KCMO City Manager Confirmed After Council Members Voice Concerns About Transparency

Andrei Stoica

10/29/2020- Kansas City, Missouri

Mayor Lucas at Thursday's council meeting listening to council member's concerns about the City Manager appointment

Photo by Andrei Stoica

Thursday's Kansas City, Missouri City Council meeting saw controversy about the decision regarding the city manager position from some council members. The controversy comes from an article that was published by a New Jersey news outlet on Tuesday. The article, that has since been taken down, confirmed Brian Platt’s new job position two days before the council held a vote on this decision.

Brian Platt was named the new city manager in a 9-4 vote, with votes against including Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw, who cited Platt’s lack of experience compared to other candidates and other concerns. The council also expressed their displeasure with Platt’s appointment apparently being announced before they voted.

Several council members rebuked the Mayor for a lack of transparency in his decisions. Councilman Brandon Ellington, who voted against Platt’s appointment, spoke about how this conduct was a “severe disrespect” to the council and how seeing this announcement in print before the meeting raised “red flags.”

Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, who also voted against Platt’s appointment, said she felt “blindsided” by the incident, noting behavior like the Mayor’s undermines public trust in the political process.

Robinson’s push for transparency has been a consistent one. She was one of three members asked this summer on Twitter about their Fraternal Order of Police campaign contributions. Her choice to donate the amount matching the money given by the FOP to Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity - MORE2 has not been echoed by her colleagues including mayor Quinton Lucas whose FOP donations total $5,950.

When asked about his colleague’s decision to donate the money, Lucas said he plans to examine organizations he takes donations from in the future, but explained that: “You can’t unring the bell. And so if you had someone who donated to you in the past and you won an election I think it's a little... I don't know…I don’t know how material it is to give back something after you already won.”

Published on: 10/30/2020