Mayor Sly James Discusses the State of the City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Mayor Sly James gave a "State of the City" address on Sunday. James says Kansas City has some significant infrastructure challenges but it also has some opportunities to make this city a premiere city.

The mayor says KC has some great new treasures from the Power and Light District to the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. However, Mayor James says he would also like the city become a high tech center.

"We have an amazing opportunity over the next two years to totally remake ourselves into a hub of ideas and innovation, excitement and entrepreneurship," said Mayor Sly James.

While Kansas City has a large amount of entertainment venues, the mayor says something needs to be done to fix the city's plumbing problems. In fact, the mayor says the city had 1,400 water main breaks in 2011.

"It was built well but every pipe, every screw every nozzle, every valve has a life expectancy and some of them have hit it and gone beyond that," James said.

The mayor says it would cost about $2 billion to replace the pipes. Addressing ways to fund the water and sewer problems is something the mayor says is in the works. However, some residents say if higher taxes are needed to do it, bring it on.

"I believe in higher taxes to take care of everything that needs to happen, absolutely, as long as the money is being handled properly," said resident Tessa Sheehan.

Talk of the mayor managing the city's public schools drew plenty of applause, but it's a vision not everyone would like to see.

"I believe the current school board can run the district and they are better positioned than the stateĀ  or anybody else to do the things that need to be done," said resident Bill Mullins.

If you'd like to read some of the initiatives the Mayor has recommended go to

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