"We were reminded our community's strength is built upon the relationships we have with each other. 2020 was "the year of the neighbor" in our community."

- City Manager Stephen Arbo

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While 2020 was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years in recent memory, it also highlighted the resiliency of our City. We were reminded our community’s strength is built upon the relationships we have with each other. 2020 was “the year of the neighbor” in our community. We looked after each other, supported those who had needs and understood the importance of protecting each other during the pandemic.

We witnessed wonderful displays of generosity with donations, such as personal protective equipment pouring into our fire and police departments to help first responders stay safe during the public health emergency. We also saw tremendous support for our local businesses and it cannot be stressed enough how important that patronage is for the continued success of those businesses, our economy and the City.

In addition to supporting local businesses, our residents showed their unwavering support for the City by approving a use tax in the June election. The pandemic accelerated certain trends, including a shift from traditional commerce to e-commerce. With a use tax in place, the City finds itself on stronger financial footing to continue to provide essential City services our citizens expect and deserve.

Despite the difficulties of this past year, I’m proud of the work our City employees have accomplished. Our first responders, who risked their own health and well-being to ensure the health and safety of the community during the pandemic, deserve endless recognition. Our entire organization never stopped delivering essential services and even expanded ways to interact with residents and business owners. The City utilized technology to host virtual meetings and launched new online tools providing added customer convenience.

As we look ahead, the future is promising for the City and I consider it a privilege to lead this organization. The Downtown Market Plaza, a transformational redevelopment project for downtown Lee’s Summit, is beginning to take shape. With a variety of uses, it will attract visitors to Lee’s Summit so they can experience all we have to offer. The City is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan, which will serve as the basis for economic development, quality residential growth and general improvements for the next 20 years. The Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport is planning its vision with the development of both a master and business plan. These are just a few of the exciting projects happening in and around the City and I look forward to more successes as we focus on the future of Lee’s Summit.

Yours Truly,

Stephen A. Arbo
City Manager


Bill Baird

Diane Forte
District 1

Hillary Shields
District 1

Trish Carlyle
District 2

Andrew S. Felker
District 2

Phyllis Q. Edson
District 3

Beto Lopez
Mayor Pro Tem/District 3

Fred DeMoro
District 4

Bob Johnson
District 4




Comprehensive Plan

The City is finalizing its updated comprehensive plan – Ignite! Fuel Our Future – which will guide economic development, quality residential growth and general improvements for the next 20 years. Throughout the past year, the City has engaged with stakeholders to understand the needs of the community to ensure the finest quality of life for all generations moving forward.

The updated comprehensive plan focuses on seven elements, including quality of life; strong neighborhoods and housing choice; resilient economy; multimodal transportation; facilities and infrastructure; sustainable environment; and land use and community design.

Based on feedback from the community and City leaders, five big ideas were identified to fuel Lee’s Summit’s future. Preserving natural resources, open space, recreational, cultural and historic resources. Maintaining thriving, quality neighborhoods that connect a diversity of residents throughout the community. Concentrating multifamily and commercial development in five special and unique activity centers. Sustaining and enhancing City services, public facilities and infrastructure to protect a high quality of life. Growing the tax base with good-paying jobs.

The comprehensive plan will work together with the City’s strategic plan to build the future the community desires. Once it’s adopted, it will be reviewed by the Planning Commission annually and updated as needed.


Strategic Plan


Citizens and stakeholders continued to contribute to the City of Lee’s Summit's "Ignite! Your ideas. Our Future." strategic plan. After a years’ worth of work, the process was completed during the 2020 pandemic. Thousands of citizens were involved in surveys, online discussions and in-person meetings. Hundreds of hours were committed on behalf of the City Council and administration.

City councilmembers observed as citizens and stakeholders shared their feedback and hopes for the future. It is time to pursue the vision created by citizens, community partners, City administration and council. The scope of the City's citizen committees, boards and commissions will be revisited to ensure alignment with the strategic plan. With its community partners such as the Chamber, Downtown Main Street and the Economic Development Council, the City will seek alignment of their strategic plans with the objectives and goals of the City's strategic plan.

