Mike Sanders | KCUR

Mike Sanders

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, once a rising star in the Democratic Party, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court, effectively ending a promising career. 

Sanders, 50, entered his plea in a loud and clear voice before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders looks at 17.7 miles of old Union Pacific train tracks and sees the future.

“It has the potential to change the entire way our community works, the entire way our community lives and the entire way we move for generations to come,” Sanders said of the Rock Island Corridor, which Jackson County officially acquired Monday after years of back-and-forth with the railroad.

With the backing of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Jackson County struck a $52 million deal to buy the corridor from Union Pacific last fall.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Fred Arbanas became the temporary Jackson County Executive during a ceremony Tuesday at the golf course that bears his name.

Arbanas, a former Chiefs player who served 42 years in the county legislature, stepped into the role after Mike Sanders announced last month he would step down just one year into a four-year term.

“After working in the county for so many years, you really get attached to it,” says Arbanas. “I want to see Jackson County keep moving forward and have good, honest government.”

Courtesy photo / Mike Sanders

Outgoing Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says after Dec. 31, when he formally resigns from his post, he will be out of politics. At least for now. 

When asked Tuesday by KCUR's Steve Kraske on Up To Date whether he would consider ever running for political office again, Sanders closed the door, in a sense, but didn't bang it shut. 

"Not completely, but I don't want to say that door is open any time soon," he said. "I'm not dying, I'm not moving. I'll be around. I would say: in a decade, who knows?" 

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders Will Resign

Dec 22, 2015
Jackson County government

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders disclosed to The Kansas City Star in an interview Monday that he will resign Dec. 31 after nine years as the top elected official of the county. 

Sanders told the newspaper that he made the decision because he wants to spend more time with his family and has no plans to run for other public office at this time.  Rather, the article says, he would like to resume his private law practice. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

With a cacophony of banging gavels, county leaders and circuit court judges ushered in a new era for the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse.

Renovations on the 59-year-old courthouse were completed two weeks ahead of schedule, said County Executive Mike Sanders.

“This is another one of the major renovations that we’ve done in this county where we have not bonded,” Sanders said of the $7.3 million project. “We have not sacrificed the promise of tomorrow for the commitment of the day, but we are paying cash.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Jackson County is one step closer to the regional transit system that’s long been the vision of County Executive Mike Sanders.

Sanders announced Wednesday the county and the Kansas City Area Transit Authority had reached an agreement to buy the Rock Island Corridor, 17.7 miles of train tracks that stretch from the Truman Sports Complex through Kansas City, Raytown and Lee’s Summit.

“If you’re planning for what you have today, by definition, you’re falling behind the curve,” Sanders said. “Today, Jackson County and this community will not fall behind the curve.”

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Prospects for a regional rail system east of Kansas City got brighter Monday. Jackson County now has an understanding with Union Pacific to buy three abandoned rail lines.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders has liked regional rail because it’s far cheaper than the light variety of rail transit. Tracks exist and rolling stock is plentiful.

The cost is $60 million.

“We’ve got an option agreement at no cost to taxpayers and no risk to the taxpayers, we have an option agreement to purchase these rail corridors should we decide to do it,” said Sanders.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Jackson County voters will decide a proposed half cent sales tax to benefit development of medical innovations and research at select area hospitals and medical schools. 

The county legislature has voted by a large margin to put the measure on the November 5 ballot.

Some legislators wanted changes if they were going to back the proposal, and they got it.

The alteration, passed by a vote of 7-2, now requires the county legislature appoint a member to a board overseeing finances. 

 The Democratic Party of Missouri has a new chairman.

On Saturday the state party committee picked long-time political strategist Roy Temple to replace Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, who is stepping down after less than two years and says he may be interested in running for attorney general in 2016.

Even though Democrats have fared well as of late in state-wide elections, Republicans hold supermajorities in both the state House and Senate.

MO Democratic Chair Will Step Down

Jul 31, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri Democrats will  be picking a new state party chair when they meet in late August.

Current Chairman Mike Sanders  is stepping down from the post.

The incumbent Jackson County Executive is in his second term as Missouri Democratic Chairman. 

Jackson County government


Breaking news update: Mike Sanders has announced he is stepping down as chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party. 

Jackson County is really hopping these days. Between fluctuating property assessments and the courthouse renovation, the county’s missteps and triumphs are keeping people talking. 

Jackson County government

A lot more people in the Kansas City area could be voting on a mass transit plan as soon as this August. 

Jackson County government

There's a new twist in the Kansas City transit debate, and that's not the only thing going on in Jackson County.