Mayors of Nashville and Kansas City Make Friendly Wager on AFC Wildcard Game

The upcoming playoff clash between the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs  keeps getting more interesting. The two teams meet this weekend for the first time in a playoff game since 1994. Now, the cities’ mayors are raising the stakes. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Kansas City Mayor Sly James, have struck a friendly wager. With both cities known for their barbecue, the winning city’s mayor will receive a BBQ meal from the loser.

“Nothing goes better with the sweet taste of victory than some delicious BBQ,” Mayor James said. “I’m only sorry that Mayor Barry won’t get to experience it. Go Chiefs!”

Regardless of which NFL team prevails on Saturday afternoon, each NFL team will make a $1,000 donation to a local homelessness charity—a win for both cities.

“With so much on the line each game, the playoffs are the most exciting time of the year for all of us in Chiefs Kingdom,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Mayor James has been a tremendous supporter of ours and we are proud that he’s on our side. What a fun way to show off our Kansas City barbecue as well as rally around those in need.”

If the Chiefs are victorious, Jack Cawthon will send a spread of Nashville fare to Mayor James from Jack’s BBQ. And, if the Titans win, Mayor James will be sending some of Kansas City’s finest to Music City.

“I remember Kansas City barbecue well from growing up outside the city,” Mayor Barry said. “It gets a lot of national attention, which is well-deserved. And I look forward to eating some after the Titans beat the Chiefs on Saturday.”

The Titans and Chiefs will go head-to-head on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 3:35 p.m. CST at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The winner of this round will go to on to play either the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers.

Statement from Mayor James on KCI Resolution

“Last month, Kansas Citians stepped up to invest in the future of our City by voting for a new KCI terminal. And today, I’m proud that the City Council took the next step toward ensuring that we build a terminal that works for Kansas City by passing a resolution that will continue good faith negotiations with Edgemoor. We still have a long way to go in this process, but if I’ve learned anything from my time as Mayor of this great city, it’s that when we work together, we can achieve the seemingly unachievable. I’m proud that we’ve ended 2017 on such a high note and look forward to 2018, when we’ll continue our work to build a terminal as world-class as our city.”


Memo to Council

By way of this memo, I’m officially notifying Council and the Clerk that I am referring Resolution 171017 to the Airport Committee. I understand several of you wish to circumvent our standard committee process and consider this legislation in a Committee of the Whole. I completely disagree with that approach and, furthermore, believe that if the MOU had been held in the Airport Committee and given more time to address concerns and modify the agreement, then we might have avoided yesterday’s shocking turn of events, which now puts the project in a precarious position and calls into question Council’s commitment to the will of the voters.

For six-and-a-half years, I’ve worked to move this city forward by using facts and data, relying on thoughtful deliberation when confronted with complex problems and, of course, prioritizing the best interests of this city above personal political agendas. The behavior I have seen over the past week with regard to the MOU is not reflective of the collaborative spirit and results-oriented style I’ve focused on since taking office. We are better than this, and our residents deserve much more.

Yesterday’s action halted a negotiation midstream and tossed it out the window with little warning. That says to Kansas Citians that their will is less important than political agendas. And it sends a message to those who want to do business with Kansas City that we cannot be relied upon as a transparent partner.

Finally, our city will face severe consequences that will extend beyond the new terminal and beyond this political cycle, if we don’t move forward with professionalism and respect. Actions matter to voters. Actions matter to businesses. Actions matter for continued momentum.

Let’s get this back on track next week beginning with the Airport Committee meeting on Thursday.

Mayor James Announces Appointments to Communications Team

Mayor Sly James announced today the appointment of Laura Swinford as Communications Director. Swinford served as Communications Director for We Are Missouri, the campaign to repeal so-called “Right to Work,” and worked previously as Executive Director of Progress Missouri and served previously as Communications Director for Secretary of State Jason Kander. She has extensive experience in media relations, communications strategy and politics. Her first day in the Mayor’s Office will be January 8th.

In addition, Mayor James also announced Jessica Ann as Special Assistant for Communications. Ann most recently worked for Kansas City Public Television and 90.9 The Bridge, after earning her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She assumed her duties in the Mayor’s Office on November 6th.

“These two talented women will both be great assets to our team,” said Mayor Sly James. “I’m looking forward to working with them to continue telling Kansas City’s story and moving our city forward.”

