The Kansas City Council voted unanimously Thursday to rein in the power of city staff to sign contracts without council approval. The issue had been a source of contention between City Manager Troy Schulte and some council members, at one point leading Schulte to briefly threaten to resign.
The ordinance lowers the threshold for signing construction contracts without council approval to $1 million, down from $1.3 million. It also requires council authorization for consulting and other professional services contracts worth more than $50,000. City staff can still approve non-construction contracts up to $400,000.
The deal signed Thursday was brokered by Schulte and Councilman Quinton Lucas. Lucas and other council members said the new limits arose not because of impropriety by Schulte, but because they wanted additional power to scrutinize cit spending.