News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 20, 2011
Efficiency: Kansas City launches KCStat and appoints Bill Downey to improve water services
Two innovative programs to improve customer satisfaction are underway
The City of Kansas City, Mo., has announced the launch of KCStat, a data-driven, public-facing initiative focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of City services. KCStat will begin by focusing on the areas the City receives the most public complaints about: Street Maintenance, Water Line Maintenance, Water Billing/Customer Service, Code Enforcement and Animal Control.
KCStat seeks to improve City services and government accountability by publicly outlining and discussing goals and objectives that will be measured against indicators for outcomes, output and efficiency.
The public is invited to the first KCStat internal review session, scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 21 on the 10th floor of City Hall, 414 E. 12th St. Sessions will occur from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month thereafter.
“As a public-facing initiative, KCStat will bring data generated through the City’s Performance Management Program ‘into the light,’ so that the City can engage staff and citizens in a conversation that drives improvement in key service areas. I want to know, and I want the citizens of Kansas City to know, where the City is not living up to its expectations. I want to try to solve those problems, and I want the success of the proposed solutions to be evaluated in front of and with the help of the public,” said Mayor Sly James. “I pledged to make our city more efficient and responsive to our citizens. We can be successful if we are open and honest in accessing our programs.”
As part of the KCStat process, between public meetings, Performance Management staff will analyze the most recent data for established indicators and create an agenda and related charts, graphs and tables for internal discussions among the departments, city manager and staff from Performance Management, Information Technology, City Communications and the Mayor’s Office. The internal discussions will focus on operational adjustments necessary to meet the stated goals and objectives.
The public portion of the KCStat process, which puts the measured indicators for outcomes, output and efficiency on display, will allow the public to see the progress made toward reaching stated goals and objectives. All KCStat meetings will be open to the public and media. Citizen input will be invited at these meetings as well as online. In addition, KCStat will be connected to other citizen engagement efforts also launched this year, including KCMomentum (online social media framework) and KCMore (citywide newsletter).
As part of building efficiency and improving the Water Services Department, Mayor James and City Manager Troy Schulte are also announcing an innovative approach to address issues facing the department. Working through Burns & McDonnell, Bill Downey, former president and chief operating officer of KCP&L, will be appointed as Special Advisor to the Mayor and Manager with the goal of reviewing and providing honest and sound recommendations regarding the department’s future. Mr. Downey, who led efforts to improve KCP&L, brings a private business background to the public utility.
Active in the Kansas City community, Downey is past chair of the Kansas City Area Development Council and past chair of the Greater Kansas City United Way. Mr. Downey will work in conjunction with Burns & McDonnell, which has been retained to provide program assistance to the Water Department in preparation for the implementation of the City’s 25-year Overflow Control Program.
These two innovations in efficiency, both the public launching of KCStat, and the review and assessment of the Water Department, are being made to move Kansas City forward in providing the best service to taxpayers.
Media inquiries should be directed to Dennis Gagnon, City Communications Office, at 816-513-2659.