Sly James

Cody Newill / KCUR

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City officials are pushing for teens and young adults to join Mayor Sly James' Club KC and Mayor's Nights events during the summer.

The initiative is meant to keep kids from causing trouble at places like the Plaza by hosting parties and sports tournaments at various community centers across the city.

Mayor James and several city council members were on the Plaza Saturday handing out fliers for the programs. James says that attendance is expected to match last year, which means less problems for law enforcement.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The American Nurses Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, SkillsUSA – all groups Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James says would have held conventions in the metro if not for a lack of hotel space.

"They love Kansas City," James says. "They were going to look out at the hotels, and when they came back, they said, 'We can't come.'"

James and other civic leaders hope to remedy the problem with a new, $300 million hotel across the street from the Kansas City Convention Center. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

When Sister Berta Sailor called Kansas City Mayor Sly James' cell phone a couple of weeks ago, he picked up.

The director of the child care and social service agency Operation Breakthrough told the mayor some of her patrons wanted to participate in events marking the one year anniversary of the shootings at Jewish sites in Overland Park — but there was a problem. The march and candlelight vigil were to start at the Jewish Community Center, and she didn’t have a way to get her people there.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James used his State of the City address Tuesday to outline his priorities for a probable second term, which include reducing crime, improving education and revitalizing the urban core.

He says Kansas City must begin budgeting for costly infrastructure improvements that have been ignored for too long.

"We have a backlog of deferred maintenance, and my priority is to deal with it," James said Tuesday in his speech at Starlight.

Transit advocate Clay Chastain, left, Mayor Sly James, and Vincent 'The General' Lee take questions at a League of Women Voters mayoral candidate forum.
Elle Moxley / KCUR

All three candidates in the race for Kansas City, Mo., mayor answered questions at a League of Women Voters forum Tuesday Night.

Mayor Sly James will face challengers Clay Chastain and Vincent Lee in the primary April 7. 

James has more than $400,000 in campaign contributions on hand, a virtually limitless war chest when Chastain and Lee only reported "limited activity" to the Missouri Ethics Commission, which by law indicates less than $500 in spending.

Chastain's name will be familiar to voters because of his failed light rail initiatives, including one last summer he contends James and others in City Hall effectively killed when they required a change in ballot language.

Alex Smith / KCUR

St. Louis police, city officials and civic leaders took some pointers from Kansas City on Monday for strategies to reduce homicides.

In meetings at the police department headquarters, Kansas City police passed along crime prevention strategies implemented as part of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, or KC NoVA, strategy, which they credit with last year's drop in homicides.

In 2014, the Kansas City homicides totaled 79, a drop of 21 percent from the previous year. During the same period, St. Louis's homicide total grew to 159.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In an appearance at Union Station Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Sly James showed up decked out in a blue bowtie and matching Kansas City Royals hat to show support for the boys in blue as the team headed into the final game of the World Series.

James said the excitement Kansas Citians have shown during the World Series has been long overdue.

"You can't buy this kind of pride," James said. "It's about time that we had something like [the World Series] where we can say, 'This is ours, we did it, we showed the rest of you, and this is something we're going to cherish.'"

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced a new program Monday aimed at getting kids to go to school.

A recently released report from the nonprofit Attendance Works says 20 percent of American students are chronically absent from school. The organization calls it a national challenge.

The Missouri superintendents from Kansas City, Center and Hickman Mills all say chronic absenteeism is about the same in their districts.

CC: Lochoaymca

Educators, politicians, doctors and clergy all gathered in Kansas City Monday to discuss early childhood development.

Almost everyone agrees Pre-K education is crucial. The mantra for early educators is, "Talk, read, play."

Before they start kindergarten, teachers say, children need a lot of interaction with adults. Research shows that, on average, lower income children start school knowing 900 fewer words than more affluent children.

Cody Newill / KCUR

In light of protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the police shooting of Michael Brown, Kansas City leaders held a panel Saturday centered around a big question for people of color: What should I do when I am stopped by the police?

HDR, City of Kansas City

Not long after Kansas City's proposal to add street car lines along Independence Avenue and Linwood Boulevard went down to defeat in Tuesday’s election, Kansas City Mayor Sly James was in front of microphones expressing his disappointment.

The mayor reiterated those concerns the morning after the election. “Things are not going to get better unless we do something different,” he said in an interview with KCUR.

Rama / Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday's voting results provided some interesting outcomes. A relatively-unknown challenger gave incumbent Sam Brownback a run for his money. The proposed expansion of the Kansas City streetcar tax district supported by Mayor Sly James was voted down.

Today on Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with with Political Pundits Burdett Loomis and Dave Helling to divine the messages voters were sending about the candidates and issues on state and local ballots.  Then Mayor James joins Steve for his thoughts on the future of the streetcar in Kansas City.

Guests:

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Though the snow may be melting away in Kansas City, the burning issues aren't going anywhere.

On Thursday's Up to Date, Mayor Sly James takes our questions, and yours, about the troubled school district, the proposed KCI expansion project, and more. 

Guest:

  • Sly James is mayor of Kansas City, Mo.

A snow storm that went on and on coupled with extreme cold and gusty winds has Kansas City, Mo., changing the way it handles snow removal.

