Although these issues are addressed separately, Councilman Taylor knows that they are linked and dependent on
one another to be successful. He understands that to have strong neighborhoods, crime must be reduced. Job
growth is key to eliminating crime and blight. And working with school districts and providing opportunities for
education is central to having a healthy economy, good jobs and safety.
And first and fore most to any government, is transparency to the taxpayers.
Councilman Taylor has been an advocate of transparency by elected officials. He firmly believes taxpayers have a right to a full accounting of where their money is spent and politician travel is not necessary. His seven years on the City Council he has been vocal in his concern for taxpayer funded travel and has spent $0 dollars on travel. As a result of his financial stewardship, he has proven to be the most frugal Councilperson and a significant portion of his allocated budget remains unspent each year. When the Council put limits on the City Manager’s spending, he not only supported this ordinance, but also amended it to ensure that a public hearing always occurs when the City Council decides to hire contractors or legal counsel. The light of transparency is important to Councilman Taylor. Councilman Taylor introduced ethics reform to eliminate taxpayer travel, ban gifts and meals from lobbyists, and close the revolving door after Council service.
Place-making is important for any vibrant city and Kansas City is no different. Taylor will work to make certain that neighborhoods all over the city are invested in, improved, and maintained. Families thrive and pride in the community is built when our neighborhoods are strong. He knows from his community meetings with residents that our basic services need to be continually improved. If elected Mayor, he will create a strategy to respond to residents' basic city services needs such as illegal dumping, code violations or pothole repairs. Taylor has proposed a pilot home repair program that would address block by block repairs. Combined with the $800 million infrastructure bond and PIAC renewal we can significantly improve neighborhoods. With the infrastructure work that will be done during the next two decades, we need to deliver those services in a more efficient manner that leverages public investment and saves taxpayer dollars.
The KC Stat program has been a great continuous improvement program for basic city services and should be continued. KC Stat is where the Mayor and City Manager meet with City Departments on a bi-annual basis to address city service statistics in a given area. We need to continue to look for innovative ways to use technology to more quickly repair potholes, water main breaks, and fix streets and roads. Councilman Taylor would add citizens to the KC Stat panel to secure their input on basic city services. It is important for 311 calls to be continue to improve efficiency.
As a former School Board member, Councilman Taylor understands the issues and challenges facing our school districts. He believes the City can respect the autonomy of each school district but can participate in collaborative programs, especially in early childhood learning. Education is the great equalizer. He would continue the Mayor’s Turn the Page program and look for other ways to support our schools.
Councilman Taylor has been a strong and consistent advocate for improving public safety. He believes in the immediacy of solving crime as well as solutions that minimize it. His future plans will implement collaborative programs that frame crime as a public health issue. His approach to crime emphasizes eliminating blight through creative employment programs. Councilman Taylor supported significant increases in funding for more police on the street, more 911-call takers to improve police response times, and reward increases for tips leading to suspect arrests. He also supported an initiative that would increase community interaction officers and social workers for each patrol station to work with neighborhood groups and families, respectively. Crime reduction is linked with neighborhoods improvements.
Small business is the economic engine of Kansas City. As your City Councilman, Councilman Taylor has built a strong track record of helping small businesses get started and address city issues as they have arisen. In the 6th District during his time over 6,000 new employees and over $300 million of new investment have happened and that does not count the massive South KC Cerner project with an additional 16,000 new jobs and billions of dollars in investment. If elected Mayor, he will continue to focus on helping local mom and pop businesses who are most likely to employ local people. Whether it is through his work helping cut red tape for small businesses or helping build access to capital through microloans, he is committed to a multidimensional approach to job growth which includes a focus on our local economy. Being strategic in hiring our local companies to do City projects is important as local companies are more likely to keep dollars in the local economy.