Area mayors honored by Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America, a national organization that advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods, presented its 2013 Leadership Awards to two local mayors. Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission, Kan., and Mayor Randy Rhoads of Lee’s Summit, Mo., were recognized for strategies their two cities are using to enhance the quality of life for residents, invest in infrastructure and boost economic competitiveness. The awards were presented on Friday, Feb. 8, at a ceremony during the New Partners for Smart Growth conference held in Kansas City.
“Mayor Rhoads and Mayor McConwell have made significant strides in partnership with their cities,” said Geoffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America. “These leaders are stellar examples of how better development strategies can improve communities and economies. It takes thoughtful, proactive planning, and both towns are laying the groundwork for future success.”
In Lee’s Summit, the organization noted Mayor Rhoads’ leadership in implementing the region’s first Complete Streets policy and embarking on an ambitious downtown redevelopment and restoration strategy. Lee’s Summit has grown rapidly in recent years, and Smart Growth America recognized the city as a leader in waste management practices and home to New Longview, one of the region’s best examples of a smart-growth, mixed-use development.
In Mission, Smart Growth America highlighted Mayor McConwell’s leadership in the use of form-based codes to tackle community development issues, including the replacement of parking minimums with parking maximums; support of investments in public transit and green infrastructure; and emphasis on existing neighborhoods. The organization also recognized Mission’s mixed-use, transit-oriented Gateway development and the infill development of independent living housing for seniors next to the community center.
Both McConwell and Rhoads serve on MARC’s Board of Directors.