“Laura and Jessica are dedicated professionals and I’m thrilled to work with them for our remaining time in office,” said Joni Wickham, Chief of Staff to Mayor James. “I’m extremely proud of the hard work our staff put in everyday and I know our new communications team will only add to the results we’ve seen so far in Mayor James’ administration.”

A complete listing of the Mayor’s staff can be found here:

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Hosts Thousands


“The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund is a staple tradition in Kansas City that highlights the generosity of our city and our willingness to help the neediest among us,” Mayor Sly James said today.

James and Reid teamed up at the Annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Crown Center, 2401 Grand Blvd.

The 100-foot tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree is a Douglas Fir from the private forests of Cascade Timber Consulting in Oregon. It is festooned with 6,000 white lights to complement 35,000 additional lights in the surrounding area, along with 1,200 red, gold and silver ornaments.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund supports thousands of low-income seniors, disabled individuals and children across Kansas City with gift cards and Christmas gifts that are distributed at community center holiday parties hosted by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.

Donations to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund are accepted at In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the limited edition holiday t-shirt, in collaboration with Charlie Hustle Shop, benefit the fund. The holiday t-shirt is available for $40.00 on the Charlie Hustle Shop website.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree is a tradition begun in the 19th century by Mayor George Shelley. Mayor Thomas Crittenton established the first official Kansas City Christmas tree in 1908. The Mayor’s Christmas Tree has been erected at Crown Center since 1973.

The lighting event on Friday also included performances from the cast of Musical Theater Heritage, “A Spectacular Christmas Show.” Master of Ceremonies is Teresa from The Rocket & Teresa Show on Mix 93.

Mayor James and mayors across the state form Missouri Mayors United for Progress

Today Mayor Sly James was joined by 26 mayors from across the State of Missouri to discuss issues that are important to municipal governments. The group voted to form a 501C6 called Missouri Mayors United for Progress. The initial Board of Directors include: 1) Mayor Sly James, 2) Mayor Tom Schneider of Florissant; 2) Mayor James McGee of Venita Park, 4) Mayor Karen Best of Branson; 5) Mayor Garrett of Lohman

The issues discussed included strategies to fight crime, increase transportation funding and restoring low-income housing tax credits. The group collectively signed a letter voicing concern about the Missouri Housing and Development Corporation’s recent decision not to issue low-income housing tax credits. Low-income housing tax credits have been a widely-used tool in cities across the state to provide safe housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. In addition, Kansas City’s efforts to functionally eliminate veterans homelessness would have been severely hampered without low-income housing tax credits.

“Mayors across the country are leading the charge when it comes to innovation and problem solving,” said Mayor Sly James. “I’m optimistic that the state’s mayors can make an impact on the lives of our residents without waiting for help from Jefferson City or Washington, DC.”
Mayors in attendance included:

Mayor Brian Treece, City of Columbia
Mayor Tom Schneider, City of Florissant
Mayor Bill Kolas, City of Higginsville
Pat Kelly, Executive, Director, Municipal League of Metro St. Louis
Richard Sheets, Deputy Director, Missouri Municipal League
Dan Ross, Executive Director, Missouri Municipal League
Mayor John Olivarri, Osage Beach
Mayor John Smedley, City of Platte Woods
Mayor David Slater, Pleasant Valley
Mayor Kristofer Turnbow, City of Raymore
Mayor Kathy Rose, City of Riverside and President of the Missouri Municipal League
Mayor Carrie Tergin, City of Jefferson City
Mayor David Wilson, City of Manchester
Mayor LeRoy Benton, City of Fulton
Mayor James W. McGee, City of Vinita Park
Mayor Patrick Botbyl, City of Weatherby Lake
Mayor Len Pagano, City of St. Peters
Mayor Michael McDonough, City of Raytown
Mayor Pam Freese, City of Houston Lake
Mayor Holly Stark, City of Peculiar
Mayor Terry Epps, City of Pine Lawn
Mayor Karen Best, City of Branson
Mayor John Burroughs, City of New Florence
Mayor John Gwaltney, City of Edmundson
Vice Mayor Garrett Elliott, City of Lohman
Mayor Tom Kirchner, City of Lohman
Mayor Don Tottingham, City of Houston
John Mayheid, Designee, City of Independence
Mayor Matt Silvering, City of Breckenridge

READ>> MHDC Letter from Missouri Mayors

Mayor Sly James reconvenes Missouri mayors to discuss policy and legislative priorities


Kansas City, Missouri — Monday, Nov. 20, Mayor James will convene mayors from across the state of Missouri to discuss issues that are important to municipal governments. Two major issues on the agenda are transportation funding and the recent cuts to the Missouri Housing and Development Corporation’s low-income housing tax credits.

