New Kansas City manager fields concerns as $70 million budget gap looms

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new city manager learned more about the challenges he will soon face by touring the Sheffield neighborhood Friday.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said Brian Platt must lead Kansas City through some difficult financial times.

Platt says he wants to learn as much as he can about the city’s issues in the next couple of months. He got an earful of concerns Friday morning, visiting with neighbors in Sheffield, on the city’s northeast side.

The tour is part of the mayor’s campaign to prevent crime by focusing on intervention, enforcement and administrative reform.

Platt has a track record of making cuts to balance budgets, while maintaining core city services.
He described his experience closing a budget gap in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“It took a lot of very specific and targeted changes and revisions to the things that we were doing,” Platt said. “We had to make a lot of tough decisions and tough choices though, to make sure we did not reduce any essential services. We weren’t reducing any response for emergency services and we were doing what we can to ensure that over many years we could weather a storm like this.”

Kansas City faces a $70 million budget shortfall brought on by a steep drop in tax collections due to the pandemic. Job number one for Platt will be to find ways to fill potholes, pick up trash and reduce emergency response times. He needs to do all of this, even though there’s no money to expand city government.

Platt also claimed he has experience resolving social justice concerns among a diverse population in the New York/New Jersey area.

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