November 29, 2021
By Bill Baird
It has been the greatest honor serving as the mayor of the finest city in the state. Now I am asking for you to support me in my re-election campaign for mayor so I can continue to work with Council on preparing Lee’s Summit for the future.
In the past four years the council and I have collaborated to achieve many accomplishments. We prioritized public safety and increased the compensation for our firefighters and police officers, which has helped us recruit and retain talent. We asked voters to support a no tax increase bond issue to fund replacement of our two oldest fire stations, renovation of our police headquarters and equipping all vehicles and officers with cameras. In the first major expansion in 14 years, we increased our number of public safety employees to help keep up with the increasing population and demand on our public resources. Going forward, public safety and taking care of our own will remain my number one priority as your mayor.
We also prioritized healthy economic development, supported revitalization projects, and facilitated a culture of buying local. In the last three and a half years, our city council approved more than $1 billion in new construction developments such as the Streets of West Pryor, which includes Firebirds, McKeevers, soon-to-open Shake Shack and Red Door, and Summit Orchard with a new Aldi’s, Home Goods, Ross Dress for Less and soon-to-open Cooper’s Hawk.
Our council also approved commercial redevelopment projects which are revitalizing our retail centers throughout the city. This approach, along with the approval by voters of a use tax to capture sales tax leakage from online sales, has kept our operating budget strong even through the pandemic of the last 20 months.
Due to our strong operating budget we were able to reinvest in our city. In my first year as mayor we identified $4.2 million in savings and championed a 10.7 percent pay increase for all our city employees to get them to market pay. We sold millions of dollars of city-owned land to pay for downtown property so that we can build a farmer’s market, performance venue, conservatory, boutique hotel, retail, and more in the most charming downtown in the nation. This project is now in the design planning phase. We also approved CityScape’s luxury apartments in our downtown that will help support our local businesses and offer those that work downtown the opportunity to live downtown.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the state Lee’s Summit faces many growth challenges. If re-elected as mayor, I will continue to work with council to maintain and build upon the high quality of life our city offers and promote and support a balanced and healthy economic strategy to bring well-paying jobs, provide a diversity of retail and dining options and support quality housing options. I will also continue to strongly advocate for collaboration between community partners, governmental entities, and our stakeholders to facilitate a welcoming environment to business and citizens at city hall.
I am running for re-election to continue the positive direction that the council and I have taken in the last four years. I would be honored to serve another term as mayor of our wonderful city and humbly ask for your support.