There is no blueprint as to what makes a perfect City Council candidate. What we do know is that great community leaders can be women, men, younger or older, people of diverse ethnicities, low-income or affluent, those with disabilities, white collar or blue, or any and all in between. We believe community leaders can and do come from all walks of life. They are people who share our concerns on a number of issues: economic development, crime, the environment, substance abuse, health care, education and youth development, and a litany of other topics impacting our city.
In early 2001, a group of community stakeholders created the Civic Roundtable, an invitation-only collaborative group formed to encourage, promote, and initiate community improvements. Membership is based on five pillars of community which include: Local Government, Business, Education, Religious, and Health/Social Services. These five pillars inter-connect with the issues that our community leaders grapple with each day.
Meeting monthly, group members share current activities and follow an informal agenda to discuss issues and identify initiatives to improve our community. While not taking specific positions as a group, the Civic Roundtable facilitates action through its members’ relationships and affiliations as needed.
Armed with the belief that leadership is a CIVIC Responsibility, Civic Roundtable members feel it is important to encourage a call for City Council candidates for the April 2014 election. Utilizing the "individual characteristics" as defined by City Council’s December 2013 retreat contained in a document on the City’s website of January 17 2013, Civic Roundtable members agree with these characteristics of successful Council members and encourage potential candidates for the April 2014 election to emulate them:
1. Takes a broad view of complex issues – doesn’t seek perfection
2. Helps keep the organization focused on its mission, vision and core values
3. Emphasizes strategic planning and priority-setting as a foundation for decision-making
4. Constantly encourages Council members’ education and self-evaluation
5. Holds staff accountable
6. Holds themselves and each other accountable to the adopted governance policies and to a culture of respectful interaction from the dais and elsewhere
7. Is willing to lead despite opposition, while understanding the cost of decisions
Making the decision to run for Council isn’t one to be taken lightly, but effective leadership is crucial to the success of our community. As Roundtable members, we feel it is our responsibility to encourage those who are willing to step up and who live their lives by similar credos to those of successful candidates listed above. Besides the characteristics identified in the Council retreat, good leaders also do the following:
• Listen as well as talk
• Take responsibility and ownership for the challenges they encounter
• Both lead AND follow, and know the appropriate time for each
• Check their ego in the City Hall parking lot when they report to work
• Handle their emotions and understand the emotions of others
The boom of greenfield new development has given way to a focus on redevelopment and infill development. We are a mature city requiring mature, informed actions. Projects and issues will be more complicated, often requiring public/private partnerships for successful outcomes.
Elected officials who see the big picture and adhere to the principles above will be more effective than those who get into the weeds and forget that public positions require bold, strategic collaborations to be effective.
If you meet the traits outlined above, the Civic Roundtable encourages qualified candidates to step forward and run for City Council.
We consider such a call for action a step forward to lead our city through this complex time requiring responsible actions and critical, strategic thinking.
Linda Ahern, Owner/Publisher – Lee’s Summit Tribune
Ron Baker, CEO – Saint Luke’s East
John Beaudoin, Group Suburban Publisher - Lee’s Summit Journal
Bill Briley, Ministerial Alliance
William H. Brown, President - Spectrum Strategies
Nancy Bruns, President - Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce
Carl Chinnery, Attorney - Chinnery Evans & Nail
Brad Cox, Vice President - Langsford Development
Jackie DeSouza, CEO – Lee’s Summit Medical Center
Jim Devine, President & CEO - Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council
Trisha Drape, Executive Director – Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street
Jon Ellis, President & CEO – Paradise Park
Alan Flory, President - ReDiscover Mental Health
G. David Gale, President - Gale Communities
Gene Gamber, Gamber Senior Center
Bob Glaser, Vice President– Summit Bank of Kansas City
Dr. David McGehee, Superintendent – Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
Carolyn McKnight, Site Director – University of Central Missouri
Chip Moxley, President – Tingle Flooring
Dr. Kirk Nooks, President - Metropolitan Community College - Longview
Dan Rexroth, President & CEO - John Knox Village
Kirk Sampson, Director of Business Services – Blue Springs R-4 School District
Diane Seif, President & CEO – DVA Enterprises
Charlie Shields, Chief Operating Officer - Truman Medical Center Lakewood
Steve Tominia, Owner - Cameron’s Home Furnishings
Richard L. Viar, President & CEO – Summit Bank of Kansas City
Mark Wilkinson, CEO/Team Leader – Keller Williams