Independence, Missouri, located on the east side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, is the fourth-largest city in Missouri with a population of over 117,000 and encompassing 78 square miles. Located on the south bank of the Missouri River, Independence is connected to Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis by Interstates 70 and 435, and Lee’s Summit to the south by Interstate 470. Kansas City International Airport is 30 miles from the city center. Independence boasts a proud heritage since the first pioneers settled the town in 1872. As the starting point for the California, Santa Fe and Oregon trails and home to the country’s 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, the City honors its historic roots while planning and growing for the future. Strong initiatives for restoring older commercial areas and residential neighborhoods along with new upscale retail development are providing exciting opportunities for the community. Recognized as a “Preserve America Community” and three times named an “All-America City” by the National Civic League, residents enjoy this unique home town heritage blended with contemporary amenities. Independence provides a wealth of recreational activities for residents and tourists alike. One of ten cities with a Presidential Library, other attractions include the Centerpoint Community Ice public ice-skating facility, Silverstein Eye Centers Arena with anchor tenants the Missouri Mavericks and the Missouri Comets, and a multitude of museums and annual festivals. Opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, athletics, interpretive programs and other outdoor recreational activities abound with 40 parks encompassing more than 800 acres. The City is served by state-of-the-art regional hospital Centerpoint Medical Center, four school districts and two institutions of higher learning, Blue River Community College and Graceland University. With a rich religious history, Independence is also home to 120 different places of worship.
Independence is governed by a Council-Manager form of government. Under the Council-Manager plan, the Council is the policy making body, elected by the citizens of Independence. The City Manager is appointed by the Council and is responsible for implementing and carrying out the policies of the Council. The Council consists of four district councilmembers, two at-large councilmembers and a Mayor, who serve staggered four-year terms. As the chief administrative officer of the City, the City Manager exercises direction over all municipal operations, appointing department directors and managing the City’s operations and fiscal affairs. The City of Independence provides a comprehensive range of municipal services, including police and fire protection, public works services, public health services, parks and recreation facilities, general administrative services and a trails history museum and manages the electric, water, and wastewater utilities.
Guided by its vision of Independence for All, the City has adopted four strategic goals:
1. Customer-Focused: Improve customer service and communication
2. Financial Sustainability: Ensure City finances are stable and sustainable
3. Growth: Increase the economic prosperity of the community
4. Quality: Achieve livability, choice, access, health and safety through a quality-built environment
City leadership embraces this vision and is building a workplace culture that is:
• Forward-looking and progressive
• Committed to leading industry practices
• Rethinking service delivery
• Pushing boundaries to create real change