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City leads in sustainability efforts at National League of Cities Congress

The National League of Cities (NLC) recognized the City of Kansas City, Mo., as a national leader in sustainability at the Green Cities Conference during the annual NLC Congress of Cities and Exposition in Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 9-12, 2011.

“Kansas City is definitely on the national map as far as sustainability efforts and green infrastructure and innovation,” said Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo. “I was proud of our city’s efforts in this area and although we still have much to do, we are well on our way to becoming the nation’s greenest city.”

Mayor Pro Tem Circo served on a panel entitled, “Institutionalizing Sustainability: Building and Broadening Support Throughout City Operations.” Mayor Pro Tem Circo was among elected officials and policy directors from Dubuque, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Tallahassee, Fla. who presented how their respective city governments have incorporated sustainable practices and concepts throughout city operations.

The City’s Chief Environmental Officer Dennis Murphey presented with elected officials from Riverside, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Apple Valley, Minn. at a session entitled “Partnerships for Success: Building and Strengthening Partnerships in Your Community and Region.” Murphey stressed the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s partnership with Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and surrounding metropolitan cities on sustainability efforts.

Fleet Administrator Sam Swearngin and General Services Director Gerald Smith gave a presentation on the City’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program, which received the designation as a City Showcase Program in the category of Green Cities, along with Baltimore, Md.; Rochester, Minn.; Beaverton, Ore.; Portland Ore.; and Riverside, Calif. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program has gained national recognition for its incorporation of compressed natural gas (CNG) into the City fleet, resulting in an annual displacement of more than 500,000 gallons of conventional gasoline and diesel, with a cost savings of roughly $1 million.

Fourth District Councilwoman Jan Marcason moderated a session titled, “Water Infrastructure: The Need, the Opportunity, the Solutions,” which discussed the importance of water infrastructure investment at the local, regional and national levels in today’s economy and featured speakers from Independence, Mo., and Washington, D.C.

Councilwoman Marcason also serves as the vice chair of the NLC Large Cities Council, a forum for elected officials from urban centers and large cities. In addition, she serves on the NLC’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Steering Committee, which submitted a resolution for approval to the full delegation, as well as the Regulations Subcommittee, which helps regulate the various focuses and committees of the NLC.

For more information about the City’s role at the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and Exposition, contact Dennis Gagnon, City Communications Office, at 816-513-2659.


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