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Joplin Council Member Melodee Colbert-Kean Becomes President of the National League of Cities

Thursday, November 05, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Nov. 5, 2015

For more information, contact Laura Holloway, communications specialist, Missouri Municipal League at 573-635-9134 or


Joplin Council Member Melodee Colbert-Kean Becomes
President of the National League of Cities

Colbert-Kean is the First Missouri City Official in NLC Top Leadership in Five Decades


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Joplin Council Member Melodee Colbert-Kean will assume the role of President with the National League of Cities at the annual Congress of Cities and Exposition Nov. 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee. Colbert-Kean is the first Missouri city official to be named to top leadership with NLC in more than 50 years.

Colbert-Kean will serve a one-year term in this role representing more than 19,000 cities and towns. She will represent Missouri while meeting with national leaders in Congress and abroad.

“It’s fantastic to see Missouri represented at the top level in this important organization, and we know Melodee will play a vital role in strengthening communities across the country,” said Dan Ross, Missouri Municipal League executive director.

Missouri has had two other mayors in NLC leadership. Mayor Raymond R. Tucker, St. Louis, served as president in 1960 and Mayor W.F. Kemp, Kansas City, was president in 1954.

All NLC officers are selected by a 15-member nominating committee and are elected by NLC’s membership.

In her leadership role, Colbert-Kean plans to focus on NLC’s top three challenges for cities: crumbling infrastructure, e-fairness/marketplace fairness and continuing tax-exempt municipal bonds.

“Many cities are taking the lead on shaping growth with creative partnerships,” said Colbert-Kean. “These help keep a city’s infrastructure, recreational needs and employment base strong.”

Colbert-Kean is committed to community and civic service. She served as Joplin’s Mayor from April 2012 to April 2014, and Mayor Pro Tem from April 2010 through April 2012. As an elected official since April 2006, she has served on the Missouri Municipal League’s Economic Development & Human Resources Committee, and as chair of the League’s Natural Resources and Urban Development Committee. She has been an active board member with NLC, serving the last two years as second and first vice president.

A lifelong Joplin resident, Colbert-Kean and her husband William own MEs Place, a soul food kitchen restaurant. She is a Missouri Licensed Realtor.

The Missouri Municipal League provides a united voice for municipalities across Missouri.  Founded in 1934, MML now serves more than 660 municipalities with training, resources and legislative advocacy for local government success. Learn more at


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