Councilman Moorhead Reflects on Raymore’s Past and Discusses Hopes for the Future

Derek Moorhead has been on the Raymore City Council for the past two years. He was nominated as Jeff Cox’s replacement when Cox won the County office. He represents Ward 2 and serves as Mayor Pro-Tem.
Moorhead holds the honor of being a second generation Councilman. His father also served Raymore as a Councilman in the early 1980s. Moorhead graduated from Avila University with a degree in Political Science and then from UMKC School of Law.
“We have a lot of good people on the Council,” said Moorhead of his peers. Yet the various members seem to have very strong opposing opinions on some issues.
“Some of the banter you hear on the Council was requested.” He went on to explain that he had received criticism from some constituents of the Council predetermining among themselves what the vote was going to be before the meetings. “Sometimes when you hear us exchanging opposite views, we are not actually doing that for the other person, we are doing that for the crowd so people know that we are deliberating.”
Two weeks ago, Moorhead presided over the Council meeting, which was an “eye-opening experience” for him. “Your sitting in that middle seat and you suddenly realize, ‘I’m thinking like a Councilmember, but yet I have to pay attention to the process.’ I almost wish the format would allow everybody to do that at least once, because I know that when I go back to my regular seat, it will affect how I address [Mayor Kerckhoff].”
While describing his approach to being a Councilman, Moorhead said, “I have a luxury – I am self-employed. If we have a land issue, I will go walk the land. On the transportation issue [OATS] after those votes, I actually contacted the Raymore coordinator of that. I went out and rode the OATS bus to get an idea of what they were going through.” One of the best decisions he has made as a Councilman will sound familiar to regular readers of this paper. “The best thing I will probably ever lay claim to is that I got to share in the hiring of Jim Feuerborn. I have had several ‘wow’ moments already with him.”
“We are the flagship of the County because we are very progressive in general with what we are trying to accomplish,” described Moorhead about the City of Raymore. “Our commercial developments at North Cass are moving forward but they are being strategic with proper planning. I expect to see economic development in the next 5-6 years. I’m looking at more career based, professional buildings, clean industry, and technology.”
Another aspect of growth in our community is the upcoming Civic Center. “The Civic Center is a meeting space. It is not a High Blue Wellness. While we did vote to remove the athletic components out of that, we want that too. We just realized that we are going to have to eat each item on the plate separately.” One item that Moorhead would like to see addressed in connection with the Civic Center is arts and entertainment. “One thing we lack is culture. Nobody does theater. Why can’t we do a First Friday Art Festival? Why can’t we have local regional bands come in? Art is another aspect we want to use to draw people in.”
Raymore has a rich history and the local historical society does its best to preserve and educate. Moorhead has more ideas to incorporate history into the current fabric of Raymore. “I would love if the Dean family would allow us the use of the Dean House [at Dean and 58 Hwy] and put the historical society in there and make that a welcome center for the city. It’s identifiable. It’s unique. It’s historic. The first thing you see [driving into Raymore] is this brick house. It is the historical house of Raymore. The idea of bringing the community together is bringing together the past and the present.”
Going forward, Moorhead says the biggest challenge for Raymore is to use the assets it has and keep the momentum going. “We have a great city staff. Jim Cadoret, if I ask him a question, I get good information from him. I think the biggest challenge is getting the existing body of Raymore acclimated to the idea that the economy is improving. We are getting there, but we are growing. The make up of the Council that we have right now will get us there.”
“I’m not climbing the political ranks, so I’m going to be around for a while. I find Raymore to be a wonderful challenge. I really enjoy Monday nights. Two years ago when I first ran I made the remark, ‘Anybody who calls me, I will go to their front door,’ and I’ve tried to do that. I’m enjoying the ride. Every time I get the work packet it’s a whole new series of challenges, but I’m enjoying it,” said Moorhead with a smile.

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