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Home » News » Rob Binney is running to represent District 1...

Rob Binney is running to represent District 1 on the Lee’s Summit City Council, April 3rd.

Rob Binney is running to represent District 1 on the Lee’s Summit City Council, April 3rd.

March 31, 2012

Robert Binney

Rob Binney is running to represent District 1 on the Lee’s Summit City Council.

Binney is involved in the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc., Lee’s Summit Historical Society, Friends of the Symphony and the Mizzou Alumni Association, having held officer or board positions in several of these organizations.

Binney received a Bachelor of Arts in history and in political science from the University of Missouri. He received his Commercial Lending Diploma and Consumer Lending Diploma from the American Banker’s Association. Binney is a graduate of the School of Commercial Lending from the Missouri Banker’s Association.

He is a licensed Realtor with Grider Home Group, a Reece and Nichols team, which is based out of Lee’s Summit.

What type of involvement have you had in the District in which you live and serve? I have been involved as a resident and citizen of the 1st District in volunteer and charitable organizations, as well as civic opportunities like 360 Strategic Planning Committee and most recently as a Mayoral Appointment to the Jackson County Board of Equalization.

How would you involve more people in their community? I think Lee’s Summit provides lots of opportunities to its residents for participation, and I hope as 1st District Councilman, I can help create even more opportunities to engage and activate our citizens.

No matter how unpopular or controversial their opinion is, what will you do to ensure that our population’s voice is heard? One of the great features of a democracy is that everyone has the right to an opinion!  We may not always agree on things, but our government allows us the opportunity to be heard.  As the 1st District Councilman, I will work to host community forums and ‘town hall’ type meetings.

What are your thoughts on retail growth and the city’s involvement? This city has come a long way in filling the ‘retail’ development need.  Over the next few years, I think we will see more interest in redeveloping some of our older retail locations, hopefully into mixed-use opportunities.   I also think we will see an increase in interest for office/headquarter type locations.

Economic growth and eliminating underemployment are critical to sustain the quality of life in Lee’s Summit. What role should the City, Economic Development (EDC) and Downtown Main Street each play? I think the EDC (Economic Development Council) is a great tool that exists to reach out to prospective businesses and help educate them on all of the features that make this a great place to live.  They have and continue to be successful in reaching out to small, medium, and some larger companies, making them aware of the economic information regarding our area, promoting our educated workforce, and finding the needs of companies to locate in Lee’s Summit.  Downtown Main Street has done an amazing job of working to ‘revive’ our downtown core.  What was once a quiet, dilapidated, and forgotten area of town; has again become the ‘Heart’ of this great city, and is a bustling, thriving area.

What do you believe the city should be doing in the area of Cultural Arts?  I believe the City has tried to take the lead in discovering what Cultural Arts might mean for our city, culturally as well as economically.  The Webb Report discussed many projects where the city can help encourage the Arts, some with very little investment.  We saw a lot of people get excited about the possibility of bringing some sort of change to Arnold Hall, and making it a center for ‘Cultural’ activity in town.  The recently appointed task force is taking a look at this issue, and will hopefully provide some guidance on what people want to see done next! 

What do you think about privatizing some city services in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency? Should solid waste management and recycling be a department of the city? I am not generally in favor of privatizing the basic services that the city currently provides.  The city is actually saving money by doing a lot of design and engineering work in-house currently.  We are blessed to have dedicated city employees and public safety staff at this time.  Currently the landfill falls under the Public Works department, and they have done a lot of great work, including the Resource Recovery Parks and other items in the last few years.

What is your most “out of the box” idea for our community? Not sure if it’s “out of the box” or just common sense, but really believe the 291 South/50 Highway intersection/bridge/etc is something that we really need to look for ways to resolve.  This is a very important piece of helping lay the foundation for development/redevelopment in the 1st District and the City!

R-7 is a separate entity, but schools are a big part of what makes Lee’s Summit a great community.  What are your thoughts about the current situation with the Kansas City school district and the possible rapid growth to our district with students from outside our community? Most of our community is very aware of the School District being separate from the City Council.  Still, as I’ve walked door-to-door, lots of people have voiced their concerns over the school district, and how it may be affected by this and other issues. 

What would you do to improve coordination between the city and the R-7 school district?  The majority of R-7 funding comes from property taxes which are directly impacted by the cities actions with regards to zoning and use of TIFs. As this campaign has progressed, I have tried to reach out and introduce myself to School Board members and believe that we must continue to work together in development discussions.    The overwhelming majority of taxes paid in Lee’s Summit go to the School District.  The City has reached out and invited active discussions w/the School District when economic incentives become a part of development discussions.  We must continue to work together to find the best solutions for Lee’s Summit.

What are your opinions on the proposed Commuter Rail project and the re-activation of the Rock Island rail line on the West side of the city which has been inactive for decades? I’m still undecided on the benefit of the proposed commuter rail project.  It is just one of several different proposed transportation alternatives that Jackson County is supposed to be educating the public on.  I do realize that it may provide economic and development opportunities for our area, and will be open-minded in looking at the plan, but am not currently in favor of any kind of tax to pay for something we know so little about.

How would you attract more industry to our city? I think we continue to look for new ways to reach out and attract new businesses and industry to our great city.  Whether it is the EDC, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Lee’s Summit, Main Street, Angel Investor groups, or just being a representative of the City in discussions, we should constantly be looking for ways to help promote our city!

Do you know or have a copy of Roberts Rules of Order? I am familiar w/Robert’s Rules of Order, having had leadership positions in various groups and organizations; I believe it is a system that helps for a healthy, but orderly discussion of issues.

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