Some city leaders 'uncomfortable' with Mayor Lucas's call

February 14, 2020 - 7:32 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas's plan for a pothole czar is meeting some resistance on the Kansas City Council.

Tensions became clear during the first day of budget talks at City Hall on Thursday. The mayor wants a pothole czar to immediately start filling the holes popping up on city streets every day. Council member Heather Hall, though, thinks that's the real job of someone already on city staff: the Public Works director.

"I guess I get a little uncomfortable thinking we're going to hire somebody to do something that someone is already supposed to do," Hall said. 

Lucas shot back, saying that having someone dedicated to potholes would streamline the process. 

"That's in some ways, a faster way, to make sure we're addressing existing problems now," Lucas said. 

In the new $1.7 billion budget presented at City Hall Thursday, city leaders earmarked $17 million for street repairs. That money won't just be for potholes, though, it will cover resurfacing and overlays as well.

Hall wasn't the only dissenting voice on the council. Other members made their concerns known about the proposal, and said that more ground crews and new equipment are what the city needs...not another bureaucrat. 

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