County Executive Frank White Jr.
Legislature Appoints New County Executive
MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016
Frank White Jr. has a new position. During its Jan. 11 meeting, the Jackson County Legislature selected him to serve as County Executive through the remainder of 2016.
Upon resigning as Executive on Jan. 5, Mike Sanders named former County Legislator Fred Arbanas the Temporary County Executive. In accordance with the County Charter, the Legislature has now appointed a replacement.
White was sworn in as County Executive at the Historic Truman Courthouse this afternoon. To assume the duties of Executive, he stepped down as 1st District At-Large County Legislator.
“I am humbled by the support of my colleagues,” said White. “I am looking forward to working with the administrative team to continue the successes of the past few years. Our county employees are hard-working, and making sure they have the tools they need to serve our residents will be one of my top priorities.”
Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, Jackson County Legislative Chairwoman Crystal Williams stressed that White "is absolutely intent on serving the people of Jackson County."
She added, "One of the reasons I am so thrilled he has agreed to take on this rather hefty job is because Frank has said -- since the very beginning when he got elected to the Legislature -- that his priorities were for constituents to have an operating and transparent county government, and that he wanted the employees of Jackson County to understand how much we value them.
"So, I think we are likely going to see a lot of hard work put into a lot of the work-a-day issues, which are ultimately what is important to the people of Jackson County."
Voters will cast ballots for County Executive this year when they got to polls in August (primary) and November (general election). The winner of the general election will fill the remainder of Sanders' term through 2018. (Election details)
Royals Hall of Famer
White was born in Mississippi, but grew up in Kansas City, attending Lincoln High School. As a laborer he helped build Kaufman Stadium, where he would later spend 18 years as a Kansas City Royal, earning eight Gold Gloves and five All-Star Game selections as a second baseman. White was instrumental in helping the Royals capture their first World Series Championship in 1985. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995.
“My experience tells me that teamwork is contagious,” said White. “We have a good team in place, and I am excited to work with them to make sure Jackson County residents and businesses can win.”
White was elected to the County Legislature on Nov. 4, 2014. He chaired the influential Land Use Committee and served on the Budget, Health & Environment and Public Works Committees.
Frank White Jr.'s Speech Upon Being Sworn In:
God has truly smiled upon me and my family today.
This is a historic day, and I have to say the most humbling experience for me is being asked to serve as your County Executive. It is really an amazing honor and also an amazing responsibility. And it is a responsibility that I plan to take very seriously.
I want to thank my colleagues on the Legislature for their vote and their confidence. I appreciate your faith in me, and I look to your help and support that I know you will provide me as I get acclimated to this job.
And I'd like to recognize my former colleagues on the Legislature: Chairwoman Crystal Williams, Vice Chairwoman Theresa Galvin, Legislator Dennis Waits, Legislator Greg Grounds, Legislator Dan Tarwater, Legislator Scott Burnett, Legislator Alfred Jordan and Legislator Tony Miller. Also present, I'd like to also recognize our County Sheriff, Mike Sharp, and also our Jackson County Prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker.
I also want to thank longtime Legislator Fred Arbanas, who is not here today. I want to thank him for his service to the county and for stepping in when needed to keep the county moving forward.
I'd also like to thank my legislative aide, Karen Conrad. Her hard work and dedication to the Jackson County Legislature helped make my transition as a Legislator very seamless.
I also want to thank Mike Sanders. Mike deserves a big thank you for the nine years that he and his wife, Georgia, have devoted to Jackson County -- and for the many good and productive things that he was able to accomplish through some very, very tough times.
I also want to thank the people of Jackson County for believing in me and for always having been there for me and my family, through thick and thin, through baseball and in business, and in so many charitable and community endeavors.
Thank you to my family for their support and for believing in me. Many of them are here today. My mom and dad, God rest their souls, are very proud right now -- perhaps even more proud than when I hit my first home run, won my Gold Gloves and played in the World Series. I felt I was truly blessed to have such supportive parents.
I especially thank my beautiful and wonderful wife Teresa, who gave me the "hit" sign when I went home and asked her what she thought about me accepting this job. None of this is possible, as we know, without home support in everything we do -- not just this job, but in a regular job. She stands with me and encourages me to continue to make a difference.
Teresa and I are very committed to giving back to this community in as many ways as possible.
This is a tremendous honor, a tremendous opportunity. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity and for wanting to help me and help us shape the state of this great county.
I've always said opportunity plus hard work equals success. I want to say that I intend to succeed in our efforts to continue to make this county a county we can all be proud of.
Now God bless you, and let's go make things happen.