WHO: Mayor Sly James and other Missouri mayors, including Columbia Mayor Brian Treece

WHAT: Media availability at the conclusion of the Mayor’s Group Meeting 

WHEREColumbia City Hall, 701 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65205

WHENMonday, November 20, 2017, 12:30 p.m.



Mayor James Urges Congress to Reject Tax Bill Provisions that Would Cripple Infrastructure, Increases Burden on Kansas City


Kansas City, MO – Mayor Sly James today urged Congress to reject tax bill proposals that would slow economic growth, cripple the City’s ability to deliver critical infrastructure projects, and increase the financial burden of Kansas Citians.

“We need an agenda to revitalize and restore the infrastructure of our cities, not cripple future investment in our urban centers,” said Mayor James.

Currently, separate tax reform proposals are being considered in the U.S. House and Senate. There are troubling provisions in each of the bills that would hurt, rather than help, Kansas City. Most troubling are provisions to eliminate Private Activity Bonds (PAB) in the House bill and the repeal of Advanced Refunding Bonds in both the House and Senate bills. PABs are essential to a number of City infrastructure projects and expected to be a significant tool in financing the new KCI airport approved by voters earlier this month; elimination of PABs could throw the project’s future into question.

Also, over the last decade, Advanced Refunding has been used for a number of important Kansas City infrastructure priorities, including water and sewer, Liberty Memorial, Zoo, public safety, Music Hall, East Village, Downtown Arena, Plaza Garage, and Midtown Redevelopment projects. As a result of Advanced Refunding, the City has refinanced $580 million, saving taxpayers $52 million. Abolishing Advanced Refunding would make vital City projects more expensive and prevent some projects from moving forward. Provisions to eliminate the New Market and Historic tax credits will diminish the City’s ability to spur investment in low-income communities.

In addition, both the House and Senate bills would either partially or fully eliminate the state and local income, property and sales taxes deduction (SALT). This elimination would result in double taxation on Kansas Citians – increasing their tax burden and making it more difficult to own a home. SALT has been a cornerstone of our system for 100 years and is fundamental to how the City budgets and provides services to residents. Eliminating SALT and the increased tax burden on Kansas Citians could force the city to cut vital services in the future. Currently, 28 percent of households in the 5th congressional district could face a tax increase since these households use the SALT deduction for tax relief. The average SALT deduction in the 5th district is $8,622. In the 6th congressional district, 25 percent of households use SALT with an average SALT deduction of $8,657.

Mayor James also pressed Congress to reject attempts to use tax reform to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as the Senate bill’s provision to repeal the individual mandate. The Mayor has continued to stress that any attempts to change the ACA should be in the interest of getting more people access to care, not less.

Mayor James underscored his support for comprehensive tax reform that spurs economic growth in Kansas City and communities across the nation but he will continue to oppose efforts to pass legislation that will increase the burden on cities and residents.

The City School Fair: Bringing Kansas City Schools and Families Together!


Kansas City, MO – Show Me KC Schools, a nonprofit with a mission to help families find the right school for their children, is co-hosting Kansas City’s second annual “City School Fair” with the Kansas City Public Library & the Office of the Mayor on November 11. The event will feature 55 K-12 district, charter, private and parochial schools. The City School Fair will also feature musical acts from two local schools, a performance by the Stone Lion Puppets, free food, and library fine forgiveness for all who attend!

  • Event: City School Fair
  • Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: Central Library, 14 W. 10 St., Kansas City, MO 64105

With nearly 90 district, charter, private and parochial schools in KCPS’ boundaries, navigating the school options can be overwhelming. The City School Fair gives families the opportunity to learn about Kansas City’s many elementary, middle and high schools – asking questions of school administrators, parents and student representatives. “The City School Fair is a high energy event. Parents and caregivers can have one-on-one conversations with school administrators and current school families,” says Tricia Johnson, Show Me KC Schools Executive Director.” Families can have their questions answered and use this opportunity to collect – and, for some schools, even complete – applications.”

