New KCMO City Council dealing with older issues of KCI and stree - KCTV5 News

New KCMO City Council dealing with older issues of KCI and streetcar

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City Hall is looking a lot different than it did 24 hours ago with a handful of new council members after Tuesday night's election.

Some of the newest leaders are now talking about they are planning to handle the big city projects like the new convention center hotel and streetcar.

While Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James won his re-election with ease, he'll now be working with an almost entirely new City Council. Nine new faces will be in place in August.

James says, for him, it's about teamwork.

“When we collaborate and act as a team, we get things done. When we start pulling apart, like the four years before that, nothing gets done,” he said.

Election Day was marked by very low voter turnout, which worries the mayor. He says the threshold for initiating petitions, about 1,700 signatures, is also much lower than in the past.

“Issues that are thrown out willy-nilly are very distracting from the day-to-day business of governance,” James said.

The City Council will also be dealing with old, but big issues for the city. They'll be focusing on the streetcar, transforming Kansas City International Airport into a one terminal facility and the new hotel by the downtown convention center in hopes of trying to lure more conventions and big events to the city.

One of the new council members dealing with the issues will be former Jackson County Executive and now 4th District at Large Councilwoman Katheryn Shields.

“My position is just I need to have more information. We have to make sure that it's an investment that makes sense for the taxpayers and that's pretty much going to be my position, whatever the issues are,” she said.

Jermaine Reed is one councilman coming back for a second term. He says it's time to work smartly.

“It's alright to disagree on things, but I think at the end of the day we want to be able to do what's right for Kansas City and I believe that's what we're going to do,” he said.

James said he's already reached out to some of the new council members and by Aug. 1, their first day of work, he expects to know them all.

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