KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tyrone Garner, the first Black mayor and CEO in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas, City, Kansas history, was sworn into office Monday.
“A moment in history, you all. All of you are witnessing history,” Garner’s campaign manager Valerie Burton said immediately after Garner was sworn into office.
“I had to be here today. We made history today,” Carolyn Washington said.
Garner, who defeated David Alvey in a close race, said he’ll seek to secure an independent audit of both the Unified Government and Board of Public Utilities and work toward a thorough review of the UG’s charter.
He asked the crowd Monday night to imagine a new reality.
“A reality where we recommit and double our efforts to address blight and urban decay, a reality where we reduce bureaucracy and red tape that often stifles growth in Wyandotte County,” Garner said.
Garner said that should include equitable development east of Interstate 635 and a fair criminal justice system.
“Greater Kansas City region is only strong and growing if we make sure that every part is, and I look forward to bright days ahead for Wyandotte County,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
“I think he rounded up the hopes of the community,” Central Avenue Betterment Association President Edgar Galicia said. “It’s definitely not one man’s job. We have to work together and continue the conversations.”
Though there wasn’t much talk of public health, Garner will face his first hotly contested issue in his first meeting this week. Some other city leaders were also sworn in Monday night, who are already calling on him to end the mask mandate.
Wyandotte County is the only area in the Kansas City metro with a public mask mandate. Kansas City, Missouri’s mask rule only applies to school buildings.
Wyandotte County’s first new sheriff in more than a decade was also sworn in after the retirement of Sheriff Don Ash.
“People will talk bad about our county. People will look down us, but they can never take away the pride that we have,” new Sheriff Daniel Soptic said.