The name, Core4, is catchy, and it appears that the heads of the four largest government bodies in the Kansas City area are helping to forge a better working relationship.
The representatives are Johnson County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and Mark Holland, mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. They and their top managers meet once a quarter over lunch to share ideas and work to solve regional problems.
It’s great that Eilert is playing a lead role in representing Johnson County — long seen as an economic engine for the metropolitan area. Eilert’s involvement as a former mayor of Overland Park will help encourage more cooperation on concerns that cross jurisdictional boundaries. They include mass transit, law enforcement, the use of Kansas City International and other airports, rail travel, roads, highways, water, sewers, public safety and education.
The Mid-America Regional Council for decades has created bridges for area government cooperation in the distribution of federal money and discussions on broad issues affecting people in the metropolitan area. Core4 adds to the cooperation, lessening the likelihood of new border wars over developments or one city trying to poach businesses from another.
Possibilities for discussion include a regional taxing authority to benefit cultural, civic and tourist attractions throughout the metropolitan area. Johnson County certainly could be well positioned to benefit from that and other ideas, just as the people of the Kansas City area benefit when governments work together.