New KCK mayor not shying away from problems facing city

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- On his first day in office, new Wyandotte County Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government, David Alvey is spending his time pouring over the County Manual and wrapping his arms around the job in front of him.

David Alvey has deep roots in Wyandotte County politics that date back to the mid 1800s.

“It is always so humbling to hear people talk about my grandfather, my father, my uncle, that they always felt they were fair, honest and worked hard to bring good service to residents,” said Alvey. That's something he hopes people say about his administration.

For that to happen, Mayor Alvey said he will take a straightforward approach to provide quality service with the least burden to residents, which he said in the past has gone in opposite directions.

“People resent when you try to present things as better than they really are,” Alvey said. “I am not afraid to tell people what the situation is as I see it.”

As he sees it, on the top of Alvey’s list is getting a grocery store in the northeast part of the city, which he calls a food desert. He is also aiming to get better recruiting of law enforcement, and finding a way to show residents that the development out west benefits the entire county.

“I think sometimes we focus so much on big development that we lose sight of the fact that people live in neighborhoods,” said Alvey. “And what is their experience in their neighborhood? And if their experience is that their neighborhood is that it is decaying and is being neglected, then we are not going to retain residents and they will not be encouraged. There will not be credibility.”

One of the things Alvey has already changed is the 24/7 security detail provided to former Mayor Mark Holland, which Alvey said he does not need.

The Holland/Alvey mayoral race ended in a fury of controversy. The fire union, which backed Alvey, fell into a back-and-forth mud slinging with Holland that ended with the resignation of the KCK fire chief and Holland’s accusations of corruption in the fire department.

It is something Mayor Alvey will not comment on because he said it was not his fight and he does not want to fuel that fire.