For too many years, families have been leaving Kansas City after reaching the conclusion that the right school option does not exist for their children. Show Me KC Schools believes that great school options are available to KC families, and that these options will only increase as more parents dedicate themselves to finding the right school, right here in Kansas City.

“Investing in our children is our first and most important responsibility as parents and as a City. I want Kansas City parents to be well informed of the great options we have so they can find the school that is the best fit for their children. City School Fair is THE event to inform parents of their options” states Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

Kansas City parent, Melissa Horak-Hern, attended the City School Fair last year and is eager for other families to have the same opportunity. “It’s hard to figure out which school is the best fit from brochures and websites. The school fair allowed us to speak with parents and students, teachers and principals. We got all the answers we needed to find the right spot for our family. I’m truly grateful that the school fair is happening again as I want all KC families to have that chance, too. I’m not confident we would have been able to make the best choice without it.”

A diverse group of schools and nonprofits partnered on the City School Fair’s task force, sharing ideas and strategies to create a meaningful event for families from every neighborhood in the school district’s boundaries. The task force includes representatives from the Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City Public Schools, Operation Breakthrough, Académie Lafayette, Jumpstart, Hogan Preparatory Academy, The Pembroke Hill School and Rockhurst University. These organizers and the event’s co-hosts hope that this annual fall tradition will continue growing every year to encourage even more parents to learn about the many unique schools in our city.

An updated listing of participating schools can be found on our website at Free parking is available in the Library Parking Garage on Baltimore.

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About Show Me KC Schools:

Show Me KC Schools, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to help Kansas City parents find the right school for their children, launched on October 31, 2013. The website, provides an individual profile for every district, private, parochial, and charter school serving families living within the Kansas City Public School boundaries.

Kansas City Mayor Buys and Reviews 1,000 Items on Amazon in HQ2 Push

Kansas City Metro Area – (October 11, 2017) – Online retail giant, Amazon, is currently looking for the ideal city to set up its second headquarters and Kansas City has found a way to use Amazon’s own product reviews to make its case. Mayor Sly James, known for his social media savvy, recently purchased 1,000 items on But here’s the kicker: within each product review, Mayor James tells Kansas City’s story, using a stat, fact or story about his city.

“It’s no secret we believe Amazon is a great fit for Kansas City,” said Mayor James. “So the idea was easy – make Kansas City the most-well reviewed city on Amazon.”

On Wednesday, Mayor James tweeted out his reviews and released a series of videos covering his favorite products and points about Kansas City. In one, he reviews wind chimes and ties in Kansas City’s affordable housing costs:

When it comes to my house and my housewares, there’s nothing I value more than bang for my buck. I live in beautiful Kansas City where the average home price is just $122K, so I know luxe living doesn’t have to cost a ton. That’s why at $14.99, these wind chimes are music to my ears. They have a soothing timbre, a stylish look, a durable aluminum construction, and they catch the wind just as beautifully as far more expensive models. I’ll tell you, when I’m sitting out in the backyard of my reasonably priced home in a safe neighborhood with great schools and these chimes start to tinkle, it feels like the whole world is singing just for me.

In other reviews, Mayor James turns an earnest analysis of a label maker into a story about Kansas City’s highly-educated workforce, a detailed look at a car stereo bluetooth adapter into an ode to Kansas City’s open infrastructure and short commute times and even transitioned a FiberOne Cereal review into a look at the nation’s leading fiber internet hub.

“Putting our three key strengths – our thriving entrepreneurial culture, our highly-educated workforce and our award-winning quality of life – into a bulleted list might not work, but putting them in a review, now that’s what people trust,” said Mayor James.

Mayor James is asking Kansas City residents from both sides of the state line to use the hashtag #KC5Stars to tell Amazon why they love Kansas City and why HQ2 belongs here.

“If this helps us get in the finals of Amazon HQ2, that’s great,” said Mayor James. “If not, we’ll still be proud of this city’s future, and a few of us will be a wind chime or two richer.”

Mayor James is donating each of the 1,000 items to local charities across Kansas City.

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