Mission, Roeland Park recognized for commitment to ‘Communities for All Ages’ planning

(Front L-R) Terri Baugh, member of Mission's Sustainability Committee; Emily Randel, Public Information Officer City of Mission; Teresa Kelly, Roeland Park Councilor ; and Keith Moody, Roeland Park City Administrator. Back row:  Jennifer Jones-Lacey, Assistant City Administrator/Finance Officer, Roeland Park; Judy Hyde, member of Roeland Park's Sustainability Committee; and Michael Poppa, Roeland Park Councilor.
(Front L-R) Terri Baugh, member of Mission’s Sustainability Committee; Emily Randel, Public Information Officer City of Mission; Teresa Kelly, Roeland Park Councilor ; and Keith Moody, Roeland Park City Administrator. Back row: Jennifer Jones-Lacey, Assistant City Administrator/Finance Officer, Roeland Park; Judy Hyde, member of Roeland Park’s Sustainability Committee; and Michael Poppa, Roeland Park Councilor.

Mission and Roeland Park were both recognized for their commitment as “Communities for All Ages” last week, responding to the rapid increase in the older adult population and making the cities welcoming for all age groups.

The Communities for All Ages program was developed by the First Suburbs Coalition and the KC Communities for All Ages, programs of the Mid-America Regional Council.

Mission has earned silver level status in the program and Roeland Park has achieved the bronze level. The awards were given at the Roeland Park Community Center on Friday.

Mission has started using a Communities for All Ages impact statement on each agenda item that staff brings to the city council. “This really provides an opportunity for everyone to remember how what we do each day affects all of residents and keeps it top of mind,” said Emily Randel, the city’s information officer.

The program is “just good planning,” Randel said. The silver level, with a focus on assessment, provided a chance for staff and the Mission Sustainability Commission to work through each item and take stock of how the city is doing.

Roeland Park City Administrator Keith Moody said the benefit to the city has been having a citizen-led committee rating awareness and educating citizens, elected officials and staff. For the committee, the application process was a way to establish where the city is in the process and next steps to reach the highest level, which is gold, he said.

“What we’re already seeing and what we hope to see continue is a shared language developing around these concepts. If everyone is working from the same playbook, and aiming for the same goals, we’re going to make more improvements in these areas. To really be a community for all, it takes a lot of input from everyone, so we hope as the program continues, we can build awareness and have lots of good discussions about what is best for Mission,” Randel said.

In Roeland Park, Mood said, “we hope the efforts of the Community for All Ages Committee continue to raise awareness of the issue with the City ultimately incorporating design standards and policy which enhances livability for residents at every age.”