Lee's Summit Journal

Mayor Randy Rhoads touts thriving community in final State of the City address

Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads delivered his final State of the City address Thursday inside the City Council Chambers at City Hall. He was active in the community, which he said is thriving, during his mayoral tenure. Rhoads, Regent Betty Taylor, Cathy Little and the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard laid a wreath at Lee’s Summit’s All Veterans Memorial cemetery during a ceremony in July.
Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads delivered his final State of the City address Thursday inside the City Council Chambers at City Hall. He was active in the community, which he said is thriving, during his mayoral tenure. Rhoads, Regent Betty Taylor, Cathy Little and the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard laid a wreath at Lee’s Summit’s All Veterans Memorial cemetery during a ceremony in July. File photo

Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads used his final State of the City address Thursday to highlight the accomplishments during his tenure as the top elected official in Missouri’s sixth-largest city inside the City Council Chambers at Lee’s Summit City Hall.

Rhoads, whose term ends in April, said he was particularly proud that Lee’s Summit’s police, fire and public works departments each received national or international accreditation along with the city’s parks and recreation department in recent years, which he said makes Lee’s Summit one of 10 U.S. cities able to make that claim.

But he didn’t take highlight such an accomplishment strictly to pat himself on the back.

“Our success depends on our ability to work with each other — our citizens, city staff, regional neighbors, and together as an elected governing body — not focus on selfish agendas,” Rhoads said.

Rhoads has served in public office for more than two decades. He was elected to the Lee’s Summit City Council in 1998 and reelected twice before serving as Mayor Pro Tem from May 2008 to April 2010, when he was elected mayor.

Lee’s Summit — became the first city in the nation to require foreclose registration, an ordinance designed to protect property values and avoid residential blight within city limits, when Rhoads was mayor pro tem.

During the last decade, the city has prospered financially, Rhoads said, with more than one billion dollars in capital investments and a 34-percent jump in retail sales.

Rhoads said he tried to prioritize local control for Lee’s Summit — which closed a tax loophole on out-of-state automobile sales and passed the Clean Indoor Air Act, banning smoking in all enclosed public areas — on his watch.

Lee’s Summit, which has a city budget of more than $217.5 million, adjusted the way it operates fiscally under Rhoads, organizing more than 70 funds designed to meet specific needs for daily operations, capital projects, debt service and other civic priorities.

He is confident he’ll hand off a thriving community next spring when he leaves office.

“I have left my fingerprint on the community,” Rhoads said. “Where we go next is up to the voters of Lee’s Summit. Next April, there will be elections for five city council seats and the election of the 42nd mayor of Lee’s Summit. History does not start when you assume office. You are standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before you.”

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