Mayor James Announces 5th District Commissioners to Fill Council Vacancy

December 19, 2014 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Yesterday, the City Council unanimously approved Mayor James’ plan to appoint a commission of no less than three individuals to make recommendations to the Council for filling the 5th district vacancy.

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Sly James announced today the appointment of a commission of five residents from the 5th district to make recommendations to the City Council to fill the 5th district Council vacancy. These commissioners, all of whom currently serve on municipal boards and commissions, will thoroughly review all applications and interview each applicant.

A panel of three prospects will then be presented to the Council for consideration. Council may, if it considers it advisable, add to the list of applicants to be interviewed. Council will then publically interview the finalists. The candidate with majority support will be chosen to fill the vacancy. Council will then officially appoint the successful applicant to serve by adopting a resolution. The City Manager and City Attorney will thereafter provide the necessary training and the City Clerk will conduct the swearing-in ceremony.

“Our goal is to fill this vacancy in a transparent and thoughtful manner,” said Mayor Sly James. “Inclusion of 5th district residents into this process will provide them a voice and ensure that the newly appointed councilmember considers the needs of the district. I am also proud of the fact that the City Council came together to act to resolve this issue in a very timely manner.”

Co-Chairs of the Commission:

Erika Brice, Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees
Erika currently works in real estate and community development. She attended Howard University in Washington D.C., where she earned a degree in finance.

Riccardo Lucas, Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association
Riccardo works as a housing development finance professional and serves as the President and CEO of Instride Development. He attended Park University, where he earned a degree in human services.

Additional Members of the Commission:

Karen Downey, Public Improvement Advisory Committee
Karen is a part-owner of Downey Construction, Inc.

Becky Forest, Silver Haired City Council
Becky is retired from Black & Veatch where she worked as a Proposal Coordinator. She attended business school in Moline, Illinois.

Paul Lillig, Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities
Paul is a design build specialist, specializing in work for senior citizens and people with disabilities. He received his undergrad in liberal arts from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a masters degree in architecture from the University of Kansas.

Individuals interested in applying to fill the 5th district council vacancy may download the application at:

Please note that the application must be returned to the City Clerk’s office no later than January 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. The City’s Clerk’s office is located on the 25th Floor of City Hall, 414 East 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106


Contact: Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152