This facility is the second police station command center we have opened in my tenure, the last three years,” Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland said at a ceremony. “It’s putting the police in a place that is most effective for the community and most effective for customer service.”

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Can data help Kansas City, Kansas, reverse decades of urban decay?

Mayor Mark Holland thinks so.

It’s economics 101, the mayor says: property values plummet when there are more houses than people. That’s what happened when white families started to leave Kansas City, Kansas, in the 1960s. 

“Thirty-thousand fewer people is about 10,000 empty homes,” Holland says, “which has become about 6,000 vacant lots.”

More minorities moved in but not fast enough to make up for the population loss. Today, fewer than 150,000 people live in Kansas City, Kansas.

Matt Kleinmann / Community Health Council of Wyandotte County

Standing at the meeting point of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, you can still get a glimpse of what Lewis and Clark might have seen when they camped here 212 years ago: vast skies, tall trees, wide, shimmering rivers, even the occasional eagle.

Rick Behrens, pastor of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kansas, says the rivers are hidden gems.

“It’s really a unique slice of nature in the middle of our cities that’s pretty amazing and a great opportunity for people to get away from the city, in a sense, right in the middle of the city,” Behrens says.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

William Conway. Charles Luken. Frank Rohrback. Maurice Bedell. Wesley Walden. Thomas Medina. James Reynolds.

“Those are the men, the deputies, who are carved in this monument,” Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 40 President David Toland said Wednesday at the dedication ceremony for a memorial honoring fallen Wyandotte County sheriff deputies. “I hope these are the last.”

An emotional Rick Whitby, president emeritus of FOP Lodge 40, shared personal stories about two of the fallen deputies.

Whitby said he was the last to talk to Reynolds before he died in 1984.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, to remember KCK Detective Brad Lancaster, who was shot and killed as he pursued a suspect near the Kansas Speedway last Monday.

As she stood in line waiting to get inside the park, community member Carey Rosetti said she was sad to lose a member of her local police force.

Fresh off his third State of the Government address, Mayor and CEO of Wyandotte County Mark Holland is thinking about health care, small businesses and the need for population growth.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Market rate apartments are being built in Kansas City, Kansas, for the first time in 30 years.

In Tuesday’s State of the County address, Mayor Mark Holland said while he’s celebrating the more than $150 million investment in the Legends, he’s also thinking about how to improve Wyandotte County’s existing housing stock.

“I want our housing to be affordable not because it’s deplorable, but because we care about the people who live in it,” Holland said.

It’s a common problem: people who find jobs and break the cycle of poverty end up leaving Wyandotte County.

The Unified Government Of Wyandotte County

Kansas City, Kansas mayor Mark Holland wants his residents to help him solve a city budget puzzle.

The CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County is in the middle of a listening tour to hear what residents think their government should do with an extra $12 million a year — which stems from the paying off of bonds for the Village West development.

Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland is in the middle of a “listening tour” across Wyandotte County to find out how residents think the Unified Government should spend a $12 million-per-year windfall coming to the county. 

The day after giving his 2015 State of the Government address, CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Mark Holland sits down with Steve Kraske to delve into the details behind the triumphs and challenges of the county and Kansas City, Kan.

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

“We don’t have time to wait for a survey to find out what people need. We’ve already known the work, and we know what people need.” That was at-large Commissioner Mark Holland in March of 2013 at a mayoral candidate forum.

Ben Palosaari

The beginning of the new Armourdale Hike and Bike – Island View Loop trail doesn’t look much like the gateway to urban nature oasis.

It’s adjacent to an industrial park and underneath the 18th Street Expressway Bridge, next to unused railroad tracks. There’s a fair amount of broken glass and other debris littering the ground around the trail.

But on Saturday morning, jubilant city officials in workout clothes opened the trail to the public, and the talk was largely of turkeys, deer and bald eagles that live near the trail.

It’s been nearly a year since Mark Holland became mayor of Kansas City, Kan., and it’s time to see what influence he’s wielded in the city over that time.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Mayor Holland joins us in the studio to talk about the city’s economic development, public health programs and other issues.

Guest:

  • Mark Holland, mayor of the unified government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County

KCK Mayor's First State Of The Government Address

Feb 26, 2014

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., County needs to lower its taxes and drop its mill levy. That was part of the message on Tuesday for Mark Holland in his first term as chief executive of the Unified Government.

Holland Takes KCK Mayoral Post

Apr 3, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Some political insiders thought they saw a close race, but Mark Holland ran up 56 percent of the Wyandotte County vote to become the next Mayor of Unified Government.

KCK Mayoral Foes Battle By Substance And Style

Mar 29, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Wyandotte County voters on Tuesday will decide who holds the reins as Mayor/CEO of Unified Government.

KCUR’s Dan Verbeck has background on two candidates who bring distinctly different approaches to operating the post.

Each serves as a member of the local governing commission, survivors of a spirited primary campaign and election. The candidates appeared to answer questions posed by a panel in a forum at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Appearing in alphabetical order: