KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In one of his first wide-ranging interviews since starting his job as Kansas City’s new city manager Monday, Brian Platt says he hopes to bring innovative new ideas to Kansas City from his previous role as the city manager of Jersey City, New Jersey.
Platt took part in the latest edition of “4 Star Politics” hosted by FOX4’s John Holt and Kansas City Star Editorial Board member Dave Helling, as he takes the reigns of the office during a pandemic, with a city budget strained by reduced revenues, and by a host of other issues including distrust of police and reports of favoritism and racism in the Kansas City, MO Fire Department.
Platt acknowledged his full plate, but also says the budget is priority one:
“…which is very closely related to COVID of course. The negative financial impact on the city related to the pandemic are crucial that we solve now and that we get to work on now,” the 35-year-old Platt told “4 Star Politics.” “We need a new approach to solving these challenges now that I’m happy to bring to Kansas City.”
Platt brings those new approaches from Jersey City, where he served as City Manager/Business Administrator, after establishing the city’s “Office of Innovation” in 2015.
He told “4 Star Politics” he knows none of his ideas will happen overnight, but he hopes to bring new ideas to city hall while collaborating with neighborhoods, council members, the mayor, city departments, and community leaders.
As for his relationship with the four black city council members who voted against his contract, Platt says he’s already talked to them and will continue to work to build relationships with the city council as a whole.
“I’m not going to comment on why votes went they way they did, what I am saying to every council member is, regardless of how you voted, whether you supported me or not, my approach is the same. I’m here to build your trust, I’m here to work with you, to be supportive and helpful as I can be to you and the people of your district, period.”
Platt also discussed relationships with the police department and tactics to fight violent crime, developer incentives, infrastructure projects, and how city managers are judged on day to day dealings with things like snow removal and pot holes.
Platt says Kansas City is not completely new to him. His wife has family in the area and he has visited more than a dozen times.’
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