In a sign of the times, Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird gave his annual State of the City address to a nearly-empty City Council chamber on Tuesday. Usually, the event is attended by community partners, citizens and stakeholders, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Baird was joined physically only by City Council members and city staff.
Despite the change of format, Mayor Baird put the resiliency of Lee’s Summit at center stage, laying out his vision for the future.
“We can see how we will survive, innovate and thrive,” said Mayor Baird in his address. “It’s time to pursue the vision created by the citizens, community partners, city administration and council.”
Those plans included several economic development-centered initiatives, such as increasing diverse housing options, attracting and supporting local technology companies, and increasing neighborhood warehousing space for e-commerce delivery.
“This has certainly been a trying year for everyone,” said Rick McDowell, President & CEO of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council. “But we know that COVID won’t last forever. We need to have a plan to learn from this to make sure our community comes out stronger and prepared to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world. Mayor Baird did a fantastic job laying out some goals to achieve that and we are excited to be a part of it.”
Through committee participation, the LSEDC took an active role in the recent C-4 committees, which helped formulate the city’s Ignite Strategic Plan and the city has asked the LSEDC to be the lead on several of the initiatives.
“We are pleased with the level of coordination among the city, the LSEDC, and other city PSAs to achieve these goals,” said McDowell. “The cohesive, thoughtful, organized, and collaborative approach makes our community ideal for those looking to plant roots here for a long time.” The LSEDC is planning to engage advisory level investors to achieve the goals laid out by the Mayor, as well as goals related to the organization.