Mayors from throughout the country are gathered at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Oklahoma City. Missouri’s delegation includes the mayors from Kansas City and Branson.
Mayor Raeanne Presley of Branson is at her first Mayors Conference this year, where she says she’s taking the opportunity to network with other cities that draw revenue from tourism, such as Orlando, Fla.
Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser, who has attended a few years now, says the networking is important and he’s built several positive relationships with mayors from all over: Charleston, S.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Pleasant, Calif., just to name a few.
He says most importantly, when they band together, they create a stronger voice in federal government.
It’s a place where Kansas City can learn from places like Pleasanton, Calif., he says, which has a mayor like Jennifer Hosterman, who Funkhouser says “is a real dynamo” on the Mayors Water Council.
“Part of it is, yes, you do build relationships with other mayors that you can call and talk to,” he says.
It’s not all work and no play in Oklahoma City though. Each mayor there received a pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots for a night in Bricktown, and last night were rocking out to the Flaming Lips, a band native to Oklahoma City that put on a show at the conference.