By the standards of numerous other big cities across the country, Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte and his department heads enjoy a blank check. Without authorization from the Kansas City Council, they can solicit bids and approve any construction contract up to $1.3 million, or other expenditures of as much as $400,000.
That broad authority is under challenge from a group of City Council members, who have introduced an ordinance that would trim his power to sign on the dotted line without their approval.
Managerial spending limits for non-construction contracts at City Hall have risen by more than 1,000 percent since the year 2000, when the cap was $35,000. The ceiling on construction deals has ballooned more than 3,500 percent.
Councilman Quinton Lucas introduced an ordinance last week that would reduce thresholds to $750,000 for construction, $250,000 for routine goods and services and $50,000 for consultants and other outside expertise.
The measure would also require Schulte to file quarterly reports on all contracts executed without council review.
Read more: Kansas City Star