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Best Midtowner 

Diane Burnette

Tax-increment financing has put a lot of money in the pockets of developers and their lawyers. It's done less for people who live and work closer to the ground. But thanks to the efforts of Diane Burnette, the executive director of the Main Street Corridor Development Corp. (or MainCor), the wealth will be distributed a bit more evenly in one section of midtown. Burnette and others worked to pull $13 million out of a TIF project to make improvements at Penn Valley Park and the Liberty Memorial and along an 18-block stretch of Main. Burnette also led an effort to create a community-improvement district, so now Main has its own fleet of sweepers and greeters, just like downtown. And she has pressured the owner of the famed Katz Drug Building to find a tenant that isn't a payday lender or some other business the neighborhood doesn't need. Cops and bigwigs alike sing the praises of a woman who makes sure one of Kansas City's signature streets doesn't go to seed.

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