2020 State of the City Address:
Below is the 2020 State of the City Address as delivered by Mayor Leonard Jones on Thursday, January 23 at 6PM at The View.
"Thank you to the Board of Aldermen for hosting my State of the City address. Serving as Grandview Mayor is truly an honor, and I have the privilege of working with a thoughtful group of people. The Board of Aldermen care deeply about Grandview and make their decisions always with the City and its citizens in mind.
Representing Ward 1 for Grandview are:
- Alderman Sandy Kessinger
- Alderman Damon Randolph
Representing Ward 2:
- Alderman Annette Turnbaugh
- Alderman Dan Hartman
Representing Ward 3
- Alderman Jim Crain
- Alderman John Maloney
This is your Grandview Board of Aldermen.
It’s a new decade and Grandview is marching into 2020 with a list of substantial accomplishments:
- Nearly $30 million dollars worth of major infrastructure improvements since 2010
- Almost $18 million in federal and state grants maximized every taxpayer dollar toward more improvements
- Thanks to voters, Grandview has $14.5 million worth of new City parks and facilities
- Truman Corners is now a revitalized and renovated Truman’s Marketplace
The Grandview of 2010 wouldn’t even recognize today’s Grandview. Citizens see our progress and know Grandview is a great place to live, work and play. They told us so in a citizen survey last year. But our citizens also told us something else: Grandview’s image needs to be better. Overcoming those perceptions is going to take all of us. From a City standpoint, we’ve been working to raise the City’s profile by:
- Visiting lawmakers and State Department Directors in Jefferson City
- Alderman Randolph now serves as co-chair on the First Suburbs Coalition
- Grandview now has a seat on the County Board of Equalization
- And in 2019 Grandview made good news—more than doubling the number of positive appearances in local newspapers and television stations compared to 2018.
We also need your help to show people this new Grandview. This is an opportunity to share your stories about starting or moving your business here; tell friends why you’re raising your family here and invite them to enjoy our beautiful parks, or take in a concert or movie at the Grandview amphitheater.
I want everyone to see Grandview clearly-- to look at Grandview with 2020 vision and see this City of diversity, accomplishment, and great resilience.
As you can see, Grandview is a place we are proud to call home.
Grandview is safe. In 2018, Grandview’s crime rate dropped by 12%. This year, Grandview Police Department worked hard to maintain that significant drop. The crime rate rose by 1%-- mostly due to minor theft and stolen autos left running and unattended. In response, officers will incorporate a new initiative this year called “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN RESPONSE.” The hope is by educating everyone about crimes of opportunity we can work together to cut those crime numbers and watch our overall crime rate drop again. Our officers also work hard to stay visible in the business community. In 2019-- officers checked on Grandview businesses MORE THAN 26,000 times. These checks happen before, during and after business hours to ensure our businesses know we are looking out for them and their investment.
Grandview has great schools. Grandview C-4 School District is winning in prestigious academic competitions where our students are first time competitors, like Meadowmere Elementary’s first ever LEGO LEAGUE TEAM winning a regional qualifier. Now the School District is excited about the regional support from the Kauffman Foundation for its Pathway Model. This ensures every student who graduates has a plan beyond the diploma. This Pathway model will ensure every student is graduating with as many market value assets as possible whether that’s college credit, entrepreneurship opportunity, or a career.
Grandview is growing. In 2019, we added 250 housing units and our population has steadily been rising over the past decade. As we get into 2020, it will be important for every citizen to participate in the 2020 census. Everyone needs to stand up and be counted. This official count can help the City earn more federal and state dollars and that translates into improved City services.
Grandview is generous. Voters have a history of supporting ballot measures to benefit the City, most recently you supported a new Public Safety Sales Tax. We are so grateful for that. In April, the Transportation Sales Tax renewal will be on the ballot. These funds will help pay for a small portion of the I-49 Outer Roads Conversion Project, and helped us extend KCATA service into Grandview, but more importantly, these funds are critical to our ability to maintain Grandview streets. I’m asking you for your support of this renewal.
Grandview is planning ahead. This year, we will be finalizing the Comprehensive Development Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is based on the vision, values, and expectations of the community. Through a thorough public input process, the plan is developed, creating a framework for making important decisions while guiding Grandview’s growth and development for the next 10 years. This is a living document that grows and changes with the community. It provides a vision for the future of the community along with the steps that are needed to make that vision a reality.
Grandview is also kind. Consider our 2019 Civic Leadership Award winner Charlie Knight. He met his wife, Melissa, while stationed at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base. Together, they chose Grandview as their home and raised their family. Now retired, Charlie donates hours of his time every week to Grandview Assistance Program and has led the food pantry for 18 years. He has personally trained hundreds of volunteers and spends countless hours helping GAP so it can help others. Thank you to Charlie, for giving back to the Grandview community by helping our neighbors.
Grandview is proud. While I have this very important stage, I want to remind everyone that Grandview is Chiefs Kingdom. Grandview High School graduate Xavier Williams is Super Bowl-bound with the Kansas City Chiefs. [SPACEBAR] We are so excited to have Xavier representing Grandview on the field not just in Miami, but every Sunday. He's a man of great character and a true ambassador to Grandview.
As we move forward into 2020, I encourage our citizens and businesses to be Grandview ambassadors. Sign up for the Citizens Academy or serve on our Boards and Commission. I urge our neighbors to see Grandview clearly using 2020 vision. [SPACEBAR] Grandview is a welcoming community with quality infrastructure and public services, thriving neighborhoods, strong public safety and an engaged community where everyone is welcome and we are always Building Tomorrow’s Community. God bless you and God bless Grandview and GO CHIEFS!