The Planning Commission and City Council will use the recently completed comprehensive plan to guide our critical decisions as we continue to reinvest in our community and manage growth opportunities. The City Council has made a shared commitment with City staff to fulfill our vision statement, "A vibrant community ensuring the finest quality of life for all generations."


  • Earned the highest rating possible on general obligation bonds (Aaa) from Moody's Investors Services. Reflects a strong fiscal position and manageable debt levels.
  • Received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 35 consecutive years
  • Received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 42 consecutive years


To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, nearly 300 employees began working remotely. To meet the communication and connectivity needs of remote employees, IT had to quickly ensure a remote access solution was in place to overcome the lack of mobile computing.  

Rapid implementation of the CityView portal allowed for the online acceptance of permit applications, business licenses and payment processing. It also allowed for the acceptance of electronic plans. Without these changes, much of Development Services' work would not have been possible remotely.

A new Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) was implemented. This system is a digital repository for city documents that is secure, searchable and incorporates the secretary of state's guidelines for document retention. It also has the ability to automate document workflows and procedures and create processes that use digital forms as opposed to the creation of documents.




The Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport is planning for its future as it updates its Business and Master Plans. Revising these plans in tandem allows the airport to leverage synergies in providing a 20-year vision for the airport. Community feedback has been a vital part of the planning process as the airport works to define its long-term goals to meet the needs of its customers. The City has contracted with engineering firm Crawford, Murphy and Tilly to lead the development of the plans. 

The planning process has included defining the airport’s goals and objectives, assessing current infrastructure, identifying areas for future development, and establishing demand projections and the facility needs to meet those demands. Past improvements to the airport have resulted in significant growth. The updated Business and Master Plans will build on those successes to position the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport as a regional destination. 

The airport is an enterprise fund, which supports its operational costs through fuel sales and hangar rental revenues. 




Engagement continued to grow between the City and residents through a number of outreach platforms. Communicating public health information was a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. A COVID-19 portal was added to the City website containing closures, health orders, guidelines, testing, vaccine and local information. A new weekly newsletter, Covering COVID-19 - Community Briefing, was added to distribute coronavirus information to residents along with a daily internal newsletter for employees.


City E-Newsletters

9,879 people subscribed
250 campaigns sent

Green Street Beat

17 podcasts recorded
54,291 listeners


Social Media Snapshot

663 posts

519 posts

185 posts

 26,071 members
262 posts

302 subscribers



Several improvements were made in 2020, including a new wave pool, 1014 Loop trail and renovations at Howard Park and Summit Park. The 8,000-square-foot wave pool increases the capacity of Summit Waves by over 600 patrons. 

Summit Park is a 6.5-acre park with a tennis court, practice ball fields, half-mile trail, two shelters and new playground equipment. Howard Park now includes a splash pad, new playground equipment, shelter, nine-hole disc golf course, 6-mile trail on this 20-acre park. Both Summit and Howard Parks include year-round restrooms as well. 

Howard Park

Wave Pool at Summit Waves

Lowenstein Park
Improvements began in 2020



The Downtown Sculpture Walk is a new outdoor public art initiative of the Cultural Arts Division. The goal of the Sculpture Walk is to enhance the vibrancy of the City through the incorporation of unique and engaging public art. Six sculptures were installed at various high-visibility sites throughout the downtown business district from May 2020 through March 2021. The artwork was selected from a national call for artists and juried by members of the Arts Council and Downtown Lee’s Summit.

As a rotating public art exhibit, visitors to the downtown area can expect to see a new rotation of sculptures each spring. The exhibition transforms downtown into an exciting, multisensory and interactive destination. Each sculpture is on loan to the City for the duration of the exhibit and available for purchase.

