Updates and outcomes from MARC's November Board meetings

Dec 04, 2023
| Posted in
Group of people sitting at a board table listening to a women present

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

Board service recognition

Board service recognition: Mayor Carson Ross, Board Chair, recognized and thanked several outgoing Board of Directors members for their service to the region:

  • Mayor Mike Boehm, Lenexa, Kansas
  • Commissioner Harold Johnson Jr., Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas
  • Commissioner Angela Markley, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas
  • Commissioner Brian McKiernan, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Together, the outgoing members have served a combined total of 64 years as elected officials. The Board thanked them for their leadership and commitment to Greater Kansas City.

2024 Parade of Hearts

Board members heard a presentation from Jenn Nussbeck, executive director of the Parade of Hearts, about efforts to extend the public art exhibit into 2024 and beyond. Since launching during the pandemic, the Parade of Hearts has elevated more than 150 local artists and raised $2.56 million for nonprofits, including the MARC early learning program. The Parade of Hearts will be back in 2024 with new artists and designs. 

Budget overview

The MARC Budget and Work Plan guides agency activities and provides a clear picture of how revenues are allocated to achieve overarching policy goals. Board members reviewed a draft of the 2024 Budget and Work Plan and Revised 2023 Budget. Due to several large projects, MARC’s budget grew $23 million from last year to $133 million – with 76% being passed on to partners in the region. MARC staff shared key priorities across departments for 2024.  

Career expo

The Public Service Career Expo, held earlier this month, brought together about 3,200 young people from more than 50 metro-area high schools and middle schools to explore rewarding and high-demand career opportunities in local government. More than 300 representatives from local governments and area colleges made the event possible. MARC staff reported that after the event, nearly 89% of students said they had a better understanding of the types of career opportunities available in the public sector and more than 50% of students were very interested or extremely interested in pursuing a career in public service because of the expo.

Budget and Personnel Committee Meeting

At the MARC Budget and Personnel Committee meeting on Nov. 28, attendees took the following actions:

  • Software assessment: To help develop greater internal efficiencies and automation within MARC systems, the committee approved a contract with a firm, FORVIS, to develop a strategic approach for acquisition of new software platforms. A key goal of this project with FORVIS is to ensure compatibility across new and existing MARC software systems.
  • Cooperative purchasing: Renewed a contract with Rita Parker to generate joint bids, manage the relationship with the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments (H-GACBuy) and coordinate a variety of procurement assistance to local governments. This cooperative purchasing creates efficiency and savings.
  • Construction contracts for Regional Preventative Maintenance Program: A total of $6,987,026.31 in bids were awarded to three different vendors to perform microsurfacing and mill and overlay for roads in Cass, Clay, Platte and Jackson counties.
  • Regional Community Land Trust Consortium: As part of the Regional Housing Partnership efforts, the committee voted to approve a Regional Community Land Trust (CLT) Consortium. Since April, MARC has worked with the Kansas City Community Land Trust to implement a CLT, which can promote affordable and sustainable homeownership for residents in the region. The consortium is supported by $300,000 in funding from the Health Forward Foundation and Henry Bloch Family Foundation. 
  • Climate planning: In support of the region’s climate planning work, the committee voted to spend approximately one-tenth of a federal $1 million grant on a contract with Sustained Solutions Group. The organization will provide technical assistance and consulting services as the region develops a Priority Climate Action Plan in spring and a Comprehensive Climate Action Plan in summer.