Frank White Jr. - Jackson County Executive

County Executive

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Biography

Background

  • Frank was born in 1950 in Greenville, Mississippi.
  • Frank’s grandparents were sharecroppers in Greenville, Mississippi.
  • Frank has 8 children: Frank III, Adrianne, Terrance, Courtney, Michael, Darryl, Joseph and Jordan.
  • Frank has 12 grand children and 1 great-grandchild.
  • Frank is married to Teresa White, residing in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

County Executive — County Legislature

Frank was elected County Executive on November 8, 2016, after having served as appointed County Executive starting January 11, 2016. During his time in office, Frank has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Jackson County citizens. Major accomplishments include his support of the Children’s Services Fund, the establishment of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the passage of the Tobacco 21 ordinance. Frank is also proud to have led efforts to renew the county’s COMBAT anti-violence/anti-drug abuse program, to bring kids to county parks, gain approval of the vehicle sales tax, institute “Ban the Box” and the acquisition of the Rock Island Rail Corridor.

Before serving as County Executive, Frank was elected as 1st District At-Large Jackson Count Legislator on November 4, 2014.

Kauffman Stadium — The House Frank Helped Build

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The grandson of sharecroppers, Frank was born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1950, but grew up in Kansas City. Old Municipal Stadium cast a shadow over his family home, and he attended Lincoln High School, right next door to the old ballpark. 

One of Frank’s first jobs was as a union laborer, scraping mortar and sealing floors on a project that would become one of Jackson County’s crown jewels—a new baseball field that’s now famous for its crowned scoreboard, Royals (now Kauffman) Stadium. That gives Frank the distinction of possibly being the only Major Leaguer to play in a stadium that he literally helped build.

Royals Icon

Frank molded his raw skills as a player at Ewing Kauffman’s innovative Baseball Academy and went on to have an iconic career with the Kansas City Royals, earning eight Gold Gloves and five All-Star appearances during his 18 seasons with the team. In the Royals’ 1985 World Series triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals, he batted clean-up, becoming one of only two second basemen to do so throughout an entire Fall Classic—the other being Jackie Robinson.

One of the most popular players ever to sport KC blue, Frank was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995 and his No. 20 has been retired. A bronze statue of Frank stands at Kauffman Stadium, just beyond the right field bleachers.

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‘Hometown Hero’

Dave Smith, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, calls Frank “a great example of a hometown hero and leader!” The Boys & Girls Clubs are just one of the many local organizations that Frank has supported through the years. They include the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) of Independence, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), Kansas City Mission, Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet, Key Coalition and the Salvation Army.

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“Frank has played a key role in the growth of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum since its inception in 1990,” NLBM President Bob Kendrick said. “His passion, respect for the history, leadership and influence have been instrumental in the museum’s rise to national prominence.”

While he has demonstrated his respect for the past, Frank is focused on the future through being a “Children’s Champion” for CAPA. “He truly understands the importance of strong, healthy families and the role healthy families play in the lives of children,” stated CAPA Independence Executive Director Rochelle Parker. “Frank’s advocacy on behalf of the vulnerable citizens in our community is crucial.”

Frank is shown above serving a Thanksgiving meal at Kansas City's City Union Mission. Frank is surrounded by family (below) after delivering the 2016 State of the County Address.

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Legislature Appoints New County Executive

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MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016

Frank White Jr. has a new position. During its January 11 meeting, the Jackson County Legislature selected him to serve as County Executive through the remainder of 2016.

Upon resigning as Executive on January 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."

2016 Election

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.

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 November 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.

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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.