With snowfall of over an inch and a half an hour plus drifting Tuesday it was hard to keep traffic arteries cleared. So late in the day Mayor Sly James announced that the city would be using tandem plow teams in areas and at times of day single plows would usually be deployed.

Bannister Rebirth By Cerner On 2.5 Year Schedule

Jan 18, 2014
Cerner Corp

Visible occupancy of the new Cerner office complex in southeast Kansas City  will appear by late 2016.

The timetable was laid out by executives of the medical information giant, the Mayor and Missouri’s governor. 

The numbers include  240 acres on site of the old Bannister Mall.

A $4.3 billion dollar development capable of eventually handling 15 ,000 new jobs.

Fifteen hundred jobs will be available early-on, according to Cerner president Zane Burke.

Ground Broken On New Kansas City Crime Lab

Nov 19, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ground has been ceremonially broken for the already-in-progress East Patrol Police station/crime lab construction in Kansas City, Mo.

Chrome plated shovels were planted in dirt but it was obvious heavy equipment had been working for weeks. About 80 houses were torn down for the 17-acre, $74 million project.

Nearly every speaker talked about those who gave up property, some unwillingly. Though, there were no protestors visible at the gathering.

truthout.org

Business and government leaders from Missouri and Kansas are aligned to push for winning the 2016 Republican National Convention for Kansas City.

There will be a battle of bids for the GOP Nominating Convention and the Convention and Visitors Bureau is comparing Kansas City with other cities that have expressed interest, including Phoenix, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Chicago.

The local task force includes the Chairman of the Johnson County, Kan. Commission and the Mayor of Unified Government in Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Clarification: Originally reported that the Mayor favored the current mayor-council form of government, he  suggested  adding powers to the elected post.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James told members of his hand-picked Charter Review Commission he hopes they keep a type of mayor-council-manager form of local government but strengthen powers of a mayor.

The Mayor also said he would listen to suggested change.

Your Guide To The Kansas City Charter Review

Sep 13, 2013

Kansas City is known as a “weak mayor” town. That’s no slight on Mayor Sly James, it’s the way the city charter sets up our government, where the mayor is a glorified city council member, and the city manager really runs the town. It's also called a council-manager system.

Kansas City Council To Consider Slap At Gun Makers

Jul 17, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

If the Kansas City Council agrees, city pension system funds will  not be invested in companies that make guns. 

The resolution passed a Council Committee with one dissenting vote.

The police commission retirement board will be asked to do the same.

The Finance, Governance and Ethics Committee voted to forward the resolution after hearing Mayor Sly James argue it’s  time to send a message to gun manufacturers.

Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

Kansas City International Airport is looking at a potentially major change-- tearing down the current three terminals and moving to a single, new terminal.  

The one terminal idea came to a head in 2008 when the Master Plan called for a new, central terminal south of the current airport.  That came just 4 years after the airport wrapped up nearly $260 million in renovations.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A Commission that will look for ways to change the foundation of how Kansas City Government operates has met just once and the opening session, Wednesday, heard wide ranging  recommendations that spread from finance to setup of Council Districts.

The first assurance came from Mayor Sly James who appointed the 13 member commission. He said he would not be looking over their shoulders. If the operating  charter needs change, he'll ask for proof when recommendations are written.

Kansas City Aviation Department

If you want to get people talking, just say three words: new airport terminal.

It seems that everyone's an expert on airport design and plans. After all, many of us fly through Kansas City International Airport.

A Mayoral Summit

Apr 22, 2013
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It’s the end of an era for one city leader, while events march on for another.

Hydroponic Greenhouse To Grace KC Riverfront

Mar 25, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

This year the landscape will change dramatically along the banks of the Missouri River just Northeast of Kansas City’s downtown. A hundred thousand square feet of greenhouses are planned for growing produce for a local supermarket chain.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

As Mayor Sly James delivered a predictable State of the City address at the Gem Theater Tuesday morning, Derron Black, 31, stormed the podium from backstage, pushed the mayor out of the way, and screamed obscenities into the microphone.

jimmywayne / Flickr

Supporters of creating a so-called “Angel Investment” tax credit in Missouri testified in favor of legislation Wednesday before a State Senate committee.

Jeffrey Harvey / KCUR

The circumstances surrounding Tuesday's natural gas explosion just west of the Country Club Plaza - that killed one person, injured more than a dozen, and destroyed JJ's restaurant - were discussed in an afternoon press conference.

Mayor And Business Leader Expand Weight-Loss Effort

Feb 5, 2013
Elana Gordon / KCUR

A very personal yet public weight loss competition between two prominent city leaders is getting bigger. About two dozen area CEOs have signed up for the challenge.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Kansas City’s newest program to fight violent crime began today, aided by UMKC researchers, state and federal prosecutors, police and others.  The launch coincided with a chilling set of deaths.

A fresh double-homicide in south-side Kansas City had detectives going to work, one  hour before top crime fighters were gathering to describe the program, initially announced in May of 2012.

There had been 6 murders in the preceding 48 hours.

Into the mix comes the Kansas City No Violence Alliance or KC NoVA.

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