This project was made possible through a collaborative partnership between the Cultural Arts DivisionLee’s Summit Arts Council and Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street. Funding support provided in part by the Downtown Community Improvement District and the Industrial Development Authority.



Inspired Chicago

Stellated Bronze


The Feather


Fire Station No. 3

Fire Station No. 3 opened in August 2020. The new station, located at 2023 NW Shamrock Avenue, was approved by voters as part of a 2016 No-Tax-Increase General Obligation Bond to fund public safety improvements.

Curb Replacement

The annual curb replacement program replaced over 15 miles of curb and reconstructed 123 ADA ramps. 

Mill and Overlay

Crews placed over 37,500 tons of asphaltic concrete (just over 24 miles of 24-foot-wide pavement) on streets selected based upon the pavement condition index. 

Surface Seal

Sealed 322,759 square yards of roadway (approximately 23 miles of 24-foot-wide pavement).

New Traffic Signals
  • Hamblen Road and Bailey Road signal
  • Hook Road and Pryor Road signal
Culvert Rehabilitation
Langsford Road

This project repaired a corroded stormwater pipe under Langsford Road by installing a concrete floor and partial walls to the pipe. This helps ensure the integrity of Langsford Road and maintains the life of the stormwater pipe.

Streambank Stabilization
NE Bristol Drive, NE Douglas Street, SE Second Street and two locations on SW Third Street

To protect the existing roadway infrastructure, streambanks were stabilized at five locations throughout the City to prevent streambank erosion.

Landfill Closure

The City’s landfill operating permit required proper closure of the landfill once it reached capacity. Components of the closure included leveling settled areas of the landfill, installing gas extraction wells and applying final cover according to Missouri Department of Natural Resources specifications, and testing soil densities.  

Fourth and Main Parking lot

The surface of the parking lot was constructed using PaveDrain, a permeable articulating concrete block that improves how stormwater reacts to the surface. The new lot brings 37 new parking spots, including two ADA, to the downtown area.


Streets of West Pryor, a $178 million mixed-use development, covers nearly 70 acres near I-470 and Pryor Road. The development includes a luxury hotel, apartments, dining and retail. The development is anchored by McKeever's Market, which is new to the Lee's Summit area. The grocery store was completed during the summer of 2020 with apartments to follow.


There was more activity at the Paragon Star development with the installation of considerable infrastructure. This mixed-use development is located near I-470 and View High Drive and includes a sports complex with 10 soccer fields. There are also plans for a hotel, retail space, office space, restaurants and apartments.


A new 18,500-square-foot public library at SE Battery Drive and SE Blue Parkway was completed in March 2020. The east branch has numerous amenities, including a drive-up window, community room and upgraded technology.

Mid-Continent Public Library has two additional branches in Lee’s Summit which rank first and third out of the system's 31 branches in terms of circulation. The addition of the East Lee’s Summit branch will help the library better meet the needs of Lee's Summit.


The City is progressing on the proposed mixed-use Downtown Market Plaza redevelopment project, fulfilling a promise made to voters in April 2013 with the approval of a $2,898,000 general obligation bond issue. Mayor Baird unveiled the conceptual plan for the project in July 2020, which consists of a permanent farmers market pavilion, conservatory, boutique hotel, mixed-use commercial building, outdoor performance area, apartment complex and courtyard. 

It has taken a collaborative effort to reach this point. The City worked with leaders representing Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and the Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) to develop a common vision for the proposed site near SE Green Street and SE Third Street. Funding for the project will come from the remaining bond balance, proceeds set aside from the sale of surplus properties, a partnership with the Downtown CID and potential private investment for certain components.



The vision, mission and values were developed during the Ignite! strategic planning process.

Community Vision

A vibrant community ensuring the finest quality of life for all generations. 


To enrich lives in our community through collaboration, creativity and commitment.

Core Values

Stewardship, Integrity, Service Excellence


American Public Works Association
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
Commission on Fire Accreditation International
Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies