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KCK Mayoral Candidate Wit | KCK Mayoral Candidate Steineger | Zoo CEO Retiring

Randy Whistoff is stepping down as CEO of the Kansas City Zoo at the age of 72 after serving in that role for 18 years.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
After 18 years Randy Whistoff is retiring as CEO of the Kansas City Zoo at the age of 72.

Ahead of the August 3 primary elections, mayoral candidates for Kansas City, Kansas share why they are suited for the office, and long-time CEO of the Kansas City Zoo steps into a new role.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Janice Witt was not shy in her criticism of incumbent CEO/Mayor David Alvey.

Citing a failure to properly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Witt alleges that the incumbent mayor's policies do not reflect the needs of the community. Witt also echoed calls for reform of the Kansas City, KS police department and questions over its ability to investigate itself for wrongdoing. When asked about Roger Golubski and the police department's response, Witt said "anyone who has allowed a crime to happen needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

  • Janice Witt, candidate for CEO/Mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Segment 2, beginning at 14:00: Former state senator Chris Steineger wants to see utility costs lowered for Kansas City, KS residents.

Property taxes and utility bills are sources of overspending within the county according to Steineger. Of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and the Board of Public Utilities, Steineger says there is "a long sad history of nepotism... that has controlled Wyandotte County local government for as long as I can remember." With his experience in the state senate, he believes he is the right candidate to stop overspending for the county's residents.

  • Chris Steineger, candidate for CEO/Mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Segment 3, beginning at 26:55: During his tenure CEO Randy Wisthoff has overseen critical changes at the Kansas City Zoo.

Wisthoff's current role will run until the end of this year when he will transition to a part-time gig as the executive director of the Kansas City Zoo Foundation. Noting his age, he explains the complexities of managing a zoo run deep, needing "every bit of energy every day."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.