Indian Mound Neighborhood Association Election Results

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


The Indian Mound Neighborhood Association held elections for its board at the monthly meeting on July 19.


Indian Mound, Historic Northeast’s northeasternmost neighborhood, stretches from Jackson Avenue on the west to Belmont Boulevard on the east, and is bordered by Gladstone Boulevard to the north and Independence Avenue to the south.


The historically working class neighborhood is home to portions of Kessler Park and Cliff Drive Scenic Byway, Indian Mound Park – the neighborhood’s namesake – and Budd Park.


Former Indian Mound Board President Manny Abarca announced on July 19 that he would not run for the position again.


“I have had a long presence in the association and feel the need to step aside and give others the opportunity to step up and lead,” Abarca said on Facebook. “I look forward to continuing to support the progressive work of the association but for now look forward to focusing on my family and future endeavors.”


That evening, residents of Indian Mound voted on board positions, and confirmed former Executive Vice President Patricia Hernandez for president. They reelected Treasurer Brynne Musser and Secretary Beth Beavers for two-year terms.


“For myself it was a natural progression from volunteering with the neighborhood,” Hernandez said. “I was raised in the area and have a strong connection to it.”


The board is still looking to fill two positions, executive vice president and administrative vice president.


“Before the ink had dried on my housing deed, I was looking up neighborhood association meetings and trying to plug myself into the community,” Musser said. “I think the then-board members could tell I was enthusiastic and energetic and asked me to run. 2020 was a tough break as a first term, though! There’s a learning curve to these types of positions, and this time around I feel like I have two feet on the ground and a better understanding of the role of a neighborhood association.”


“I like getting to know people in the community and learning about their needs and wants,” Beavers said. “I am a strong believer in public service, so I am happy to give my time to advocate for those who are unable to attend meetings because of other obligations.”


Hernandez’ priorities include hosting a community event, and she’s looking forward to the pumpkin patch they have every year. She’s hoping to take “small steps to attempt to bring the neighborhood back together.”


Beavers said they plan on discussing what their neighbors are looking to do at the August meeting. For her, making sure events, especially pumpkin patch, go smoothly and are accessible to as many neighbors as possible is a priority.


“My experience in neighborhood leadership has shown we really don’t have as much pull to make things happen as people think,” Beavers said. “Plus, we’re really limited because we are all volunteers with full-time jobs. The more people involved, the more we can get done.”


Because of this, especially during COVID, Beavers saw their role as fighting back against negative things happening in the community, especially hatred toward neighbors experiencing homelessness and gentrification that will lead to current residents being priced out of their homes.


“I sincerely believe this is the best neighborhood in Kansas City, and I worry that the neighbors and business owners who contribute the most to the culture, identity and beauty of our neighborhood are also the most at risk of being priced or policed out,” Musser said. “Neighborhoods all across Kansas City are becoming unaffordable, but I do think neighborhood boards can help brace a community against the winds of change if we start early enough.”


Musser said there will be lots of focus on the neighborhood’s Urban Homesteading program, which gets vacant and abandoned houses into the hands of people who can turn them into a home for their family.


“Personally, my dream for this neighborhood is to keep housing affordable, whether that’s for renters or homeowners,” Musser said. “I want my neighbors to stay put; I want to watch their vegetable gardens and flowers grow every year. So, if we see projects or developments that we think may ultimately displace our community members or our small businesses, I’m going to try my hardest to reduce that harm.”


The Indian Mound Neighborhood Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of every month. They are currently meeting via Zoom because of COVID-19. Please check Indian Mound’s Facebook page or sign up for the newsletter for the most current information. Contact the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association board at imna@indianmoundneighborhood.org.

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