Hindsight, Insight: Four Former Mayors to Appraise KC

The Kansas City Public Library will present Hindsight, Insight: Four Former Mayors Appraise KC in a live program Thursday. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Truman Forum Auditorium at the Library’s Plaza Branch. Nick Haines of Kansas City PBS will moderate. The discussion will unfold just two months before the city’s April 4 primary elections for mayor and city council.

Courtesy, KC Public Library:

Affordable housing is now a voter-approved priority. The KC Streetcar route is nudging north. A new Downtown baseball stadium looms larger.

Kansas City can point to progress or the promise of it. At the same time, gun violence remains a plague. Questions continue about subsidies and other tax breaks for developers. Shouldn’t the streetcar head east?

As current Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas nears a run for a second term – the April primary is a little more than two months away – four of his predecessors gather for the first time in an extraordinary forum that gets under way at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Plaza Branch of the KC Public Library. Click here to RSVP.

The former mayors will take stock of our city today while looking back at what their administrations were able to achieve over the past three decades and what they’d hoped to accomplish but couldn’t. They will look, too, at why some perennially promised things are so hard to deliver. Street repairs. Upgraded water and sewer lines. Development on the East Side.

Joining the conversation are Emanuel Cleaver (mayor from 1991-99), Kay Barnes (1999-2007), Mark Funkhouser (2007-11), and Sly James (2011-19). Nick Haines of Kansas City PBS moderates. Audience members can get involved, submitting their own questions.

The live program on Thursday will be co-presented by the Citizens Association of Kansas City and Kansas City PBS. The program will begin at 6 p.m., following a 30-minue reception. The presentation will also air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3 on Kansas City PBS.

The Citizens Association is Kansas City’s oldest political organization. Founded in 1934 , it was instrumental in eliminating corruption at City Hall in the 1930s and has worked since then to support the city. During election years, the association screens, endorses, and campaigns for a slate of mayoral and city council candidates.