Kansas City civic leaders are urging the City Council to give City Manager Troy Schulte a long-term contract, in part because of the upcoming earnings tax campaign.
More than three dozen board members of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Council signed a letter saying that Schulte has done a good job and that it’s important to have government stability while the city campaigns to retain its largest source of tax revenue.
An election to retain the city’s 1 percent earnings tax for five more years is scheduled for April.
“A key factor in our confidence and trust in city government has been the leadership of City Manager Troy Schulte,” the group wrote this week.
The council was set to vote Nov. 19 on a three-year contract extension for Schulte, who has been the administrative leader of city government since late 2009. Mayor Sly James and some veteran council members are strong supporters of Schulte.
But some new council members, who took office Aug. 1, said they needed more time to get to know the city manager before agreeing to a long-term employment deal.
So the council instead voted just to extend Schulte’s existing contract three more months, until Feb. 25.
Civic leaders this week said the council shouldn’t wait that long.
“We hope you will consider taking early action to approve a multi-year contract with City Manager Troy Schulte,” the letter said. “We want to win the campaign to renew the earnings tax.”
The letter added that a decision to maintain a strong, professional management team at City Hall would be an important signal to the community about Kansas City’s future and momentum.
No vote is expected Thursday on Schulte’s contract. That’s the last council meeting before next year.
In a statement Wednesday, James said he has received many letters urging Schulte’s contract renewal.
“Many organizations and individuals have told me we’ve got the right guy in place, and I totally agree,” the mayor said, adding that he plans to push for the contract extension after the holidays.