For two decades of service to Lee’s Summit Christine Bushyhead is the recipient of both the 2013 Truman Heartland Community Foundation Citizen of the Year and the Missouri Municipal League Civic Leadership Award.
Mayor Randy Rhoads chose her for the recognition based on her participation in numerous community efforts throughout the years.
Bushyhead said, “My first thought was ‘Oh my gosh, there’s so much more to do.’ I am extremely honored. The people who have received this award were always people I admired for what they did for their community.”
Rhoads said that Bushyhead was City Attorney when he was first on the City Council, and then served with her when she was also an elected official.
“It was fun,” Rhoads said. “She cuts right to the chase. She doesn’t get distracted by side issues. When she asked a question, you’d better be paying attention because it would be an important question.”
Rhoads said the effort Bushyhead has contributed as a volunteer that caused him to name her Citizen of the Year, particularly her work for Lee’s Summit’s downtown and the city charter.
“People who are volunteering behind the scenes who don’t get the press, who don’t get the credit, they’re the ones making things happen in our community.”
Bushyhead served as city attorney for the City of Lee’s Summit from 1993 through 1999, expanding her interest in local economic development and community enhancements. As city attorney, she served on the City Management Team that created new funding concepts based upon development fees to finance new transportation and water utility improvements that allowed continued growth in the city.
As city attorney, Bushyhead provided legal counsel to the City’s initial Charter Commission which drafted the voter-approved City Charter. Later as a private citizen, she would serve on the Charter Review Commission that recommended changes that were approved by the residents of Lee’s Summit.
After leaving the city attorney position for private practice, Bushyhead was elected as a District 1 City Councilmember, serving 2002-2006. She was instrumental in building community support for the Old Lee’s Summit Downtown Redevelopment Plan, the City Hall campus, and a bond issue to rebuild our downtown infrastructure and streetscape.
After leaving office, Bushyhead became active in the Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street Inc. and helped create “design standards” for the downtown core. The guidelines will help to encourage continued private investment in the commercial structures. She is also a member of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council Executive Committee.
During 2012, she served as a community leader to develop a Cultural Arts Facilities Implementation Plan based upon the City’s Cultural Arts Plan, and Cultural Facilities Master Plan. She followed through by serving as co-chairman of a citizen-based committee, Foundations for our Future, promoting the successful April 2013 no-tax increase bond election to finance initial stages of that plan and for road improvements.
Christine and her husband, Bob, reside in downtown Lee’s Summit and are the proud parents of their son, Parker.