Updates and outcomes from MARC's January Board meetings

Feb 06, 2024
| Posted in
Toni Sturdivant presenting during the MARC board meeting

We’re sharing selected highlights from the meetings for your awareness and use in regional conversations.

  • Regional landfill capacity study — Board members heard an overview of a recently completed study to forecast regional landfill capacity. The scenarios within the study indicate the region has a range of 19 to 37 complete years of landfill capacity remaining. As next steps, the MARC Solid Waste District will initiate a revision of its comprehensive regional plan. 
  • Service recognition — The Board celebrated a major milestone for a key MARC employee. Marlene Nagel, who serves as MARC’s director of community development, reached 50 years of service at MARC. Her many professional achievements include the instrumental role she played in launching MARC’s work in early learning, planning efforts that ultimately led to the restoration of Union Station and the success of the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which distributed more than $23 million to address community needs. The Board thanked Marlene for the incredible impact she has had on the region. 
  • Early learning system — Beginning in February, MARC will launch an 11-month process focused on developing a sustainable and high-quality early learning system. MARC staff reported that some of the biggest areas of need currently include inadequate funding, unaffordable tuition, unmet needs, low compensation and teacher shortages. Key partners in the planning effort include the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Kids Win Missouri, Kansas Action for Children, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and others. 
  • Transportation survey — MARC is working with the ETC Institute to develop and distribute a regional transportation survey. Input from the survey will inform the update of Connected KC 2050, the metro’s long-range transportation plan, as well as MARC’s transportation work. A sample of residents in each of the metro’s nine counties will receive the survey in their mailboxes starting in February.    
  • Regional Leadership Awards — MARC partners and members of the community are encouraged to submit nominations for the 2024 MARC Regional Leadership Awards by visiting marc.org/awards. These awards recognize individuals, organizations and initiatives that have made outstanding contributions to the region. The 2024 award recipients will be celebrated at the MARC Regional Assembly on June 14. The nomination period closes March 1.  
  • MARC Board of Directors officers — MARC Board officers are elected annually, although officers typically serve for two terms. At the meeting, Board members elected a new chair: Janeé Hanzlick, Johnson County, Kansas, commissioner. She will replace Carson Ross, mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri, who has served as chair since January 2023. The officers elected at the meeting are:

    • First Vice-Chair: Mayor Pro Tem Beto Lopez, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
    • Second Vice-Chair: Mayor Damien Boley, Smithville, Missouri
    • Treasurer: Councilmember Holly Grummert, Overland Park, Kansas
    • Secretary: Mayor Pro Tem Dan Hobart, Independence, Missouri

    The changes will take effect on April 1. Thank you to the officers for their service to the Board and the region.

    At the MARC Budget and Personnel Committee meeting on Jan. 23, attendees took the following actions:

    • Local dues — Local government dues represent less than 2% of MARC’s overall budget, but they are unrestricted funds that provide a foundation for a broad range of regional programs and initiatives. B&P Committee members approved a 2% increase in dues for 2025, similar to previous years, to continue supporting regional programming.
    • Grant writing support — To best position the region for new federal funding opportunities, the committee amended a standing agreement with Assel Grant Services for grant writing support. The contract amendment increases compensation by $100,000 to a total of $255,000. Since MARC began working with Assel Grant Services in 2022, the company has assisted the region in securing $14.4 million in grant funding.
    • Senior services funding — Committee members approved accepting $3.9 million in state funding to improve older adult programming, facilities and supports in MARC’s service area of Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties. The funds were provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.