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Mayor Funkhouser Appoints New Parks Board

By Maria Carter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-596797.mp3

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser says the new Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners will help end decades of division in the city. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.

The Kansas City Parks Board got a makeover. It's more diverse, has more women, and lacks even one white man. Mayor Funkhouser says parks are often considered to be one Kansas City's jewels, but they've also divided the City.

Mayor Funkhouser: The culture of elitism and community divisiveness has persisted throughout the history of the Parks Board. The commissioners have often been chosen from among the city's wealthiest. In fact, the reason the Parks Baord is separate from the city management structure at City Hall is because the city's elites wanted it to be free from the influence of regular folks.

John Fierro, executive Director at Mattie Rhodes, is the new chair and the only holdover from the previous board. The Parks Board handles a 56 million dollar budget.

Maria Carter, KCUR News.

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