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Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas to focus on employee pay in State of the City address

Mayor Quinton Lucas
Posted at 5:41 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 11:00:06-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver the State of the City address on Wednesday.

The address will be delivered virtually from Southeast High School at 5 p.m.

Mayor Quinton Lucas will use his address with a prompt to pay city workers more, according to an advanced copy of the speech provided to KSHB 41 News.

He said he has already worked to increase pay for firefighters and police officers.

His goal now is to increase pay for other city workers, which will hopefully improve the delivery of basic city services.

Lucas will also touch on infrastructure needs and his goals for infrastructure in this year’s budget.

He hopes the new budget will expand cleanup of trash around the city, address dangerous buildings and empty lots, as well as repave over 300 miles of street in 2022.

“As we rebuild the infrastructure of our community, we recognize our social infrastructure — housing and community support — is as important as ever for thousands of Kansas Citians,” Lucas says.

On the topic of social infrastructure, the mayor plans to address the passage of funding for the Kansas City Housing Trust Fund, the creation of the Kansas City Housing and Community Development Department and the passing of the Tenants’ Right to Counsel legislation.

As for 2022, Lucas said the proposed budget will allow the city to hire a Houselessness Prevention Coordinator, add more money to the Housing Trust Fund and allocate money to tenants’ rights and rental assistance.

One major point Mayor Lucas campaigned on was the goal to decrease violent crime in the city - a topic the mayor touches on in the speech, noting a decree in the city's homicide totals between 2021 and 2020.

However, 2020 was the deadliest year on record in Kansas City, and 2021 was second.

“I have promised before and recommit today: that every life in our city is special and I will never stop seeking every solution possible to save the lives of so many people, particularly young people, slaughtered in our streets,” Lucas says.

After a year of back-and-forth between the city and the state, changes are coming for the funding model of the Kansas City Police Department in this year’s budget, according to Lucas.

The new budget will increase funding by roughly $42 million above the state-mandated 20 percent of the city’s budget.

Lucas says the extra money will go toward hiring 150 new officers, providing pay raises, increasing resources to special units, increasing funding to the communications part of the department and enhancing funding for community policing.

He continues to be critical of how the state controls the city’s police department.

Lucas plans to end his address by expressing the desire to make sure every child in the city feels safe and has a positive environment where they can grow up.

This is Lucas' third State of the City address.