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Kansas Citians Say Council Is On The Right Track With 5-Year Business Plan

The Kansas City, Mo., City Council this week approved a 5-year business plan after soliciting generally positive feedback from citizens.

"People do feel we're headed in the right direction," says Ellen Belzer of the city's general services department. "They lauded the leadership of the city."

Though this is the second year the city council has put together a 5-year business plan, it's the first time the city has held citizen work sessions to ask Kansas Citians their feelings about the budgeting process. 

"For many Kansas Citians, the budget is an enigma," Belzer told council members during Thursday's business session. "How we come about the Kansas City annual citywide budget is very mysterious."

About 75 people attended the two meetings, held earlier this month. Belzer says some city officials were concerned the meetings would become a place to sound off on big issues like streetcar expansion and the future of Kansas City International Airport.

But she says participants were more focused on neighborhoods, housing and incentives for economic development.

"They want us to concentrate on investments, not on putting new infrastructure in places that never had it, but to invest where infrastructure already exists for new developments," says Belzer.

Belzer says participants also stressed the need to end the economic border war  with Kansas City, Kan.

Mayor Sly James interrupted her presentation with a chuckle to say, "Join the club."

Read the full business plan on the city's website.

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