Sunday, December 10, 2006


The recent series in the Kansas City Star on neighborhoods was outstanding. Neighborhoods are the bones and muscle of a strong city. Jeff Spivak and his colleagues provided an excellent assessment of this city's health, pointing out the areas where we're in good shape as well as those where we're in need of remedy.

It’s important to realize, however, that neighborhoods are only one part of the story of a successful city.

In order for neighborhoods to thrive, the underlying system of the city has to be in good shape too. Neighborhoods like Ivanhoe and Brookside can have the most active and conscientious residents in the world, but their efforts will only go so far if the larger system of city governance is out of shape. Kansas City’s municipal government is a $1.1 billion organization that requires sophisticated and professional financial and operational management. When that governance is lacking, it shows in our neighborhoods.

That's why we need to strengthen the underlying fundamentals of our municipal government. When we do that, we will create significant, sustained improvements in city services. And our neighborhoods will thrive as never before.

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