City Manager announces new directors, focuses on reducing systemic racism

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


Following his hiring in December of 2020, City Manager Brian Platt announced new directors for several city departments.


On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Platt announced a shift in responsibilities for two departments, including a new initiative to invest in additional staffing and resources to build a more inclusive and supportive culture and reduce systemic racism within City operations.


“Our current focus is empowering our many great leaders and supporting them to be the best they can be,” Platt said. “I am excited to be working alongside these new department directors as we work together to improve delivery of city services.”


Public Works


Michael Shaw has been appointed Public Works Director, earning a promotion after managing Solid Waste Services, where he pioneered curbside recycling and oversaw bringing all trash collection in-house instead of using contractors, which saved significant taxpayer funds. Over the past year with him in the position, resident satisfaction with trash collection increased by 9% overall and 20% in the Northland.


Shaw has been with the City for 22 years, most recently serving as Assistant to the Director for the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department, and was previously Public Works Department Assistant to the Director for nine years. Shaw is married to Fifth District Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw.


He formerly served as chair of Mid-American Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District and legislative chair of the Missouri Solid Waste Advisory Board.


Platt has directed Shaw to initiate discussions with the City’s labor partners to shift Solid Waste Services from the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department to the Public Works Department in order to streamline snow removal efforts and the cleanliness of city streets. Additional changes to improve services may include a second shift for trash collections and bringing recycling collection in-house rather than using contractors.


Jason Waldron will serve in the new role of Transportation Director in the Public Works Department, which is at the same level as Deputy Director. Waldron will manage the implementation of the Vision Zero initiative, pedestrian safety efforts, a rapid plan to install protected bike lanes across the city, and other multimodal transit programs. Waldron has been serving as Acting Deputy Director.


Waldron has been with the City for seven years, serving as project manager for the KC Streetcar Main Street Extension and Associate Director of Multimodal Transportation. He was founding co-chair of the KCMO Mobility Committee and is a Public Works liaison on the KCMO Vision Zero Task Force. Waldron’s previous roles also include managing the streetcar and sidewalk programs.


Prior to joining KCMO, he spent 17 years in the private sector as a transportation consultant. He was involved with roadway, park, sidewalk, trail and transit projects throughout the Kansas City metro. Waldron has also served on the Kansas City Neighborhood Advisory Council and the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.


Human Resources


Platt has appointed Teri Casey, who has served as Acting Director for the past year, to serve as Human Resources Director. Her priority will be to implement the City Manager’s new plan to reduce discrimination, improve equity and create a more supportive and inclusive culture and workplace across the entire organization.


The first phase of this plan includes creating a new Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) division, designed to dramatically cut the city’s liabilities due to EEO claims and payouts, as well as other investments in new staff and resources related to employee training and professional development.


Casey has over 20 years of experience in the field of Human Resources. Casey managed the Labor & Employee Relations Division, has served on the City’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation team and then administered those agreements; developed supervisor training programs; reviewed requests for serious disciplinary action and served as Secretary to the Human Resources Board, which is appointed by the Mayor.


The City will also hire a Chief Equity Officer, a new position to oversee compliance with EEO and anti-discrimination polices, as well as to ensure continued progress with culture building efforts. This position will report directly to the City Manager. The City will invest at least $500,000 in Human Resources to further these goals, which will serve to reduce the City’s annual legal settlements and claims expenses, which total over $8 million on average.


Legal


Acting City Attorney Matt Gigliotti will become permanent City Attorney. Gigliotti succeeds Cecilia Abbott, who retired eight months ago. He has worked with the City nearly 14 years, and was previously Deputy City Attorney.


In his time with the City he has had both litigation and corporate assignments, providing legal support to virtually every department in the City. A background in environmental law has enabled him to provide critical legal services for the City’s Smart Sewer overflow control program.


General Services Department


Acting General Services Director Yolanda McKinzy has earned a promotion to permanent department director. McKinzy has served in the acting role for the past year, leading efforts during the pandemic to create new cleaning protocols and install protective barriers. She also led a citywide staff committee that created workplace safety guidelines.


Since starting as a budget analyst 20 years ago, McKinzy has risen through the ranks, working in both the City Manager’s Office and the General Services Department.


She has managed the delivery of support services to City departments, including information systems, risk management, facilities maintenance, purchasing, property management, vehicle operations and maintenance.


City Manager


Assistant City Manager Earnest Rouse will become Convention and Entertainment Facilities Acting Director. Rouse just finished a successful year as Interim City Manager, guiding city operations with a steady hand during a tumultuous time. The previous department director, Oscar McGaskey, recently retired and the City will conduct a national search for a replacement.


During a 30-plus year career in Kansas City government, Rouse has held various positions including budget analyst, financial manager, assistant to the city manager and General Services Department director. He has also served as the city’s 311 Action Center Director.

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