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Best Bureaucrat 

Andi Udris

We're not sure whether to call Andi Udris a bureaucrat. He's head of a weird agency that's funded by public money but is independent of City Hall. As president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation, Udris oversees the Tax Increment Financing Commission (it decides which developers get tax breaks), the Port Authority (it oversees development along the Missouri River) and the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (which determines what gets condemned). Yet his office is on Petticoat Lane, a few blocks removed from elected officials at 12th and Oak. We're not sure who he answers to, but we'll go ahead and call him a bureaucrat anyway and include him on this list. Our rationale? Beer. Udris arrived in Kansas City a little more than a year ago, and much of his job consists of finessing deals with rich developers. But at meetings of the Greater Downtown Development Authority, Udris has frequently spoken up for commoners, too. OK, he stepped in a little doo-doo by suggesting that the city level the President Hotel -- but hey, he was just trying to tell the city to give tax breaks responsibly. Then, in an attempt to foment a little enthusiasm for Kansas City's lame riverfront park, Udris proposed a massive, three-day "Oktoberfest" at Berkley Park. Predictably, the Star weighed in with killjoy tsk-tsks, but the weekend was ultimately pronounced a success, drawing 75,000 people to the long-neglected banks of the Missouri River. We raise our glasses to anyone who dares to suggest that we all have a little goddamn fun along with our economic development.

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